A Fashion Blog By Gemma Talbot

Thursday, 5 December 2019

Last Month's Round Up

Long time no speak. These blog posts certainly are becoming few and far between. I’ll be completely transparent with you, recently I’ve really been struggling. It’s not really anything to do with my mental health but I can’t shake the feeling of being incredibly overwhelmed. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love my job and all the opportunities it brings me but there often is a pressure to not only create content that my followers will enjoy but also be innovative and creative at the same time. The autumn leaves have now disappeared and everything is starting to look a bit dull which can have knock on effects on your creativity. Thank goodness the festivities and twinkly lights are here so the Christmas content can commence. 

I’ve been so preoccupied with the Black Friday/cyber week madness that my little pea brain feels fried. I’m sure you saw affiliate links and Instagram swipe up links flying around everywhere last week. And I apologise, if from a consumers point of view you felt like everyone was trying to sell you something. For influencers, cyber week can often be the highest earning opportunity of the whole entire year which is absolute madness. Whilst I haven’t wanted to bombard my followers or make them feel I’m shoving discounts down their throats. The discounts seem to get bigger and better each year, and also commencing as early as the Monday before. Rather than just doing a wish list of copy and paste jobbies, last week I shared all my favourite retailers and clothes I currently own which were all heavily discounted over cyber week. I think this definitely worked in my favour and made me realise how some influencers really can rake in the money with swipes ups. Particularly if they have a large social following. 

So now that we can forget cyber week for another year, it’s time to start thinking about Christmas content which includes party wear. God help me. That’s the thing with my job, you always have to plan ahead to content and seasons and trends. It’s constant forecasting. She says as she digs out her Christmas boyfriend repellent Grinch pjs from Primark which I was saving until 1st December. Believe me it was difficult. My boyfriend was absolutely thrilled when I got into bed wearing them. He was probably hoping for something suited to an Ann Summers advert but what’s sexy about being cold? I’ve even been searching Amazon this week for electric heated under blankets because my god it’s freezing in London right now. Grandma Gemma, it me. 


What recent weeks have shown me is I’ve started to realise I’m my own worst enemy. I have the all or nothing approach to everything which is both good and bad I guess. Great because it’s in my DNA to work hard and motivate myself. Bad because when I don’t meet the high expectations I put on myself, I feel deflated and to some degree a bit of a failure. As of late I’ve definitely created more work for myself. With the way Instagram is going, I’d be lieing if I said my content hasn’t suffered. My posts generally aren’t performing as well as they used to, people aren’t seeing my content and to say it’s disheartening is an understatement. The time and effort that goes into content creation and now freezing in the cold, certainly is not being rewarded by a double tap. I know likes and comments don’t define my success but in business terms you do sort of see it as a KPI (key performance indicator). I dare say that this is due to the Instagram algorithm because someone might slide into my DM’s again and say that “maybe I should look at my content because it doesn’t resonate with them anymore” eeeeesh the burn is real here sis.

So let’s talk work load. As Instagram is controlled by Instagram, I don’t want to rely solely on this platform as my main source of income. You only have to have Instagram go down in an evening to make you realise how true this is. Why have I invested so much time into it you might ask? Well to be completely transparent, it’s how I make most of my money as a fashion blogger/influencer. It’s a catch 22. 

The term we’re so familiar with from Love Island; don’t put all your eggs in one basket is so apt. On a weekly basis the content I have set myself to produce is a daily Instagram post (this doesn’t include any sponsored content I may have in the pipeline), two weekly YouTube videos, 1 styling video, a weekly Instagram Q&A and a blog post. In recent weeks, I’ve felt as though I’ve spread myself incredibly thin and it does begin to get you down. This is probably because like I said earlier, I set high standards on myself and am also a bit of a perfectionist. Throw Cyber Haul week in the mix over on my YouTube channel, where I posted 6 videos meant that I did inevitably fall behind on my work which definitely left me feeling very stressed. 

Whilst some may not see the above as that much work, as of late I’ve felt physically and mentally exhausted. It’s not just the content creation but everything that goes with it. The emails, the editing of content, chasing payments, invoicing and all the admin that goes with my job. Not to mention, going out and shooting in the cold to get the content in the first place. Again, please don’t take this as me being ungrateful or as I’ve once been labelled before “entitled”. It just highlights that I have found things difficult recently. My screen time currently reads 4hrs and 19 mins which is probably why my eyes and head hurt. Constantly being on your phone and feeling like you’re having no alone time can really start to effect you in more ways than one. This is something I have definitely felt as of late. 
I’m sat on the bus on the tube home from the gym, writing this post in the notes section of my iPhone. Last week was mental what with the Black Friday madness and cyber haul week over on my YouTube channel. Completely self inflicted I know. On Sunday I had planned on working but I went out the night before and didn’t leave my bed until 6pm for a roast. I clearly needed the sleep. It honestly feels as though I haven’t had a free minute to even begin to think about writing a blog post let alone do much else. This does make me feel a pang of disappointment with myself because I LOVE writing. As silly and cliché as it may sound, I forget all of my troubles and am just able to think of nothing else but the words I write. It’s definitely a therapeutic distraction from reality for me. 

I do often feel that my job is reliant on so many other factors that one may not even consider and are often out of my control. Having someone to take your photos, the weather, the clothes looking good. The list goes on. Someone is always going to have something to say about you. Slow down on the faux fur because it takes 5000 years to decompose, wear some clothes aren’t you cold, the list goes on. 

It’s all of this on top of trying to have a social life, go to the gym, cook, maintain a romantic relationship whilst feeling like you’re still having some ‘me’ time too. I even feel like I’ve had to rush my skincare routine because it seems like effort when I am so tired I just want to go to bed. The struggle is real. It can begin to feel like a lot of pressure and when things start to feel overwhelming, it can get you down. On another note, I have started reading The Secret by Rhonda Byrne, albeit slowly which reminds me I need to cancel my trial subscription of Amazon Prime. I’ve heard amazing things about this book and am thoroughly enjoying it so far but I have put high hopes on the fact that this book may alter my mindset. So many people have already said it’s practically changed their life. I don’t want you guys to think I’m unhappy or that I’m looking for sympathy. It just seems the work is increasing and there’s only one of me that it’s hard to remain positive and upbeat all the time. What it ultimately boils down to is I am solely responsible for the money I earn. The monthly rent and bills are not going to pay themselves and we all know how expensive living is now. Especially in London.

This brings me onto my next point. I actually recently had a meeting with a management talent agency about representing me and ultimately easing my work load. Whilst all management interest I’ve had, comes directly from the agency themselves I have been intrigued and whether it would be a viable option for me. With that said, there’s something gut wrenching about the prospect of putting your business in the hands of someone else. Everything you’ve spent the past few years building, all the connections you’ve made for a 20% cut of all your earnings. 

After thinking long and hard about it, I’m not really struggling to get work it’s more that I need an assistant to help with the admin, editing and more time consuming elements of my job. This will inevitably free up time to do what I love. Content creation. In the new year, if financially viable, I’m going to look at hiring an assistant and of course I will pay them. I’ve interned for free before and been treated like absolute shit and would never do that to anyone even if they are desperate to gain experience. I do have a heart. Even if it’s just one day a week, I truly believe this will help me enormously and hopefully it won’t make me too worse off either. 

It’s the 5th December today and a new month marks a fresh start and a positive mindset to the week ahead. I can’t believe it’s actually December. Whilst I am happy that I get to eat advent calendar chocolate for breakfast for 24 days this month, please can time just slow down a little. I’ll be 30 before I know it 😂😭 

As Christmas is fast approaching, I am definitely getting more and more excited. Although the thought of how many Christmas presents I am still yet to buy is slightly sickening. I really wish money did grow on trees. Now we are officially in the month of December, I really can’t wait to get my Christmas Instagram spam on because I am a sucker for the festivities, Christmas markets, mulled wine and present exchanging. Let’s not forget the Christmas Grinch pjs either. Whilst I did say I am finding it hard to produce all this content I am still going to be posting on here, even if it is a monthly round up because that is certainly achievable my end. I’ve actually got some amazing partywear that I cannot wait to share with you. And yes, before anyone asks I was cold. What I will say is I’ve learnt some great layering technique and thermals and hot water bottles have become my best friends. But you know #FreezingForFashuuuun and all that.

Thank you all for sticking with me and for all the lovely Instagram and YouTube comments I’ve received. You’re all so lovely and I’m here for the girl power. A little act of kindness really does go a long way. There have been times last month where I was feeling really low and a small compliment really did pick me up. So if you were one of them, truly thank you. 

I hope you enjoyed this little update from me and sorry if it’s been a bit dreary. You’ve got to experience the rough with the smooth to really appreciate the good times. You also know I’m all about keeping it real. Before I go, there’s one very exciting update I wanted to fill you in on. I am starting a podcast with my work wife Sophie Milner, go and follow our Instagram page @privatemessagepodcast and stay tuned for the launch in January. Watch this space girlies. Have a lovely week and speak soon xoxo

shop this post:

Check Blazer - ASOS {affiliate - gifted}
Check Skirt - ASOS {affiliate - gifted}
Jumper - & Other Stories 
Boots - Zara
Coin Necklace - Missoma 
Spotty tights - Primark

Photography by Fifi Newbery

1 comment

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