Behind the blog: The truth about why I stopped blogging & took a break from social media

It feels so weird to sit down and write this because I haven’t written a post in what feels like months. It’s terribly sad, because I love this blog. Heck, I pay almost R500 a year keeping this blog going, but I never really made use of it and I felt that I should explain myself…

When people stop blogging, others assume that they stopped for the following reasons:

  1. It was just a phase, that person didn’t really have the intention of actually becoming a blogger.
  2. It was for the freebies and all those nice perks that come with having a blog
  3. The blogger was just downright lazy and doesn’t actually have what it takes to be a real blogger.

Okay, maybe number 3 is partially true but not enough reason to keep my blog going, so why is it still up? Why am I still here and why on earth am I even writing this?

You see, in 2015, when blogging was still relatively new, I walked into university and I was honestly so unhappy with my classes, I felt that I needed an outlet. I loved writing, from a very young age I always had my nose in a book and every month I would ask my mom to buy countless magazines just so I could read articles and get beauty freebies. So I turned my love for beauty, fashion and lifestyle into a blog. I knew absolutely nothing, but I liked that I had my own little place on the internet where my voice actually mattered. People were leaving lovely comments, following me on social media, asking to know more about me. And so began Sincerely Deeanne.

However, with all of this came its challenges. As my blog and following grew, so did the blogging world and people who also wanted to jump on the bandwagon. My passion that burned so wildly for blogging was slowly but surely being put out and here’s why:

Blogging became a numbers game

Once I had hit about 3000 followers on my old account (which has since been deactivated since my account had been compromised), there was suddenly a large demand for even more numbers. I was so confused. I didn’t understand why I needed a reach larger than what I had already, but companies didn’t care, they needed tens of thousands of followers if not more in order to be reached out to and to work with you. Now don’t get me wrong, if a brand doesn’t want to work with me, I don’t take it to heart. I take it as a challenge. But then it became a regular occurrence. I wasn’t big enough, I wasn’t busy enough and eventually I felt like my blog was not good enough. My favourite occurrence that grates my TITS is when you put your life and soul into a post thinking it’s so good and a brand responds with a heart emoji. Wow, okay. Next time instead of that heart emoji, you might as well send me the middle finger because you basically told me to get lost and take my content with me, because you couldn’t care less. This is what contributed to the lack of posts, as I couldn’t afford to review every brand out there on a student budget. Not to mention the hype around people with fake followers. Even though I read an article that actually supported people buying fake followers, it was just something that I couldn’t see myself doing. Firstly because I felt like it was an easy way out instead of actually taking the time to get to know your followers and secondly because even if for some crazy reason I actually wanted to, I wouldn’t be able to afford it (girl, when I say I’m hella cheap I mean I AM DEAD. ASS. CHEAP.). What hit me the most was that I had learned that people with huge followings were making money off of creating content, even though they weren’t actually content creators. I never went into blogging for money, so I was disheartened to learn that people with fake followers would make money off of something that I genuinely enjoyed doing.

Click, Click, Snap

The average blogger posts almost twice daily. Instagram algorithm, blah blah. So I decided to do it too. What I didn’t realize was that it was becoming so exhausting. I constantly had to have images ready, make sure my feed was in order, manage accounts, tag brands, make sure the picture is good enough to be featured. This lead to me becoming unhealthily obsessed with the way I looked. I would fuss over every picture of myself and would delete almost 30 posts at one point just because I didn’t like how I looked in photos. If friends tagged me in photos that I thought I couldn’t associate with my brand, I’d have that tag removed faster than you can say “selfie”. I became more focused on products and featuring that rather than beauty and lifestyle posts associated with myself. I became a victim of the gram sham. Where my life looked pretty darn dandy on camera but was falling apart in real life. This lead me to take a break from social media to focus on myself.

PR Lists & all the glitz

Who doesn’t love PR? I remember my first PR package. It was a gift from Cosmetix and even though it was probably the smallest gift ever, I was finally being recognized and sent all these nice things. Don’t get me wrong, I love the thrill of being asked for my delivery address and waking up to the delivery man dropping off something nice. That was until I stopped receiving them on a whole. No, I didn’t go into blogging for PR — please don’t come for me. When I would see other people getting PR, I would over analyze and I would think that maybe I was doing something wrong. What if I wasn’t good enough? What can I do to be better? This is what lead to all the unhealthy comparisons and endless nights I would spend crying because I finally felt like my blog had maybe reached its expiry date.

Compensation station

Here’s one of the real kickers. I’m not necessarily angry about this situation but I felt like it did contribute to me asking myself “why the actual heck am I still doing this?”. I was once e-mailed by a brand asking to be featured on my blog every week as promotion for their clothing line. I love clothes so I thought, wow. A brand actually wants me to regularly curate content for them. Then, they continued to say that as compensation, they would offer me a 10% discount code that I could provide to my readers. Yup, you got it ladies and gentlemen. A whole ass 10%. I feel like I need to add that their clothes weren’t exactly cheap. This is another problem that I feel has become an issue in the blogging world. So many companies and brands expect bloggers to work for them for free. Yes, it’s work. We don’t just sit around and take pretty photos and go to events like people think. We take time out of our day to create posts and spend hours shooting products, even though we’ll end up with 50 images and only be happy with one. Not to mention the effort it takes to share our content because it’s not just going to sit on the blog and market itself. The cherry on the cake: I was only offered that discount because I was considered a “small blogger”. As if all the hard work I had done was great but not good enough. I felt like someone had given me a pat on the back and said “yup, that’s nice and all but we don’t really care because your numbers aren’t big enough”.

Life happens.

2018 was not the best of years for me. My grandfather was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and is currently in a weak state as he is deteriorating, I quit my job as a promoter and no longer had an income to buy products to review, I have no job security for next year and my final year of varsity kicked me so hard in the butt that I didn’t even know if I was coming or going. Yes, there are people in more terrible situations than myself and I count my blessings each and every day but my mental health had taken such a toll at this point that I decided to leave my keyboard for good and focus on my studies. It happens. Yet here we are, 1257 words later and we’re still going.

Call me lazy, silly or even weird for thinking that these reasons justify my absence in the blogging world, but truth be told, it’s the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the damn truth. I love this blog with all my heart and soul and I am grateful for every opportunity that it had afforded me. It’s still my little place on the internet where I matter and that will never change. My passion for creating content still burns wildly inside me and will never die, it’s just that it has to be fueled again. It will, when the blogging world least expects it.

 

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Behind The Blog: Get To Know Deeanne ♡.

—  THE GET TO KNOW ME TAG, FOR THOSE WHO DON’T FEEL LIKE A LONG, PERSONAL BLOG POST. CLICK PLAY TO WATCH ♡–

 

The year was 1996, and being as stubborn as I am (and always fashionably late, because I like making an entrance) I was already way overdue, as my mom had been in labour for almost 12 hours. Having nearly escaped death, I came into the big wide world on the 8th of August.

So. What’s in a name you ask? Well, originally my grandmother had asked that I be named Michaela as she seemed to grow very fond of it. Unfortunately the circumstances surrounding that name at the time were just not something my parents wanted to associate me with. So my parents decided that two names were better than one. So Deon and Jo-Anne came together to form Deeanne. The rest is pretty much history. Okay, maybe not so much.

I have stared death in the face not only once, but twice. When I was younger, I started suffering terrible symptoms and my mother’s instincts quickly kicked in, and I was rushed to hospital at the speed of light. I was then diagnosed with meningitis and so began my stay in hospital. Had it not been for my mom’s quick instincts, the doctors said I could have been blind, deaf or even worse.

I’m a fighter, you see. So don’t worry. I’m okay. My childhood was great. I loved primary school so much so that I became friends with everyone. The type of school I was fortunate enough to attend was one that had taught me so much and I enjoyed going to school. Having won numerous awards (no, really every year of primary school from grade one to seven I was invited to an award ceremony) I quickly worked my way up the academic ladder and eventually in my final year (grade 7) I was made head girl, was part of the prefect council and at one point was also a librarian. Little did I know that when I was in grade 1, I would find my passion. One day, while sitting in the doctor’s office, my dad told me the story about the boy who cried wolf. I was so fascinated by this story that I just had to tell my teacher. So what did I ask? I asked her if I could tell the class a story. My teacher was so impressed that she asked me to repeat the story to another grade one class and then a grade 3 class! That day I came home with 5 stars on my head and my parents were so shocked, they thought I had done something wrong!

High school was a difficult transition for me personally. Going from a school where you were friends with everyone to suddenly moving to a school with cliques was not easy for me. I did not like my school or any of the subjects they offered. However, I always excelled at creative writing and one day, my mom found one of my papers I wrote about how I missed being a kid (which I got 80% for, just by the way). She was so amazed by my writing skills that she told me it was definitely something I should look into.

Then came university. Having been rejected for my previous choices, I found out that there was still a course available that offered a waiting list. I was so desperate to get into UWC specifically that I did my very best to get in (that’s a post I want to write separately, so I’ll get into that another time). After being accepted 2 weeks into the semester, I fell in love with my university. I loved the friends I made and I really enjoyed writing (for anyone wondering, I’m a double major in English and Language and Communication Studies). Yet, I missed writing something I wasn’t forced to write and I wanted an outlet. So in 2015 I opened my laptop and started a blog.

And so began Thee Chic Critique. I think my first blog post was something about what I was loving at the moment (which included dark chocolate and Teen Wolf) and I built a community. People started following me on social media and was genuinely interested in the content I was creating. Then the unexpected happened, and my blog started experiencing technical difficulties which wouldn’t  allow me to write anymore.

That’s when I created a new blog, but I wanted a better name and something that was more personal. I noticed that on my previous blog, I would sign off all my blog posts with “Sincerely, Deeanne” and I loved how that sounded. Not only did my blog have a new name but it gave my new blog an identity. Something which resonated with over 200 bloggers. I now have over 3550 views in total and companies are willing to work with me on a regular basis.

Something I do want to say is that I never started my blog to work with companies and to get free things. I’ve always had a passion for telling stories. I enjoy writing so much so that sometimes I don’t even realize how long my posts are. Isn’t that what blogging is supposed to be about?

This year (2017) I have left the country for the first time, came out of a very toxic relationship and made the most amazing friends I could have ever asked for. I’m not sure what exactly the future holds for me. I’m in no rush to get there either. I’m currently focused on myself, my relationship with God and enjoying my university experience. I’d like to graduate Cum Laude from my university and work overseas for a while before going into journalism. At the same time I’d like to branch out and really take my blog and YouTube channel to the next level. I’ll be alright.

This is me, Deeanne. The girl behind the blog Sincerely, Deeanne.

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my social media

 

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Life Update: I’m Single, Done Blogging & Future Plans?

I have no idea how to begin this blog post.

I think one thing my readers don’t know about me or choose not to see is that I don’t really like to put my whole life on the internet (ironic, right? I literally post videos on my YouTube channel documenting my life’s adventures and beauty routines). But on a serious note, I feel like I owe it to a lot of people to understand why I haven’t been blogging and why I have not been consistent with my uploads.

Most of the reasons are discussed in my latest vlog which you can watch below. Now just a side note, this was filmed before my initial reason for this post so it’s just a few details. Click play to watch and leave me a like & subscribe:

 

Now, the real reason for my absence on both my social media as well as my blogging/vlogging platforms is because I’ve recently come out of a 4 year relationship. You may or may not have seen my ex in a few of my blog posts and videos but I can’t keep it a secret forever. Due to the fact that we have dated so long, we have both become different people and for that reason, have decided to part ways. I wish him nothing but success and happiness and for this reason I just ask, that should you stumble on an old post or video, that you kindly ignore it and not pay it any further attention.

At this point in time I’ve decided to focus on my blog while at the same time growing my followers and meeting new people along the way. I am not done blogging although it may have looked like that for a while. Thank you for all the love and support you’ve all shown both my blog and my YouTube channel.

As for my future — next year is my final year of university. I still have a long way to go in terms of final year and graduation but this is only a new beginning. Although I am trying to remain at the top of all my classes, I still want to be able to develop a routine in terms of blogging and filming and my schedule will works as follows: I will have 3 blog posts a week on Monday, Wednesday and Friday and a new YouTube video every Friday.

Someone once said that sometimes you have to accept that some people can stay in your heart, but not in your life x.

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30 Day Blogging Challenge: Day 22 – 5 Fave Tracks of the Week

I’m going to be totally honest, I didn’t really know what to write and I had a whole lot of preparation for campus so it’s currently 22:36 here in South Africa and I don’t know why I am exhausted as I am right now.

I’ve mentioned before that I love listening to music and I thought I’d just leave a few tracks that I’ve been loving lately. I have done a post like this before but as time goes on, my music gets updated and I listen to new things.

  1. All Your Fault – Big Sean ft. Kanye West (Explicit): I have an unhealthy obsession with memorizing fast-paced lyrics and I have come to love this song so much. It took me about two weeks to fully nail it but I just love rap music because sometimes there are some great puns and a lot of word play. As an English major you can imagine how that excites me!
  2. We Don’t Talk Anymore – Charlie Puth ft. Selena Gomez: Back to my love for girly, romantic music which Matthew can’t stand when I blast it in the car, this song really has a great feel specially when you’ve lost connection with a loved one. It’s really one of my top tracks on my playlist and I am loving it.
  3. On My Mind – Ellie Goulding: Who doesn’t love blasting Ellie Goulding and not caring who hears? I know I do, especially this latest hit track because it is literally music to my ears. Well done Ellie! Dance floor chart topper for sure.
  4. In the Night – The Weeknd: This man did not win those Grammy’s for nothing ladies and gents. The Weeknd is an extremely talented artist with a Michael Jackson feel. I like that he can make music that speaks to the soul but still has that sultry edge that makes your knees weak.
  5. King Kunta – Kendrick Lamar: If his Grammy performance did not blow you away then please feel free to leave my page. I honestly love rap music and among my favourite artists, Kendrick Lamar definitely tops my list. I am so excited to see what he’s going to do next

Sorry this isn’t one of the greatest posts but I’m not feeling too well and I am dying to get into bed. Goodnight!

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30 Day Blogging Challenge: Day 18 – How I Got Through the Worst Break-Up Ever

Hi everyone!

I had mixed emotions regarding this post, I had to ask the person if I could post the story and everything that came with it due to the fact that it is quite an emotional story and a personal one at that.

This is a 2 part series so part 2 will be up on my blog tomorrow when I post day 19 of the challenge just to clarify and because there was more to the story.

 

“A broken heart is the worst. It’s like having broken ribs. Nobody sees it, but it hurts every time you breathe”

For me, my world fell apart when the fighting started. It would start out as heated arguments which would turn into “whatever, I love you’s” and you’d think it would be something along the lines of “Oh but that’s romantic, the passion you have after a fight”. I thought so too, until the fighting became personal and would happen on a daily basis. Due to the fact that we hardly saw each other and I was performing poorly academically, he would throw it in my face because he was a top achiever and say the ugliest of things to me. I retaliated by being just as nasty and using the worst language and insults. The worse the fighting became, the more bitter it made me as a person. Eventually, I reached my breaking point where every evening we would fight, I would cry myself to sleep. In a way, I enjoyed it. I enjoyed sleep so much that I would blow off doing my homework just to get away from the pain I had to endure. My heart was shattered one night when I called him in tears and hysterically asked him “Why are you doing this?” and his response was “why are you crying? I don’t understand”. I became really sick during the time when the fighting started and started sleeping more, becoming really anxious around big groups of people and just unhappy in general. One day, I received word that my dad was heading off to work overseas in a war-torn country and decided to go over to visit my boyfriend at the time to let him know the news. My dad was leaving relatively soon so my mom told me I couldn’t stay long. When I broke down about my dad leaving he was relatively understanding and consoled me. For once I was happy, until I told him I couldn’t stay at his house for long. He just wasn’t having it and got really upset and when it was time to say goodbye, he didn’t hug me. Just told me that my family was waiting. Little did I know that when I got home, that would have been the last time I said goodbye to him. He had erased me from his contacts and refused to answer all my calls. He blocked me on Facebook and that was the last time I had heard from him. For nights on end I would cry hysterically and that’s when I started having panic attacks. My body would go into a total spasm after crying and I wouldn’t be able to breathe. I would pull out clumps of my hair and tend to throw up my food when I felt like I ate too much. I was mentally drained. I made fake accounts to check up on how he was doing and it turned out that there was another girl (discussed in part 2) and he seemed to have moved on. I remember one of my best friends asking me how I felt about 2 weeks afterwards and I told her that sometimes I would check my pulse because I felt so dead inside and I was scared my heart was broken to the extent that it stopped beating. I made a mistake by entering another volatile relationship where the guy I was with slept around with other girls. I felt like that was it for me, I couldn’t do it anymore.

That’s  when I picked up my music player and lost myself in relatable music. It felt so good to just know that someone else could relate to what I went through. Music lead to dancing and I lost weight and started taking care of myself. I started changing the way I dress and being happier in general. I was happy because I could depend on myself, I started doing better in school and just immersing myself in everything I could to take my mind off of things.

That’s when my ex came back into the picture….

To be continued

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