The Constraints of the Online World

Before we jump into this blog post, I would just like to apologise once again for my absence. I’ve had an unexpectedly busy couple of weeks and have had no time to sit down, write posts and edit photos, but now that my schedule is much more flexible I am excited to not only get back to posting on a regular basis, but also catching up with all of your blogs!

Blogging niche

Anyway, while I have been away I thought a lot about blogging and where I want my blog to go in the future, as well as some of the things that many bloggers struggle with despite all of the positives that come out of being in this community. One of these struggles, and one of the questions every blogger undoubtedly asks themselves, is whether or not to have a niche.

 

I understand that this is quite an ambivalent topic. Some people love niches as a way of sharing their expertise on a particular topic and building a career in a very specific industry. I mean, the phrase ‘the riches are in the niches’ exists for a reason. But for people like me, who do not blog for ‘the riches’, they can prove to be tiresome and restrictive, preventing our creative potential from flourishing. Hence, this is nothing other than my perspective – us bloggers come from a variety of backgrounds, each one of us carries a different purpose, and what we bring to the world wide web reflects a complex interaction of such factors.

Why i don't have blogging niche

Why i don't have blogging niche

Back in August, when I decided I wanted to give blogging a go, I spent several weeks agonising over what my page was going to be about. And I am not going to lie, my initial solution to this dilemma was ‘health, fitness and wellbeing’. I read various articles which all emphasised the importance of ‘picking a niche and sticking to it’, that I decided no other option existed. However, after I launched the blog I was overcome by thoughts such as ‘wait, what happens if you ever want to talk about education?’ ‘what if one day you feel confident enough to share some of your poetry?’. Long story short, within days I’d realised – a very narrowed down style of blogging, for me, is just not sustainable.

Sure, I blog about food and fitness a lot because I am knowledgeable about those topics and have a desire to help people who are interested in living a healthier lifestyle. But I do not think I could ever label myself a ‘health and fitness’ or a ‘food’ blogger. Much of this has to do with ‘first impressions’.

OOTD

(Why do I look so cheerful in these photos lol I swear that I am a much happier person than they may suggest)

Let me elaborate: when I first meet new people, I have a tendency to earn myself a reputation as ‘the vegan girl who goes to the gym’. Why? Because these traits are easy conversation starters for someone who is a novice at the art of social eloquence. While coming up with the ‘central point’ of my blog, food and fitness sprung to mind as these happen to be the simple, refined categories which, to many people, define who I am.

But do I wish to perpetuate this? Absolutely not. I’ve always fallen victim to stereotypes and assumptions. And I’ve had to work damn hard to break them down. To show people that I am Maria, not just ‘the healthy vegan’, ‘the nerd’, ‘the Russian who doesn’t drink’. Once people get to know me, they realise that food and fitness are but a fragment within the scope of my identity. I am a writer, I have an endless passion for history, I have accumulated a multitude of stories and experiences in my relatively short life. I mean, I have frequent existential breakdowns because I am far from knowing exactly who I am, and where my life is heading, but I do know that it is rather multidimensional. This is not to say that people who choose to blog about a single topic are shallow in any way, as the ‘depth’ of one’s character is a social construct, but I know of several health and fitness influencer who have acknowledged how those topics quickly exhaust themselves before moving onto covering the other dimensions of their journey through life, such as emotional wellbeing, entrepreneurship, financial stability.

Why i don't have blogging niche

Ultimately, I want my blog to reflect my personality and if that means departing from the constraints of a niche from time to time, that is okay with me. It will make my corner of the internet a much more lively and diverse place, a place to which I will consistently return to share, teach or just write. Instagram is a different story, because food is something I can photograph better than other things, but as I wonder the globe a bit more over the next few months I might break into travel photography and switch up my content on there too.

At this point, I’ve realised that something I wanted to be a thoughtful discussion has turned into an incoherent ramble, but I guess the main point of what I am trying to say is this: if you want to have a very specific niche, you should feel empowered to pursue this. Regardless of what the purpose of your blog may be. I, however, want to give myself some room for manoeuvre for the reasons stated above. There seems to be a multitude of unspoken rules attached to being an online content creator, but ‘unspoken’ is the key word – the extent to which we wish to break them is entirely up to us.

Outfit

Once again, sorry about the rambly nature of this post, and more importantly, for the inconsistency of my blogging schedule. Seeing as I am trying to get my mojo back, feel free to leave any suggestions for what you’d like to see more of in the comments, and of course, let me know your thoughts on this topic – what do you think about blogging niches? Do you have one yourself?

Thank you all for sticking by and for leaving such lovely feedback on my content – I could not appreciate it more! You are all amazing.

Lots of love, Maria ♡

INSTAGRAM | TWITTER | PINTEREST | BLOGLOVIN’

 

How To Make Exercise Feel Easier

Hi everyone! Before I jump into this post I would like to issue an apology for my absence – these last weeks were full of studying and I literally had no time for anything else, but now that my workload has eased I will be back to posting on a regular basis. Thank you all for sticking around and I cannot wait to be involved in the blogging world once again, and I have managed to accumulate a nice list of ideas while I was away so be expecting a lot of content in the run up to Christmas!

Okay, now let’s leap into the main topic of this post: when you’re just starting out a new exercise programme, it can understandably feel like climbing Mount Everest, in particular if you’ve never been athletic before. To some people, sport can feel natural and easy, while to others it connotes hours of difficulty and pain, and this category of people may not understand how others workout for fun rather than just for the physical benefits. Whether you’ve started a fitness journey to build muscle, lose weight or prevent one of the diseases associated with living a sedentary lifestyle, those first few weeks of jumping between exercise machines may be anything other than enjoyable and as a consequence, many people quit because ‘they don’t like exercise’.

How to enjoy working out

Tips for healthy living

I have been going to the gym for around four years at this point, and prior to joining I have been sporty for my entire life. Despite the fact that at certain points my relationship with exercise has been less than optimal, as a whole I love movement. Going to the gym is one of my favourite parts of the day. However, even as a ‘seasoned’ gym goer, I experience dips in motivation. The time I dedicate to my workout goes by much slower than usual and every exercise just fundamentally feels harder and heavier. Sometimes, I do workouts I don’t wholeheartedly adore (e.g. spinning) because I know of the health benefits they deliver and that accomplishment I experience afterwards. In both cases, I have to implement a few tricks to make the workouts feel ‘easier’ without compromising the actual difficulty of the workout. Sounds contradictory, but hopefully you all know what I mean.

Continue reading “How To Make Exercise Feel Easier”

Why and How I Avoid Procrastination

How ‘procrastination’ should be defined is something I’ve been thinking about a lot over these last couple of days. According to various online resources, it is the postponement of one task in favour of a less urgent, or a more enjoyable, activity. A blatant example is scrolling through twitter as a means of avoiding an essay which is due in a matter of hours, or watching ‘just one more episode’ of your favourite TV show when there are urgent work-related emails that need to be answered. While you value your long term goals, and a morsel of anxiety may sit at the back of your mind in regards to the consequences of not doing what needs to be done, but this is not enough to force your brain into prioritising long-term rewards over short-term gratification.

Beat procrastination

 

Some proponents of ‘hustle until you drop’ deem anything that is not contributing to your long term objectives, whether those are related to financial stability, fitness or moral fulfilment, a waste of time. Have you ever watched Netflix at any point in your life? You’re a lazy procrastinator. I’ve even seen someone give skincare the procrastination label. However, I have to disagree with this because frankly, we are not emotionless machines. Self-care is paramountly important. Entertainment exists for a reason – as humans, we need to enjoy ourselves on a regular basis, and set aside time to reap the benefits of all of our hard work. For sure, we have different staminas, and tolerate different workloads before we start to go crazy, but a lack of balance and overexertion will actually make you less productive and more prone to wasting time (I will return to this point later). Continue reading “Why and How I Avoid Procrastination”

30 Hopefully Interesting Facts About Me

If you live in the south of England, you most likely are familiar with the little gem that is Brighton. I am very lucky to live within a ten minute train journey from an abundance of vegan cafes, a shopping centre and of course, the beach which remains beautiful even on gloomier days. I can’t say I was 100% content with standing bare-legged under the most unpleasant drizzle (I am the sort of person who holds back from wearing tights until it is far too cold to consider otherwise) but nothing brings peace to my heart as much as gazing at an expanse of water. And of course, blog photos are not going to take themselves!

Brighton Beach

The central purpose of this post, however, is not to dwell on the beauty of my local area. I always find it interesting to learn about the people behind my favourite blogs, and since I’ve been blogging consistently on here for slightly over a month, I believe the time has come to do your generic ’30, hopefully interesting, facts about me’. Since scheduling this I’ve been nominated for the Liebster award (thank you Joy!) which I will undertake in the upcoming weeks – so in short, buckle your seatbelts and uncover what lies beyond my ability to make pretty food in jars 😉.

Get to know me

Get to Know me 2

1. Let’s start with the basics: my name is Maria, I am 18 years old and as established above, I live near Brighton in the south of England.
2. I am almost 100% Russian with a bit of Ukrainian and Greek mixed in (hence I tan easier than most Russian people).
3. Next year, I will hopefully be starting a history degree but for now I am embracing the opportunity that has been given to me to take a gap year, gain work experience and travel like every basic teenage girl ever.
4. I am trying excessively hard not to start each fact with ‘I’ or ‘my’ but this is thirty facts about ME which perfectly justifies a bit of self indulgence!
5. I think chewing gum should be made illegal because the noise is simply. too. much.
6. Growing up, big chain restaurants virtually didn’t exist in Russia, and healthy eating has always been a big part of my life because a non-Westernised Russian diet contains many fruits, vegetables, legumes etc which is very reflective of how I eat now (with the exception of no animal products). Continue reading “30 Hopefully Interesting Facts About Me”