Monthly Life Update, June 2021

Hi friends, this is a weird post for me to share, so I hope you’ll bear with me. I might as well come out with it: I will not be posting here to the blog for the next 3-4 weeks in order to simply take a break. There are a lot of reasons why I’m doing this and I’ll share those later in the post. But if you’re new and just happening upon my blog or haven’t checked in for a while, this is the first time I’ve ever done anything like this. I’ve pretty much never taken this much time off from posting in order to focus on myself or anything else. But it’s time. And here’s why:

To start, I think I’m burnt out… 99.9% certain, in fact. I’m just exhausted. Part of it is the amount of effort, work, and overwhelm that’s come with moving to a rural town with crappy WiFi and more home repairs needed than expected. Ever since we moved into the cabin, it’s felt like one disaster after another after another… all during a global pandemic. And please, let’s not discount the impact that COVID has had on my business profitability, not to mention my mental health.

Then there’s also the fact that I am literally a team of one who is doing the work of an entire ad agency team. Concepting, styling, photography, editing, filming, writing, posting, strategizing, researching… IT IS ALL ME. (Edit: I do have a management team who handles my sponsored collaborations, which means they do outreach to brands, negotiation contracts, and handle my invoicing.) Many people who do what I do have help behind-the-scenes. For a while I did, too. But at the end of the day, I haven’t been able to afford the type of consistent help that I need. Recently, however, I decided to change that and invest in bringing on someone who will essentially act as a project manager to keep me on task and organized. This change alone bodes well for the types of changes I want to make and I am deeply hopeful.

It also feels like I haven’t been able to ‘keep up’ for a long time in the blogging/influencing industry. I don’t mean that in the ‘keeping up with the joneses’ kind of way… but rather with the constant turnover of social media changes, the arbitrary addition of key components to my business, changes to rates being paid, the expectations… ALL OF IT. Imagine if the rules (in this case, an algorithm) of your work changed overnight and impacted your job without any input from you or even really any concern for your opinion… I’ve spent the last 12+ years being nimble and reactive to changes that I have little to no control over.

Here’s an example: a few years ago all of a sudden video was the most important type of content to create… and now that TikTok is here, it’s even more important — yet I haven’t had a chance to even define what that platform means to me (and most importantly what it means in regards to my content for YOU). When you see me post a video, it’s because it’s reactionary, not intentional. And what I so badly want to offer is intentionally curated, inspiring content… there is just never time to actually plan ahead and get ahead of the calendar.

For all of these reasons and more, I have decided to pause from posting consistently to the blog in order to take a step back, catch my breath, plan, and then proceed. I’ve thought about this and the potential ramifications a LOT. There are both pros and cons. But at the end of the day, I freaking need a break. But me being me, I also want my break to mean that when I get back into posting here to the blog (my main source of income and creative fulfillment), I want it to be better than ever.

I was so hesitant to share this post because I know a lot of it will come across as ‘poooooor influencer’ and we already have a shitty enough wrap. But it has always been of utmost importance to me that I’m transparent with my loyal readers and followers because I literally would not be able to do what I do every day without you. The level of gratitude for each person reading this blog post and supporting me is something I’ll never be able to fully communicate, but I’ll keep trying.

During my break, I will be taking the time to map out my goals, refresh my strategies for the blog and social media, as well as do some soul searching about what else I can bring to the table, so to speak. I’m a perfectionist, but I am also a realist. The pace I’ve been keeping for the past 7-8 years of doing this full-time is no longer sustainable. something has to change and I appreciate your support and encouragement as I work to make this blog and everything else I share so much better and more meaningful! In the meantime, you can keep up with my day-to-day life on Instagram.

XO, Joanna

Photography by Moorea Seal

Behind The Blog

Joanna Hawley-McBride is a Pacific Northwest-based social media strategist, content creator, and former textile designer. Joanna is the founder and editor-in-chief of Jojotastic, a lifestyle blog focused on Joanna’s work-in-progress cabin, finding the best pair of underwear through #UnderwearThesis, and empowering women to explore nature — all in her signature unfiltered style. Her work has been featured in Domino, CNBC, and Eating Well.

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