Natalie Rohman

A Chicago Girl Paving Inspiration

Spilling the Blogger 'Tea' & my Evolving Creative Process

Over the years, my writing and blogging process has definitely evolved. Probably for the better, but I definitely don't have it down to a T yet. My creative process is a bit all over the place sometimes, to be honest. Not only does drafting posts take a while, but setting aside time to take all of my photos is something I've come to hassle with on occasion. The beginning of my blog journey consisted of crappy iPhone pictures and one sentence descriptions that lacked any substance or personality whatsoever. So, I think I've come along way and I've definitely never shared what this process is even like and how I balance everything else I do. 

It amazes me that I've stuck to a Tuesday/Thursday posting schedule for the past four years, giving myself breaks, taking my own photos, and coming up with personal and enticing content (or at least I think it's enticing). Being a blogger among millions of other bloggers has shed light on what kind of creative industry this is and what I want to make of it. Comparing myself to all of the "pretty perfect" and aesthetically-strict blogs have taught me that I just want to maintain authenticity and realness with my writing and content, as I have been for a while now. 

I really haven't had a second thought about followers or numbers because the success and gratification have come through my own improvement and the small joys I get from people who reach out to me about my work. That's what keeps me going and I think that's truly what differentiates me from all of those other content plug and chuggers who crave superficial popularity and money because I don't get paid at all. I know it may seem a little harsh, but I think now more than ever that criticism deems true. I've met bloggers who don't do it for the right reasons: fame, fortune, popularity, all that crap. However, I've also met hardworking and dedicated creators like me who do it because they love it and get more out of it than just the numbers. 
As for my writing process, it usually starts with something as mundane and old school as scratching out rough drafts of posts I want to write in advance. Sometimes I get inspiration out of the blue for a post to write and I will create it right away, but a lot of what I plan on writing is prepared in advance. This just helps me so that I am not overwhelmed with a lot of writing and brainstorming during school. I've found this process more efficient and not as stressful as many other bloggers might, it just works. A lot of what influences my posts are just things relevant to me at the time and surrounding circumstances like seasons and big events that are going on. I've definitely hit rock bottom with figuring out exactly what I want to say or do with posts, but other times I'm on a writing spree and will just hash out material back and forth. 

I am my own writer, editor, publisher, photographer, fact checker, and blog designer. I don't hire anyone and don't really have the means to do so. Since my blog is out of a hobby, I don't feel the need to put so much money or extra help into the process. I think the fact that I actually do everything gives me a lot more freedom and personality that some blogs who are run by more than one person lack identity. I have considered blogging as being a part of my job someday, but I'm honestly more okay with it just being a passionate hobby and having my job compliment it in some way. 

I have goals I would like to reach professionally in public relations and blogging has definitely contributed in that aspect. A lot of my writing is done in my "soft office," also known as, my bed. As I'm writing this now in my bed with my pup at my feet, I've also done a lot of writing in my dorm room on my desk, in my local libraries, coffee shops, and even in the car on my iPhone. Thankfully, my creative juices have been flowing a lot lately and I think that's mainly because I'm on break and make myself really productive. 
I'll be honest, I wish I could develop better photography skills and improve on more ways to take advantage of all the tools I have on my DSLR, but I just can't seem to figure it out. I really would like to get a new lens for my Canon T5i that I've had since I've started blogging and somehow change the look of my posts or create a new theme somehow. My skill in photoshop is really limited and my access to it is only when I'm at school. I've always liked my raw photos, but think my blog could use a little more color and uniformity. Maybe I should take more photo classes, who knows! I just need to take my camera out more. 

I guess a lot of blogs benefit from the perfected photos, but it just never appealed to me. Even if there are like little marks on the table I take flat lays on, I just don't feel the need to fix it. Who cares? A lot of bloggers would. For my flat lays in particular, I literally just use my side table and push it over to my window. I did used to use a piece of wood with marble contact paper, but overtime didn't like the look of the gloss. I considered getting professional box lighting, but natural light just always attracts me more and my pictures turn out a lot better. I usually have to wake up earlier around like 9 or 10am to just make sure that the sun is alligned right, it all matters! If I try taking pictures around 3 or 4, I'd be lucky if there was any sunlight because it gets dark so early. I'm also usually standing on a chair when I take photos and there are products and decor sitting all over my room. 

Blogging has definitely filled the creative void in my life. I miss all of my art classes, but I learn so much from my blog itself. The writing, photography, and blog designing all contribute to my need of creativity. I've also noticed more and more that I'm writing for myself—I mean that I'm not just creating posts that I think readers would like, buying products to just simply review and hype up, but I'm writing about things that I feel are important and relevant to address or question. Yes, I have been doing some beauty and fashion related posts, but a lot of my friends have noticed my personal and more upfront writing to be more favorable. 

As I've always mentioned, I'm constantly changing and evolving as I grow and learn with this blog and in this community of writers and readers. The most important thing I remind myself with is that I do this because I love it and continue to thrive from it. It isn't forced at all and I haven't put pressure on myself to look or seem a certain way. I go my own pace and in that, I think my blog and writing benefits so much. It's everyone that constantly supports me that tells me I'm doing something right. 

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