Discount code: AIMEE10
Etsy store: https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/PerfectPrettyShop
A little while ago, I finally announced my collaboration partner for this year’s Blogmas (where I’ll be publishing blog posts every day from December 1st to Christmas Day) as being Pretty Perfect Products; who have very kindly gifted me a few of their Christmas Planners (which you can buy here)! And in our discussions, it came to light that the Planner actually becomes relevant a few months before December, and so we decided to announce the collaboration and discount code in the hope that any potential buyers of the Planner would be able to enjoy it to its fullest. In discovering this and making the announcement, I found that it has really escalated my festive feelings and inspired me to begin doing more around Blogmas and Christmassy things in general…
I’m definitely one of those people who sort of… competes with their self. I feel like since I decided to start making a bit of a bigger deal about Christmas on I’m NOT Disordered, every year I’ve thought ‘I have to do better than last!’ Like, ‘go big or go home!’ You know? Like, what’s the point in doing another festive series of blog posts if it’s no better than the last? If I haven’t taken that experience and learnt from it to create a bigger and better series, what was the point? And so, rather than view this quality of me and my Christmas series’ as negative in assuming that I’m never happy with the content I produce and that I put undue and unfair pressure on myself; I see it as good and beneficial. I see it as a motivation for me to put more effort into my content and to continue to be so much more passionate and determined. And hopefully, those qualities are illustrated throughout I’m NOT Disordered and, in particular, Blogmas this year.
There’s been a lot of instances with my blog where I’ve found myself wanting to seek advice from others, and honestly? It’s challenging; because growing up with my Mum being a single parent, I learnt a lot about independence and being aware of when you seem to be becoming reliant on others. Fortunately my Mum has always been very supportive and encouraging of recognising when you need to ask others for help, and so in creating I’m NOT Disordered I was clear from the offset that I needed to find a balance with that. I needed to be prepared to take on so much of the ‘work’ whilst also being willing and accepting of the fact that I might need to ask for help sometimes; and thinking up a topic for this year’s Blogmas was definitely one of those things. So, it was actually my Mum who thought of the theme of budgeting and so: ‘Budget Blogmas;’ was born – but you’ll have to wait until December to find out more about the reasons behind that!
Finding a collaboration partner isn’t always easy, especially when your blog is in the mental health industry. From quite early on in my blogging career, I realised the importance of working with others on a blog; I saw that it can aid you in producing original content and it creates double the publicity! I don’t think I put much imagination or creativity into those early collaborations though… of course I’m proud of them and so grateful to those organisations for trusting in the potential of I’m NOT Disordered and trusting me with their reputation; but I very much stuck to organisations who were solely about mental health.
I guess a part of that was to do with the fact that I didn’t have a whole lot of confidence in my blog at the beginning – I didn’t imagine it getting even remotely close to what it is now! And that lack of faith and confidence, left me hesitant to approach organisations who were a little… left-field. Organisations where it took some serious imagination to pull off a collaboration between them and a mental health blog. With the bloggers I tend to follow being in the beauty and fashion sector, (I know it’s strange!) I’ve obviously sometimes struggled to find inspiration in their content. And, whilst I instantly knew that the brands they worked with, wouldn’t be apt for I’m NOT Disordered, I still found myself considering working with such organisations to be a mark of success in your blogging career. So, after seeing the popularity of I’m NOT Disordered grow and grow, I built up some confidence and I realised that just because those brands weren’t right for my blog, maybe I could think up some mental health related organisations that I considered to be more high-profile than others.
However, I’m all about helping others through my blog and whilst I’m not one to blow my own trumpet, I can’t really deny the popularity of it… And surely I should use that to benefit others in some way? So, once I had my theme, I began scoping out the industry for a collaboration partner, and when I found the Christmas Planners on Etsy from the Pretty Perfect Products store, I knew I’d found my match. I mean, I loved the idea of using my blog’s audience to help a ‘small’ business, and their Planners are exactly the kind of aesthetic I like and that my blog incorporates and the content of them was exactly what I would put in!
Once I had the theme and partner, my next step was to create a schedule for the actual content of the daily posts. When my mental health was terrible, a huge hurdle and difficulty for me was change. Change of staff looking after me, change of their attitudes, change of medication, change of doses… I think a huge part of the reason these things were so challenging was because the hallucinations the suicidal thoughts and feelings already felt so erratic and unpredictable that anything else was almost like, the straw that broken the camel’s back.
So, if you haven’t already guessed, I definitely thrive from organisation and preparation with things, so whilst some people might see putting together such a schedule as mundane; I thoroughly enjoyed this part! Doing it, gave me a distinct impression that I was being productive and creating some sort of plan in this way, gave me a kind of fight against the prospect of the stress and pressure I was 100% aware that I will very likely experience, since deciding to do Blogmas!
Once I had that schedule, it became clear that there were actually a number of Blogmas posts which I could either write or begin creating, way before they were due to be published. Being that I obviously want to enjoy December and not feel pressured or stressed in my Blogmas content, I decided to go ahead and begin preparing the posts; and in doing that, I felt that I really need to get the logo designed as I wanted it to feature across all the posts. And I think that out of everything I’ve been looking forward to around Blogmas, creating the logo and the images has even one of the most exciting aspects because I enjoy being visually creative as well as with my writing.
So, I immediately logged into Pinterest and began looking for inspiration, before discovering some features on Canva that I’d not known about. I’d known from the offset that I wanted to incorporate the theme of this year’s Blogmas and figured that the best way for that wasn’t to use images of money because it felt like a too literal and less festive way to go about things. Instead, I added the gifts (which were one thing I’d not known existed on Canva) and on uploading my blog’s logo, I found the additional Canva feature of being able to colour match everything related to one upload/image. It meant that in uploading the logo, I was able to edit the gift boxes into the colours that coordinated to it. And so the Blogmas image was created…
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