I am turning email notifications off for new blog posts

I wasn’t sure what to call this post that wasn’t a long waffly one but this is the last post from me that will land in your inbox because I am turning email notifications off.   Not my last ever post (don’t be ridiculous) but I won’t be sending them out automatically and landing in your inbox anymore.

For all sorts of reasons I have decided the time has come for turning email notifications off.

Recently, well for months, I have felt disconnected, and I didn’t really know that was what it was until I had a few conversations this weekend.  A weekend where I was immersed in creativity, incredible food, inspiring conversations, yoga and meditation,  other people’s wisdom, the countryside in Cumbria and generally switched off a bit and slowed right down.     When I reflect on the weekend now it all comes back to one thing: connection.

Connection with the world around me on a bigger scale like “Why don’t I ever go for a walk at Fleet Pond?” and a smaller level of “why do we always sit on the sofa watching TV but playing on our phones?”    It also transpires that I have felt disconnected from this blog for all those months because I didn’t really know what I was doing with it.  Didn’t know how to get blog posts out of my head and on to paper, to form something worthy of landing in your inbox.  I had given up work to blog and then … well then what?  What did I have to blog about?  I don’t really go out during the week to give me any inspiration to write blog posts and when I did write something I was tying myself up in knots of it not being good enough.   The photos being rubbish and the whole thing just been a bit meh.

Before I hit publish on a blog post I struggled with “do people really want to read this, do they really want this email notification?” and it was stopping me from doing the very thing I set this blog up to do: get stuff out of my head.   To just write and not worry about too much else.

Increasingly I have found people worrying about numbers.  Page views, followers, their DA.  Do you even know what a DA is?  Does it really matter in the grand scheme of things?  It does to some people and that is absolutely fine, but it never really has to me because I am not a numbers person.  At all, in any part of my life.   I don’t care how many views a blog post gets, or how many people read the subscriber email.   I care about my subscribers, my readers, and don’t want to deliver duff stuff, or worry about all of you to the extent it is going to keep stopping me from blogging.

Your inbox is a special place, it is yours and I don’t know if I am worthy of landing in it unannounced with my random outpourings.   I love that you signed up for those email notifications either years or months ago, but I don’t know if the content I produce is what you really want to read now.  Things change, we all change, and that’s fine.  It’s good.  But that change means I have been tying myself up in feelings of not being worthy enough to land in your inboxes.   Thinking you might just automatically hit delete because the email was an intrusion.  An irrelevance.   And I don’t ever want to be that.  Flitting from  a musing, to a rant to a recipe is fine on Instagram but I don’t know which you would prefer in your inbox because they can’t all be relevant to you so it stopped me really wanting to share any of it.

I think GDPR made me really realise just how many things I have signed up to that are no longer relevant to me and that I was then unsubscribing from or just deleting and this weekend it all seemed to fall into place that this is how I am feeling about my blog emails too.

My blog emails don’t look like I want them to because I never got around to learning about Mailchimp or how to do newsletters, or change the layout with a WordPress plug in so you got more than two lines of text.   Let’s face it, they are dull.  And I don’t want to be thought of as dull.   And I am sick of those things being on my to do list.    I am not very good at learning how to do things so I can finely cross off “sort out your bloody emails”.

Plus the online landscape has changed and we find our content more and more because it has been shared online.  I rarely read an email and then follow it to the blog post or website, jumping from my inbox to an app to read something on my phone just isn’t what I do.   Clicking on a link in Twitter though is something I do all the time.  I wish Instagram would make it easier to share links rather than the only option being to post a link on a bio and put that in the photo caption, but until that happens that is what I have been doing.    Somehow even that feels more natural.       At the same time I barely use my Facebook blog page, and yet I really should so I want to start sharing links to blog posts on there more.

I guess what I am saying, badly, is that I want you to read my posts because you want to, not because I have landed in your inbox so I am turning email notifications off.   Just recently I have been publishing posts and turning off the email notification because I didn’t want the email to go out to you all and have decided after this weekend I will make that permanent.     I am not removing my subscribers, I would never delete you all, you are too precious to me and many of you have been with me since the very beginning but for now this is the last time I will interrupt your day.

All posts will be shared on line in all the usual places, and obviously you can just visit directly and have a rummage when you happen to be online.  I would love you to comment and say you passed through and if you particularly liked something to let me know.

I am off to connect my arse with a garden chair and a mug of tea now.     To put my phone down for half an hour and to listen to the birds chattering, next door’s dog woofing, and the man down the road with his angle grinder.   Things that previously may have driven me insane but that now make me feel more connected with the outside world.

And that feels good.


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    • I know you do, but I don’t feel I can land in your inbox unannounced when you have so many other things landing in there. Hopefully you will see something on line and still be able to click

  • Well that’s like « good news bad news ». I’m glad you’re reconnecting, it’s something summertime always reminds me to do. Get out more, breathe fresh air, turn the tv off and go for a walk. Thanks for the reminder.

  • I’m glad you’re reconnecting. It’s something I’ve been trying to do. I’ve found that I can usually say what I want in an IG post so my blog has suffered. I want to get back to it but usually by the time I think of something to write about someone else has already said it. And probably said it better. Isn’t it funny that we’re so unsure but still keep putting ourselves out there? Please don’t worry that your content isn’t great, it always is XX

    • Thank you Lara, that means a lot coming from somebody I really admire and respect. Here’s to us not giving a damn and just doing it, hey?

  • I discovered you ages whilst looking for reviews on the Build-a-bear Workshop on Basingstoke! I’ve since enjoyed your posts, especially your meanderings around Hants and the south as I live not too far in Alton. You even inspired me to book at stay at a holiday park in Weymouth although we missed out on the safari tents you enjoyed! You’ve also been a wonderful influence on my burgeoning fondness for gin and your recent A-Z was inspirational (and aspirational!). I will most definitely continue to watch out for your posts. Keep up the great work.

    • oh gosh Cara what a wonderful thing to say. And I had no idea! I think you have just confirmed for me that I have done the right thing. If I hadn’t made this decision and “put it out there” I would have never known. Do I follow you on Twitter? Would be lovely meet up maybe next time I am out wandering near you, it is definitely something I want to do more of in the future. If you are on social media, please nudge me so I know it’s you and can make sure I am following you.

      • I only use Twitter to complain to SWR about their abysmal service and the revenue inspectors (AKA ticket terrorists) but you found me on IG!
        I’m sure there are plenty more lurkers like me out there who regularly read your blog but don’t comment!

  • It would seem that lots of us are going through this kind of thing at the moment. I do continually wonder whether people want to read my stuff, whether I’m even enjoying writing it and whether I’m just too random! Very much as you have described really. Some of the people who have signed up to receive my blog, would not be my target audience, yet knowing they are reading , is kind of making me change my voice and I’m becoming so critical that I don’t write at all! I love that you are reconnecting with the work and with people. That’s how it should be.

  • Hi my lovely! I am glad it gave you something to really ponder on. I always think these types of things come at the right time. It’s fantastic that you are asking all of these questions, too many of us work on auto pilot. Good luck with your journey…. x

  • ohh, where to start?
    Firstly, you are welcome in my inbox anytime, but I get your drift and sentiment that people are sensitive about ‘clutter’.
    At the last count, I have 2500 emails in my inbox, so I have to use search to find anything.
    But to your point, what you are good at is writing. Just the way you string words together, or use an unusual phrasing is unique and funny. Humour works and makes reading enjoyable. Except when you are ‘ranty’ and that’s enjoyable too because you are saying all the things we want to say but with much more eloquence.

    You are also an iconoclast. You take contrary points of view and that makes me think.
    You are also a ‘people’s champion, standing up to injustice wherever you sniff it out.

    You also take good piccies, ones that stand out and are a joy to behold.

    You are also a great Mum, ‘Mummy Barrow’ is the clue, so your thoughts on home life and parenting are always worth reflecting on.

    So, don’t worry about being boring, worry about something else as I know you will always worry, until the ‘Connection’ kicks in and you at least feel happy with the wonderful person that you are.

    So, invade my inbox anytime, unless you keep posting links via twitter and I will pick up there. We are all busy and need reminders to catch up with ‘stuff’, otherwise we will miss you, and that’s not a good thing/

    That’s all!

    • < gulp > Thank you. What a lovely comment. I will definitely still share links online, both on Twitter and Facebook, and drop you an email anyway with a nudge.

      I miss writing for the joy of writing. The chatter in my head about dropping in people’s inboxes is drowning out the other stuff so hopefully by knocking those gremlins on the head I can get back to that writing.

      And I have a doozy of a rant for this Friday already lined up

      Thank you for always being there, both of you.

  • But I hate this news, because email subs is the only way I make sure I see those people I really want to remember to connect with, like you. I’m not always online when you are, so I don’t always see the stuff you post, even though I really want to. I do get where you’re coming from, but I’m stressed now because I know I might miss something you’ve written that I really, really want to read! 🙁 Not sure what the solution is to that. I already spend far too much time trying to beat the Instagram algorithm so I see the people I really want to see. You’re just going to have to promise to tag me on Twitter every time you write something!! 🙂