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.