Oh hey! Did you miss me? Thanks for sticking around during a weird, silent time here on Nicole Navigates.
You may have seen I took a bit of time out, I’ve not been as active and I haven’t gone as full out with my content as I usually would.
There are lots of reasons behind this, some of which I mentioned in my last blog post, but ultimately, truth be told:
I almost said goodbye to this blog.
Yep. I was close to giving up, saying goodbye and becoming a nobody on the internet.
I ended up having a rant and I felt like there were so many things making me just want to go “I’ve had enough” from imitation and too many people doing the same thing in a small pond, to my own lack of motivation and energy making me feel guilty when I didn’t put my all into my content, right down to suffering major imposter syndrome.
I had to take some time out to get away from everything that felt like such a negative space, which ultimately, was my own mind playing tricks and making me think this way.
So I took a step back, to breath, to enjoy some time out and to rethink things. I was finding the more I was punishing myself over my unproductivity, the more I was making it worse for myself.
But then I realised: taking time for me and resting is productive.
But I realised after chatting to lots of people, both in my personal life and blog life; I’ve grown something that I should be so proud of and I’ve helped a lot of small businesses grow, as well as provided a platform where people can be inspired to navigate Northamptonshire.
I would be silly to give it up.
So instead of giving up, I am refreshing things up and coming back hopefully with a bang!
Why I needed a break
Because I feel like Covid-19 sucked all the creativity and motivation out of me.
I go into more detail in this blog post where I shared how I felt about blogging in general, accepting it’s okay to take a step back and how blogging wasn’t my main priority whilst things were all over the place.
I mean, we’ve been going through a global pandemic where everything has been unpredictable – how on earth was I expected to adapt my content when I can hold my hands up and admit, I am shit at adapting to change!
When there’s a big event that’s massively impacted and changed something in my life, I don’t cope well and would rather just hide in my cocoon and shield away from it all.
That’s how I felt and that’s why I decided to break away.
I also needed to take some time to heal from the heartache of losing Benji. Those who may have missed it, we sadly had to say goodbye to my family dog, Benji, very unexpectedly and shockingly.
I truly believe only dog owners and animal lovers as a whole, will only really understand how losing a pet feels. So with everything that I had been feeling before, plus the heartache I was going through, I couldn’t face putting my energy into this.
I realise I may have been a bit harsh on myself and other people would be so kind to tell me so, but I’m the type of person who wants to work hard and sets myself such a standard that I can’t fall back.
But I’ve used this break to take a step back and re-evaluate my content. I’ve been so thankful to Grow & Glow for their bundles which I have been working through, as rather than spending the time threatening about not creating content, I’ve been using the bundles to improve things in other areas.
So the break ultimately has given me a new vision on where I want Nicole Navigates to go, so here I’d like to take the opportunity to share my new content plan…
My Content Plan
I feel this blog plan is going to be good for me going forward and hope it will make my content more diverse for anyone that doesn’t live in Northamptonshire… Oooh!
My Northamptonshire content isn’t going! It’s my primary bread and butter which makes this blog – so don’t worry, I’ll still be writing lots and lots of eating and navigating posts!
I still want to focus my attention on my Northants Food Guides and giving you big, juicy chunks of content, but I want to feel freer over what I write. I just want to write about days out like I used to do when I first started this blog, dedicated blog posts on cafes, shops and more.
I think I’ve been putting too much focus and pressure on writing just ‘guides’ that I’ve forgotten about writing just for the love of writing about something or somewhere. I’m going back to basics and I hope that means I share more local inspiration with you guys.
I’m also keen to write more local guides, product reviews and now restaurants and cafes are starting to reopen, I’d love to share how they’ve coped with everything. I think once everything reopens again, I’ll get back into the swing of things.
Navigating Further Afield
I’ve realised that I have been limiting myself with my content and I want to expand a bit.
As mentioned, Northamptonshire will always be my primary focus and whilst it’s good to niche down and be an expert in your field, I’ve realised that it’s also okay to spread your wings too.
I love sharing my independent eats and navigation wherever I go and whenever I’ve asked you guys on my social media, you’re always keen for me to write more than just Northamptonshire.
This is why I have been thinking carefully about my bio, so you may see the change across my platforms as I want to be: your guide to navigating Northamptonshire and loving everywhere local.
I’m drawing a line at abroad travels (whenever we can travel abroad again) as I actually still quite like the idea of going on holiday and having a break and not thinking about writing it all out – but I realise whenever Josh and I do travel somewhere in the UK, I never stop wanting to visit local and independent places.
So going forward, expect more blog posts on navigations further afield, plus independent eatery guides on those locations!
Shopping Local and Independent Guides
This has always been a big part of Nicole Navigates and I want to continue that, not only here in Northamptonshire, but also share other local and independent businesses from afar.
And again, this is where I want to expand my horizons a bit!
I don’t admit it often, but I am a self-confessed Etsy lover, so I would love to share some of my recent Etsy buys with you and I know there are a lot of other local businesses I love to support that aren’t just Northamptonshire based.
And after doing my Valentine’s Gift Guide, I’d love to continue doing those for Northamptonshire and for other locations too. I’m also keen to start showcasing local shops too, so I’ll be writing more about them too.
More Video Content
I WANT TO START MAKING MORE VIDEOS!
I feel like I say this in every ‘content update’ I’ve ever written but it’s true! I loved making IGTV’s just before lockdown as I enjoyed sharing more than just a picture and caption, but giving you guys an insight into an actual experience.
And I hate to admit it, but I have really been enjoying TikTok and I want to experiment with making content over there. If you fancy following me on TikTok, so far, I have a few random videos which kept me entertained during lockdown.
Once I get rid of my lockdown ‘bleurghhh’ and feel a bit more confident in front of the camera again, I would love to make some more videos! I even considered dabbling back into YouTube, but I’m going to walk before I run!
So that’s that!
I hope you like the sound of everything I’ve mentioned above. I think this new content plan is going to make me happier going forward and is going to help Nicole Navigates grow and expand a bit more too.
I’m doing lots of other things in the background too, so I’m sure you’ll be seeing little changes here and there.
Please let me know in the comments below your thoughts and whether there’s any blog posts you’d like to see from me. Or you can message me on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.
Thank you for sticking by me these last 5 years, if you’ve been around that long. Or if you’re new, thanks for coming by and I hope you enjoy my blog!