Tuesday, 29 November 2016


I know it's Tuesday & I normally don't post on Tuesdays, but today is a special occasion & I just have to get this out.

Today this little blog of mine celebrates its first birthday!

I know, time flies right? I can't quite believe I've made it to the 1 year mark myself.

When I started The Novice Life (TNL for short) last November, I had no idea what I was getting myself in for. All I knew was that I enjoyed reading other people's blogs & thought I could give it a go myself as I was brimming with ideas & inspiration of my own. I also knew that I'd enjoyed writing in the past & thought that blogging might be a good outlet to discuss my new(ish)-found love of beauty, as well as chat about some other interests of mine with like-minded folk because let's face it, I never aspired to be just a beauty blogger. Having no other hobbies has meant that I've been able to devote my time to creating content for the blog.

Or so I've thought.

I won't lie, this blogging bizzo is challenging and stressful at times. I struggle a lot with writer's block & find it difficult to write for the sake of writing. The amount of times I've stared blankly at the screen over the last year, unable to force anything out, procrastinating, beating myself up in the process...you get the picture. Hell, finishing that last sentence was kinda tough for me!

There's the numerous times where ideas spring to mind & I don't have a notebook (or my phone) at hand & as soon as those ideas & words come, they're gone again. Then there's other times where the lightbulb goes off in my head & I have to get ALL THE WORDS down before I lose steam. The latter moments are absolute gold as they don't occur very often and when they do, I just have to stop what I'm doing & go with it. This very post is testament to that.

Then there's photography, which I'll be the first to admit isn't my strongest point but something I would dearly love to get better at. I won't apologise for the varied photographic backgrounds I've had on TNL because as my blog description states, I'm still trying to figure it out.

I'm still working out what looks best, whilst at the same time maintaining my own sense of style & not entirely wanting to follow the herd into crisp white, slightly sparse, "perfect" Insta-worthy photos. I'm still working out what time of day is best for shooting photos (much easier to do when daylight savings is happening) & whether or not I can/should shoot my photos in direct sunlight (which I sort of do anyway - I always shoot near windows FYI). I'm still figuring out how to best edit my photos using Pic Monkey, without distorting colours too much. I'm playing around with angles, backgrounds, props, cameras, all in an attempt to figure out what works & what doesn't. I'm currently using my Galaxy S7 phone for shoots & I think it's working out quite well. No fancy DSLR's here because I'm pov & can't afford one.

Then there's me, Shell, the person behind The Novice Life.

I'm still figuring out what kind of blogger I'd like to be & most importantly, what this blog is all about. I'd like to incorporate personal posts about myself & my life's struggles & triumphs at some stage. I'd like to do some fashion posts down the track where I actually model the stuff I've bought instead of half-arsed attempts at flatlays like I do in my Shopping Cart posts. I'd like to show my face properly, instead of in profile. (I am probably going to change my profile pic soon anyway, just waiting to get my hair re-dyed before I do.) I'd like to get on social media for the blog & interact with you all & get to know the people who read all my musings. I'd even like to go to blogging events that other bloggers talk about & get my name out there because it's always nice to meet new people, even when you're a self-confessed introvert.

That said, I wish somebody would build a bridge so I can get over myself.

I'm fully aware that I'm the one standing in the way of my own future success.
I'm the one holding myself back, for fear of anything negative happening, like trolls & shit (even though I have talked openly about personal stuff via other internet mediums before).
I'm the one lurking in the shadows, too afraid of putting myself out there because it's not only easier but safer to stay that way.

At some point though, those walls will have to come down & I know it will be for my own benefit because I want more for this blog.

I want this blog to not only look better (new template por favor), but be better in every single way. I would like to narrow my blog's focus just a bit further, but without losing my "fuck this whole niche blogging shiz, ima do my own thang" mantra.

But right now, all of that seems....impossible.

That doesn't mean that I'm going to give up & not persist in getting there. It also doesn't mean that I'll stop once I reach the summit either.

And this is where you guys, the people who read this blog every Monday & Friday (or in between) come in.

I want to know what you'd like to see on TNL in the future. I want to know your thoughts about this blog - good, bad & constructive - & what I should do with it going forward, because I would genuinely like some feedback....which is why I've created a short survey. It isn't compulsory & there are no prizes for filling it out; but if you could take the time to do so, it'd help me out greatly. I'll also note that all information provided to me by the survey will be for my use only & will not be published on the blog...although I may do a round-up post regarding what you guys want to see on here e.t.c. The survey has since been closed....thanks to the 0 people who responded haha.

Finally, I'd like to take the opportunity to thank everyone and anyone who has passed by & commented on this blog over the last year. (Especially you, Beth & Di!) It truly means a lot to me & I appreciate you guys taking the time to read & comment. 😊 Some days I wonder if anyone really reads what I've published, aside from spambots (yeah I know who you are, I read my stats & see all the weird websites I've been linked to & the referrer spam); so when I see that someone's commented on a post or I get an extra Bloglovin' follower, I get genuinely excited as it means that people are reading & liking my ramblings.

Where I and this blog go from here remains to be seen; but like I said in my very first post, "strap yourselves in people, we're in for a ride!".

Follow The Novice Life on Bloglovin!


  1. Congratulations on your first blogiversary! Blogging is a lot of time consuming work but it is fun too otherwise we wouldn't do it! I've enjoyed reading your blog over the past year. Re being an introvert, I think a lot of bloggers are, I know I for sure am but let me just say it does get easier over time to put a little bit more of yourself out there! Heaven forbid I blogged about myself today! I wouldn't have ever thought I'd do that when I first started out! I'm looking forward to seeing how your blog continues to evolve over time.

    1. Thank you for reading Ingrid! I've really enjoyed participating in your Monday Makeup Madness link-ups & have discovered some really good blogs via the link-up too. Re: being introverted, I think it just takes us a bit more time to warm up & be more comfortable with ourselves & whatever processes we undertake or are prepared to undertake. I don't want to force myself into anything I'm not comfortable with, but I know eventually I'm going to have to give myself a push & only because I genuinely want to.

  2. Happy blogaversary! It goes so quickly, right!? You're doing a good job, the hardest thing is just plugging away wondering if all the effort is worth it. DEFINITELY push yourself to connect and meet with people in real life, having a blog squad is so good for motivation and advice. I'd also like to see photos of actual you in the clothes and makeup you buy - it makes for a more personal connection. Keep writing, being yourself and using your authentic voice!

    1. Thanks Beth! Yep, the connections bit is on the priority list - you're right, it'd be good for motivation & advice e.t.c. Also on the priority list is taking photos of myself in clothing....the makeup part I'm not so sure about since I'm not that great with it (aside from lipstick & mascara), but maybe I'll give it a go!

  3. Happy Blogaversary Shell, I feel that the first year is the most difficult and only successful bloggers keep blogging after that time. Good luck for your future blogging adventures.

    1. Thanks Faiza. Blogging isn't for the faint of heart & I can understand why people give up, but I think in order to become "successful" (it's a subjective word & means many things to different people), you have to keep plugging away.

  4. Happy Blogiversary Shell! And thanks for the mention, I love reading and commenting on your blog! Totally with you on the introverted thing, it's a real struggle, but once you go to a few blogging events, it will definitely become easier. Best of luck with future blogging goals and posts! xx

    1. Thanks Di & no worries re: the mention! I'm glad you enjoy reading & commenting here - I feel the same way about your blog, even if I don't comment/read everything. I think like everything, the more you do it, the easier it gets.


Feel free to comment, but all I ask is that you don't spam, troll, abuse others, ask for a follow-for-follow or post nonsense. Let's play nicely. :o)