Last weekend I went back home for a few days and decided to dip into my old “stories” box. Before I was writing all my thoughts out on the interwebs for the world to see, I actually started off with scribbling stories onto pieces of paper when I was 5 years old. It was my earliest hobby and for the longest time, it was my biggest passion and lifetime dream. Back then 18 was my “milestone” age (it seemed so old at the time), so I thought that I’d keep up writing until I was 18 years old and at that point it would officially be time to try to get published. I was a huge Jacqueline Wilson fan (weren’t we all?) and my dream was for Penguin to sign me up and start to publish all of my fiction books.
Whilst I started off by just scribbling stick men and words onto plain pieces of paper, once the computer became I thing, I would type all my stories up and print them out. I would take them to school to show to my teachers (I once got a mini-award for doing so), I’d distribute them around to my immediate family members and as I got older, the length of what I was writing grew and grew until I was typing up over 100 pages at a time; I even had my own series which I called the “Valerie Vosper series”. In terms of what I would write about, it was always very trivial pre-teen/teen focused issues: the girl with the crush that didn’t acknowledge her, some sort of piece on a childish friendship drama and often I’d write stories around a main character who – in this made up world – was herself some sort of superstar. That was my other “dream” at the time – I wanted to be an actress. I wanted to be an actress so badly at the time that I’d feel nauseous picturing a world where that wasn’t the case. I’d spend hours upon hours learning scripts in my bedroom, my mum would pay for me to partake in drama and dance classes, and I’d even spend my spare time looking up agents and trying to take professional head shots of myself on my Sony Ericsson phone. Oh yeah – and I’d also take time out to practice my Oscar winning speech, as you do.
These two things sort of consumed my younger years, and it’s easy to see that I grew up with quite a creative mindset. I honestly do see myself as someone who is creative by nature, but I also feel that I can do well in more “serious” setting. You know – I could study really hard and get As and A*s, I can go into a corporate office in a suit and hold up my own, but at the same time I can leave the office in the evening to wizz away to a blogging event where suddenly I’m talking S/S style trends instead of predicting what the Fed will do to interest rates. They are two starkly different worlds.
It was this creativity that sort of spurred on starting this blog. My cousin had initially suggested I start up my own website, and helped me set one up on what was, at the time, known as Freewebs (now “Weebly”). From that point onwards… I just sort of stuck with it in some sort of form over the years. Making websites was my new passion and for sure, my longest standing one. At first I’d just share information about me, my friends and our days out, and then sometime down the line I discovered “doll/graphic” websites and decided to build my own. I’d offer out content for free, and over time I taught myself how to code bdasic HTML and although I no longer have the same passion for coding that I once had, those basic skills still help me out today (I’ve never had to hire a webdesigner/coder for anything I’ve ever done… yet). When it came to the point that I wanted to get a domain name (and no longer have “Freewebs” tied to my website), I remember approaching a girl who was giving out free domain names who turned me down because my current website wasn’t of a high enough quality. That was a defining moment for me as it pushed to me to improve and create what was the original “Skylish” (as inspired by Chipmunk’s song/re-make Tiny Dancer), before it eventually converted into being a beauty blog and now into being everything that you see here.
My love for beauty started to fade away over time, and I decided to change this blog into more of a style diary and to take it as a more serious venture other than something I check in on every now and again, in late 2015. Over time, and as the whole blogging industry developed, “think pieces” were introduced into the picture, more informative, thoughtful and longer blog posts found their way onto people’s platforms and finally I was able to connect all of the dots. I was able to bring together my creative qualities, and my initial love for writing, and do this week in week out with some of the wonderful perks of blogging that I had previously never anticipated coming along with that. Over this year, my writing style has matured and my blog has developed and I’ve noticed that more people have been reading and identifying with all of my little rambles over here. Although I no longer have the same passion I once had to write up novels, I realised at some point this year that I’m way past the 18-year-old mark now and, sure, I’m not published by Penguin… but nevertheless, this blog has given me the platform to still share my writings with everyone but just in a different form (that’s one of the reasons I love the internet/social media – you really have the capacity to do whatever you’d like).
I’m asked all the time what’s next for me and this blog, and with the way the modern world has developed, I’m often asked if I’m ever planning to take it full time. In the near term when I look onto the “what’s next” for my blog, my plan is to continue to develop it as well as building other things along with it (which, granted, is never the easiest task alongside a full time job and regular gym sessions…) The fact is, I get bored and really uninspired when I’m doing the exact same thing for too long amount of time which usually means I either have to change the strategy of whatever I’m doing, or work on something completely knew. My focus is always on creating good content, building my portfolio and readership etc, and hopefully helping other young women out my sharing my different experiences, tips and all that jargon. A shoppable link never hurt either.
I guess I’m probably never going to deliver my Oscar winning speech that I spent so long preparing for (!), but on the plus side, my original dream still gets to be lived out in some way shape or form! God knows what the future will hold but I do know that I’m just going to take everything one step at a time.