The Diary: September’s Stress & Success

Besma looking to the left

It’s been a long while since I wrote a diary post on the blog, and this one is going unedited – which means to say, whatever’s written here flowed right out of my brain and onto the page.

I’ve been meaning to write a life update for a while now. In fact, a few of you asked for it (which is the sweetest thing!) and I’ve been aware that the life you see split across the blog, Twitter, Instagram, and at events isn’t really the full picture.

In fact, that makes me a little nervous. I feel split about showcasing what a full “day in the life” looks like, because I’m a private person, and at the same time, I really want to show you all who I am beneath the deep-dive guides and the (sometimes fiery) tweets.

This month I felt that even more so, because there’s a certain level of stress I’ve been wrestling with. It seems the more successful my work is, the more stressful it is; and it does take its toll.

September’s Highlights

To catch you up – I’ve been working for myself since November 2017. When I went full-time, I wore two hats: a freelance copywriter, and the blogger behind this site.

In June 2018, I added business owner onto that list, after launching Ethical Influencers. In short, it’s a membership site, open to anyone who creates content around being more sustainable. Two weeks ago, we reached 500 members, and I genuinely cannot believe it. 500! You lot are amazing.

I’m slowing winding down on the freelance work now, as I have enough work coming in across my two sites, but even then, work can surprise you. This past month was a great example of that – host to a whole load of events, and new experiences. My highlights included:

Oh, and that doesn’t even include my regular work load, a new project I’m working on (I can’t wait to tell you all about it), and all my blog posts and social posts.


What a month.

September’s Not-so-high-lights

I think it’s fair to say that while September was an incredibly fun month, it was also unreasonably busy. I wouldn’t expect anyone else I know to take on that much work, and I wouldn’t ask it of anyone either.

But when opportunity comes knocking…

You don’t just say yes. It’s a bad habit that I tend to have, and then I end up having to pull out of events at the last minute, or I commit and go and feel so awful throughout. Twice last month I cried because of the workload, and I knew I was on the brink of burnout.

It’s not responsible to take on that much work, but at the same time, when it comes to relying on myself to find work, taking on projects, and essentially ensuring my rent is going to be paid next month, that commitment is sometimes needed.

It’s why I’m so thankful to be around so many wonderful people. My boyfriend is often my sanity. (He started a new job this month, and I couldn’t be prouder). My family give me more support than I could ever ask for. My best friends – while we do like to work hard – are open, honest, and often take the brunt of my rants. And there are times when I feel so inspired by these people around me, the creatives and the activists and the earth advocates, that it really doesn’t feel like work. We’re changing the way sustainability is viewed – we’re normalising it and making it fun. Why wouldn’t you want to join in?!

Time to Slow Down

Overall, I’m happy September happened in the way it did, but I’m not aiming to keep up that same level of work. October is going to be quieter, but there will be a sustained workload, and there’s still lots to enjoy.

Yesterday I took some time out to go swimming, the first session of exercise I’d taken since the start of September. It felt so satisfying to be back in my body and away from tech. I was concentrating on my breath, my strokes, and nothing else. It’s something I’m hoping to do more regularly now as things settle down again.

As I write this, rain drops are falling on the window, and I feel cosy. I feel fortunate. Thank you all for supporting my journey, for reading my posts, for simply being open to hearing about kinder, more sustainable ways to live.

I hope I can make these diary entries a habit too. If you do like hearing more of the “real life” side of what I do, I’d recommend subscribing to my newsletter, where I write a post like this every month. The next one will be out this Sunday – speak to you then!


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