I’m not dead (just a little burnt out)

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A photo of my dog, Cadbury, a medium-sized Pitbull-Staffie cross, enjoying a little scratch on the chin during a road trip from Naarm to Warrang.

So, like… Hey.

It’s wild to me that my last post on this blog was last November – just shy of a year ago, and just shy of two weeks after I moved into my apartment with Milo. To be honest, for a good while, I did what every writer with full-time work and a regular adult schedule does eventually: I forgot I even had a blog. I think with everything else going on in my life, the idea of regularly setting time aside to maintain a curricular accessory that I didn’t need to just got squeezed out of my mind. Because as brutally short as it’s felt, 2022 has been a year. Since the last time I checked in here, I:

  • Got a new dog! He’s the big doofus you see above: a four-year-old staffie/pitty cross named Cadbury, who never fails to make me feel some type of way (whether that’s love or frustration or sheer bewilderment). He’s a big cuddly sook who loves to play and sleep and chew things, and he is not a replacement for Bruno in any way whatsoever, but he does kind of fill the Bruno-size hole I’ve had in my heart since I moved to Naarm. 
  • Changed my name! I’ve been going by Ellie to close friends since 2016, but earlier this year I bit the bullet and came out with it as the baseline thing. So yeah, my name is Ellie now – woo! I’m writing under the name Ellie Robinson, with Robinson being my mum’s maiden name. There’s a bunch of reasons for both parts, a bunch of reasons why I changed my name and a bunch of reasons why it took me six years to make it official, but this isn’t the right post to get into those. Maybe later.
  • Wrote a bunch! I’m working in the NME newsroom pretty much full-time at the moment, and writing features more regularly for them too. I’ve also shifted my role at Australian Guitar – I’m now the magazine’s editor-at-large, steering the ship on its local/in-house slate of editorial. It is technically a demotion, but… not really? It’s more money for less work and it’s a role I feel much more comfortable in; I have the freedom to write whatever I want, but I don’t have the burden of coordinating and producing an entire magazine around that. I’m super happy with the current setup.
  • Did a bunch of other stuff! I’ve made some huge strides in getting my shit together as an independent adult who is taking care of theirself and balancing their needs with their wants. I don’t know if I’m quite there yet. I think I have a long ways to go before I am the person I want to be (and the person I need to be), but I’ve been trying real damn hard and taking those scary first steps, and I’m hella proud of myself. I’ve also started collecting enamel pins, teaching myself how to play guitar (I know) and cooking a bunch.

I will admit that I’m pretty burnt out at the moment. I’m not sleeping as much as I need to be or spending as much time with Milo and Cadbury as I should be. But I’m figuring out how I can remedy that; I’m learning what my limits are and where I need to draw the line when it comes to a healthy work-life balance. I’m teaching myself that it’s okay to switch off when I need to, and that it’s not a sign of failure to admit defeat, but a sign of success to acknowledge when I’ve pushed myself too far and take a step back. I’m certainly not going to force myself to maintain a blog or a presence on social media, or really do anything that I don’t absolutely need or want to. 

I think that’s probably why most writers ditch their blogs when they hit their twenties or establish themselves with regular work and independence in their personal lives – at a certain point, a writer’s active blog no longer implies a passion for their craft, but a lack of success. Good writers don’t keep blogs because they don’t need to. They have nothing to prove or sell, they’re too busy writing “real” stories and doing “real” things. 

But that’s not true. No writer is “too good” or “too professional” to have a blog – whether that’s just for themselves, as some kind of pseudo-personal diary into which they can vomit their lingering thoughts, or as a loose portfolio-of-sorts for their professional output. I don’t give a shit if blogs stopped being trendy in 2013 – they’re cool. I have thoughts I want to express that wouldn’t fit – or make sense – to put in a feature. I have things to say that none of my editors would ever commission a story about; I have things to say that I want to say in the first person, goddammit! Sometimes I just want to ramble into the void and get shit out of my head without the pressure of needing it to read concisely or tell a straightforward narrative, or even make sense to anyone but myself. And I want to show off when I do write a cool feature for NME or Australian Guitar or whatever other publication takes an interest in my work.

Am I trying to justify, for myself, the viability of a blog? In a blog post? Violently embarrassing myself in the process? Absolutely. But that’s the great thing about having this blog to do that on: I don’t have to give a shit about that. 

So anyway, hi, my name is Ellie, I’m a 25-year-old music journalist / pop-culture writer and editor from Benkennie (Camden), currently based in Naarm (Melbourne). I write news and features for NME and lead the in-house editorial in Australian Guitar. My partner is named Milo and my dog is named Cadbury. I like road trips and music and dogs and pineapple doughnuts. I am perpetually tired and I don’t know why I’m writing any of this. 

Welcome to my blog? 

I guess?

¯\_(ツ)_/¯ 

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