When the Negative Voices Strike

When the Negative Voices Strike At 46½ I am officially feeling old. Of course I continue blithely scouring Top Shop for the latest fashion trends and watching Gilmore Girls on repeat, but we all know the truth: I’m much nearer 50 than 40 and the dreaded ‘M’ word is creeping ever closer.

You’ve heard ad infinitum about my midlife crisis; more specifically, whether I’m ‘too old for a leather jacket‘ (someone actually came across my blog after typing that into Google the other day *proud face*). In short, I have never taken myself too seriously where age is concerned. Until now.

My latest age crisis is in relation to this blog. You see I’m doing that thing again, where I question what someone my age has to offer, feeling increasingly insignificant and crowded out by the younger, cooler set who seem to be saturating the market.

Whilst part of me wants to jack it all in, another part of me is screaming ‘there’s room for everyone!’ in a very pre-menopausal fashion (that was the ‘M’ word in case you were still wondering).

Am I alone in this? Casual chats on social media confirm otherwise.

If you’re a blogger, writer, or creative of any kind and you’re in the 40+ age group, this one is for you. I want you to listen up and listen good ‘cos I will bet on my life that at some point over the last 6 months, you have questioned whether this whole creative world has room for you any more.

Reasons why we need to drown out the negative voices

The more I’ve thought about whether us oldies have a place here, the more I’ve realised that we are actually needed in the blogosphere *insert your own creative outlet* and here’s why…

WITH AGE COMES WISDOM 

I’m not saying that younger people don’t have wisdom, in fact some have it in abundance, but they haven’t been here before.

I’m currently seeking out the 50+ bloggers because I want to glean as much information as possible from people who have already walked the path I’m about to go down. With that in mind, there must be readers out there who want to know what it’s like to be in your mid 40s, navigating all the highs and lows of bringing up teenagers and working out the best remedy for eye bags (answers in the comments below please).

ME TOO

Oh my goodness, what value there is in this statement. I don’t want to read blogs written by people who I cannot relate to. I want to experience that amazingly powerful ‘me too’ feeling when I read a blog written by someone who is in the same life stage as me. I LOVE it when people read my blog/social media musings and do the same.

INSPIRATION

I am an advertiser’s dream; I am completely swayed by influencers but I need them to be in MY age bracket. I want to see 40 or 50-something women rocking the latest fashion trend, telling my why I need to buy xxx beauty product or how I can navigate the latest crisis I’m having with my teenager.

I don’t want to see youthful, 20-somethings with glowing skin telling me that I just need to ‘go bare’, whilst looking all toned and amazing in their latest itsy bitsy bikini. It really does not help me to embrace the ageing process!

I want older people to show me that age does NOT define us and that once we hit 40, life is not over.

What do we do when the negative voices strike?

I often look at other people and assume that I’m the only one having an attack of the collywobbles. This my friends, is a big fat lie.

I think even the most confident amongst us, the ones who appear to be owning whatever life stage they’re in, will at some point fall prey to imposter syndrome.

So what do we do?

LOOK FOR THE LIKE-MINDED

I think this goes for any field you’re in, it’s important to surround yourself with people who believe in what you do, understand what you’re doing and will inevitably cheer you on when you need it most.

If you’re a blogger and you’re struggling by yourself, find a small group of people who inspire you to do better, to keep going and who you can be honest with.

GET BACK TO YOUR ROOTS

I regularly question who I’m writing for and why. On a bad day, I draw a blank. On a good day, I think about why I started writing in the first place: to amuse and hopefully inspire others and because I just love to write.

I highly recommend sitting down with a pen and paper to do the same. Why did you start whatever it is you’re doing?

FOCUS ON YOUR AUDIENCE

I am so thankful for my loyal readers who come back repeatedly; this is such a helpful reminder that there are people out there who appreciate my insights, recommendations and general nonsense.

We really would all do so much better by focusing on the people who do want to read our blogs rather than the people who don’t.

So this is me, calling out to anyone in the slightly older age bracket who is wondering what they have to offer the world…

Please don’t shrink back, we really do need to hear your voice!

Oh and I’m really preaching to myself here because I will undoubtedly revisit this again within the next 6 months.

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51 Comments

  1. Jill B
    March 28, 2018 / 10:44 am

    You won’t want to hear this but I think once the big M kicks in you will have a whole new audience who want to talk about it. I made some new best friends sharing about the woes of it all – and the joys! There are a lot of plus points .

    • Suzanne W
      Author
      March 28, 2018 / 2:36 pm

      Yes I know there will be and it’s those people I want to seek out now so that they can tell me what to expect! I imagine there will be all sorts of giggles to be had.

  2. Jill B
    March 28, 2018 / 10:47 am

    Empty nest syndrome next! Are there people who blog about that?

    • Suzanne W
      Author
      March 28, 2018 / 2:37 pm

      Think we might be at least a decade from that lol!

  3. March 28, 2018 / 10:57 am

    Amen to that! You know me, I’ve got a pretty thick skin and don’t often compare myself to others, but occasionally I look at a beautiful IG feed and wonder why mine is such a mish-mash of running, guinea pigs, my garden etc etc rather than lots of beautiful stuff, but then I remember – that’s me, that’s my life . The beautiful people won’t want to look at my guinea pigs or my daffodils, but lots of normal people, the people I relate to, will want to look at them!
    Let me know if you find any blogs for ‘people like us’ to follow – I’d be most interested in reading them.

    • Suzanne W
      Author
      March 28, 2018 / 2:38 pm

      I’m going to start adding them to my sidebar when I find them. I need to soak up the musings of those people I can relate to. Everyone else just makes me feel inadequate lol! PLU – a very good phrase 😉

  4. esm_green
    March 28, 2018 / 12:42 pm

    I’m with you 100% on this. Increasingly, I find myself looking for influencers in the same age bracket as me that I can relate to. Instagram can be amazingly inspiring for this, one of my main reasons for joining it originally was to find females in their forties to follow for fashion tips. I was fed up of looking at magazines and feeling they weren’t relevant to me, and at the same time, I didn’t feel ready for ‘Good Housekeeping’ yet. Instagram has been great for this – if a little more expensive due the ‘swipe up’ function!

    I read blogs less than I used to, and now, it tends to be via an Instagram prompt and I will go and read up, then possibly comment back on Instagram.
    I always favour the heart on sleeve, honest blogs that reveal real insights into people’s lives and what motivates them. Blogs on menopause, home interiors, anti-aging products, new hobbies or past times – they all interest me and especially posts that show that life post 40 is not over. I love it when people inspire me on this one. For me, it’s more an issue of time, I just have less time than I used to, to read, to comment. And for my own blog, I needed to take some time out to think about my privacy issues. I’ve been thinking of coming back to it, and I’ll certainly go and take a look at the blogs in your sidebar. I think a blog is such a wonderful snapshot of moments in time and it can reveal real insights into who we are, how we thought. You’ve been doing this a long time now, I think it’s a great time capsule of memories, snapshots, thoughts and pieces of advice. xx

    • Suzanne W
      Author
      March 28, 2018 / 2:41 pm

      Yes I love Instagram for finding like-minded influencers too. I just need to delete all of the ones who make me feel inferior lol! Life isn’t like that of course because you can learn from those older than you as well as those younger. One person I’ve followed recently on Instagram and find totally inspiring is @sixtee_isthenew_fortee. Do you follow her? Really excited that you might be coming back. Give me a nudge when/if you do. I think it’s just about finding the right balance of personal stuff and interests. xx

  5. March 28, 2018 / 1:06 pm

    Oh goodness me no, don’t stop! I love your posts. I’m not far behind you in age and yours is definitely one of the voices I turn to for wise words and inspiration.
    Nat.x

    • Suzanne W
      Author
      March 28, 2018 / 2:42 pm

      I probably won’t ever stop blogging cos I love it but I can’t help but feel demoralised sometimes. I think that comes with anything where you’re putting yourself out there to the masses. And in blogging there is so much darn competition! I guess it would be better not to think of it like that which is why I’ve given three things to focus on above 🙂

  6. March 28, 2018 / 1:57 pm

    I’ve just recently discovered your blog- and love it! I’ve just entered the other side of M… and it’s not so bad! Life is great. I’ve also started to do a little writing and more photography which is a hobby I love. I’m not sure where it will go but love being inspired by bloggers like you. Keep writing and I’ll keep reading.

    • Suzanne W
      Author
      March 28, 2018 / 2:44 pm

      I’m so glad you took the time to comment. I sometimes wonder if anyone is reading! So thank you for reading and for giving me some encouragement today. xx

  7. Nico
    March 28, 2018 / 3:39 pm

    Here here Suz !! Let’s keep the flag flying for us over forties 😘.

    • Suzanne W
      Author
      March 29, 2018 / 4:32 pm

      Just waiting for yours to start now! xx

  8. March 28, 2018 / 9:01 pm

    Well done hunny for ignoring it and going with it. Age means nothing anymore and you have plenty to offer and to share and to create and do ahead of you for a long time coming. I love you and your blog and I love all that you share here. This post inspiring words is just proof and as you said many agree on social media too. Keep it going girl #wrc

    • Suzanne W
      Author
      March 29, 2018 / 4:40 pm

      I agree that age means nothing but that’s because I think that’s because I’m in the older age bracket! Inevitably sometimes I can’t help but feel the younger ones are doing it better. But we are needed here (I say ‘we’ but you’re way behind me lol!). xx

  9. March 28, 2018 / 9:45 pm

    Suzanne I love this, I would bel lying if I said I didn’t sometimes feel it, however I am very good at believing in my own abilities and ignoring negativity. You are so right we have such huge value we have our own readership who have spending power and are in a different life situation where they can and do spend more on themselves. Are rediscovering life as their kids grow up with hobbies, fashion and travel. Our generation are paving the way defining 40/50s and how life can be if you believe in yourself. x

    • Suzanne W
      Author
      March 29, 2018 / 4:34 pm

      Well done you for believing in yourself and your abilities, I think that’s one of the keys to most things tbh. You make a really valid point about this age bracket having a little more disposable income. xx

  10. March 28, 2018 / 11:50 pm

    I would never have thought you were 46. I thought you were just approaching 40. You certainly don’t LOOK over 40. If I look half as good as you in my forties, well I will be chuffed with that! Only just discovered your new blog as I saw a link that Sarah tweeted. It’s fab, stop worrying about what others think and do you! And remember… as you look to those in their 50’s for wisdom, those of us in our 30’s look to you as our role models. xx

    • Suzanne
      Author
      April 2, 2018 / 8:05 am

      Ha ha I think you just made my day Emma!

  11. March 29, 2018 / 10:20 am

    Yes Suzanne! There is room for everyone at the table! You know I love your blog and your take on things. Keep writing and moving forward xx

    • Suzanne
      Author
      April 2, 2018 / 8:05 am

      Yes moving forward is really important isn’t it? Thanks Morgana. xx

  12. March 29, 2018 / 12:48 pm

    Totally agree. You have a valuable and genuine contribution, if for no other reason than you’ve already walked a path. I’m always on the lookout for blogs for the next stage up, so 50+ ones for me too. So many great ones, that I loved to read, have disappeared without a fanfare. I keep them on my read list, just in case they come back, but few do. I’m guessing life or the negative voice got to them. Does thin out the number of blogs.

    (ps Pioneer Woman recommends chilling spoons in the freezer and applying them to eye bags. Never tried it, so no idea if it works)

  13. March 29, 2018 / 4:31 pm

    HA! What a day to be reading this Suzanne!!! After what I was saying to you earlier too, this post couldn’t have come at a better time. I’m not sure whether it’s age making me feel the way I do or just the fickleness of social media in general.

    I think there’s absolutely room for everyone when it comes to blogging. Ultimately, people are interested in every topic under the sun, so you’ll always appeal to someone — even if it’s not the masses. At least that’s what I’m telling myself!!

    My negative voices are not so much caused by whether there’s room for me; I’ve never questioned that. But more by investing time and effort into things — or people — that don’t reciprocate. It would be lovely to feel that we’re rewarded for hard work but sometimes it isn’t the case.

    I’ve loved reading all the comments from your other readers too — if ever there was proof that you should definitely keep writing, they would be it!! xx

    • Suzanne W
      Author
      March 29, 2018 / 4:36 pm

      Ah Caro when you said how you were feeling today, I was tempted to point you in the direction of this post but I thought that might be elevating myself! Anyway, I’m glad you’ve come across it. I totally understand where you’re coming from as I’ve felt this many a time as well. I think certain bloggers and online creatives have struck it lucky in a sense, no one is any better than anyone else necessarily but sometimes that’s hard to say. There are so many amazing smaller bloggers out there that aren’t being read and MANY in the 40+ bracket! xx

  14. March 29, 2018 / 7:35 pm

    Judging from all these comments it seems like we’d definitely all miss you if you did decide to stop blogging. I know what you mean though. I often wonder why on earth I’m still doing it after almost 10 years. I’m about 10 years older than the ‘cool kids’ now that I’m in my late 30s and don’t really identify with people my age as they don’t share the same experiences that come with having teenagers. But reading your posts I often have ‘aha’ moments and find myself nodding along. Keep doing what you’re doing x

    • Suzanne
      Author
      April 2, 2018 / 8:19 am

      I don’t imagine I’ll ever decide to stop but it does sometimes feel as though I’m shouting into a black hole and my readership is dwindling. Maybe that’s not the case but the market is saturated with young things and maybe people in our age bracket don’t have as much time to absorb online content. I feel the same about your blog – we are def in the minority though! xx

  15. March 29, 2018 / 9:30 pm

    I’m only just in my 40s, but I’ve never really felt I’m too old. I guess I’m still writing about younger children, and my dance blog where my main audience is age 35-55s. I think there is room for everyone. Let’s face it magazines for our age group are still going strong – online or off, So why not bloggers who are even more relatable and personal

    • Suzanne
      Author
      April 2, 2018 / 8:20 am

      Totally agree with you, I love the magazines for older women and I guess blogs are slowly replacing those over time. Love that you believe in yourself so much. That’s probably what I’m lacking lol!

  16. Samantha Deadman
    March 30, 2018 / 8:32 am

    I can totally relate to this and share your wobble. As a Marketing Manager and (nearly) 44 , I have also really questioned if I’m any good at what I do, particularly in terms of social media. When I studied my CIM diploma, Facebook didn’t even exist! I’m much more of a ‘traditional marketeer.

    So, I do my best to continually create good content to grow the social channels I manage for my job, but it’s not easy. And it changes all the time. I also find that keeping up with the content changes is tough! Managing a full time job, with two children and keeping abreast of all the latest trends in the world of social media is hard. My brain is too full with homework demands, the next event at school and how dirty my windows are!

    With the bright, young things basjing it out effortlessly, it’s easy to doubt yourself. With IG though, it’s also very easy to feel inferior when everyone’s life in pictures literally looks picture-perfect. Doesn’t help and I gives a false view IMO. But it’s the way of the world…

    As for what you do Suzanne, you must keep at it. There is, most definitely, a place for you. I met you through work (The Bell Inn), but as someone at a similar age and lifestage, I find your blogs so reassuring. Don’t underestimate the power of the ‘me too ‘ and being able to identify with someone and know, ‘I’m not alone’.

    Let’s rock it for 40 somethings and show those bright, young things how to do it! 😉

    • Suzanne
      Author
      April 2, 2018 / 8:15 am

      Thank you Sam for taking the time to read and comment. I guess it’s probably hard in any profession when you the younger, seeming ‘cooler’ people come in and start taking over! They probably aren’t but it feels like that sometimes doesn’t it? Perhaps we just need to knuckle down and believe in ourselves a bit more. Just like the youngsters do! For what it’s worth, I think you’re VERY good at what you do – you sought me out, someone in the right age bracket for your market and whose readership would definitely be interested in your lovely inn. Keep at it – you’re doing alright!

  17. March 30, 2018 / 2:14 pm

    Love this Suzanne, and I’m definitely one of those readers who keeps on coming back to you. I’m 41 and a lot of the time I think everyone is the same age as me, before realising I’m about 10 years ahead! I try not to worry about it too much but I know what you mean – comparison can be difficult. Fingers crossed, there is room for everyone. I know I tend to look in the direction of people at the same stage in their lives as me xx

    • Suzanne W
      Author
      March 31, 2018 / 3:08 pm

      Yes I often make that mistake too but so many bloggers are in the younger age bracket. I wonder why that is? I think the reason why we begin to compare is that other people seem to have amazing stats and their blogs have really taken off. Generally, I think they are in the younger age bracket. Not many people in their 40s/50s are still plugging away. If they are, they are hiding!xx

  18. March 31, 2018 / 7:24 am

    I still love your blogs and you know I am really ancient.

    • Suzanne W
      Author
      March 31, 2018 / 3:06 pm

      Ha ha Tricia, we need voices like yours so we know what’s coming next! x

  19. March 31, 2018 / 8:55 am

    I love reading blogs from people of all ages! I’m in my mid 30s and look to both younger and older bloggers for advice, guidance, inspiration and more. Each age brings it’s own trials and tribulations, joys and celebrations and as far as I’m concerned we’re all in it together as women and as humans in general – some things are just universal no matter what your age. Completely agree with ‘remember your roots’ – if I ever have a wobble about things I go back to why I started in the first place and it reminds me exactly why I want to carry on. Everyone deserves a voice and I love reading yours.

    • Suzanne W
      Author
      March 31, 2018 / 3:06 pm

      Yes I do too, I like the diversity and different outlooks from all sorts of people BUT the ones I go back to time and time again are the people who I can relate to so the likelihood is they will be around my age bracket. I agree that everyone deserves a voice. xx

  20. Laura
    April 2, 2018 / 10:09 am

    Quality over quantity I say! You might not have the ‘numbers’ that younger bloggers have but you do have loyal readers and followers who are worth so much more. It makes me laugh that older bloggers are pretty much invisible to younger ones when in fact, some of the older ones have been blogging away since the younger ones were still in blooming primary school hahaha! If it wasn’t for the oldies, there wouldn’t be the blogging scene that there is now!

    • Suzanne W
      Author
      April 2, 2018 / 8:07 pm

      Too true! I first began thinking about this when a younger blogger tweeted something very patronising about ‘older bloggers having more value then people give them credit for and that actually, there are some good ones out there’ ha ha! I often find that older bloggers have good grammar and better writing skills too but shhhh, you didn’t hear that from me 😉 x

  21. Toni
    April 2, 2018 / 1:56 pm

    I’m a 40 plus beauty blogger which doesn’t appear to many of, that’s also entered early menopause (What a mixture! Lol!). I hit that very same wall only recently feeling invisible and not good enough due to being a certain age. i started blogging because my passion in makeup wasn’t the only thing bursting at the seams, my makeup bag was too! And thought it would be a fun way to discover like-minded people who love beauty. I’m not too bothered about pr packages, as to be honest, receiving one week after week would do my head in! However, it’d make a nice change once in a while if brands took the time to see how products work on older skins rather than the same old, same old. X

    Toni | sheergloss

    • Suzanne W
      Author
      April 2, 2018 / 8:03 pm

      And as a reader I want to see how products work on older skin! Thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts 🙂 x

  22. April 2, 2018 / 3:32 pm

    Whilst I’m not in the 40+ range of bloggers that you talk about (I’m 31 on Thursday) – I completely relate to your post. I look at the beauty and lifestyle bloggers of my age and the lifestyles they lead, which couldn’t be further from my own. It’s hard to feel like you don’t have a place, that brands aren’t interested because you’re a full time working mum of one. Even the successful parenting bloggers have lives so unlike my own (they blog full time – aren’t juggling a job like teaching with a child and a husband who works unsociable hours, and seem to have endless amounts of cash!). You keep doing you, I enjoy reading your blog and will continue to do so. Thanks for sharing this with us xx

    • Suzanne W
      Author
      April 2, 2018 / 8:02 pm

      Yes that’s the thing isn’t it, many people of 31 don’t have children these days. I think you’re right that we just be us and the people who can relate or enjoy what we write about, will come. The problem I guess, is that so many people seem drawn to younger bloggers and less and less so to the older ones! Thank you for commenting 🙂 xx

  23. Julie
    April 3, 2018 / 7:31 am

    Love your blog, thank you

  24. April 3, 2018 / 5:12 pm

    With the big 4 0 coming my way next year, I’m feeling a lot of this myself. I know this may sounds silly, I have a two year old and still feel very young in myself but these little negative thoughts creep in every now and again. However, I then speak to my mum who’s 68 and acts more like she’s 38. You’re as young as you feel she tells me and according to her, that’s the secret to keeping young.

    Also, might I add you are a very young 46 year old!!!

    xx

  25. April 11, 2018 / 7:36 pm

    Can I just say, you’re not one of the oldies! You are a young 46 for sure. I love that you feel so passionately about it x

  26. April 12, 2018 / 3:27 pm

    I love this! As someone relatively new to blogging and at 43, I was wondering where the hell everyone my age was. Thank you for writing about this and I’m so glad I found you!

  27. April 17, 2018 / 7:03 pm

    Just found you whilst looking for older bloggers. Although I am a guy in his mid sixties who’s been trying to make sense of blogging for some time, I can so identify with the negative thoughts and imposter syndrome. I am not even sure I have all that many readers but that’s not a major factor for me. Just wanted to say thanks for the inspiration. Bests from Bosnia, David 🙂

    • Suzanne W
      Author
      April 18, 2018 / 8:13 pm

      I would like to say the readers isn’t really a factor for me either but sadly I think it is! Nice to know that people are reading though, isn’t it? Thanks for stopping by.

  28. May 30, 2018 / 12:37 pm

    Suzanne I found your post via the Post 40 Bloggers tweet! As a 40+ blogger (since 2011) I can honestly say it has never occurred to me that what I’m writing isn’t relevant and that I shouldn’t be doing it, so I was a little disheartened when I read your first paragraph… however you soon won me over with your statements about all that is good about blogging and being older! I started my blog because I was trying to find more blogs by older women, so it seemed to make sense to me that if *I* was looking for 40+ blogs, then others would be too. And as I’ve always said: being older means you stand out from the sea of 20-somethings.

    I’ve talked to many younger bloggers at events and one thing they all say is how hard it is to get people to engage and how hard it is to become part of the blogging community. I’ve never found that to be a problem – there may be fewer over 40 bloggers but we really have a strong community, it’s very supportive (and has been from day one for me).

    So I’m glad you’ve realised that you should DEFINITELY be blogging, and to anyone reading… don’t let anyone tell you otherwise! The only person stopping you is you, and there’s no need for us to let that happen as we’re all stronger and wiser due to our years. (I’m almost the same as you – I’ll be 46 in July.) I wouldn’t trade being a 40+ blogger for a 20-something blogger for ANYTHING, the success I’ve had is down to the fact that I’m older.

    It can only get better, and don’t let anyone tell you differently!!! Thank you for this great post, I’m adding it to my Best of the Blogosphere links post today 😀

    Catherine x

    • Suzanne W
      Author
      June 3, 2018 / 10:22 pm

      I really appreciate this comment Catherine, you’re so right! I totally agree with you on the fact that I need to write what I want to read and people will come. I still get the odd pang of ‘what am I doing this for?’ but essentially I love it so will continue. Thank you for adding this post to Best of the Blogosphere 🙂 x

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