A year of blogging: what I’ve learntAugust 17, 2016
Last night a flurry of LinkedIn messages arrived, congratulating me on my ‘work anniversary’. Baffled, I ignored them until my husband WhatsApped me, saying “One year of The Mothership! Well done!”. Ahhhhhh.
So yes, it has been a year since I started blogging – even if I didn’t realise it. A year of writing, working out what I want to say, how I want to say it, and who to, of figuring out technology, and wanting to throw my laptop out of the window at times (sorry Macbook, I don’t mean it, I love you, please never leave me).
Phoebe was six months old back then, just starting to eat real foods, and now she’s a little girl. So much changes in such a short time at that age, I now realise, even though everyone said it to me a million times. But seeing her lovely little personality develop and hearing all those words, that knowledge, those skills, it all becomes real.
In the last year a lot has changed for me too. I’ve left my full-time job to work as a freelance writer, editor, voice-over artist and radio presenter (with another exciting/scary project on the horizon), allowing me to spend more time with Phoebe. I’m probably working harder than ever before – and there isn’t a regular salary anymore – but I’m feeling more balanced. I think.
I’m making my peace with being a ‘mummy blogger’ even though I detest the phrase. I’ve picked up a lot, from other writers, from inspirational women, from my daughter, from just getting out there and trying – getting it wrong, sometimes, but more often than not connecting with people over a common truth: parenthood is amazing, but it’s a pain in the arse sometimes too.
Here’s what I’ve learnt:
- I really can write anywhere. While a cosy, quiet café might seem ideal, sometimes it’s at 3am, typing into my iPhone that works best.
- Writing helps me work out my thoughts. Much like keeping a diary (which I also do), this blog has been so useful for getting my head around new situations, the constant changes and self-doubt.
- Not everything is for the blog. I write a lot more than I post, and sometimes I feel a piece is too personal to share, or after scribbling away for ages it’s bollocks, or it doesn’t feel like me.
- I still have the editorial integrity I had when I was a magazine editor. There have been a few, umm, situations where I’ve been offered money to promote something I didn’t believe in, or review something I felt was crap, and I’ve dealt with it in a way that allows me to sleep at night.
- By being authentic you can make authentic connections. I’ve been so grateful to find my tribe, and it has happened in real way. Nothing makes me happier than when someone comments saying “Yes! Me too!”.
- We’re not alone in this. And I’m glad to be in a position to speak out and say that even the ‘best’ mums in the world have bad days/weeks/children. By making out that everything is amazing all the time we’re doing other mums a disservice.
- Not everyone will like what you think, all the time. And that’s okay.
- I still have a lot (like, a LOT) left to learn.
As I said in my very first post, “The Mothership is for you if you’re a busy, active mum who can’t stand small talk, bad info and twee blogs that make out that mothering is all unicorns and rose petals, instead of admitting that you can love your child so much it terrifies you – while still wanting a night in alone watching The Great British Bake Off with a double G&T or a night out pretending you don’t have children.”
And that’s still true for me. I hope it is for you too.
Thanks so much for all the support over the last year x