I never meant to be a mummy blogger. I stumbled into it by accident when I set up this blog, which if I’m honest I only did to give myself something to tweet about. Before that point I’d never really even read blogs, apart from the odd post a friend might link to, and I was blown away by how many people were out there, so many windows into so many worlds.
Before long I found myself getting caught up in it. Joining in with endless linkies, modelling posts on ones I read elsewhere, feeling elated when the words I wrote seemed to strike a chord, feeling frustrated when I began to focus on the stats that lurked in the background betraying how relatively few readers I actually had.
So many people were doing it better – funnier, cleverer, prettier. They were making a living from pouring their hearts onto the screens, whilst I was just taking up time that in my mind I should have been dedicating to ‘proper’ writing, or at the very least hanging out with my son.
Of course that’s only part of the picture. Blogging has given me so much else: a voice when I felt I had no-one to talk to, the confidence to just write rather than panicking about having nothing to say, a community to keep me company as I made sense of my new, often lonely, existence as a stay-at-home mum.
I was reminded of this when I went to Brit Mums Live last weekend. In the run up to it I had wondered numerous times why I was going at all. I worried that in the real world I’d have nothing to say to these people I only knew online – that when it came to it I wouldn’t really know them at all. I worried that I would feel like a fraud – not ready to buy into so much of the blogging world, just hovering on the periphery whilst everyone else got on with the serious business of carving out their new careers.
There was a bit of that, admittedly. But it was actually wonderful to meet these women in the flesh – people I knew from the blogosphere and many others besides. I realised that everyone there was doing this for their own reasons, that none of those reasons were better or more legitimate than others, and that any attempt to directly compare our many different goals and aspirations, let alone the many different ways we’re choosing to reach them, is fraught with difficulty.
I realised that rather than looking out at the journeys others are on it is high time I focused on my own.
My blog is only a small part of what I write. I cannot let it take over – not unless I decide that I want it to be an enterprise in and of itself. I need to refocus on how I can make this space one I am truly proud of, one which reflects my goals and aspirations rather than just the humdrum of the everyday. I need to refocus on my writing, on perfecting my craft. I need to refocus on my ‘brand’, however unmarketable that might be.
Because this is where I have that privilege – to write what’s right for me.
It’s the other words I need to be taking more seriously: honing my novels until they find a home with a publisher, seeking out opportunities through magazines and competitions to share my short stories with a wider audience. The time and energy and headspace that has been taken up by this blog needs to be invested there.
I’m not disappearing from here completely, but a shift in focus is long overdue. I have no idea exactly what that’s going to look like yet!
If you bear with me, hopefully we’ll both like what we find.
That photo of you and your son is totally gorgeous! And i think you’re absolutely right that we shouldn’t compare ourselves to others although it’s so hard not to sometimes! I really like the eclectic nature of your blog but a re-focus to put time into other writing does make sense. I’m looking forward to seeing what you come up with. Thanks for linking to #WhatImwriting xx
Finding your own space when the whole internet is full of people trying to find their own space and then many doing it so successfully that it’s so hard not to go ‘ooh why aren’t I doing that?’ or that’s how I feel anyway. Hope you find the place you want to be :D!
Interesting reflections, Sophie. I’ll look forward to hearing more about where that shift in focus takes you.
I am just starting my blog to remind me of all my days with my daughter and my own ups and downs of motherhood. Not much of a writer, just winging it really! Am pleased we all feel the same doing this x
I can relate to this a lot, good luck with your plans and hope to see you in a magazine soon. I have signed up to a writing course to encourage me but am still being a bit lazy.
What a lovely photo! I really identify with this post, I started my mummy blog (for want of a better name!) six years ago as I was expecting my third baby in four years. I felt like I was wading in nappies at the time and blogging was therapy for that fug of early motherhood. These days my writing blog just about hangs in there and that’s because I made book writing my priority. Blogging was a great introduction to a writing habit and I’m still friends with a lot of the bloggers I met along the way. Good luck with doing more on your writing and getting your books out there.
Gorgeous photo of you & Arthur hon. You know we’re on the same page here 😉 I’m really pleased we got to meet at Britain Mums, albeit briefly. Can’t wait to hear more about your new direction xxx
Ah yes, going from what a few other people have said over the past couple of weeks Sophie, there seem to be a fair few ‘new chapters’ in the air. And I’m sure we’ll like it all over again when you get there 🙂 #whatimwriting