I have now been blogging for three months. I started this blog on the 5th January 2016 with a rather bland post about wellies. It was clearly inspired by the never-ending rain we were having. It must have rained every day that month. In fact, in January, Jersey was declared the wettest month on record. This continual rain lasted well into February and as a result my little blog became my lifeline. It kept me sane when the rain was hammering at our door; it kept me sane when the wind sent a tree crashing down narrowly missing our car, (you can read that post here), and it kept me sane when Youngest was having another attack of the Kanyes (read about it here).
Why did I start this blog?
It was the usual cliché of new year and new beginnings. This blog represented something for me. At the time I didn’t appreciate how giving up my career would leave me feeling a little lost and lacking in confidence. I went from full-time working Mum with friends and family close-by to a stay at home Mum living in a different country and knowing no one. Many of my friends didn’t understand how I could give up my career, some even told me that I would regret it. For a while I agonised over whether they had been right. Before, I had spent my time confidently teaching classes of 30 plus children and giving presentations to 40 plus teachers. Now I found myself struggling to say hello to anyone on a morning.
There have been some days where I have felt totally alone.
I’m not saying this for sympathy. I appreciate that the whole nature of being a stay at home Mum can be pretty isolating. You can lose a sense of who you are as a person. This blog was my way of rediscovering me. Now everyday I have at least couple of hours where I can do something for me.
What do I love about blogging?
There are so many things to love about blogging:
- It’s cathartic. Being able to write helps you put everything into perspective and it helps you express yourself. I am known for bottling things up and not saying what I really mean.
- The people. Long before I started this blog I loved to read other blogs. There are so many fantastic blogs out there including Mummy of Boy Girl Twins whose blog is super stylish and a blog I have always loved reading. I have also discovered Aby from You Baby Me Mummy, who was really supportive when I first started out, has a great blogging series and has just started a great Youtube channel. In my first month of blogging I discovered Live Love Blog. A fantastic online magazine for newbie bloggers with loads of new tips. Through that I signed up for a mentoring scheme and this introduced me to Amy and her fantastic blog Mr and Mrs T plus three. Amy’s blog is really one to aspire to, I love her photography. I have only just started the mentoring scheme but already it has really helped me improve my blog. Amy has been so supportive and is teaching me everything about SEO through to the importance of using H2 in your posts. Amy also puts up with me asking so many random and probably very stupid questions. She is always so happy to help and I feel very lucky to have found such lovely bloggers who are very supportive. It is really lovely to be part of that community. Bloggers rock!
- It’s empowering. I am in control of my blog and I decide what goes on it. I have loved creating my blog and deciding its look. Not bad for someone who is a complete techno phobe. Creating this blog has been a real confidence booster. I now feel more confident in my everyday life too. Blogging really has allowed me to be me again! Sorry, that is a bit cheesy! Who knows maybe I will embrace the selfie next.
- Comments. When someone takes the time to comment on my blog it really makes my day and I love to read everyone’s thoughts.
- Retweets. When someone takes the time to share my blog with other people is a lovely way of sharing the love 🙂
- Collaborating with others. I love working with others. I have really enjoyed working with Tots100 and I am completely over the moon to now be a Huffington Post blogger and last night I went to my first ever supper club. All as a result of my blog!
- It has helped me to love where I live. Taking photos for the blog and finding new places to visit has helped me realise how lucky I am to live in such a beautiful part of the world. Don’t worry Yorkshire you will always have a place in my heart 😉
What I wish I had known before I started to blog
- It’s addictive. Like really addictive. You find yourself carrying notebooks to jot down ideas when they strike. Everyday out becomes a photo opportunity. Sometimes you have to remind yourself not to become so immersed in it all.
- Trolls. Not the cuddly sort. The soulless sort. Just ignore them.
- Time consuming. It takes a lot of time to run a blog and some people won’t understand this.
- You should go self-hosted from the start. Moving to self-hosted meant I lost some of my posts. This stress could have been avoided.
- Not everyone will be supportive. Some people won’t understand why you blog, only tell those that you trust. Then when you feel more confident and when you have grown your blog you can tell everyone. I am a long way from telling everyone in my ‘real’ life.
The nature of blogging seems to suit me. I am not someone who can sit on her laurels. I am unable to spend an evening just watching TV. I am useless at watching a film as I normally get bored within the first 15 minutes. I have to keep busy and I like to be always learning which is why blogging is perfect for me. It is something that I am able to fit in around the kids but it also fulfils my need to be creative and keep busy. When I left teaching and moved to Jersey I felt like I had lost my voice.
Now blogging has given me my voice back and I’m shouting for the world to hear.
Do you blog? If so why?
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