This post is a bit of a jumble, really, of lots of thoughts I want to share. It’s kind of threefold – why I want to continue blogging, a thank you, and in praise of virtual friendships.
Sometimes I feel like sharing my blogs and expecting anyone to read them is silly. In a world where there are millions (I guess) of parent bloggers and each week I am discovering new ones, it is definitely a saturated market. I read blogs by people who earn money from their writing, who work with huge brands, win awards and have made blogging their career. I read blogs by people (like myself) who don’t really go in for the constant social media promotion and write what they feel like to a relatively small readership. And I’ve read blogs everywhere in between. What unites them all, though, is they’re amazing. Honestly, each week I am blown away by the incredible things I read; I am often moved to tears or hysterical laughter. In almost all of the blogs I read I recognise something that I can liken to my own experiences as a parent or experiences that family members have been through.
With all that fantastic content available it’s easy to think ‘there is nothing I can add to this conversation, my voice doesn’t need to be heard’. But occasionally someone or something happens which makes you realise that all of us have the potential to connect with somebody, to make someone feel less alone or elicit laughter on a shitty day. Recently, this post was written about my blog and it made me feel like all the writing and effort I put into this little piece of the internet was so worthwhile.
To put that post into context I need to backtrack a little. There are many ways to be a blogger and tons of people to advise you how to make the most of your blog or grow your readership. One piece of advice oft touted is ‘find your tribe’. I was such a newbie that I hadn’t even heard that advice when I read this post by my lovely friend Katie who blogs at Mummy In a Tutu. We didn’t know each other then but we have since become close friends and, off the back of that one post and all that followed, suddenly I had a whole batch of new ‘online’ friends. We have Twitter chats and always try to support each other’s blogs.
One of the people I chatted to on Twitter that I seemed to click with instantly was Sam. Sam started blogging a few months after me but has quickly become well known on ‘the circuit’ for being hilarious and honest and generally an awesome writer. Ever since I discovered her blog Mouse, Moo & Me Too I have adored the way she writes; honestly she could write a post about her shopping list and have me in stitches. She is so talented. Sam, as part of Mummy In A Tutu’s ‘I’m a blogging success…’ series wrote this post (that I mentioned earlier) and it made me cry; she made me feel so wonderful. Whenever I have doubts about blogging (or, actually, myself in general) I am going to read it. Reading those gorgeous words about ME, from a friend and blogger that I have so much admiration and respect for, well it blew me away a little bit.
And let’s not forget where this post was written: on Katie’s blog. Katie is an incredibly successful and ambitious blogger who is so inspiring. It’s also Katie who opened me up to a whole host of friends. I don’t think I had ever had ‘online’ friends before I started blogging and now I speak to some of them daily. It makes even the most isolating of days where you feel as though everybody you know is having an easier day than you – well, it makes those days more tolerable because there’s always someone there. On the end of a tweet or a facebook message are these lovely people who just get it. Isn’t that something special?
Whenever I start to doubt myself I speak to these women and they lift me back up. They tell me not to sweat the small stuff, to remember why I wanted to start a blog in the first place, that immortalising our memories online will be so precious to look back on. They remind me to read the comments from other parents who told me ‘I feel exactly the same!’ or ‘You’ve really made me laugh’ after reading one of my posts. I like to think I reciprocate and help them all out when they are struggling with a lack of confidence or motivation. Blogging, for me, should always be something positive and finding these friends has been the most positive thing of all.
So really what I want to say is thank you – to Katie for starting a tribe of people that make me smile, to Sam for writing such beautiful words about little old me and to everyone who reads this blog. I’ll be sticking around a bit longer!