By the time you read this, I will be all the way across an ocean and a continent, watching a lovely friend of mine get married near Perth in Western Australia. This friend is just one of the many I have made through blogging – she attended my wedding in 2012 and I’m so happy to be there on her special day. To celebrate online friends, I could think of nothing better than completing this ‘blog tag’ posted by Sarah-Elizabeth from Child of Ponderings.
When did you start blogging and why?
I first started blogging in 2008 over at Scribbles. I was in the midst of a massive life change, having broken up with my live-in boyfriend and quit my full-time job in brand management and PR the previous year. I was at university completing the pre-reqs to become an English and Drama teacher (I would still have a year to go after this to gain my teaching qualification) and working nights manning the reception at an Arts Centre.
Working at the Arts Centre gave me a LOT of downtime in between directing people to night classes and answering phones – it may have been my sweetest gig ever. Having always been a writer, I decided to start my blog as a creative outlet. I blogged on there until 2012, moving to Sweet Mama M after my wedding as I felt like I needed something fresh. People who liked to read about young single me may not have been keen about reading about married, trying-to-conceive me. The fresh start was one of the best things I could have done.
How many people in real life know about your blog?
I actually have no idea. I haven’t kept a secret but I also don’t blast it from the rooftops that I have a blog. My mum was a blogger so she read mine, my dad only very occasionally. Hey, maybe if you are reading this blog and you know me in real life you should comment below!
The one thing I do worry about when I tell people in real life that I have a parenting and lifestyle blog is that they might think that I’m like a total “my way or the highway” wanker, spouting off how things should be done. If you read here, though, you know that it’s pretty far from the truth.
What are your favorite posts to read?
My favorite posts span a broad range of topics but they all have to have an authentic voice behind them. I hate it when I feel like blogs are just reiterating press releases or trying to be search-engine optimized at the expense of losing that genuine person behind the blog.
What a blog you discovered recently that you love?
Through the #nzbloggers chats on Twitter I am discovering all sorts of fantastic blogs but two great ones of late have to be Being a House and Planet Bake Life. Leah (Being A House) is a fellow mama but her insights on current culture and growing up Polynesian in New Zealand are fantastic reads. Planet Bake Life has a whole host of different topics but the article that I’ve loved the most (no joke) is “How to Fry Safely at Home” – it’s totally something that I should already know but I somehow missed it along the way
Which posts are you most proud of?
I try my hardest to only publish content that I’m super proud of, but Top 3 over the last year?
Which advice would you give future bloggers?
If you are getting hung up with the numbers game (and the longer you are in the blogosphere, the more likely it is to happen) step back and remember why you started writing in the first place. Whenever I get sucked into a vortex of introspection, I remember that I started writing this to present an honest and true representation of what motherhood was like for me. I want to do this not only to help other mothers out (yes, you are NOT the only one) but also to create a virtual record of memory for CJ if, heaven forbid, he has the same experience of not having a mother around when he becomes a parent himself.
Don’t be afraid to write outside your niche sometimes – my I Read A Lot entries often have nothing to do with motherhood or parenting. I write them because I Love To Read (a lot) and they make me happy to write them.
And finally, if you just aren’t feeling it any more, don’t feel like you owe it to anyone to blog. You have to do what makes you happy and I actually have bigger respect for bloggers that own up to their lack of joy and move on (such as Young House Love) than those who keep forcing out mediocre content.
I’m not usually a huge fan of blog tags but I really felt like this one made me think! If you are one of the bloggers I referenced in my blog I’d love to hear your answers, but I tag anyone who is keen to share. Let me know in the comments below or on Twitter or Facebook if you complete this!