There I was, snuggled in bed and working through my pre-sleep ritual of calming myself down and allowing my thoughts to quiet themselves before I lay my head down to sleep. How do I do this? By scrolling through social media obviously. Don’t you find that it has the most peaceful effect on you?
But there I was, doing it anyway. No, I’m not addicted to my phone. I can put it down whenever I want to, it’s just that, well, I don’t want to put it down. So shut up your face.
Anyway, I was doing what I do every night before bed when I happened to stumble onto that little quote up there. Now, I’m not usually one for quotes. Give me jokes any day, but soppy feely-feels quotes just make my eyes roll so far back in my head that I can see yesterday.
But this one? This one struck me.
I guess it’s because this is something that is basically CONSTANTLY on my mind. Being a blogger and all.
If I had to sit down in front of my keyboard and just write everything that was on my mind, what would find it’s way onto this space? How much do I really censor myself? Am I writing for me? Or for you? Or because I want my blog to be bigger and better?
Now that I have had time to process it all, I guess I’d have to say that it’s all of those things.
The truth is I love writing. I really do. I love recording our holidays or celebrating birthdays or just processing a new curveball that parenting threw at my face. When I don’t write for days at a time I feel lost and stuck with too many thoughts in my head. And although I know my kids may not appreciate all of what I’ve written over the years, I keep going because we don’t know what’s in store for us. I could die tomorrow. But with this little blog, my kids would be able to read it and get a sense of who I was, what I was like, how much I loved them.
However, I’d be lying if a part of me didn’t want to write only to be read. You wonderful faceless people reading this make me want to write, but the side effect of this is that you make me want to be read too. Want to be seen. I hate that I feel that way, but it is what it is. I’m not sure how to make it stop without like, shutting down the blog or something equally ludicrous.
This is what happens when I just sit and write what’s on my mind without really editing it. Weird things come out. It’s annoying. Maybe we shouldn’t stop censoring ourselves a bit. It’s for the good of words worth reading. No one has time to waste reading a pile of poop – I value you all too much not to put a little effort in.
Back to the serious struggles of being a regular blogger. Oh woe is me.
I have the privilege of being friends with many bloggers and those that started to write for the love of it, as I did, will tell you that they didn’t start to gain a huge following or make money. Nope. They started because they needed a space to vent about whatever it is that they needed to work through. And that space gained momentum because people like reading REAL stories. Hearing about real happiness or loss or struggle or fun.
And then you get to this point where there are brands wanting to reach all these new found readers because they realise that somehow you’ve managed to lock in an “audience” that is willing to listen to you. That trust you. That value your advice. Then things get real. Do you sell your soul? Will you lose readers? Will you gain the right kind of readers or only serial competition entrants? Do you charge money? Is it even believable if you charge money? Ugh, without even realising it, you’ve become one of those blogs now…
But I don’t think that’s true.
What’s wrong with using the space to vent about school homework or another flipping tantrum while also talking about brands you love? I don’t think there’s anything wrong with it (and here’s the key) if it’s what you want to do as a blogger. Basically, I can’t tell you what you should be writing. But I can tell you that as soon as you’re doing it because you feel obligated to (whether is sponsored or not), that’s when the wheels will fall off.
So where does this leave me?
Well, it leaves me wanting to keep on keeping on. With real in depth posts about hard things, with fluffy posts about holidays, with “how to” posts on birthdays, with posts that challenge the way we do things (put your kids in car seats folks), with posts about everything and nothing and a good peppering of sponsored posts in between.
Because it’s what makes me happy.
(And I’d be lying if I didn’t hope that this would make you happy too)