I guess that most people would assume that writing a personal blog means revealing a lot of yourself to the internet. But for me, the reality is that I feel I’m not really revealing much about me at all. There is so much more I could be writing about.
I’ve been working my way through some of my old blog posts recently, tightening up the SEO and simplifying the categories. My blogging style is, unsurprisingly, different now.
Our voices change over time as we go through new phases and experiences, that’s a given. But one thing that I know that has been lost along the way, is the way I used to blog for blogging’s sake, and now, I rarely have the head space or the time to do that.
Sitting down to write used to be a therapy. An antidote to the isolation I felt when Arlo was tiny and I was very much lost in a world that I was still coming to terms with. I didn’t have anyone in real life going through anything similar, but I knew there were people online, with the same sort of experiences as me, who could connect.
I used to write about a simple day we had at the park. A nondescript weekend where we did a bit of DIY around the house. Or an in-depth account of our sleep struggles. I used to blog every couple of days, and include photos I’d taken each and every day. I’m still taking photos, I’m still doing all of these things. Except only 20% of it is making it to the final edit.
I know why. The reason is directly related to the growth of my family. Back in 2011, I had one child. And he used to nap long enough for me to sit down and write. Arlo hasn’t napped for two years, and that’s the exact same moment in time that I had to start prioritising what I blog, and letting the blog posts about whatever has interested me that week, or a particular train of thought that I’ve been holding in my head, become the least urgent posts to write.
Writing about the children, or about family days out, will always come first. I’m driven to write about that stuff because I don’t want to forget. I don’t want to lose that, and if my children happen to lose me, I want that to be there for them to read, in my own words.
But what I also want to talk about is why periods had an amazing month of PR in July, how two hours in a church with Caitlin Moran prepared me and my friends with THE BEST ammunition to throw back at a misogynist bully that same night. About The Returned being a brilliant piece of understated but totally effective supernatural drama and HURRY UP WITH THE GODDAM SECOND SERIES (How are they going to deal with such a large filming gap? Especially with the very young characters? HOW??). About how having children has effected my emetophobia anxiety (negatively, right now, for anyone wondering). About how seasons 4 and 5 of Parenthood had me lying awake waiting for Sam to come home so I could bombard him with questions about whether or not I was pulling enough weight for my side of our ‘team’. About how I wonder what people mean when they say ‘My wedding day was the best day of my life’. About how Hattie might be in on the time-machine dinosaur clock secret. She’s always appearing from nowhere at the beginning of the episode. Or perhaps Hattie and Andy are actually the same person, like Fight Club.
You get the idea.
That is a small selection of the notes that are hastily written on my phone, with the idea that I’ll turn them into more coherent blog posts at a later date. But I leave it too long and they get pushed way down the priority list never to see the light of day.
Seriously, my phone is FULL of these half posts. THAT’S me.
Sometimes I think about turning down some of the great opportunities we get offered in return for blog coverage, in order that I can clear my blog ‘to-do’ list and get back to concentrating on blogging for blogging’s sake once again. But I love writing about the fun we have when we review something I know the boys will love, or when I get to document a family day out. These are things that benefit the whole family ,as well as providing great motivation for me to pick up my camera.
As with most things when you have young children, I automatically find myself prioritsing them first, even when it comes to my blog, which I started as a space to reclaim me.
I’m sure when I’m old and grey and reading this back, I’ll be thinking, “For GOODNESS SAKE WOMAN. WHY were you complaining about too being busy having FUN to sit down and moan about life??!”
Not being a proficient enough oversharer – it’s a good problem to have.