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.

morden hall park

16 comments

  1. I find that sort of blogging ebbs and flows. I have days, weeks or even months where all of my posts are insanely personal or relevant only to me and are mostly just for the purpose of being able to get it all out…. but then I’ll spend a week waffling on about the kids, products, experiences, whatever.

    I think as long as you still enjoy doing it, that you’ve not lost the passion for blogging whatever the topic, then you’re on the right track. And if you can look back in 10 years and be grateful for the posts you have written (like I regularly do) you’re winning 🙂

  2. I think it’s definitely a good position to be in to have too much to say than too little – you know you’re never going to run out of things to think about with a stash of half posts in your phone, but I’m with you on sometimes wishing that you could just pause the world for a couple of days to catch up with all your thoughts and write them all down!

    1. Far better to have too much to say rather than too little. I don’t even think I’ve experienced ‘writer’s block’ yet when it comes to my blog….that’ll be a different post altogether, hehe.

  3. Bloody love this and you-we all show the sides of us we want to be seen (selective exposure isn’t it) and I think I perhaps revealed more in the early days too although I was in a different place- isolated, not so happy and pretty alone.

    I’m so much happier now, blogging is my life and business and although I write as candidly as I feel I can I blog about my loves-my kids of course and anything else that takes my fancy-we are our own editors and I approach my blogs as magazines. This is my voice, this is me and that voice and interests are fluid and change and that’s what’s beautiful about this non stop blogging journey that moulds and fits our lives as they move and adapt.

    I say write what you feel matters in the now and as it changes and get those half posts published (I too have many of those)-short posts bursting with your beautiful photos are just as powerful- vignettes of life, worries, passions as you’ve shown here. Thanks for this and sharing more of you x

    1. Thanks Vicki. That’s pretty much the process I’ve adopted, the stuff that I feel matters RIGHT NOW, gets published, and everything else are drafts that I can come back to if I still feel they are important later down the line. I really love what you said about blogs moulding to fit our lives as they adapt – one of the things that draws me into blogging.

  4. It’s funny how having too many ideas can be just as frustrating as having too few – I know the feeling, not necessarily blog related but too many creative projects to do them all! Beautiful photo at the end xx

  5. Yes yes yes!!

    Loved reading this and identified so much with it. For me it’s the tiredness; I can sit down and get ready to write but nothing comes because I just don’t have the energy to come up with anything I think people will want to read and so I waste an hour fannying around on Facebook. It’s totally depressing!

    I think this is supposed to change when the kids get bigger? And by think I mean HOPE. x

    1. The only time I can really write anything decent is in the mornings. Which, of course, is a terrible time when you have small ones. I just CAN’T sit down and write in the evenings, my brain does not work.

  6. I love this post. I have a lot of drafts that are just like the contents of your phone and I also have some finished posts that are like that too but waiting for a gap in my blogging schedule for me to post them. I’m having a rebrand in September/October and will be going back through old posts too x

  7. Yes! This! Absolutely get it! I too have hundreds of ideas, and half written posts. Or worse, those awaiting photos I never seem to find the time to sort through properly. I sometimes end up tying myself in knots though – worrying that people will judge me on the limited amount of stuff I actually get to blog about because they assume that is all there is to our lives. And getting guilty that lately I’ve written more about infertility than I have about the precious moments with the child I do have! I have to remind myself that, really, it doesn’t matter. I would much rather be more successful at living life than at sharing it. Although in an ideal universe I’d manage both!

  8. On a frivolous note, that’s a lovely photograph! I’m definitely taking a lot of style inspiration from your little chaps.

    I like what Caro says about prioritising living life rather than sharing it. At the same time, I suppose that you need to consider why you’re blogging in the first place. Is it for catharsis? As a business? Are the reviewing opportunities the lure? (I must admit, the latter is a massive draw for me). How much do your readers matter – are you terribly bothered if they slip away because you’re posting less, or are you writing mostly to have a record that you might one day share with the boys?

    I think you’re doing pretty well! I do want to see more of the boys’ current wardrobes, though. 😉

    1. It’s always nice to know that people are reading, but I don’t feel pressure to write regularly, and I don’t feel at all panicked that I will lose readers. I just really enjoy writing and I wish I had time to write ALL of it – the fun posts about days out, products we’ve loved, the ranty posts. I think I’m just always one step ahead of myself in terms of what I CAN have out of my time.

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