To blog or not to blog, that is the question…

I am someone who spends much of life questioning my motives. Whilst this often encourages an unhealthy amount of over-thinking, I do believe it’s important. I don’t want to just drift through life; I want to be purposeful and know I’m doing things for the right reasons.

Sometimes I question my motives behind writing this blog. As regular readers will be bored by know, I’ve had countless wobbles and writing ‘blocks’ over the last 24 months. My youngest daughter has been pretty vocal about my hobby (predominantly negative, unless she’s getting a free day trip to Chessington World of Adventures!) on occasion, but I am well aware that the majority of pre-teens and teenagers are critical of anything their parents do, so usually take it with a pinch of salt. Her reaction however, does lead me to continually question why I’m doing it and I don’t think that is a bad thing.

My inner pendulum swings from quitting to going totally public (some of my real life friends/acquaintances still don’t know about this blog) on a daily basis. But I always come back to motives and whether this hobby is positive for anyone other than me (told you I had a tendency to ‘over think’!).

So dear children, bewildered friends and critical acquaintances, to follow are the reasons why I blog….

  1. It provides a creative outlet. I think that inside every one of us is an innate desire to ‘create’ in some way, whether that be through art, cookery, making music, photography, gardening or interior design. Writing does that for me.
  2. It’s a wonderful keepsake. Although I began a book for each of my children when they were born, I do wish that I had started this blog when they were small. It’s a fabulous way to remember events, achievements, emotions (good and bad). I hope that one day my children will enjoy reading about their childhood and see how very proud of them I was.
  3. It’s an honest account of family life. Keeping this real has always been of vital importance to me. I would hate for readers to have a false impression of what our life is like (Facebook style) as ultimately I want people to know they are not alone – parenting is a tough gig people!
  4. It keeps me out of mischief. I get bored very easily, in fact this is probably the longest I have ever stuck at a hobby. That’s got to be a good thing!

Of course there are many other bonuses – the social interaction, the odd paid post, free days out, products to review – but these are not motivators for me.

Then there’s the awards and recognition. Two years ago, this concept of voting and awards ceremonies was totally alien to me. I had no idea that such a thing existed and if I’m honest, was very uncomfortable with the concept of asking people for votes. In many ways, I still am – it goes against my nature and thoroughly British personality! If people like my blog then they will vote. No need to ask, right? But then my (long-suffering but very supportive) OH reminded me that anyone who isn’t part of the blogging community, will not be aware these awards exist. So this time last year, I very coyly began to ask readers to support me by chucking a vote my way….if it didn’t take up too much of their time, pretty please with sugar on the top.

In 2013 I was completely shocked to find myself in the final 6 in the family category of the Brilliance in Blogging awards run by Britmums. Then earlier this year, I made the final 6 in the MADS (Mum and Dad Awards) run by Tots 100.  So when 2014’s Brilliance in Blogging (BiB) awards opened the following month, I decided not to ask for any votes.. Yes I had a discrete badge on my side bar but having just got through to the finals in the MADs, I felt that was enough.

But somehow, you managed to get me through to the semi-finals again and I am hugely grateful for every vote that has come my way. It is wonderful to know that this blog raises a smile, a nod of understanding or perhaps (through our mistakes!) offers some parenting advice. It would be wrong for me to deny the fact that I am a little bit proud. But despite what must seem like a constant demand for votes, these awards are NOT one of the reasons why I blog.

It’s easy to get swept up in the tide and competitive side of blogging (again, something I had no idea existed) but it’s important to remind myself that being ‘the best’ was never one of my goals. I’m just so happy that you keep coming back to read, comment and above all else, enjoy what I write.

50 Comments on To blog or not to blog, that is the question…

  1. SarahMummy
    May 6, 2014 at 6:12 am (3 years ago)

    The old blogging dilemma… It’s just the same for me – and you know which child is the issue too. Although to be fair all my family have warmed to blogging over the last year or so. They feel proud of me getting to the finals in awards and they like the odd freebie (not that we have many of those). And my reasons for keeping going are the same as yours. One day I know they will be happy that they can read back on this blog and see how proud I was of them (and sometimes how cross I was with them!).

  2. Looking for Blue Sky
    May 6, 2014 at 7:30 am (3 years ago)

    Very best of luck in the awards and please don’t stop blogging!

  3. Emma Martin
    May 6, 2014 at 7:38 am (3 years ago)

    And this, dear Suz, is the reason why i love, love, love you! You seem to always sum up how i feel about things too – the doubts and the worries. But i’m so glad you are here, and that i found you. I’m so thankful that i know i’m not going it alone, both in parenting and in blogland! Xx

  4. Emma
    May 6, 2014 at 8:52 am (3 years ago)

    Suzanne- I could have written this post! Thanks for your honesty babe. I sit on the fence in regards it blogging all the time. When I back away from it I miss it, and yet I do feel it could also hold me back from writing other things! Aaaaah! Thanks for helping me realise I’m not alone with the confusion.

  5. Claire S
    May 6, 2014 at 9:04 am (3 years ago)

    Yes and AMEN! As others have said, wish I’d have.written this post myself!

  6. Hayley Goleniowska
    May 6, 2014 at 10:34 am (3 years ago)

    Congratulations on your shortlisting, and yes, you echo so much of what I think too. Hope to see you in London next month.

  7. chasingdragonfliesblog
    May 6, 2014 at 11:22 am (3 years ago)

    I have the same dilemma but it’s important my children don’t read my blog as it involves some pretty hard feelings I have about the death of their sister, my eldest child. I have to get this out, there is no doubt about that, and was advised by my doctor even to write. Some ask me how I can share this but then why not? This is life, it’s real. We’d all feel nice and comfy living in a bubble like many people I know do, but when something bad hits you then what? I want to save my children the extra grief and embarrassment now, especially as it’s such a large local ‘deal’, but while they bury their emotions now, when they surface perhaps when they are older, I would hope my blog would help them. It’s so so hard but I was in fact reassured I was doing the right thing by linking up with bloggers like yourself who also feel compelled to share what life is really like. xxx

    • Suzanne W
      May 7, 2014 at 8:59 am (3 years ago)

      I think writing can be incredibly ‘healing’ for some people. Keep writing and as you say, I am in no doubt that your children will find it an enormous help one day. I imagine that others who are experiencing grief will find your honesty a lifeline too. Thanks for commenting x x

  8. Sara-Jayne Jones
    May 6, 2014 at 11:30 am (3 years ago)

    Your post really made me think! I blog for me, because I don’t have another hobby at the moment besides photography, and I think that people do often judge me on the Facebook life thing. I blog the happy things only, but that’s because I want to. I don’t want the world knowing my weaknesses and miseries if I’m honest with myself. I have share of bad days (quite a few this pregnancy) but my blog is about celebration :)

  9. Amy Ransom
    May 6, 2014 at 12:29 pm (3 years ago)

    I agree with all your points Suzanne, especially no.1. I blog because it’s the only outlet I’ve so far managed to find that allows me to write (aside from writing books) and that’s what I want to do. Write. I’ve had my wobbles (as you know) but finally feel confident in my motivation and purpose. Writing for writing’s sake. Also, remember that Marley & Me line ‘for 5 minutes you make me feel better.’ That sums it up for me as it does for you – making someone feel better. You will never stop blogging, of that I’m sure. And you shouldn’t. Out of everyone I’ve met in the blogging community you are probably the most generous with your time, support and advice. You were a big advocate of mine when I started and I needed that encouragement so thank you xx

    • Suzanne W
      May 6, 2014 at 12:59 pm (3 years ago)

      Now stop it, you’re making me cry! I’ve met so many lovely people through blogging, well actually I’ve not even ‘met’ you in real life but strangely feel like I know you. Cannot wait to meet one day. Please say we will! Britmums – next year? x

    • Amy Ransom
      May 6, 2014 at 2:05 pm (3 years ago)

      Yes we most definitely will! I won’t be having any more babies and will need a few wines by then and some advice on reigning in 3 kids! x

  10. Hurrah For Gin
    May 6, 2014 at 1:07 pm (3 years ago)

    Awww you totally deserve your spit suzanne and people definitely voted you in for that and not because you asked!
    Big blog love in your young looking face xxx

  11. Hurrah For Gin
    May 6, 2014 at 1:08 pm (3 years ago)

    ARGH! not spit – you don’t deserve to be spat at – god no! SPOT 😉

  12. Steph Douglas
    May 6, 2014 at 1:11 pm (3 years ago)

    Here here! You took time to give me some pointers and support when I was totally floundering at the beginning and felt like a total outsider in the blogging world. It’s early days for me, but friends’ reaction to me blogging has been really interesting – some so supportive and sharing it around, others not mentioning it when I know they would have read it. I think people can’t quite understand ‘why’ if it’s not something they’ve ever thought of doing themselves, and whyt would you share personal thoughts and information. But then why would anyone do anything – paint, sing, etc etc? I love your blog, and thank you for being kind. Looking forward to meeting you proper!

    • Suzanne W
      May 8, 2014 at 7:26 pm (3 years ago)

      Most of my best friends still never mention it – I have no idea if they read it or not! I’m not too bothered to be honest, I’ve come to realise that it’s largely for me and everything else is a bonus. You’re very kind, I appreciate your comments and really look forward to meetnig you :)

  13. Sonya Cisco
    May 6, 2014 at 1:22 pm (3 years ago)

    Number 4 is my biggest reason! I too endlessly get bloggers block and feel I am repeating myself, but a day or two off and I am back again. My kids like the odd freebie that heads my way, but the older two don’t really like me to mention them too much, so I don’t talk about them often – which is utterly frustrating some days when it is all I have to say! Congrats on all your very well deserved awardy things- you know how my vote went, I will need another identity if you and Sarah keep going head to head like this!

  14. Kate Thompson
    May 6, 2014 at 1:41 pm (3 years ago)

    Congrats on getting shortlisted! I think those are EXCELLENT reasons for Blogging and obviously many others agree with you as they voted for you!

  15. Sarah Ebner
    May 6, 2014 at 1:53 pm (3 years ago)

    If you enjoy blogging, then of course you should just do it! You have many good reasons for doing so, and lots of people who love to read what you’re up to, and of course, if you want to, then you should! Does that make sense? Our kids shouldn’t decide everything we do anyway. Oh, and many congrats on the shortlisting too!

  16. Bex
    May 6, 2014 at 2:19 pm (3 years ago)

    Congratulations on your nomination, you totally deserve it! Plenty of good reasons for blogging in your post too – if you love it, keep on :)

  17. Michelle Ashmore
    May 6, 2014 at 2:30 pm (3 years ago)

    I started my blog to record our family life so that when the kids grow up they can look back and hopefully be greeted with many happy memories, things they would ordinarily have forgotten. That’s still why I do it now and I’ve found it’s not just for the kids anymore, I too love looking back and being reminded of happy or even stressful times!
    Congratulations on the award nominations and good luck :)

  18. Kriss MacDonald
    May 6, 2014 at 3:07 pm (3 years ago)

    I so enjoy your blog so keep it going!! I started blogging as I had moved to a new place alone with the kids (it took my husband 10 months to get his green card to join us) but now it’s my creative outlet and I’m slowly finding ‘my voice.’

    • Suzanne W
      May 6, 2014 at 3:13 pm (3 years ago)

      You are indeed Kriss. Your blog has quickly become one of my favourites – photography is clearly another ‘creative outlet’ of yours :)

  19. You Baby Me Mummy
    May 6, 2014 at 3:16 pm (3 years ago)

    Congratulations and good luck. If you enjoy blogging keep at it, it would be so sad to just stop x

  20. Older Mum
    May 6, 2014 at 4:22 pm (3 years ago)

    My reasons for blogging? It keeps me sane and makes me feel good about myself, and that I have a creative outlet. And I love to write! A very well deserved nomination. Here’s to you and that you go all the way my dear! X

    May 6, 2014 at 3:35 pm (3 years ago)

    My reasons for blogging are much the same as yours. I enjoy the process of writing, I enjoy it as a creative outlet, and it’s a keepsake to remind me (and, one day, hopefully the kids) of all the things that I swore I’d never forget but already have!

    If it’s not too much of a contradiction, I’d still write even if no one read my blog (okay, blogs – I have 3 of them), even though I am obsessed with checking my stats just to see which posts work and which ones don’t. I’ll never win any awards because I’m too British about promoting myself, not to mention plagued with a chronic lack of confidence about being a good enough writer (even though I now write for a large media website). But as long as it remains fun, I’ll keep plugging away. :-)

  22. Polly Davies
    May 6, 2014 at 5:18 pm (3 years ago)

    I blog to record our little family as well as for a creative outlet for me 😉

  23. Mary Louise
    May 6, 2014 at 8:29 pm (3 years ago)

    Your blog is great suzanne and you are a role model for all us newbies!
    Well done with the #Bibs and i was honoured to give you a vote!

    • Suzanne W
      May 8, 2014 at 4:55 pm (3 years ago)

      Thank you Mary Louise, that’s very kind of you :)

  24. Globalmouse
    May 6, 2014 at 8:33 pm (3 years ago)

    Yep, I have the dilemma too…regularly! I think your motivations sound great though and totally understandable. Congratulations on the BiB nomination…there’s definitely a reason to keep going :)

  25. Everyone Else Is Normal
    May 6, 2014 at 8:35 pm (3 years ago)

    Totally with you here, and love the fact that you keep checking your motivation for blogging – its v imp to or we end up doing it for all the wrong reasons. But i’m surprised you don’t do it for social interaction – you sure?! And your no 1 is my no 1 too. I’m sure you’re going to win the BiB this year…….

  26. Debbie Johnson
    May 6, 2014 at 8:42 pm (3 years ago)

    Those are definitely the best reasons for blogging! Congratulations on your nominations. x

  27. sharon powell
    May 6, 2014 at 9:14 pm (3 years ago)

    As others have said, it’s as if your writing my thoughts :) Well done on being shortlisted, well deserved! X

  28. Judith Hurrell
    May 6, 2014 at 9:27 pm (3 years ago)

    Those are great reasons for blogging and they definitely shine through in your posts. Keep blogging and we’ll keep reading! Can’t pretend to be as chilled and philosophical about the awards though. I’m still in the desperate begging phase, mixed with a bit of stage fright. Good luck honey. You deserve success. x

  29. Katie @mummydaddyme
    May 6, 2014 at 9:29 pm (3 years ago)

    These are definitely good reasons to continue blogging and for enjoying it too! Good luck lovely.xx

  30. Healthier Mummy
    May 6, 2014 at 9:34 pm (3 years ago)

    Congratulations on being shortlisted. I love that blogging is creative too. Good luck with the next stage!

  31. Happy Homebird
    May 6, 2014 at 10:22 pm (3 years ago)

    I frequently thinking about giving up blogging, at times it overwhelms me but then other days it feel me with joy and it’s my outlet. Congrats on your blog award shortlisting. That must be such a buzz to know that people love reading your blog.

    May 7, 2014 at 2:32 am (3 years ago)

    You have an amazing blog. I sometimes question why I blog too, particularly when I’ve said something about my husband that he doesn’t want online or when my posts get no attention even though I wored hard on them. I mean, deep in me is a little attention-seeker. I’m not saying that’s the reason I blog, but it is one contributing factor.

  33. Michelle Ordever
    May 7, 2014 at 7:36 am (3 years ago)

    Well done your shortlisting – it’s always great to get recognition for the things we love to do!

    I love blogging because it gives me a chance to be creative!

  34. Rebecca Beesley
    May 7, 2014 at 11:21 am (3 years ago)

    totally agree with that in-built need to be creative in some way or other – i find i’m like that with creative comps – not caring about the prize but just wanting to put my best effort into a photo/costume/idea even though my friends and family think I’m totally crazy. With blogging whenever I question myself (which is often!) I only have to remember how much joy it brings the kids as they love to read about things we’ve done together or the things they’ve achieved and they also love to get involved in writing up reviews too – So rather selfishly we blog more for them than for anyone else. But it does make me cautious of the balance of positive and negative stuff i write as I don’t want them to be upset by anything they read so I end up often not writing about some of the difficult days.

    • Suzanne W
      May 8, 2014 at 4:54 pm (3 years ago)

      I totally understand your decision to do this Rebecca – your blog is very much about getting your kids to join in. Mine aren’t really interested, unless it is something they would specifically enjoy. I’ve done a little more of that this year as we’ve had better offers.

  35. Kara Guppy
    May 7, 2014 at 12:12 pm (3 years ago)

    I am lucky that my kids are mostly supportive of my blog, unless i miss one of them out for whatever reason. Good luck in the BiBs – I am please to see you there again and hopefully we will get to meet this year. Just gutted we are up against each other……good luck xx

  36. Vai Chin
    May 7, 2014 at 2:23 pm (3 years ago)

    Congratulations on the nominations and all the best for the finals. I suppose the blogging dilemma is never ending, no matter how old your children.

  37. Vicky Wombwell Kuhn
    May 7, 2014 at 5:48 pm (3 years ago)

    Congratulations on the recognition for your achievements, you’ve obviously earned it! :-) You’re stop on with the positives of blogging, but I think we all doubt ourselves and our motives at times and you just wouldn’t be human or a blogger, or a blogging human if you didn’t 😉 Understand slack from kids, it’s what they do unfortunately, especially when they feel threatened, or as if something is more important than them. they forget that though you might take 1000 pictures and log 18 hours screen time a day you’re there for them 100% and they get do do and enjoy some pretty awesome things as the result of having a blogging momma :-)
    Love Vicky

  38. Helen Dickinson
    May 7, 2014 at 9:23 pm (3 years ago)

    Well done on your achievements. Please do not stop blogging! I face this dilemma every now and again but I know I would regret my decision if I did stop! Keep doing what you do as it is excellent x

    • Suzanne W
      May 8, 2014 at 4:52 pm (3 years ago)

      Thank you very much for your vote of confidence Helen, it means a lot :)

  39. Lori Taylor Arnold
    May 8, 2014 at 12:03 am (3 years ago)

    Huge congrats on being shortlisted on both the MAD’s and the BiB’s. Blogging is a great creative outlet. I’be been shortlisted for both awards too and I never though that would happen. Great feeling isn’t it :) x

  40. MummyNeverSleeps
    May 8, 2014 at 11:53 am (3 years ago)

    Firstly – GET THE HELL IN! Well done missus, very proud of you :) And secondly, totally understand the overthinking / why am I doing this / what’s the point meltdowns – I seem to have them every week but always come back in the end. Am keeping everything crossed for you :)

  41. Kizzy
    May 8, 2014 at 12:46 pm (3 years ago)

    Well done and rightly deserved nomination in all awards.

  42. fritha strickland
    May 11, 2014 at 8:30 am (3 years ago)

    congrats on your short listings/finalist’s blogging is such a wonderful creative outlet isn’t it! I’m up for both too, hope to meet you! x


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