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….
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!
- 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.