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Thursday 8 March 2018

You misunderstand why I blog

Being a blogger has been a real eye opener as to the thoughts and opinions of others (some) who don't blog... The keyboard warriors who tap away furiously with all their might, as if you could feel the physical force of their words... the unknowing trolls who spurt intentional typos such as 'blagger'... and the acquaintance who pops on their judgy pants and thinks its fair game because of what you do... which is ironic really, as typically bloggers are the ones penning their thoughts, feelings and opinions and sharing them with their audience...aren't they?

Personally, I am not really what most people imagine a social influencer to be - I'm no extrovert, I am quite a private person, and I don't really 'do' selfies. I've never found it very easy to let people in - although I've always wanted those kind of friendships, I usually make a run for it before anyone gets too close. I'd spent so many years putting my career first and not really having any free time that I never really had time to make new friends - I always err on the side of caution when it comes to keeping in touch, or arranging meet ups just in case I'm 'too much' and suddenly I'm a nuisance...and so I have spent a good few years now staying a little 'cool' and a little guarded, because if you don't really let people get to know you, then you don't have to take any rejections too personally. 

None of this was ever an issue for me until I stopped working to have my first child and suddenly, not only did I not have my job as an excuse, I also had a child who I needed to set an example for. 

I wanted to challenge myself to become a little bit more open about my thoughts, feelings and experiences. 

I wanted to give myself something to do other than just being a 'mummy' - something which would keep my brain working, give me something to work towards and also hopefully help others. 

I wanted somewhere that I could document my ideas, experiences and the lives of my children. 

So I blogged. 

Not everything. Contrary to what many believe blogging doesn't always involve talking about everything, even if what you DO read about makes it seem that way. Just enough to push my boundaries...and this right now is teetering on the line for me.

I really didn't care so much if anyone read it at the beginning. I didn't set out to make money and I didn't expect to be sent things in return for my opinions, my writing and my promotion...but now I'm here 2 years down the line... it's nice that people take the time to read my posts, take the time to comment and take the time to message me about it. It's also nice to feel that the hard work I put into my blog behind the scenes (and it IS hard work) pays off in other ways. That I've been able to try new products for myself or for my children that I otherwise would never have been able to afford having made that decision to spend my time raising my family rather than building my career. It's nice to realise that in trying to be a little bit more 'open' by blogging and writing, I've found doors have opened to some lovely opportunities along the way. It's also nice to know that because of this journey I have also been able to support and promote other mums who have started businesses and are working hard towards their own goals...some of them I now count as friends. 

...But I didn't start any of this just to 'get stuff'...'to brag'...'to show off'...'to preach'...'to blag'...to promote an 'agenda'...

Blogging isn't just sitting behind a screen, barely tapping out a few words every now and then having something to show for it...or expecting something to show for it. It is hours of research, crowdsourcing, planning and documenting before even pressing those keys. It is meta data and alt tagging, back links, SEO and domain authority. Editing photos, editing posts...and all of that before you've even published or thought about the social media promotion - which has to be planned meticulously to make the most of the right times for the right engagement to stand a chance of it being seen by the right people...providing the algorithms haven't suddenly changed again since your last post (I'm talking about YOU Facebook....and Instagram....). It isn't about getting 'free stuff'. None of this stuff is free when you work out the hours of work involved in creating content in return...And all of that with a  baby and toddler in tow. 

I don't know whether the opinions of some come from a place of envy and jealousy...or an idea of "who do they think they are" (bloggers that is) the thing is, there will always be jealous people. There will always be those who look at others and instead of thinking 'good on you' and helping to raise you up a little further will just automatically think 'how dare you' and attempt to bring you down. You don't need those people. 

If blogging has taught me anything it's that there are some amazing, supportive and positive people out there who WILL raise you up, who will smile when they read your posts and who will do a silent little clap for you every now and then when things are going well. They are the ones I think about when I write my posts. 

It's not always the people you expect who offer that support...but then I suppose the same can usually be said for the ones who don't. 

Sarah x


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