Just like most people who do this ‘Momblogging’ thing, I started because I was inspired so much by those who do it the best.
I was inspired because I got so much comfort (more than I can possibly begin to express actually), from knowing that I wasn’t the only parent who regularly found my kid annoying, who hated far too many aspects of motherhood, and who missed the pre-Mum life so very much. The thought that I could, just maybe, provoke the same overwhelmingly tear-jerking emotions of relief, happiness and reinstated self-worth is incredible. If I only had one person read my blog, but that one person had the same reaction I did as a result of my crazy thoughts, I would have a bigger sense of achievement than I’ve ever had before.
At least one person in my life had told me I’m ‘sometimes a bit funny’, I am a real fan of grammar and I’m not afraid to share far too much personal information… so I thought, why not?!
I wrote my first post and instantly fell in love.
The excitement of buying lovely stationery, making endless lists, setting up brand new social media accounts and my very own website was a mere perk for a nerd like me. The best thing… it was like bloody therapy! I loved being able to express everything I’d ever thought as a parent without fear of judgement as I had made the decision to use an alias… (seriously, who do I think I am?). But I wanted it to be a secret so I could be honest in my writing, and also because I knew from the beginning, deep down, that it would amount to nothing and I was just setting myself up for a lifetime of piss-taking such as, “Do you remember that time you tried to be a blogger?!” to endless pointing and laughing.
I wrote a few more posts, steadily building my Twitter following to the dizzy heights of a few hundred thanks to the wonder that is hashtags and the odd retweet. Every time I wrote something new, I allowed myself to believe that it could be ‘it’… my big break.
After a month or two, I read about a competition for new bloggers, where you submit a recent post and 5 successful bloggers would choose a winner each to write a paid piece for a website. So I entered on the off chance and my favourite woman in the whole world (to whom I have no physical or personal connection whatsoever) chose me as her winner. I literally cried (once I saw my name as a winner on the website and knew it wasn’t a scam), and I cannot say how important that was for me. The first thing I did was tell my closest friends and family because I didn’t need to feel embarrassed anymore. This time, it really was ‘it’. This was going to change everything. I’d get a call the next day from 10 publishers who would offer me big money to write a book, plus several cool cult movie directors would obviously want me to write and star in a film of my ordinary life.
Somewhat shockingly, that wasn’t the case.
A couple of friends called me and congratulated me. They said they were surprised by what I had done (in a good way, I think) and told me they loved it. Don’t get me wrong, that was nice… but it didn’t feel enough. My best friend called and asked the question I pretended I hadn’t thought about… “What would you do if it came to a decision between writing and your job?”. I brushed it off as ridiculous. I said it would never come to that. But really, I had already had the conversation in my head with my boss a thousand times about whether to leave work to do something I thought I’d really love.
I admire the lives of the successful bloggers. I know a couple of people who have had the guts to give up the safety net of a secure job to pursue a real dream… something creative, something they have a real passion for, something risky… One of those ‘What do you want to be when you grow up?’ type careers.
But I’m not there… My job isn’t a dead end, it’s an actual career, with very real and massive prospects. I’ve worked incredibly hard to take it as far as I possibly can, from teenage trainee to a boss with plenty of qualifications. I do get a sense of achievement from it and without question, it is the most sensible thing in which to progress and give my all.
I have accepted that blogging will never be my career. I have resigned myself to the fact that I will sadly never be invited to Waterstones for my book signing or hold auditions for who will play me in a film. I can’t give this thing the attention it needs, nor am I not clever, funny or talented enough to make it a real thing. I still don’t fully understand what a linky is, or how people actually manage to make a living from it. And that’s OK…
I love that I have something just for me that I’m not totally horrible at. I love that I finally have a hobby other than housework. And I love that for the most part, it’s still my little secret.
I know now that I’m doing this for the right reasons… for my sanity, for my indoor social life, for the off chance that I might make someone laugh or cry, and for my pride.
But I’m not hurting anyone by holding on to my wildest dreams though, right?