It’s the start of 2017, and I’ve been blogging for just over two months. Despite my impatience and perfectionist self-critic, I’ve actually achieved quite a lot in those ten short weeks. It’s certainly been a very steep leaning curve.
The biggest challenge of all has been actually putting myself out there. For so long I toyed with the idea of blogging, even dipping my toe in secretly, but I always talked myself out of it. If I couldn’t be as good as all the established bloggers straight away, what was the point? I’m also a very private person, and I knew that blogging would force me to open up a part of my life that until now I have kept very safe. I’ve always worked on the policy that the less said the less you open yourself up for judgement.
But, something was driving me, pulling me towards writing again and again. I knew I had something worthy to say, I just needed to let go and leap. Finally in October, 14 months after giving birth and 3 months after quitting my job, I pressed publish.
And nothing happened.
I don’t really know what I expected. Swathes of judgment and criticism to come crashing down on me? In all reality I don’t think any one read those first few posts aside from the other half and my mum. But my fear of judgement quickly turned to wondering what the point was, if no one was actually reading what I was writing. So, then commenced operation social media.
Thankfully my best friend is a social media mogul and she gave me a crash course in twitter and how best to manage my other accounts. I hated it to begin with but I’m slowly getting the hang of it. With my eyes wide open to the new world of digital influencers, SEO, DA, page rankings, analytic, linkys and so many other little things I should and could be doing to develop my blog I got a little overwhelmed for a while. As soon as I did one thing, there was something else to tweak and improve. But all the technical stuff was taking me away from what I wanted to do in the first place, write.
So, for now I’m slowing it down and focusing on just a few goals. I’m going to grow my blog organically, and such things cannot be rushed.
1. Write, Write, Write
I’m going to find my voice. After caring for Bee, keeping the house running and spending quality time with my family, I have so little time to sit down uninterrupted and blog. When I do, I want to be writing. Writing good quality, meaningful, readable articles.
2. Take beautiful photographs
When I started my blog, I knew that I wanted it to be visually beautiful. I love photography and wanted to reflect that in my work. But it takes practise, so this year I want to really develop my skills, use my DSLR more, and speed up my post-shoot editing and web uploading. Hopefully I’ll be able to cultivate a photography style that runs through and ties together my whole blog.
3. Get published
I would be over the moon if my writing was featured elsewhere on the web. If I concentrate on writing well and developing my style, then hopefully I can write a piece worthy of recognition. But I’ll only get there if I write, write, write.
4. Attend a Blogging Conference
I really want to attend BritMums Live this year. Last year, I went to Red’s Women in Tech workshop and had a brilliant time, meeting and learning from Vicki Psarias-Broadbent of Honest Mum, Zanna van Dyjk and tech leaders Digital Mums and Freeformers. The one thing I will have to overcome is my anxiety about leaving Bee. I’ve yet to leave her for more than 4 hours. A trip to London would mean leaving her for considerably longer. But I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it.
5. Find my blogging tribe
Last year I found my mama tribe. This year I will find my online one. It’s probably the hardest goal for me, I’m not naturally an extrovert person, and whilst the web offers some level of personal buffer, waiting politely to be noticed doesn’t quite cut it. But, like my mama tribe, and like pressing publish, I’m just going to have to put myself out there. I just need to figure out how.
If you’re reading this, thinking of starting a blog (hey, maybe we can start our own tribe), a vlog, anything really, but you’re holding yourself back. Let go. Take the leap. It’s definitely worth it.
Besides, nobody will be looking to begin with anyway.