Blogging – it’s a weird concept isn’t it? Carving out a space for yourself where you can vent, share, amuse, entertain, inform. Giving yourself a power you have never had before. Welcoming strangers into your life to comment on the thoughts that tumble from your mind.
The habit of blogging is slowly beginning to ingrain itself into my daily life. Capturing moments and displaying them for the world to see is becoming slightly less alien an activity.
Like most before me I grapple with the public/private conundrum. Paparazzi have never camped at my doorstep – I know that will come as a shock to you. My thoughts and opinions have only ever been shared with friends, family and colleagues. The nuances of a joke could be understood in a lift of the eyebrow, a tinge of tone in a remark. Now I have put myself in a place where strangers read my ramblings with no background knowledge to who I am. Alternatively, people I KNOW, read my blog. It checks my wording, makes me double think how I portray myself because my virtual world must not harm my real world. It also makes conversation difficult – I meet up with friends and go to tell them something and get “we know, we read it on the blog”.
As my personality seeps to the screen and out into the world I enjoy the comments, likes and page views. As the words and numbers flicker up on my stats it seems a little less like talking to myself and a little more like engaging with an interesting group of individuals.
The family is along for the ride. The children, being a little older than the offspring of most mummy bloggers, are able to voice their opinion on what we share and what we don’t. They get veto rights on some pieces. Although I’m lucky they have a pretty decent sense of humour themselves so they do allow unflattering stories to filter in occasionally. Hippie Child thinks there should be a support group for the children of bloggers.
Decisions had to be made early in the piece on whether I would use the children’s photographs, their names. At present I’m happy with using their photos but diluting their identity with pseudonyms most of the time. After all when you go for a job interview and the boss-to-be does a Google search you probably don’t want him to read your mum’s ranting on how she couldn’t get you out of bed of a morning and a list of your infuriating habits. Although, despite my attempts at concealment a friend of Hippie Child greeted her yesterday with “you are on the internet”. Apparently she was doing a project on hippies – googled the term and came up with a picture of our hippie child – the one of her eating cheesecake off the floor – seriously what were the chances???
They make suggestions and the latest disaster is often greeted with “let’s get a photo, this will make the blog”. However, they are quick to advise when restraint is called for as well. During a week when my husband was retrenched, our only working vehicle run out of petrol and then broke down Hippie Child took me aside to suggest “better leave this one for a while Mum, before you blog about it.”
The theme and tone of the blog are still evolving. I don’t fit neatly into any given category, a little too old to be a true “mummy blogger”, not literary enough to be a “writing” blog, my brother tries to steer us into “photography” blog world with his stunning shots but then I go putting in my “snap-happy” pics to bring us down. I seem to be embracing more a “personal” type blog which allows me the leeway to explore a variety of topics and suits my lack-of-commitment personality. I’m constantly surprised by how you often enjoy the “self-indulgent” posts dedicated to the chaos of our life. I continue to experiment with a variety of approaches and hope by the time I get to the 12 month mark I will have sorted myself out with a particular style.
The challenge of finding the time for the blog is ongoing. I’m trying to plan a little more, even get some posts scheduled ahead of time, as opposed to the panic-stricken flailing about at 10.30pm when inspiration deserts me.
All in all, I’m enjoying blogging my world and I’m thrilled that so many of you are repeat visitors accompanying me on this wild ride!