Thursday, 10 June 2010

Why Blog?

Today's Guest Post is from Michelle from Mummy From the Heart.....
Why Blog?
Have you ever really pondered why you blog? Had a crisis where you wonder if you will ever get any more comments, more visitors and the like? Have you had that moment where you wonder if anyone likes you? Been tempted to throw in the towel?
I have, here is my blogistory....
I sort of fell into blogging by accident, I have always been one of those people who hear of someone doing something new and interesting and think ‘yes I can do that too’ and that is exactly what happened here (follower, me? well yes, if I am honest!). Back in February 2008 I started to read a friends blog and thought it was excellent and this spurred me to start a blog; 4 posts and 5 days later I appear to have given up on blogging. I suppose the 7 month old twins and 4 year old were keeping me busy. It is not like me to give up on something so quickly, roll forward a year to March 2009 and I decide to come back to blogging. At this point my blog was a private one and not viewable by anyone except those I granted permission to, so my posts from then are very personal, self-centred and food led.
I found my stride in 2009 and really started to enjoy blogging, moving from just blogging about my weight/ eating issues to my journey through parenting and life in general. In January 2010 I had enough interest in blogging that I started to regularly read other peoples blogs and to start commenting, not realising that would allow them to link over to my blog. So I got my first comment from Jen at the Mad House and I was really grateful, then along came Fraught Mummy and Pippa and gave me lovely comments as well, both saying about my honesty and how you can see the person behind my blog, see what I am thinking.
I do not think I had any idea what I was letting myself in for by making my blog public and starting to new attract visitors by joining BMB and commenting on other blogs. Looking back now I can see I was not prepared for all the emotions that blogging can stir up in a person. Was I good enough? Too self-centred? Was my grammar correct? Could I make people laugh? And round and round the questions went in my head, to the point that I got completely stressed and something that had started out as fun for me and perhaps my real life friends/ family had turned into a monster in my head and was taking over every waking thought and making me question my worth in life. Sounds pathetic now writing it, but I was there and it felt real! My hurt and disappointment could not have been any more if my best friend had rejected me.
So I made a decision, which was difficult at the time but helped me so much, I gave up blogging for Lent and I loved it – no pressure at all. That 6 weeks allowed me to see what was really important and to review my own wants and needs from blogging. I came back to blogging in April a much more sane person and vowed to never be a comments whore again. I do not need affirmation for every little thing I write! I would blog for me and write what I wanted to write and not try to pander to the readers I thought might be there. In short my confidence in myself grew and I was happy to be in Michelle’s skin. Erica’s E-blogging course asked me to think about what my blogs USP was? What is it that makes my blog special and will attract readers and I think it is the honesty factor. I am a bit like marmite, you either love me or hate me and either way is OK as I do not have to be liked by everyone. Lesson learnt!
So my message here is that it is OK to be you, more than that, it is perfect to be you! You have to use your own original voice and find a style of communicating on your blog that suits you. Do not try to imitate any other blogger as you will always fall short, as you are not them. It has taken me months to learn this lesson but I think I am finally there with a nice balance between ‘ohh, I have new followers’ excitement and ‘I did not make this carnival’ disappointment.
What about you, where are you right now? Satisfied with your bloggy life or seeking more and finding disappointment? I read an excellent post the other day by a really established Aussie blogger and she explains a little about the life cycle of blogging from her view point - go take a look – it is so worth a read!