So. Me and my blog. After a love affair lasting 15 months or so, I’m feeling a bit like I don’t know what to do next with it. Reading around, this seems to happen to a lot of bloggers a year or so in – some shut up shop completely, some change their blog name or focus, and some seem to come through the bumpy bit and carry on.
I started out because I’ve always loved writing. I was always going to wait until I was good enough at something (anything!) to justify writing about it, but eventually I was inspired by Jennie Edspire’s journey to try and create a family memory box – you can read my very first post here. Fifteen months along and I’m not sure, really, that the blog is either a memory box for the kids, nor has it evolved into anything else – except a random collection of rants and musings.
To be honest, I would like to write more about my kids and our experiences as a family – the reason I don’t is because I’m very aware that even in the most measured way, I am compromising their privacy in a way that they may not choose, both here and on social media. This was brought home to me in a big way a few weeks ago when I Facebooked a 15 second video of my six year old singing and dancing to Let It Go after she was supposed to be in bed. I posted it because I thought it was cute, and didn’t think anything else of it. But the next day she came home from school very cross because one of her friends had mentioned it to her – not in a negative or mean way, just that they’d seen it – and asked me the perfectly valid question ‘Why would you put a video on the internet without checking with me first’? To which I didn’t really have an answer.
In fact, a lot of blog fodder goes by the wayside because of privacy/respect issues. The ups and downs of our primary school journey; work conundrums; the ‘marathon-not-a-sprint’ that is marriage; the rather hilarious Neighbour Wars; wider family shenanigans – there is so much stuff bubbling in my head that I’d love to work through by writing. I am happy with my decision not to share the details of all of that, but it does leave me wondering what the hell there is to write about when all the interesting stuff is off limits!
I also started the blog because I wanted to get better at writing. Reading back, I do think in some ways my writing style has improved – I certainly cut a lot of wittering out now, and yes, I almost always delete my first paragraph thanks to this post from Her Melness Speaks. But equally my more recent posts don’t seem to fizz with the energy that my earlier efforts did. And I have never really crossed the boundary from short, ranty posts to writing in more depth, something I would very much like to do, but am terrified of even trying, though I have made a start on trying to raise my game by signing up to do some book reviews with Mumsnet. They’re not very good, but at least I am setting myself a challenge.
The other thing that’s getting me down is my blog stats. Yes, I know I shouldn’t be worrying about numbers, and shouldn’t be comparing myself to others, and nor should I be setting myself unrealistic goals, but that part of my personality is too deeply ingrained now to root out. And at the end of the day, I write to be read and I’m not going to pretend otherwise, to myself or anyone else. And though my stats are slowly, slowly inching upwards, I am nowhere near the realms of respectability in blogging terms. And I can’t help feeling that if I was writing anything worth reading, the climb upwards wouldn’t be so excruciatingly slow and gruelling.
This feeling has been coming for a while. The question is what to do about it! I don’t want to stop writing, and nor do I want to lose the tentative links I have made with the blogging community. Perhaps I should take a break for a while and use the time to figure out what to do next. I really don’t know.
To be continued, one way or another!