Me and: being a blogger

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Me and: being a blogger

What does being a blogger mean to me? It’s a question that I often ask myself, and it’s one that doesn’t have a simple answer.

At the beginning of the summer Chantelle over at Seychelles Mama tagged me in a meme that asked this question.

I’ve spent time over the summer thinking about it. Wondering at how important it has become to me, at how much time it takes. Wondering how to achieve that elusive blog-life balance.

I’ve realised that before I can decide exactly where my blogging journey heads next, I need to really understand what it is that motivates me.

Is it validation? Is is expression? Is it capturing moments?

What does being a blogger really mean to me?

Memories

I started this blog to record our time in the US. It was an adventure, that was going to last for two years, and I wanted us to be able to look back and remember all that we had done. Three years later, we’re still here, settled, and not planning on moving again in the near future. The blog has become a journal, a way of capturing all those simple moments that you forget. It has become a way of creating an online photo album (on steroids) for each holiday, outing and adventure. It has become a means of encouragement to take that next adventure! But, it has become so much more than all that, changing and evolving in ways that I couldn’t have imagined when I hit publish on my first post back in December 2012.

Connection

I started blogging six months into this expat life of ours, and I won’t lie; I was lonely. It quickly became a means of connecting with people who understood, who were supportive. My online friendships blossomed as my blog grew and I discovered the wonderful parent and expat blogging communities. I honestly find it almost impossible to imagine my life with out them now; they have supported me, comforted me, made me laugh and cry. And, more, my online friendships gave me confidence in the real world at a time when I really needed that boost.

Creativity

Writing has long been a middle of the night dream for me, and without quite realising it at first, I finally had an outlet for all the words in my head. What started as a diary quickly became much more than that. I began to write for me, about my thoughts and experiences, not just about our days out and activities. And, I began to write creatively for the first time in many, many years. That, along with taking photographs, designing my blog and creating content, gave me an outlet for my artistic side, that had long been pushed aside by work and practicality, and life.

Learning

It has been a huge learning curve, one that I am very much still on. How to take better photos, how to write HTML and even a bit of CSS coding, how to optimise SEO, how to publicise and use Social Media? And, of course, what makes for good content?! Much of this can be frustrating at times, but I wouldn’t change a thing. I have loved learning new skills, and finding a hobby that will potentially lead me in the direction of a new career.

Opportunity

And, speaking of careers, blogging does bring opportunities. Again, something that I had never considered, and to be honest haven’t taken huge advantage of to date. But, the opportunities are there to be grabbed and that is my next challenge!

Validation

I’ve said it before; I am someone who needs a bit of validation in my life. My career gave me that, and stopping work was a huge knock to my confidence. Writing, and knowing that people read; feeling productive and challenged; meeting people, trying new things and creating a successful blog. All these things have been instrumental in making this new life of ours work. Without my blog I think that I would find some days very hard indeed.

Inspiration

But, it’s not just technical skills, a pat on the back and the potential to make some cash. Writing has given me pause, time to reflect. Reading other blogs has led me to consider, to assess and to make decisions about what I want my life to be like; what I aspire to, and what I wish for my children. It has shown me the many different paths I can take, and has allowed me the privilege of joining others on their journeys, while I navigate my own.

So…

What does being a blogger mean to me?

Friendship, creativity and challenge; with a healthy dose of external validation thrown in.

But, most importantly, opportunity. An opportunity for self-reflection, for growth, for a new and interesting direction; the opportunity to create the life I want, for me and my family.

And, the inspiration to be better, live better, love better.
 

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55 thoughts on “Me and: being a blogger”

  1. Lots of great reasons to blog! I’m glad it’s brought you so much hon, especially at a challenging time where moving could have ended up being really isolating. Glad that I can call you a blog buddy xxx

  2. Great post! Just what I needed to read since I feel I’m losing my blogging mojo. I need to think what blogging means to me too. Thanks for writing as I really enjoy seeing how you get on in the US (very near where I grew up)! :-)

  3. Blogging definitely helped me when I was living in the US, in a new place, missing all my old friends. It made a difference connecting with bloggers like yourself. For me it’s also a creative outlet.

  4. Great post. I’m just getting back into my blog after realising that I wasn’t doing as much as I could. I think you get out of it as much as you put in, and I haven’t been putting in much! I hope to have more time now and build it up and make some of my own ‘blogging buddies!’

  5. This is a grest post. It’s lovely to read about what blogging means to you. Sometimes it’s important to reflect on all that, especially when you’re in the thick of all the writing and admin and wondering ‘why do I bother doing this?’!

  6. Ah Sara, you have such a way with words! You’ve teased out all sorts of great, meaningful reasons to blog and reminded me of the advantages of being a blogger. Glad it’s worked so well for you and I’m so glad we’ve been able to ‘meet’ in blog land. Hopefully one day we can meet in person (are you going to Britmums live next year? I am!) Thanks for linking to #WhatImWriting. xx

  7. I think it’s so worthwhile stepping back and questioning why you do/like certain things. It’s important to take stock not only to remind yourself about the good things but sometimes, to confirm why you should stop. You clearly LOVE blogging and it’s a big part of your life. I agree with so many of your points – not least the bit about an online support network. x x

    1. It really is. Especially with this as there are days when I wonder what on earth I’m doing spending so much of my time on this! But, I do love it x

  8. This is such a well considered piece about why you blog and why you will continue to do so. Validation is a large part of blogging for me too. I started while on maternity leave as I love to write and was worried about going rusty. It really does give me a lot of pleasure and obviously does for you too #twinklytuesday

  9. When you list all the lovely benefits of blogging like this then yes, it does bring it home just what a wonderful hobby it is to have and how much it has the potential to help us change and be better versions of ourselves. I think I must have been so bored before I started blogging. Although the one thing I do less of now is reading actual books! Lovely reflective post Sara Xx #thetruthabout

    1. Thank you Sam. Don’t get me wrong, there are bad points too, that post probably comes next :) But, blogging has given me so much, and I am truly grateful for that x

    1. It’s amazing isn’t it? I would never have had the courage to write in any other way, but now… who knows, I might :)

  10. You’re so right! There are so many different reasons to write a blog and I guess it’s good to reflect on what this means to you. Blogging definitely helped me stay sane when my daughters were older and it was cheaper than therapy to write about our lives and realise that so many parents were going through similar experiences with their own teens. It’s a great place to be. Great post x

    1. Definitely cheaper than therapy! And finding and sharing with others going through the same things is such an amazing thing x

  11. Love this post Sara, such a wonderful summary of what blogging is all about. I think for many of us it starts off as a bit of an online diary and then leads us on an unexpected journey, discovering online communities, being inspired and learning so many new things. Blogging has certainly helped me through a lot of the loneliness that comes with being a SAHM and the wonderful blogging community is one of my favourite things about it x

  12. Potty Mouthed Mummy

    Definitely a lot of lovely things to focus on and take from being a blogger. I think you’re right to analyse it in this way to understand how you personally can achieve your own goals moving forward x

  13. Love this post! And totally identify with your reasons to blog… As I think you know I’ve been grappling with my blogging identity over the last few months (and still am) but it’s encouraging to see some of my reasons for inhabiting my little corner of the blogosphere reflected back at me. Wherever I end up going with it I do feel like it’s given me so much already. Good luck with your continued journey – I look forward to seeing where it takes you! xx

  14. I love this, Sara. I think in some ways, you and I consider the same things when blogging. I started mine to chronicle my life with my daughter, and from that it evolved into something so much more. Like you, I look for validation as well and blogging makes me think, it makes me creative and it certainly helps me to be productive; all of which I need as a stay at home mom. Thank you for sharing this and more importantly for the connection you mentioned in your post. I’m glad to call you one of my blog buddies and it’s been a pleasure taking this journey with u :) Have a great rest of the day!

  15. What a brilliant round up, my blog isn’t so important to me these days. But for many years it was and helped me when I was at home with three children aged four and under – saved my sanity in fact! And it opened doors and helped me find an identity which got a bit lost in early motherhood x

  16. Sara I love this, you have put into words much of how I feel about my own blogging journey, yes it is to sell Coombe Mill, but it has become so much more than that to me on a personal level. Your blog goes from strength to strength and your writing style builds on your natural talent each year, I think you will find it will surprise you further in the years to come. #BriliantBlogPosts

  17. Very interesting post. SO for you it was almost like an online diary that’s become a part of your life? I was once interviewed for a radio show and told by the presenter my blog was a “unique record of British history”. Although a compliment, I thought that was well OTT! Anyway, when I think about it, I started off to make a point about fathers being equal to mums. I’m still fighting that battle but I learned to relax and also blog about things I enjoy; writing, photography, clothes etc. My motivations have changed over time and it sounds like yours have a little too. #thetruthabout

    1. It was, and I’m actually trying to get back to it being a bit more like that to be honest, I’ve lost some of the journalling aspect and I miss it! That is a compliment, and a very interesting way to look at blogs. I guess they do capture a moment in time, with all the trends that go with it…

  18. Hi Sara,
    I am stopping by from #SharewithMe and am so glad I did! I love your little corner of the blog world! I think it is so important to keep in mind exactly why we do this. Why we blog… It keeps us centered on our mission! I haven’t been doing this for long, but I feel like I am constantly reminding myself of the “why” so that I don’t get off track worrying about all the bits and pieces that I have yet to learn! I look forward to connecting more in the future!
    Blessings and smiles,
    Lori

  19. A great list, Sara – I agree wholeheartedly. Above all, blogging to me is something that is fun, that stretches my writing ability and creativity and connects me with some lovely and interesting people. What more could you want?

  20. I found myself nodding along as I was reading this. I’m still reasonably new to blogging but I am already finding many of these things to be true. Lovely post.

  21. Sara I love this post so very much. I think I could have written something similar myself in the way we feel about blogging. It has changed me forever and even if I stopped tomorrow I would take away so many things and friends from what I have learned over the last two years. Thanks for linking up to Share With Me blog hop. I hope you have enjoyed reading so many fab other blog posts and to see you again tomorrow for another great round of #sharewithme

  22. Yes I relate to a fair bit of this. It’s amazing what you discover about yourself through blogging. And the friends you make! What a lovely bonus! I do love your last line too…love better. How wonderful. #TheTruthAbout

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