Three months ago I gave myself a good talking to. For the past four years I had toyed with the idea of writing a blog, but like most non critical things it was relegated to my one day I’ll do that list (which is getting rather lengthy these days). But in March this year, I bit the bullet and went for it, I typed my first post and I was up and blogging. So as I reach my first trimester, I thought I would reflect on my latest adventure into blog-land.
Things I love about blogging
I finally have a creative outlet. I come from a gene pool of creative people, there is not one person in my family that doesn’t show some creative flair. I always thought that my dancing was my creative niche but when those dreams shattered I struggled to replace it and find my inner artiste. So to be able to finally get those creative juices flowing makes me very happy.
I can use my brain. After moving to the desert and giving up my job, it’s nice to be able to engage the old brain cells and keep that motor running. I am by no means writing some high level, intellectual, literary masterpiece but it’s good to think in a stress free environment when the mood strikes.
I’m not a terrible writer. During my entire school life, I was always told that my English skills left something to be desired, even to the point where I was discouraged from pursuing it at A-Level. Whilst I’m not the next Booker prize winner, I have surprised myself that I can actually compose a relatively good post and my confidence is growing.
Readers & Feedback. I’m sure like most new bloggers, you draft up that first post and as you hit publish, you sit back and wait to see if anyone will actually read it.
In fact when I told my mum I had started this project, she smirked at me over Face Time and said is anyone actually interested?!
Once I had gotten over the overwhelming maternal support, I quite proudly told her that yes, people were reading and I had had some great messages of support. One of the best comments, came via one of my oldest friends, who text to tell me that she was loving what I had to say and that she could “hear” me. What I had hoped for, I have found my voice.
New “Friends”. When starting this up I had no idea, what a massive community there is for bloggers and how interactive and supportive everyone is. In the first week of posting I came across Emma from Island Living 365 completely by chance, due to both of us tagging Jersey in our posts. Emma was an expat of sorts (a Mainlander from the UK) and had just moved to Jersey! She was me but in reverse. I loved the fact that we had found each other through the bloggershpere and I now have a little insight into my gorgeous island through the eyes of a newbie arrival. Oh and Jersey readers she’s a local celeb having been on BBC Radio Jersey, twice now!
Therapy. Through writing, I have had quite a few epiphanies! At times I have started a post and been surprised how honest and personal it has become. I didn’t plan this, but I have found things out about myself or rather I’ve allowed myself to admit certain things and whilst a post can have a humorous slant to my woes, I have found it to be a cathartic experience. Who knew?!
Ok, so whilst the first few months have been a positive experience, it has been a huge learning curve. There are still vast amounts I have to learn and pick up, to really push my blog forward. Whilst I’m happy that this is a vehicle for me to out-pour my life so friends back home still know I’m alive and well, I have realised I would like it to be more than that. My desert friends find it a refreshing dialogue about the reality of living abroad and Kuwait. So if my posts assist anyone in their decision for a life abroad then that’s a positive thing to come out of my ramblings. Now this is a goal and I know I have a long long way to go but I like a challenge or as my Hubby would say new obsession.
Lessons, frustrations and What now?!
Social Media. Now having worked in a marketing team for an technology company you would think this would have been a no brainer. Whilst I knew this was crucial to promoting my blog, I had no idea how much Twitter especially is paramount in this community. I very quickly learned that I had to get on board with tweeting my way through life and growing my followers. I’m getting there but boy its a slog and takes commitment.
Time. I had no idea how long each post would take me. Even when I know what I’m going to write about, it still takes me hours. I brain dump, clean up, re-read, clean up again, move stuff around. I’m sure this will get quicker over time and my inner perfectionist will be more relaxed to get stuff out.
For now it like writing War and Peace but at least I have the commitment, drive and enthusiasm for it.
Finding your place. When i wrote the post Square peg, round hole I had no I idea that even as my blog persona I would struggle to fit in. There are 1000’s of parenting bloggers out there and they have been great to read, link up with and have been extremely supportive. But I’m not a parenting blog so at times feel a fraud even interacting with this tribe. There are 1000’s of travel blogs, but I’m not a purist travel blog. Whilst I touch on social commentary and lifestyle I don’t fit solely into that genre either. This is a challenge and one I will continue to explore. So if anyone knows some channels that would be the right fit for me then please shout my way.
Traffic. No mum I don’t mean cars on the road. In layman’s terms, its the amount of visitors and views that come to your blog. This is a minefield to me, I have no idea what is a good stat or a bad stat. Then I saw on Twitter that one blogger, who had been going the same amount of time as me, was disappointed that her Facebook page likes had recently dropped to 1,500.
I have 59; bloody hell that put things into perspective, I’m way off……..
Tips welcome to get me out of my depths of despair and get my blog out of the dark corners of blog-land.
So dear readers, I hope that you continue to support my journey into blog obscurity and that I still bring you a fresh insight into my little life abroad. I’m going to continue to learn and explore this minefield and hope that as the year progresses so will my understanding. And to my fellow bloggers, thank you for the tips, comments and love on this new journey. Its awesome there are so many of us out there and that we each bring our unique voice to this community. If writing be the food of love, blog on…..