This week, Eden wants to know why we blog, and which blogs are our favourites? It sounds so simple and straightforward, but it really isn’t at all. But this is a good thing.
Ok, so I’ve talked on here a lot lately about this blog and what I want from it. It doesn’t fully cover why I blog in the first place though, does it?
I blog because I need to write, something, somewhere. If I didn’t have a blog, I’d write a shit load of lists. Whether or not the items on the list ever got ticked off is irrelevant. It’s the act of writing that puts me at peace. Makes sense of my life, my thoughts. If I didn’t have a blog, I might write a diary. Or a book. Actually, I still do have that goal in life, blog or not. My partner has begged me to write the story about his mental illness from a partner/carer’s perspective. I was completely resistant at first, and did not want to go there. Now? Can’t wait. Bring it on.
I blog because not only do I need to write, I always need to be creating something. I always need to have a way to express myself. I love learning new skills as I blog, and certainly, with my old blog, Hear Mum Roar, I learned to do things I never knew I could. I also learned that others believe in me and my abilities a shitload more than I do.
I have learned that I can make a living out of writing, and my last blog brought me freelance writing jobs. I don’t have a journalism degree (yet! I had enrolled for one, and was about to start it right before the fire, but ended up deferring), and was blown away that people wanted to pay me to write down words for them. Before that, freelance writing was always something that other people did. Not me. So, getting involved with that has been great for my confidence, and given me a career option I’d not previously put a great deal of thought into.
I blog because I love to chat with others on the internet, from the world over. I love the instant feedback and the bouncing back and forth of thoughts, feelings and ideas. The whole, ‘wow, it’s not just me!’ thing. Even when I lived in Sydney, I loved to blog. Now, living rurally in the middle of whoop-whoop, it means so much more to me. I have made friends here, but when I blog, it’s a larger community of friends. I can chat on here any time, day or night. This blog makes me feel less isolated.
My favourite part of blogging is the comments and always has been! It’s not even an ego thing for me, I just thoroughly enjoy the conversation that flows at the bottom of a blog post, on twitter, or on facebook. I had one or two readers at my last blog commenting, and telling me they were doing so with tears from reading my post! Wut?? It always surprised me, but those moments really knocked me for a six, and to feel that someone else ‘gets’ me or the experience or feelings I’m discussing is so healing for me as well.
I love it when I know someone reads this blog. I was clothes shopping a month or so ago. The store assistant asked if I’d like to sign up for their rewards program, and as she filled it out, asked for my email address. Now, I hadn’t had an email addy set up to this blog yet, so I gave her the email address of Hear Mum Roar. She stood bolt upright, and said, ‘oh!’ Then she paused, then started asking questions relating to that blog! It was an extremely surreal, yet exciting moment. Here I was, just about to take to my old blog with an axe, and it dawned on me, ‘people actually read this stuff!’
It was my first ever connection like that, and that’s my favourite part about blogging, and I know it’s such a cliche. But any connections with other human beings, be it on line or off, is pretty much why I blog. That someone reads it and talks to me about it. Very simple, but so fantastic.
I also love the fact that with blogging, you can dabble in whatever media you fancy. You can get right into the craft of writing, you can express yourself via photography (not my strong suit, but I’m hoping uni will help me with that), you can get right into the instagram movement (not my thing) hell, you can even vlog!
My favourite media with this blog, and at this point in my life would be writing, photography (to a lesser extent. I mean, I know I’m not very good at it, but I try and am keen to learn more) and creating video blogs (vlogs). I’m totally enjoying vlogging at the moment, because it’s pushing me so far outside of my comfort zone it’s not funny. Yet, in an odd way, it’s teaching me to become more comfortable with myself, more accepting, and slowly, ever so slowly, more confident just within myself as a person. Of course, I’m also enjoying just the process of learning new skills, of editing the videos, that sort of thing. It’s a whole new form of self expression for me. I don’t know how interesting it is to others at this point, but the lessons I’m learning are interesting to me. I never thought vlogging would be such cheap therapy! When I used to try it as a mum blogger, it was the most stressful aspect of blogging for me!
The more I think about it, this blog is teaching me a huge lesson in just letting go. Just having some fun, for me. Dabbling, experimenting and getting some things off my chest.
Eden also asked what our favourite blogs are?
This question is a lot tougher, because honestly? I truly love so many. So bloody many. I am an avid blog reader.
I’m not just saying this to be a suck up to the creator of this link-up, but Edenland‘s blog is definitely a huge fave of mine. I can relate to so much of her writing and experiences. I also enjoy just watching her ‘let go’, either on her blog or vlogs. She has the best taste in music, in fact, she’s one of the few people I know of, that any music she’s mentioned loving, I’ve nearly screamed at the screen, ‘me too!!’.
I used to be more of a lurker at her site, not commenting often. I think it was a bit of a Wayne’s World meeting Alice Cooper thing: ‘I’m not worthy!’ Ridiculous, right? I think it felt weird for me to do it most of the time, because I was conscious that I was more of a ‘how-to’ blogger, and she is more of a personal blogger. Because her blog is so successful, I would’ve been mortified at the thought of coming across as a complete suck-up just because she had a ‘big blog’. Obviously, I have a few screws loose, right?
But for me, when I was more of a mum blogger, and not a personal blogger as I am now, I could open my emails on any given day, at any time of day, and there’d be some email wanting a piece of me. It was yet another thing that was turning me off mum blogging. I was beginning to feel used by companies, and very much like a puppet. I could no longer work out who I wanted to say yes to and who I wanted to say no to. And because I was in the middle of a nervous breakdown, it was all too much.
So… I stopped answering 90% of my emails. I stopped answering all of my pinterest messages. Really, if anyone knows me, they’d know things must be dire for it to get to that point. I always answer everyone usually, but I just couldn’t. My blog had more appeal to the businesses, the companies, than it did to readers! And that was shit. So yeah, this is my long-winded way of saying that I didn’t want the ‘bigger’ bloggers to feel used in that way, or that my comments weren’t genuine, because I was worried that it would come across that way, getting comments on a personal blog from a ‘how-to’ type blogger.
I’m such a fuckwit. I don’t even know if Eden feels used or sucked up to the way I felt. It’s all 100% my shit here. And you know, I met her at a bloggers’ brunch in Melbourne? I kept telling myself, ‘you have to meet Eden!’ But I kept worrying. How many people will be sucking up to her today? Poor bloody thing! So, I made a quick beeline and gave her a ‘hello, it’s so nice to meet you!’ and ran off. Because, as I said, I’m a complete fuckwit at times. I think also, I knew that if I stopped to talk to her, there’d be this crazed gushing of, ‘I loved it when you wrote this or that, that is me all over’ etc. So, yeah. It’s great that in starting a personal blog, I’ve freed up a lot of insecure thinking, and it’s only now that I’ve done so, that I realise how ridiculous my insecurities were. Again, also, a perfect example of how I had boxed and categorised myself to such a painful extreme.
Another fave blogger of mine is the delightful Veronica Foale. She writes the blog, Someday We Will Sleep. I have always been completely blown away by the quality of her writing, and the style she uses to express herself. She’s also a blogger that I consider to be a friend. I’ve only ever met her twice at different blogging events, but she has such a calm, gentle presence about her that she is almost like a security blanket whenever I go to these things. If I ever found out she wasn’t going to a blogging event when I was writing as Hear Mum Roar, I’m sure I would’ve began hyperventillating and having heart palpitations.
I find that, although her experiences and mine aren’t completely identical, I can always relate to her very well, be it in her writings or when we chat. She is so nice and down to earth, that it’s a true breath of fresh air. That so many others in a room at a bloggers’ brunch are all about the ‘swag’, she is the antithesis of that, and I adore her for it.
I’m going to limit my list to three, because as you can see, when I get fired up talking about this, I can waffle quite a bit. My last choice shouldn’t come as any surprise to anyone familiar with me even slightly! It’s the wonderful Violet Le Beaux. I love her blog, I admire her creativity, talent and skills she has to apply to her creativity. She designed all the graphics for this blog, and the animation for my vlogs. She took my tattoo and made this personal blog, well… personal.
I have met her only once sadly, but we had a great time. She is such a breath of fresh air in this ol’ blogging world, let me tell you just that. She was pretty much my first blogging friend when I started Hear Mum Roar, and she’s just such a beautiful, wonderful person, inside and out.
Anyway, this has been another long-winded novel by yours truly, and if you don’t mind, I’m going to hit publish and go cringe over there—>>> at the thought of Eden reading my verbal diarrhoea above. Hi Eden…