What kind of blogger do I want to be?
I've been struggling recently with 'not good enough' syndrome and I strongly believe it's impacting on my productivity, especially when it comes to blogging; I know how silly it is to worry about what others are doing and I know that it's good to be inspired, but also that comparison is the thief of joy. There are a variety of bloggers that I adore, all very different and all for various reasons, and I feel as if I'm in a vicious cycle of trying to fit a number of widely different styles into one blog because I can't figure out who I am or what kind of blogger I want to be.
I bounce from one style to the next, and back, still not entirely satisfied with the results and I'm constantly searching for me in the huge ocean of blogs out there. I find myself constantly affected by the number of likes I get on a certain shot on Instagram compared to the lack of engagement I unexpectedly didn't receive from others; do I spend my time posting what I think it is my followers want to see, or do I share what makes me happy?
I think I've finally figured it out, and I'm hoping from now on I'm on the journey towards a more fulfilling and happier blogging life. First and foremost, I am a working Mum, with a 3 year old and a baby demanding 90% of my time (the other 10% are those odd hours of sleep I occasionally get in the middle of the night) meaning my blog needs to fit around me, not the other way around. I am not a minimal interiors blogger, nor am I a beauty blogger mastered in the art of the perfect flatlay. I don't have the time to set-up a shoot or to write about making crafts or blogging how-to's just because I know they'll get the hits. I'm not saying there's anything wrong with that at all; I am the first to click on a fellow blogger's article about how they earned a certain amount in a month or how they tripled their pageviews, I just don't have the time to write them.
What I have realised is that I'm most excited about writing the posts about our life; I love Jesse's monthly updates, sharing our ordinary moments and I love writing about my normal daily, tragically hilarious, experiences as a Mum, and that's where I was when Hello Archie began. I was never sent products to review (I didn't even know about that blogging perk), I never worried about how many people were reading or whether a certain Instagram shot would be liked more than another and I never dreaded sitting down to write a post (paid posts can occasionally suck the fun out of writing, if not for the pressure of a deadline alone).
I am by no means a great writer, but I adore photography and I love sharing our life as a family, so that is what I will be focusing on in future. I love sharing photos of the reality of life, whether there's a dirty muslin hiding in the background or our windows are covered in tiny handprints, because those, to me, are the most beautiful, and I find them so much more intriguing than the set-up shoots where I constantly try and emulate those feelings, just with better lighting (photography tip #348—Don't battle the light, work with it). I'm not going to get so hung up on whether a title is catchy enough for someone to click or whether a post is important enough to be shared; I'm going to hope that what I love is enough for others and that above liking or sharing they want to just have a chat. I love receiving comments from other parents telling me they feel the same way, that my struggles are their struggles and it helps me to know that none of us are alone in this crazy parenting journey. That's what I love most about blogging.
Of course, there are brands I will continue to work with that I genuinely want to shout about but I'd like it to be more of a natural collaboration; yes, we were sent these products, but yes we love them and we think you really will too. I don't want to focus on YouTube just because vlogging is the new blogging, and I don't want to worry that I've had 1000 less pageviews than the previous month. *insert shocked emoji face here*
What I want is to sit down at my laptop at the end of another seriously hectic day of being a Mum, and to want to write about what's been going on. I want it to spill out of me so fast I can barely contain it; I don't want to sit and think about how I'm going to word the next review or whether my SEO is on-point (it's not). I want to talk about nuclear-force poop's, projectile vomiting and my threenager getting a pea stuck up his right nostril, and I want to share the photos of our actual life; the brotherly cuddles, making a pirate ship out of cushions, hiding our treasure (aka crap kinder egg toys) and the exciting days we experience together as a family.
To those who have shared their own stories with me or empathised with my tragedy or who have offered advice in times of need, who have laughed along with me and made me feel like I'm doing a great job, thankyou, because you're the reason I've finally found my way. It's time to step back from trying to be the blogger who inspires me and to accept that one day I can be the blogger who inspires, just by sharing what I love to do.