I was yet to become a mother when I first started blogging. My oldest is now sixteen and learning to drive and it feels like an age away.
I blogged before there were mummy bloggers, influencers and flash, easy to use templates.
I blogged because I had these words inside my head I wanted to get out, and I loved I could type them out and perhaps a random stranger might read them and comment and I would know I’d found someone in my tribe. It felt easier to connect to others like me online.
I blogged while I wrote some books, and then I blogged because I’d written a book. And then I blogged because the book took me into new places.
And then it was the early days of influence and I began to blog because it got me sneakers, and cool invitations, and lots of vodka cocktails and canapes and really good shampoo (but no money to pay the rent because bloggers weren’t paid then).
And then I blogged as I tweeted because tweets were never quite long enough. And I blogged to people who felt they knew me because they knew my blogs, but only knew online me. And online me, and offline me where becoming so different and separate and I began to over censure my thoughts, fly the middle ground and stopped letting me come through my words.
I was so scared of upsetting someone (albeit accidentally). I would run through my thoughts and opinions with a fine tooth comb, until they were tamed beyond recognition. And they no longer represented who I was and what I truly felt.
Over time, the tribe I had gathered with my words was no long a reflection of who I was and I lost my desire to write my less-than-authentic thoughts – and chose to step out of my carefully constructed blog, and instead step into real life, of the mundane pleasures of time walking a beach, putting the phone down for coffees face to face, and for the company of family and loved ones.
I still blogged, around business, and growth and my new company Identify and for a while that was enough. It was a separate journey that needed no me in the middle.
But then, at some point last year, I started to find a new voice inside my head, and I had a strong need to write new words down that reflect the me in the real world – a more opinionated, courageous and sometimes controversial, take no prisoners me.
I’ve changed in the last four years – I was very busy trying to write my thoughts firmly in middle ground. And now – I am happy on my piece of ground, but it’s not sitting in the middle anymore. I’m still a sucker for “let’s keep everyone happy” but I’ve learned that tribes built on anything but honest communication are not the right tribe for this writer. I’ll risk some offence for a group who gets me.
In these days of influencers, and blogging as a business, it’s nice to come back to the roots of how blogging evolved and just enjoy it for blogging sake. It’s me and my keyboard, sharing my thoughts, without trying to overthink it or overedit it.
It’s nice to be back.