Job title: Blogger? Freelancer? Writer?
‘Oh so you are one of those ‘mummy bloggers,’ alleged the man on the train wearing too much aftershave, barely containing a smirk. Sigh. Yes I like gin, yes I ate six mini sausage rolls for a snack today, and yes there are times when I hide from my son in a cupboard and then tell people about it.
When did being a mum, or a blogger, or a mum blogger become a dirty term? Would influencer sit better?
Or is it the combination that creates offence, like Katie Homes and Tom Cruise, or cheese and peanut butter in a sarnie? Also, it is not just mums in the parent blogger category, I know plenty of magnificent individuals with testicles who write too. Perhaps people mistakenly believe we all buy rose gold Tupperware, type about how shit life is on gifted Apple Mac’s, give zero f***s about our offspring and can only wear clothes from Joules.
But blogging is not a job.
Mr smug train man would probably roll his eyes at my suggestion that blogging is a ‘difficult’ job, or a job at all. He would likely suggest that I have candyfloss for brains and should go out and seek ‘real’ employment. The Daily Mail type ignorant comments that can make the most nonchalant person want to stab someone in the eye with a plastic children’s Peppa Pig fork. Would the sneer fade if I said I had multiple degrees? Had articles published in newspapers? That I have spent the last eight years working in rehab, with sex offenders, in social services, with trafficked children, with victims of revenge pornography and sexual exploitation? I think I have earnt the change (note I said change, not break).
But blogging is just fannying about on Twitter isn’t it? No it is not, and in some ways it’s harder than any role I have had before. The blogging world is a hybrid cousin of marketing, of journalism, of advertising. Last time I checked these are real working sectors, you earn money, you pay taxes but grey spaces mean you lose out on things like working tax credits.
So what about it is hard?
If you want to turn blogging into business then you have to ask what success really takes. The answer to that is time, effort and discipline; working on a blog every day for years. For 35 hour a week. Ping go your emails, ping goes Instagram, and ping goes Facebook. I lie, my phones doesn’t ping, it moos. You have to love a novelty tone.
It takes hard work and dedication. You can get caught up in photography, fonts, sharing, expectations, publishing and promoting. More, more, more. Building an engaged audience and contacts sitting on your laptop until 1am. Feeling the stress of deadlines. Trolls. Blogging can feel like parenting in that you are never achieving enough, struggling to finish daily to do lists. Has anyone else been in these shoes?
It can be thankless somedays when your inbox is full of generic requests asking if you would just promote this, or write this, or take hours editing photos for free…because you know, blogging isn’t a job.
I’m going to ask my plumber if he will fix the tap tomorrow for a bit of exposure…I will probably end up arrested.
Is blogging bad for your health?
I agree to watch a movie with my partner but have my computer on my lap. I love spending time with you darling, can you just proof read this paragraph? Date night has turned into dictionary hour. Writing can swallow time. It can be easy to forget to stretch, to stand, to take a walk. I was definitely healthier before I started blogging. It can be a sedentary lifestyle in front of a screen. Do you feel like you are always plugged in?
You push, push, push and that love of writing, that delight, flutters and flounders like a moth in a glass.
So how do you not turn into a blombie?
(See what I did there blogger/zombie…)
This is not a Zen, drink herbal tea and reach enlightenment through Twitter post. I am a girl that on occasion eats snickers for breakfast. Clean living for me is wiping my kitchen with baby wipes. That said, whilst I may not be a health guru whether blogging is your job or your hobby take time to recharge and refocus. How can you be a healthy blogger? Physically, mentally, the whole shebang. You can drink smoothies with Chia seeds if you want. Find a workflow that suits you and create good habits. Set goals but recognise your achievements. There are fantastic courses on productivity and how to manage your time.
Be mindful that blogging doesn’t take as much as it can give.
We all have those dark blogger moments. The ‘why the hell are we doing this’ sessions whilst holding a glass of wine. Or a bottle. Be kind on yourself, an organised blogger is a successful one. A self-aware blogger is a happy one. We are all seeking that elusive blog-work-parent-partner-me balance.
So no, blogging for myself and many others is not just a job, it’s become a life choice too.