I didn’t expect I’d get blogging swag, nor that I would make money from writing. No one does. Except maybe JK Rowling, but as I said some time ago ‘I’m not JK Rowling’. As for blogging, well the jury’s still out as to whether you can actually make a living from blogging.
But when I first started I didn’t ever think that blogging’s ROI would be monetary. I thought it would be cathartic. I thought I would get back a lighter heart after venting my spleen on the blog. I thought I’d get a nice platform for my writing; something I could pivot off into the career as a novelist that I’ve dreamt of, since I was seven. I also thought it would be a good showcase for my marketing communications’ work.
I wasn’t interested in the make money quick kind of blogging advice. Nor was I keen on being part of a ‘mummy club’. I just wanted to write. And hopefully have someone read what I’ve written! And laugh, and cry and not feel quite as alone as they did before.
I found out soon enough that blogging is a strange business. It’s a dichotomy. It’s a very time-consuming art, and it’s a lonely life, sitting in front of your screen reaching out through your keyboard. It’s not at all glamourous. It’s not even poor-artist worthy! Raising a blog is like raising children. I know that when my Englishman comes home at the end of the day, he can’t see any evidence of anything I’ve achieved during the day.
The house is still a mess. I’m usually still stressed, and tired and I’m still tap tap tapping away…
Yet like raising kids, one day you’re suddenly struck by how much they’ve grown. How much taller they are. How their clothes don’t fit or in the case of your blog how your style and direction has changed. Often it’s a remark by someone else that alerts you to the change, and it frequently comes from out of the blue.
As encouragement came for me on Friday night.
I went up to London over the weekend to catch up with the many blogging friends who were in town attending the BritMums’ Live conference. It wasn’t a cheap endeavour heading to town, particularly when work and income has been somewhat light recently, but I’m glad I went.
It was great fun catching up with Wendy from Very Bored in Catalunya, Trish from Mumsgoneto, Mari from Mari’s World, Michelle from The American Resident,Toni from Expat Mum, Di from PowerRoom, Hannah from Muddling Along Mummy, Sabina from London City Mum, Helen from Knackered Mother’s Wine Club, and Gappy. Not to mention meeting (for the first time in the flesh) Selena from Oh The Places We Will Go, and Kathryn and Kylie, and Rachel and Erin and Teawithonesugar. And many more besides. You should absolutely look into these blogs because they’re all brilliant!
It was intense and wild and exhausting. Not to mention extremely LOUD (I thought they were going to eject us from Dishoom!) but oh was it worth it. Someone fell off their chair at the restaurant, and it wasn’t me! (first time for everything!)
I wasn’t asked to speak at BritMums (even though I would have loved to, but then I didn’t offer either. I need to work on putting myself out there more…) nor did I win a BiB award, but I did receive encouragement and even a compliment or two. On the way home a newbie blogger commented that surely Vegemitevix was one of the most successful blogs in the UK.
I don’t remember answering, but I suspect I said something like – Umohouiohtokhnknp! And looked suitably embarrassed, and wanted to say ‘define successful’.
But it was succour for my poor tired blogging soul and as I made my way home arriving back at 3am, I realised something.
This is my reward, my Return on Investment (ROI) – the encouragement and companionship I get from my blogging tribe. And it’s enough to keep me going until I can afford to blog fulltime and make my living from it. One day I want to play with the remarkable blogging mafioso – Mrs Woog and Nikki from Styling You and others like them.
Until then, I’ll keep tap tap tapping away.
Where does your encouragement for your work come from?
And how do you define success – in blogging or otherwise?
Image: Flickr CC