Sunday, 23 January 2011

Get a grip

Something very strange and nice has happened to me over the past few weeks. I appear to have been welcomed into the warm embrace of what could be termed the 'mummy bloggerhood' via twitter and blogworld, with a few new followers and lots of new people's lives to read about and nod in agreement with. (It's also opened me up to a concept which quite frankly would scare the bejesus out of me if I didn't know that most of my Twitter followers don't actually want to read about the minutiae of my life, and that is tweeting a link to a newly published blog post. I used to have my blog linked to Facebook and a few of my FB friends found it from there, but since the squillion upgrades they've had that has disappeared. It feels very odd indeed to be proclaiming to the world at large that I've written something but hey, let's give it a go...)

But all this has led to a few roundabout conversations in my head about how much I can commit to write every week. When I started my blog I was commuting hours each day on the train; had no childcare responsibilities, a varied social and home life and consequently a large variety of things to write about. When I got pregnant I was still commuting and found it very therapeutic to blog about my weekly bump progress. When Gemma came along and I landed a local job with no commute, well look at the yearly archive of posts and the numbers for 2009 and 2010 speak for themselves. I joined Twitter over a year ago and have used it to tweet a random mix of personal, work/industry related stuff, and tv musings (Masterchef, Strictly et al), none on a regular basis. I follow a similarly assorted bunch of celebs, friends, work colleagues, and industry tweeters - a bit like the blogs I read, which I categorise in my reader under various headings - local, craft, personal, e-commerce, etc. One of those headings is 'baby' which is a catch all term for the mummy bloggers I've come across over the years. It's probably more relevant as a 'where did I first hear about this blogger and what did I immediately typecast them as' rather than what they actually blog about - all of them being intelligent, creative, articulate women with excellent taste in music, books, food, culture and all sorts of other interesting things. They just all happen to have kids and write entertainingly and movingly about them. This post is an interesting take on the 'mummy blogger' phenomenon and actually made even more interesting for the comments after it.

So why I am I so hesitant about becoming part of this throng? Like anyone I crave acceptance to a group, and perhaps not like anyone am paralysed with worry when I feel I'm being judged or not accepted. However - I know this is not happening to me at the moment and it shows my overanalytical internal nagging at the issue at hand. I was tagged in a meme the other day - the first time ever - and it totally freaked me out. Not because I don't have 7 things to say about myself that are faintly interesting (eh-hem well more likely I don't) but because firstly time seems to be of the essence with these things and once a Twitter day has gone by everyone has moved onto the next thing, and I haven't had a moment to sit down and write anything until now. If I didn't do it what WOULD people think?? Secondly, it wouldn't occur to me to write a blog post about something like that ordinarily, so why should being tagged make things different?

I'm sure I am flouting all sorts of blog etiquette rules here and probably ruling myself out of any meaningful relationship building with my new cyber friends. Most have probably realised by now that they're not going to get much out of me other than a few tweets now and again rather than a chatty conversation; and a blog post once in a blue moon. In turn I will still enjoy reading the new blogs I've found and will ping back a tweet to a comment that particularly resonates with me. But just as I don't call myself a craft blogger because I'm a member of Ravelry and knit occasionally; or a food blogger because I made some jam last November, I don't really feel I can call myself a mummy blogger because I sometimes write about Gemma.

In fact looking at recent posts I seem to be writing an awful lot about whether or not I'm going to continue writing and what type of writing that is and the fact that I don't write as much as I used to. This cannot be good for anyone. Draw the line. Onwards and upwards. My next post will be about compost heaps, or estate agents, or something.

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