Why I Started My Blog

You know, as a grown up in social situations, you are quite often asked the question.

“So, what do you do for a living?”

It is often just a question to find connections in conversations. When I am asked I tell them that I am a writer. And then you get the next question.

“What do you write?”

And I tell them I have written a book, write columns but mainly I blog. And then, you get a list of questions.

  • What is a blog?
  • What do you write about on it?
  • How do you make money from it?
  • Don’t you find it hard to come up with things to write?

And the old chestnut….. What made you start blogging. Well, I was very much a half ass blogger. I wrote my first post on the 6th May 2008. In the following two years, I wrote a grand total of 6 posts, all of them fairly horrendous. Things like this!

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I cannot believe that I didn’t get any comments on that piece of literary genius! I mean, the dark and light, the plot twist. I was one of the Original Australian Mummy Bloggers. And then I watched the Movie Julie and Julia.

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And then I remembered! I had a blog. This movie inspired me to write on my unknown – no-one will ever read this anyway, little space on the internet every single day for a year. So nearly exactly seven years ago to this very day, I wrote an Open Letter to Maggie Beer and started properly blogging. Again, for no other reason, just for me. After a few months, someone left a comment.

JESUS SOMEONE WAS READING MY BLOG! I was all like… “Should I tell my family that I am doing this? Should I let the old ball and chain know?” Blogging was becoming less mysterious. Mia Freedman had started her own site in 2007, and was growing a very engaged community. So I just kept tapping away, tapping away and tapping away. Then someone else commented! And then another! By this stage, I had an entrenched habit to write. It simply became a part of my day.

I found a crew of other women writers! There were actually hundreds of us out there. The mainstream media started asking questions.

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And not everyone liked what they saw. (Please note that photo has been airbrushed to hell and back!)

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This of course was quite rattling and many women who enjoyed blogging just stopped. Then in 2012, Media Watch did a whole segment on it, and we got flamed again. But onwards we tipsy tapped, our voices getting strong and braver. New bloggers started making an impact as well. To be honest, it is not a game for the faint hearted, sometimes the trolling can get a gal down, but you learn to ignore the negative and focus on the good stuff.

For me, it is about community and creativity. Yesterday at a work lunch we discussed Women’s Media. I banged on about how women over 40 are generally ignored by the mainstream media and advertisers. It is as if you simply do not count, and platforms like blogs, are always going to grow more and more acceptable because real issues get discussed.

There are several types of blogs around. You have information blogs, shiny happy people blogs and you have the storytellers. And there is room enough for everyone. I am slowly started to accept that Instagram Bikini Modelling is now an Industry. But for every Kim Kardashian our there, there is a Celeste Barber. ADORE!

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Sometimes I go through enormous periods of negative self-doubt. “Who the fuck do you think you are?” Those periods can be bleak, but I get up and I show up and I write most days. Because to me, I need to have an anchor, and that creativity is so so important. And if you like reading it, that is the icing on the cake.

Yesterday, I sat in a session about how to grow your blog using Search Engine Optimisation. Well, it may as well been delivered in Chinese! I kind of GOT it, but I have never used it to get more hits on the blog. I turned to my lovely friend, fellow blogger Smaggle and I said to her…

“How do I manage to make a living out of doing this?” and without one seconds hesitation she replied.

“It is a mystery to everyone!”

For me it is about the story. The written word on the page. I DON’T know why I started blogging but I know why I keep doing it. You.

I am extraordinarily privileged to provide a platform for women to share. I write this for you. Sitting there. Yes you. Your marriage might be shit and your kids are driving you mental. You parents are getting older and you worry about them. You and I, we have the same highs and lows. The same joys and struggles. Together, we are stronger. No one can silence us, even if they tried. You are never alone, even if you are so lonely it hurts.

So thank you for seven glorious years, and they have been. Thank you for hanging around.

What do you like about blogs?

Ever thought of starting one? DO IT!