Blog Toast Tuesday: 13 September 2016

It’s time for my weekly feature, #blogtoast Tuesday, where I toast other blogs I’ve discovered and enjoyed in the previous week. I’m actually running a little late today. I like to queue up my #blogtoast post on Monday night and publish on my Tuesday morning commute. But last night I got my nails done instead. You gotta’ live a little, right?

So here I am blogging on my lunch break. I’m going to have to make it fast!

The Adventures of Beta Mummy: Doodlings and ramblings on what a f*cking disaster parenthood can be

Her blog’s subtitle just makes me feel safe. Yes, parenting can be a f*cking disaster. I’m so glad I’m not the only one who thinks so!

I’m also glad I’m not the only one who thinks an asterisk is the perfect way to write the f-word online. It’s like a swear, but not a swear. Nobody’s sure if it really counts as swearing. It’s Schrodinger’s swear.

Anyway, I love the concept of Beta Mummy, who just doesn’t look as polished and sorted as Alpha Mummy. Alpha Mummy attends all the playgroups perfectly coiffed and dressed, with no sick on her shoulder, and engages in sparklingly witty conversation with other Alpha Mummies. Beta Mummy comes rolling in late, with no money for the playgroup “fee” and some cheerios stuck in her hair. Beta Mummy illustrates these sorts of scenes with hilarious drawings.

But Beta Mummy knows that not all is as it appears – I love her post, ‘Even Alpha Mummies Struggle’.

She is also one of the hosts of the fab Chucklemums linky, where you can link up your funny posts. I’ve only linked up one that I thought was worthy, but someday I might write something vaguely funny again!

Little Paper Swans: A food + mama blog

A very different sort of blog – Little Paper Swans has beautiful photography and great lifestyle posts.

My favourite feature on her blog is her Weekly Meal Plans for under £30. I’m always struggling to come up with new ideas of things to cook without buying loads of ingredients or making loads of effort! She packages it up for you nicely so you can pick and choose what you might like to cook. You can get further inspiration from her great selection of recipes.

She also has a great series featuring other people’s birth stories. I really enjoy hearing about other people’s experiences.

Please do join me in toasting the best blogs by tweeting your favourite this week with the hashtag: #blogtoast (and if you @themumreviews I will retweet you – it’s win/win!) – or let me know just what you think of me in the comments!

The best & worst of being a new blogger

Thoughts on staying motivated

It’s been just over a week since I started this blog, and it’s starting to get real.

I am a bit of a faddy sort of person, or maybe even a bit of a “quitter”. I get excited about things and pursue them avidly for a while, and then if they get hard or boring I quickly move on. When I started this blog, I promised myself I would stick with it for a change. I even paid for a domain name so that the financial outlay might guilt me into sticking with it.

But today I’m starting to realise how difficult this blogging malarkey can be. So to keep myself on target, I decided to write a little list of the best and worst things about blogging so far.

The best

Catharsis

After going through the process of writing a post, I just feel better. I’ve taken all this stuff bouncing around inside my head and put it somewhere else. Almost every night, my toddler wakes me at 4am for a drink and a cuddle, and then I find it difficult to get back to sleep because I start thinking about stuff. Now that I’m blogging, I’ve emptied my head before bed, and I sleep better.

Achievement 

There is a lot to be said for that feeling when you publish a post that you’re happy with. And even more to be said for that feeling when you find that someone actually reads it, or comments positively on it, or even shares it. That feeling could become a little bit addictive.

Connection and community

Before I started I had no idea what a big deal blogging was. I didn’t know it was a thing with groups and awards and a million articles for advice and strategy. There are so many other bloggers out there who are so interesting and supportive, and I’ve really enjoyed connecting with some of these people and starting to join the community.

The worst

Losing confidence

What if my writing is actually rubbish? What if nobody reads my blog? What if someone actually tells me that it’s rubbish? I’ve had a lot of self-doubt, and when things don’t go quite the way I expect, it gets worse. So I’m trying to remember that, although it would be lovely if people read my blog, that’s not why I’m doing it. I’m doing it for me – for enjoyment, for self-improvement, for the sake of doing something challenging. It’s not perfect but it’s mine.

Offending someone

I work in publishing so I’m used to assessing whether content is going to be controversial or offend a particular group of readers. But blogging is a bit more personal. What if I offend someone close to me with something I write? I would never write something intentionally hurtful, and I do try to be considerate, but sometimes people see things from a different perspective from me. This is a tough one. I hope that anyone who thinks I write something offensive will go ahead and call me out. Opening the lines of communication means that we have a chance to resolve misunderstandings. And if I mess up I will try to make amends.

Content!

I obviously can’t write a blog if I have nothing to write about. I’m still coasting on the wave of my blog being new, so I have lots of ideas for content. But I worry about running out of ideas and how I’m going to cope with that. I also worry about whether the content I do have is actually worth having. But I’m trying to remind myself that this blog is always going to be a work in progress. It’s not a finished product but an evolving thing that will grow and change and take me on a journey.

The verdict

I took my son to see “Finding Dory” this week and keep hearing her little song in my head: “Just keep swimming, just keep swimming!” It seems to me that blogging is about perseverance. So whenever I lose my confidence or get a little bit scared, I’m going to “just keep blogging”.

What are the best and worst bits of blogging for you? How do you motivate yourself to keep on blogging?