Aimee Horton

Blogging

Jun
26

Shit. I think I’m starting to quite like my kids.

No – don’t worry, not really, that’s never going to happen!

Seriously though, I’m in a bit of a predicament. My blog is predominantly about parenting isn’t it? Yes, there are a few other areas, but we all know it’s mainly about the kids and parenting woes. It’s how I’ve branded myself! I’m not a great photographer (especially now I’ve smashed my iPhone screen and my digital camera is on it’s last legs *sob*). I like to cook but I’m nothing special, simply surviving without being on first-name terms with all of the takeaways in the local vicinity and if I’m honest I spend most of my time with my head stuck in the imaginary world which is my next novel idea.

Blogging about the boys has always come easily to me. There would be a million times a day where I’d grab a post-it and make note of something to write about later, but as the boys get older, it’s a bit more tricky. Why? Because actually, it’s not too bad right now. It appears that having a three-and-a-half-year-old and a nearly-six-year-old is almost the magic number.

I’m not saying life is perfect by any means. I still have to karate chop The Chunk into his car seat every now and then (which is actually easier with a 3 door because I just stand behind the seat and put my body weight on him), and The Beast – well The Beast has an attitude that has reduced me to tears in recent weeks – being the ‘bad cop’ really does get me down sometimes. But that’s not something I want to blog about. It’s not funny, it’s actually a horrible feeling that I’ve turned into shouty mummy, and whilst I’m a total over-sharer I have a distinct line between talking about my private life, and having a humorous outlook into the parenting woes that many parents go through. The laugh and cry mantra I live my life by still sometimes has limits.

I guess I could blog about how The Beast refuses to kiss me in public anymore. Or how his learning phonics means that spelling out words we don’t want him to hear doesn’t actually make a difference these days. Or maybe how The Chunky drew a picture of me at nursery. I was on the grass with a glass of wine. That is funny – but it’s also not a blog post, not one I’ve not written similar to before anyway.

I’m still tired. I still hate the 5am starts, the 10pm “GET TO SLEEP OR NO IPAD” lies, or the constant battle to try and get them to eat “I’ll try milk if you try broccoli” (I hate milk), but if I’m honest, these are all slipping nicely into my favourite linky The Bad Mums club. A post a month.

So what’s happened? What’s changed? It’s certainly not good that I find my own blog ideas boring is it?

If I’m honest I’ve been struggling since I started writing my third book. However, I assumed I was just absorbed with Dottie and her story.

I’m not huge in the blogging scene. I don’t pretend to be, and between you and me, I have no inclination to be. I want to make people laugh – lots of people. I want them to empathise, and I want them not to feel so alone. Last year when I was featured in The Guardian regarding sharenting the best thing was the emails I got from people telling me I’d made them feel better, that they didn’t need to be perfect.

This made my day, but a lot has changed in a year. It’s not just online friends who read it now, people I see every day on the school run, my mother, the outlaws, they all have easy access to my blog, they’re more aware, and I know a lot of them read it. This is great in so many ways, like I say, I want to make people laugh and relate. However, no matter how honest I am, how real, I don’t want to accidentally hurt people’s feelings, therefore I can no longer be as tactless and candid as I once was. I have to think before I type a little bit more, and whilst I think it’s made a vast improvement to my writing, I do think that that blatant ‘couldn’t give a toss’ attitude is what really gets the laughs.

Taking all this into account though, I still love my little blog. I love what it’s grown into, even if I do sometimes worry that the school may call the social services regarding my gin consumption. I love those who take the time to read, and I love those who take the time to let me know they’ve enjoyed what I’ve written, whether they’ve agreed with it or not. It makes my day probably more than it should. With that in mind, I have continued on, battling what I thought was bloggers block due to the intensity of post book release.

Then Britmums happened.

For those of you not involved in the blog world Britmums is a massive blogging conference, HUGE, and I didn’t go this year, I didn’t want too.

Then I did, then I didn’t, then I did and it was too late. We had family commitments and also having just got Filoola-the-Fiat it was a bit unfair to fork out on a last-minute weekend to London when between you and me, I only wanted to go to meet a select amount of people. That sentence says volumes doesn’t it? I only want to meet up with a few like-minded people who happen to blog and share a drink and tell them how awesome they are.

Even though I had been umming and ahhing about the whole thing, and my reasons for going, when Friday came round and I was home in the chunk I was a little bit grumpy. Ok, that’s a lie. I was beyond jealous as my Instagram and Twitter feed started to fill with people I considered friends. Even people I didn’t consider friends suddenly made my tummy flip with envy as they were pictured laughing and drinking wine (WINE.ALL.DAY!). I stropped about for a bit feeling grumpy, because I was missing out. But if I’m really honest with myself, I was mainly grumpy about missing out on the wine.

You see, I’ve always thought that the blogging industry is about popularity rather than talent. I know you can say it about most things these days the boss’s favourite getting promoted, or even somebody from reality TV getting a book deal that somebody else will write for them (YES I’M BITTER ABOUT THE BOOK THING OK!), but I must admit I always naively thought I’d be part of an industry that was about hard work and quality. However, I think the awards on Friday (bar a few obvious winners) proved the popularity vs. talent theory was perhaps right. Again.

I realised a while ago that I’d stop reading loads of blogs written by those seen as ‘top bloggers’. I find their blogs boring, some maybe a little self-absorbed. Those nominated for certain awards I’d look at and be like “I don’t get it.”

There I said it.

Obviously people do enjoy their posts, otherwise they wouldn’t have gazillions of comments, but I can’t help but thinking that’s partly a social thing. Surely it’s not just me that finds them boring? And in the spirit of being honest, I’m worried I might turn into that as I lose my passion.

I’m not saying all bloggers lack talent, I’m not even saying the top ones do, I’m just saying perhaps they don’t have the spark they used to. Not that all blogs do this to be part of the industry. A lot of bloggers just do it as a release, as a hobby, therapy, just something they enjoy doing. I think that’s how most blogs start out, as a bit of fun, and sometimes the whole “thing” just spirals into one big “thing”.

I’m starting to sound jumbled.

What I’m trying to say, is that even though I’ve been thinking it’s more popularity than talent for a while, I think the industry is starting to realise that’s the case too, I almost feel that this year it’s stopped pretending it’s anything else. The fact that it is often referred to as a “community” rather than an “industry” speaks volumes.

Maybe it’s my corporate background coming out again. Maybe it’s the fact that I took time off to do something else and when I came back and looked at it with fresh eyes. Kind of like going back to work after maternity leave, I’ve realised just how cynical I am about the whole thing. How playground I find it. 

Self-made celebrities, bitter feuds over comments that are made, some accused of being thoughtless, some defended as being candid and honest – depending on who has said what about them. Blocking and bitching on twitter. I just can’t be arsed.

So what now? Is this my dramatic exit from the blogging world?

No – that’s the short answer. This is simply a brain dump, a lead into what my blog is going to be from now on. An honest, simple, real, brain dump. Which is still isn’t really a long answer is it?

I’ve always tried to be honest in my posts. You know I’m not good at keeping things clean and white. You know I’ve not always enjoyed parenting, that the thought of six weeks of 24/7 small people fills me with panic. I don’t have time to lay my food out to look amazing.

Not that there is anything wrong with doing the opposite to me. I’m very big on the ‘each to their own’ way of thinking.

After all, some people’s blogs are their business. Some blogs are just painfully awesome. Lucy from Capture By Lucy makes me wish I was her. Alison makes me think, Morgana makes me happy, Kate makes me positive, Katrina makes me get my juicer out, Wendy makes me hungry, and It’s not her it’s me makes me wish I had a pinch of her style. But I don’t have any of those qualities really, especially the style one. Whenever I dare post what I’m wearing I worry that people will think I’m self absorbed, will look at me and go “I really couldn’t give a toss” and to be honest I don’t blame you. I’m not all that, I live in jeans mainly because they don’t ruin if you clean them with baby wipes.

I’m a tad more slap stick I guess.

This blog isn’t a business for me. Like I said earlier – it’s not a representation of my cookery skills, or my photography skills. I share out of fun. Because I like the look of a linky, because somebody mentioned they liked the look of what I was eating on Instagram, because something has been on my mind and I need to explode it out there, and for some reason I do it better on a blog then in a private diary.

YES, it’s good that you get to know me, my love of writing, what I’m all about. But that’s secondary to me just being real while I plug away at making up characters that I hope you’ll read and enjoy.

#passthegin I think I need it.

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