For the newbie blogger, just starting out and full of enthusiasm, there are a staggering number of “How-To” articles and posts available to read. I, like so many others, did just that. I Googled, I read, took notes, and voraciously consumed tips on best practice for blogging – especially a parenting blog. And I’m glad that I did, I learned loads and put it to work:
Make a schedule and stick to it *Tick*.
Use original, striking images *Tick*.
Promote through social media *Tick*.
Engage with other bloggers *Tick*.
Write great copy *Um, well, I try!*
And yet, not even a year in, I find myself pretty short on enthusiasm for this parenting blog lark. Not that I’ve nothing to say, and having guest-posted around and gotten decent feedback, it’s not a crisis of confidence either. I have posts written but for various reasons haven’t published yet. Upon the realisation that the aforementioned schedule had gone out the window, instead of just firing up some half-baked post I decided to examine why that had come about. The reasons I can see follow:
It’s a parenting blog, and while the blog part of that is important, it’s not my job. Parenting, on the other hand, is my main job right now! So despite the best advice in the world about schedules and regular posting, if I don’t get time to write some trite little rant about PlayDoh, it’s not the end of the world. If however, I should neglect my daddy duties in the interests of shouting into the void on my parenting blog… Well that, that is much more like Armageddon to me. If ever the day came where my Instagram distracted me from being the best dad I can to my girl, I would consider myself a failure at doing the thing I love the most.
So schedule be damned, if I get the time – great. If not – so what? The world will spin on without my meme being published, the literary canon will not suffer.
OTHER PARENTING BLOGS
Now I don’t want to upset anyone, or come off as resentful, but other blogs sometimes baffle me. I’ve been lucky to be welcomed into a network of fine writers and great parents. I’ve whored out my ramblings to them and they’ve been helpful and more than accommodating – I am truly grateful. But sometimes a parenting blog that I follow will blast out such a number of tweets, replies, comments, and Insta pictures, in one day that I can’t help but wonder: “Who’s watching the kids while you do this?”
Far be it from me to judge anyone else’s parenting, I mess up more often than I like to admit. But there are some accounts that are populated by so many selfies of the parent, so many to-camera monologues that I’m sick of seeing their darn faces! Isn’t this parenting blog supposed to be about the kids? Or is it all about you?
My worry is that my own might become a similar vanity project, I cringe at the thought.
THE BLOGGING COMMUNITY
Like I say, there are some awesome folk out there. Yet the thought occurred to me one day, and I could not shake it: “Who actually reads a parenting blog? Is it just parenting bloggers?” The wife assures me that she read lots of them while pregnant, and there’s plenty good advice to be had. But out of my modest visitor numbers and engagement stats I had to question whether a chunk of that might be just other bloggers being polite or curious. If so, what’s the point of all this?
Call me cynical, but the round-robin of kudos amongst bloggers seems a bit fake to me. I see people calling each other ‘Brilliant’ or ‘Hilarious’ when the former’s grasp of grammar is tenuous, and the latter just stole a meme that’s being doing the rounds for weeks! I know that the support network of fellow bloggers is an invaluable asset to us all, I’ve just not got the time for stroking egos. In my former life as a newspaper editor, the idea of sparing someone’s feelings when they filed shite copy was abandoned early on. Can everyone really think that everyone else is awesome?
So while I’m ever grateful for kind and encouraging words, it’s hard not to have them ring hollow sometimes.. Ungrateful, huh?
BUT STILL, ON WE GO
Yes, I’m aware of the irony of a self-reflexive parenting blog post about blogs. Just needed to vent – that’s one of the many purposes of these yokes, no? Normal service (if you can call it such) will resume presently. Thanks for reading.