I was going to title this “Just Do It” but then I would probably have ended up being sued by a sportswear brand so here we are… Go for it!
Go for what?
Whatever it is you want to do, that’s what.
I started my blog exactly one year ago today & it’s been a complete surprise to me how well it’s going & how much I enjoy it.
I never did any writing before this; well except for shopping lists, greeting cards and the odd very awkward letter to various parents over the years!
I did love writing in school. It always came easy to me. I never had to slave over spellings in Primary school, I was the annoying one who just had to look at the word once & remembered it.
I read loads as a child, decreasingly so the older I got, which is a shame, but telly is just too damn enjoyable and easy. As an adult, I could count on one hand how many books I have actually started & finished. Everybody assumes because I am a teacher that I eat books; I don’t! Give me Netflix any day!!
But yes I love writing.
I had a great English teacher in Secondary School, and by coincidence I had him for all of my five years there. I spat out A4 pages of essays, novel comparisons, poetry analyses like running water. He once absolutely mortified me by photocopying one of said novel comparsions and giving it out to the rest of the class… I mean, how fucking rude right?! Luckily my classmates were fairly sound on the whole and didn’t completely condemn me for it.
He made me enter a writing competition once and I actually won it, the first thing in my life I ever won! Better again I won a Nokia 3310… it was the BEST thing that ever happened to me for a long time!
I distinctly remember him asking me once if I had considered writing as part of a career; I was almost insulted at the thought that that’s “all” I would do with my life! But lo and behold it did eventually become part of my life.
(Also, I now appreciate the very real work that is proper writing so hats off to those folks who make a living from it!)
A good friend has been interested in writing for years, so when I saw an open call for The M Word page looking for contributers I immediately contacted her & told her to get on it. She had piles of pieces ready to go.
A niggle started in me at the same time. I thought to myself, I could totally put something together for this… so I did! (Here it is in all it’s glory if you want a read… How to Survive in a House full of Men)
It went live on the website and the very encouraging lady running the page told me the next day that it had done well & gotten lots of reads. She asked me at the time if I had my own page/ platform & I had nothing, so that got the cogs turning.
I wrote another piece a few months later, and had some more ideas starting to swim around.
Cue shitstorm of the century, the real life Voldemort of our time, and I was at home for an undetermined amount of time with two small kids and nowhere to go.
The ideas kept swimming & niggling, so I did the barest research into starting a blog, and here we are.
It’s been a brilliant distraction and occupation during the weirdest year of my life.
I started the Facebook page the same day, and joined Instagram a while after, and it’s just grown and grown as the months have passed.
I really don’t know how I would have passed all the hours it it wasn’t for the blog and all the interaction and connections that have come off the back of it.
I’m so glad that I did go for it. It felt weird and awkward at the start, I was embarassed to be “a blogger”… that word has so many connotations now! But I am a blogger; I write blogs, so I’ve gotten over that hangup. 90 pieces of writing later, I am over the awks of asking for likes/shares/saves & comments!
Often as women and even more so as mothers we tell ourselves not to bother, to just keep ticking over, stick to the quiet life, don’t complicate things. So often we hear and read about women “losing” themselves in motherhood, and that is a dangerously real thing.
We have to prevent ourselves from getting fully lost. If we have a want or a need or a niggle to do something, we owe it to ourselves to do it. Yes sometimes it will mean making waves, asking for help, messing up the Status Quo.
We have to go for it regardless.
One thing is for damn sure, nobody else will do it for us.