Wellies on the School Run recently celebrated its second birthday. Well, when I say celebrated….the festivities amounted to me receiving an email from WordPress congratulating me on the happy day 😉 . There was no fanfare, no birthday cake and definitely no birthday bumps – but all the same I thought it was worth acknowledging another little milestone with a few words on the blog.
Wellies on the School Run started two years ago as a way of channelling my desire to be a writer. I wrote about this in a similar ‘Wellies on the School Run turns one’ post last year and you can read about that here. It was also a way for me to have my own creative outlet, something I think at the time I was desperately in need of. What started as a hobby became a passion and over 100 articles later, I’m still loving every day. My writing and my blog give me purpose and direction outside my life as Mummy. For me, having that sense of purpose and structure is so important for wellbeing in all aspects of life.
It would be a lie, though, to pass my blog off as something that’s just a nice little aside to living. Many bloggers will tell you that there is a very addictive side to blogging and in my experience, that’s definitely true! I seem to operate in two modes these days – writing and thinking about writing. I’m writing a book, have written a play, attend a writers group and am about to head off on my first ever writers retreat. It would be fair to say that writing is pretty much part of the way I live every single day.
It’s also easy to play down the discipline that’s involved in a blogging and writing mindset. I myself am guilty of waving off the effort I put into blogging as if it’s a somewhat frivolous affair. For some reason, I still find myself stumbling around for an answer when people ask me what I do with myself – I feel embarrassed when I tell people I’m a blogger. I mean, that’s not a real thing is it? – I can almost feel them wondering when I’m going to give up this nonsense and get a proper job 😉 .
Of course, that says more about me than the reality of what anyone else is actually thinking, and the truth of the matter is, I do treat writing and blogging just like any other ‘normal’ job. I have a strong work ethic and am very disciplined about working hours, weekly word count targets and so on – stemming partly from my own personality and also from several years of self-employment as a Childminder and Training Consultant before I started on the blog. I still provide support to my self-employed husband’s business so I am very used to the whole work-from-home mentality – to be honest, I think that discipline is pretty much essential if you want to approach any kind of self-employment as a professional affair.
On that subject, my blog has taken on a slightly more professional air over the last year or so and I now quite regularly receive requests to review products or write about something particular on my site. Although I’m very happy to work with businesses and brands – for the most part I haven’t taken up these requests. I think most of my readers know the sorts of things I’m interested in and would be a little disappointed if I was being anything less than authentic. I’m happy to move a bit cautiously on that score and ensure that anything I write about can be infused with a hefty element of ‘me’.
My blog has also given me lots of opportunities since its conception, from being invited to write for other websites to appearing on BBC Radio Scotland earlier this year. It’s also made me lots of new friends, albeit mainly of the ‘virtual’ kind – I am still rather a lonely character here in the north of Scotland where blogging isn’t really that much of a ‘thing’. As time goes on, more and more local businesses are adding blogs to their websites, which is lovely – but dedicated family or lifestyle blogs are still few and far between.
In a way, that probably works in my favour, but I am yet to discover any other ‘niche’ so lauded by articles on ‘how to grow a blog’. The truth is, I enjoy writing about all sorts of things and don’t particularly wish to constrain myself. So in the meantime, I’ll keep writing about travel, books, health, family and lifestyle. What do you say, readers, is that good enough for you?