Throwing Away The Handbook


Hey, how’s it going?

I hope all is good in your hood.

Did you know that you shouldn’t start blog posts like that?  I’m sure it says so in the “Beginners Guide To Blogging Like Everyone Else”, you’ll find it on page five thousand, four hundred and twenty three, about two thirds of the way up.  It’s after the chapter on using numbers in your title to engage readers and just before the chapter on how to bleg.

You guys I’m so over it.

I’m an avid reader of at least a 100 different blogs and I feel like I’m just seeing the same thing over and over again.  To be clear, I’m not against a review or a giveaway or a post with 7 things (that we don’t spend money on because we’re parents) – in fact you’ll notice a few of those popping up here fairly regularly.  I just feel like I’m starting to unintentionally conform to this and in so doing I’m starting to lose my sense of “self” on MY OWN blog and that just makes no sense to me.

Do you even care about this inner turmoil that I am struggling with?  Probably not.  But writing things out is a form of therapy for me that is one of the reasons I started this blog in the first place.  I’ve been feeling this overwhelming need to write but nothing is coming out because I can’t move past this.  So here I am, working it out with the keyboard, as one does.

I read this post* yesterday and it struck a cord with me somehow.  I’m almost sure it’s to do with the term “the underbelly of our family”.  All I seem to read is fluff.  Where is the good stuff?  The real stuff?  The hard stuff?  A place where all the good, the bad and the ugly are woven together to remind you that the grass is not always greener on the other side.  It’s green where you work your flipping ass off watering it, digging out the weeds and putting horse poop on it all the time (and enduring the smell).

* You should read this – really it won’t take long.

Green grass takes some mother flipping hard work.

Spending time on social media is fun and interesting for the most part, but I often log off feeling drained and dissatisfied with my life.  Which is silly really because even though I know it probably didn’t come easy for the person inducing the jealousy, I didn’t get to see the hard work that went into the behind the scenes reality.  What’s even more mind blowing is that I may make you feel this way too and that sucks.

So instead I’ve started using my Blogging Handbook to keep the toilet door open because that seems more useful.

And to prove it, I’ll start my sentence with “And” and leave you with these pictures of my kids – all of whom I had to bribe with food in order to take these pictures.

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42 thoughts on “Throwing Away The Handbook

  1. Yip! I know what you mean. I’m so BORED with the whole blogging community at the moment. ERR’BODY is a blogger these days. Having actual writing skills is an optional extra. I have a handful of blogs I still read and I’m even staying away from social media more than I used to. Quality people…not quantity!

  2. My favorite blogs are real people blogs – like yours and yes, there may be the odd promotion thingy, but I love to read you if you are real to me. If I feel you write form your heart. I count your blog under those.

    • Thanks so much Cat!! I really appreciate that! Being real is something that I try really hard to be, so I’m glad I’m not missing the plot on that.

  3. Love “the underbelly of our family”, it’s just ticking all the great phrase boxes for me. I tend to stay light, because I don’t have the skill to do the underbelly well. People who are good at getting you to ‘see’, feel and relate to what they share are such great writers that it can be quite intimidating…and put you off sharing something similar.

    I’m with you on the sameness feeling that a lot of blogs have lately. I know it’s silly, but I get so annoyed with the curly bracket title thing – punctuation is there for a reason, folks.

    • Ooh! Noted about the curly bracket thing Cassey! I do it with new post or review because I just thought it looked nice :/ But it’s good to hear what people aren’t responding to. Or what is annoying them.

    • It really is such a great phrase!

      I know exactly what you mean, I often feel like I don’t fit in with the Kelle Hamptons of the world, where words flow out of them like an entertaining stream of amazingness. It makes me afraid of posting – which is just so silly!

  4. Man, I can relate to this and my blog is still a baby. What I try to do with each post is focus on if it’s meaningful to ME. Because it’s my blog and if people like it then that’s a bonus. I unsubscribed from a certain mommy group on FB because it was driving me insane. It was draining. I also bribe my child with episodes of Charlie and Lola and Provitas because my kid is a weirdo.

  5. I think people are focusing too much on what will get them noticed (invited to PR events, free stuff etc) that they lose their sense of self. And if that’s what floats their boat so be it. I blog for me. My grammar sucks and sometimes a sentences probably only makes sense to me. And that’s okay too.
    Oh and about the feeling drained after being on SM. Totally get that. I always feel like such a failure because everyone else’s life seems so much better than mine but then I read this “The reason we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind the scenes with everyone else’s highlight reel” so I try keep this in mind whenever I go on SM.

    • What I want to know is if people still read the “promotional ones” and leave feeling informed or rolling their eyes at the writer.

      I love your blog and it’s one of the ones that I file in my “real” box of blogs to read. Thank you for that!

  6. This, so much. In an effort to drive up the views (which makes me feel like a view-and-comments w&@%e) I wrote a listicle for my blog. I t was fun, and light – and totally shallow and meaningless noise. Gaah!
    Go with what works for you.
    I often have my own inner turmoil – views, or content? Am I just writing for the views (In which case I should stick to Oscar, sex, scandal, drugs, death, murder and tragedy – those posts have views in the tens of thousands, the rest in the very low hundreds)

      • Yup. I get drawn into listicles and then get annoyed at myself for doing so! I’ve tweet ranted at Thought Catalogue often with such pearlers as “10 things I’d rather be doing than reading Thought Catalogue’s listicles!” I have no shame.

  7. I’m fairly new to the SA blogosphere and have only recently started reading and following SA bloggers. I find that there are some truly awesome bloggers and a whole lot of fluff around too. Mine probably adds to the fluff list 😉 but it’s all in a day’s work as an author-in-progress. My blogging could be compared to reading a soppy romance novel between Stieg Larson’s Girl with the Dragon tattoo series. I am the soppy romance obviously. Haha… @Liezel I couldn’t agree more with some of them seeking attention for the sake of freebies and event invitations. Authenticity is what some of them lack or maybe they’ve just lost the plot and forgot why they started blogging.

    Before I forget… Your kids are adorable 🙂

    • Don’t get me wrong, we all need a good dose of fluff, but surely every now and then there should be more than that?

      I must check out your blog (I’m an undercover romance lover!)

  8. Lol, bribing kids to take pictures! It’s so easy to get caught up in it all, the numbers, the readers, the comments and wondering whether your blog appeals to anyone. Writing in many ways is my catharsis, but I suppose it all comes down to why we blog, the intentions behind our page and trying to stay true to it all and not get pulled by the online societal norms and expectations of others…

  9. I always try and remember that this little space is yours and do it only for you – this often helps and prevents me from getting stuck in a rut or following the crowd because I don’t do it for anyone else but me – although the reader engagement is my best and so awesome too!

    Kelle is one amazing momma and she has traveled a heartwarming yet emotional and tough journey with her kids. But the best thing about her is she is real, and she always has been.
    x

  10. I struggle with this every time i turn on my computer to write a post! It’s a hard life for those dedicated to the writing process of blogging. On the one hand you want to increase readership on your blog, but you also don’t want to lose the essence of what makes you, you! I haven’t cracked the nod in the blogging world, but i will continue to do things my way ☺

  11. HA! I actually had this same thought this morning when I heard a guy talking about being honest and thats what people want – real honest. Not that I am not being honest on my blog – I am but I do sometimes feel like I am being herded in a direction because I do want my blog to perform better and be recognised so now I am actively trying to plan for a “real” post and then a “post that I have to write” if that makes sense?

  12. You are my favourite favourite! You get the balance right so far and your family is one of the most gorgeous on the Internet 😍

    Although I occasionally skip over promotion posts, if it is something that appeals to me as a mommy, I may still read it. I have turned down a few opportunities of late because I have seen the same thing flooding some of my favourite blogs; but I’ve also accepted a few that I genuinely feel my readers will enjoy. On that note – I have absolutely no idea what my reader numbers are like or how many impressions I get or anything else 😂 I purposely don’t look because it isn’t about that for me at all. I suspect my numbers aren’t very high since I know my content tends to be a little too honest for some folks. You will be happy to know (as one of the few that read me) that I am working on TWO list posts at the moment; though they aren’t paid for or promoted, I just felt like sharing some of my favourite things 🙂

  13. Continue writing from your heart ❤ remembering the real reason you started this blog (go back to your first few posts) forget about who's reading and what they may think. This is for your kids to have a super awesome keepsake and memory book of their lives (what an awesome piece of history you are creating for them)… one of my favourite quotes "You cannot make everybody happy. You're not a Nutella jar ". Write deep stuff, write fluff stuff, write real stuff, write offensive stuff… write what's relevant to you and your family. I enjoy reading your blog (besides the fact that you are a very dear friend and I love you like a sister) but because I believe you have this balance so stick to your guns! Hugs xxx PS. this post is proof that you are writing real posts 😉 lol xx

  14. I think the trick is to have balance. And not make a sponsored post look like a sponsored post. It has to have your own angle, your own research.
    Oh and Cindy I think you are one of the real bloggers out there – writing a post like this shows it.

  15. Those sponsored posts drive me mad. I see them and don’t even open them. EVEN if there is a “WIN” attached to them. That’s the only reason 80% of people actually read them I reckon, it’s for the freebie at the end. You know how nowadays you open a magazine and the first 20 pages are all adverts? And you flip past them to get to the articles? That’s kind of how Bloglovin has become, skim over all the sponsored/paid for/you got a freebie to do this posts and go straight to the ones that are actually about something.

    • I do the same – unless I want what they are giving away ha ha. I feel like I’m being marked to ALL the time and if it’s going to be done on a blog then at least make it so personal that it doesn’t even feel like an advert. If that makes sense. That’s what I try to do, although I know it doesn’t always work.

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