Exactly one year ago this week, I decided to start a blog on a whim. I had recently left my full time career in order to stay at home with my six month old son and I took on caring for two other children in order to supplement my income. Spending 24 hours a day with children turned out to be VERY different (and busy, and insane, and exhausting) from the life I was used to living just six short months before. I knew almost nothing about how to start a blog and even less about hashtags and html codes. What I DID know is that I needed a place to vent. I was desperate for a place to spit the truth about parenting (while wiping spit up off my laptop). And so, The Honest Mommy emerged.
When I first started my blog, I had never actually shared anything I’d written to anyone. Ever. I wasn’t even sure if I was going to actually share the link to my website with friends and family. At the same time, I was interested in connecting with other mothers online and curious to find out if I was the only mother who felt like a total mess most of the time. In the end, I decided I would put it out there. After a few short months, I was shocked to see that hundreds of people were reading my posts. It was exciting, but scary. I was sharing some personal stuff. I was saying some not-so-pleasant things about parenting. What would people think?
Over the past year, I’ve learned A LOT of important information. I’ve learned about managing a website, how to share posts on social media, and about how to market and advertise online. Most importantly, I’ve learned about myself as a mother and as writer. Last week, I learned about an amazing conference that is being co-organized by a blogger I follow, Tiny Steps Mommy. The Femworking Blogger & Small Business Conference is designed to educate and connect bloggers and small business owners. The conference is looking to add one more person to their panel via a contest asking writers to share what they have learned about blogging.
So what have I learned over the past year?? Of course, I’ve learned a lot of the technical things. I’ve learned how to add widgets to my sidebar and how to create an ad shop on my sponsorship page. But those are certainly things that anyone can learn with a little research (and a good web designer to help when you are lost….). However, the most important lesson that I have learned as a blogger is not to take it personal. When I first started sharing my personal thoughts and challenges on the internet, I didn’t take into account how many people were going to be reading my work. It wasn’t long before I received a few negative e-mails from people who disagreed with my opinions and felt the need to share that with me. I could sit here and get into the irritating details about some of the comments I’ve gotten, but in the end, it doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter because while those kinds of reactions are annoying every time, I have to remember that this is about my experiences. My opinions. My voice. If you don’t like it, go start your own damn website. Or simply, don’t read my blog. I’m fine with that. My writing isn’t about trying to pleasing anyone else. I don’t worry about pissing anyone off because the purpose of my blog is for me to vent my honest feelings and to connect with people who might understand me. The fact of the matter is that as a writer, I’m putting myself out there. Not everyone is going to like it. So be it.
Starting a blog has not only helped me connect with other women who have had similar experiences to my own, but has also helped me reflect on my experiences as a parent. My posts are always honest, usually heartfelt, and sometimes hilarious. Yeah, I’ve gotten a few negative reactions, but it’s made me stronger and more confident in my opinions. I would love the opportunity to sit on the panel at the The Femworking Blogger & Small Business Conference in order to help other up and coming bloggers build confidence in their work and to learn that important lesson that comes with the territory: Don’t take it personal.
Follow the hashtag #femcon13 on Facebook and Twitter to learn more about this event!