"I was playin' in the beginnin' .. the mood all changed."
- Eminem, Lose Yourself
Once upon a time in America, mommyblogging was invented. And it was good. On the seventh day, Heather Armstrong rested .. which naturally freed up some space for other mommybloggers to rise up with their varying battlecries.
Some people start a blog to earn money. Some to save their sanity, or to connect. Show their sewing skills off, update their families, take over the world ... whatever. I started because I wanted to document my IVF process as I was so so clucky and wanted another baby. Mel from Stirrup Queens took me under her wing and let me "belong" ... I will be eternally grateful.
After almost a year of blogging, I clicked over to a site and looked in the sidebar for the bloggers infertility journey. And she didn't have one. I KNOW - can you even believe it? You're allowed to just, have a blog about anything at all! Amazing.
All of the women I started reading were American. I don't know what it is about you yanks but you do EVERYTHING first. That's ok. Even though Australia has a long associated history with cultural cringe, we can do our own thing well if we just goddamn believe in ourselves enough. A chick from LA left a comment on my blog the other day .. "You Aussie women bloggers show a really strong Spirit. It's great."
I liked that very much.
Back in America, I ate popcorn as mommyblogging wars broke out like an episode of Dallas in 1986. Jealousy, rivalry, betrayal. Such anger! It still continues today ... people's noses get very out of joint when it comes to other blogger's "success." Why does this happen? One word: money. Big companies and brands started taking notice of the strange yet extremely effective world of blogging. And the thing with these mums who blog is ... it was a way to earn money from home while their kids were little.
Why such a big emphasis and courting of these mumbloggers? Because they control the household finances. The hand that buys the cleaning products, rules the world.
I have my own freelance writing business. I get the odd article every now and again ... my aim was to always build it up and just have the work piling in. Last year was a complete write-off in that area for me, because I was battling to just hang on. So I thought, I should get a job a few days a week in a shop. For the first time in my life, I realised that I really SHOULD have gotten a trade but couldn't when I was younger as I was having a succession of years where I was battling to just hang on. (I sense a theme here!)
This is my life, man. It's stupid and strange to write it on the interent, but it is also the best thing I have ever, ever done. As the tide starts to change down here in Australia, I really hope we don't rip each other apart like our Northern Hemisphere counterparts. Because that SUCKS.
Why would a blogger be offered stuff? How come some bloggers get invited to things, get flown around ... get PAID? Maybe because they have kept writing and crafting and devoting time and energy to their blogs on a consistent basis. Taken risks, opened up themselves and their lives. Been bothered to take original photos, to just be real and cut the crap, or take the time to craft their words in such a way that other people connect. It has taken me five years to feel comfortable with it. I found my voice! (Cue single tear, streaming down my face.) It was there all along. When I was a girl, I had the weakest, softest high-pitched voice. I was painfully shy. Now I have a boomy man-voice. I like it very much and I have a lot to say.
Blogs are as evolved as the person writing them ... hell, my blog has been a CAR CRASH. Can I make it through my life to the end without it all imploding spectacularly? I don't know. Do you want my blog? I will sell Edenland to you right now for one dollar. I'm not joking ... but on one condition: you take my brain with you.
Nobody would want that.
Today I started writing over at kidspot.com.au This is a paid gig, which I am THRILLED about. I've slogged away for a while thinking, "Really, Eden? Still broke?" I keep stealing time away from my family to blog .. I will always do that. It fills me up in a way that I can hardly describe. I balance it out with parks and riding and books and all the responsible stuff. But nothing beats the boner I get at the end of the day when I slide into bed with my laptop and a block of chocolate and a cup of tea.
If I can try to earn some money from it, it will really help my self-esteem. Having kids has left me behind in careery things man, I'm floundering. I'm learning from amazing bloggers and businesswomen right here in Australia ... Nikki from Styling You, Chantelle from Fat Mum Slim, Nicole from Planning With Kids. And there's more - heaps more.
I will always be a blogger, whether I get paid or not. It's now in the fibres of my psyche. It's my Wolverine blades. It's the only thing I have ever been good at, and I'm just not used to being good at things. Are bloggers allowed to be good at what they do?
This Thursday, my friend Mrs Woog and I are going to the headquarters of Nickelodeon in Sydney, to address their entire staff on blogging and social media in Australia today. This is also a paid gig. How did this come about? Because the wife of Nickelodeon's CEO is an avid fan of Woogsworld, and told her husband about it. Because Mrs Woog writes a bloody awesome blog on the internet. She makes me laugh so hard - even on really unfunny days.
Two tired, middle-aged chicks will be talking to an audience of young glossy people in marketing. THIS IS FUNNY AND COOL. We'll take their hands gently and say, social media is safe and amazing. Trust us - we're bloggers.
You don't have to drop intensely personal stuff in your blog to get noticed, or post three times a day, or create drama to write about, or do a million e-courses. What makes a good blogger? I don't have the answer to that question. It's subjective.
But an authentic voice, a kind heart, and an enquiring Spirit are some great places to start.
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