Blogging is dead, they said. The long form, the written word, it’s dead and buried. It’s not coming back. It’s all about video now, they said. It’s all about the YouTube channel where you connect directly with your audience. That’s where the money is, and the fame, and the opportunities.
I ignored them.
I may never be successful, or famous or the creative genius I always imagined I was, but at least I’ll be doing what I love, not what someone at a blogging conference told me, because it made them famous, and rich, or so they say.
I don’t want to sit in front of a webcam talking to a screen. I’m in this game for the writing, not to pretend to be a TV presenter whilst inanely dissecting the contents of my changing bag for my doting fans. Hell, I don’t even have a changing bag. Back in the baby days, when that was still very much a thing, and considered a necessity by all and sundry, I was still insisting that I had sartorial standards and wouldn’t be seen dead with a changing bag unless it was a stylish tote, preferably by Michael Kors (I settled for Topshop) which may just happen to be holding nappies and baby wipes. And no, I won’t be emptying the contents of my Topshop tote for all to see either.
I won’t be spending every precious minute of every day liking the Instagram photos of people I’ve never met in the vain hope that they will like mine back. Like I said, those minutes are precious, and I have a dishwasher to load, a washing machine to fill, and a child to feed and clothe too. Maybe that child wants to spend some time with me, and not my phone.
And I won’t be worrying about my engagement, my followers or my unfollowers either. I won’t be building my Facebook audience by worrying about the time of day I post, or developing a strategy, a game plan, a masterplan to take the blogging world by storm. I’ve got a full time job you know. And I quite like reading books. I don’t want blogging to take over my life. I need sleep. Sleep is the answer to all life’s ills, the panacea for everything. And anyway, I need to paint the skirting boards.
Sometimes, you know, I can’t be bothered. And is that really so bad? In this world where we are continually told that we should be maximising our potential by forking out for ludicrous online courses by people who call themselves mumpreneurs, as though working and simultaneously being a mother was staking some sort of wild claim for feminism; Instagramming everything that moves-preferably in front of an elaborate door-and reading sixty books a year, and if we don’t we are somehow the architects of our own miserable failure in the Rat Race of Blogging and ergo, Life. And yet, dear reader (note the use of the singular here. Hello Mum!) sometimes I really cannot be bothered. I just want to come home from work, put my child to bed, cook, clean, load dishwasher, do the washing, make tomorrow’s lunch, put all the clothes out ready for the morning and maybe read a bit of a book. I know, I’m a slacker. Please don’t hate me.
These last few weeks blogging has taken a bit of a back seat. Instead I’ve been concentrating on work, getting over a nasty stomach bug (which afflicted Piglet and then me, on consecutive weeks) and finally getting back into reading. Yes, as in hard copy, actual printed word book-reading. I have spent my nights snuggled into bed with Piglet, no screens, just plain old-fashioned books, and it has been glorious. No lying there desperately, head full of work and the washing that needs to be done, wondering what kind of inspirational how-to or witty monologue I need to tap out and how to promote it to the masses. No lying around thinking bitterly about how if only I had a well paid husband or easy second income/lottery win I could devote my life to building an online career flogging childrenswear on the back of a powerful Insta-brand full of pictures of me me me wearing stripy tops and dungarees in front of a wall with my immaculately co-ordinated offspring. No worrying about whether I need to be literally standing on every social media platform with a megaphone yelling “LOOK AT ME!” and giving up sleep to concentrate instead on starting an online empire built of Facebook videos of me sat on a sofa dispensing hilarious life advice.
Instead I have just been reading, and sleeping. And it has been nice. Sometimes we all just need to step off that bandwagon, recharge and have a bit of a holiday, albeit one where we are actually working full time.