Why I love blogging

People often ask me “why do you love blogging?”.  Or sometimes they don’t ask it but just roll their eyes and give that look of “whatever” when I mention that I have a blog and I feel I need to tell them why I love blogging.  And increasingly I hear “I really want to start a blog, you get so much free shit amazing stuff”.  Which I get very defensive about.

I get free shit stuff to review or invited to events because I have a successful blog.  The blog came first.  Not the offers of free shit new kitchen gadgets / books / cash / clothes / days out.

So why DO I blog?

Well initially it was to get stuff out of my head.  My head is a dark and scary place at times and I needed to get stuff out of it.  It can also be quite an entertaining place.   I am a firm believer that if you have something on your mind, get it off your mind.  Even if you write it all down on a piece of paper and then burn it, get it out of your head.   I took to Twitter but then found that 140 characters wasn’t enough.  So Sophie told me to start a blog.    I quickly found my voice and enjoyed building an audience.

But recently I have realised that I love blogging for something else.  Something much more important.  Something that money can’t buy.

It isn’t the page views

It isn’t the page rank on Google

It isn’t the offer of hosting adverts in return for cash.

It isnt how many emails you have had from PRs this week

It definitely isnt for free shit for products to review or invitations to incredible events (though don’t get me wrong I do love those things)

It is belonging.  The sense of community.  The thought that us bloggers are all in this together.  Not just lone voices on our laptops.  But part of a network of either fellow bloggers we know, or bloggers we have never met, or organisations that support bloggers.

Regardless of age / financial income / background / religion / political views we are all part of one big community.

And that picture above just about sums that community up.   It was taken by Ruth (Dorky Mum)  at Britmums.   All the winners were called on stage to have their picture taken.  As we came away I caught up with Tamsyn.   A lady I have written about before.   Tamsyn had just won the Inspire category for her blog Anecdotes of a Manic Mum.   A blog that recently has charted life with her darling husband, Alex, who suffered a life changing brain injury 18 months ago.  Tamsyn juggles life now as a mum of four with a husband who needs constant care, and a system that is failing both her, and him.  It makes for heartbreaking reading.   Tamsyn posted this yesterday and I wept:  Whose responsibility is it then?

I have only met Tamsyn twice, maybe three times.  But I know her.   Feel I really know her.  And that she knows me.   I congratulated her on her award and told her she had done it.  She had won that award for her boy.  Her darling boy who on the outside is no longer the man she married, but on the inside certainly is and that the award was recognition of just what an incredible woman she is.   We hugged.  We cried.   We talked about Alex.

And Ruth caught it on camera

I blogged earlier in the week about the blogging community coming together to remember Matilda Mae, today I read this post asking the community again to come together for Matilda Mae to make bunting for a barn dance in her name:  Mummy Alarm

How at Britmums we sang for Multiple Mummy

As a community we have stood shoulder to shoulder, wiped tears, held hands, Tweeted at 3am when we needed a virtual hug, offered cups of tea at 6am, in some cases offered to jump out of aeroplanes to raise money, joined our voices together to try and make a difference to the world.

Where after a conference a lady you haven’t met sends you a video she made at Britmums of you collecting an award.  You had no idea she was videoing it, was going to edit it and then email it to you, to keep forever.  Thank you Gourmet Mum .  Video is here:  Team Honk collect their award

And I for one have never been more proud to be a part of anything in my life.

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  • Lovely, lovely post, and you are so right. Blogging is – more than anything else – about the bloggers. The people sitting behind computers, hundreds of miles away from you, who then become people you know well enough to hug. Without that, there’s no point xx

  • Beautiful post, Tanya and as Ruth says, you are absolutely right. Blogging isn’t about stats or freebies or fancy events, it’s about friendship, community and support for each. It’s given so many of us a virtual shoulder to cry or a warm hug x

  • Absolutely amazing picture and such a true post. Since blogging (albeit a bit sporadic at times) I’ve managed to claw myself out of my parenting cave which formed through lack of confidence from being stuck in the house after becoming the first of my friends to have a baby. That’s gone now… I have purpose, goals (don’t get me wrong I love being a mum) but I have found myself again and more importantly, other people. This network is amazing, no doubt in that. Amazing.

  • What a beautiful set of pictures and a lovely post! I agree the sense of community is just amazing, and until I saw/felt it for myself I would never have believed it!

  • You have made me all teary, T. You’re so right, and this post comes at just the right time, after a few days of bloggers being a little harsh to each other on Twitter. You’ve reminded us why we blog & how important community is to us.

    • *passes a tissue* Maybe that is why my subconscious started writing it yesterday? Hoping the personal attacks on social media diminish a bit over the next few days, thats for sure

  • I believe I am honoured to be part of this community – a virtual world of, in so many cases, working for the common good whilst supporting all those around you. Blogging has, more than anything else, helped me rationalise me thoughts, think things through and got me laughing again, as well as sobbing my eyes out – I’m much more ‘me’. That is an amazing thing and equally, what we have achieved as a community is mind-blowing as well. That is good, very good.

  • lovely, lovely post. without blogging I would never have met the wonderful you and discovered the barrow bum! the internet is a better place for it.

    • ah the legendary Barrow bum. You are pretty legendary round these parts too, you know.

  • I didn’t know this community existed until I was part of it and I, like you, just LOVE it. I have met so many amazing people because of it and I will be forever grateful.

    Beautifully written post as always, you made me well up xxx

  • Such a great post and something I was very keen to impress upon people when I had the mike that weekend. Funnily enough I wrote a post yesterday (published tomorrow) that is almost identical to this. Great minds.

  • I’m fairly new to this real blogging lark, and wanted to say that I was really moved by this post, you are all a special bunch…thank you all for being so inclusive, lots and LOTS of love, Ali x

  • Oh Tanya, wish I could hug you in real life again….what can I say other than truly love u babe!

    What a thought provoking, wonderful post…


    • I wish I could scoop you up and take you back to France and make it all better.

      Love you too T-Bird

  • Wonderfully put, I only started writing to update family on what we were up to in Ireland. I can’t believe the confidence boost and happiness I found in a community I had no idea existed and no idea I needed. xx

  • Lovely post. Those photos of you and Tamsyn are so special. For me blogging is so much more about the community than anything else. xx

  • It was the loveliest thing about being at Britmums, sat in a massive room full of people who understand exactly why we blog without any slightly awkward explanations! The pictures are just gorgeous too.

  • Aw, I love this post. I met some of the most compassionate women at Brit Mums. I try to be strong about my son’s health problems in real life for various reasons: his Dad, his sisters, his grandparents, friends, teachers and mostly for him. It is just too upsetting to think about and I need to give him a happy life. Being at Brit Mums, I let it all out to women I had just met, other mums who understood, who hugged me, who gave me permission to let it all out for a moment, and they were strong for me and it was good for me, so therapeutic. I really think that the fact we all love to Blog does make us such similar thinkers. We are astute observers, good judges of character, able to read between the lines…we love a play on words and a dirty joke…and we also celebrate our individualness and idisosyncrasies as we have a general interest and fascination with other people. I love blogging! 🙂

  • So very well put and the reason I love going to events is to see you all in the rw. 🙂 x