Between my Nine Months Of challenge, Sport Relief and International Women’s Day, my blog posts lately have been rather more focussed on campaigning for one thing or another. And I have to say, it has given me such a boost and reminded me why I haven’t given up blogging yet (despite considering it several times).
You see, in between all the random bits and pieces I have blogged about, I have always had an underlying passion to use my words to raise awareness of various things. It took me a year or so of blogging before I felt confident enough to start writing about the things I really cared about rather than just the day-to-day stuff, but it has always been there.
At first, it was Endometriosis. And this actually led to my first series on iVillage.co.uk where I wrote as a freelance writer for about 2.5 years. Then it was Hyperemesis Gravidarum, which went hand in hand with the book I was writing. And then I lost my nerve.
I stopped writing about these things because it just didn’t feel “right” somehow. Once I was a “parent blogger” I felt my blog needed to be more “carefree” somehow and “fit in” with everyone else’s. I think this was partly because I was struggling to find the time to write and partly because I wasn’t sure all the awareness stuff sat so well with all the family stuff and didn’t think people would appreciate it. But by doing this I found myself losing interest in blogging altogether…
However this past month has reminded me just how much I enjoy putting into words the things that I feel passionate about and sharing causes that others feel passionate about too. I have loved pulling together all the information and stats together for the posts I have written to support Team Honk and have found myself being pulled into social media again too in order to keep up and spread the word.
In fact, I joined in the BritMums Twitter Party to celebrate Inspirational Women thanks to all of this and it was at that point that I realised just what inspires me the most – people who put their time, energy and passion into making change! It doesn’t matter if that change is big or small, or whether it is completely personal or affects the international community, all that matters is that when someone is passionate about something they automatically create change.
And I come across a lot of people passionate about creating change. Suffering from conditions such as Endometriosis and Hyperemesis Gravidarum has made me very aware of just how much work is needed to raise awareness of these and create change for women like myself. Talking openly about either of these has led me to some very difficult positions – people just don’t want to hear about them. But they need to be spoken about, if for no other reason than to make it very clear that just because these only affect women they should be taken seriously (rather than being a “taboo” subject or something women should just endure because, hey we’re women and that’s what women do, right?)
So now I find myself wondering what direction to take with my blog – I don’t think it should become a simple commentary blog as I still love my crafts and various things we do around the house and home as a family. I also don’t have the time or desire to create a second blog. So I think that I need to find a balance between the causes and our general family life. After all, creating a happy and healthy home for your family is just as important as working hard on a major campaign, isn’t it!
I think it’s going to take me a while to find my new balance, but I think the timing is simply perfect. Over the coming weeks I can share with you bits and pieces about the charity auction I’m organising and that means mixing a personal hobby with a major cause I care about. Hopefully that will instill within me the confidence to continue mixing the two together. And if nothing else, simply being able to share the health issues I am currently having (which I have avoided writing about for the most part this past year or so) will be both good for me and raise some awareness in some small way.
In the meantime, I’d love to know what you think about all of this. Do you struggle to balance different areas of your life on your blog?
Ruth's all sortsMarch 9, 2014 at 9:15 pm
I think it’s great to have a blog that has all sorts of things on it (but then I’m biased, I specifically decided to write about all sorts when I named my blog 😉 ), so family stuff and craft can fit fine with campaigning and charity stuff. I love it when there’s a mix, keep going! x
TwinsplusTwoMarch 10, 2014 at 9:45 am
Blogging with a purpose is GREAT. My Blog is very idiosyncratic, I like to offer opinion, challenge people’s views and respond to what I read. Informing and inspiring are also important but I don’t like to be put in a “box” if you know what I mean! I use Blogger, and one of the big problems is that pages cannot have their own unique structure so I am limited… Seriously considering a whole new SITE at the moment.
LouisaMarch 10, 2014 at 9:56 am
I love to see a variety of themes in a blog. It keeps things fresh and interesting. I am going to blog about crafts but also about mental health issues, they are not something you would automatically expect to see together, but they are both parts of my life. As a life long sufferer of endometriosis (before my hysterectomy) I would be interested to read your opinion on the subject.
laura redburnMarch 10, 2014 at 10:00 am
i have always believed that you should write what you want to write. that way your passion comes though, you feel good and (in whatever way) you help your audience. it’s kind of hard not to compare yourself to other blogs, but if what you’re writing feels good ..do it!
MummyNeverSleepsMarch 10, 2014 at 10:12 am
Good for you sweetheart – I totally agree, it does take a while to find what fits and feels right to you but when you find that elusive balance, you just can’t ignore it.
I’ve been totally inspired by Team Honk also, and absolutely want to do more myself to make a teeny tiny change.
Keri-AnneMarch 10, 2014 at 10:47 am
It is always great when you feel you have a voice and can make a difference. I wish you all the luck. I love your blog x
Sonya CiscoMarch 10, 2014 at 10:57 am
I occasionally have wobbly moments like this- where I worry that my blog doesnt fit a pigeonhole as it were, but then I think sod it, and I write about what I feel like on any particular day- be it politics, charity , utter nonsense, food and even, rarely craft- shit shoddy craft, but nonetheless! I think the charm in each blog is the writers voice, and you have a strong voice, so it will be appealing to readers whatever your chosen topic that day.
ninjacatMarch 10, 2014 at 11:06 am
awwwh I struggle but I am trying to strike the balance
suzanne3childrenanditMarch 10, 2014 at 11:16 am
Yes I definitely do but I decided that my blog is an extension of me and I’m interested in and have an opinion on all sorts of things. I know however that some people are very single-minded and focused about their blog and that also works. I did set up a separate blog to document my faith journey because I think that’s very specific and not of interest to everyone. I just have it subtly at the top of my blog bar. It’s your blog, take it in whatever direction you like and those that are interested will read and those who aren’t, wont!
anna marikarMarch 10, 2014 at 11:36 am
I think keeping everything on the same blog works fine, and being able to use blogs to campaign and raise awareness is a great thing!
AmandaMarch 10, 2014 at 12:35 pm
You know what? When I was first choosing a name for my “new” blog in 2010 I chose “Amanda’s Patch” because it seemed open enough to allow me to blog about anything… it was the changing to “Family Patch” that seemed to confuse me, and then with the book I felt like I needed to be more careful what I wrote! But essentially I want that freedom to have a patchwork of everything I care about 🙂
AmandaMarch 10, 2014 at 12:36 pm
Oh I know – one of the reasons I moved from blogger in 2010 was to enable me to create more of a “site” and less of a diary type blog. But now I am considering the need to move/change again and it’s all a bit scary! Good luck with the changes you’re thinking about making 🙂
AmandaMarch 10, 2014 at 12:39 pm
Oh gosh Louisa, what age did you have a hysterectomy? We’ve talked about this as an option at some point for me as the gynaecologist has agreed my Endo is relatively aggressive and as we aren’t having any more kids it seems pointless to not at least consider it. BUT it’s such a big thing. My mum had one at 35… I’m 30 this year so still feel I’m a bit young, especially as pain-wise I have not been anywhere near as bad as it can get for years. It’s all the other ways it affects me that make me wonder how to move forwards with treatment. Scary stuff… I shall definitely write about it some more over the coming weeks!
As for blogging about mental health issues – that is SO important and I look forward to reading your thoughts on that!! x
AmandaMarch 10, 2014 at 12:41 pm
I agree with you totally! I think I lost that feeling and freedom when I started working on the HG book as I felt I needed to be more “professional” somehow. So I tried to put everything into compartments but that isn’t how my life works at all… so I’m definitely going to try and just write what I want. Thanks for the support!
AmandaMarch 10, 2014 at 12:42 pm
Oh Team Honk has been so inspirational!! Seeing what others are doing makes you want to get in there and make change, doesn’t it?
Finding the balance is so hard and I think you’re right, when you start to feel you’re finding it you cannot ignore it at all x
AmandaMarch 10, 2014 at 12:43 pm
Thanks Keri-Anne – I think that’s what we all start blogging for isn’t it, to have a voice in some way? But finding that using your voice can actually make a difference is so powerful! I’m glad you like my blog, thanks for your feedback x
AmandaMarch 10, 2014 at 12:45 pm
Hahaha you made me laugh – no craft is ever THAT bad 😉
Thanks for your vote of confidence!! It is hard not to try and pigeonhole everything isn’t it? Wobbly moments are very common here and I need a bit more of your “sod it” way of looking at it!
AmandaMarch 10, 2014 at 12:45 pm
It is hard isn’t it? And I think it is constantly changing because a) we’re constantly changing and b) the world of blogging is constantly changing!
AmandaMarch 10, 2014 at 12:47 pm
Oh yes, I think for me the major conflict has been writing about faith on my blog – first because I don’t “fit in” really with most faith bloggers and secondly it doesn’t really go very well with some of the awareness stuff (like blogging about HG in relation to the book I’m writing about it!) But I think I have to remember that this blog is MY space and an extension of who I am (just as you say) and not a professional blog in any way. Therefore it doesn’t really matter. Hard to remember this though isn’t it?
I shall be having a look on your blog bar later to see how you’ve done it 🙂 x
AmandaMarch 10, 2014 at 12:48 pm
Thanks Anna – it’s difficult I think because a lot of the bigger blogs you see around and about are very specific to one area and it can feel like maybe you’re getting it “wrong” somehow by having such a mix of topics. But at the end of the day, if it works for you as the blogger nothing else really matters, does it?
Clare MansellMarch 10, 2014 at 1:05 pm
I think your blog should be a reflection of you and the varied things that interest you, don’t worry about sticking to one topic!
KizzyMarch 10, 2014 at 1:06 pm
I can’t wait to see where you go with your blog, I am in a similar position too!
You Baby Me MummyMarch 10, 2014 at 2:18 pm
You just have to write what’s true to you, then it sounds real. I just write about whatever I am feel I want to, not a struggle. Finding time, now that’ the struggle 🙂 x
Emmys MummyMarch 10, 2014 at 2:50 pm
Great post. It’s very easy to lose your way and I too have considered giving up a few times when I’ve gotten bored.
K_phillipsonMarch 10, 2014 at 4:30 pm
I honestly think that if you are passionate about what you write it doesn’t matter if you have a varied topic. As long as you are happy with what you do. Well done on all of the awareness that your blog has raised x
Mummy of TwoMarch 10, 2014 at 5:38 pm
I think your blog should be whatever you want it to be and I like to see a variety of posts. You are doing a great job raising awareness of important causes.
Lauren Kearney-PatemanMarch 10, 2014 at 7:21 pm
Good for you to blog about something that meas a lot to you. I think blogs that cover more topics are more fun to read and you get to get a proper feel for the person behind the blog.
AmandaMarch 10, 2014 at 7:26 pm
Thanks Clare – it’s so lovely to see so many bloggers saying the same thing 🙂 really encouraging to be reminded blogging is a reflection of who you are!
AmandaMarch 10, 2014 at 7:27 pm
It’s an exciting and slightly scary position to be in, isn’t it? Good luck with your decisions too!
AmandaMarch 10, 2014 at 7:27 pm
Haha – yes finding time is a major struggle once you’ve got a child isn’t it?
AmandaMarch 10, 2014 at 7:27 pm
Glad to hear I’m not the only one who has come close to giving up at times!
AmandaMarch 10, 2014 at 7:28 pm
Thank you! You are right, of course, as is everyone when they say it’s about who you are and if that involves varied topics then that’s the way it goes 🙂 x
AmandaMarch 10, 2014 at 7:29 pm
Thank you – I feel as if these things are important to me and so many others and so it is confusing to find out I have been shying away from them for no real reason at all! Here’s to writing about what we’re passionate about!
AmandaMarch 10, 2014 at 7:30 pm
That’s a great way of putting it and I think you’re right, I do actually tend to be drawn more towards blogs with a variety than those which focus on just one thing. I wonder why I never translated that as it being the right thing for me to do as well? Thanks for your insight x
Charly DoveMarch 10, 2014 at 8:47 pm
It’s always good to write about what interests you. My blog features a range of topics but it’s mostly focused on what I love 🙂
karaMarch 10, 2014 at 9:08 pm
I am very much of the feeling that you blog for you. The only things I don’t blog about now are issues with the teens as they are of an age where it could affect them.
Sarah BaileyMarch 11, 2014 at 2:42 am
It’s so nice to hear you have regained an old love – I find I can only blog about things I enjoy – it shows if I’m not enjoying the subject. x
VaiChin @Rambling Through ParenthoodMarch 11, 2014 at 10:13 am
It is your blog, so you write what you want to. That is what I like to go with. Perhaps it might not end up as successful, but at least I would have written from my heart. You go, girl. follow your instincts xx
GlobalmouseMarch 11, 2014 at 11:44 am
I think a blog should be a journey of wherever it takes you…I like reading a variety of posts and it definitely gives an insight into the person behind it!
Cass (@frugalfamily)March 12, 2014 at 8:19 pm
Well done you 😉
I like a blog where you feel like you get to know the person who’s writing it – it doesn’t matter too much what they write about though x x