I can hardly believe its been 6 months since I started my blog Cockney in the Countryside. To be honest this time last August I didn’t know too much about the blogging world and never did I imagine how much starting my blog would change my life. That sounds so dramatic a statement “blogging changed my life” but it actually has. At this point in my life I can now see so many opportunities opening for me rather than going back to teaching.
I originally began my blog as a place for me to talk about my journey from London City life to Countryside living. However it quickly became more than that after I decided to start writing about my life as an autism parent and my son’s autism. Many other autism parents started to message through my various social media platforms, just to chat mainly, and to discuss topics I had written about and it was comforting to be able to communicate and relate to so many other autism parents who may be in the same position as myself. Autism parenting can be a lonely and scary place at times and this communication with others out there was and is such a positive I have found from blogging.
Reality Parenting and Radio
I was always very adamant when beginning my blog that I was going to tell the truth about parenting in all my brutal honesty. When I became a parent 7 years ago I was overhwlemed by the amount of “perfect parenting” advice I see. I felt under so much pressure from social media and various other parenting blogs to be this super mum who baked cakes with their children in a spotlessly clean kitchen and crafted on a Sunday afternoon creating sophisticated works of art. However soon I realised this wasn’t a true reflection of many families and that these were just small snap shots of a life and the true reality of parenting wasn’t being seen. I thoroughly enjoyed writing posts such as soft play guide, flying with a toddler. All of which outlined some of the scenarios parents may find themselves in and discuss them with humour and honesty rather than make believing that life always runs smoothly!
I am proud and so very greatful to discuss, those blogs in particular, on BBC Radio Cambridgeshire on the Spanners Ready Show which airs every Saturday between 12 and 2. Due to my chats and work with Spanners I have been able to secure a radio presenting job with a local radio station and for that I will be forever indebted to him as I am absolutely loving the opportunities I have been given in radio.
Through social media groups and forums I have found a whole range of different bloggers who I love interacting with and meeting up with at times. Blogging is so diverse in topics and I have learnt a multitude of skills from reading other’s blogs and sharing eachother’s posts. Twitter is a great platform for reading other blogs and sharing your work and gaining support from the blogging community. I was overwhelmed to be nominated for a UK Blog Award in November and can’t thank my followers and fellow bloggers for their support in the nominations process.
Life and Family
It wasn’t until October that I actually told any of my family or friends about my blog. I felt slightly embarrassed for some reason, I hadn’t wrote for so many years and was still finding my feet. However, once I did let them know, I was so happy and encouraged by their ongoing support. I’m sure I drove my husband mad at the start with the constant demands for proof reading before I published a post and ideas for new posts we discussed.
I made the decision to give up teaching and be a stay at home when my children were born and at times this can be quite a lonely job. You can feel as if you are “just a mum” but starting my blog has given me another purpose in life and made me feel slightly more human again. I love that my brain has slowly kick started again and I’ve woken up a talent I had many years ago for writing, in a positive way. My confidence has grown since August and I know as a person I have become happier and driven once more.
My daughter in particular shows great interest in my writing and radio life and I feel this is such a positive for her to see me in this light and know how proud she is of me.
Writing gives me an outlet to vent what’s going on in mind and all my crazy ideas and I have found it extremely therapeutic and a positive experience for my own mental health.
Now with 15,000 followers I am driven to raise awareness for those topics that have affected my life such as autism and sepsis. I am honoured that I have been approached on many occasions to talk about and discuss some of my posts with local radio stations and newspapers.
Advertising and Promotions
I admire bloggers who make a living through paid posts and advertising on their blogs. I have been given these opportunities and approached by companies and am greatful each time. Admittedly I have turned down more than I have taken on. This is my own personal decision as I made a conscious choice not to promote or advertise certain products or endorsements which do not fit my blog type. For example I’ve been offered many make up opportunities. Unfortunately a quick flick of mascara is about as much as I can manage each morning with 3 young children and the majority of my blog posts highlight my chaotic life and so therefore an image of me perfecting contouring each morning just wouldn’t have sat right with the style of my blog. Although a day out at a wine tasting festival was greatly recieved and most enjoyable!
I am so excited about what my future may hold with another 6 months blogging experience. Still as a relatively new blogger I am looking forward to continuing my journey making some more great connections and furthering my experience with much more writing. With three children I have a constant stream of content and my notebook and pen go with me everywhere to record all my ideas. I can’t wait to share more of my work with you!
Here’s to another 6 months!
The Cockney in the Countryside