I need to start this off with an apology. I know things have been quiet around here in the last couple of months and for that I am truly sorry. It’s not that I didn’t want to write, I just honestly didn’t know what to say. I got so caught up in trying to be what all of the “successful bloggers” say you need to be, and do all the right things that I completely psyched myself out.
I am not a professional photographer with a $5000 camera, who lives for Photoshop and Lightroom. In fact, I am still trying to figure out how to edit my pictures in those programs without making them look fake. I don’t have a studio or lightbox for product shots, and I mind of suck at getting “pretty” staged shots of my kid. He just moves so quickly that It’s nearly impossible. Plus, he’s now 9 1/2 and has a mind of his own and just isn’t going to do it if he doesn’t want to.
As a result, my blog isn’t full of Pinterest-worthy, professional quality photos. I try to use ones that call to me, ones that say something or make you feel or something, even if they aren’t 100% perfect.
But, in reading the “how-to be a good blogger sites”, and Facebook groups and never-ending discussions, you basically get the feeling that if your pictures don’t look like they belong in a magazine, they don’t belong on your blog.
Here is my response to that.
Then we get to my writing style. I write like I speak. Always have, always will. I’m raw and real, goofy and more than a bit weird. I can be dorky and nerdy, scattered and serious. Personally, when I’m reading, I want to feel like I am part of the conversation, like I could be reading an email with a story from a friend, someone I want to write back to and engage with. It’s what it used to be like in the “olden days of blogging”, when it was about the people and the story and not just about key words and Google rankings.
I’ve taken courses, invested money in training, all to help me become what? The same as every other blogger out there. Let’s be honest. That’s just not me. I’ve always marched to the beat of my own drummer. I’ve never been one of the cool kids – I was never exactly an outsider, but I certainly wasn’t on the inside either. And you know what? I’m okay with that. It’s taken me a while, but I’ve come to realize that the things that set me apart from everyone else can’t be captured with SEO-optimization, or formulaic blog posts, they just can’t. Don’t get me wrong, all that stuff has a place and a purpose, and it works for people who like that style of blogging. I don’t mean any disrespect, really, I just don’t want that to be me. I tried it, and it didn’t feel right.
This year we are celebrating the 7th anniversary of One Crazy Kid. Thinking back to why I started the blog, my why remains the same. I want to connect with people, to have my community feel like they are sitting down with me over a cup of tea or wine and having a conversation. In this age of Facebook and Twitter, blog commenting has taken a steep downturn, and many bloggers now don’t allow commenting at all. I want to inspire conversation, to have people want to talk with me. I started One Crazy Kid when I was working full time in a very difficult job, reading and writing about some of the worst things you could imagine every single day. I wanted to be able to write about stuff outside of work, about life and the ups and downs of being a mum and just a human being trying to get by one day at a time. I wanted to share my stories, our stories, our adventures (and mis-adventures), and maybe let someone see that they were not alone in what life might bring.
Since that time, my life has changed, a lot. I no longer work full-time, in fact, I don’t work outside the home at all anymore. I no longer have a toddler, now my boy is almost a tween. I sustained a life-altering injury and now deal with chronic physical and mental health challenges. But in amongst all that change, one thing remains the constant. Me. Things are different, but in a lot of ways they are the same. I still love music, I love to read. I love to laugh and be silly and go on adventures. I love, love, love to travel. I still have a fantastic husband and the best kid a mum could ask for. I have great friends and an incredible community that has stuck by me while I struggled to come back to myself.
I guess in a way that this is a bit of a rebirth, a spring awakening of sorts. I want to be more present here, and start sharing again. The fear that kept me from doing so, the ugly shadow that hung over my shoulder constantly telling me that I was doing things wrong, that I wasn’t good enough, that I should just quit, has been banished to the deepest reaches of Outer Mongolia. I’m going to share stories, things and places and people that I love, things that make me laugh, or think, or cry.
So welcome to the new and improved One Crazy Kid. Thank you for being here, whether it’s your first time or you’ve been with me since that first blog post 7 years ago, or you discovered me somewhere in between. Grab a chair, a cup of your favourite bevvie, your comfiest clothes, and whatever else makes you happy, and let’s hang out. I’m back and better than ever.