What’s Blogging Ever Done for Us?

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A lovely blogger I know has recently become disheartened with blogging.

One of her posts was used on a mainstream website and idiotic trolls took the opportunity to say some fairly terrible things. She wants to give up blogging.

I read her most recent post, about the kerfuffle, and felt very sad. Lots of bloggers commented in support, and I felt much the same. But what I also wanted to say, really, is that blogging is far too much fun to give up because some idiot is vile. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – most trolls are the virtual equivalent of those weirdos who stand on street corners swigging cans of extra strength lager and shouting abuse at passersby. It’s nothing to do with you, or what you say, or write, or the way you look, or think, or exist. It’s all about them.

I think we all have days when blogging doesn’t feel worth it. Maybe a troll has taken the bounce out of our step, maybe we feel like we’re on a treadmill, or there’s nothing interesting left to say. Maybe we’re stuck comparing our blog to someone else’s prettier, busier or more successful site. Whatever it is, I am sure that we all have days when we feel a bit meh about the whole thing.

But if I get into that state, I think about what we’ve gained from blogging. Friends, new experiences, the chance to travel to some amazing places; I’ve even gained a new career. Without blogging, I’d be writing some incredibly tedious article about the latest cloud computing innovation for corporate networks about now. I consider that to be a lucky escape. And let’s not forget what blogging teaches us – a whole bucket-load of life lessons. And a place where I can go to remind myself of my family, and how much I adore it.

A few weeks back, I decided to ask some blogging chums what they think blogging has done for them. And today felt like just the right time to share what they told me:

Actually Mummy

chelsea mamma

cherishedbyme

family fever

mummy mishaps

let her eat clean

mummy of two

NE Family Fun

ninja

patch of puddles

student bum

red rose mummy

vevivos

wholesome ireland

 

What do you say, readers? If you blog… what has blogging ever done for you?

 

About 

Sally is a full-time blogger and founder of the Tots100, Trips100, Foodies100 and HIBS100 communities, along with the MAD Blog Awards. She spends a bit too much time on the Internet. She’s also a very happy Mum to Flea, the world’s coolest ten year old.

42 Comments

  1. 13th October 2014 / 10:50 am

    Lovely post. I really feel for the blogger you mention – the loveliest lady who loves her children immensely had such awful things said. I hope it doesn’t keep her away from her brilliant blog for long.

    Blogging has saved me since the death of my baby son, Hugo, earlier this year. I really don’t know where I would be without being able to express my feelings through my blog, and without the support I have got from the blogging and social media communities. It is also a small comfort that Hugo is known by so many people, who know how special he is. Helping other bereaved parents through my blog also gives me a sense of purpose, and a reason to get up in the morning. xxx
    Leigh – Headspace Perspective recently posted..Music: the tracks of my tearsMy Profile

    • Sally
      Author
      14th October 2014 / 10:18 am

      Thanks Leigh, and you’re right – blogging is such a lifeline when people are experiencing the unimaginable, because it can help us to express feelings, and also gain support from people who’ve been there and have experiences our friends and family might not. I’m so glad blogging is helping you through such a tragedy x

  2. 13th October 2014 / 12:04 pm

    That’s the problem with exposure outside of the parent (blogging) community in a nutshell. I know so many people that don’t even read the comments part of websites nowadays because of the sheer vitriol therein. Experienced it myself a few years ago when I wrote a piece for the Guardian’s Comment is Free about going back to work after paternity leave. The amount of grief I got from men about saying I was upset to leave my newborn and wife to go back to work was depressing.

    Inevitably one insult stays longer than a hundred compliments but ultimately if the good outweighs the bad, it’s worth sticking with IMHO.
    Alex recently posted..Taking a five year old to the Tate ModernMy Profile

    • Sally
      Author
      14th October 2014 / 10:17 am

      Agreed. As a journalist, I make a point of never reading comments on newspaper articles I write (or used to write) – and there are certain publications I simply won’t appear in because I know what the response from readers would be, and I don’t want to subject myself to it. My personal hope is that over time it will become harder and harder to be anonymous online, and some of this behaviour might just melt away.

  3. 13th October 2014 / 12:13 pm

    Where to start! Blogging has given me and my family so many opportunities. I have made brilliant friends and it’s given me a career.
    Caroljs recently posted..On My Hook: SummerMy Profile

    • Sally
      Author
      14th October 2014 / 10:16 am

      I find the way that so many (mostly) women, like you, have built a career from blogging to be incredibly inspiring.

      • 16th October 2014 / 1:59 pm

        Thank you. I never though when I started blogging 5 1/2 years ago that it would become my job. It’s given us such a great family balance and I work with amazing small businesses run by other mums.
        Caroljs recently posted..On My Hook: SummerMy Profile

  4. Cherished By Me
    13th October 2014 / 12:33 pm

    It has changed my life, wonderful opportunities that would never have happened without it and most importantly new friends.
    Thank you for including my comment, and I love the way you have posted it all, looks great.

    • Sally
      Author
      14th October 2014 / 10:15 am

      Thanks nova!

  5. 13th October 2014 / 12:38 pm

    That’s a terrible shame the blogger has quit because of trolls, nobody wants them to win. I can understand people giving up blogging for many reasons, usually time or family related, and I’ve tried to give up a couple of times myself – unsuccessfully, as it turns out, because blogging is now part of who I am, and it’s hard to give up.

    In the early days, blogging gave me an outlet. I was a single parent with two small children and an angry ex-husband, and I needed to let it all out. I use it less for that reason now, but over the years it must have saved me a lot of money in therapy. Plus, I’ve had some very nice experiences and met some lovely people I would otherwise never have met.
    Jean (notsupermum) recently posted..To follow or not to follow, that is the questionMy Profile

    • Sally
      Author
      14th October 2014 / 10:15 am

      It really is a shame, but I agree, for many of us, blogging is the sort of hobby that’s ridiculously hard to walk away from. I blame my own narcissism.

  6. 13th October 2014 / 12:43 pm

    It’s given me an outlet to be creative, to reach out when I need help or to simply gasp in joy at all the different people out there in the blogosphere.
    There are times when I feel ‘bleaurgh’ about blogging, but there are times I feel ‘bleaurgh’ about my boyfriend, my jeans or the size of my telly but that all passes too!
    Tinuke recently posted..Review of Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad dayMy Profile

    • Sally
      Author
      14th October 2014 / 10:15 am

      I’m not sure my bleurgh about my belly has passed yet. *feels hopeful it might*

  7. 13th October 2014 / 12:59 pm

    This would well as a meme Sally, I’ll have to find some time in a couple of weeks to write about it. I truly feel as if blogging has changed my worldin more ways than I can do justice in a comment. Mich x
    Michelle Twin Mum recently posted..Socks to make you smileMy Profile

    • Sally
      Author
      14th October 2014 / 10:14 am

      Ooh, yes, I’d love to know what other people think 🙂

  8. 13th October 2014 / 1:44 pm

    Thanks for including me. Blogging is all about the people for me – their experiences, their lives, getting involved and achieving things together as a community. I am sure that the ‘trolls’ will not drag bloggers down for very long. We are a strong community and can really support each other 🙂

    • Sally
      Author
      14th October 2014 / 10:14 am

      I agree – it’s all about people, and crucially, it doesn’t have to be about ALL the people, I’m a big believer in finding people you connect with and like, and not worrying too much about the whole world, or a whole community.

  9. 13th October 2014 / 5:44 pm

    It has done so much for me. It has given me a much longed for hobby, so many new experiences, so many new friends and an acceptance that I have been looking for my whole life. I couldn’t be without blogging now. I’d be completely lost x
    Donna recently posted..Review: Dry-Soon 3 Tier Heated AirerMy Profile

    • Sally
      Author
      14th October 2014 / 10:14 am

      Amen to that!

  10. 13th October 2014 / 7:36 pm

    From about the age of 8 to 17 I was called fat at least once a day by those offline troll equivalents you describe so wonderfully – except they were probably younger and swigging pop not White Lightening for a while. I hope your blogging friend is reading this comment and indeed the entire post and has found the support she needed to get her blogging right back on. As much as I’m working towards more likes, more follows and more engagement I am so scared of the possible backlash. But that’s ok, blogging has brought me so much more than that, that I must try and remember. Although it has brought me that bit closer to and fonder of you, which I’m still trying to work out whether is a good thing or not… Ta for including my little piece. Although I do feel it would only be fair to enlighten your readers on the torch you still hold for those white papers.

    • Sally
      Author
      14th October 2014 / 10:13 am

      The backlash is always there because the Internet does something to how we, as people, relate to one another (imho). It’s dehumanising for certain personality types, and that’s a harsh lesson to learn. But I know the sting gets less over time, and you do eventually get to a place where you can put it in perspective and be almost immune to it, if not ever quite entirely. But you’re right of course, the single best thing about blogging is getting to know me. What? That’s what I’m taking from your comment, at any rate.

  11. 13th October 2014 / 7:41 pm

    its true it has opened so many doors and in so many different ways for all of us who blog – its such an amazing journey.
    thank you for including me x
    jenny paulin recently posted..Easy Halloween CupcakesMy Profile

    • Sally
      Author
      14th October 2014 / 10:12 am

      My pleasure!

  12. 13th October 2014 / 9:49 pm

    Sally, thank you for writing this.
    The trolls were idiots – and, like you say – about the equivalent of drunks on a street corner at 4am. They’ve made me feel disheartened, yes. They’ve prompted me also to think about saying goodbye to my blog. For now at least, I don’t think I want to continue writing there.
    I’m sad, of course, that I’m letting them get this response. It goes against my beliefs about bullies, cowards, and women’s voices. But I refuse to believe they’ve won. I don’t feel I’ve got the fight in me just now to continue with such a personal blog as Mummy Says was. But I won’t stop blogging.
    One day, hopefully sooner rather than later, I’ll find a new space online and I’ll make it all mine. It’ll be a corner of the world where they can’t win.
    While I’m finding that place, I’ll continue to feel the tremendous amount of support that the blogging community has shown me over the last few days. The trolls may have made me have one rubbish day last week – but they also showed me that there is phenomenal power in the blogging community. I have been astounded by the kindness of people I have never met, by readers who have shouted out to me, and by bloggers who have made me realise what’s really important. It isn’t the drunk on the street corner at 4am. It’s bigger than that.
    What has blogging ever done for me? It’s helped me see through the fog of two kids under two. It’s helped me keep find work (as you know!), it’s helped me keep writing – the only thing I’ve ever really known how to do.
    Blogging has been more than a sanity saver and refuge though.
    It has, at the end of many a long day with the babies, been my window out to the world. It’s meant there have been friends to talk to in the middle of the night, it’s meant there have been friends who have stood by my virtual side when everything has seemed like too much, it’s meant the world to know I’m not alone in my feelings as a new parent.
    Blogging might have opened my eyes to a dark corner of the internet last week, but it also showed me the brightest side of people.
    Sorry for the essay – but thank you for this post.
    Kiran recently posted..Perhaps the trolls have wonMy Profile

    • Sally
      Author
      14th October 2014 / 10:11 am

      Love this comment 🙂

  13. 13th October 2014 / 9:59 pm

    I think all of us that blog about anything from the banal to the campaigning have come across the trolls. I read Kiran’s post with tears in my eyes, just days after reading about how my daughter ‘shouldn’t exist’. But what blogging brings us as a community far outweighs all of that. Together we support, advise, we lift and carry, we fundraise and change attitudes. We must hold our heads high and carry on, for together we might just be invincible.
    Hayley
    Downs Side Up recently posted..My Story of Mum #SoMumMy Profile

    • Sally
      Author
      14th October 2014 / 10:11 am

      Absolutely – as a community, what’s great is that there is always, always someone there to support you, and collectively social media provides us with an amazing platform and voice.

  14. Bruce
    13th October 2014 / 11:34 pm

    I have thought about the comments here and summoned the fruits of my fairly expensive and reasonably extensive education; I’ve thought about the wacky and lovely bloggers I’ve met (some of them downright weird to be honest) and I’d like to think I’ve nailed my response to the trolls:

    Fuck off.

    Go and crawl back under your little stone and stay there.

    Just had to get that out of my system.

    As you were.

    • Sally
      Author
      14th October 2014 / 10:10 am

      Nicely put.

  15. 14th October 2014 / 12:42 am

    Fabulous post. I’ve actually just written a blog post in reply to this post!

    I’ve also been reading your Lake Garda review, as just got back from there myself. Beautiful place, but sadly my review isn’t going to be as positive as yours. I stayed at a different camp, with a different tour operator.

    xx
    Emma Crazywithtwins recently posted..Blogging has changed my lifeMy Profile

    • Sally
      Author
      14th October 2014 / 10:10 am

      Thanks Emma – we loved the place we stayed in Garda, it is such a lovely spot. I hope you had fun despite the challenges!

  16. 14th October 2014 / 3:05 pm

    Oh blimey – so, so much. It gave me a voice when I felt a bit stifled after my first baby. It’s given us a precious record of family life. It’s given us opportunities to travel to new places and have experiences we’d never have even considered. It’s given me new friends – some of whom I consider incredibly close mates. It’s given me new work opportunities and broadened my career horizons so I can now work from home and not just in a newsroom. It’s given me new skills and inspiration to try new things. It’s given me an opportunity to be creative in new ways. The list goes on – you get the idea.
    Molly recently posted..Things I’d forgotten about life with a newbornMy Profile

  17. 14th October 2014 / 3:40 pm

    I started blogging as a very lonely mummy stuck in the house. Blogging brought me confidence, opportunities to explore my feelings and put them down on “paper” and recently, has been working as a journal where I note my grief over losing our precious Georgie.
    I love blogging, I have made tons of reliable and true friends I would have never met if it had not been for my blog.xx
    oana79 recently posted..31 Days of Grief: SeasonMy Profile

  18. 14th October 2014 / 3:56 pm

    Blogging has been such a life changer in many ways. The opportunities, nice treat, and most importantly it’s how I clarify what I actually think about something. I write it out in a blog post and think ‘yep, that’s what I think, so now to move on’.
    Purplemum recently posted..Busy, busy, busyMy Profile

  19. 14th October 2014 / 6:47 pm

    Thanks for including me :0)
    I wish I had been introduced to blogging years ago. I found something I am passionate about, it’s given me the push to get out and about with the kids and given them a real thirst for adventure. It’s also brought some amazing opportunities, I’ve made some genuine friends and I’ve a new found confidence that I lost years ago!
    Kara recently posted..Changing Bag EnvyMy Profile

  20. Sammie Hodges
    14th October 2014 / 10:54 pm

    I was on holiday last week, so appear to of missed what has gone on here. But it really saddens me that a fellow blogger is going to quit because of these trolls. Why can’t people just be happy for others, and let them get on in their own blogging space.

    I quite often wrap myself in my own little blogging bubble and just type away. It’s been my saviour for the last 3 years, it’s stopped me going mad and talking baby talk 24/7!! I love watching my blog grow and am incredibly proud of what I have achieved. I have found a new love in life, writing. My confidence has grown and I am happier in myself.

    I don’t see blogging as a competition, we should all be proud of what we write on our blogs and we should all be thankful that we have so many other fabulous blogs to read!

  21. Emma
    15th October 2014 / 11:10 am

    Really interesting post thanks Sally. I am just starting out in the blogging sphere and this kind of stuff does worry me, but you’ve really turned it around into a positive post and great to read so many good experiences. Encouraging! Often we hear the worst stuff, not the best stuff. Thanks again.

  22. 15th October 2014 / 12:44 pm

    Its paid the bills Sally, let me be around (a lot) for my kids and kept me sane when everything else went wrong. and i have had some amazing opportunities even my eyesight coreecting (and its MUCH less stressful than social work)
    Becky recently posted..Pick of the week: Fluffy Dog CushionMy Profile

  23. 15th October 2014 / 1:00 pm

    I feel so sad Sally that the other blogger has been made to feel like she no longer wants to continue. Whatever happened to people writing on their blogs what they want to!! I’m not the best blogger, or even the most popular, nor the best writer and sometimes it gets me down that it’s always the same people that seem to get all the best opportunities, but you know what? Those thoughts are outweighed by the amazing things I’ve been able to do with my family, that I may not have otherwise done. I’ve also made so many new friends. Bloggers are lovely people. That can only be good. Right?
    Jo Laybourn recently posted..Diggerland – An Active Family Day Out with Aqua PuraMy Profile

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