I’ve been thinking a lot, lately, about the weird business of being a blogger – and specifically, a mummy blogger, which is a term that doesn’t sit well with me, because it makes me think of breastmilk and baby-led weaning. It sounds boring, and a bit smug, and the description of a person who I wouldn’t really want to be friends with.
I don’t tell people that I’m a blogger – I especially don’t tell people that I’m a mummy blogger – and even get a bit sheepish telling people that I’m a writer by profession. I’d rather be a hairdresser, or a bus driver, or something. “Writer” sounds so fucking smug, doesn’t it? The other day, at school, a mum asked me what I did (for a job, not for a fucking hobby) and I BLUSHED and was, like, “I write. I do writing. I mean, I’m a writer.” I DO WRITING? For fuck’s sake.
Being a writer is one thing – as in, getting paid to write words – but being a blogger? Being a mummy blogger? What’s all that about? Not even getting paid to write nonsense about your stupid life? Why would anyone CARE? And then, in the midst of my existential crisis (not really, I was actually just thinking about cheese), my virtual pal and long-time girl crush Veggie Mama wrote a piece about having her own existential blogging crisis. She’d become bogged down in the notion of being a useful blogger, pleasing all of the people all of the time, and had forgotten about HER. She’d forgotten to write for her, and as such had forgotten how to write, full stop. This was a big fucking deal; Veggie Mama had writer’s block. And then – LIGHTBULB MOMENT – she thought, fuck it. I’m just going to write. I’m going to write for me.
This resonated with me. I’m not too proud to say it gave me goosebumps. I’ve only ever written for me, which is possibly the reason my blog doesn’t make me any pennies. I began my blog on the assumption that no one would read it anyway, so it didn’t really matter what I wrote. I wrote the stupid words that came into my stupid head. I wrote about the stupid things that my stupid kids did. I wrote about the stupid things that stupid people did. I treated my blog as a journal; to be honest, you’re lucky I don’t begin every blog post with “Dear Diary,” like I did when I was 13, and a bit of a twat. I’ve harped on about this before, but blogging is my therapy – when my head’s clouded up with kids and work and bills and laundry and school and biological fathers – I write, and the fog clears, a bit. You should try it, it’s cool. It also makes me, officially, a useless blogger.
Useless blogging. It’s a thing – a new thing – but a thing nonetheless. It’s a movement, if you will, started by I Give you the Verbs and inspired by Veggie Mama. It’s the notion of writing for yourself, on the understanding that your blog probably won’t help someone toilet train their child, teach another to crochet, and inspire a third to take up Spanish. Some might say I was born to useless blog. God knows the world isn’t a better place now that I’ve told y’all my husband’s brother had his balls cupped by a clown when he was six.
I’m a useless blogger and I shall continue being a useless blogger. My blog shall make me no money and certainly no friends, but fuck it, it’s mine. Isn’t that the point? Isn’t that what makes the world of blogging so fucking wonderful? It’s YOURS. No editors or proofreaders or advertisers or sponsors or bosses telling you what to write – here, on your website, you can write whatever the fuck you want to write. Here, on your blog, you have a voice. For mothers, in particular, this is more important than you may realise. We were smart women, once, climbing career ladders and taking lunchbreaks and issuing memos. We wore pencil skirts and high heels (never high heels) and makeup (never makeup). We were something and someone. And then we had kids and, as important as that is, we kind of faded into the background, and people – everyone – just saw us as breeding, breastfeeding, bum-wiping martyrs, and didn’t give a shit that we used to have an office and underlings.
My blog is my way of saying HELLO! I’M STILL HERE! I STILL SWEAR! I STILL LISTEN TO THE PIXIES! I MAY NOT GO TO MANY GIGS ANYMORE (cos, late) BUT I STILL WEAR CONVERSE! I’M STILL SMART, SORT OF, AND – here’s the important bit – I’VE STILL GOT A VOICE! I’VE STILL GOT SOMETHING TO SAY! I STILL MATTER! HELLO? ANYONE?
Well this is a rambling old load of nonsense, isn’t it? Which proves my point, sort of: MY NAME IS LISA, AND I’M A USELESS BLOGGER.