It’s officially been one year since my husband inexplicably quit his job and I found myself using the skills I’ve picked up blogging over the years to put food on the table. I went from blogger, to freelance writer, to casual all-rounder to where I am right now – a full-time permanent Digital Communications Officer who relies heavily on her background in Web design and a love of social media to get shit done.
Of course, turning a passion into a job has some unintended side-effects. For seven years I was in charge of setting the pace in our household as a stay-at-home mum. I could take as long as I wanted to write a blog post. If I got stuck on a piece, I could just ditch it, or play some games to unwind while I waited for inspiration to strike. At work, I don’t have that luxury – I’m on a deadline (and the wifi at work is too trash for Hearthstone).
Then there’s the sleep. Some days, I honestly have no idea how I make it to work. Miss K is still as snuggly as ever, and only Mummy can calm her when she wakes up all upset – which is almost every night. Still, words need to be written, graphics need to be made and Website issues need to be solved.
That means when I get home, I’m a zombie. In December of last year I officially ran out of time to complete my writing course. I couldn’t do it; I couldn’t balance work and study, especially not with a young child in the mix! Surprisingly, I actually felt relief when I got that email saying it was all over.
Turns out I don’t enjoy writing in a professional capacity as much as I thought I would. I’ve had a big taste of what it’s like to write in a corporate setting and I take too damned long to produce anything (That, and I suck at editing. Who knew?!).
R.I.P the Dream
Luckily, my full-time gig no longer requires me to write anywhere near as much as the other Communications Officers have to. They’re writing all these tough media releases about controversial local issues, and the last thing I wrote that required approval was an introduction to a theatre programme booklet… back at the start of January!
Which brings me to my blog. I haven’t written here since back in October, even though plenty of blog-worthy stuff has happened. I have also stopped writing for ANZ Heroes, the community website that I’ve been running with my husband since 2015.
Does this mean I don’t want to write anymore? I hated ANZ Heroes, I would cringe every time I was assigned a writing task at work and I lost out on exciting partnership opportunities because I just couldn’t find it within me to smash out a blog post here. It certainly sounds like I’m done with writing, but, I’ve finally figured it out. I don’t hate writing. I hate writing for other people.
Strangely, that includes my blog. Whatever it was trying to be when I started it doesn’t align with where I am today and trying to craft posts for it that matched that outdated vision felt like a chore. Like, what the hell even is a ‘gamer parent’? We don’t say ‘sport parent’ or ‘Netflix parent’ so why did I think gamer parent was a thing?
Like all the millions of blog posts out there offering advice to newbies says, you need to have a niche. Your blog needs to have a purpose. I was trying to be all the things to all the people, when really, I need to draw a line in the sand and say, ‘this is what my blog is about‘.
Blogging may lend itself really well to the real life side of things, whereas my YouTube channel would be better suited to my gaming shenanigans, or vice versa. I… I don’t really know. Should I even be worried, since it’s not like I’m trying to make a living out of this kind of stuff anymore.
What I do know is that I want to keep my tiny little corner of the internet alive. So, if you’re still reading this, I would love to hear from you about what made you actually like this blog in the first place.
I look forward to dusting off the cobwebs and giving this old girl a long overdue makeover. Hopefully it’s not too late for a rez!