There's a post doing the rounds in blogger circles this weekend - I'm sure most of us have seen it by now.
It's title is quite simply "Dear Mommy Blogger...You Suck".
Clickbait if I ever saw it, and boy oh boy did it work well!
You can read the full post here if you wish but if not, allow me to sum it up for you...
The post is written by a blogger who classes herself as a "former Mommy blogger" (This in itself confuses me...She's still a blogger, yes? She's still a Mommy, yes? So...where does the "former" aspect come into it??!) and rants about many aspects of "mommy blogging" - basically calling out all "mommy bloggers" as talentless bored housewives who are churning out pointless and unimportant drivel that nobody ever reads - who are therefore doing nothing but wasting their time and, indeed, their lives in doing so.
And she kindly advises them all that they should just quit and do something more useful with their time - such as take up a hobby, get a job, etc etc.
I have seen quite a lot of response posts to this article from fellow "Mummy Bloggers" and I've seen a lot of frenzied chatter about it on social media.
Most things I've read on the subject have been fuelled by anger and calls of "How dare she?!" - and of course, I completely understand that reaction - I had the same one myself for a moment, until I thought about it in more depth.
I've also read some more surprising responses from many other people who, despite identifying as bloggers themselves, agree with the sentiment of the article and support it - each to their own of course! I make no judgement.
I was in two minds about whether or not to write a post on this subject (mostly because I'm going on a week long cruise tomorrow and have enough packing to do to keep me up until 4 am...WHY AM I SITTING HERE?!) - but, in typical Hayley fashion, I couldn't shut myself up. I wanted to throw my opinion into the mix.
So here we are....and here it is.
I read everything she had to say about "mommy bloggers" very carefully - and I did not identify myself in any single one of those accusations.
Let's take a look in more detail....
//"NOBODY IS READING YOUR SHIT", she says - Well the emails and messages I get from readers tell me otherwise. If I write a post that just one single person finds useful or comforting in any way, then it was worth my time...in my opinion. Maybe not in yours...maybe you want a lot more return for your time than that - but my opinion is the only one that matters to me on this, and if I can help another anxiety sufferer or struggling mum to feel a little less alone, I will.
//"THERE’S NO WAY IN HELL YOU ARE ACTUALLY THAT HAPPY", she says -
I'm not a blogger who professes to be happy all of the time so this statement means little to me, but for those who do - that's your prerogative. Don't allow someone else - least of all a stranger on the internet who knows nothing of you or your life - define you. You do what you the way you do it for your own reasons - you have your own motivation and you owe no explanations.
//"YOUR GOALS ARE JUST AS CONFUSED AS YOU" - Nope, not mine. I know exactly what my goals are and your attempt to make me question them means nothing to me. I have absolute faith and conviction in myself - I know my goals and I will continue to strive to reach them.
// "ARE YOU AN EXCELLENT WRITER AND YOU WANT TO CONNECT WITH PEOPLE WHO READ AND RELATE TO YOUR STORIES? I'M GUESSING NO", she writes - Actually that is exactly what I want from blogging. I don't consider myself to be an "excellent" writer but I consider it to be something I adore doing - and that's enough for me.
//PR FRIENDLY = “I HAVE NO SOUL” she says - If the money I earn from PR collaborations on this blog didn't exist, I'd still be here - any free chance I got - tapping away and trying to connect with people through the medium of the written word.
It's in me.
It's part of who I am.
The need and desire to earn a living doing something that I actually enjoy does not take anything away from the heart and soul of why I blog.
And I can't help but find it ironic that someone with such a strong opinion on bloggers taking payment from brands, has no such qualms about putting a request for personal paypal donations from readers on her blog footer.
You may find it "soul-less" to work with PR companies, I find it distasteful to request money from readers.
At the end of the day, it suggests that neither one of us is entirely disinterested in making money from our blogs - who's doing it in the most ethical way?! Well who's to say - to each their own.
//GIVEAWAY ENTRIES ARE NOT REAL FANS, SHE SAYS - Absolutely, 100% they are not. Every blogger has a different approach to building follower numbers and there is no denying that higher follower numbers equal higher payments from brands.
Do I get annoyed when I see bloggers who have blatantly bought social media followers? Yes I do.
Is that hypocritical of me when I allow follow entries in competitions I run? Yes it is!
So how about this...You do what you're comfortable with, I'll do what I'm comfortable with and never the twain shall meet.
//"YOU ARE WASTING YOUR TIME", she says - NO. No no no no. If there is one thing I am truly confident of, it is that no time spent doing something that I truly enjoy - no time spent connecting with other people - no time spent discussing topics that affect my life on a daily basis - is wasted. Infact I can't think of any better way to spend the little free time I have than to do exactly those things.
//"JUST QUIT. QUIT NOW BEFORE YOU GET BURNT AND FEEL GUILTY. QUIT BEFORE YOU REALIZE YOU WASTED YEARS OF YOUR LIFE WRITING BULLSHIT ABOUT YOUR KIDS AND YOUR RELATIONSHIPS INSTEAD OF ACTUALLY BEING INVOLVED. QUIT BECAUSE YOUR MOMMY BLOG FUCKING SUCKS AND ITS NOT GOING TO GET BETTER" she says - How truly awful to feel so very comfortable with trying to quash the dreams of another.
If we all "just quit" because some person we don't know told us we should - where would the world be?! Would you "just quit" your job because some stranger told you that it was a waste of your life and you should be with your kids 24/7?
Would you "just quit" going to zumba because somebody told you that you should be spending your time in other ways?
I bet you wouldn't...I bet you'd say "Fuck you very much, I'll spend my time exactly how I want to and I'll reach for whatever dreams I wish". So this is no different.
// FIND WHAT YOU LOVE, AND WHAT YOU DO BETTER THAN ANYONE ELSE, AND DO THAT, she says - This is what I love.
And I don't feel the need to do it better than anyone else in order to consider myself a success.
I am happy with my space in the blogging world.
I am happy with my abilities as they are.
I will never be the best, and I'm just fine with that.
Being the best is largely over rated and all about your ego - what's wrong with being a little fish in a big pond as long as you're a happy fish?
Take from her article what you will - and apply it to yourself as you see fit - but don't use it to tarnish other bloggers with the same, or indeed ANY, brush because you do not know anybody elses motivation - you do not know anybody else's life - you can speak only for yourself.
If there are aspects of what she's written that bother you, ask yourself why.
Are they bothering you because you feel that she's attacking you personally? Take a step back and think about it - if you believe there is truth in what she is saying that can be applied to you - then address that, by all means.
Do some soul searching - figure out your motivation for blogging - are you purely in it for the money? Then you know what? WHO CARES!!! Good for you. You've found a way to earn yourself some money that you enjoy, that isn't hurting anybody - you crack right on. Who cares what anybody else has to say about it?!
If you feel offended at her attack on Mummy bloggers and that she's wrong about most of us - then yes, I do agree that she is - but someone else's opinion of what you do does not define you.
If you see no truth in what she's said that can be applied to you - if you are confident in your motivation for what you do - then you do not need her or anybody else to validate you.
In basic terms - I refuse to be affected by anything that this woman has to say about blogging in general, my blog, my opinion of other bloggers or indeed any aspect of my life.
She doesn't know me.
She doesn't know my motivation for blogging.
She doesn't know my life.
I am confident in my ability as a writer.
I am confident that my motivation for blogging comes from a place of passion, enjoyment and love.
I am confident that I have a unique voice amid a sea of other blogging voices and I am confident that I have something unique to say and something worthwhile saying.
As I've discussed before in my post "Just a Mummy Blogger..." I completely understand and relate to the frustration that we all feel when people just don't get what we do or think it unimportant - but at the end of the day, this is all about self worth.
If you have conviction in what you're doing, this woman's words mean absolutely nothing,
They say everything about her own blogging journey and nothing at all about yours.
I do not need this woman's validation, and neither do you.
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