Whirring Cogs and Scribbled Notes

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Last week A Spoonful of Style flattered me massively by including me as part of her Blogging Tour.

She has incredible taste – I have to have napkins to hand whilst I read her blog as I salivate over her truly, genuinely stylish life. And she said some very lovely things about me:

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Like I say, she has incredible taste. As do you, my lovely reader. If you’re not already following her I well recommend that you do.

I also really enjoy the Blogging Process Tour, a chance to see how the blogging mind works in so many different ways. And it shares the love.

I’m not in any way as focused or professional (or witty or creative or as good at story-telling) as many of the blogs that light up my day. However, this is how I do what I do:

What am I working on?

In my life outside of cyberspace I’m mostly working on raising my family, growing them in body and mind so that one day they’ll all fly the nest far better than I managed. Some days it’s joyous. Some days it’s hysterical. Some days it’s Hell on Earth.

And because it’s ruddy expensive I’ve just started working again. Which, thus far, is a lot easier than raising the children and trying to get Husband to see things from MY point of view. (He should read my blog, but he’d hate it, so it has to remain hidden, hence the pseudonyms.) But working is another ball to juggle when I sometimes feel as though I’ve got a loose enough grasp on my current balls as it is. (Sometimes I wonder if feminism has done us any favours – having it all seems to be more about doing it all, which isn’t the same thing at all…she writes whilst juggling a chocolate-covered toddler over her shoulder – literally…but I guess it’s still a work in progress.)

In terms of my blog I’m trying to find my own voice. I hope to reflect things that have happened with a sideways glance, sometimes trying to look from above like some outer body experience, sometimes just letting rip, but always hoping to serve it with a dose of humour.

I was really flattered when A Spoonful of Style said that reading my blog was like chatting to a friend over coffee/wine as that’s how I hope to come across. Cheers!

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Feel free to drink liberally whilst reading my blog. I’m sure I’m funnier that way.

Oh, and since Husband killed the family laptop, I have NO IDEA what my website actually properly looks like. I really should find out and sort it out if necessary. At the moment everything’s done from my iPhone (dodgy spelling/syntax are auto-correct’s fault, I swear). If it is appalling I apologise and thank you for sticking around regardless.

How does my work differ from others of its genre.

It’s not as funny or accomplished.

I guess I largely differ from other parenting blogs because one minute I can be ranting about the nocturnal nature of teens, the next the trials of taking a toddler out for coffee. My range within the ‘Parenting Experiences’ framework is possibly wider than most.

Why do I write what I do?

I started my blog because I found myself in a funny place in terms of my mishmash family. I was simultaneously a mum to tots and teens and was about to become a grandmother. I was feeling I was being subsumed in different roles and yet I wasn’t really represented anywhere outside of soap storylines and Jeremy Kyle – hardly aspirational role models. I wasn’t ready to start drawing my pension (like i have a pension!), I wasn’t a shiny yummy mummy. I had Pinterest boards that were about my aspirations rather than who I truly was. I was – am – just lucky most days to stop things from falling apart. I hoped that blogging would help me work out who I was again.

It’s also a lot easier writing about what’s under my nose and whirling round my brain than it is to come up with anything creative.

And blogging is a fantastic cathartic experience. Husband may still not change the toilet roll but I can let it go a lot easier now I can vent. (It’s a shame Elsa didn’t have access to the internet really. Could have saved a lot of frosty trouble.)

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How does your writing process work?

There I’ll be, happily pottering through my day and something will happen and I’ll think ‘BLOG!!!’ It could be something cute/funny the kids have done, it could be a stupid idea from Husband, or the mere way he breathes that makes veins stand out on my forehead. Or it could be something I’ve read in a magazine or on another blog. Or hallucinations caused by too little sleep and too much Peppa Pig.

Whatever the trigger the cogs then start whirling.

Sometimes a post will just spew forth, but mostly they start life as a series of notes. I have a notebook full of scrawls, although my phone’s Notes facility is beyond handy for keeping track of the wisps of ideas. Often they sit there for days/months whilst my subconscious works on them or they fit in with a bigger idea.

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Typically some days throw up multiple ideas, whereas others are just ‘meh’ so it helps (thus far) with writer’s block. But then I am still a relative newbie.

There are plenty of posts that have scrapped for being too dull for even me to read. If I’m boring myself then I assume I’m going to bore the pants off anyone reading. In that case I then try to put a twist on it, which usually gets the best response. (OK, I haven’t gone viral, but my little readership makes my day.) Plenty of stuff has gone to Blog Heaven without seeing the light of day. Mercifully.

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The three bloggers whose heads I would really like to get into and are thus invited on the tour are:

Louisa Simmonds from My Midlife Mayhem who I swear should be my Antipodean sister. I find my neck hurts from nodding along and my ribs hurt from laughing. I love her and her writing style, the way she sees the world and her appreciation of the fermented grape.

West 517 with The World We Know, whose life through a lens is just magnificent. As I’ve said, I’m not particularly creative, so I’d love to see what makes her tick and how she creates such beautiful images. I am constantly in awe.

And lastly, but definitely not least, the wonderful Little Miss Menopause, who can whip up a quip and then knock you down with another one faster than you can say ‘Stop. I can’t breathe!’ At every post I want to know how she does it – coming up with themes filled with clever wordplay and funnies. I bow down to her awesomeness.

I wish I had to nominate more than three people. It’s been a tough choice. But I picked these three as they’ve each got vey distinctive voices and nailed their style. I literally jump on their posts as soon as I spot them, although they’re not the only ones. If you don’t already, follow them all. And a Spoonful of Style too. Your Reader will be richer for it, believe me.

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