This time last year, I was something of a jibbering wreck. I’d just left an abusive relationship, but was still in contact with S’s father and taking her to see him on a regular basis. I was torn between my desperate wish for S to have a proper father, and the feeling in my gut that I needed to keep her safe from this man. And that was messing with my head a fair bit.
In September last year, I posted something I’d written about strength onto Facebook. People made positive comments, and one person asked me if I’d considered blogging. I have had a LiveJournal blog for years, periodically going back to it whenever the thought grabbed me, but really only ever used it as a sort of diary; never for actual structured, planned pieces. Since having S, I’d been reading parenting blogs from the States regarding Attachment Parenting; I honestly wasn’t aware there were many parent bloggers in the UK (that thought seems unimaginable now – like I’d been standing with my back to a massive, noisy crowd and not even noticed!).
I started my blog without putting much thought into it. I already had a Google account, so I just set up a Blogger, and began writing. I would post links on my personal Facebook page, and harass all of my friends to read them. Occasionally I would join in a blog hop or a linky here and there, and then I would get a few more readers. The number of hits on the blog each month went up and down. Some months they went up, others they went down. Most days I was happy to get more than 100 hits.
Here we are, 9 months later. Although I’ve joined Tots100 and Brit Mums, and I’ve set up a Facebook page for the blog and been active on Twitter, I still didn’t really think people other than my friends (who obviously felt obliged) were reading.
In the last couple of weeks, things have gone a big bonkers. People I don’t know have emailed me and said they think the blog is good. Some people on Twitter have said so too. People have shared my posts with their friends.
Two massive things happened this week though. Firstly, a lady I know only through Twitter, who I have not personally harassed to read my posts at all, told me she would like to sponsor me to attend Brit Mums Live next year. I thought she must have me confused with someone else, whose blog was good, until she commented on some posts and I realised she wasn’t confused after all. Which meant she actually did think my blog was good, and she really did want to sponsor me to go to Brit Mums Live.
The second thing is a tiny bit epic, as far as I’m concerned. Gingerbread is a charity for single parents. Their website is an endless bank of resources I’ve been using since I got a few months into my pregnancy and realised I really should just consider myself to be a single mother. I think they’re fantastic, and I liked the idea of maybe writing a couple of pieces about them. So I emailed them. When I got a response really quickly, I was surprised; charities like this don’t usually have the resources to reply to emails quickly, they’re busy fighting fires with budgets and helping people with real problems. The first paragraph of the email said:
Thanks very much for getting in touch. I’ve been dipping in and out of your blog for the last few weeks, so it’s great to hear from you directly!
At this point, I nearly fell over.
Turns out it’s not just my friends and people I harangue on a daily basis who read my blog. So many people have re-tweeted my posts lately, or shared links with their friends. It’s all quite overwhelming. I feel all warm inside!
At the start of June, I set myself a target to get more hits than in May. When I hit that target fairly early on, I set the target of getting to the next thousand. Then the next. And now, here I am with almost 5000 more hits on the blog this month than last. I cannot even compute that.
I’ve had people agreeing to send me products to review, people agree to have me guest post on their blog, and in some cases ask me to write something for their site. Not to mention the fact a BBC producer searched Google for single mother blogs and came up with little old me!
I am, frankly, gobsmacked. And completely at a loss as to how I will top this month in July. Thank you to everyone who has supported me, you’ve made me very happy!
In all seriousness, if you have an idea for a post, a certain aspect of my life you’d like to know more about, please do contact me.
Thank you for reading!