As Mums, we tend to doubt ourselves at times. I’d be amazed if we didn’t all feel this sometimes. And again as women, we doubt ourselves.
This sucks. I hate it.
So to then doubt myself as a writer last week, as a blogger, was not a good feeling.
Where to start. And how to word this without sounding bitchy or mean. Even as I type this I wonder if I’ll even dare to publish it. But I am a nice girl, someone who always tries to see the good in people and I don’t think putting my thoughts across on this should go against me. And I hope it doesn’t.
I wrote a post a couple of weeks ago that meant the world to me. I was scared to publish it, I was nervous of the response. Turns out I shouldn’t have been; I got some incredible comments and it was such a huge comfort to know others had felt the way I had and identified with what I had to say. Even more of a joy was when it was made Mumsnet Blog of the Day. To me, as daft as this may sound, this was a big deal to me. I felt really proud of myself and my writing.
At the end of last week I got a message from a wonderful blog friend of mine who said she’d just read a post that was identical to what I’d published. Within a couple of hours I had similar messages from five other blogging friends. I didn’t know how to feel; flattered, annoyed, gutted. I certainly felt angry; in my opinion (sorry but I had to word it in bold because I don’t want to get attacked again) it was a blatant copy of my blog post, one that I felt protective of. I was further angered by the fact that the writer was getting some wonderful comments and support. It was a gutting feeling to know someone was getting credit for something I felt was my work.
After some discussions and advice from friends, I did confront the other writer. I was civil; I wasn’t mean. That’s not my style. She was very sweet and adamant it was a coincidence, which is fair enough. I felt she probably was being genuine and I gave her the benefit of the doubt. I certainly wasn’t going to instigate a witch hunt; this blogging world we’re in is one where we should all stand together not against each other.
I was sensitive to the situation I can’t lie. My writing is my other baby. I feel hugely protective of it. As I’ve said before, when I write it’s from the heart. I just churn out my thoughts and feelings in that moment, and in turn I am exposing my inner most thoughts with you all. That’s quite a risk to take sometimes, but that’s the whole point of my blog; honesty, reality, optimism, positivity, showing Mums and women we’re all in this together. So if you were in my shoes, you too would feel irritated, sensitive, and pretty damn gutted if you felt someone else was reaping credit for something you’d written. As I say, I have now given that writer the benefit of the doubt. I don’t want anyone saying this is an attack on that individual. But this is my blog, my space to write how I am feeling and after this recent upset I am allowed to write how I felt in the moment.
Bloggers overlap, especially parent bloggers. I get that. We may all be on different journeys but we all experience the same highs and lows. So I accept many of us are going to write similar posts. But the incident last week made me see a different side to blogging. If I’m bluntly honest, I ended up being the one to made to feel like shit. I saw comments saying I shouldn’t have brought it up, that there was some pettiness involved. As I say, I am quite a sensitive chick and it hurt that I was the one who ended up feeling like the bad person.
I don’t think there should be a bad person in this whole thing; I believe it was a coincidence, however I also believe I was justified in how I felt and that any other blogger would feel the same. And this negative aspect to blogging gave me a whole new perspective on the blogging world. Perhaps I need to grow a thicker skin, perhaps I need to not be so sensitive. But surely me being me is what makes my blog unique. I want people to relate to me especially Mums. To know that I’m a fellow Mama who has hard days, that I too struggle, that I doubt myself. I’m not advocating doubting yourself, but the reality is that we all do it sometimes. I’m not someone who has a huge influence on people but I like to think that I am someone that others will read about and think “thank God I’m not alone”. That’s my main priority with blogging.
So I’m not going to change who I am. What I have learnt from this experience is the importance of believing in myself, and not to doubt myself. Not everyone is going to like me, not everyone is going to agree with me, and that’s cool. All I can do is just keep being me and that’s not going to change. I’m proud of myself for a few things; Josh, my loyalty as a friend, my ability to sniff out a new handbag at 20 paces! But I am utterly and truly proud of myself for Beauty Baby and Me. I am proud of my writing. And that won’t be taken away from me, no matter how petty others may deem it.
And if you take the time to read my blog and enjoy it can I just say thank you. To know that I am reaching people, making them laugh, reassuring them, that’s all I want. And I am so glad that you’re enjoying it.