Blog, Brew & Biscuits

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Welcome to the final edition of Blog, Brew and Biscuits; over the past couple of months, I opened up my blog to a group of rather lovely bloggers who have been sharing their blogging wisdom with you! There is a thriving community full of bloggers who have already walked in the steps I am taking and also new bloggers, who are also full of questions and who like me are finding their feet. So, for the final time, please make yourself comfy, have a brew, some biscuits and get to know from Julz from The Red Head Diaries.

Tell me a bit about yourself and what do you when you are not writing your blog:
I am married to my soul mate; I have five children; four I parent and one I share just her memory. I am a dinner lady and a volunteer at our local school; as well as attempting to write a novel or two; I am a Committee Member for a Majorette troupe, and finally I set up and run a local infant loss group! Phew!

Tell me about your blog and how long have you been writing it?

I actually have two! The first one I have been writing for almost six years and the second almost four – I have no idea where the years have gone! The first is my relationship with grief for our daughter. The other is a place where I can share memories, and pieces of fiction I have lingering about, which aren’t quite long enough to place into books.

What inspired you to start writing your blog?

Well, I have always loved writing and luckily for me my husband is also a writer and is incredibly supportive. In more recent years, I began jotting down our daughter’s life through NICU, what was meant to be a diary ready for memories, turned into a diary centred on bereavement, when I became pregnant with her younger sister I decided to blog our pregnancy. In time I really fell in love with writing and wanted to include the rest of the family, and the things we do; but felt it was inappropriate to share parenting memories on a place I wanted to give comfort and hope to newly bereaved parents. Although there have been a couple of name changes – The Red Head Diaries was born!

What advice would you give to someone thing about starting a blog/just started writing a blog?

1. Would be to look into self-hosted ASAP. It is reasonably cheap, easy to set up and if you don’t like it. Cancel it.
2. Know your content; I lost my way a little bit, just after I finally turned to self-hosting; I found I was comparing myself, and trying to keep up and do the same as the thousands of other bloggers out there. I hated it. Be yourself.

Let’s talk Social Media, how do you balance this with your blog and everyday life?

I try to schedule as much as I can; but I spend my weekends working on content as we’re both home. We’re still trying to find our way; but we’ll be sure to get there.

Where do you see your blog going in the next few years?

I just want my work to be read; I don’t want it to go un-noticed. I love writing for both the blogs; raising awareness with one, and just plain writing for the other. That would be awesome!

What do you find is the hardest part about writing a blog?

Content Planning. Sometimes it can be hard to find the content; when you do you realise wither everyone else has thought of it; or you have forgotten you have already covered it in a different manner. Also I think getting your blogs seen and read is really hard; unless you have time to literally sit on your phone all day on Instagram, sharing, sharing, and sharing (which is amazing if you can – I can’t); then placing yourself on top of all the other great bloggers can be hard and at times really disheartening.

And the easiest?

Writing and planning. When you have found your Niche, and the content you want to put in you blog it can be easy just to sit and go with the flow. Do NOT procrastinate in the middle of that flow – because you will break it!

Lastly, for a bit of fun, if you could only watch one movie, listen to one song and read one book, again, what would they be?

The one movie would be – Gone In 60 Seconds
The one song would be – Radiohead – Creep
The one book would be Alice in Wonderland

I would like to thank Julz for joining me on my blog – please take the time to visit her Blog too – The Red Head Diaries.

You can also find Julz on:

Facebook Page: Mrs S Writes
Instagram: mrsswrites
Twitter: mrsswrites

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Blog, Brew & Biscuits

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Over the next few weeks, I am opening up my blog to some lovely bloggers to share their blogging experiences with you! There is a thriving community full of bloggers who have already walked in the steps I am about to take and also relatively new bloggers, who are full of questions and finding their feet. So, make yourself comfy, have a brew, some biscuits and get to know Emma from Wanderlust and Wet Wipes

Tell me a bit about yourself and what do you when you are not writing your blog?

My name is Emma and I am an expat stay at home mum to 2 completely bonkers but usually adorable kids aged 5 and 3. Since they are both at school full time now, I have a lot more free time than I used to. I fill it with a variety of things including the blog, obviously, but also volunteering at school, helping with a Brownie Pack and running events for a women’s network where we live.

Tell me about your blog and how long have you been writing it?

I’ve been writing Wanderlust and Wet Wipes for almost 1 year now and I’m totally loving it although it can be overwhelming at times! I describe myself as an expat adventure family travel blogger which is a bit long winded but hopefully describes what I do! My aim is to help and inspire other families to travel together. For some people this might mean pushing themselves out of their comfort zones. For others who used to take super adventurous holidays pre-kids, it might mean finding a balance where they feel the holidays work for all of them.

What inspired you to start writing your blog?

Basically we had a series of holidays which just didn’t work for us for various reasons. They were either too relaxed and didn’t do enough for my husband and I, or they were too full-on and ended up overwhelming us all. THEN we had an amazing holiday in Bali at the end of 2016.

I’d been looking for inspiration on what to do when I grow up since leaving my 9-5 in the UK to come and live in the Middle East. And suddenly it struck me that I should do something in travel. I’d always thought I could write a blog but never felt there was anything I could really contribute that wasn’t already being covered by other more established bloggers. A friend (now my blogger bestie!) really encouraged me to get started and I haven’t looked back.

What advice would you give to someone thing about starting a blog/just started writing a blog?

Don’t underestimate how hard it can be. It is lonely and it is definitely NOT just about writing something well and posting it. There is so much that goes on behind the scenes. I wasn’t naive going into it myself, particularly with a friend in the business so to speak. I knew there was much more to it than met the eye but just educating yourself on what it all is and how to do it can be overwhelming! I still get frustrated at just how much I have to learn.

Let’s talk Social Media, how do you balance this with your blog and everyday life?

I split social media in to 2 parts. The first is the blogging bit. I’d say I probably do around 50/50 blogging to social media and other promotion of my posts but I’m conscious that if I want my stuff to get out there then I need to make that more like 80/20 in favour of self promotion. It’s hard, especially as a newbie, to understand the changes that are happening all the time in social media. The change in Instagram’s algorithm affected me and I didn’t really understand what had happened until later. Facebook has recently announced that it will be requiring much more interaction in our content for it to show it to more people. It’s not enough just to like something anymore. On a personal level I really applaud this but it will make my blogging life more difficult, at least for a while.

The second is what I want to see which is actually less and less these days as I find myself following lots of other bloggers. Ironically I spend way less personal time now on social media than I used to.

Where do you see your blog going in the next few years?
I’d love to be earning money for travelling the world but I guess I’m in a rather big group there! It would be brilliant if I could get myself a reputation for being a super honest and reliable writer. My writing style is a bit warts and all to show that you can still have a great time on holiday even if stuff goes wrong.

What do you find is the hardest part about writing a blog?
Self promotion. And working long hours which I know I need to do if I really want it to go somewhere.

And the easiest?
The research part – travelling! It is my passion so who can say better than that?!

Lastly, for a bit of fun, if you could only watch one movie, listen to one song and read one book, again, what would they be?
Movie – Love Actually
Song – Don’t Stop Me Now – Queen
Book – The Time Travellers Wife

The Lupie Mummy would like to thank Emma for joining me on my blog, please take the time to visit her Blog – Wanderlust and Wet Wipes.

Emma is also on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter

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Blog, Brew & Biscuits

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Over the next few weeks, I am opening up my blog to some lovely bloggers to share their blogging experiences with you! There is a thriving community full of bloggers who have already walked in the steps I am about to take and also relatively new bloggers, who are full of questions and finding their feet. So, make yourself comfy, have a brew, some biscuits and get to know Mercedes from Mercedes Prunty Author, The Walking Mumbie!

Tell me a bit about yourself and what do you when you are not writing your blog:
When I am not writing my blog, I am either running around after my two young daughters, taking them for days out, cooking or playing Lego, or I’m sitting in some sort of peace when they are at school and nursery writing my books.
I’m a self-published author of 5 books to date, soon to be 8 by the end of this year. My genres are mainly Zombie Horror and Fantasy but I hope to (by the end of the week after writing this) to have published my first children’s book!!!

Tell me about your blog and how long have you been writing it?
I have been writing my blog for a couple of years now but at first it was mainly a hobby, a way to write when my mind couldn’t focus on books, but I still needed to write to stay sane. It’s mostly a blog about me, my books, writing tips, author interviews, book reviews, film reviews, days out – Just anything that I feel needs to be blogged about.

What inspired you to start writing your blog?
What inspired me to start my blog was a woman who came to do a talk at a writers group I belonged to. She told us all that to succeed in growing our audience for our books we needed an author platform, our author platforms needed to be Blog, Facebook and Twitter (The BFT). And she was so right, although my blog isn’t huge it does have some hardcore followers which is fab and those followers follow me and my books.

What advice would you give to someone thing about starting a blog/just started writing a blog?
My advice would be to find your niche early on. I waivered with mine and stepped into a few niches till I found my voice, so it took me a while to build the brand I wanted to become. Also – Plan, Plan, Plan – Keep a notebook with blog post ideas in and keep track of what you post, this way you will never run out of ideas.

Let’s talk Social Media, how do you balance this with your blog and everyday life?
How do I balance it all – Badly!!! It’s hard to keep on top of social media just because you can get lost in it and not do what it is you really need to be doing. I try to stay away during my work time (So I can write those books) and go on more in the evening when kids and hubby are asleep, as I want to keep my precious family time social media free to a certain degree.

Where do you see your blog going in the next few years?
Hopefully booming into the success that you see others have but I feel mine is so different to the ones that make a huge success because I’m not the normal mummy and make up, I’m mummy and books which is hard to grab readers for. But I have had people tell me my blog posts help them, so I know there are people out there who do like it.

What do you find is the hardest part about writing a blog?
Sourcing images. That is hard because I am on as tight budget so can only use the free sites which can be limited in their photos, but in saying that the images I have used from those sites are still high quality and eye catching.

And the easiest?
Just the whole writing it, I love writing, writing is me. I feel at my happiest once I have written something each day. So to me the writing part is easy.

Lastly, for a bit of fun, if you could only watch one movie, listen to one song and read one book, again, what would they be?
Chandelier by Sia – Love, love, love this song and it also helped me to write my book ‘Alone’.
City of the dead by S.D.Perry – It’s a book based on the hit Resident Evil 2 video game by Capcom but put into a book by the author. But it’s not just a quick scribble of what happens, the author gives the story detail the game misses and I have read it at least 20 times over so could happily read it again.
Resident Evil the film – This made me scared back in the day and can still scare me now even though I know it word for word and scene for scene. I think it’s the music in it by Marilyn Manson. Just gives me Goosebumps thinking of the music in the film.

The Lupie Mummy would like to thank Mercedes for joining me on my blog, please take the time to visit her Blog Mercedes Prunty Author – The Walking Mumbie.

Mercedes is also on Twitter & Facebook

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Blog, Brew & Biscuits

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I have been opening up my blog to some lovely bloggers to share their blogging experiences with you! This week, Cath from Battle Mum is sharing her blogging story and some fantastic advice.  So, make yourself comfy, have a brew, some biscuits and get to know Cath!

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Tell me a bit about yourself and what do you when you are not writing your blog:
I’m a 40-year-old Irish ex-pat now living in Portugal. We lived in South Wales before our move to Portugal last year and we have a little boy who recently turned 4. I used to be a scientist before giving up my job last March before our move. Nowadays, when I’m not writing for the blog, I’m pottering around the house, walking the dog, trying to learn Portuguese or helping my folks with their shopping. It’s a quiet life compared to 12 months ago.

Tell me about your blog and how long have you been writing it?
My blog started life over three years ago as a parenting blog during the last two months of my maternity leave. I had kept pregnancy diaries and thought it might be a good way of documenting life with our son. However, due to a long recovery from birth I didn’t start writing until our son was 10 months old. Since then the blog has evolved and is now a family travel and lifestyle blog. I write more about our travels than anything else, and my blog naturally change pace last year.

What inspired you to start writing your blog?
My husband and sister-in-law were both writing blogs at the time and I admired them. My husband was writing a blog about life as a first-time-dad. He wasn’t necessarily sharing things about our son, more his own experiences alongside geeky things, and I thought I could fill the gap. My sister-in-law is a very successful beauty blogger in Ireland and I admired her for it. So, my inspiration came from them.

What advice would you give to someone thinking about starting a blog/just started writing a blog?
Before you type one letter, buy your domain name and go self-hosted. I didn’t know anything about this, but my husband insisted I wait until he set me up and I’m so glad I did. It meant I never had to worry about going self-hosted later and brand opportunities passing me by because I wasn’t.

Let’s talk Social Media, how do you balance this with your blog and everyday life?
This is something I struggle with, as I’m sure many other bloggers do. Social Media takes up a huge amount of time and I find it hard to balance this with everyday life. To gain a presence and followers, you need to be seen on social media and be engaging, and as one successful blogger puts it, social media is a time suck. If I check my phone with the intention of only doing a couple of minutes, an hour later I’m still on one platform or another. I try to limit my social media time when our son is around as it’s not fair for him to see me on my phone a lot. I also don’t check social media in the evenings when I am relaxing with my husband as we get very little time together as it is. If we’re out and about, I’ll try avoid it at all costs, and only post to Instagram when we get home. I also try to limit it as much as possible to during the day while my son is in school. But it’s a real struggle for me.

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Where do you see your blog going in the next few years?
I’d like to see other parents and families get value from my blog now that it’s focused on travel. I want to share our travels and advice to encourage more families to travel with their kids, even from a young age, and I hope we can inspire them to do that. I’d love to make a living from my blog, but I do think this is going to be difficult without sacrificing family time for more blogging time. But now that I have a focus, I can see me enjoying writing even more over the next few years.

What do you find is the hardest part about writing a blog?
The hardest thing I find is that it is so much more than just typing a few words about a subject. A lot of my travel posts also include some level of research, to do the post justice. Then you’ve got the photos to sort and edit, the graphics to prepare, find the best keywords for SEO, and all this before you hit that Publish button. After that, it’s promotion on social media, taking part in Facebook groups and everything else that goes on afterwards. People who don’t write a blog themselves think it’s easy and is ‘just writing’ but it’s so much more than that. And even more so if you are working with a brand as there is an added level of pressure to do a good job. I sometimes wonder how I kept a blog going while working full-time in the UK.

And the easiest?
The easiest part is when the words are flowing because you feel passionate about the post, or it’s a post about something you have/do enjoy. Those ones are the easiest for me to write and are the ones that are completed very quickly.

Lastly, for a bit of fun, if you could only watch one movie, listen to one song and read one book, again, what would they be?
If I could only watch one movie again it would have to be Some Like It Hot, my all-time favourite movie.

The one song is more difficult. Music plays a big part in my life and it’s hard for me to pick one song. Perhaps Africa by Toto or Everybody’s Talking by Nilsson. Both have special meanings for me.

As for the one book it would probably be Lord of the Rings. I’m probably cheating but I’m sure someone has published the three as one somewhere!

Thank you Cath for joining me on my blog – please take the time to visit Cath’s Blog – Battle Mum.

Cath is also on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and YouTube

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Blog, Brew & Biscuits

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Over the next few weeks, I am opening up my blog to some lovely bloggers to share their blogging experiences with you! There is a thriving community full of bloggers who have already walked in the steps I am about to take and also relatively new bloggers, who are full of questions and finding their feet. So, make yourself comfy, have a brew, some biscuits and get to know Debbie from My Random Musings.

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Tell me a bit about yourself and what do you when you are not writing your blog:
I’m Debbie, I’m 36 and I live in North East England. When I’m not blogging, I’m usually writing my novels (or someone else’s as a ghost writer), reading or having a Netflix binge.

Tell me about your blog and how long have you been writing it?
My blog, My Random Musings, is a bit of a mixture. It started out as somewhere I posted whatever was on my mind, hence the name. Now it’s main focus is motivating people to go out and live the life they truly want with some writing and blogging based posts and posts about books thrown in for good measure.

I’ll have been blogging for three years in March of 2018.

What inspired you to start writing your blog?
I’ve always wanted to be a writer and when I finally decided it was time to stop saying it and start doing it, a blog seemed like a good place to start. I hadn’t written anything in years and I wanted to get back into writing before I started on my first novel.
The blog was meant to be a short term thing but I fell in love with it and now I couldn’t imagine ever not blogging.

What advice would you give to someone thing about starting a blog/just started writing a blog?
To someone thinking about starting, go for it. Just do it.

To someone who’s just started, I would say enjoy the ride. Learn as you go, talk to other bloggers and don’t compare yourself to someone who’s been doing it for years.

Let’s talk Social Media, how do you balance this with your blog and everyday life?
I don’t lol. Seriously I try to schedule blog post updates when I schedule the actual post and then I can concentrate on the fun part of social media daily. I allow myself half an hour to catch up on everything I’ve missed overnight, then I just pop in and out throughout the day – probably way more than I should.

Where do you see your blog going in the next few years?
I would love to have more readers of course, but content wise, I think I’ve finally found a balance I’m happy with. My main goal with the blog is to keep posting daily and (hopefully) produce content that my readers enjoy and find useful.

What do you find is the hardest part about writing a blog?
I’m hopeless with the techie stuff. I spend more time Googling and messing up than actually getting the thing done lol.

And the easiest?
Writing the content. I love writing and that’s the part I enjoy the most, so I guess by extension, it feels like the easiest part compared to the dreaded techie bits and the marketing.

Lastly, for a bit of fun, if you could only watch one movie, listen to one song and read one book, again, what would they be?
Oh wow that’s hard.
Ermm, ok the movie would be Grease. The song would be A Thousand Years by Christina Perri.
It’s way too hard to choose just one book, this is killing me lol. Right now, it would be Rosemary’s Baby by Ira Levin. It was one of the first horror books aimed at adults I ever read when I was around twelve and I’ve loved it ever since. But if you asked me the same question next week, my answer might well be different haha.

The Lupie Mummy would like to thank Debbie for joining me on my blog, please take the time to visit her Blog My Random Musings.

Debbie is also on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram & Amazon Author Page

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Blog, Brew & Biscuits!

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Over the next few weeks, I am opening up my blog to some lovely bloggers to share their blogging experiences with you! There is a thriving community full of bloggers who have already walked in the steps I am about to take and also relatively new bloggers, who are full of questions and finding their feet. So, make yourself comfy, have a brew, some biscuits and get to know Sam from Travelling With Our Kids.

Tell me a bit about yourself and what do you when you are not writing your blog:
I’m Sam, and I have just turned 30! I have 2 little boys who are 6 and 2. I’m married to Nick who I met in 2009 on an online dating site. We got engaged after 3 months and married in 2012. When I’m not writing my blog I am working full time for the family business. My husband works in our bike shop along with my younger brother while I work alongside my parents running the holiday business

Tell me about your blog and how long have you been writing it?
The blog is about family travel and days out. I have also started to add in some posts about gluten and milk free travel as our boys are intolerant to both. I started writing when my youngest was born, so it will be 3 years old at the start of February.

What inspired you to start writing your blog?
I had been reading other blogs (What Katy Said being the main one) and loved the idea of doing my own. I also have no hobbies whatsoever so the blog gives me some “down time” in the evenings.

What advice would you give to someone thing about starting a blog/just started writing a blog?
Go self hosted straight away if you plan to make money from your blog. Also it is a lot of work, so get organised and schedule your time on your blog to get the most out of it.

Let’s talk Social Media, how do you balance this with your blog and everyday life?
Badly? I normally ignore all social media during working hours unless its for our family business. Once the boys are in bed I spend an hour or two just doing social media. It isn’t the best but it works for me. If I did the blog full time then I expect this would be different.

Where do you see your blog going in the next few years?
At the moment my blog is just something to keep me sane after a hard days work. I would love for it to take off and be able to spend more time on it. However, our family business is pretty important so this always has to come first.

What do you find is the hardest part about writing a blog?
Trying to find my voice. I still don’t think I have quite mastered it. However, my writing has improved greatly over the years and I spend some time each month updating old posts.

And the easiest?
I don’t think anything is really easy when it comes to blogging. Ha! I love social oopmh and it takes the stress out of scheduling twitter on a daily basis.

Lastly, for a bit of fun, if you could only watch one movie, listen to one song and read one book, again, what would they be?
I like comedy so something like Bad Moms, one song Want to Want me as my boys love the song. I don’t tend to read any books, so probably read a children’s book to the boys.

The Lupie Mummy would like to thank Sam for joining me on my blog, please take the time to visit her Blog Travelling With our Kids.

Sam is also on TwitterPinterest & Instagram

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Blog, Brew & Biscuits

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Over the next few weeks, I am opening up my blog to some lovely bloggers to share their blogging experiences with you! There is a thriving community full of bloggers who have already walked in the steps I am about to take and also relatively new bloggers, who are full of questions and finding their feet. So, make yourself comfy, have a brew, some biscuits and get to know Carol from A journey to a lifetime.

Tell me a bit about yourself and what do you when you are not writing your blog:
When not writing a blog, I am a stay at home mum to 3 children aged 7, 3 and 2 years old. So, my life when not writing is a lot of playgroups and a whole lot more craft and imaginative play

Tell me about your blog and how long have you been writing it?
I am a money blog aiming to help families to save money where they can, so they can enjoy what really matters. I have had the blog for close to a year but only really started to blog since August.

What inspired you to start writing your blog?
As a family we have been on a budget since finding out I was pregnant with our second. We didn’t have as much saved as with our first and we didn’t want to get in to debt again. Being on a budget has now become a way of life, since my third child was born I became a stay at home mum and we still get to have all the fun we used to have. So, I wanted to share my hints and tips with others to show how you can live well on a very tight budget.

What advice would you give to someone thing about starting a blog/just started writing a blog?
Find your niche, I blogged many years ago and because I didn’t have a niche I just followed others and I got bored very quickly as it just was not me.

Let’s talk Social Media, how do you balance this with your blog and everyday life?
This is my struggle, I am finding it takes a lot of time now but hopefully over the next year something will click, and balance will get better.

Where do you see your blog going in the next few years?
My goal at the moment is to grow, I am a fairly new blog with a small following and I want to help more families to save money where they can, so they can enjoy what really matters.

What do you find is the hardest part about writing a blog?
Social media, I am not really winning at any platform yet and, so I find it takes up so much time.

And the easiest?
The writing, once I have the blog idea (slightly harder) writing the post I really enjoy and certainly find the easiest.

Lastly, for a bit of fun, if you could only watch one movie, listen to one song and read one book, again, what would they be?
These are hard, but movie would be Pretty Woman, song Elton John I’m still standing and book Tillie Cole’s Rome (a total chick lit but it kicked my love of reading off again so has memories).

The Lupie Mummy would like to thank Carol for joining me on my blog, please take the time to visit her Blog: A journey to a lifetime

Carol is also on Twitter, Pinterest & Instagram 

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Blog, Brew & Biscuits

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Over the next few weeks, I am opening up my blog to some lovely bloggers to share their blogging experiences with you! There is a thriving community full of bloggers who have already walked in the steps I am about to take and also relatively new bloggers, who are full of questions and finding their feet. So, make yourself comfy, have a brew, some biscuits and get to know Helen from Welsh Mum Writing.

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Tell me a bit about yourself and what do you when you are not writing your blog:
I’m Helen and I blog over at Welsh Mum Writing. I live in South Wales with my husband, two year old and a cat with OCD (no I’m not joking). By day I work in strategic communications and public relations. I work full time but I have a flexible work pattern so somehow I manage to fit it all in. If anyone asks how, I usually tell them it’s a copious amounts of caffeine and a need for very little sleep (or am I just used to sleep deprivation now?).

Tell me about your blog and how long have you been writing it?
I started by blog in October 2017 so it’s relatively new. It’s a platform for me to share my moans and musings, as well as hacks and tips that help me fit as much into my day as possible – anything from making the most of your time and money, to quick and easy family recipes.

I’ve been blogging since 2013 though, starting off with a personal blog and then moving on to my other blog at www.helentreharne.com. I’ve had several books published so anything to do with my fiction writing or tips for writers is over there.

What inspired you to start writing your blog?
A need for a creative outlet was part of it. I love writing but don’t have time to fit in writing another novel. I can manage a couple of 500 word posts a week in my lunch breaks at work.
I also wanted to share some of my experiences to help reassure other mums they’re not alone. Trying to juggle everything can be overwhelming and frustrating. It’s easy to become isolated from other mums when you go back to work.

What advice would you give to someone thing about starting a blog/just started writing a blog?
Give it a go, but be realistic with your expectations and the amount of time you can commit. Do it because you enjoy it. Don’t compare your writing or work with anyone else’s.

Let’s talk Social Media, how do you balance this with your blog and everyday life?
I think it’s useful to have all the major social media platforms if you might want to “go pro” with your blogging in the future, but I’m also a fan of a “pick your winners” approach.

I’m lucky that I already had an established Twitter following when I started my blog, so I don’t feel like that’s effort for me. I schedule evergreen content in advance and dip in a couple of times a day for a few minutes to engage and find new content. I can usually fit that in.

Other platforms are a challenge for me as I work and don’t have opportunity to take lots of exciting photos, and I don’t like posting photos of my son in public platforms. I keep my hand in with them but I haven’t thrown at lot of energy at them yet. I’ll probably pick one a quarter to really go at and build up my following.

Where do you see your blog going in the next few years?
It will still be going but it might have a slightly narrower niche perhaps. I’m quite open minded.

What do you find is the hardest part about writing a blog?
The making things look pretty bit. There’s a lot of work that goes into making content easy to read and to produce graphics. That can take a lot of time which I don’t always have.

And the easiest?
Coming up with ideas for content. I’m always jotting things down, whether that’s products I liked which deserve a review, an observation or an experience to share. Like most bloggers, my brain is full of ideas but I don’t always have the time to put them all done.

Lastly, for a bit of fun, if you could only watch one movie, listen to one song and read one book, again, what would they be?
That’s a tough one as I’ve so many favourites. Films are the toughest choice as I’m a bit of a movie buff. I haven’t seen it for a while, so I’ll pick Mr Skeffington with Bette Davies – my all-time favourite actress. Fortunate Son by Creedance Clearwater Revival would have to be up there for my song choice. As for book, Wyrd Sisters by Terry Pratchett.

The Lupie Mummy would like to thank Helen for joining me!

Please take the time to visit her Blog: www.welshmumwriting.com

Helen is also on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest & Instagram 

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Parent Shaming

I have noticed over the past month, there seems to be a growing trend on many of the parenting forums of what I am going to call “Parent Shaming”. This is the numerous posts mocking other parents for yes, you guessed it being a parent.

Last night on Facebook, I saw a post shaming a mum who was “being over dramatic” in a coffee shop. Her crime was simply reading stories to her toddler and role playing with his toys in the way that we all know toddlers love, with enthusiasm to bring their imagination alive and ultimately to keep their attention.

This post stuck a chord with me, it was as if the post on Facebook was written about me, for I am that parent who sits in a coffee shop and will read to their child and play in the same “over dramatic” way.  Why?, because that is the way we read a story at home and play with toys in the same way – why should we do it any different anywhere else? We do lower our voices a little to try not to annoy other customers, but we can’t always contain the excitement that may ensure, but that is the delight of childhood.

Let’s delve a little bit deeper into the parent who was subject to the parent shaming, who after all, for that particular moment in time, was only being the best parent they can be for their toddler. Perhaps, like me that parent was trying to manage their PNA (Post Natal Anxiety) that unfortunately, on that day crept up on them unexpectedly and that was the best way to do it whilst keeping an active toddler amused at the same time. Maybe, as a parent, they are simply keeping their child occupied until his snack and drink arrives, and their “over dramatic” interaction is just trying to avoid other customers hearing how loud a toddler can scream and yell! Or, maybe, they are supporting their child in managing an over stimulating environment, through distraction techniques.

Who knows?, and that’s the lesson here, we don’t know what’s going on in the person’s life sat next to us in the coffee shop, and likewise nor do we with other parent’s. Social Media has become entrenched in day to day life, what was once a passing comment in person, has become a comment that may go viral in a matter of minutes, and like this one it may strike a chord with a parent who is guilty to the act that is being so openly shamed. For a short moment, I felt my confidence being knocked and then I kicked myself, for I love story time and role play with my son, so why on earth would I change that for a flippant comment that probably never intended to go viral on social media.

So, let’s give parent’s a break – it’s one of the hardest jobs on earth, after all who works 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year for no salary, but the undivided attention of a little person dependent upon you. For me, it’s the best job, I have ever had, although I feel at times I felt that needed a degree to do it!

 

So, why the name Pumpkin?

Since starting this blog, I have been asked a number of times why I refer to our son as “Pumpkin” and not his real name.  There are a couple of reasons for this, Pumpkin is an affectionate name I often call him and have done since he was born and it seems the most appropriate name to use on my blog to protect his privacy at this time in his life.

The name Pumpkin stems from my labour being brought on early by a Pumpkin Latte (Thank you, Starbucks!*).  I had managed to avoid coffee all the way through my pregnancy and I had just 6 days left until my planned C-Section, when I had the biggest craving ever for a Pumpkin Latte.  Luckily for me, Starbucks had launched their Autumn Menu that week (Thank you, Starbucks!), so I dragged my partner out for a 40 minute drive to our nearest Starbucks to drink Lattes in a September heatwave!  I was feeling all very smug, until a few hours later when I had my first show, this was not supposed to be happening and my Midwife reassured me the following morning that this does not necessarily mean that labour will follow immediately and it will be more than likely that I will still be delivering as planned next week.

With a big sigh of relief, off we went with plans of how we were going to spend our last weekend as a couple before we become a little family.   Our weekend commenced with…yes a Pumpkin Latte.  After we made the 40 minute drive to Starbucks and were walking in, I jokingly said “I bet I go into labour after this” and how we laughed at how ridiculous the notion was.  Roll on 10 hours later, and I wasn’t laughing so smugly then, as labour had well and truely started (Thank you, Starbucks!) and 19 and a half hours later, this is how Pumpkin got his name!

The main reason for not using Pumpkin’s real name is, as parents we both want him to have a say when he is old enough, to whether he wants to have his real name used on this blog after all he is a person in his own right and will he want his childhood exploits easily found by his friends?  This is a conversation to be had will him when he is older, hopefully before the grunts and bedroom door slamming starts.

Additionally, for the same reason, I will not be using any photographs of Pumpkin, as I will leave it up to him to whether he wants his photograph to be used upon my blog at a later date, or not.

For us as parents, we grew up in a world where we are lucky enough not to have all our childhoods, experimental teens, and twenties shared on Social Media (Hooray!!!).  It’s a different world for Pumpkin, so until he is old enough and ready to make his own mind up, as parent’s we are going to protect him for as long as possible.

*This post is not in anyway sponsored by Starbucks