On 30 July, my blog will be a year old. Happy birthday Somekindof50! 96 posts have been published over the last 12 months, and at any one time, there are about 30 more ideas for posts simmering away in the background. Somekindof50 has really taken on an identity all her own, the blog has grown and evolved into something I could not have imagined 12 months ago, and I have enjoyed every step of the way.
I can’t quite believe it’s been a year: This time last year I was thinking of taking up a new hobby. Knitting? Horse riding? White water rafting? Nothing was really spiking my interest… until the idea came to me that maybe I could try my hand at blogging.
The first hurdle to overcome was that I didn’t actually know what blogging was. I’d heard of it of course, but didn’t fully understand what it involved. ‘It’s an online diary,’ said one helpful friend, ‘It’s a forum to get your writing out there,’ said another. ‘It’s a waste of time’ said a third. Hmmm.
I didn’t know if I could write, but I was certain no one would read anything I wrote anyway, so that made it easier in the beginning, because it was just for me. I could write whatever I liked! And if it was rubbish, no one would know!
My daughter helped me set up a WordPress site which seemed horribly complicated to begin with. It took me days to decide on a theme, and I had to call her in every time I didn’t understand something regarding the intricacies of the site. Which was a lot. Finally, she went away for a couple of days, ( coincidence? I think not!) and I had to do it myself. As she hurried out the door she said ‘If you get stuck , just google it.’ I googled a lot those 3 days, and by the time she came back, I could navigate the site on my own. I think she may have been somewhat relieved.
What to write about? As an ex counsellor, I knew a bit about mental health and was very interested in well being. I had just turned 52 and thought that there were interesting topics around empty nest life and the challenges and rewards that come from being in my 50’s. As the blog has grown my biggest interest seems to stem from the concept of living my best life. I want to share what I have learnt and help others to deal with the struggles they may be facing. Some of which I have struggled with personally in the past. I have also intentionally peppered the blog with a few light hearted subjects, to show it was not all serious, and I hope those posts have raised a smile or two.
I have tackled subjects from confidence to motivation, holidays to online dating, dieting, children leaving home, my cats, homelessness and self harm, and even ways we can help the environment, and I feel like I have had a good go at them all. Sometimes I can write a post in an hour. Sometimes it takes days and starts to become a chore. Those days I try and put it down for a few hours, and go and do something else.
I was terribly self conscious about it at first and worried about what family and friends would think of my writing. My children were unfailingly supportive, as was Andy of course, and everyone close to me gave me lots of support and encouragement.
Having said that, I’m always amazed when anyone actually reads the blog. Not that I think it’s not worth reading, I’m actually very proud of it and I never publish a post until I’m happy with it, I’m just astounded that friends and family are interested enough to read it, let alone strangers from all over the world.
Of course, if you are serious about blogging, it helps to make your presence felt on social media. I had never been on Twitter or Instagram, and retweeting was a mystery. These days, I am retweeting as fast as my fingers can work. Someone said that Twitter is where strangers tell you the truth and Facebook is where your friends tell you lies. I’m not sure what that makes Instagram. Of course, all those sites can bite you if you are not careful, and I feel very lucky that, so far, I haven’t had many comments that are nasty. I have had a few inappropriate ones, but I take fully responsibility for that if I’ve posted a bikini picture.
One chap commented that he thought I was a narcissist which I thought was a bit much. I think I’m more of an empath, as I’m very sensitive to others emotions and find being around people overwhelming sometimes. I wonder if it was anything to do with his inappropriate comment on a holiday pic the week before that I had promptly deleted?
On the flip side, some of the comments that people have written praising my posts and speaking of their own experiences, have literally made me so happy, I’ve been in tears! Readers are so generous, not only in giving up their time to read, but often leaving extensive comments detailing their own experiences. I can’t tell you how much that means.
If you are a new blogger, I have a few pieces of advice for you: Firstly, write for yourself, write about subjects you know and care about, and be as truthful as you can. Read other bloggers work and make sure your content is the best it can be, before you publish. It is a huge privilege when people take the time to read your posts, and they deserve your very best writing, not something you have thrown together. Finally, don’t take up blogging in order to make money! There are ways to make money doing it, but you need a pretty big following first.
It’s been an absolutely fantastic year for Somekindof50, and I have learnt so much which, I hope, will only improve the blog over my second year and beyond. If you are reading this, or have read any of my posts, I would like you to know I consider it a huge compliment that you have taken the time. Thank you from Somekindof50 ❤️