In happy contrast to the hustle, bustle and festive fun of Christmas, the first few days of 2014 are going to be calm, cleansing, tee total and all about me. Yey.
This January I am going to think more about this blog. I have signed up to take part in the WordPress “Zero to Hero: 30 Days to a Better Blog” activity. The first task is to create a post thinking about who I am, and why I am here. I already have a ‘Who am I, Why am I here‘ page. The information I posted on that page remains relevant today. Three months in, I am realising how much I enjoy blogging and how much time I want to invest in it. I don’t have much time, so I need to invest it wisely.
There are three things I want to learn via the WordPress challenge (sorry if listing these is, like my January, a little dry). I want to:
- Improve the look and feel of my blog for you and for me.
- Continue to improve my writing.
- Improve how I engage with other bloggers via your posts and our social media tools.
I am not sure as of yet if I ever want to try to monetise the blog. However, I do need to generate some income in the next year or so, and so I have done a bit of research into how people make money from blogging. Apparently, if you want to monetise, you need to define your target market. The advice that was given was to think of the target market as a person and to then describe this person. In the spirit of my self-centred January, I am going to say that my target audience is me. I realise that setting off with such a self-indulgent post is perhaps not the most endearing of starts to our blogging relationship. However, I wonder how can I write anything well if I don’t believe in and enjoy what I am writing about. That, at any rate, is my justification for blithering on about myself for the rest of this post.
Me Me Me
- My name is Abby. If I had been born a boy I would have been called Sam. I was named after a character in a TV drama about survivors of a nuclear holocaust. Make of that what you will.
- I’m a white woman who is in her late 30s and of no particular religion. This blog is not about my ethnicity, woman-ness, aged-ness, or agnosticism. I kind of hope that if you are not all (or any) of these things, that you can still engage with what I write. I have no idea how these parts of me influence my writing, but of course they must do.
- I am married and have three young children. Thinking about our three small boys and how I can help them prepare for their adult life is pretty central to some of my blog posts. This is not a blog plotting their progress through childhood, and as such I have chosen not to include photos of them in my posts. This makes adding images to the blog tricky given most of my photos are of my children.
- I was born into a happily working class family in South Yorkshire. I am now a happily middle class person living in the South of England. I owe a lot to a family who put financial pressure on themselves to ensure I got an education, and who did not complain when I swapped from the psychology degree to the philosophy one. The philosophy degree influences this blog a lot.
- I have good friends whose politics range from the pretty far left to the true blue Conservatives. My political pendulum tends to rest at left of centre.
- For our holidays, we tend to camp. I enjoy camping. I’d enjoy it more if we could also afford a holiday once a year that involved us all being ferried around in first class luxury to a place where someone else did all the cooking, cleaning, driving, and babysat for us between the hours of 8pm to 10am.
- Here are 10 songs I really like. My top 10 changes all the time, but off the top of my head: You Make Loving Fun (Fleetwood Mac); Day and Night (Hot Chip); Default (Django Django); Glory Box (Portishead); Hurts so Good (Susan Cadagon); Hold me Now (Thomson Twins); These Days (Fu Fighters); Taper Jean Girl (Kings of Leon); I feel love (Donna Summer); Let’s Make Love and Listen to Death from Above (Cansei De Sexy).
- I enjoy being out in the company of others. I like being in establishments that have good food, good music, and a little too much booze. I have had excellent times in my life in all manner of places: drinking cider behind bus shelters, vodka in sticky floored music venues, real ale in proper pubs, Champagne at grand and not so grand weddings, brandy in Gentlemen’s clubs (the posh ones, not the stripper ones), warm lager at hot festivals, and cocktails on girls’ nights out. One of the luckiest things that has happened to me in my life is happening to make friends with people from many different walks of life. Now when I go out, I don’t care where I am, so long as the friends are genuine, and I have a seat (preferably not one in a bus shelter).
- I enjoy reading. Having young children means limited time for long novels. I tried to turn to magazines but found they left me feeling a little flat. Reading your blogs fills a gap – it’s like I can pick and mix my own favourite topics into my own personal magazine just for me. Currently, I am a bit daunted by the sheer volume of blogs out there and I am not engaging with them as I would like. I feel a strange sense of guilt about not responding to posts, tweets and Facebook updates from the author’s of the blogs quick enough.
- While I am not a person angry with my lot in life, I would like to see some things change both in my personal relationships, and in the society that I live in. I prefer to effect change via a smile and a conversation, rather than an arrogant ‘win at all costs’ confrontation. I think this confrontational approach is largely detrimental to society but is seen everywhere - from board rooms, to politics, to radio shows, to the school play ground. My husband would possibly suggest I ought to practice what I preach a little more!
People seem to want to categorise blogs. I’ve seen them labelled as ‘humorous’, ‘controversial’, ‘or ‘informative’ for example. I hope mine is thought-provoking, reflective, and that it tackles some serious issues without taking itself too seriously. Like the headline states, it has a parent-y, philosophy and a poetry focus. I like to throw the odd poem into the mix, mainly because it amuses me to write them, but also I like the balance that they give to the overall content of Cogito Ergo Mum.
And so that is me. Or the bits of me that I am thinking about right now. I have found this whole exercise quite cathartic. It’s been nice, after been lost in wrapping paper and Christmas crackers to remember a bit of what I am about. If some of the above strikes a chord with you, then I hope to see more of you in the Blogosphere in 2014. If you find me a self obsessed bore then hey, who can blame you – thanks for getting this far with this post.