Today marks my 3rd year of blogging. Saturday 15th September 2012, I published my first blog post. Little did I know then, that when I did what sort of journey I would go on, where it would take me and what sort of doors it would open. I continue to enjoy the ride and I just wanted to share some of my favourite moments, together with thoughts of the last 3 years.
1. Being able to share my poetry
I have been writing poetry and lyrics since my very early twenties but, until I started this blog, I had nowhere to share them – or any motivation to write them. I had a break somewhere in the middle of around 10 years and then, 8 years ago I picked up a pen and started writing again. My blog has encouraged me to write at least one poem a week. In turn, it has also enabled me to co-edit the Britmums poetry and prose round-up – and I have shared that job with 3 different people so far. My current co-editor is Maddy from Writing Bubble. On top of that, I continue to run my poetry and prose linky, Prose for Thought.
2. Making the finals of 3 blogging awards
I feel very privileged that my blog has been a finalist 3 times now. Within the first 6 months of blogging, I had made the finals of the Most Innovative Category at the MAD Blog Awards and then the Video Category at the BiBs. I then made the finals in the MAD Blog Awards again the following year for the same category. The MAD Blog Awards takes place again this Friday and I wish all the finalists the very best of luck.
3. Winning a holiday with Mark Warner
Mark Warner ran a competition at BritMums Live in 2014 for 10 bloggers to go on holiday courtesy of them. Last July I found out I had won and then, in September last year, I spent 5 days in Rhodes, Greece with 9 other bloggers. We became firm friends and I really enjoyed spending time with every single one of them.
4. Re-igniting my love of photography
Many bloggers are also very talented photographers and I saw my blog as a perfect opportunity to get back into taking pictures. Back in my late teens, I attended the London College of Fashion and one of the things I learned about was photography and it’s creativity but I never followed through with this passion – something I have always regretted. Then, last Christmas, Ross gave me a DSLR and I have not looked back! I have completed courses and am still continuing to learn. Photography is now one of my favourite past times and something that I do to relax.
5. Some great opportunities
I have worked with some really wonderful PRs and companies. The list is not exhaustive but some of my favourites have included Higgidy, Forest Holidays, the Royal Garden Hotel, Soar Mill Cove, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, the Harry Potter Studio Tour, Planet Hollywood, Truprint, Gtech, Ovusense, Brewers Fayre, Dulux, Hotter Shoes and Hillarys Blinds.
6. Speaking to some of my favourite musicians
Blogging has also meant that I have had the opportunity to speak to some of my favourite people from the music world. This has included Rosabella Gregory, Rick Astley, Nik Kershaw, Carol Decker and, of course, the wonderful Peter Cox and Richard Drummie from Go West (my favourites, in case you hadn’t gathered!).
7. Understanding social media
If you had asked me about Twitter, Google +, Pinterest, Instagram and Facebook pages 3 years ago, I would not have had a clue! I love them all for different reasons and I have thousands of followers on each platform (goodness knows how that happened!). I have taken a bit of a step back over the past few months as they were starting to take over a bit but I still love engaging with people. For example, I had a conversation about dunking jaffa cakes over on Twitter the other day – I love the randomness of it all!
8. Helping to raise money and awareness
I have been lucky enough to help out a number of charities which I truly believe in over the past 3 years. This not only includes Team Honk and the amazing work that they do, but I have also helped Womens Aid, done the Race for Life with Brioche Pasquier to raise money for Cancer Research and I have helped raise awareness and money for Unique, the rare chromosome support group.
9. Attending some great events
I have not only attended BritMums Live 3 times now but I have also been to a couple of BlogCamps with Tots100, baked with Brioche Pasquier and attended both Traverse and WTM. The next event I am off to is River Cottage HQ in just over a week – something that I am really looking forward to.
10. My on-line diary
I think that this has to be the most important one of all. The main reason I started all of this. A record of my life, of Grace’s life as she grows up, and my relationship with Ross. These are all things that we can look back on one day and that Grace will be able to show to her family. Not only are we taking photographs but we are writing about our experiences – that, to me, is something very precious.
Later in the week I shall be sharing my 3 goals for my next year of blogging. I kind of feel that I have reached a bit of a stalemate situation recently, so I am looking at shaking things up a bit around here! If you are interested, then please pop back to see what I have in store. In the meantime, I would like to thank each and every single person who keeps me going and reads and comments on my blog posts. I am truly grateful to you all.