Today is my 9th blogging anniversary. I can’t believe the TRUTH about Motherhood was started when my baby was only 1-year-old. Where did the time go? Seems like just yesterday that I was writing under the pseudonym Truthful Mommy and you were all my lifeline. I wrote the stories but you guys were definitely my phone a friend. Thank you for being on this fantastic journey with me.
I’m just back from the Mom 2.0 Summit and still really high on all the energy and people that I just spent the last week soaking in. I networked with a lot of solid brands that I love and are a good organic fit for me. I got to rub elbows with the likes of Kristen Bell, Debbie Allen and Brene Brown. I learned so much at the most amazing sessions. Even after almost a decade of blogging, I am still learning. Most importantly, I had the opportunity to connect and reconnect with all my friends who live in my computer.
If you’re a blogger, you know exactly what I mean. If you are not and you actually get out in the world at a time in history when most of us communicate through our tech devices, bravo for you because you are one of the lucky ones. The thing is I’ve made friends who’ve virtually held my hands through some of the toughest and happiest moments of my life and we’ve never met face to face. Things get lost in translation when you are communicating online. There is no tone.
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However, when you meet someone that’s been there for you and vice versa for almost a decade the transition is almost seamless. I got to meet some friends for the first time ever. I got to hug people who I haven’t seen in at least a year and some even longer (too many to mention but you know who you are and I love you all so much) and I finally got to meet a couple of my blogging heroes, women who write from the heart and put it all on the line.
I met quite a few new bloggers who I’d never read before but now I will because of the amazing conversations we had in the hallways, elevators, the pub and restrooms. I have to say, the IRL interactions with all of these women are what blogging is all about. I even finally got to drive the KIA Stinger and I may, or may not, have gotten In & Out.
But one of the most unexpected exchanges that happened at Mom 2.0 Summit came out of nowhere and bowled me over. It came from one of my former editors and it was as unexpected as a blow to the head at a church service.
As a writer sometimes (a lot of the time) it feels like you are sending your thoughts out into the abyss. You are never quite sure anyone is reading and if they are, you often wonder are they actually seeing you; understanding the meaning of the words you are writing. Sometimes I feel like I’m writing in a foreign language.
For me, writing is fulfilling on a deeper level than most other things and it is truly how I process life. It’s my medium and when you open your soul and share your story, you hope that someone (anyone) is reading and it means something to them. In a lot of ways writing is like motherhood, it is beautiful and soul filling but at the same time, it is often thankless.
I spend most of the time feeling like a failure at what I do and the other half feeling like an imposter. Since people have stopped commenting on blogs like they used to, it really feels like I am shouting out into the nothingness. Some days I wonder why I’m doing this. Then, I remember it is not about other people, it’s about getting my thoughts down and preserving these moments for my daughters. Still, it’s always nice to feel like your words helped someone, even if it is just by making them laugh or giving them the solace of knowing they are not alone.
The thing is this editor came up to me during the party after the IRIS awards. I was standing there in a room full of winners feeling like a giant loser. I was tired and jetlagged and was seriously considering sneaking away but I stayed because the only thing worse than Imposter syndrome is FOMO. I often feel like I need to make my exit before I’m revealed as the imposter that I am.
Anyways, this woman who is a phenomenal editor (who edits amazing writers every day) came up to me and told me that it was a privilege and honor to have edited my stories. How these are the moments that made her work feel worthwhile. I was stunned.
She said more but I don’t remember the exact words as I was crying like a baby next to the dance floor because her words moved me. In those few moments, she validated me and made me feel like I was heard and I belonged. I don’t know if she knew how much her words meant to me. I’m not sure that she can.
I tried to convey it, as I stood there with my face melting off as I cried through my contouring but words seemed too small when such a big gesture had been made.
You see, for the past year, I’ve been feeling overwhelmed by the backend of blogging. I think many of us are. All that I’ve ever wanted to do was write. Write my stories free of worry about all the things like SEO, keywords, traffic, meta tags, understanding google analytics, pinning to win, facebooking to reach the masses, having the perfect cohesive Instagram, posting at the right times on the right days and writing for the right audience.
I want to write but blogging is my business and to have the honor of doing what I love, I have to learn to do a whole lot of other things that are out of my wheelhouse. This often leaves me feeling like I am on the outside looking in because in the blogging world, traffic equals jobs. Numbers equal traffic not always considering engagement so where does that leave me? Content is no longer king, it is the queen and SEO is the King and I feel like while the queen and I are besties, the King doesn’t much care for me.
I guess the point that I’m trying to make is that after 9 years, when I was tired and feeling like giving up, feeling like the biggest imposter on the Internet, I went to this Mom 2.0 Summit and I heard all the right things from all the right people. My heart was full. My soul set on fire and my mind could clearly see the direction I need to go. I’m not quitting, I’m rebooting. I’m going back to what I love… writing from the heart.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m still trying to understand the business side of all of it. I have to, it’s irresponsible not to but I’m not letting myself get overwhelmed by it. Blogging is my passion and sharing my stories with you is what fuels my soul. If just one person gets something out of my words, it is all worth it.
Hearing her words reminded me that you never know where your words are landing and how they are touching others. I’m not an imposter, I am a writer and my words deserve to be read just as much as I deserve to belong. I can’t be on the outside looking in because I am the protagonist in my story.
Here’s to being lucky enough to be writing for you in another 9 years. Thank you for reading my stories and sharing yours with me.