“Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore.” -Andre Gide
When I began writing the blog it was really just a way of communicating with friends and family about what was going on in our life in Qatar.
I think that lasted for about a month.
It wasn't a conscious decision to start writing stories, I wasn't aware they were even there, until they turned up on the page.
Over the past two years, I'm not sure I've learned that much about writing, but I've learned quite a bit about blogging and about how you can be simultaneously dying of embarrassment while bursting with pride over the fact that someone "likes" your words. I have a love/hate relationship with this blog.
When I worked in an office I was always part of a team. My favourite thing about account management was winning accounts. I loved the groundwork, the tendering, the submissions and the pitch. I loved celebrating as a team and being able to talk about what a great job "we" did.
When you're on your own in a venture, the last thing you want to do is talk about yourself. It sounds vainglorious, arrogant and egotistical. And of course the minute you do start banging on about your blog after one too many drinks at a dinner party, you wish you hadn't. It's just boring.
Why do I keep writing? I write because you're still here. I write because you send me emails telling me you feel the same way. I write because you moved from Singapore to Queensland and even though it's been nine years you still feel like an outsider. I write because you cried and you giggled when I did. I write because you've done the first day at a new school more than once, you've walked into coffee shop with no idea who you're meeting, and I write because just between you and me - I love it more than I hate it.
Lately I've been thinking about retuning to the office. The fourth little traveler finished Kindergarten this year and I've contemplated putting children on the bus and maybe not being there when they get home from school. I miss working in an office, I miss the stimulation of a really good meeting where you feel like you're making a difference. I miss placing someone in a job that they really wanted, and I miss the camaraderie that comes from walking away from a pitch and knowing you've nailed it. I miss the money. I really miss the money.
It's not going to work though. I have four children in a foreign country. They all have after school activities, they all have have places to be, and demands that need to be met. They also have school holidays, twelve weeks in the middle of the year is hard to manage will a full time job. I know because I have friends that do it and it's a bloody nightmare.
There's a little folder in my email called "blog enquiries". Every time I've received an email that started with "we've just looked at your blog and we think you might be a good fit" I've dragged the email over and popped it into the folder, hoping that all of those emails would miraculously get together and do something productive. I think that's called denial? I've never replied (not even to one of them) because I never knew what to say. I've never been to a blog conference, I've never written a media kit. Me, an ex sales exec, has found herself in a position where she doesn't really understand how it all works.
I haven't been sure that I've wanted to go down that path. I'm not sure about sponsored posts as I don't think you guys want to read them. I'm not sure about advertising because I don't even know how I would technically make it work.
I'm going to have to learn. I need to earn some money. I need a career that fits around my children. I want to keep writing and I'm hoping that I can.
Over the past month I've been working on getting a new banner and a new look for the blog, and we're getting very close. Today I will pass over my admin details so things can start changing behind the scenes. It's going to look a little different around here. I'd like to offer up more content, more information about traveling with children, about moving, about finding yourself in a new environment and not understanding it. The one thing I've realized through writing this blog is you don't have to have traveled overseas to identify, anyone who has moved from A to B knows the feeling of being lost, and I don't just mean literally.
The third little traveler made me a bracelet last night. His timing is perfect. At a time when I'm feeling a little nervous about whether this is all going to work he reminded me that this is a new career. This is what I do, this is a small part of who I am.
I am a blogger.
What do you think? Am I crazy?