I’ve felt at a bit of a crossroads with my blog for a while now – I’m not ‘feeling it’ in the way I used to.
The problem is, there are just too many of us.
I feel in a flooded market as a Daddy Blogger, god knows what it must be like as a Mummy Blogger. I get pitched so much stuff, and it’s nice, and flattering. It means I get to do cool things that work for me and the family. There are other pitches and approaches that are just terrible. We’re talking not even ‘first draft’ concepts, it’s more the ideas you have whilst drunk in the pub. These get dropped into my inbox, if I’m feeling polite, I’ll reply with –
“Sorry, no, that just isn’t the best fit for my blog. Thanks for thinking about me.”
If I’m feeling less polite.
“Honestly?! Have you read my blog!?! Fuck off!”
Because the market is flooded, there will be some other idiot keen to lap up the idea. Copy and Paste a press release, and give these terrible ideas the oxygen that should’ve been strangled out at the concept stage. Many-a-time I’ve refused something and days later seen a blogging peer giving it all the coverage. Sure, you don’t have to be rude to PR people. If something is ‘nearly there’ I’ve found most will happily listen to your spin on an idea and run with it. If everyone is taking the crap, then that’s how UK Bloggers will be perceived. Idiots, happy to be spoon fed diarrhoea from every angle.
Where does ‘selling’ our families end though?
It’s great to be whisked off to wonderful experiences, and get all the latest toys and gadgets. You can’t have them all though. (Can you?) Not all of them really suit you, your family, and audience. I’ve stopped going to a lot of events, and refusing freebies because they just aren’t relevant. There can often be good sized amounts of money involved. More than I could earn in day, for some stupid fluff I could easily fart out a post about.
Just because I could – doesn’t mean I should.
If I’m not doing it, someone else will drag their family out in-front of the camera to do it. I actually winced last week when I saw a blogger had obviously been paid a fair amount of cash to whore out their newborn for a ridiculous ‘campaign’. It wasn’t in anyway related to a baby, or an item suitable for a baby. Nope. That poor child, probably with a bit of cord still attached, was becoming Mummy’s cash cow. People scoffed when I surmised that some Bloggers have babies for freebies. I feel vindicated!
Let’s be honest, you can plop a sleeping newborn anywhere and take a picture, but what about when your kids are older? I see so many pictures of bloggers trying to capture images of their family. All the children gathered, in matching outfits, like a line of trophies. Usually one is mid-scream, another clambering to get away, another with tears down their face. The last one is often still. Like a death row convict, aware and accepting of their fate. It’s worse when you can see the parent’s hands white from holding a child in place, pinning them in place until the perfect shot is achieved. It’s just so, dishonest.
Let them tear around and be the little imperfect people they are. Blogging is about reality, documenting life – it’s not scripted reality.
It’s not about having the best looking family, or the cutest kids. I think you’ve got to have a long hard look at yourself when you’re airbrushing you and your family to push a product. Leave that shit to a magazine.
If you’re going to write, be honest, not a faux ‘honesty’ that reads like a self-esteem handbook – written by a ghost-writer. Or be TOO honest, when it’s clearly been written for effect, just so you can drop a few ‘fucks’ and ‘vaginas’ to make people gasp – that shit gets OLD.
Just, be yourself, document life – REAL life, not a Vaseline smudged lens version, or a still from The Waltons.