The V by Very blog awards Ireland 2017 were held this week and I am so happy that The M Word won The Best Parenting blog in the commercial category. Congratulations to Maia, all the fantastic writers and everyone involved in making the site a success.
Now, time for a little secret. Long before Mammy, May I? I had another blog. Actually there’s been a few different blog attempts but there was one which, I now realise looking back, was quite successful. It had a number of followers and quite impressive statistics for a blog I never promoted, in any way, on social media.
So why did I stop? Shut up shop? Delete everything without a trace?
Well that’s easy – I was afraid. I was afraid that my writing wasn’t good enough – the plague of every would-be writer. Afraid that people wouldn’t like my writing, would laugh at my feeble attempts. I always kept my writing anonymous and never wanted anyone who knew me in real life to read my pieces. Basically, I was embarrassed.
I became a mother. That gave me a confidence boost to try again but once more I gave up. Then I became a mother for a second time – another confidence boost – another failed attempt, but this time that attempt was Mammy, May I?
I wrote a few posts, put them online, didn’t do very much by way of social media – I’d only just joined Facebook – and during this time one of my favourite sites put out an open call; The M Word.
They were looking for submissions from Mom’s and I thought;
What’s the harm in trying?
I didn’t give it another thought after that. In fact, shortly after applying to the open call I had another crisis of faith. I lost belief in myself and my ability to write and switched my site to private. I didn’t delete it straight away this time – but I was going to.
And so, a couple of months passed, I carried on with life being a busy Mam of two. I continued writing whenever I could but just to keep in my laptop, not to share.
Then an e-mail came – it was The M Word. They had received a huge response to the open call and were just getting to my submission now but the links I’d given weren’t working. Of course they weren’t, I’d switched them to private. My first thought was to explain my site was gone, that I no longer wished to be considered, that I was afraid, but I switched my site back for public viewing. My pieces were read and I was asked if I’d like to have them featured on the site.
Yes, yes I would – I was going to do this.
I was excited. This was the first time someone had ever shown any real interest in my writing.
My pieces ran on The M Word’s site. I let my family and friends know – it was the first time I’d every shared my writing with them.
A bit of excitement!
I thought that was all.
Except it wasn’t. People had responded to my pieces and so I was invited to join The M Word writing team, to join the women who’s stories I loved to read, to become part of a site that gives women a platform to discuss parenthood from a very real and truthful place, to connect to talented and incredible women and writers.
That’s not all that The M Word has done for me. It has given me the confidence, I was always lacking, to follow my passion for writing. I’m now more confident and diligent with posting on my own blog, I’m no longer anonymous – I’m proud of my writing, even if it’s not all good, I’m proud that I’m doing it, following my passion, striving to achieve my goals in life. It’s the ultimate example I want to set for my girls.
It’s also motivated me to seriously pursue my ultimate ambition of writing fictional novels and I’m so appreciative for that.
Thank you to The M Word! Thank you for the right push at the perfect time that has meant so very much. Thank you for the motivation and thank you for including me in something so special.