When I started blogging almost three years ago, I had a clear and concise idea of how it would pan out. Kids sleeping / at nursery + laptop out = blog. Wearing slippers, TV on in the background and a brew on the side.
That slowly morphed into a more business type ethic, the ability to turn a small idea into a platform to generate an income, whilst at home, primarily being a Mum to my young children.
As the offers to review products slowly started trickling in, my stats and rankings improved, and I begun to earn hard cash from my site, something else, something more unexpected revealed itself.
It turns out the big bloggers aren’t sat at home behind their laptops – they are out at PR events, glitzing it up on spangly brand launches, talking at empowering guest speaker sessions and learning how to embark on world domination at big seminars at hubs like Google, whilst simultaneously smiling at you, at home, through a lens and an internet feed.
Every now and again it can seem like every blogger you know is at some event, and it can leave you feeling with a touch of FOMO – like the kid who didn’t get invited to the class party. Feelings of self doubt and low confidence can creep in, making you perhaps wonder if you are even a proper blogger at all. I can admit it, I’ve been there.
But, in converse, I have also been to a few events too. It can even seem at times like my inbox is filled with invitations to the opening of a new bowling alley, restaurant, brand launch and so on. But, whilst I have been to a few, loved them, found them a little outside of my comfort zone and celebrated the fact that I have conquered them alone, I’m just not sure I’m ever going to be an eventsy kind of blogger.
After all, there aren’t many events you can get to in a two hour gap between nursery and school drop offs?
Joking aside, the reason I chose to not return to work in my previous career, was because of childcare constraints and the ability to opt in to the right childcare provisions for us as a family. That hasn’t changed. So whilst I’m declining yet another event, or stalking all the bloggers insta-storying the preview of the next seasons must haves at the XXX launch, I have to have a word with myself. If I had the time to attend all these events, wouldn’t I be back at work, being a woman in Science, working on a cure for Cancer or the likes?
Most of the events have not offered payment to attend, and sometimes the excitement of saying yes fades away with a feeling of ‘I’d rather be in my PJs back at HQ, than smiling in a room full of strangers’. But, when I have seized the moment, we have had some incredible in person blog highlights over the years – opportunities we wouldn’t have ever come by if it wasn’t for taking a gamble and saying yes. Events like the M&S Secret Supper Club, Attending the launch of The beach at Bluewater, Our day at Shreks Adventure in London, and discovering Chatham Dockyard – right here on our doorstep.
So the answer isn’t always no. There will always be exceptions. I, like the next person, could arrange a one off favour – a day off work for the hubby, a beg steal or borrow favour from a friend…but these moments have to be worth the hassle at this given juncture in our lives. After all, there are plenty of other moments we need those favours for – sick days, date nights, parents evening, you know the score. Or perhaps arrange a day with the family, the husband, so these events blend into our family lives as opposed to disrupt them.
So please, Topshop / Vogue / Mulberry, if you are reading this, please don’t scrub me off the invite list, I can make it happen.
And in the meantime, I’ll be happy here plodding along amongst the mediocre bloggers. Enjoying my occasional visit to glitz land, but in a far less frequent manner than the big guys. I’ll enjoy reading your round ups and summarised tips and highlights, I’ll be inspired by your instagram quotes and captions, and I’ll be wishing you all well.
Perhaps my time will come, a day when I do have the time to whip on the high speed during school hours to hobnob with the sparkly people. But until then, I’ll be doing things my way. After all, who wants a blogger at an event who won’t even share a selfie?!
Ultimately, comparison IS the thief of joy. But I don’t suppose I’m the only person sat behind the screen feeling a little FOMO now and again? It’s time to acknowledge that fear of missing out, give it a nudge on it’s way and make a space for a large portion of JOMO – that’s all about the Joy of Missing out, being grateful for the opportunities my blog HAS brought me, and being open to what the future might bring.