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What writing a blog has taught me

  

This week marks a year since I started writing this blog. I actually signed up for my first free blog account in 2012, but only wrote two posts before I lost interest, bottled it and shelved it for a few years.

It was in March 2014 that I decided Rainbeaubelle needed to be resurrected and I set about deleting all my old posts, redesigning the layout and thinking about what I wanted it to be like. It was really a distraction from what was going on in my real life – as my husband had at that point only been out of hospital for a few months after a life-changing operation to remove a blood clot in his bowel, among other things – and was recuperating at home. My blog was going to be a place to touch on the good stuff, the lovely little everyday things that made me smile. 

It still is that place, but I now pepper those happy posts with writing about what’s happening in our lives as a family, as so much has gone on it would feel strange not to talk about those things. Rog is back in hospital, we have just been told he has bowel cancer which is seemingly unrelated to his previous problems, and we are working out how to deal with it all. Blogging about these experiences has helped me massively, and taught me a lot about how to give myself some space and help myself cope. 

Aside from this, blogging has taught me so much that I thought I’d share, in case any of you feel you would like to start your own blog, or current bloggers feel they can relate. So here goes, this is what a year of blogging has taught me… 

1. That blogging is sociable. When I started off, I was writing for myself and only really sharing it with my husband and a few close friends and family. When I saw a few, I mean literally maybe two or three! I didn’t have the confidence to share my posts with the world, and just kind of hoped they would be discovered and people would like them. It was Roger who urged me to go public, as after all, isn’t that the point of writing a blog, so that people can read it?! A few months later, I started sharing my posts on Facebook and was overwhelmed by the positive messages I got in return. I then began sharing posts and chatting to fellow bloggers on Twitter, and realised just how many people are into it. Since then, I’ve got to know lots of other blogs and found there is a whole community of like-minded, wonderful people who are all passionate about this hobby as I am. So making friends is a definite plus side of blogging. It’s taught me that people are so bloody good, kind, and wonderful and the blogging community is incredibly supportive

2. That writing is therapeutic. Writing down your thoughts really does help to organise them, and is a lot cheaper than counselling! Laying your feelings bare is pretty scary sometimes, but feeling that fear somehow helps me feel stronger, if that makes sense.

3. That I love being creative. I write for a living, but working in news doesn’t always allow for the same creative freedom you get when you have your own blog. One of my favourite blogs is actually one that encourages creativity called Studio Mothers. Each Friday there’s a new message to spur you on and remind you that a regular creative practice really is so good for the soul.

  

4. That it’s not just putting pen to paper. I’m a bit of a slow blogger, posting usually once or twice a week and I always spend a few days at least on each post. I find it difficult to sit down and write the whole thing in one go, I’d rather half-write it, then come back and finish it with a different perspective later on. This is partly out of necessity, as I usually start a post on the train on the way to work, and finish it before I go to bed that night. Some posts linger half-written for days, even weeks before they are published. 

5. That there are thousands of us spending our free time writing down our thoughts for all to see. As in my first point, there are thousands of bloggers out there and there is so much to learn from one another.  

6. That blogging is addictive. I’m still here after a year, so there is definitely a sense of addiction there. I always feel better after publishing a post too…then spend ages having a look to see how many people are reading! 

7. That you secretly think more people should start writing one. I often hear someone’s story and think, you should write a blog about that! There are so many people I know who would be amazing bloggers, so maybe they will read this and decide to give it a go!

8. That it’s nice to get recognition. A year after I started blogging and I have made it into the top 200 on the Tots 100 parent bloggers index. I’ve just sneaked in at 199, but it feels good! 

9. That it’s fun. It’s a bit of escapism and a secret world to retreat to – and beats doing the ironing in the evening or watching rubbish telly. (Actually I still do those things too, just badly).

10. That it’s free! (You can take the girl out of Yorkshire, etc etc) When I started my blog, I signed up for a free site with WordPress. I actually now pay a very small amount to have the site hosted for me and to keep my domain name, but it’s less than Β£10 a month. 

So go on, if you haven’t started writing yet, what are you waiting for?

X Julia

  

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54 Comments

  • Reply
    Karen
    March 25, 2015 at 9:44 pm

    Lovely post and Happy Blogiversary to your lovely blog! I am sure any non-bloggers reading this can only be spurred on to get started on their own x
    Karen recently posted…Emily vs the brown sauceMy Profile

    • Reply
      Rainbeaubelle
      March 25, 2015 at 10:31 pm

      I hope so! Thanks Karen xx

  • Reply
    mummyofboygirltwins
    March 25, 2015 at 9:47 pm

    Happy birthday blog! Yours is one of my favourites, and I just adore it. Your writing is captivating; no matter what your subject. Hope the recent personal events are sorted out for you all soon and that your blog becomes your happy place again. Jess xx

    • Reply
      Rainbeaubelle
      March 25, 2015 at 10:32 pm

      Thanks Jess that is lovely! I hope so too. We need more happy posts now! Xxx

  • Reply
    Lisa@intotheglade
    March 25, 2015 at 10:50 pm

    Happy 1st Anniversary
    Lisa@intotheglade recently posted…The Egg!My Profile

  • Reply
    Lisa@intotheglade
    March 25, 2015 at 11:11 pm

    I don’t know what happened! But what I said was;

    Your blog is a lovely place to stop by! It is full of postitive engery. I am amazed at how many people blog too. Your post makes me realise that I just do it to keep my eldest in the loop at home and it shows

    • Reply
      Rainbeaubelle
      March 26, 2015 at 6:10 am

      Thanks Lisa – so glad I got to know you and your blog too! X

  • Reply
    Tim
    March 25, 2015 at 11:14 pm

    Happy blogiversary, Julia! All you rpoints resonate with me but in particular the first three. I love the sense of community that being a blogger opens you up to. Writing is totally therapy for me – perhaps not surprising given how introverted I am (I’ve got a post coming up on that very subject tomorrow …). And, as someone who is otherwise distinctly UNcreative, I find the very act of writing a blog has fuelled a creative side of me that I’m not sure I was fully aware of previously. And long may it continue – for both of us!
    Tim recently posted…Wednesday Words of Wisdom: Words to live by #1My Profile

    • Reply
      Rainbeaubelle
      March 26, 2015 at 6:08 am

      Yes I totally agree! Glad you liked it! Julia x

  • Reply
    sarah christie
    March 25, 2015 at 11:18 pm

    Happy Birthday Julia, I love reading your blog and am so glad we have become friends. I hope they find a solution with Roger and am so glad you lovely blog has helped you to get through x
    sarah christie recently posted…So you want to start a blog?My Profile

    • Reply
      Rainbeaubelle
      March 26, 2015 at 6:09 am

      Thanks Sarah, you are very wise! Xx

  • Reply
    Mini Travellers
    March 26, 2015 at 12:19 am

    Sorry I’m only just getting round to commenting on this, so a belated ‘happy’ blog birthday. I totally agree that I think others should write their blog too, if only so they can find some wonderful new friends.
    Mini Travellers recently posted…Disney on Ice – It is Amazing!My Profile

    • Reply
      Rainbeaubelle
      March 26, 2015 at 6:09 am

      Yes that’s the best part! Xx

  • Reply
    Seychellesmama
    March 26, 2015 at 6:31 am

    Yay for a year of blogging!!
    It is so amazing how much blogging really does give you, I can’t imagine not doing it anymore!!
    Lots of lovely points here and I’m so sure you will have given people a nudge to start if they haven’t already πŸ™‚ xx
    Seychellesmama recently posted…21 months!My Profile

    • Reply
      Rainbeaubelle
      March 26, 2015 at 8:50 am

      Thank you! Xx

  • Reply
    Mackenzie Glanville
    March 26, 2015 at 9:43 am

    Congratulations on 1 year! I am only 4 months in, but it has changed my world! I am amazed at the amazing women out there. I had never heard of blogging a year ago, and I had never read one blog post before I started so I was blown away by it all. I am so happy to have discovered and now subscribed to your blog. You are one of my fav’s I just love your style. I only subscribe to a select amount of blogs and I just love the feeling I get when I am at your website. Keep going, you are so talented!

    • Reply
      Rainbeaubelle
      March 26, 2015 at 3:24 pm

      Thanks for your lovely comment, that is one of the nicest things anyone has said about my blog, thank you! Xx

  • Reply
    Mumma McD
    March 26, 2015 at 10:43 am

    Well congrats on your blogiversary, and congrats on making into the Top 200! Awesome work in 12 months πŸ™‚

    I love this list, I agree with all of them, especially the one about blogging being therapeutic – I’m so glad you’re finding a release for some of the stresses your family is going through. Keep going lady, you’re fantastic πŸ™‚ x
    Mumma McD recently posted…Easy ways to make your blog more accessibleMy Profile

    • Reply
      Rainbeaubelle
      March 26, 2015 at 3:23 pm

      Ahh thank you what a lovely comment! Yeah it’s funny to think it’s been a whole year! Definitely cheaper than therapy! Xx

  • Reply
    Deb Troops
    March 26, 2015 at 11:17 am

    Love it Jules keep blogging x
    Deb Troops recently posted…Money is the root of…My Profile

    • Reply
      Rainbeaubelle
      March 26, 2015 at 3:22 pm

      Thanks Debs xx

  • Reply
    Caro | The Twinkles Momma
    March 26, 2015 at 6:57 pm

    Ahh Ju β€” this is SUCH a lovely post! And echoes exactly what I have been feeling recently about my blog!!

    Since I went self hosted in January, I have absolutely been loving my little space. It looks more like home β€” where the free version didn’t β€” but also it’s SO cathartic!! I’ve often helped the subs and copy-teams with various wordy bits and pieces at work but I’m no writer β€” I’m a designer! That said, I am loving the writing aspect of this blogging malarkey more than the design!! I feel a change in career coming on!! πŸ™‚

    Huge congratulations on your blog-anniversary! Keep up with the amazing work xx

    Caro | http://www.thetwinklediaries.co.uk
    Caro | The Twinkles Momma recently posted…106 weeks and 1 day | Our Ensuite Bathroom MakeoverMy Profile

    • Reply
      Rainbeaubelle
      March 26, 2015 at 10:59 pm

      Thank you Caro, that means a lot coming from you I love your blog too! Xx

  • Reply
    Tammy
    March 26, 2015 at 8:21 pm

    I can so relate to point 4, infact all of them. Only starting out this gives me hope and spurs me on ! welldone on coming in at 199, only way is up !
    Tammy recently posted…Why I fell in love with my broken kitchen plate- and yes you read that right !My Profile

    • Reply
      Rainbeaubelle
      March 26, 2015 at 11:00 pm

      Yes keep going, I have changed a lot in a year and it’s constant improvement (I hope!) x

  • Reply
    Laura
    March 27, 2015 at 10:16 am

    I’m a newbie to blogging and totally agree that it teaches you so much! I’ve learnt a lot about myself as well as discovering how much I enjoy reading into other people’s lives. x #TheList
    Laura recently posted…Gratitude List #3My Profile

    • Reply
      Rainbeaubelle
      March 27, 2015 at 10:10 pm

      Yes that’s a good point too! Xx

  • Reply
    Catherine
    March 27, 2015 at 10:18 am

    Happy First Blogaversary!

    I’m like you, I can’t write a post in one go. I have several on the go at once so I can add my thoughts to them gradually.
    Catherine recently posted…Elmer’s Photo Patchwork App + giveawayMy Profile

    • Reply
      Rainbeaubelle
      March 27, 2015 at 10:10 pm

      I find it helps organise my thoughts a bit! Xx

  • Reply
    LittleOandMe
    March 27, 2015 at 10:22 am

    I’m so sorry to hear abut your husband, I’m sending all my thoughts and love to you and your family!
    I really enjoyed this post, I have only been blogging for the last seven months but it has brought so many things in that time, the main being confidence. Your blog is fab and you have done so well to become 199 in the tots 100.
    Popping over from the #BrilliantBlogPosts
    Becky xx
    LittleOandMe recently posted…‘So what do you do all day?’ – My responseMy Profile

    • Reply
      Rainbeaubelle
      March 27, 2015 at 10:10 pm

      Thank you! Xx

  • Reply
    Morgan Prince
    March 27, 2015 at 11:21 am

    Great post. Well done on sneaking into the top 200 in Tots100! That’s great. You’re obviously doing something right so keep doing it. xx
    Morgan Prince recently posted…A Writer’s DeterminationMy Profile

    • Reply
      Rainbeaubelle
      March 27, 2015 at 10:10 pm

      Thanks! Xx

  • Reply
    Katie
    March 27, 2015 at 2:17 pm

    Happy Blogiversary love, I’m so glad you decided to resurrect your blog or I’d never have gotten to meet you! Love this list, you are completely spot on with everything. Also loving the mug, nice to see a bit of Welsh crept in! xxx
    Katie recently posted…My Captured Moment ~ Co Sleeping SiblingsMy Profile

    • Reply
      Rainbeaubelle
      March 27, 2015 at 10:09 pm

      Oh yes, Bore da Katie! Xxx

  • Reply
    Alex
    March 27, 2015 at 8:06 pm

    Wow top 200 in a year! That’s amazing you must be so proud. I’ve been blogging around 15 months and am hovering in the 600’s. I’m glad I’ve stumbled across your blog and will make sure I keep up to date with your posts as I really enjoyed reading this one πŸ™‚ Happy blog birthday xx #brillblogposts
    Alex recently posted…Are you ever β€˜ready’?My Profile

    • Reply
      Rainbeaubelle
      March 27, 2015 at 10:09 pm

      Thank you that is lovely! I have to say it has been a great year I’ve loved every minute of getting into blogging xx

  • Reply
    Tin Box Traveller
    March 27, 2015 at 9:04 pm

    Congratulations on your year in blogging! I started off a bit like you. I didn’t really promote myself and kind of dipped in and out for the first year before taking my blog more seriously last spring. It’s a great hobby and massively addictive! #theList
    Tin Box Traveller recently posted…Review: maternity shoot with Lee Orchard PhotographyMy Profile

    • Reply
      Rainbeaubelle
      March 27, 2015 at 10:09 pm

      Thank you! Yes, totally addictive! X

  • Reply
    Katy {What Katy Said}
    March 28, 2015 at 7:37 pm

    Lovely post Julia, so glad you started your blog up again! Blogging is such an amazing thing to do – and yes, totally beats ironing! x

    • Reply
      Rainbeaubelle
      March 29, 2015 at 9:51 am

      Thanks Kate! Xx

  • Reply
    You Baby Me Mummy
    March 28, 2015 at 11:08 pm

    Fabulous post my love. Blogging really is awesome isn’t it! πŸ™‚ Glad it has given you so much. Thanks so much for linking up to #TheList x
    You Baby Me Mummy recently posted…Gratitude List #42My Profile

    • Reply
      Rainbeaubelle
      March 29, 2015 at 9:51 am

      Thanks Aby xx

  • Reply
    Rachel
    March 28, 2015 at 11:12 pm

    This is the post I’d been going to comment on this morning having skim read it whilst multi tasking. I manage to appreciate how beautifully written and informative it was managing to convey so much wisdom about blogging. What I hadn’t managed to read was about your husbands cancer diagnosis. I’ve commented on that one too but just wanted to say again how sorry I am to hear of it. I hope in the tough times your blog and the fabulous community of bloggers I’ve only just started to meet can be a support. Again sending love and prayers. Rachel x
    Rachel recently posted…Cooled cake with coconut oil contains less caloriesMy Profile

    • Reply
      Rainbeaubelle
      March 29, 2015 at 9:50 am

      Thanks so much Rachel xx

  • Reply
    Ally Messed Up Mum
    March 29, 2015 at 6:53 am

    I could’ve written this post myself! I agree with every point you make and completely relate to them.i started writing for the same reasons, an escape ffrom my mental health problems. Little did I know it would take off as it has, presented me with so many opportunities and introduced me to so many people with similar stories. Best thing I ever did! Great post x
    Ally Messed Up Mum recently posted…BritMums Live 2015 is coming!My Profile

    • Reply
      Rainbeaubelle
      March 29, 2015 at 9:49 am

      Thank you! Good to hear your story too. Blogging is so different to how I thought it would be! X

  • Reply
    Lisa (mummascribbles)
    March 29, 2015 at 8:30 am

    Happy birthday blog!! It always amazes me when I realise that blogs like youra are still relatively new! I always assume that they’ve been around for years! I’m glad you’ve found a space where you can get creative and share your thought, happiness, and worries. The support you are getting right now shows just how wonderful the blogging community is. #SundayStars
    Lisa (mummascribbles) recently posted…Leaving children home aloneMy Profile

    • Reply
      Rainbeaubelle
      March 29, 2015 at 9:50 am

      Thank you! I’m flattered that you think I’ve been going a long time! It’s changed quite a bit since I started and when I read some of my first posts I cringe!! Xx

  • Reply
    Katie Haydock
    March 30, 2015 at 12:03 am

    Happy blog birthday πŸ™‚
    What is it about us bloggers trying to get other people into blogging?! It’s like a cult! Lol.
    Katie Haydock recently posted…Big Cousin, Little Cousin: My Sunday Photograph 29th March 2015My Profile

  • Reply
    Ling Warlow
    March 31, 2015 at 1:33 pm

    Hugs and love Julia, I hope you know how much we all love you. You are brave and creative and kind and passionate. I’m so glad you are my friend. Xxxx

  • Reply
    Amelia
    April 8, 2015 at 9:15 pm

    I’ve only just found your blog (oddly I found it through a comment you wrote on an etsy site I was looking at!) and then I recognised your blog name again today as one of my close friends has liked your page on Facebook. I blog over at http://www.ohlittleonesweet.com, and like you started blogging a year ago. I pour my heart and soul into it and spend hours of my spare time writing and snapping away with my camera but don’t seem to have got that far with it so far. You’re so inspiring with what you write and what you have achieved in just a year with the blog! Please holla with any tips or advice as I’d love to increase my readership. Hope you’re doing ok- i know you’ve had a pretty horrendous week of things πŸ™ Amelia x

    • Reply
      Rainbeaubelle
      April 8, 2015 at 10:25 pm

      Hello and thank you for your lovely comment! I am off to find you on Twitter to say hi there too! Lots of love x

  • Reply
    Adventures of a Novice Mum
    April 22, 2015 at 3:37 pm

    How lovely … happy blogiversary! A cheerful read. I smiled when I read your point about listening to people’s stories and thinking it would make a good blog post πŸ™‚ Blogging creeps into all of a blogger’s life, doesn’t it; but it’s a wanted creep. I love the therapeutic and creative side of blogging too. The blogosphere is lovely in so many ways, isn’t it. Thanks for sharing; so glad I cliked when I saw your post tweet.
    Adventures of a Novice Mum recently posted…Wednesday Without Words 3My Profile

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