It’s January, the first day of a new year and the traditional time to look back at the year gone by and make resolutions for the year ahead. I’ve read a lot of reflective posts from fellow bloggers these past few days and toyed with the idea of writing one of my own – almost felt I should write one in fact, as if it’s some kind of blogging law. After all, blogging is a kind of online diary so the task of writing some kind of summary should be so easy that, well, why wouldn’t you?
What’s stopped me (apart from a rather hectic diary and extremely dodgy broadband due to flooding) is feeling that, compared to others, I didn’t achieve enough last year. You see, I didn’t write an entire novel or find a publisher or an agent. I didn’t write for Huff Post, become Blog Of The Day on Mumsnet or be in the Tots100 index (honestly, I’m not even sure what that is!). Nor did I have a post go viral, gain masses of followers or have glittering associations with exciting brands. I didn’t travel the world, get a promotion at work, have a baby or, or, or… well, all sorts of things.
Which is all FINE, honestly it is. I’d probably explode if all that had happened in one year! But one of the perils of blogging is the almost irresistible urge to compare yourself to others and, while reading the posts of my lovely fellow bloggers was inspiring and heart-warming, I also found myself thinking:
Look at that! A whole book written and published! And this person’s just found an agent and that person’s written a whole novel in a month, and over here someone’s had a baby and still managed to blog nearly every day! They’re all AWESOME! How can I live up to that?!
You don’t have to ‘live up to that’ you fool! The more sensible side of me then counselled, It’s not a competition, you know.
Yes, I know that, but still, look – this person’s written enough poetry in a few months to fill a whole book, and that person’s got a massive promotion at work and…
Oh, SHHHH, didn’t I just say, IT’S NOT A COMPETITION!
Yes but nothing – look, all these things that people have achieved, they’ve managed through hard work, determination and being willing to put themselves out there, to take a few risks maybe…
But, I’ve been doing that too! I mean I worked my socks off on those three picture book manuscripts and I had them professionally edited and I sent them off to agents, and… and I went to my first blogging conference and a whole Writing Festival weekend which was totally out of my comfort zone…
Ah ha! See – you DID achieve some pretty cool things last year then!
I guess… yes?
No question about it… didn’t you write at least one blog post every single week of the year? AND didn’t Louise from ‘Little Hearts, Big Love’ include your blog as one of her top ten of 2015?
She did! It was totally unexpected and REALLY made me smile!
And haven’t you written masses of limericks? Weren’t you (and aren’t you still) an editor for BritMums? Didn’t you read and recommend fantastic books? Don’t you you run a linky that has built up a lovely community around it… in fact you even arranged real life meet up for that linky didn’t you?
Yes – it was fab! Our #WhatImWriting community is SO wonderful and inspiring.
Agreed! And then there’s that other work you do…
Well yes, though I’m not sure I’ve really achieved that much there…
I think you’ll find a quick look at your inbox will reveal an awful lot appreciative emails.
Yes, ok, I guess I have been of some value there too.
Absolutely you’ve been of value! Besides which, I know that one of the things you value most is your friends and this has been a wonderful year for friendship too hasn’t it?
It really has yes, you’ve got me there.
That’s very true…
And I know you’re thinking ‘but I could have been a better parent and I wish I never shouted’ but pah, no one’s perfect and your boys are loved. That’s the most important thing. They’re loved and happy. Trust me, you’re doing fine.
Ok, you win, I…
Wait, one more thing! it was your twenty-first anniversary with your husband just before christmas wasn’t it? That’s worth celebrating!
Oh yes, and we certainly did celebrate! I get it, I get it… thanks sensible side, you’ve made me see sense, I’ve achieved plenty this year and it doesn’t matter that it’s not exciting things like book publications, career advances and meeting celebrities (oh wait, I did do that), it’s the little things. I’ve kept chugging along, taking little risks and putting lots of time and energy into relationships which is what matter most. Now I come to think of it – 2015 was a pretty awesome year.
Totally! So… are you going to write that reflective, summary post now?
What, the one where I look back over 2015 and include links to lots of other blog posts?
That’s the one.