When I started my Honeymumster blog I really didn't foresee the positive affect it would have on my life.
I wasn't depressed before writing it, just a little bit lost. Of course, I was thrilled to be a new mum and having Phoenix is the best thing I have ever done but still I felt like 'I' was missing.
Having been very independent financially for over 20 years and with many a creative outlet to fuel my desires at work, I suddenly found myself in a fog. I am an artist and we artists must express the very core of hearts or our souls slowly perish. I needed to find a way to keep the magic alive for my family's sake, as well as my own and that is when my wonderful friend, the brilliant TV Psychologist, Emma Kenny suggest I try writing a blog.
Of course I wondered at first what on Earth I could say? Why would anyone want to hear anything I had to offer? Couple that with the battering my confidence for writing (and most things) had taken from my much older, very bitter ex over the period of the 13 years we were together and I almost decided to not bother with a blog at all.
However, Emma was persistent, she even showed me how to build my site and convinced me that the fact that I find it excruciatingly hard to lie would in fact, become what the readers would most love about my blogs. My sometimes, getting me in trouble, foolish honesty would be my key selling point.
Paired with the love and encouragement I get from my husband Ayden, in April 2016 I nervously, began to write. I opened my heart to the world or whoever wanted to read my ramblings, (I figured maybe 20 of my old mates would read it) and I waited to see what would happen.
Over 30,000 returning readers later after just 9 months and winning an award for my blogs, after only 6 months, I can honestly say, writing this blog has changed my life and set me free from the doubting myself, fog I found myself in.
It has reignited my self esteem to a wondrous level. I no longer feel the need to take Prozac. After 18 years of being on and off the drug, I have now been clean of it, without any tears, tantrums or problems, in-spite of some pretty major irritants in my personal life, for 6 months now. That is something I would never have believed could happen to me. Of course, my amazing boys, Ayden and Phoenix, must take most of the credit for this but my Honeymumster blog has been the therapy I needed too. It is cathartic and liberating to write down all your thoughts. It is also tremendous to feel there are no restrictions on being you... I can say what the fuck I like. It is the most human of jobs I have ever done and the support I continually get from readers is as good as performing in any show.
I say jobs because yes, nowadays I do get paid to write for some (not all) companies too. I am careful and I will NOT work for any brand that I think is rubbish. I inform companies that if they do employ me I will only tell the truth, so to please bear that in mind. Of course, if I find a product that I really love, I just write about it anyway because I want to share with you the best products. I know that being a parent means that you waste an awful lot of money by buying the wrong thing first of all, only having to replace it with another thing later on. One example of this is my highchair. I wasted hundreds of pounds on a 'cosatto highchair' only to replace it with the amazing 'Stokke highchair', which is so much better and I wish someone had told me to just buy the Stokke Tripp Trapp chair from the start.
So what is my advice to other parents who want to write a blog? Is it worth it? Can it change your life?
You may not get rich, although if you are one of the most influential bloggers on social media sites etc, you certainly can make an awful lot of money.
Many bloggers do get freebies for their ramblings and if you are good and can find yourself a niche, you may become one of the more handsomely rewarded top bloggers.
Many bloggers find themselves with book deals and some are even invited on to TV shows as experts in their chosen blogging field.
It is certainly a growing industry and who knows how long it will last, but you might as well get on the ride if you are creative and looking for an outlet or just a parent who needs to offload.
It is a lot of hard work at first and as your blog grows it does take up more and more of your time, so be prepared, it does become a full time job but an enjoyable one. It is flexible though, for the most part and as a parent that is a huge bonus.
For me, not only is it a way of expressing myself. It has connected me with other parents, other bloggers, PR companies, journalists and not only has it enhanced my life as a mum, it has shown me life outside of being a mum too. I have learned so much about myself, how to do business and what really matters to me. I can truly be me in my blogs too, which as I have talked about before, having been on Cbeebies for 10 years, a very restrictive environment for all adult presenters that work there, it is wonderfully healing to be free of those chains and to still be accepted by the public. I am not the pariah I was made to believe I was for making mistakes in my life. I am in fact, human and we should not be ashamed to show our children that we make mistakes, it stops us being superior to them and maybe helps them them make better choices than we did.
So blogging has changed my life in 2016 and for that I am grateful.
It has enabled me to finally accept who I am. It's OK to tell the truth even when it's painful. It's OK to sometimes not cope with life. It's OK to shout from the rooftops just how much you love your children and your husband and it's OK to be a dreamer because the response form you all tells me that, I'm not the only one.
Of course I will still act, dance and sing but these days I have the luxury of waiting for the right exciting role for me, rather than just strutting my stuff in another bad show just to pay my bills. Most actors are artists. We want to make you think and we want to challenge ourselves everyday and that's where blogging fills the gap so beautifully.
The revolutionary in me wants to write. The artist in me wants to tell the truth in plain black an white and the rebel in me wants to prod at the way we think, stretching my own soul as I type. It's almost like I'm on a quest in to the Labyrinth of my mind, I don't know what I will find but it will be beautifully real.
If you want to be a blogger in 2017, I urge you to go for it. You will not be sorry and you might just meet your true-self along the way. Which let me tell you is very liberating.
I hope 2017 brings you so much joy you could burst and I hope if you have even thought about writing a blog, that this encourages you to do it. I am off to celebrate with friends and I will return in 2017, where we all get to start again. A shiny New Year for us to litter with fabulous mistakes.
Happy New Year every one and in honour of Prince and all those fabulous artists that the absolute bastard, the Grim Reaper stole from us in 2016. For them, let's party like it's 1999!