Wednesday, 13 June 2012

A Shake Up

Lynsey The Mother Duck will be a year old in August.  I am very proud of it.  I knew I loved writing but being a mum to a child with severe disabilities, a riotous toddler and Hubby who was working away most weeks, I wasn't sure how much time and energy I would feasibly have to dedicate to it.

Some weeks it gets more love than others; largely dependent on how willing to entertain himself J2 is at any one time during the day.  I have managed to attract a slow but sure growing audience and The Mother Duck also now has its own Facebook page and Twitter account. 

I have found some incredible and inspiring blogs, some funny, laugh out loud blogs, some deep and meaningful blogs, some creative blogs.  I have met 'virtually' some amazing people who's insights and supportive words have gone a long way. 

I have received heartwarming comments from some who say reading the Disability Diaries posts have opened their eyes; made them realise they are not alone in feeling the way they do; given them inspiration.

Overall I have to say the first (almost) year with Lynsey The Mother Duck blog has been an extremely positive one and I am looking forward with excitement about what the next 12 months might bring.  Particularly as after Easter 2013 J2 will be off to Nursery for 'standard issue' hours and this should mean I get some good solid time to develop it further and my writing ambitions in general.

But as good as everything is, all blogs are a work in progress.  I always think it is beneficial to stand and take stock every few months.  To question what is working and what is not.  If it is does it need improving and if not why not.  This is certainly applicable to Lynsey The Mother Duck. 

I personally feel that the best blogs I read are the ones that have a theme, or purpose.  Generally I have sought them out for being specific and relatable to what I want to know / read / find out about.  It is great to read comments on the networking sites talking about 'Whatever Blog' that really tackles the subject of 'XYZ'.  These seem to be the ones that make it to 'the next level'.

My biggest issue with The Mother Duck is that exact thing.  I feel it's content is somewhat scattered.  Then again, it is a family life blog, and what is family life if not an array of scattered and random events and incidents that inspired us to write about them.  I have considered if I should make it all about The Disability Diaries but we strive to not make life all about J1's disabilities, so do not feel this would be fair.  I also get a lot out of posting about personal challenges and / or hopes and do not want to exclude being able to do this.  Then of course there is a creative side to the Mother Duck which has paddled it's way to the surface in recent months.

It is a difficult one.  I tried setting a 'post schedule' once before to try and get some organisation to the blog, but I felt I had 'failed' if I missed one.  As all bloggers with small children will understand, there are many variable factors that affect how much time can be dedicated to writing / blogging in any one week.

Maybe I need to sit down and really think about what I would like the blog to achieve and what I would like to achieve myself.  What do you as my audience think of posts?  Do you feel the blog could do with more direction?  Is it too adhoc?  I think that I could certainly make use of the 'Pages' feature, and perhaps run themes through these, like I have done for The Disability Diaries.

Let's hope that the 'BritMums Live 2012!' conference this week helps me to find some clarity!


  1. Congratulations on your blogging achievements so far! And I agree in a way with what you say about blogs with themes being the most successful - eg Love That Max which features in your blogroll. But different readers look for different things and as a blogger, it's what YOU want. I didn't set out to be a special needs blogger, though I am now usually put in that category, but I write about whatever is in my head at the time and just hope that someone will like it. It's worked fairly well so far :)

    1. Thank you. That's the thing, I feel it needs some direction but wouldn't want to take it in a way that excludes me from writing about whatever I need to write about...

  2. Hello! I think your blog is fab in its variety but you pose a very interesting question. Over all I think your blog will organically grow with you. The focus may chnage from year to year. Its totally up to you. I think variety is good and blogging for yourself is the most important thing. I know you for the disability diaries (your niche), inspiring posts about you and your family as a whole and your creative writing. If you love what you write about it does not matter what you write about - the passion will come through your words. I'm thinking of Polly of Caught Writing who has emabarked on blogging about all things French and its just so full of energy and a buzz to read. Honestly, write about what you love and the rest will follow.

  3. Thanks OM! I am thinking maybe I will just try and organise the blog a little more, via the pages, so if people want the Disability Diaries it is there, Home / Family / Inspiration, Creative etc.

  4. Lynsey, I agree with OM. When I started writing my blog I went down the parent blogging route and loved it, but then someone made the comment that they thought I was going to do a creative writing blog (I'd been doing a bit of that too) and it just stopped me in my tracks and I didn't blog for ages. But then I realised, like OM said, I enjoyed writing about what I was writing about, whatever that turned out to be, and so I started blogging again. It all grows naturally with you and with your changing interests. There will be something for a great many of the people who stop by, so I don't think there's any need to worry about it not being coherent. It's evolving, and all the better for that.

  5. I really like your blog and I like the variety of different posts. Personally, I tend to favour blogs which chart the ebb and flow of the author's everyday life, and I like reading about all the different aspects of it, from children, to plans for the garden to your hopes and aims for the future.(I especially like these posts.) I like blogs that write honestly, with their own voice, and from the heart - your blog does that for me. But, as looking for blue sky says, it's about what YOU want.

    I agree with the comments about evolution and the blog changing with you. For many of us, blogs do chart our lives, and life itself can be up and down in it's randomness. I try to see my blog as an experimental place - people can share in it with me, and read my mistakes along the way! A writers canvas if you like.

    I can see why you might like to create some pages - esp as you do strike me as someone who likes order! I've been thinking about doing this too. I guess it's like creating an index for a book. Sort of!

    I love the motherduck as it is, I don't think you need to shake it up - unless you want to. Although sometimes a little bit of housekeeping can feel quite satisfying!



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