5 Years – 5 things blogging has meant to me

It’s five years since I started my blog Lizzie Somerset and I couldn’t be more thankful.  I thought it would be fun to share five things blogging has meant to me.

5 years, 5 things blogging has meant to me

I can actually stick at something

I’m in reflection mode; and I’ve been walking on air to realise that I have managed to stick to something (that has been so hard and frustrating at times) and not given up.  Five years is the longest I’ve stuck at anything.

As someone with the perfectionism trait, I’ve started and stopped so many hobbies and challenges in my life.

I started this blog on 13th August 2013, with two children under three.  I thought it would be ‘fun’ and I so wanted to be as happy as all the other bloggers were (or seemed to be).   Well, it wasn’t long until I realised that I fell short of the standard that was actually needed to blog successfully (and I so wanted to be successful).

It’s good to be vulnerable (& protect yourself at the same time)

I never thought in a million years that I would still be blogging today; to be honest, there are so many times when I felt like throwing in the towel and giving up.  I stayed up late blogging and made myself exhausted (as if I wasn’t exhausted already with two kids at home 24/7).  There were also times I felt like a complete fraud, totally vulnerable and uncomfortable with the need to blog versus the need to look after my children.

I really felt conflicted between wanting to blog and be creative and needing to do the mundane and lovely things with my children. No matter how hard I tried I just couldn’t seem to find a way to make it work.

And yet, during all of this, I was changing.  This has been the personal growth I’ve encountered as an indvidual.  I count blogging as the #1 reason that I started watching TED Talks including Brene Browns first talk on vulnerability and shame, a talk that changed my life forever.

It’s possible to blog, be ‘successful’ and do it your way

I started out without charging anything for my blog posts, but soon found out that you could charge and got far too excited about this fact.  I got stuck down a rabbit warren of trying to become like other people’s blogs.   In the end it stole my joy, I’d forgotten the reason I started blogging in the first place; to remember the small things that bought me and us joy in our very ordinary days at home.

I made a really hard decision to go with my heart, stop charging and reset.  I’m glad I made that choice to reset and think about what I wanted the future to look like for myself and my family and how I wanted to feel when I blogged.

During my reset I worked with a life coach called Michelle Reeves who is also a friend, and who I highly recommend if you are stuck and/or overwhelmed.  We worked really hard together to uncover what my actual big hairy goals look like and how I can achieve them.

She taught me not to look side to side (at other bloggers and how they’re doing things) but looking straight ahead at my goal and remembering my core values is to stay at the top of my priorities at all times.  When we start to get out of whack, it’s probably because we’re working outside of our core values or not putting self care high up enough on our lists.

Success for me did not look like success for someone else.  It’s my own personal goals that matter.

If you love writing and connection, blogging IS for you

Back to the actual writing now… the reason I started blogging in the first place.  I have loved writing about my lifestyle here in Somerset with my little family of 4.  It’s really spoken to my sense of adventure! I’ve realised that my values are heavily influenced by trying new things (while also sticking to some old things at the same time to keep me grounded); going to new places with my family has made us thrive.

If I’m invited as a blogger that gives me real courage to try new things because I know that when I’m writing about them for the benefit of others I will make sure to test out and notice everything.  It’s a great way to stay in the moment with mindfulness too.

Although I might be scared and nervous going somewhere or meeting someone different it has helped me to go outside my comfort zone and to try new things.  I never thought that I would run through a lavender field with my family with a photographer taking pictures of us!! I’m so grateful that we have these memories that we can put upon our wall to remind us that when we are courageous amazing things can happen.

A family of four walk through the Somerset Lavender fields on a hot summers day during this family lifestyle photo session in Somerset.

When I think back to the milestone moments like BritMums Live, Blognix Retreat and meeting and interviewing notable entrepreneurs I pinch myself with what this blog has achieved.

Even going to London to support my friend at her book launch is a great success for me, I love to support others and seeing other people thrive makes me truly happy.  I love it when people work hard with tenacity and determination and see reward for their labours.

No blog is an island, we need each other

I have realised that no blog is an island, we need the blogging community and to find our tribe.  It’s become bit of a cliche but its true.  However, I need you to know that my tribe are not one big group of people, but rather individuals who keep me going with small encouragements along the way.  Your tribe doesn’t have to look like someone else’s.

The last 5 years have had a fair few down times and many highlights too.  Up there in the highlights are being invited to the APEX Hotel opening in Bath (where I rubbed shoulders with Bath City’s great and good), possibly a modern day version of society meeting.

Opportunities that would never have happened, like being PR and content for Love for Somerset, an Instagram community of Somerset lovers, with amazing creatives Kim Stone, Rob Smith and Matt Spracklen on some incredible elevations, and we have so many exciting plans and goals for the future.

Moving forwards now I’m really excited about the future of my blog; sharing more about what I’ve learnt about faith and personal growth and how they can be intertwined.

I will write about women in leadership, about how we need to halt the impostor syndrome from stopping us from moving into what makes us come alive.   I also will talk about self-care as individuals but also as women.  Most importantly I feel God has put on my heart to be an ally for the LGBT QI community and to show them His love.

Some thank yous…

I know this isn’t an Oscar speech (although it’s turning into a bit of a Gwyneth?!) but I need to thank some of my blogging friends who saw my potential and have been my cheerleaders even when my goals and dreams look so different to theirs:

Karen from 365 Pearls of Wisdom, thank you for actually wanting to be my friend IRL, you have encouraged, cheered me on and been an amazing friend.

Vicki Psarias Broadbent from Honest Mum, you inspire me every day to be myself and stay motivated.  You are the one person who still consistently comments on my tiny blog and I think YOUR kindness is greatly underrated by many. I’d thoroughly recommend Vicki’s book (affiliate link) ‘Mumboss: The Honest Mum’s Guide to Surviving and Thriving at Work and at Home’!

Michelle Reeves from Michelle Reeves Coaching I am indebted to you more than you will ever know to the life I now live with joy everyday.

Ceri Gillett from This Welsh Mother, you are one of the funniest people I know, thank you for believing this blog could ever be a biz + I love your #accountstunes on Instagram Stories, best thing ever.

Rebecca from Mrs Jones London you heard my ideas and ran with them, I’ll love you forever for that and your smile is literally the best in the blogosphere.  Thank you for being my sophisticated London friend.

Of course I need to thank my husband Jon, and our beautiful children Harry & Katie.  Without my secure and nurturing home life I couldn’t be all I was made to be.

Many have encouraged and nurtured me and many haven’t.  I’ve encountered jealousy, the ‘who does she think she is’ fraud comments (yup, irl).  But the messages when a post or something I’ve said helped in some way are what keep me going, and that’s what blogging has meant to me!

I’m so grateful to everyone who has encouraged, liked, shared, and followed and I promise to keep providing great content of a high quality – this will always be my top priority.

Here’s to the next five!

To celebrate hitting five years, I’m giving away an Amazon e-card to the value of £20! To be in with a chance of winning, enter via the ‘Gleam’ widget below – there are lots of ways to enter, so good luck! (Full T&Cs available on the widget, giveaway ends at 11.59pm on Tuesday 21st August 2018.)

Amazon Gift Card Giveaway

243 thoughts on “5 Years – 5 things blogging has meant to me”

  1. Happy blog birthday!

    Yes, the Honest Mum is an amazing lady. I salute her.

    I would buy my cats a little treat because seeing them happy is worth more to me than a new item of fashion or beauty.

  2. Lindsey Stuart

    I would buy myself a new airer for my clothes to dry indoors, very handy! Especially with all the rain we are having.

  3. it sounds random but rechargeable batteries as my son goes through them with his x-box controller! It would save me money in the logn run

  4. Daniel Harrison

    I would love to make my Blu Ray collection a bit bigger, it looks pretty scarce at the moment!

    On another note, congratulations on the 5 years!

  5. I would get my little man some Lego. I might even be tempted to put it away for Christmas.

  6. William Gould

    I would give it to my wife, who is saving hard for a much needed new sewing machine!

  7. I’d buy gifts for the kids. Maybe a Thomas train set; they love that kind of thing.

  8. Debbie Finnerty

    I would treat my son to a small lego and I would treat myself to some chocolates

  9. I read this in the middle of the night after I crept out of bed because I couldn’t sleep. I love your comments and have rethought blogging vs success vs time etc. it is too late to read all your links here tonight, but I will be doing that tomorrow ! Thanks.

  10. A S,Edinburgh

    I’d use it to get some unusual groceries in; their food section has a lot of different things I’d like to try.

  11. With autumn coming up, I’d treat myself to a nice new jacket which I have had my eyes on for a while now.

  12. I would use it for back to school items for my daughter. She needs a new school bag and stationery x

  13. Tiffeny Brown

    If I was lucky enough to win I would treat myself to a new book and candle 🙂 x

  14. Emma Whittaker

    Its my partners birthday on the 18th Aug so I would treat him to something nice 😍

  15. Ellen Sheppard

    I have an 80s party coming up so would put it towards a Madonna like costume 🙂

  16. I’d be looking for a new toaster. Ours has become a bit erratic either burning it or just lightly warming it

  17. Happy birthday to your blog…
    I would treat myself to some new headphones. I am so over hearing my girls arguing. Hooray for the summer holidays. lol x

  18. Christopher Read

    I’d spend it on some old tv shows on Amazon video 🙂 Thanks for running this comp and happy blogging birthday!

  19. I would treat myself to some expensive fancy wool to crochet myself something nice.

  20. Happy 5th birthday! Congrats! If I were lucky enough to win I would treat myself to an essential oil diffuser! To help me relax and wind down 😍

  21. I would treat myself to a gel nail polish to add to my small collection. Thank you

  22. Ellen Stafford

    I would buy Shenmue I and II game on the PS4. I loved it on the Dreamcast and would love to replay them before the 3rd one comes out.

  23. Books – my wishlist is long and my purse is small 😀 Happy 5th Blog Birthday!

  24. Kirsty Jackson

    Congrats on a great blog! £20 would get my boy some stationary for the new school year (which will no doubt be lost by Christmas!)

  25. Miss Tracy Hanson

    Would love to put it towards the DVD of the film THE MEG. Loved it and wanted to go and see it again the minute it had finished.

  26. Nancy Bradford

    My daughter has an important exam coming up so I would get her some revision aides for that.

  27. Mrs Sarah Roberts

    l would love to get some of their Sylvanian families sets for Christmas for my grand daughters.

  28. We’re just about to move home after 23 years, so I’d put it towards new curtains

  29. Julie Edwards

    I would love to buy myself some more pagan books.. crystals… oohh spoilt for choice

  30. I’d treat myself to some body straps for my microphone gear. I’m my own camera and audio tech as well as presenter, and holding all the equipment is a nightmare! This would come in fantastically handy. 🙂 Thanks for the opportunity!

  31. Simon Tinsley

    I’d treat my wife to a video game she has been looking forward to for a while now – Dragonquest XI on the PS4. I find treating others is just as rewarding as treating yourself.

  32. I actually spent time on my Amazon wishlist recently so I have things already lined up 🙂 mostly little things but things I’d really like – guitar plectrums and a slide, some new strings and a chord book is what I’d spend it on. I’m playing my guitar more now as it settles my 6 month old (and makes me feel better too!)

  33. I would love some hair curlers I’ve had my eye on for a while – thank you for the chance

  34. Samantha Buntain

    Some sun cream and after sun for my first holiday abroad in 4 weeks. Me my partner and our son are going x

  35. Sheila Reeves @cakereev

    I’d treat myself to some of the books I’ve got in my wishlist – allow myself to spend the money on me!

  36. I’d love a new cross stitch kit so would treat myself (is that naughty)? The fun would be in choosing, that would be so difficult to do!

  37. Martha Chisholm

    Loved this article. It’s so hard to stick to things you really want to do, life just keeps getting in the way. ‘Don’t look side to side at others but straight ahead at your goal’ has to be the best bit of advice I’ve ever heard! Amazon spend would be on my grandson, and I’ll be passing on that piece of advice to him too..!

  38. Lots of solar lights to brighten up the garden and some delicious foodie treats for a late summer picnic 🙂

  39. Victoria Prince

    I’d put it towards a fancy toaster I’ve had my eye on but not been able to justify the cost!

  40. Beverley Cousins

    I’d put it towards a pram for my first grandbaby who’s due in November. Yay, can’t wait lol

  41. I’d treat myself to some nice bath goodies & a good book, so i can relax with some me time while the other half tends to our new born!

  42. I would treat myself to books, I am a book and art addict, and would love this boon on the Pre-Raphaelites.
    The Pre-Raphaelites: Their Lives and Works in 500 Images: An Illustrated Exploration of the Artists, Their Lives and Contexts, with a Gallery of 290 of Their Greatest Paintings

  43. Happy 5 years Lizzie! A brilliant blog and I love all that you stand for and your honesty, it’s refreshing in a world of “instagram perfect” content!

    So glad to have met you at Blognix!

  44. Hannah Carroll

    I would but some prints for our nursery that we’re decorating at the moment! x

  45. I’d probably put it towards a new toaster or microwave, both which have recently broken

  46. Deborah Clarke

    I’d treat myself to some pamper products as I’m always running around after everyone else and could do with a treat and what a treat this would be.

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