I missed writing. I really did. I was desperate to get back into it, yet nothing could coax me out of my almost four-year-long refuge. There’s a plethora of reasons why I haven’t blogged in such a long time (apart from a couple of posts about pancakes – and I’m not sure that counts). And why I haven’t touched that book of mine either.
Running a yoga studio is hard work
If you are following me on instagram, you will know that I opened, run and then sold a yoga studio here in Sweden. In total, it’s been an amazing four years of immersing myself into what I love doing, yet I came to realise that turning another one of my life’s passions into a profession kinda kills the vibe. I am an introvert at heart and teaching class after class has not only physically but also emotionally exhausted me. I desperately need time to myself with my headphones on, a piece of paper and a pen or a computer in front of me. Which I just didn’t have the time or energy to do. On the upside, the whole experience has given me a major confidence boost. I have built and then sold a business. All by myself. In a foreign country. Go me!
Blogging has changed
Back in 2009, when I started writing this blog, content was key. There was amazing talent out there (who remembers Motherhood the Final Frontier or Not Wrong, Just Different or The Reluctant Launderer? ), some of whom have gone on to publishing their work or venturing into journalism. But even those without aspirations along these lines had their own niche carved out with their own unique voices. At some point, blogging became commercialised and some of my former favourites started reading like an Argos catalogue. I am holding my hands up here – out of our back then small community, I was the first blogger to work with an agent. For two years, I have sold my voice for a four digit day rate, and I loved it. At the same time, what I actually wanted to write about became less accessible to me.
I have been one of the first of a handful of bloggers to write for the US’s and UK’s #1 parenting website. For almost two years I wrote about breastfeeding, weaning, maternity wear and the question if the Duchess of Cambridge was ready for another baby or not. All the while I really didn’t want to hear about poo nappies, let alone write about them. I have been and am also very little interested in what the royals do. It killed my mojo.
Publishing is a tricky business
The way I ended up with above mentioned agent is through the book I have written a little while ago. At some point, the book took a backseat and there was a lot of focus on the blog. While the aforementioned hefty pay checks surely didn’t hurt, it didn’t help to focus on writing. Eventually, the novel seemed completely forgotten about and a non-fiction book was pitched. I found the idea of writing frankly and without sugar coating about motherhood enticing at first. It is extremely flattering to have one of the major UK publishers interested in your musings. What I found dispiriting though was to be kept in limbo – there was a lot of talk about signing ‘next week’, and if I remember right, ‘next week’ took almost three months to finally never come.
It was a setback that surely didn’t discourage me from writing. But looking at it now, it surely left me feel a little disheartened.
I hate living in Sweden
I don’t hate Sweden, or the Swedes. I just despise living here. Endless winters, darkness and an extreme culture of individual autonomy have sucked the lust for life out of me. It’s hard to write about anything if you are depressed and/or suffer from anxiety, even if it’s only in winter. Did I mention winters last for at least six months in Sweden?
With our move around the corner (I am dying to spill the beans, oh the agony!), an amazing summer behind me, a bit of soul searching and lots of conversations with those close to my heart (wherever they may be geographically), I have found my voice again.
Here’s to writing like no one is watching.