Cybermummy · Personal · Rant

The Dumbening.

I know a few people have written posts giving their take on what will now forevermore be known as SophieKingGate at Cybermummy over the weekend, but I’ve been digesting the events over the past couple of days and quite honestly, the whole thing is giving me indigestion! Most of you will have read a run down, detailing exactly what was said and how many feathers were ruffled and unless you were there, I don’t think you’ll have an idea of just how much tension there was in that room.

I stayed to the end, maybe because I’m a chicken, but mainly because it’s a session that I was really looking forward to and was clinging onto a hope that I might get something out of it. Which ultimately, I did. I’ve looked over my notes, and apart from the part which says “Why is a woman who admits she hardly ever blogs, trying to teach a room full of bloggers, some of them bloody successful ones, how to BLOG?”, there’s definitely some useful stuff written down. Other people have commented that the title of the session was misleading, “Find your blogging voice with this hands-on workshop run by novelist and Oxford writing instructor Sophie King”. Maybe I’m wrong, but this would have been a good session for people who wanted to get into blogging, but surely we were all there because we have blogs and our own ‘blogging voice’?

One of the main causes of contention was when Sophie King suggested that one prominent blogger change the name of her blog. She decreed that she’d much rather read a blog called ‘Granny at 37’ than one called ‘I Am Typecast‘. Er…really? Are we aiming at the lowest common denominator here? Do we really need to lay our shit out in the title, for fear that no-one will read? I think not. I think people are far more likely to read something which piques their interest and doesn’t give everything away in the first few words, which is exactly what ‘I Am Typecast’ does. Should an established author not already know this?!

I really felt as though Sophie King had missed the point in this session. She may be a successful author and journalist, but as we all know, blogging is a very different animal. I’m not going to start dumbing down my posts, nor am I going to change everything to an alliterative blast of verbal diarrhea, just so that I can draw in the chick-lit crowds. Surely the whole point of a blog is that what you write, no matter what you write, THAT is your voice? My voice is opinionated, sometimes controversial, and always profane, but it’s MY fucking voice and I’m not about to change it. Sure, I’d probably get a shit load of more PR opportunities if I didn’t drop the F-Bomb in every post, but it also wouldn’t be MY voice, would it? It’d be an edited, sanitised for the feint-of-heart version of me. And blogging is most definitely not about censorship.

What do you all think? Have I missed the point? Should I become Fucking Frantic Female?!

Maybe not.

My Wonderful Sponsor
Cybermummy · Personal

The Great Outdoors; or ‘The Countdown to Cybermummy’

Before I start writing this post, I should probably let you know that I have no idea where I’m going with it, so if it seems a little bit unstructured, that’s why!

Two conversations that I’ve had lately have really got me thinking. The first one I had was with the Husband. He has a couple of big hoodies that I love to wear and a couple of weeks ago he told me that I could have one for myself. To most people, a scruffy old hoodie wouldn’t be a great gift, but I though it was one of the best gifts ever, and told him so. He asked what was so great about it and I said that I love the way that its so big and cosy and that I’m completely concealed within it, you can’t see any part of my body, just a big, indistinct outline. I didn’t see anything wrong with this description, but Husband expressed concern that I feel the need to stop the world from seeing me.

The second conversation was with my Mum. We were being typically British and bemoaning the weather we’ve been having lately (I mean, come on though, it’s JUNE! Today is the first day of summer, for fuck’s sake!) and I mentioned that I quite like the weather like this because it’s cosy indoors and it means that it takes the pressure off of me, because I have a good excuse to stay indoors. My Mum thought this was a worrying statement. I personally don’t see what’s wrong with being more than happy in my own home, but apparently it’s weird. And I guess, if you know me it is kind of weird, I’ve always been a very outdoors, on-the-go type of person. I went to a school which was quite far away from my home, so most of my school friends lived far away too, and after the age of about 13, I rarely spent a weekend at home, favouring sleepovers with them. Then, after I left school, I spent most of my time away from home, eventually ‘officially’ moving out when I was 21.

I suppose my insular behaviour has a lot to do with my own confidence. At home, I’m accepted as I am. My Husband and Daughter love me exactly as I am, I have loads of ‘internet’ friends through blogging, tweeting and writing for BDT. In fact, some of the people I’ve met online I consider to be some of my best friends. That may sound sad, but I’ve found a level of acceptance within a group of women that I never thought possible. We don’t bitch and moan about each other because we’ve never met, we just chat and gossip and help each other out with advice when we need it. I even keep up with most of my real-life friends using technology, be it Facebook, texting, emailing or just a good old fashioned phone call. But it means that I don’t have to be ‘ON’ all the time. I can chat away without worrying if my double shin wobbles when I laugh, or if my top is riding up and showing my stretchmarks.

Which brings me to Cybermummy. And a small confession.

About a month ago, after I attended the Mums on Three event, I was fully considering passing my ticket on to someone else. The stress of travelling to London and being away from Sausage really took it out of me. Being out in the big, wide world for a whole day was frankly terrifying, and as some of the lovely ladies who I met will attest, I spent the last hour in a state of anxiety, wondering when I could leave. I don’t want to feel this way at Cybermummy, I spent so much time looking for a sponsor and getting excited about this event. I even considered going to my G.P. and asking for an anti-anxiety medication for the day. But I don’t know if that will help. It’s quite obviously all part of the PTSD that I like to pretend doesn’t affect me any more. But this all just shows that it’s still alive and kicking.

I guess really, what I’m trying to say is, if I seem a bit odd, or a bit distant…or if you see me eyeing up the exits halfway through lunch, just bear in mind, I’m not completely mental. Just a bit traumatised.


Cybermummy Meet and Greet

I found this post on Hayley’s blog a few months ago, and remember being INSANELY jealous of all of the lovely ladies who’d linked up, as I hadn’t yet found a sponsor. The Lovely Husband kept insisting that he’d buy me a ticket, but I was stubborn and wanted to hold out for a company to send me. After months of trying I’d given up hope, until I got in touch with Tummy Tub (through my friends at Baby Allsorts) and they offered to sponsor me, YAY! So, I can finally join in with the meet and greet and feel like I’m part of the big Cybermummy family.

Name: Jayne

Blog: Mum’s the Word, Maternity Matters

Twitter ID: @jaynecrammond

Height: 5ft 3 1/2 in (that half is all important)

Hair: At the moment, kind of a browny, reddy, purpley colour, but that’s subject to change!

Eyes: Blue (My mum used to tell me they were cornflower blue. Bless her for making up bullshit for me!)

Likes: Family, gadgets, food, writing, animals.

Dislikes: Bigotry, intolerance, arrogance, people who are horrible to animals.

I can’t wait to meet you all!