Halloween's not even here yet and already we're being bombarded by all things Christmas. For me, December will mean something else too: my blog will be celebrating it's second birthday.
Two years of writing, planning, note-making, idea-jotting, photo-taking (and editing), friend-making, collaborating... All these things made me think about blogging and what I've learned thus far.
Hence the quote. I don't generally go in for this type of psychobabble. I heard enough of it at work, in meetings ('Hit the ground running', 'blue-sky thinking' and all the rest of it - I could actually feel my teeth itching with irritation) but this idea here does actually mean something. Although I'd probably ditch the 'authenticity' with 'being true to yourself' or similar.
You see, what I've come to realise is that as a blogger you can only keep going, and keep enjoying it, if you do just that. Be yourself. Don't try to emulate all those beautiful blogs you see out there, or try to write about similar content, or write in the same kind of way. Don't try to fit in with certain 'circles'. You'll end up giving up.
I choose not to make Mitenska primarily about being a parent. It's not a food blog, or a 'lifestyle' blog (whatever that is). Looking back at my earliest posts makes me cringe. They weren't me. I was finding my way and that takes a little time. Tempting as it is to just go and delete them, I won't. Because part of doing this is about making the odd mistake and just being you. People will either like it or they won't.
Mitenska is a personal blog. I share areas of my life but at the same time choose not to get deeply personal. I talked honestly about my mum dying because she was - and always will be - a huge part of me and, subsequently, this space. But I don't detail every aspect of my grieving her. Similarly I don't rant on here each time Jay and I get annoyed with one another, or whenever my bank balance looks a bit worrying.
The biggest lesson over these past two years: be you. Not everyone will love you but that would be impossible anyway.
So now I feel I'm here. I've found my style, what I love to write about, how I like to present it. Then again, I think I didn't really have to find that. It was already there and I decided to just say, 'sod it' and be (wince) authentic. I opened myself up to criticism and those people who may take a look at the blog and think 'No thanks' and never return. There will always be those people. That's life.
I've also made lots of new friends through blogging: people who do like this little space. So thank you to them and to the newcomers. And for those just starting out, two words: Be Brave.