Photographer of Families, Small People and Delightful Places, Travel and Lifestyle Writer and Blogger, Lives in Newcastle, Loves the North, Often Accompanied By A Beagle Named Holly Bobbins

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Looking Back on 11 Years of Blogging

11 years of blogging, professional writer and photographer, Mandy Charlton



Today my blog is 11 years old, 11 years, it's a quarter of my life and I can't really put into words just what an achievement it feels like to have gotten to today.  When I tentatively wrote my first post there's no way I could have possibly imagined that I would still be sitting here today typing in anger with my noisy, heavy fingers, I type quickly and I almost punch the keyboard with my digits as I tell my stories of love, life, travel, adventures, parenting, mental health and the rest of the giant cornucopia I have created and curated over the years.

In this, my daily documentation of sometimes everything that I am, I have laughed with you all, I have wept in the darker moments as I pounded my keyboard wanting to get the words out so they didn't hurt anymore.  I have written at 3 am when tipsy and at 5 am when my teenagers were toddlers and loved nothing better than to get up at quite frankly unreasonable hours of the day!

I remember writing with joy when Paul and I renewed our vows after 10 happy years of marriage and I also recall the sadness of the day when I had to write that he had left.  This weblog really is the story of my life, but not just my life, the life of a family, the life and death of a marriage and the rebirth of a woman dealing with her own mental health issues on a day to day basis.  There have been times when I censored myself and only wrote about the good things but it feels so much better now to be real all of the time, luckily even in the dark times I can usually manage a little humour and this is me in my actual life, I can still find humour in darkness, I think it's possibly that which gets you through the bad days and tough times.

Just lately, or at least for the last 6 months as I've seen my readership rise and rise it's become clear that I have found my niche, I'd love my niche to be travel because I love writing about travel and I do when I can but it's obvious now, what I excel at writing about is dating and relationships, it's not even necessarily mine, it's just a topic I seem to be able to write about with ease.  It's the perfect subject and there's no end of stories to write about, I'm certainly thankful for dating sites and for friends who are happy to share their stories and not mind at all that I write about them.  They all think it's hilarious that it's only now, nearly 20 years after Sex and the City that I'm watching it thinking "ooh, that Carrie, she's writing about the same kinds of things that I do" and then realising she wrote it first!

I'm not sure if I shall always write about dating, the great thing about not having one set theme on my blog is that you can write about whatever I want and for the most part I genuinely sit down each night and the words come out, I think whilst I adore photography, writing is perhaps what I was meant to do, it's in my heart and my soul and if I have one goal I want to achieve in the next 5-10 years it's to become a successful writer.  Don't worry though I shall not be giving up photography anytime soon, I feel there's a natural synergy between the two and when they are aligned correctly you have the ability to create something magical and as my friends all call me Magical Mandy it was obviously meant to be!



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