May 28, 2018

Life This Week 28/5/2018: How Did Your Blog Start?

It all began way back in January 2010. 

Facebook was in its infancy and I was one of its most consistent contributors.  While everyone else playing Farmville on FB, I was faithfully pumping out the status updates.  On everything and nothing. 

I discovered that while I quite liked writing little quips about my life on the regular, my friends may not really want to know all the details about a dish I'd whipped up from Donna Hay's magazine (those were the days when I'd spend weeknights making dinners from scratch) or that they'd want to appreciate every possible angle of the airport and my plane seat as I flew off to somewhere exciting (for me).

Little did I know that after Facebook and Blogger would come Instagram and this would be the perfect platform for all of the above...

But I digress.

My original idea for my blog was that I'd use it to as an outlet for my thoughts.  That I'd kind of analyse myself through my writing.  The better out than in philosophy.  The stuff that's not made for the 'look at me living the life' vibe that Facebook seemed to be working in those early years.

I've just looked back at my early posts and I cringe but I also realise that I had to write how I did to help me find my blogging voice.  Ironically for a blog entitled Sydney Shop Girl (where I live, what I like doing and a reference to my gender that kind of went with 'Sydney' and 'Shop' but in no way reflects my chronological age) many posts navel gazed such issues as not being understood, trying to conceive and a few issues that were existential at the time but aren't really now that I look at them again.

As I look back on my posts, I realise that its content as unconsciously evolved.  How positively Gwyneth 'Conscious Uncoupling' Paltrow of me of describe it as such.  Those awkward first posts gave way to obsessive recounts of my daily life. Then sponsored posts and bloggers as 'influencers' became a thing and I awkwardly gave both a go. 

I found writing for sponsors and about free stuff quite difficult. To find an angle that was congruent with that of my blog in general, to be positive about a product under pressure (is a week of testing skincare really enough to give a verdict for someone who is going out to buy it and use it for at least a few months?) and all the while not sounding like an infomercial.  It was fun and I was able to participate in my previous life pre motherhood but it's not a direction that's a natural fit for me right now.

The routine and mental focus of blogging has been a lifeline for getting me through some tough times.  There were times (during my miscarriages and the whole infertility / IVF experience) where it felt appropriate for me to use Sydney Shop Girl as a platform to talk about what I was feeling, what was happening and how I was distracting myself through the excruciating process of waiting out the uncertainties.

At other times, Sydney Shop Girl proved to be a happy place.  Where I could focus on the humour, goodness and beauty of life and not pollute this space with interpersonal dramas.  I find that this kind of thing tends to escalate and spiral into out of control venom when you write about it in a public space whereas somehow it felt cathartic for me to write about my personal health issues.

This is my ninth year of blogging as Sydney Shop Girl and blogging is still a large and meaningful part of my life.  I've settled into a possibly boring and predictable voice that represents who I think I am.  There's lots of chat about my daily life, my (limited) interests, being a mum and the joys of forcing Sydney to adopt me as one of her own. 

I also regularly participate in several blog link ups - this one (Denyse Whelan's Life This Week), Leanne's Lovin' Life and Continental Drift which is a new venture Anna and Bo are cohosting with me.  The set themes of each have gently forced me to write outside of my comfort zone and I've also found myself a wider circle of amazing and inspiring bloggers to catch up with each week.

If you blog, how did yours begin?  How has it changed?


  1. I did not know about your link up - will check out! And our blogs are quite similar. I occasionally write for freelancers and I don't like the restrictions they put on what you write - down to the most ridiculously small word count!

  2. It's funny to look back at it all. Mine started with an astrology blog back in 2008, moved into and anyways a few years later when I decided that I wanted to write about more than just astrology, and morphed again into when I was told I needed to streamline my posts as a marketing vessel for my books. I'd like to blog about more than writing & what inspires it, but need to keep the subjects tighter these days. I'm occasionally tempted to drag and anyways back out for that purpose...but...

  3. Wow SSG 9 years blogging, I am impressed. I hit 3 years in January and thought that was a milestone for me. I do enjoy all of your thoughts each week and like you I was originally trying to inspire friends through my FB page and then took the plunge with a blog. I thought it might bring income but I soon learned LOL:) I just love connecting with others and blogging has been a great way to achieve this. I do have to be careful though that I don't treat it as a business and let it take over my life. Have a beautiful week and see you at the next linkup.

  4. You're not boring in the slightest SSG! I loved reading about how you got into blogging. I started out to help me through some tough times too. My first blog was called MinsMash - started in September 2012. Shocking name but I had no idea what blogging was really nor that I will still be doing it all these years later!

  5. Happy 9 years of blogging SSG! Happy blogaversary! :) I've enjoyed reading your blog (although I can't remember when or where I found it). I don't share a lot on my blog, keeping it to the fun and frivolous stuff, but it's nice having a positive space :)

  6. Loved reading this, especially about how you evolved from Facie updates and tried Sponsored posts (they are hard aren't they?) etc. I hadn't heard of the Continental Drift linky, so I'll check that one out now! x

    Di from Max The Unicorn

  7. I always enjoy seeing what you've been up to during your week SSG. I love that our blogs evolve into being our voice and at the same time the blog helps our voice evolve into a true representation of ourselves (hope that makes sense??)

  8. Since I found your blog, and I think it was via a Weekend RoundUp or other weekend linky I have really enjoyed your posts. I do not think I found you was later. I have always been intrigued by your blog name..and yes, worked it out for myself...and I have to say I love the evolution of SSG very much.
    Thank you for joining in for #lifethisweek.
    Next Week’s Optional Prompt: 23/52. What I Will Never See Again. 4/6/18. Denyse

  9. I’ve been blogging on various platforms since 2008. It started as I was beginning running. I was in my first bout of depression and starting to run. There were run forums and some of the members had blogs.

    Blogging has taken me through a very eventful 10 years.


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