Authenticity

Kitty carrying flowers

Authentic. It’s a word much used, en vogue even. Authentic lifestyle. 

Whilst in France Kitty and I were talking and I mentioned that I’d stopped blogging. ‘No more Mammasaurus?’ was the response. ‘Fable & Folk actually’ I muttered. ‘Um no your blog is Mammasaurus’ (there followed some dinosaur impersonation and chanting of the name whilst I looked on bemused, if not slightly freaked out). It transpires it’s bookmarked on her iPad, she visits and she reads. 

An innocent chat en route to the treehouse in the French summer sunshine that left me thinking. I have busied myself with the idea of leaving behind the ‘mummy’ sounding Mammasaurus. In my mind thinking I would be taken more seriously if my blog had a more lifestyley name – Fable & Folk ticked that box in my head. Actually what had happened wasn’t me being authentic and going with my heart making that name change, it was me chasing some pretentious lifestyle blog daydream. One that in many ways it worked well, with Fable & Folk I found myself moving in blogging circles I hadn’t been in before, talking to new people. Man it’s so easy to get sucked into that mindset of ‘my blog would be so much better if it were more like X’s’ and even harder to admit that. (Yeah, sorry I’ve kind been a bit of a dick).

I get it now, a blog isn’t a good name, it’s not a good design, it’s not a good photos, there’s no magic formula for a good blog, ultimately it’s always going to be about the person writing it. Do you identify with them? Is there a connection? Do you want to find out more about them and what they do?

I’ve always tried to be honest about how I feel about blogging, how the commercial side of it has spoilt my enjoyment of reading and writing a blog in particular. I’ve addressed the need I’ve felt to distance myself from blogging and have come to the conclusion that these things are what we make them. It’s like when you hear people mumbling about how ‘Twitter isn’t what it used to be, it’s all self-promotion now’ and you think to yourself ‘well bloody well do something about it then’. Lead by example isn’t quite the right phrase, be the change you wish to see in the world is way overused, but yeah you get the idea.

The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.

— William Arthur Ward

Time to get real, adjust those sails, and instead of focusing on the things that make the blogging experience worse, focus on the good – friendships made, reading posts that educate you / make you think on / laugh out loud in public places, drawing inspiration from photos and finding killer recipes that elevate you to kitchen legend status with your family.

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  • A week or so back I discovered that Small (age 13) relies on my snippets posts to remember when he achieved various things. Except I hadn’t been writing them, as I thought no one was reading, and that they weren’t very important anyway.

    Oops. restarts snippets

  • Sorry we are off out but didn’t want to read and run.

    I don’t have the right words either but I’m glad you are not stopping blogging x

  • I stopped doing dairy type blog a long time a go and I really do regret that.I moved towards making it more info and it’s lost personality and the human touch in the meantime.

  • Yay! So happy to get your new post sent to my inbox again! And so happy to read your words! Yes you are right "be the change" 😊

  • Yay, good to have the original back. What you say is so true – a lot of what we do or don’t on social media or blogs, does make a difference.

  • I read the title of this post as ‘aunt in the city’ and was rather intrigued πŸ™‚ I know what you mean about being influenced by/wanting to fit in with different groups. I really want to run with the outdoorsy bloggers but I can’t bring myself to tone down my bright images and add a VSCO filter so I will forever be shunned. Oh well! Lovely to have you back, just as you are, because that’s more than good enough x

  • You’ll always be Mammasaurus to me, in the same way I’ll always be Mummy from the Heart. it is who we are and who our readers love. My blog is now so behind the times by many blogging standards but I don’t care my fab readers are still there. Welcome back Annie. Mich x

  • Could not agree more! I started blogging because I enjoyed writing, and somewhere down the line, got lost in the vast expanse of the blogosphere. Thanks for this, needed it at this point in my blogging journey. x

  • Love this post Annie… And it couldn’t be more timely! Sometimes I feel like I’m treading a tightrope between a parenting blog and a lifestyle blog, when all I really need to do is ditch the tightrope and be authentic. We all know the best reads are exactly that… And yours is one of them! So welcome back!xx

    • Thanks Clarina you lovely lady. I thought for ages that what my blog needed was ‘a thing’, you know the thing that when someone asks you ‘what’s your blog about?’ you can answer succinctly with ‘homely lifestyle and rural travel’ (or such words).
      Funnily enough it was only me who was putting that pressure to try to find ‘the thing’ and I ended up agonising over a decision that didn’t even need to be made!
      Try to keep in your mind that you don’t have to be one thing, you can be parenting and lifestyle (and anything else you want for that matter) without making any actual changes πŸ™‚ x

  • I’ve been having the ‘I need to change my blog name’ panic this weekend. I am also a bit of a dick quite a lot of the time so thanks for writing this before I spent all the effort doing re-directs and stuff (way beyond my level πŸ˜‰ ) I’ve been doing the more ‘sensible bloggy stuff’ on my blog and some of the stuff I really like and kids pics on my IG lately, that seems to be helping me with the balance a bit.

  • Whoop whoop
    Welcome back. You’ll always be Mammasaurus to me.

    Very true words. It’s hard to feel lost and not sure which move is right for you…..fitting in has never been your thing anyway. Stick to just being YOU

  • Hooray and welcome back! For what it’s worth, whether you’ve been Mammasaurus, Fable & Folk or scratches brain trying to remember the complicated Scandi word that came inbetween you’ve always been at the top of my (relatively small) list of non-bullshit blogs which has a properly authentic voice. I’m so delighted you haven’t gone for good!

  • Annieβ€”for all its worthβ€”I think Mammasaurus is the most badass blog name and although we have only been slack friends (which personally I believe is the most authentic form of friendship), it feels very fitting for you and way more ‘professional’ and ‘legit’ than all of the other woman out there trying to be something they are not and making themselves miserable while doing it. Congratulations lady boss, epiphanies are my favorite!

  • I’ll always read your blog no matter what the name because I am drawn the passion behind your posts, which is especially evident in the wonderful photos you take. Which I guess echoes what you said, that it’s not about the name or the niche, it’s about the person that keeps us reading.

  • Like others I do always think of you as Mammasaurus but I don’t associate the name with a Mummy blog – it is simply you, Annie Spratt, the lady who takes great photos and has a soft spot for piglets … plus I always had trouble spelling Fable as I wanted to always write Fabel! Glad you are still writing and hitting that publish button.