Friday, July 26, 2013

Goodbye, and thanks for all the fish

Really, this is just a courtesy mail to let my remaining readers (both of you) know that the end of the road has been reached. I’m outie.

I started this blog in 2008 so I’ve been writing here for five and a half years. That’s by far the most sustained writing project I’ve ever managed to take on. I started writing Jou Ma Se Blog while pregnant, sitting in an office doing what we thought was, and probably actually was, cutting edge digital publishing stuff for magazine brands heat and FHM.

(As an aside, I will just say that the experience wasn’t all knuckle-dragging boets, as someone recently suggested on Twitter. I mean, I’m as boet as the next man and all, so let’s not question my masculinity here, but if you’re going to throw the sexual objectification book at FHM – as you certainly could – you should also throw it at Cosmo. Disclosure: I have written for both titles. Because they pay me. At least they usually do. Ahem!) That was right after a low point where my little baby, ZOO Weekly, the cutest and funniest and cleverest adolescent boys’ mag I ever knew, of which I was the editor, was shut down after just a year in print.

I have been involved with “lowbrow” media ever since my first media job. I lacked confidence in my abilities as a young person, so I did not believe that I could ever have written for a newspaper or become a “serious issues” journalist, same as I didn’t believe I could write proper, good fiction.

Felix and Richie, I have no idea why the wide world seemed so frightening at age 20. If I look back now (and having had the opportunity to subedit “real” journalists’ writing from time to time) I promise you I know I could have done it with ease. But it’s 20 years later and life and opportunities have carried me in another direction.

Now I write for a living. I do it every day and in the past six years where it’s been my bread-and-butter career, I’ve got better and faster at it. I guess I’m logging my 10000 hours. (Malcolm Gladwell's excellent book Outliers explores the idea that to obtain mastery over a subject you must log on average 10000 hours of practice.) 

And my career choices mean I get to stay home when I need to and more or less dictate my working hours. Plus: did I mention I get to write for a living? That’s still thrilling after all these years.

I love writing and I have loved writing out a lot of the emotional intensity of the early years of children and pregnancy. I have made friends and even some fans, but of course also some, if not exactly “enemies”, then at least conspicuous eye rollers. You can’t please everyone all the time and I’m not very good at accepting that. I’m quite surprised I’ve lasted this long while feeling so watched. I read my OWN back posts and shudder in embarrassment for myself.

The kids are getting older. As other bloggers before me have found, sharing poo stories about a ten month old is fine, about a ten year old you hesitate. So more and more I find I’m not writing the stuff that’s actually going on.

I’ll keep writing for the boys. Every time I ask myself why I still blog (in years gone by it was for connection, to meet like-minded people, to hear supportive things, to learn from others) the only answer I have is that I like to think of it as a present to my boys, something of mine for them to have one day. So if that’s the case, why are my letters public? It makes no sense. Maybe it’s been to force me/guilt me into writing regularly. I think I can do that myself now, after all, who lets a six-year writing project lapse?

I'll keep popping up here if I really have something to say, so you can keep me in your Bloglovin' feed if you want. I will be wanting to vent and rant about something soon enough, I imagine. 

It's been amazing. Goodbye.

"So, thanks for your time, and I’ll thank you for mine.
(And after that’s said
forget it.)"


27 comments:

  1. I will really miss your blog! I love it all and I don't even have kids. It is a pity your older posts make you cringe, they are all good.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you po! Wish i knew you in real life.

      Delete
  2. I hope to have even a tenth of the career and writing ability you have. Thanks for your writing & bravery x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hee hee - I think you will, and already are, Ms Clark, I think you are!

      Delete
  3. It feels like the end of an era, this. I started blogging at your suggestion, Margot. I have no doubt that without having my blog as an outlet for my feelings and fears, I would have collapsed under the weight of what we were dealing with as a family during those early years. Your blog has kept me sane. I've adored the stories of Felix and Richie - they really hit the jackpot in the parent department.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm very glad you started, Stacey! It's also a great practice for getting your writing career established, don't you think? All that discipline and practice. Ah, Richie and Felix got parents who loved them, no doubt about that. Beyond that, we all do as best we can with our resources, I think. I'm busy learning about how anxious and paranoid I am and maybe some reasons why (death having followed my family around for a long time I think makes a huge difference). We all have our "thing". Being freaked out is my thing. And it's also what I was feeling a bit too self-conscious about sharing all the time! ;)

      Delete
  4. Oh no! I've been following your blog since the beginning and loved it! Will miss it :(

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! I'm sure I will write in other places as the social media space develops?

      Delete
  5. I hold out hope that you just need a break from this blog and that somehow you will find your way back here again in the future. Wishing you much happiness Margot.

    xxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And maybe I will... thank you very muvh for your kind words!

      Delete
  6. You will not believe it but I just founf your blog today.... ;?

    Enjoy doing what u do! X

    Maritza
    Centurion

    ReplyDelete
  7. Oh gosh, I will miss you Margot! Maybe I will then mail you more? I am also a lot quieter - and truly, write when you want or need. Lots of love

    ReplyDelete
  8. Sad to hear!! We will miss your writing!
    Good luck, and you are still most welcome to share some fish!
    (I will keep you on my Blog link for now ;-) )

    ReplyDelete
  9. You will certainly be missed Margot. And I have no doubt that you will find your way back here again. Well I hope so anyway. all the best x

    ReplyDelete
  10. Margot, I've been reading you since before I fell pregnant with my now 1 year old. I'll definitely miss your humour and insight! You helped prepare me for parenthood...especially as I'm now going through my own years of sleeping dangerously.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It will get better Fatima! Most nights I sleep through now - but you know I had to wean Richie first. Now he continues his love affair with my boobs during waking hours. My shirts are all still stretched but my nights are calm...

      Delete
    2. Yes, the breastfeeding! That's why I can't sleep through the night. I plan to wean at around 22 months (religiously it's recommended to breastfeed until then, but not further). Although I also plan on having #2 not too far apart from #1 but perhaps I can get in a few months of full night sleeps.

      2 things I forgot to say in my original comment:

      1) I love the Douglas Adam's reference
      2) I second Tammy in that you've made me a much more conscious parent too, especially in the way you relate to your boys.

      I really hope you do reconsider!

      Delete
  11. So sad Margot. This was the first blog I ever read and I loved it from the first post. You inspired me to start my own blog and you have been such a help in getting my own writing career established. I will miss your wry sense of humour.
    Good luck in your new adventures and always remember Don't Panic.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. *salutes*! ;) You're gonna rock that freelance career, Kat!

      Delete
  12. Margot. Sniff.

    It's not just you and your stories that I'm going to miss. It's the mirror I have to hold up to myself each time I find myself here. You have made me laugh, and laugh, and laugh! But also, you've taught me. Ah, so very much. The result being that I am a far more conscious parent than I ever thought I would (or indeed, could) be. Thank you, for sharing. I hope the official goodbye is not the last we hear of you. x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh my goodness, you guys. You're going to make me reconsider. Like my guru Bob Dylan says, "you're gonna make me lonesome when you go... you're gonna make me give myself a good talking to!"
      Thanks for saying such good things Tammy, and you know it's all likewise. You are the kind of person I wished lived next door!

      Delete
  13. Aw, man, what a bummer! I love reading about your boys' adventures and stuff. :( But then, I totally get it, too.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I'm in the same boat, it's difficult to decide what to share as your kids get older, but I don't *have* to write for living except for boring work stuff, so I completely get it.
    Hope all is ok, see you on the interwebs ;-)

    ReplyDelete
  15. Completely get it too... I'm not blogging about my kids intimate adventures as much as they're getting older... it's now no longer only my story that I'm telling.
    It's a pity that you're stopping this :(

    ReplyDelete
  16. Noooo!! I just found your blog last night, and read it from front to back while shusssshing my very cranky baby. You made may day.. Uhm... Night! But good luck with any new ventures :)

    ReplyDelete
  17. Margot, dit was altyd 'n plesier om jou blog te lees! Die afgelope paar maande is ek erg vasgevang in my eie weergawe van 'mommyhood' en kry maar min tyd vir blogs lees (alhoewel ek skielik weer begin skryf het). Jou skerp woordkeuses, jou presiese beskrywing van situasies en jou humor was altyd welkom! Mag jou skryfprojek aan jou seuns net groter en groter word in sy (is dit 'n manlike vorm???) persoonlike kapasiteit! BAIE sterkte met alles wat vir jou voorlê! Ek sal aanhou 'n ogie gooi om te sien of jy somtyds terugkeer. Jou stem in die blog-wêreld sal by voorbaat regtig gemis word!

    ReplyDelete