In the blink of an eye and like a flash in the pan, The Cranky Files blog is twelve months old. I thought that The Cranky Files would be more travelogue and less us. But in reality, it’s a heck more of us.
Initially conceived as a travelogue with a few recipes and preschool shenanigans to pad out the time at home. That’s not how things have panned out. Rather than a witty repartee retelling the highs, lows and in-betweens of travels in a caravan with two children under school age, it became apparent that The Cranky Files content is more personal than that. If you want pretty focused photos, a hip Air B n’B recommendation and a rating out of 5 for SeaWorld, ask Lonely Planet, not me.
Call me what you will, hobby blogger or mummy blogger, we’re not quite a travel blogger. We travel. I blog. But they don’t seem to go together. When we have travelled, I’ve enjoyed the time more than wanting to document where we went and where we stayed and what we did. On the odd occasion I planned to frame our outings as ‘blog post worthy’ they didn’t see the light of day because they just weren’t us. We certainly don’t fit the ‘join me, live digitally while working nomadically’ crowd. So, where, oh where, do The Cranky Files fit in?
I can honestly say, The Cranky Files is a personal journal. That might be a crowded niche but, surely there is room for one more? The past twelve months have thrown up some challenges that time and foresight could not prepare us for. My Dad died. My Grandpa died. I have had what feels like the most prolonged bout of uncomplicated grief illness, that has, in turn, impacted our family unit. Our domestic travel plans for 2017 were thrown out the window. Yet we stuck to our plans to participate in trail runs near and far. Our international travel plans snuck up on us and then we found ourselves in India with gastro. Christmas came and went. Children kept on developing and challenging. All along, The Cranky Files was somewhere that I could focus. If only for a small part of each week.
Having The Cranky Files is a reason to ‘write that sh*t down’ and to use the pictures I take with the camera. Slightly off centre and out of focus really sums The Cranky Files up in more ways than I care to admit! Writing the blog has always been a light-hearted pursuit. My lack of drive and commitment to influencing, branding, trending or, marketing kind of rules me out. Amazon very politely informed me that I didn’t generate enough traffic so, I couldn’t have an account My motivation to write has remained the same. I am enjoying writing as an avenue of creativity, taking some time out for myself and engaging in my world as a critical observer.
My challenge is to keep stepping out. As with many new environments that I find myself, I’ll stick close to what I know. I’ll hug the edges, people watching, staying small and staying safe. I’m gaining confidence in my voice so now, my challenge is to engage with other bloggy-folk and the Insta-world as one of them. As part of them. As yet, I’m not entirely confident to just butt-in and start a conversation with ‘strangers’ regardless of our common ground.
Since joining Instagram, I’ve become increasingly aware that I don’t want to over document the boys lives in the public space. When we are away, I am enjoying the time with the boys more than wanting to document where were went, stayed, shopped, caffeinated and did. I’ve also decided that with all of the marvellous real content out there, my humble offerings are not going to break the interweb. There are times for happy snaps and sharing and other times for just savouring the moment and looking back saying, ‘Remember when…’.
The alternative is, of course, getting to the end of a trip and realising that I have taken no pictures at all. I’ve been chill relaxed or busy child wrangling, negotiating and generally being mum, that to intrude with the camera would be, well, rude.
And so, The Cranky Files has kept me occupied for a year.
Who knows where we will go in the next twelve months?