Why on earth did you submit your blog to us? You have to know that we are not fond of mommy-blogs, as a genre, and we're very, very bitchy and demanding. We are not your target audience, and you are definitely not going to be happy with anything I have to say to you today.
I started this blog in January 2008 with the following aims:
1. To improve my photography
2. To learn a new skill (the subtle art of blogging)
3. To have a pictorial record to look back on at the end of the year.
4. To prove to myself that once I’ve started something I can jolly well finish it!!
You've accomplished your goals, at least to your own satisfaction, so you really don't need us. And, I have a feeling that honest criticism is going to cut you like a knife. So, here's a backpat for keeping a chronicle of your kids' growing up years, and taking plenty of pictures, and it appears, being a very good mommy.
If you can't handle sharp feedback, STOP READING NOW. This warning is for your own good.
Okay, here comes the rending.
Goal 1 - Pictures: Your photos are poorly focused and have zero emphasis on composition. You need to do your homework. There is more to photography than point and shoot. Do some research, read up on how to properly frame a subject, and really WORK at it. These times will pass quite quickly and at this point, all you have to show for your efforts are some blurry, smeary, not very interesting shots.
Here's a good place to start.
Goal 2 - The Subtle Art of Blogging: You've put words on a page, on a regular basis, that much is true, but you haven't learned to blog. Blogging, at its essence, is telling stories. It isn't keeping a journal. It's writing, FOR AN AUDIENCE. Even if that audience is only family members (only), they do not deserve to want a bullet in their head after reading something like this.
Barbara, congrats. You've turned the miracle of birth into a scientific manual slash middle school girl's diary. Holy fuck. No one wants to read this. It's painfully dull.
A story is not "I went here." "I did this." "I saw this."
Go here. This is blogging. It takes more time than just regurgitating, "and then we bounced on trampolines" onto a page, but it's also clearly BETTER. It's something that people actually WANT to read, even though it involves sucking a bird's guts into a vacuum cleaner (and the word protein is misspelled). That's the SUBTLE ART part. And, that's what your blog is lacking at present. A good blogger can make getting blood drawn interesting. A bad blogger can make childbirth dull.
It's good to write, but it's better to be a writer, and actually THINK about the words you are writing.
Your blog at present:
This isn’t a great picture (I still haven’t got around to reading the manual on photography in low light) but the girl saw it and immediately said “I look great in a smile and a pink plait, don’t I”.
(note grammatical errors and boring introductory sentence)
What your blog COULD BE, if you worked at it:
I didn’t see it at first. I was talking to husband about his day and was walking from the living room to the kitchen.
There it was. A pile of feathers on the carpet–all that was left of the cat’s lunch.
“Your cat did that,” he said. I just sighed and went to find the vacuum cleaner.
Do you see the difference, how the first few sentences suck you in, and make you WANT to read the story? How it's clear that this IS a story? Even this example could use more editing, but the beginning is GREAT. It takes work, that. But you COULD do it, if you tried.
Here's an example of how the pink plait could be reframed:
When she saw the photograph, the girl said “I look great in a smile and a pink plait, don’t I?”
I agree, she does.
Do you see the difference? You could then go on and talk about how the photo could be improved, how use of the manual might allow you to properly focus the lens, how you wish you were improving faster. But the focus is on the PHOTOGRAPH and the girl, not you.
Obviously, your voice is going to be different than Franklin's or mine. But, primarily, the subtle art of blogging consists of GETTING OUT OF THE WAY of your story and telling it in a way that is visual, stimulating, and engaging.
Also, you selfish cow. Why, oh why, would you tell us about making a Christmas cake (nut-free, no less), and not provide a recipe? That's just evil and wrong. You did the same damn thing with your mincemeat post, which means you are not only selfish, but you have selfish tendencies. You should share. That's all I'm saying.
So, move. Get out of the way. Tell the story. Focus on the subjects of the story. Make it come to life. Use interesting words. Think about whose eyes are seeing the story happen, and how THEY would tell the story. Use their perspective, not just yours.
And you, my dear, are not yet a blogger.
But you could be.
I give you