writing

I am awesome

18 April, 2017

I’ve got some big news and some honesty coming up, but first I want to share some numbers.

Next month will mark seven years of Lulastic. It’s funny to read my first ever post and see that I write in exactly the same way! I was quite experimental in those first posts – they were often just one sentence long and included a picture made on the Paint App:

This from the Ominous Silence of Babies and Toddlers

the ominous silence of babies and toddlers

and this from The Day Ramona Discovers Ears Age 9 Months

The day ramona discovered ears

Four hundred and sixty six posts later and I’ve dropped the phone-created artwork and made the writing bits quite a lot longer!! I’ve also become more focused on sharing information, raising awareness about things I think are important, rather than the little tidbits of life as a mother.

It was around four years ago Tim and I quit our London jobs and went travelling. We were confident that I could be the main breadwinner through my blog. I’d begun a little bit of advertising to pay for the costs of hosting and spam prevention and it was an exciting time for blogging- there was money being dished out everywhere! I began to get my first bits of paid writing elsewhere and we were excited about the freedom going freelance could give us.

Over these recent years the community around Lulastic has grown ten fold. Each month around 75,000 people visit and a social media community of 40,000 has grown up around it.  I’m the fourth highest ranking blog (with public records) in New Zealand and the eighth highest in the British parenting charts. WHAT THE HECK? I don’t share that to toot my horn, I promise, I’m embarrassed by even saying it. The truth is,  it completely astonishes me that this many people want to hang out here and read about this alternative living and progressive parenting. I’d always imagined Lulastic to be niche, so niche. (Hello, it’s called Lulastic and the Hippyshake, what sort of nonsense blog name is that?!)

Weirdly, though, despite the wonderful shock of having this many readers and a beautiful, wise, growing community, making money online is harder than when we first made the decision to go freelance. Contracts yo-yo and advertising is gross. I have a couple of solid gigs with the awesome folk of Green Parent and Channel Mum and my ebooks are an awesome source of income but they rely on me spending a full third of my time on admin (I’m so bad at it) and self-promotion (soul destroying!)

One of the hardest parts about creating stuff for the internet is needing things to “take off”, the waiting to see if the thing you’ve spent three days making will reach people, or if it will just languish. Increasingly I feel that my work is at the mercy of savage algorithms and the ungraciousness of timezones. It’s like financial success in this line of work needs me to be more capitalist, less artist.

And have a much more calloused heart.

~

I long to fully prioritise the two dreams in my heart. (I must use this phrase a lot, hopeless romantic I am; Juno recently said “Mum! Mum! Look at this! It was born in my heart!” as she did a roly poly crossed with a cartwheel.)

The first is to really grow the movement of respectful parenting. I want to create free resources and a website and a book and in-person workshops that help parents be true allies to their children. I am desperate to do this and I want to reach millions with these resources. I also want to concentrate on making beautiful films about treading lightly on the earth, to document our off grid life and tell stories that help people connect deeply with nature.

Weirdly (again!) these are the two things that generate the most energy (both in me and readers) but the least money!! I’ve always simply accepted that I can only really launch myself into these two things once I have “established”; once we have enough money coming in to free me up.

In a beautiful moment of syncronicity, this weekend I decided that nope, the time HAD to be now. I don’t have everything I need to do this (I lack the wisdom, the experience AND the money!) but still; the time is always now!!

And then, that night, I decided to support a creator on a thing called Patreon. I’d seen Patreon all about the place for a few months but on Friday night I made a pledge and put my money in to support a podcast for $5 a month. I immediately made Tim sit on the sofa with me and listen to the free meditations and music I got as my reward for being a patron. I spent the day feeling great about being able to support a creator I love and getting access to some awesome resources.

It wasn’t until 24 hours later that I had the realisation that I need to get myself on Patreon!!!! It was like Timmy Mallet bonked me on the head.  I actually laughed out loud that it hadn’t occurred to me earlier. I now think that on some deep level I was struggling with feelings about not being deserving enough to have patrons, despite the emails I get where mamas tell me my posts have transformed their lives with their children.

I am learning to put more faith in the fact that every so often things come out of my keyboard that change peoples lives. And I want to have the freedom to listen and be available for when those golden things arrive, to get them out in front of the eyes that need them!!

Recently, at a workshop with Non-Violent Parenting founder, Ruth Beaglehole, she asked us to list all the values we want our children to have when they grow up. Top of my list was “To love themselves, believe in themselves.” Then Ruth said “If you want your children to have these qualities than YOU need to have them, you need to work on them for you, first.” I’ve known for yonks that if I want my children to be kind, I must treat them with kindness, but I’d never applied the same thinking to all the other qualities I want them to have.

This morning as I was journalling, lying on my bed with three year old Juno journalling next to me (lots of OOOOOOOs) she asked me to write something down so she could copy it. I said “Sure, what do you want me to write?” I thought she might say “buttkiss” as that is her favourite word at the moment, but without hesitation she said “I am awesome!”

Sparks of happiness exploded in my chest. Juno won’t get away with saying that kind of audacious thing when she’s an adult. Women in particular, we get along by making ourselves small, downplaying the treasures inside. Even the idea of saying out loud, as a grown woman, “I AM AWESOME” makes me blush a bit. Especially ‘cos I’m not awesome; I’m messy and blunt and too focused and too unpindownable and too excitable and too damn angry.

But you know what? I want my daughters to be surrounded by people who go for their dreams, by women, especially, who have the faith in themselves to chase their hopes and to make them happen. Who keep that child-like sense of their own awesomeness.

So here we are. My last number.
Lulastic Patreon

Five Hundred.

My first goal is $500 a month from patrons. This will allow me to immediately take advertising off Lulastic and to begin building my new parenting website.

You can pledge as little as $1 a month and get access to my patron-only posts including behind the scenes videos and work in progress ebooks. For more $$ a month you get access to mini series and extra videos. I’ve just begin a mini series on there, Seven Deeds for a Happier Home, that includes reflections and activities to bring more joy into your life as a parent over the course of one week.

Please come and check out my Patreon page and consider supporting my work. As a little incentive to get in quick, the first 10 patrons (even on the $1 tier) will get social media shout outs for their blog/ videos/ business/ projects.

Thank you SO much for the role you have played in growing Lulastic. Never in my most raucous dreams did I imagine being able to write this kind of post. Just be warned though, if Patreon gives me the creative freedom I long for I might feel an urge to make more pictures on the Paint App…

You Might Also Like

32 Comments

  • Reply Jem 18 April, 2017 at 6:51 pm

    I am stone broke at the minute so as much as I would love to chuck in a few dollars a month it’s not feasible BUT if there’s anything I can do to help with website-y/technical bits n bobs I would be more than happy to help in that way.

    Sorry I can’t do more. After soooo many years of reading I feel I should give back!
    Jem recently posted…Your anxiety is not my anxietyMy Profile

    • Lucy
      Reply Lucy 18 April, 2017 at 7:23 pm

      Hi Jem 😀 I COMPLETELY understand! Completely. Thank you so much for your beautiful kind offer! I am totally pants at all that stuff so I shall bear you in mind!

  • Reply Kathryn 18 April, 2017 at 7:00 pm

    Reading about anyone going for their dreams is an inspiration. Especially (as a woman) with a young family when it can be tempting to use this as an excuse for putting things on hold. Keep going, you will make these things a reality. I hope I gain the same clarity in what I believe in and how I can use it to better my family and the world, I really want that and I don’t have clear direction on finding it yet. Taking brave steps is probably a good start?
    Thank you!

    • Lucy
      Reply Lucy 18 April, 2017 at 7:24 pm

      Thank you Kathryn! Yes, something prompted me this week to be braver and step out and just do it.

  • Reply ThaliaKR 18 April, 2017 at 7:07 pm

    Wonderful plan, Lucy!

    Yes, YOU ARE AWESOME!
    xx

    • Lucy
      Reply Lucy 18 April, 2017 at 7:24 pm

      Thank you Thalia, you are awesome. You are SO AWESOME.

  • Reply Amz 18 April, 2017 at 7:11 pm

    Lucy, you are TOTALLY awesome 🙂 I’m so inspired by the amazing women I know, who are unashamed to be their messy, blunt, angry, passionate, joyful selves…..you’re so one of them 🙂
    Xx

    • Lucy
      Reply Lucy 18 April, 2017 at 7:22 pm

      Beautiful Amz! Thank you so much for your encouragement! So much love to you. I was thinking about you all today. Would love to hear more of your stories!

  • Reply Kathryn 18 April, 2017 at 7:14 pm

    Just wondering, reading your Patreon Page, why do you feel the need to explain you are the main breadwinner? Sounds like you and hubby are a great team on this. Your project is worthy of support no matter what your circumstances. I never understand why people question this type of stuff.

    • Lucy
      Reply Lucy 18 April, 2017 at 7:27 pm

      Hi Kathryn. Hmmmm. Yes. Would be interested in talking more about why you didn’t think it was necessary? I often mention it because people tend to think that my line of work – “online creator” – writing and being on youtube is completely frivolous and just a hobby, and that someone else in our household must be bringing home the bacon. I wanted to make it clear that we are ALL IN, that it is our home’s primary paid work. My husband’s work around the farm is equally as important, but despite it being unpaid people don’t tend to doubt that.

      • Reply Jenna 18 April, 2017 at 9:09 pm

        I just love you Lucy in all your breadwinning awesomeness xxxx

  • Reply Michelle Twin Mum 18 April, 2017 at 8:04 pm

    Exciting stuff Lucy, wishing you all the best with this new leg of your journey. Mich x
    Michelle Twin Mum recently posted…Taking care of my feet with Hotter ShoesMy Profile

    • Lucy
      Reply Lucy 21 April, 2017 at 9:34 am

      Thank you so much beautiful Mich x x

  • Reply Cat 18 April, 2017 at 8:13 pm

    Hey, all that stuff about you DOES make you awesome!

    • Lucy
      Reply Lucy 21 April, 2017 at 9:34 am

      HAHA thanks!

  • Reply Tess 18 April, 2017 at 8:41 pm

    Awesome, oh yes you are. This is so exciting. Totally, totally extra fabulously exciting. Can’t wait to watch you fllllyyyyy xx

    • Lucy
      Reply Lucy 21 April, 2017 at 9:33 am

      Thank you Tess!!!

  • Reply Jenna 18 April, 2017 at 9:21 pm

    This post is perfect. I was just thinking not less than ten minutes ago whilst I was taking a shower how my best friend who I think is beautiful and amazing is constantly putting herself down and therefore we often get into a competition of who has the biggest belly/most saggy breasts (you see where I’m going yeah?) and I need to stop getting drawn into it. I am friggin awesome. My body has done amazing things and continues to do amazing things. The next time she says something negative I am not going to join in on the body bashing game I’m going to stop her and feed her with how awesome she is.

    Also my opinions are worthy. They may not be the same as yours (although they often are) or the next persons but they are my thoughts, they are open to other suggestions but they are ultimately mine. I often don’t comment on things for fear of being called out but I plan on getting a whole lot braver.

    You my lovely are awesome. I am going onto the patreon page and pledging because I live for your YouTube vids and blog posts every week. I pay for cable so I can watch shit on tv so why not pay to have constant positivity on tap? Also, I hate adverts on blogs. I often stop following blogs because of them but with yours I just thought “it’s an income, if it allows Lucy to keep the blog going then I can suck it up”. Plus I honestly believe that you have the integrity to never advertise something you believe to be bad.

    Please don’t ever stop. Also please come visit up north when you come back to England. I have a whole tribe of like minded people who would love to listen to you do a workshop or something. Xxxx

    • Lucy
      Reply Lucy 21 April, 2017 at 9:33 am

      Oh Jenna thank you! I loved reading your comment SO much. I’d love to do a workshop up north! Talk to me more about that!

  • Reply Sarah 19 April, 2017 at 1:48 am

    I was worried, initially, that you were going to say you are stopping your online work!! I love your writing and it has inspired me so much in my parenting. I also think without you I would not have started writing, which I have been doing for a few months now and love. I will definitely be pledging.

    • Lucy
      Reply Lucy 21 April, 2017 at 9:33 am

      Ahh, no, even MORE online work! ha. Love your work. Do you wanna join a writing mums group? x

  • Reply Jenny Pfister (Herring) 19 April, 2017 at 5:17 pm

    My Lovely Lucy.
    I knew that you were going to do remarkable things as soon as I met you when we were in our late teens. Your joy,love for life and determination is inspiring and I feel blessed to know you. So happy you and Tim are living your dream and I would love to support you and learn from you. I am a better Mumma because you have shown me that its all about love and giving time to your kids 🙂
    Love Jen

    • Lucy
      Reply Lucy 21 April, 2017 at 9:32 am

      Oh Jen you wonderful one! Thank you SO much for your encouragement you are awesome.

  • Reply Rebecca 19 April, 2017 at 7:39 pm

    Oh this has given me goosebumps. You are more than awesome Lucy and those numbers…EEEEK! So many of us Mummas adore your gorgeousness and your beautiful inspiring zest for a simpler, more authentic and real life (and all the raw, awkward and messy moments you share so openly…we are not alone woohoo!). You inspire me to be a better Mum and person for my daughter with everything you share. And rising up to this next ‘own it’ level even more is SO FRICKEN AWESOME!!! Massive hugs to you and hope to come hang one day on the land with you and your crazies heehee xxoo Rebecca

    • Lucy
      Reply Lucy 21 April, 2017 at 9:31 am

      Oh my goodness Rebecca thank you for your beautiful comment! So much love to you and would love to see you out here one day.

  • Reply Ms Vanilla Rose 19 April, 2017 at 9:06 pm

    Why did you drop the artwork???

    • Lucy
      Reply Lucy 21 April, 2017 at 9:31 am

      Lol! I’ve no idea! I could have gone BIG!

  • Reply Emma 19 April, 2017 at 10:28 pm

    I was terrified you were stopping too! haha. good luck.

    • Lucy
      Reply Lucy 21 April, 2017 at 9:31 am

      Thank you!

  • Reply Mady 20 April, 2017 at 8:06 pm

    How random is this! I saw your ad for your camera and happened on your page- so glad I did! Looking forward to reading and seeing more! And here’s to hoping you reach that $500 soon!!

    • Lucy
      Reply Lucy 21 April, 2017 at 9:30 am

      So random! haha. Want the camera? 😀 😀 😀 hahaha

  • Reply Adi 23 April, 2017 at 2:02 am

    Yes the time is now! You are exceptionally awesome. Your work is VERY much needed in our world and is a continual source of inspiration for us. Many blessings for success.

  • Leave a Reply

    CommentLuv badge