Wednesday, February 13, 2013

The Brutal Truth About The Brutal Truth...

Today marks the first anniversary of 'The Brutal Truth About the Third Child'.

In a small way, writing that post changed my life.

Prior to the Brutal Truth this blog was not exactly setting the world on fire. Shocking, I know. I had a small, loyal following of readers, mainly family and friends (hi Mum!). Every time I got a comment or a new 'like' from a stranger I would jump up and down and clap my hands.

Actually, there probably wasn't much jumping because I was ridiculously pregnant with Baby Number Three. But I'm sure I clapped my hands.

Then, on what happened to be my 12th wedding anniversary, I sat down to write a tongue-in-cheek comparison of my three different pregnancies. Being a Monday, both the Bombshell and Curly Mop were in pre-primary/daycare, so apart from Baldy jumping up and down on my bladder, I had the house to myself. I remember it took half the day to write because I kept needing to go to the loo.

I hit publish and thought nothing more of it.

The next day I noticed that there had been a hundred or so hits on The Brutal Truth. That was enormous for me. My most popular post to date had been hit about 120 times over a matter of months, so this was incredible.

Over the next few days I watched as the hits mounted. The following Monday morning the tally was at 3,900. By lunchtime it was over 4,500. I checked again after dinner and it was over 5,700. I could literally sit and watch the counter click over. I became completely (and probably unhealthily) preoccupied.

See that big pointy bit? That's The Brutal Truth...

While the hits were mounting, so were the comments. Amazing comments, supportive comments: Mums who said 'Yes! So true'. Mums who said 'Thank God I stopped at two'. Mums who berated me for making them laugh out loud at work and pee a little.

There were a few negative comments, people who didn't detect my tongue firmly wedged in my cheek. People who didn't read all the way to the bottom. Well, it was a very long post.

Then something else happened to change my life.

Baldy Baby arrived, and the brutal truth about the third child became a thrilling and welcome reality.

I admit, I felt pressure to replicate the success of The Brutal Truth. All of a sudden I had this wonderful new virtual community, people who could relate to my story and possibly wanted more.

But with the new baby came the fog, and although some of my subsequent posts were relatively popular I was disappointed when the tens of thousands of people who read it, did not stick around to read any more.

It was an important lesson for me. 'Don't they like me anymore' I wailed. But then I asked myself: after I read a post that had been recommended or shared by a friend, do I click around on the blog to find more? Not usually.

It was like a literary one night stand. Luckily it felt good and there were zero regrets.

One year on, that single post is responsible for almost half of my entire hits. It's small change by the standards of the uber-bloggers but more than I ever expected for a blog with a dumb name, and it still gets hundreds of hits each and every day.

I have seen The Brutal Truth shared across the world. Someone emailed it to me once with a message 'read this, it's really funny' and I had to say 'I wrote that!'. It's even been pinned on Pinterest.
You've made it now, Shannon. Give up and die happy.

The twelve months since Baldy Baby was born have been productive for me, especially given the whole three kids thing. I had a couple of articles published in national magazines including My Child, I have been working hard at WeekendNotes, even earning a small paycheck each month.  I started dabbling in a novel and wrote two pictures books which were beautifully illustrated by The Bombshell.

Hey publishers, let me know if you want to make me an offer

I have even bigger plans for the next twelve months.

Uni starts in a couple of weeks and I am looking forward to being the daggy mature aged student in the corner again.

I have an article being published next month that mentions - amongst other things - pubic hair and bottoms. Click here if you want to read more about pubic hair.

I am also hoping to publish a kids book later this year (no pubic hair but there will be bottoms).

So thank you for sticking around with me over the past year. Thank you for making comments on my blog and on my Facebook page.
I recognise your names and it feels like family.

And that's the truth.

Update: as of December, 2013 there have been almost 150,000 hits to The Brutal Truth About the First Child. It is read by thousands of people every month, and since I don't ever plan on having a fourth child, I guess it will remain my most popular post.

Easy and innovative new fundraising ideas at


  1. congrats on your anniversary! I was a mature age student too and I'm still going. now on to my second year of my masters in creative writing which I'm planning to talk more about this year on my other blog: look forward to following your new big plans :)

  2. Keep up the great work Shan. I thoroughly enjoy reading your blog, you make me laugh. I happen to think you are a fabulous writer and I would most definitely read any book you write. All the best for the plans - we should catch up too - when there are about 15 consecutive seconds free! In the meantime - lots of love to you. Liz x


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...