New Years Revolutions – Day 1. A New Page.

To kick off our New Years Revolutions Week we have Jo from the wonderful Slummy Single Mummy who sees the New Year as a blank sheet just waiting to be written on.


I know it’s meant to be a depressing month, but I love January. I feel the same way about January as I do about new notebooks and believe me, I love notebooks.

A blank notebook is like an open plane ticket to a mystery destination, a world of possibilities. Who knows what you might write? Perhaps this notebook will be the one where I write the first few chapters of that bestseller I know is lurking somewhere. Maybe I’ll have this notebook with me on a train one day, and jot down an idea for a business that will make me a millionaire. Unlikely I know, but it could happen, and that’s what makes it so intoxicating. Clean white pages, one after another, offering the potential for life changing scribbles.

Image: Netmums

The New Year is the same for me, and particularly so this January. In the middle of the month I am leaving a permanent job to become full time self employed, and so this New Year really does mark a new beginning for me, a turning over onto the next blank sheet in the notebook that is my life.

Although I’m a tiny bit nervous about my new working arrangements, I’m incredibly excited too. Yes there’s always the danger that I’ll turn into a recluse, tucked away in my attic office, eating cake in my pyjamas, but there is also the possibility that I’ll discover new opportunities, meet people I’ve never met before, and get involved in projects that will give me a real sense of purpose and of achievement.

A few years ago, I could never have imagined where my life would be now. I would sit chatting to my sister, bemoaning the fact that we were in uninspiring, badly paid jobs. ‘We’re not stupid,’ I would say, ‘surely we should be able to make money for ourselves, doing something we enjoy?’ At the time it seemed like the impossible dream, and yet here I am, proving that you can do it, if you’re just prepared to make that leap.

It can be scary, making the jump, writing the first word in a new notebook, but you often find that the first sentence is the hardest and that once you start, the words just tumble out.


Jo Middleton is a Freelance writer, blogger and marketing consultant who blogs at

Why not start your writing by sharing your birth story in our Coffeehouse?  Get pen to paper and add yours here. No matter whether it was last week or years ago we’re sure it’s still fresh in your mind! Your birth story will really help out other mums-to-be.

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The Netmums Blog brings you a behind the scenes look at Netmums, as well as some fabulous guest bloggers and an up to date look at what's new on our Parent Bloggers Network.
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4 Responses to New Years Revolutions – Day 1. A New Page.

  1. actuallymummy says:

    That’s fantastic Jo! It is scary setting up on your own – I’m doing the same thing right now – but so liberating too! Of course, you must not forget that the webcam might be accidentally switched on, so there’s your incentive to get out of pj’s every morning 😉

  2. Cripes, I just had to check the camera then as I’m sat working on the sofa in my gym clothes watching Jeremy Kyle! Oopps 🙂

  3. Anon says:

    I love what Jo has done, applaud her success and yes, wish I could do the same. But despite the inspiring post I really do not think I could. Because no-one wants to read what I have to say. This is no comment on Jo at all but on me: I’m not fluffy and don’t have a nice life. I live at the cutting edge of benefits in shitsville, Arizona. As it were. I don’t have the same views as I’ve read on some succesful parenting blogs (not Jo). I don’t think it funny to be drunk-in-charge, for example. I don’t seem to have the same problems: my children are happy, well behaved young people. We are simply poor. I don’t mean we can’t afford a foreign holiday this year, I mean piss-poor. And no-one, but no-one, wants to read about that. The abuse of neighbours and the contempt of teachers. So how does one write for a living? What do you say? How do you get paid? Do you just send work in to editors and hope? With what kind of covering letter? 300, 600, 1000 words? What I did on my holidays or how the fuck can we not get evicted next month? If it’s a popularity contest where you write a blog about your life what about the women fearing domestic violence, who can’t disclose who they are or ANY personal details? What do they write about then? I’d love to know.

    • jomiddleton says:

      Hi Anon, thanks for your comment. I totally understand where you’re coming from. I’ve never been totally destitute, but I’ve certainly had some tough times – pregnant at 16, single parent, living on benefits, bedroom walls black with damp and mould…

      I disagree though that people wouldn’t be interested in what you have to say. I definitely would. I don’t really read many other parenting blogs, simply because I don’t enjoy reading about how someone’s son made some cupcakes blah blah. I think your take on parenting would be a refreshing change.

      I started my blog because I wanted to earn money from writing and because I had no real clue where to start. I thought if I had a blog, I would at least have somewhere to point people, and be able to say ‘look, here I am, I can string a sentence together.’ I also went into my local shop and went through all the magazines and wrote down the names of the editors and then emailed them all saying ‘Hi! I’m a writer! What I can write?’ (slightly more detail, but basically that.) I’m sure it wasn’t the most professional way to go about it, but hey, out of about 100, 2 or 3 actually gave me work!

      Your being piss poor could be your USP – where all the parent bloggers are talking about their holidays you can be a new voice, with something different to say.

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