I had the opportunity to meet Jean Lomas of the blog this slow process at this year’s Vancouver Mom’s Top 30 Mom Bloggers social. We both live in the same area of Vancouver, so we carpooled downtown to the event. Jean had to put up with Pearl’s protests about coming along, but we still had a great chat about motherhood and blogging. Today, I’m delighted to introduce you to Jean.
UPDATED 2020: Jean seems to have stopped blogging, but I thought I’d leave this post here as her advice is still good.
TKM: First, tell us a bit about Jean Lomas.
Jean: I live in the suburbs outside Vancouver with my husband, our 1-year-old daughter and our cat. My husband is in school, I work full time, and the small one has yet to decide on a career path but I have high hopes that it’ll eventually result in her pulling her own weight around here. The cat, on the other hand, is a lost cause and will be a freeloader forever.
I love travelling, cooking, walking in crowded public places with my eyes glued to my phone, and scuba diving. Also, I am totally that girl who will come to your party and spend the entire time hanging out with your pets instead of interacting with your human guests.
TKM: When and why did you start blogging?
Jean: I started blogging at the end of August last year. My daughter was four months old, and I realized time was already starting to get away from me. I think most new mums can relate to the feeling that everything is happening way too fast.
There were a lot of thoughts running through my head about parenthood, and so many memories I wanted to preserve. Also, I’d always wanted to write, and maternity leave gave me the time and space to explore that possibility (once the fog of the first few months dissipated, that is).
TKM: How did you come up with your blog name?
Jean: The name “this slow process” comes from a conversation I had with the nurse at one of our appointments shortly after my daughter was born. At one point she referred to the first year of motherhood as “this slow process of falling in love.”
The phrase stuck with me—it was beautiful and perfect and true—and when I started blogging it just felt right to use it. I deliberately left the name in lower-case: it represents the idea of joining someone’s story in the middle, since to me parenthood marks a new phase in a life that was already fully formed.
TKM: Do you have a blog schedule or do you post when you feel like it?
Jean: I used to post once or twice a week, but now that I’m back at work it’s tough to keep to any particular schedule so I’m posting much less frequently. I also submit my work to other sites. I write a regular column as well (shameless plug: check out my column, Dear Pre-Baby Me, on Sammiches & Psych Meds!). I try to find a balance when it comes to which pieces go up on my own blog and which ones get submitted elsewhere.
TKM: What is your favourite part of blogging? Your least favourite part?
Jean: My favourite part would have to be the connections I’ve made so far, especially with other bloggers (like the first mom blogger I ever met in real life—Bonnie!). When I started blogging I had no idea it’d open up this whole community I never knew existed, and it’s been pretty incredible.
Some really cool opportunities have come my way in the past few months, too—I even made the VancouverMom.ca Top 30 Mom Bloggers list this year, which was a huge honour for a newbie like me.
My least favourite part is mean commenters. While I can take a little well-reasoned debate—and I expect it when I write about controversial topics—I definitely feel all the feelings when the trolls come out to attack me personally. Luckily this only seems to happen on certain sites, so I’ve learned not to read the comments on those ones.
TKM: What advice would you offer to other bloggers?
Jean: Oh, dear – I’m not sure I’m qualified to answer this one. I could use some advice myself!
I guess if I had one piece of advice for new bloggers, it’d be not to underestimate the importance of self-promotion. When I started, I had a bit of an “if you build it, they will come” mentality, in that I thought I’d just write and if I was good enough eventually people would find me, but it’s not quite that simple.
It takes a lot of effort to ensure your posts get seen, and the most successful bloggers are the ones who invest the time and energy necessary to promote their work widely. I still find this aspect of blogging really challenging, especially with limited time, but I keep at it because I love writing and sharing stories.
TKM: What is your favourite social media channel and why?
Jean: I used to be all about Facebook, but I started using Twitter a few months ago and I’m hooked. While Facebook is a great platform for sharing, I find Twitter more dynamic; it’s all about having conversations, and I love its simplicity and immediacy. Plus, everyone’s racist-meme-sharing uncle isn’t on Twitter yet (or at least I haven’t come across them), which is a definite bonus.
I also dabble in Instagram, mainly for the hashtags. I used to hate hashtags but now I’m all about them which is maybe a sign of personal growth?
If you enjoyed this post, you may also like my interview with Ladena Racine from My Family Stuff.