It’s been exactly 10 years since I started my first blog. It was also a little less than two weeks before the European elections and two events triggered my decision then. First a friend of mine suggested I opened up a blog on Le Monde’s then brand new blogging platform. He had noticed my ranting on Facebook about the lack of coverage on EU politics in French media and thought I had the right profile to start blogging, an activity that was then relatively uncommon, even less so in EU affairs. What gave me the ultimate nudge was witnessing that two weeks before the European elections the 20:00 news programme on the main French TV, France 2, would only mention the upcoming elections at the 19th minute*. Yes I counted.
So I started my first blog on EU politics in May 2009. It led me to join the vibrant -and slightly crazy- community of bloggers called Bloggingportal.eu, whose objective was to identify, make more visible and grow the emerging EU blogger scene. It got me to campaign for a gender balanced Commission, to co-found the EU Girl Geeks, to be one of the two first bloggers to get an accreditation to cover an EU Council meeting, to speak at many events on blogging around Europe and to even advise MEPs on how to blog. These were exciting years. I was young(er), childless, had a rebel soul,… and I was also an insomniac. I had a job with zero responsibility. I could make it work. Then.
After I started a demanding and stressful job in a large public affairs firm, little by little, I lost inspiration. I had less time and I didn’t dare anymore to show strong public opinions on politics as surely there would be some client somewhere in the world that would be upset by my views. It was purely self control as my employer encouraged freedom of speech but it killed my creativity. During these years I’ve kept on blogging regularly in a professional capacity but it just not the same.
What has changed? I now have more time. I’m also at a point of my life where I want to find my freedom of speech again and nurture the things I really like doing. I’ve become a freelance consultant, which means I also need to get known. And finally, the European elections will open up the dance of exciting times for the EU nerd I still am : selection of the top EU jobs, designation of the future Commissioners and their grilling by the European Parliament, as well as the 5 year policy plans the appointed Commissioners will develop.
I’ve missed blogging. I’ve missed writing, sharing thoughts, giggling and plotting with fellow EU nerds online.
PS: for those of you who remember my last blog, it’s undergoing technical difficulties which should be solved in a week or so.
*Update on 21st May 2019: I’ve watched the 13 o’clock news on France 2 yesterday and guess how late started the story about the European elections? At the 19th minute too! No kidding! Considering this story was about the challenge it is to print and send to French voters the paper documentation about the candidate lists, I’m not even sure it counts. The topic after that explained how the EU works and started at the 21st minute. It means we don’t seem to have made much progress on the coverage of the European elections on French TV. Although tempting, this shortcut is unfair as things have changed, at least a little. Expect another post from me on that topic in the coming weeks.