A Lesson in Blogging

I think it was Eden Riley from Edenland who said ‘the blogosphere  is like the Wild West’.

Well, this week I felt like hanging up my boots.

Starting this blog was a huge deal for me.

Determined to keep my online life separate from real life,  my blog was to be a space for me to work through some of the shit that should have been dumped a long time ago.

I read lots advice before I began.

One quote stood out:

“Write as if no one is reading”

Mmm, I thought. Yes I can do that. I mean who’s going to read my baloney anyway?

I was spurred on to write thoughts I would never share in real life (still at the ‘can’t show the crazy too soon’ stage).

But this week I learnt a painful lesson. You cannot write a blog as if no one is reading, because someone is. And not always the person you are expecting.

My words hurt someone (unintentionally I should point out) from my real life. I felt, and still feel, terrible about it.

It was a huge reality check.

There is no way I can keep my two lives separate. I’m not sure why I ever thought it possible. Maybe because I prefer my on-line self? Who knows.

I cannot control who reads my blog.  (this is especially hard for a control freak like me). I cannot control assumptions people make about what I have written. The fear that mistakes that I will inevitably make will be seized upon, words criticised and ideas ridiculed has stopped me from pressing ‘publish’ many times before. Now, that feeling is stronger than ever.

I’m just not brave enough to write as if no one is reading. I care far too much what others think of me. (yes, lame, I know)

I’m not sure I’m cut out for blogging. Maybe I should stick to gin.

What are your thoughts about on-line life versus real-life and blogging?

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Popping My Blogging Conference Cherry (ProBlogger 2012)

My blogging conference cherry has been popped.

It was terrifying.

Fortunately, I had stalked asked Carli if I could get a lift with her, so I didn’t have to arrive on my own. Bloggers who attended on their own, how brave are you?

In some ways, it felt a little like high school with the various ‘tribes’. There were the popular girls, the business types, the techies, the arty crafty people, all bursting with creativity and passion.

I was alone in the ‘numpty* blogger’ tribe.

Plenty of other people will give the round-up of what we learnt, but what you really want to know is…

Did I mess up?

Hell yes. Here are my top five.

1. Lunging at Kerry Sackville for a pash when all she wanted to do was shake my hand.

2. Introducing a well-known blogger to someone else I had just met, and getting their blog name wrong

3. Spitting marshmallow over the nice person who drove me in that morning. Sorry Carli.

4. During small talk over refreshments with a member of the ‘blogeratti’, showing them my best seal impression, to illustrate how I burp if I drink coke.

5. At the cocktail party, drunkenly trying to explain to a group of women why I was wearing a moustache.

You knew I wouldn’t let you down. Right?

The conference itself was one of the most well organised I have ever attended (and I’ve been to some doozies). The energy bouncing around the room while the speakers shared their stories was electrifying. They were all so generous with their advice, willing everyone in the room to pursue their ideas with passion.

The twitter-folk I met were fabulous, especially Michaela, Grace, Norlin, DonnaSophie and Belinda.

And the cocktail party was awesome. I need my own photo booth. Seriously.

Much of the conference focused on making money from your blog. As my blog started as a way for me to write and to get rid of some of my sad feelings, I’m not sure I could monetize it if I tried! Apart from gin, I’m not sure which brands would want to work with me!

That aside, a little spark was ignited.

Meeting new people like Amanda, Lincoln, Jane and Kimberley who were all so complimentary, made me realise that I do have lots to offer in terms of my business acumen and other skills.

This says it all for me:

Returning home I began making plans.

Who knows where they are going, but I’m following them.

What changes have you experienced or made for yourself recently?

*definition: Someone who (sometimes unwittingly) by speech or action demonstrates a lack of knowledge or misconception of a particular subject or situation to the amusement of others.

Imperfection Is Beauty

When my lovely friend Renee sent me this quote, I had to post it, it’s so me!

(I’m not really an “inspirational quote” blogger, not sure of my niche, but it’s definitely not inspirational!)

I am trying to accept my imperfections.

There is more madness in me than genius.

The Saint thinks I’m beautiful.

And I’m definitely ridiculous, several times a day.

Thanks, Marilyn. You get me.

So You Think You’re A Blogger Now?

Never one for half measures I have hit this blogging lark like a bull at a gate. Blog for 30 days straight? Yep, done it.

Sign up to attend a Blogging Training Conference? Yep, done it.

What? You’ve done what?

Yes, dear friends I have signed up for a blogging conference. Full of experienced bloggers and social media experts.

And me.

Shit! Panic is already setting in with exactly one week to go.

To calm my nerves I have started to get organised.

I tracked down potential attendees to stalk chat to. Yes Carli, Michaela, Nathalie and Lisa, you all made the list.

Next, a professional looking notebook in which to jot down all the top tips I’ll be learning.

(I went with my birthday present from Boy Wonder.)

Lots of people will be attending from twitter land, but how will people find me, when on twitter I look like this?

I could leave the mo to grow out naturally, but instead have opted for these.

(I have included a sharpie in case I get too sweaty and the glue dissolves.)

Now all I need to focus on now is not being an idiot, not being inappropriate, not getting drunk and falling asleep.

Easy…

Do you get nervous before big events? What are your coping strategies?

Helping Myself

Sometimes, when the black dog is hanging around, it’s hard to keep going.

Lost in the fog, I stop smelling the roses and focus on getting through the day, one sluggish step at a time.

This blog is going to help me on those dark days, by enabling me to look back on moments like these pictured above.

A reminder of who I am, who I love and who loves me.

The End – Blog for 30

On the 20th August 2012 I became a blogger.

I had have no idea what I am doing.

Since I did this I have had more time on my hands, so I thought “why not?”

A little while later the lovely Renee, Katrina and Kellie were discussing #blogfor30 on twitter. I laughed and said “I could never do that”, but they encouraged me to join in (thanks guys).

“Sure, I thought, how hard can it be?”

Yes, I am THAT naive, newbie blogger you have all heard about…

After day 3 I was sweating every time I thought about the blog.

By Day 7, I felt a sea-change. I was rising to the challenge.

At Day 14, I was carrying a notebook around (prententious, moi?) to scribble down any random thoughts.

Now it’s the end. I can’t quite believe it. I have been a blogger for 41 days and continuously blogging for 30. Do I get a prize? No? Oh.

So, what have a learned over the past month?

1.  Writing is hard work.

There are times when you don’t feel like it, or external pressures (yes, kids, I mean you) make it hard to focus.I have a new-found respect for people who write for a living and I will never complain about the cost of books again. Every bloody cent is hard-earned.

2. Writing is therapy.

I’ve heard and read this many times, but wasn’t convinced. Jeez, how right they are. I wished I’d started blogging earlier. I could have saved several therapists from personal crises and saved myself lots of $$$. I genuinely feel better if I write. Even if I don’t post, it’s out, it’s done.

3. I love writing.

I have enjoyed #blogfor30 more than I could have imagined. Towards the end I sometimes had a couple of posts a day to choose to publish. I guest-blogged for the lovely Kate at katesaysstuff and Renee at AboutaBugg (thanks for having me ladies). I even plucked up courage to submit a piece for publication and it has been accepted! I have no idea whether my ‘brain farts’ will amount to anything, but I intend to carry on anyway.

Thanks to everyone who has read, and more importantly taken time to comment, on my posts. It means so much.

Blog on, dudes.