Blogging

That’s a Wrap!

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It seems we say it every year but man, this year has gone so fast! Christmas is over for another year and next week it will be 2017. This is a time when we often sit back and reflect on the year that was and so today, I wanted to look back on this blog and share with you my top five posts for the year (based on views, readership and comments). I’ve also provided a little update on where I’m at today with the things I spoke about in these posts. So here we go, my top five posts for 2016:

The hardest decisions are sometimes the right ones: In this post I talked about my decision to give up working from home. At the time I was working two social media management jobs, plus freelance writing. I took a couple of months off but there was one job in particular that I really, really missed and so I ended up going back to it but with a promise; that I would not work when my son was home. I’ve kept that promise, managing to do the bulk of the work when he is at kinder. Sure, there’s an odd phone call or text message sent here and there but on those days when he isn’t at kinder or it’s the weekend it’s family first all the way! I’m just doing a small amount of hours each week and that’s working well. I’ve been tempted to take on more but I know it’s just not the right time and that’s ok.

Habit, Addiction and the Challenge: It’s no surprise that this post seemed to resonate with so many people. I think we’re probably all a little guilty of using our phones and social media too much. I’m ashamed to say that I have definitely fallen back into some old, bad habits. I pick up my phone way too much. I scroll mindlessly way too much. It’s purely habit….and bad habits can be heard to break! This might be something to work on in the new year.

I will be ok: The response I received to this post was overwhelming. I received tons of comments, messages, emails and phone calls from both friends, family and strangers. I had people confide in me that they too suffer from anxiety. I had people tell me that they appreciated me telling my story because it helped them to better understand someone in their life that has anxiety. I’m happy to say that I’m doing much better. I am now on some new medication, which seems to be working really well and I am visiting my counsellor regularly. More than that, I’m learning it’s ok to ask for help and sometimes rely on other people without feeling guilty (something I will probably always struggle with).

Creativity and Career: This is also one of my favourite posts. It’s the moment I realised that I don’t need to make a career out of my creativity in order for it to be valuable. Since this post I’ve continued to enjoy creating for enjoyment; I write, draw, take photos and paint…sometimes I share these things, sometimes I don’t. And I love it, I enjoy it, I need it. Creating things will always be good for my soul.

One Step at a Time: Following this post I received the results from the skin specialist. Whilst it came back that the lesion wasn’t skin cancer he still wanted to remove it. But I was hesitant. I’ve had bad experiences in the past of doctors being  little too knife happy and I really don’t want to go cutting into my face unless it was necessary; especially when he said he wouldn’t refer me to a plastic surgeon but rather do it himself under local anathestic in the chair. So I sought a second opinion. My GP also looked over the results and agreed that unless I wanted it removed for cosmetic purposes the spot was fine to stay. So stay it has. I will continue to keep and eye on it and monitor any changes.

So that’s it, a round up of my most popular posts for 2016. I will be taking a week or two off blogging to enjoy some time with my family but I’ll be back in 2017, that’s for sure. But for now, that’s a wrap!

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Why Blog?

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People quite often ask me why I blog. Lots of people are under the assumption that people blog for money or to get free stuff. Let me assure you, for the vast majority this is just not the case. Sure, there are some bloggers out there that do make a full time income their blog but they are few and far between. For me personally, money or free stuff is not the reason I blog, it’s just not. I have probably said no to more things than I have said yes to when it comes to that type of thing. I have a pretty simple rule, unless it benefits my readers in some way then I just won’t do it. So why then do I blog? Well I have three significant reasons why:

Writing: I love to write. You might even say I need to write. Writing is my way of processing things, of working through thoughts and emotions. It’s a way to for me to record and remember. There have been periods of times when I have taken a break from writing and it always feels like something is missing. Ok, I hear many people thinking, you like to write so why not just keep a journal? Why share it with the world? Well that leads to the second reason I blog…

Connecting: Blogging has provided me with the opportunity to connect with so many amazing people; people I would never know if it weren’t for blogging. The blogging community is awesome. It’s the type of community where you never feel stupid for asking a question and where people always offer a helpful answer. The blogging community is supportive, creative, inspiring and just plain old nice! Sure, I know there are some nasties out there, I know ‘trolls’ exist but honestly? I think the vast majority of those people are not from within the blogging community and if they are, well I’ve never come across them. I’ve shared emails, phone calls and lunches with people I’ve met online. I’ve built friendships, learnt new things and been inspired.

Making others feel less alone: I’ve always said that if just one person reads a blog post I write and feels less alone then it’s all worth it. This is particularly true for posts I have written in the past about my struggles with mental illness and parenting. Reading comments like “thank you for sharing, you will have helped so many others understand they are not alone” and “posts like yours give me insight into what it’s like and helps me to empathise” or “thank you, I really needed to read this today.” I’ve had many private messages and emails over the years from people who have thanked me because one of my posts inspired them to seek help, or helped them to understand what a loved one was going through or made them feel ‘normal’ or even hopeful. I cannot even being to tell you what receiving those messages mean to me. 

So there you have it. That is why I blog. For others bloggers out there I’d love to hear why you blog and to all my other readers I’d love to know why you enjoy reading blogs.

’til next time

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Linky Parties to Follow and Join- Fast Five Friday

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For those of you who don’t already know a a linky party is when the author of a blog (aka- the host) invites other bloggers to put a link up on their site to their own blog posts. Sometimes the linky party will be on a particular topic and sometimes it will just be a free for all. For bloggers, its a great way to get some exposure and help to promote your latest blog posts and for readers it’s a great (and easy) way to find new blogs to read. Here’s five really awesome (and Aussie!) weekly linky parties you should check out:

1. IBOT: Hosted by Essentially Jess. IBOT stands for ‘I Blog on Tuesdays’. All blog posts linked up to this party need to be written on a Tuesday but can be on any topic.

2. FYBF: Stands for ‘Flog Your Blog Friday’ and is hosted by With Some Grace. It’s an opportunity for bloggers from any niche to ‘flog their blog’ by sharing any of their posts from the week.

3. The Ultimate Rabbit Hole: This Linky Party is hosted by three awesome bloggers: Calm to Conniption, The Annoyed Thyroid, My2Morrows You can put your link up on any of these blogs and it will magically appear on all three.

4. HIT: Stands for ‘Home Improvement Thursdays’ is hosted by two of my favourite bloggers; Bec from The Plumbette and Nicole from The Builders Wife Posts can be from any blog niche but need to be related to DIY, home improvement, renovation, home decoration, that type of thing.

5. Worth Casing Wednesday: Hosted on the Agent Mystery Case blog you can link up any post that you feel is ‘worth casing’ that week.

A little bit on linky etiquette for bloggers: If you post your link it’s a good idea to make some time to visit and read some of the other posts (as well as the hosts), share the love! Also some linky parties have a ‘button’ (like an electronic logo) which you can add to your sidebar to show you participate in the party and help direct traffic their way.

Do you join in linky parties? Are there any others you know of that I haven’t mentioned?

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Top 5 Courses to do in 2016 (Fast Five Friday)

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Welcome to Fast Five Friday where I give you my top five of something, every Friday. This week it’s all about learning. I’m a sucker for a good short course and there are so many awesome ones out there at the moment…. but here is just five I would really love to do this year (in no particular order):

1. Get Social Savvy with The Digital Picnic: I’ve followed Cherie since back in her blogging days and when she teamed up with Cat there was never any doubt they’d be a big success. I’ve wanted to do their ‘Get Social Savvy’ course since it launched but have just never gotten around to it…I’m hoping to change that this year.

2.  Love Your Camera with Angie Baxter: A few years ago my camera broke and there was always other priorities when it came to paying to get it fixed. Hubby surprised me with a new camera at the start of this year and my photography skills are a bit rusty so have booked into the ‘Love Your Camera’ course in Melbourne with a few friends in April. Can’t wait!

3. Blog with Pip 2.0 with Pip Lincolne: I completed the Blog with Pip course last year and absolutely loved it! Pip is amazing; a wealth of knowledge and willing to share it. Blog with Pip 2.0 is the follow on course and will build upon what I’ve already learned.

4. Australian Writers Centre: All the courses, don’t make me choose!

5. Be a Blogger Boss: If there is one thing I struggle with when it comes to blogging it’s the tech stuff. I’ve taught myself a lot over the years but would really love to take it to the next level and have a really sound understanding of how it all works.

Do any of these courses interest you? Have you come across any other great ones lately?

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Why Blogging?

Why hello there! Welcome to my shiny new blog. Those of you that have followed me for a while will know that I used to blog over at The Routine Queen and recently took a bit of a blogging break to focus on starting up my own little business. But I always knew I’d come back to blogging…I always do. Why? Because I love it. I love writing and telling stories and taking photos; and blogging allows me to do all of that. But more than that I love the sense of belonging and community that comes from blogging. I’ve made some great friends through blogging. People in the blogging world are (mostly) just damn nice people. I say mostly because I know trolls exist and I’ve heard many a nasty story, but from what I’ve seen these type of people are thankfully in the minority. The majority of bloggers and readers I’ve come across are supportive, encouraging and understanding. They are open with their knowledge and advice and I have learnt a lot in the past two years that I’ve been blogging and I know there is still so much more for me to learn (and I’m a bit of a nerd who loves to learn). So yeah, I’m back and I’ve got lots of awesome stuff planned for the future so stay tuned!

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