Tonight I want to introduce you to a fellow Aussie – Kerrie Anne from ??Journey or destination?? KA is a school teacher on the east coast of New South Wales. She also suffers from Triskaidekaphobia (a fear of the number 13). Many of you will notice today’s date. It certainly wasn’t planned that way, she just happened to fill the next spot in the diary. In this case, the number 13 is ALL GOOD!! Kerrie Anne states that she started the blog to tell stories. Since she loves travelling, many of her stories revolve around that. Her current stories Dundas Dreaming and A Convict comes a’calling relate to her childhood and a recurring dream that her mother had. Let me tell you her convict story raised the hairs on my arms and the back of my neck. Although I’m not really surprised, there is a lot of history in Parramatta and surrounding areas. KA talks about her triskaedekaphobia in her blog post Good from bad and shares her experiences of plane travel in If Murphy had written 5 Laws of Plane Travel. I am pleased to count this lady amongst my blogging friends and one day we may even meet and catch up for a cuppa! It’s possible since we both like to travel and we do live in neighbouring states!
Welcome to my couch tonight Kerrie Anne. It’s so great to have you here to talk about blogging. So tell me, what drew you to blogging in the beginning?
I love words. I love using them to attempt to draw pictures in the mind that ignite the senses. As far back as I can remember I have loved writing. I also had a dream that one day my words would be enjoyed by others who had the opportunity to read them. Then, I saw the movie Julie &Julia a story based on a lady’s blog of her attempts at cooking. I LOATHE cooking but the idea of using my love (the internet) to reach a wide audience of potential readers of my thoughts, excited me. I had never heard of blogging and so the first thing I did on getting home from the movie was research it.
I can’t say that I’ve actually seen that movie but I’m so pleased it inspired you to venture into the blogosphere. How long ago did you begin blogging?
I started my first attempts at blogging in September 2011. I decided to try blogging as a way to share my holiday with my family and friends. It was a private diary shared only with family and known friends because I was still concerned about the safety of sharing my life with strangers. A year later (I had only blogged the vacation I hadn’t continued to blog) I started a new blog, on WordPress this time, to again diarise a big holiday. This time I set it to public, and on return I was so high on the thrill that ‘real’ people were beginning to choose my work to read (unlike my coerced family and friends lol) that I began expanding my blog beyond holidays (also cause I don’t have enough of them for good material haha).
At least your family and friends read your blog! My First Born tells me that she has better things to do with her time!! 😛 I actually enjoy your writing very much and I’m glad that you decided to expand on your subject matter.
You said that you initially began blogging to record your travels. Does your blog have any particular theme now that you write about?
I don’t consider my blog has a true theme. Initially my blog was a travel diary and the name I chose reflects that. It has expanded way past that now and the theme I would say is muses, though more often than not rambling might be more appropriate 🙂 In it you will find I have dabbled in fiction writing posts and poetry as well as factual and, important to me, opinions. I talk of my family, friends, pets and work all passions of mine…oh and food – the ‘already cooked by someone else’ type! I have posts guided by blog challenges and competitions. It truly is the yesteryear little white paper bag of mixed lollies and I hope people enjoy enough of these lollies to make them keep wanting to dip their fingers in to see what else there is.
I loved those little white paper bags of lollies. I always used to pick the hundreds and thousands that had fallen off the Freckles out of the corners. The bag of lollies wasn’t complete until you had consumed the last hundred and thousand….. oops sorry 😳 went off on a bit of a tangent there. So where were we? That’s right – we were discussing your blog! Do you think you have gained anything from blogging?
Firstly I have gained a voice. In my everyday life I don’t handle conflict very well. I prefer not to rock the boat so keep quiet on some topics but inside that eats me up because I often want to express opinions that aren’t always the mainstream ones around me. Here in the blog I can take the time to express my opinion carefully, maintaining emotion and passion on a topic in a cohesive way. I enjoy a chance to see other perspectives of others on the topics.
Secondly, I have gained new ‘blogger friends’. We have shared the good, bad and humourous of our lives even though it’s not in person. I believe I know these people well, some better than others and, as in everyday life, my circle is wide and varied.
I’ve also gained the personal satisfaction of achieving my dream, writing things that others will read (and hopefully) enjoy. I’m always grateful to reach those that read my blog. I still remember the excitement when I had my first ‘like’ from someone who wasn’t a family/friend reader. It was a blogger called Don Charisma. I could hardly believe my posts were now read ‘out there in the world’! Then in December 2012 I wrote about family history and received my first outside comment from a distant relative who had been googling family history and had found my blog post!! I think my family got sick of my jumping around the house cheering and making them look at it on my iPad a million times hahaha.
Picturing you jumping around the house and making your family look at your iPad bought a huge smile to my face. What a great blogging story to share.
Do you face any challenges in life that blogging has assisted you with?
I lived (hmmm maybe that’s LIVE as it still features haha) a life often dictated by fear that something bad will happen to those dear to me, superstitions and anxiety. Writing my blog has given me a chance to express and explore these fears. Blogging has given me the opportunity to reflect back on my actions and reactions through putting down in words that which is bothering me. I can reflect on how I reacted and can see the patterns in my actions. Also, from blogging my eyes have been opened to the fact that there are so many people out there that also have their own fears and issues and from these I can gain motivation and strength to face my own issues.
So you could safely say that the community atmosphere has helped you in dealing with your fears? The support shown to us by those we have never met is something that blows me away on a daily basis. I’m glad it helps you 🙂
How often do you find yourself blogging?
I blog when I have something to say and the time to do justice to it. I write frequently in my iPad notes but those published, I like to think, are polished as readers deserve. Sometimes my drafts (incomplete thoughts) get worked on to become posts, others are just my free expression for me. I made my 100th post milestone in November last year which took a little over a year to achieve. I set myself a task to reach 200 by March 7th but I have 61 days to write 70 posts so I’m a little off target 🙂
You’d better write a bit more then 🙂 and share some more of your wonderful stories and observations on life. 🙂 Speaking of writing more… where do you find the inspiration for you posts?
My inspiration often comes from my daily life (my family events and experiences), things I’m doing (like travelling) or completing a project (my few and far between cooking is an example). I also love reading blog challenges for fiction and poetry, they inspire me to extend my writing style in new paths. I read other blogs and get ideas there from topics or comments others make. I like tangent following. An example of that was your post about Dream Meanings. It got me thinking about weird dreams I’ve had and want to work on developing that into a section of my blog.
Finding inspiration from the posts of others is definitely something I believe we all do. It’s like a light bulb moment and we think “I have a different take on that” and we set out to put our thoughts into words.
Are there any words, quotes or mantras that you believe fit your life?
When I was little, my parents taught two quotes to me and my sisters. Being the google queen, I looked them up to find who is accredited to having written them. I’d like to think I live my life by them, even if I get lost along the path sometimes.
“Good better best, Never let it rest, Until your good is better, Than your better best” St. Jerome quotes (Father of the Latin Church, 340?-420)
“True friends are like diamonds, Precious but rare, False friends are like autumn leaves, Found everywhere.” Anonymous
I have heard the last quote about the friends on a number of occasions. It’s very true. I guess we don’t realise just how true until we become adults.
You mentioned before about finding inspiration in the blog posts of others. What draws you to read other blogs?
I like reading a variety of blogs. I particularly enjoy those that tell candid and at times raw stories of life experiences. I must admit I do click on most avatars in the comments section of blogs. Like when choosing a book, a cover may attract my eye but not keep my interest while another may not draw me in that way but the content keeps me returning constantly. I need to feel I can relate to the author’s viewpoint, not necessarily agreeing with their opinions but having my opinion on their topics. Interacting with blogs is enjoyable and I like to contribute these via comments.
I agree that the candid and raw life experiences will always elicit a strong response from me and I guess you are the same in that respect. I know I often find myself laughing or crying along with the writer (but then that could be hormones 😉 ).
Well, it’s been so much fun learning more about you tonight. Before we finish up, is there anything else that you would like to share?
I realise people blog for many personal reasons and this is a major shaper in the blog style, in my opinion. For myself, I never realised how fulfilling blogging could be at the beginning. I started it for me, a hobby, a bit of fun, a chance to do something I loved for relaxation and to keep in touch with those close to me. Then, I must admit, for a while I began trying to encourage readers by increasing my output and trying to get my blog read any which way I could. At that point I was measuring my success by numbers, those stats on WordPress can be addictive. I noticed then, I wasn’t enjoying the writing as much, it felt almost chore like as I struggled to think up ‘interesting topics’. The day I found myself googling topics madly I knew I’d lost my path. I remembered I had ‘my day job’. I reverted to just being a hobby motivated writer, though that’s not to say I wouldn’t want my hobby to be a popular product. I get a thrill out of seeing my work in print elsewhere, on product Facebook pages or retweeted by related businesses and to be reblogged and shared like in this on your blog is exhilarating, that you would think enough of my blog to include it fills me with joy. Thank you for thinking enough of my blog to include it on yours. I learn a lot from the community. I look at the designs people use set up their pages and ask questions to get more knowledge. Everyone is so helpful to each other. It gives a real community feel, which I enjoy.
Thank you so much for your inspiring words Kerrie Anne. I’ve enjoyed every minute of our chat 🙂