Starting Out Blogging


A good blogging buddy (and partner in crime) – Hajra Khatoon – and I recently started a 3 month blogging challenge. The aim of our challenge was to gather together an intimate group of personal bloggers to help shine the focus on the awesome-ness of personal bloggers for we felt that they weren’t getting the attention they deserved. We decided to call the group ‘Personal Bloggers Are Us (#PBAU)’ after struggling to come up with a name for it (finding a Twitter hash tag that hasn’t been used is really hard!). Just 2 weeks into the challenge, our expectations have already been exceeded.

This week we posed a challenge to the 24 participants:

‘Share with the PBAU group your FIRST EVER blog post’. 

We thought it would be interesting for every one to see how they started out blogging and how everyone had ‘developed’ in their blogging life – be it a short or long one.

In light of that, here is the first ever blog post of mine on this blog – Beginnings, published on 26 September 2010.

And here is my first EVER blog post, of which I wrote for an online community called Emergen (of which I’m now the Blogging Coordinator for), published 9 June 2010:

Learning From Past Mistakes

We can all learn from the ‘leaders’ we happen to come across throughout our lives, be it in politics, our families, work, university, church, etc.

Whether it be from the good they do, or the mistakes they make, some valuable insights can be picked up by merely observing and taking note. These things we observe can then be used to help ourselves grow as future leaders, and succeed in being the best we can be.

I’ve pondered my own experiences lately, and here are some tips that I’ve picked up over the years which may be useful to you are:

  1. Listen…and acknowledge that you have heard. Clear up any misinterpretations right then and there. It also makes people take note that you understood (you were listening!);
  2. Lack of communication can destroy a team and derail a project. It’s not brain science. Communication is key – and it needs to be clear! Less room for those pesky rumours and conspiracy theories then, or the good old ‘he said, she said’ scenario. In a day an age with phones, email, and all the gadgets, there really is no excuse (although face to face is best!);
  3. Pushing people till they break can get the best out of people, but take heed – it can also run people into the ground, and lead to stress, burn out, sick leave and resignations. When I started out in the workforce I didn’t know what I had in me until I was pushed, and when I discovered what I could do I was amazed! But I’ve also seen the other side of the scenario with too many colleagues, myself included, suffering from exhaustion. A sense of balance is good…
  4. A little bit of praise goes a long way. Even if it’s for a small accomplishment – everyone has to start somewhere, and sometimes a kind word and boost to the confidence is all someone needs;
  5. Don’t reallocate tasks without first communicating to the relevant parties about ‘why’. Did you know that taking work off of someone and giving it to someone else with no explanation can be considered as bullying – situation specific of course. If you ever need to re-delegate, just take a second and think ‘How would I feel if I was in X persons shoes.’ Sometimes there are time constraints, but there is email, there are phones…how you manage this situation could save a whole lot of heartache, gossip and dissatisfaction in the long run;
  6. Pitting people against each other does not work. Seen it time and time again, and in the end it always ends badly;
  7. Stay true to yourself…(now that’s not a quote from Marcia from Australian Idol ok!). We all encounter this at some stage in our lives – faced with being told to do something that just doesn’t feel right. Go with your gut. If you don’t agree with something, challenge it! Don’t just go with the pack. In the end you need to live with yourself. Sometimes you might feel that it backfires…but any good friend, colleague or organisation should be open to suggestions. If they aren’t, then you really need to consider whether their values match your own – and whether you belong in that situation;
  8. Don’t always provide the answers…a bit of guidance and encouragement to think outside the box and come up with a solution goes a long way;
  9. You aren’t always right. There’s nothing wrong with that – no one is infallible;
  10. Delegation is important. Don’t do everything yourself, even though at times you think you are the only one who can do it. How often I have been in this place!. Others need to learn what you do, and you need learn to let go. It also helps as a backup plan (leaders need to take time out and go on leave every now and then too!);
  11. Say thankyou.

And remember –

The challenge of leadership is to be strong, but not rude; be kind, but not weak; be bold, but not bully; be thoughtful, but not lazy; be humble, but not timid; be proud, but not arrogant; have humour, but without folly.

 Jim Rohn

Note: To check out the amazing posts from the Personal Bloggers Are Us crew, search #PBAU on Twitter, and enjoy : )


And the final 5 are – A follow up from yesterday

As you may know, the wonderful MuMuGB (Muriel Jacques) bestowed me with the Kreativ Blogger award a few days ago (do check out her brilliant blog called ‘40BlogSpot‘, about a French Mummy living in London).

Of course, there were conditions that came with the award:

  • I needed to pass on the Kreativ Blog Award to 10 bloggers and notify them; and
  • I needed to tell you all 10 things about me that you don’t already know.
I posted my 1st 5 yesterday in order to pace myself (and a lot of thought was required!!). So, as promised, here are the remaining 5 who I bless with the Kreativ Blogger award:
  • Penelope – Dont Hang Up. I love reading the snippets from the reinvention of her life to her upcoming book ‘Don’t Hang Up’ (to be published in 2011).
  • Marisa Wikramanayake – freelance journalist, editor and writer. Marisa, aka My Mentor, covers photography, writing books, science and more on her site! I must pay credit to Marisa as she is the instigator of this blog, and the catalyst for me starting to write again.
  • I can’t not nominate my dear blogging friend Hajra – Hajra Kvetches. I feel like we have embarked on this blogging journey together, although we have never met.  Hajra’s posts are quirky, colourful, comical, insightful AND she has just joined me on the exploration of photography via our blogs (pressures on now Hajra!!).
  • Jin – Jin Jin’s Adventures. Okay, I’m no girly girl, but I met Jin a few months back and was gobsmacked by her art which is on finger nails! Yes – nail art! Seriously – check out her blog for some awesome displays of creativity.

And now for the next 5 things you might not know about moi:

  1. Apparently my lap top has become an extension of my arms. Good thing Denis just got an x-box…that seems to have become an extension of his! Touche Denis!
  2. My favourite genre of book: suspense/mystery. This stretches back to when I used to read my Mum’s Agatha Christie novels when I was a young-un.
  3. I love ‘sparkling wine‘ way too much (it’s not Champagne as it can only be called Champagne when it is from Champagne). Here in Oz we call it ‘Champers’. Us Aussies really know how to make something sound classy…not.
  4. My favourite all time rock concert is a toss up between Metallica and Pearl Jam. I’m a rock chick at heart, although I it has softened in my old age.
  5. I’ve had to start dyeing my hair as I can no longer hide the white hairs due to my super-fast growing hair. It’s still red – just a bit darker to try and hide the whites for longer…

The Highlight of My Day!

The wonderful MuMuGB has bestowed me with the Kreativ Blogger award (do check out her brilliant blog called ‘40BlogSpot‘, about a French Mummy living in London). I feel truly blessed – especially since I’ve had such a crap day!

I mean, it was Monday after all and I had the pleasure of having to sit a 2 1/2 hour exam this morning ewww. To top that off, as I was doing my hair I realised that I had run out of my anti-depressants so I left the house a little early to go to the chemist before the exam started to get my prescription filled (you see if I take my pill a few hours late my head goes all funny and I feel dizzy and woozy). It was then – 40 minutes from where I live – that I realised that I had forgotten my purse, that I had no money on me, and that my car was running on empty. If that wasn’t enough, I found out that I had to show ID to sit the exam…joy! Lucky for me my knight in shining armour came to my rescue in his white Honda Accord AND he wasn’t angry. Love that man of mine!

Anyway, back to the award! Yay – gotta love awards! Especially one for creativity. That means I’m creative! Awesome stuff since I was so stuck on the creativity front last year and thought I’d never find it again!

Of course, there are conditions that come with the award:

  • I need to pass on the Kreative Blog Award to 10 bloggers and notify them; and
  • I need to tell you all 10 things about me that you don’t already know.
Now the 1st bit is hard – who to choose? What I’m going to do is choose 5 bloggers today, and then another 5 later in the week (mostly because I think I have to send myself to bed soon), so here goes it!
  • Thom BrownTo Gyre and Gambol: Reflections on Life, Limpidity and Perches for Happiness. Apart from the wisdom and funnies that Thom shares, he also dedicates a post a week to a photo of a tree…the one tree, in which he takes a photo of almost every day. Check it out…brilliant concept, and beautiful to watch the tree as the seasons pass.
  • Lynn MacDonald – All Fooked Up: not for the light-hearted or easily offended, but fricken funny (which I will classify as creative too)! I especially love her article about her recent inheritance windfall – wickedly funny.
  • ArtMuseDog and Carol – so much art, poetry, inspiration…and dogs (me loves the babies).
And now for the second bit – again I’ll list 5 now, and 5 later in the week. So – 5 things about me you might not know are:
  1. My favourite all time film is Amelie – it’s a French film and I adore Amelie for the quirkiness, the use of colour, the French-ness, Audrey Tautou – everything about the film, to me, is perfect. The film is a reminder about appreciating the richness and beauty in the small things in life.
  2. I’ve battled for years with a phobia of water. I don’t believe that I could swim to save myself. I blame this on almost drowning 3 times…but I think I was scared of water before that happened.
  3. I once fell in love with an English lad whilst working at a pub in Bristol. It all ended badly, and he broke my heart by turning into a beast. The writer in me is grateful to him for showing me that I could feel every kind of emotion…love, anger, listlessness, love-sickness, sadness, hatred. Until then I had never really known anything like that.
  4. My favourite course at university was Anthropology. I actually didn’t know what it was when I enrolled in it. It opened my eyes to an entirely different world to the one I had grown up in.
  5. I love potato crisps and hot chips way too much, so much so that I have invoked a ban on bringing potato crisps into the house – of which my partner ignores, to my detriment.
Stay tuned for the next installment later in the week!

Emergen IWD Ebook now online!

Emergen IWD Ebook

After a lot of blood, sweat and tears…actually there were no tears from me…the Ebook as a result of the first Emergen Blogging for a Cause event – an International Women’s Day tribute – has been published online.

In case you missed it, March 8 2011 was International Women’s Day, and Emergen – the site I’m the Blogging Coordinator for – hosted its first Blogging for a Cause event with the aim of using the power of blogging to make a difference. As a result of the 30+ posts from young leaders from all over Australia, the idea of an e-book full of the collection began to take shape.

This was my first effort at putting something like this together, and – when combined with starting a new job, maintaining my personal blog, house and relationship – it created many challenges…mostly how much I could possibly fit into one day!

But here we have the finished product, and I’d like to thank the awesomeness that is Alicia Curtis for her guidance, ideas, patience, eye for detail, tweaking, finishing touches and publishing! I swear, this woman has changed my life since I met her mid last year.

So, for a collection of inspiring articles from some amazing young Leaders and up-and-coming Aussie bloggers, check out the ‘Emergen IWD Ebook‘, and feel free to share to your heart’s content with your networks.

This is only the beginning.

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