On Thursday I was thrilled to learn that I had been nominated for a Liebster Award!!! Don’t know what the Liebster Award is? Well, neither did I until I was nominated by Sarah from Steps with Sarah.
In a nutshell (and in my interpretation), the Liebster Award is a big fat high five given to newbie bloggers by other newbie bloggers. It’s the opportunity to validate and congratulate fellow bloggers for putting themselves out there and writing something that someone, somewhere finds remotely interesting!
Sometimes, in my (31 days of) experience, blogging can definitely feel like you’re talking to a brick wall. You throw out random musings to an invisible readership and cross your fingers that today might be the day that someone likes a post or writes a comment. Although my blog was never about the numbers, there is no question that I get motivated and inspired when people respond and engage with me about a post that I write.
Take my post about the Tim Tam Slam – that one random post inspired Sarah to make a comment and now I have changed her world for the better… ha ha, well, perhaps that’s a bit presumptuous, but what I do know is that as a result we have now connected and have seen something in each other’s blog that is worth investing the limited time we have in.
Sarah’s blog intrigued me straight away. As a mother to all girls, I could instantly relate and was keen for her insights into raising little ladies. But since discovering her blog and reading through her posts, I am blown away with how sophisticated her approach is to blogging already – she’s been at it the same time as me but her voice and the way she has set up her blog makes it seem like she’s been at it forever!
But I digress…
In accepting a Liebster Award, the recipient is required to answer some questions posed by the nominating blogger (Sarah) before nominating fellow bloggers for the award. The official rules can be found here if you want to know the details.
So thank you Sarah for making my day and seeing something in my blog worth sharing with others… I hope you enjoy my responses.
- What is your motivation to blog?
Oh where do I even start with this one. In short, my motivation to blog is twofold. The first is to capture my thoughts, opinions and memories in this space so that it may act like a vault for my girls to come back to should something happen and I’m not around to tell them myself. Having lost my mum to breast cancer nearly 17 years ago, I’ve come to realise since becoming a mum myself, just how much I don’t know about her! I don’t want that experience for my daughters (although I’m not planning on going anywhere!!!) so I’m trying to fill that gap! Hopefully, I’ll be here to share it with them and laugh at all my old posts!
The second motivation is to simply to have some space to write. Once upon a time, many moons ago, I used to write for pleasure and was actually quite good at it. About three years ago I decided that I wanted to begin to write creatively again, but in between commencing our IVF journey, buying a new house, becoming pregnant, having kids etc etc etc, I never fully committed what was required to do it justice. During this recent maternity leave though I’ve started to write a bit more but have struggled to break my corporate approach and so in the spirit of living fearlessly in 2015 I decided that a blog might assist in ‘loosening up the muscle’ again.
- Where do you live?
I live in Australia in a regional town on the Murray River.
- What inspires you in your everyday life?
I love this question but it’s actually harder to answer than I expected. I am actually inspired quite easily if something resonates with me. I get inspired by many of the blogs that I follow, articles I read, forums I participate in. I buy into the big picture readily and sometimes that’s actually a negative thing – my brain becomes cluttered with the possibility of many things and I don’t have the space to then DO things.
- Are you a morning or night person?
I’ll say both to this one. I’m not naturally a morning person but I can function well in the mornings if required. I’m a night owl if allowed to be, but when I am working full time I have to set myself a strict bedtime in order to get up at stupid o’clock and start my day. Even though I don’t love early morning starts, I’m not one of those who bemoan the fact and need a cold shower and 10 cups of coffee to kickstart my day. I tend to just get up and get on with it.
- What is one food you could eat everyday for the rest of your life?
CHEESE! Any variety, any flavor, without question. I would weigh as heavy as a hippo, but geez I’d be happy!
- Do you have any blogging goals or tips to share?
My tip would be not to overthink things. I’m a shocker at this and need to constantly remind myself to get on with things and act rather than think things through to the n-th degree and remain inactive. My marketing brain is constantly at odds with what I’m doing at the moment. Everyday it niggles at the back of my brain telling me that I should have a plan, I should have a brand, I should have a strategy to grow and build this blog… And I don’t. I have half a plan, a rough logo and no strategy… and it’s simply because I don’t have enough time in the day to fit it all in. Given it’s not actually one of my goals to build a blog empire (well not yet anyway… give me time, I’m sure it will be but for now, it’s not), I’m fighting hard to just forget about doing things right and just focus on doing it anyway!
The only thing I do I know for sure as a marketer and having heard it from other bloggers, is that the one thing in common successful blogs share (whether it’s simply success by engaged readers or by making money) is that the voice has to be authentic. Success does not come through manufactured and contrived content. So for the moment, I’m telling myself I have to develop my voice before I worry about plans and strategies.
- What are your hobbies or interests?
I wish I had time to indulge in my hobbies and interests more so in 2015 I’m working on it! My main focus this year is writing but I have a few other interests too. One of the best things about maternity leave is being able to catch up with friends for coffee or lunch – as a raging extrovert, I like to be surrounded by people so a coffee and catch catch up or lunch date is nearly as important to me as breathing! I’d also actually like to get back into dragon boating this year and try my hand at stand up paddle boarding after giving it a go during our holidays last year.
- Favourite movie or book?
I’m an avid reader and have quite a few favourite books. Life of Pi by Yann Martel and People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks stand out. As does The First Man in Rome by Colleen McCollough and Seven Ancient Wonders by Matthew Reilly. And anything in the Pocomoto series by Rex Dixon!
As for movies, my favourite would probably be Kill Bill 1 & 2 – love me a bit of Tarantino! But I’m an absolute sucker for The Notebook… will watch it every time!
- If you could have dinner with anyone, famous or not, dead or alive, who would it be?
Would definitely have dinner with the family that is no longer here – Mum, Dad and my Nana and Pop. But I’d love to invite Elvis and Steve Irwin along!
- What would you wish for if you had three wishes?
This is a great question! I wish for good health and longevity, to always have a little more than enough to live comfortably and to have a strong bond with my children that lasts a lifetime.
- Any quotes or sayings you live by?
Over the years a few quote/mottos have stuck with me. During uni I came across this motto which I used to have stuck on my computer. It was:
success is not found, failure is not fatal, courage is all there is
which I think was taken from Winston Churchhill’s quote success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.
In general though, for as long as I can remember, I’ve always lived by the philosophy of if it does not make you happy don’t do it! I think this is so important!
This year my little mantra is:
do it anyway!
As a part of the Liebster Award I also had to divulge some random info:
11 Random things about me
1. I am a world Cooee Champion
2. I love adrenelin sports having been bungee jumping, sky diving and white water rafting
3. I am actually one of 7 children (5 of which are half-siblings)
4. I majored in Japanese at University (and am already planning my holiday to the Tokyo Olympics in 2020)
5. Spiders are my kryptonite
6. I have double jointed fingers
7. I had a surprise wedding
8. I own over 100 pairs of shoes
9. I have an enormous capacity for retaining inane celebrity gossip
10. I have a huge HECS Debt (Student loan) after completing 2 undergraduate degrees and 1 Masters Degree
11. I own two British Bulldogs (George and Penny) and Scottish Fold cat (Zuki)
So now comes the hard part… selecting 11 other blogs for nomination.
I have been following blogs for many many years so now most of the blogs I read daily have very large followings. I actually found out about this nomination two days ago and it’s taken me all that time to find the 11 I want to nominate. Whilst there were a handful of new-ish (perhaps the word is young or fledgling?) blogs that I had discovered before the award there weren’t 11 of them. I wanted to make sure I found 11 that I genuinely liked or that made a really great first impression so that I could help spread the love! So I trawled and trawled and read and searched and found these 11 – hopefully they are actually new/fledgling as per the rules (under 1000 readers!). Anyways, I’m looking forward to going back and exploring through their archives!
And finally, here are the questions that I’m asking these nominees to answer, should they choose to accept their own Liebster Award.
1. What made you start up your blog?
2. How did you come up with your blog’s name?
3. How much time do you invest in blogging and when?
4. Anything you’ve learnt so far that you’d care to share?
5. What’s the first thing you notice about people?
6. If you were another person, would you be friends with you?
7. What makes you laugh out loud?
8. Describe a typical day in your life.
9. Your house is on fire and you have time to grab 5 items (assume all humans and animals are safe). What do you grab?
10. What makes you stand up on your soapbox and rant?
11. What do you want to be when you grow up?
So congrats to the nominees! Don’t forget to let me know when you’ve answered your questions! And a huge thanks once again to Sarah for the nomination.
Do you know of any other new or fledgling blogs that you’d like to share? What would your answers to the above questions be?