I started this post to start writing. What to write about has taken some two months in the thinking. This was after some teacher friends introduced me to the world of podcasts over a cuppa. Although hesitant at first, the thought of learning this alien technology felt like too much of ‘a brain strain’. But once I found out I could listen to the ABC’s Richard Fidler anywhere, anytime I was hooked.
So started my foray into podcasts. As I saw the myriad podcasts on offer, I thought about my passion for writing. That’s when I saw ‘So You Want To Be A Writer’ with Valerie Khoo and Allison Tait. I did some sampling, and I liked their jovial voices and easy manner. Their format was sharp, and covered a plethora of information, especially the insightful author-in-residence interviews. Consequently, traveling an hour for work became more enjoyable after the series was downloaded onto my iPhone.
Motivated to Up-Skill
As the podcast was attached to the Australian Writer’s Centre (AWC), it motivated me to up-skill my writing. I took the first step and finally enrolled. As of July, 2016 I started a 5 week online writing course for Young Adults (YA) and Children. Apprehensive at first, I liked that I could download the audio and PDF each week and re-listen to them as often as I needed to understand the concepts taught. Also online, was a questions and comments section and the AWC email for anything more immediate. Our tutor Sue Whiting: a children’s author who has also been published internationally, gave us feedback on our weekly assignments. From there I worked on improving my writing concept for that week. Then it started all over again. I liked that I got to know like-minded students. Although I felt a little self conscious at first, I knew this was my time to learn and it was here where I make my mistakes and learn from them; in a supportive environment.
World of Blogs
The podcast has introduced me to the world of ‘blogs’ and about having ‘an author platform’. I didn’t really understand what a ‘blog’ was until I heard it mentioned during an earlier podcast; a website where you place information on your choice of topics. Looking at too many random sites was overwhelming, so I looked specifically at their recommended sites and saw the diverse information targeted at specific audiences. I felt less panicked. However, the author platform seemed daunting, but I learned it was about developing a presence and relationships within the social media platforms (FB, Instagram, Twitter, Linkedin etc.,). This has been a journey in itself.
Importantly, it was also thanks to Allison Tait‘s generous sharing of information on her blog that had given me the confidence to explore this new world. With more than 20 years professional writing experience, as the author of the series “The Map Maker Chronicles”, and with a family to run, she amazingly juggles her time and yet still shares her knowledge. That takes commitment, dedication and persistence. Apart from all this, her earthy demeanour exudes a warmth and confidence which has had a galvanising effect on me – to start writing.
Name For Blog
Consequently, if writing was my aim then I needed to get into the game. A name for a blog had been a difficult decision; given so many quirky and catchy blog names. However, it was after listening to ‘The Goat that Wrote‘ on #115Podcast which finally decided it. Big Sister Blogs felt an apt name, as the eldest of seven. I usually liked to talk, so why not write and allow my varied roles to dictate.
What To Write
Also what to write; something unique, was also difficult to decide. After listening to numerous podcast episodes and viewing quite a few blogs, I decided my experiences and love of photographs ‘which make me look twice’ were unique. If my blog inspired, entertained or helped others in some way it would be a bonus, otherwise I was writing to write. My family would mostly be the target of my writing; seeing as I am the big sister.