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Image by Tom Murphy VII

Being a blogger is like talking to yourself and hoping someone else overhears and joins in the conversation. It’s a bit strange actually, but I love it!

I imagine the internet like a web (ha ha) of people floating with laptops secured to their… um… lap. They probably have a coffee in hand, some have glasses perched on the end of their noses and a vague, cloudy look in their eyes.

They have perfected the monitor stare, the google frown that comes from searching but not finding exactly what is needed cos there’s way too much out there. I’m hoping there is a wry smile on their face when they stumble on to my site. Not because I’m full of myself and think I’m amusing, but because I hope they find something useful, something to bring a little light to their day.

Blogging connections can be quite encouraging and friendly but we all know there’s another element out there. Whether they be just random spam or pointedly horrible, the ‘haters’ intrude on the peacefulness of a site with their sticky daggers and dark eyes. They’re unwelcome, slashing words are like acid to one’s soul and so, with a click of a key stroke I wipe them out of my site. Take that, haters! Fierce.

For the most part, blogging is a pleasure. It is nice and light and warm and fun! Recently I was in another city and happened to run into one of my readers who I didn’t know at all so it was extra special! (She was a cousin of a friend so not totally unrelated but …still!). It’s great to know that out there, on the ‘web’ you have invisible friends; people who appreciate and ‘get’ your thoughts and ideas.

So, if you haven’t given it a go, perhaps 2012 will be your blogging year! Let me know if you start and I’d love to read your thoughts and become one of your ‘invisible’ friends!

Once again, Merry Christmas! 2 sleeps to go. Woot!

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I don’t know about you but my inspiration goes in circles. It’s like being on one of those silly kids rides that goes weeeeee up up up and then flows down making your tummy sink and tickle. Perhaps its just my all-or-nothing personality but that is just how I roll.

I can feel like “I’m the king of the world” one day, then the next I’m doubting my abilities all over again. I’m hoping that puts me smack bang in the ‘sensitive writer’ category. At least, then, there’s a reason for the roller coaster of emotions. Today is a great day. Whenever I have a ‘work’ meeting I leave feeling on top of the world. It confirms in my heart that I am on the right path, working in the right area. It’s a passion and I get to do it for a ‘job’! Yeee haaa.

It can be pretty daunting turning on the old lap top and checking out the brilliance that is out there in the interweb! But I figure, no one is me and I’m not anyone else. I’m a niche all to myself as others are to themselves. How cool is that? Comparing oneself to another oneself is not helpful in any area of life at any time… you dig?

I just love it and enjoy it when the inspiration surge hits. I’m a little childlike in these times. I fully believe I can do anything and reach high heights… except when I don’t, because sometimes I won’t.  (paraphrasing the Dr Seuss book Oh The Places You’ll Go here). But there’s no boom-bands playing, nor weird fluffy haired characters around (except my husband when he has his bouffant).

Like the dip on the ride, crashing down after an inspiration session can make my tummy feel weird and my eyes water. Questions race through my head, doubts rise and in the end I chow down on a few squares of chocolate look into my kids eyes and regain my composure and self-esteem. Perspective is a wonderful thing.

The bottom line is I love to write, I love blogging and I think the internet is amazing. I have a great family, I live near the beach and I have food in the cupboard. What more could a gal want!?

What inspires you in your work or play?

Steps by Petr Kratochvil”>

Image by Petr Kratochvil

Do you ever feel as if you’re running, sprinting as fast as your pretty little legs will take you and you’re getting nowhere? I know it sounds like the beginning of an ‘Infomercial’ but I wish I could find a product that combines motivation with efficiency! It would taste like strawberry liquorice dipped in Cadbury’s best!

Once you’ve lost momentum, it is so hard to get it back. And being a stay-at-home mum in this day and age means getting back to work is a tricky thing. First there’s the self-esteem thing; “What have I been doing all these years? What do I have to offer the world? Who cares what I think?” and second, there’s the  flimsy old resume, worn down from years of neglect.

It’s so hard to revive an old career or kickstart a new one, something that I’m experiencing right now. I love writing. It is something that I can’t (and won’t) stop. Sure I’ve had a few things published but nothing consistent as yet. My aim is to be able to write from home so I can be around for the kids. Cos even when your kids are back at school, you still have to be available when they’re out and about! How do you start a career, be a mum, do the dreaded house cleaning, be a wife and still have time for your own stuff?

Parenting is often referred to as ‘juggling’ which sounds a little panicked if you ask me. But we’re not an ignorant lot just chucking things up in the air willy nilly. No, we’re like the seasoned juggler who is riding a unicycle whilst juggling batons that are on fire! How good are we?

However, there are some times when the rush of the day/s can give you headspins. When it is like running on butter and if you fall, you’re going to slide and keep on sliding (like the scene from Big Fish when Edward Bloom is born and slides out of his mother’s womb and down the hallway). I’ve had those days when I’m just not with it. The eyes are glazed over and I’m one step behind in the conversation, which leaves you feeling vague and a bit slow! It’s just hard keeping everything in your head. And if your day starts like this, well, there you are on your bum sliding and it’s not even morning tea time!

Yep, modern parenting is like walking in fast forward. The trick is learning how and when to slow down and look around. To regroup and gather all those thoughts in your head together to make something meaningful. And as our kids grow, our confidence and abilities follow, opening doors at the right time for us to follow our dreams.

Poor Alanis Morissette gets a raw deal. Long hair, warbling voice, man-hating lyrics… or are they? To the ignorant, one song has defined a performer. One song about a cheating, lying man who did her wrong. Who, in their right mind, would take that kind of behaviour lying down?

If you delve into the lyrics deeper you’ll find a poet, some one who is not afraid to embrace her weird and creative side. She is quirky. Playing God in a movie (Dogma) proves it. And I like it. Quirky is good. Afterall, we’re all different to each other, so why not embrace it?

I, too, have learned to embrace my quirky side. That’s why I love writing. In this space you are free to create. Whether it is fiction or non-fiction, it doesn’t matter. You can try your hand at poetry, articles, fiction, blogging… it’s all open like a blank canvas ready to be filled. To me, that is what Alanis does with her lyrics. She fills canvases full of her soul, combining music and the written word which is so relatable. Things that we only think, she sings about. She is raw and vulnerable and that is powerful in any creative sphere.

Here are a few of my favourite Alanis lyrics:

  • “You grieve you learn
    You choke you learn
    You laugh you learn
    You choose you learn
    You pray you learn
    You ask you learn
    You live you learn ” (You Learn 1995)
  • “All I really want is some peace man
    a place to find a common ground
    And all I really want is a wavelength
    All I really want is some comfort
    A way to get my hands untied
    And all I really want is some justice… ” (All I really want 1995)
  • “that I would be loved even when I numb myself
    that I would be good even when I am overwhelmed
    that I would be loved even when I was fuming
    that I would be good even if I was clingy” (That I would be Good 1998)
  • “But this won’t work as well as the way it once did
    Cuz I want to decide between survival and bliss
    And though I know who I’m not I still don’t know who I am
    But I know I won’t keep on playing the victim

    These precious illusions in my head did not let me down when I was a kid
    And parting with them is like parting with a childhood best friend” (Precious Illusions 2002)

  • “Why no one will help me
    I am too dumb I am too smart
    They’ll not understand me
    I am lonely
    They’ll hate me
    And there is not enough time
    It’s too hard to help me
    And god wants me to work
    No resting no lazy ”  (Excuses 2004)
What are some of your favs?

There are 5 simple ways you can kick writer’s block.

1. Take a break. When not charging towards a deadline, take a break. Eat some chocolate, have a coffee, watch some mindless tv, go for a walk. Do cartwheels, read a funny book (light and fluffy is the order of the day). Ring a friend, read the paper for inspiration. Do it tomorrow. Breathe.

2. Write something else; a story that has been brewing in your mind, an expose, a really bad poem, a love song, a children’s story about a balloon that longs to be inflated, anything really.

3. If the pressure is on to meet a deadline, persevere. Stand up, shake off the negativity (literally) and get yourself a reward. You cannot have said reward until you have completed the next paragraph / chapter. Make it a great reward, for example, food, a fancy drink, a ten minute break or laughter.

4. Surf the net. Find inspiration in photographs, music, funny youtube videos. Write some music on garageband or similar. Draw a picture, play a game, distract your mind, refresh it!

5. Talk to yourself. Sounds a bit weird but make sure all the blinds are closed and the double glazed windows are completely sealed and off you go. Speak out what you’re trying to say. Sing it out, shout it if you need to. Get out the feelings of grrrrr and make it fun.

And at the end of the day, remember that you write because you love it. If there’s no more love in it, then let it go for a while. As someone said, if you really love it, let it go, and it will return to you in time.

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