What is a 'Chog'?? WelI..... It's a cross between a 'chain letter and a blog', ... a Chog! You see, I was contacted by a fellow TAWKer, (TAWK if you did not know, stands for Travelling Australia With Kids - therefore TAWKer is someone who is doing it), so I was contacted by Kellie, aka The Blonde Nomad to join in a modern day chain letter about 'Why I Write' - whereby bloggers answer a few questions about why they write and then pass the baton to some of their favourite bloggers to do the same thing. (Could have been worse, I could have gone with 'Blain'!)
My first reaction was unfortunately to break into a 'hot flush'! Great! - NOT - This whole growing up thing called 'menopause' is tiresome. Once I'd ripped off my jumper to cool down and grabbed the little fan that now has 'pole position' in my handbag. I stood fanning my self profusely, staring at the invite. Me..? A blogger? Had people actually been reading my writings? Was I a 'writer'??
The sudden coolness of the air meant that the flush had passed and I was now half dressed, still bewildered at the invite. I put my jumper back on and knew obviously that I was not worthy of this. I wrote back straight away to decline but saw the words being written as "I'll have to think about it" and I pressed send!
The good thing is about being a 'grown up' (meaning that you are over fifty, or that's the idea anyway!) is that you start to not really care about what people think and therefore I knew I had to embrace this opportunity and put myself out there. So here I am. I have five questions to answer:
As you can probably tell, I didn't realise that I did! BUT thinking about it, I actually do. I write for my website, I write on the Facebook Page, but mostly I write for myself. I document my three children's lives. They all have their own books. I tell myself that it will be great for them to read when they grow up. But who am I kidding? I'm the one who reads and re-reads them every few months as I add more and more of their days and I enjoy every minute over and over again.
I did start to write a book about my life, but obviously realised that I am not that interesting. However as a 'mature' mother - wait let's go into that 'a mature mother' a bit, at the grand old age of 37 I was pregnant with my first child and with that, from the hospital, came the label... 'elderly primate'! Elderly Primate?? It just sounds like 'an old monkey' to me!! WHAT is that about? Yes I agree a tad on the older side for a first baby, but 'primate?' Seriously?? Anyway... back to being a mature mother.
Which one would you say is an 'Elderly Primate'? !!
The writing about my life was really an escape and a way for ME to remember my life, in Europe when I was coordinating Motor Sport, when I had a career, when it was just me and before the chaos and demands of the children, to take my mind to a different time that I could enjoy, because I was there.That's why I started to write anyway.
Mmmmm, mentally or physically? Let's go mentally first: Mentally, I suppose the best way to describe what I am working on is 'Balance'. We finished our two year trip travelling around Australia and even though I was the one who had to be persuaded to go; I'm the one who misses it the most. I yearn for the simplicity, the freedom and the adventure. So now I am trying to work out how to balance these feelings with the great life that I actually do have. To try to embrace the constraints of the school year and all that that encompasses.
I run TAWK and it's my way of staying involved with the lifestyle that I miss. I equally work as an event coordinator and have to run a household with three children, with a husband who is FIFO....so it's busy and I'm trying to find the balance to make everything work for everyone and to try to squeeze a little bit of me into all that.
Physically, I'm trying to design and hopefully sell things from the website that I would have liked to have when we were doing the trip. I'm learning how to turn this into a 'Home Business' (Have a look as you could too - if you are not already)
At the moment, we have the TAWK Stickers
- a way to help TAWKers recognise each other on the road - Whilst there
are a lot of families TAWKing, it's quite hard to actually spot any,
especially if your days away from the campsite are exploring, this way, I
thought people would have them on the car or van and you would have an
opening conversation straight away. An easy way to get to know another TAWKing family.
I have also just launched the TAWK Trip Tracker, a way to for the kids particularly to track their own trip. I chose a small A4 sized one first, as I thought them perfect for the children to put in their school work after, but had lots of requests for a larger one, for families and grandparents to use and to track the trip with you, so now we have an A3 version too.
I am now working on something else that we really wished we'd had on the trip...so watch this space!!
Erratic would probably be my description of my writing, distracted would be another, random? Should I go on? I seem to wander off topic and blab away. I start off on one thing and end up writing about something completely different - although I would argue that one thing led me to write about the other, but then sometimes I do start to wonder where it is all going as the second subjects starts to pan off as well. Re the whole 'elderly primate' discussion from earlier!
Well again as mentioned earlier, my writing focuses on Travelling Australia With Kids now. I try to write to help others to embark on their own journeys. To address their concerns, to encourage others. I am starting to get the odd invitation to write for magazines now....but have shied away as I do not feel that I have the ability. I think that I would be too restricted and by having to stay on topic, might quell my style. But we shall see...
I don't think I have a 'process'. I find something that I'm interested in and go for it. I suppose I mull for a while, it will be in my head for a few days. Then of course it enters that '2.30 am wake up period' that us 'older woman' get. (What is THAT about?? I remember going to see the 'play' called Menopause and this whole being awake for hours was hinted at. At the time, though I was still in that 'elderly primate' stage (grrrr!) and having more babies, I was awake at those hours already! So when I realised that having children when you were older meant that this menopause waking period was only a few years away, I was not happy. Everyone else left the theatre uplifted after laughing so much .... I was freaked out!!)
ANYWAY.... I am awake for a good hour in the early hours and whilst I am laying there, I have my writing all sorted out in my mind. It's funny, its quirky, it works, I love it and finally I fall asleep having created some great work. Then of course by the morning....it's all gone!
I try to get it back but I never do, not in the way I was satisfied with. But there again, does that ever happen? Do you ever write something, that the minute it goes live, you've not thought of sixteen other ways that would have worked better?
So that's it! That's my 'Chog' done and now I confidently hand the baton to a couple of really great ambassadors in our genre........
Well that's it from me. Please let me know what you think about 'Why I Write' in the comments below and even though I didn't pass the baton to you and you fancy telling us all about your blog (if you'd like to add your blog/website to our page, then please click here) and why YOU write, then we'd love to hear from you.. Pop over and 'Like our Facebook page, click around the site and join in where you can. I really would like this to be an interactive site for all future TAWKers.
Have a think and let us know 'Why YOU Write'.
It's actually quite therapeutic! AND enjoyable. It made me think and whilst I was freaked out at first and didn't think I could do it, I enjoyed it. I invite you to do the same.
You can tell us about your blog/website and how it all came about.
Come on, YOU CAN DO THIS - If I can, YOU can!!!