Tuesday, January 10, 2012


I had intended to write an inspirational "wings beneath my feet, lead and I will fly away" post with a soupcon of wisdom gleaned while home in New Zealand. But nope, nuttin. Oh there is something. It's a wonderful Maori word we learned while tramping (hiking) for four days in the old gold-mining Coromandel Peninsula now home to hippies, boaties and tree huggerlovers.

Kevin and I on the trail to Stony Bay

Doing what the locals do....hugging a 1000-year-old Kauri  tree

The word is Whakaneke. The "wh" in Maori is always pronounced "f" so say it now: "fakaneke." Very rich and satisfying, it means to move or shift over. In the context of our tramping it meant to keep going, but make way for other trampers.

While we were walking along the green trail wrapped around the remote white sand beaches, it occurred to me that this was a good metaphor for journalism; which is how I made money in my old life and blogging; which is how I don't make money in my present life.

Driving back to Coromandel Town

At journalism school 25 years ago our tutor made much of competing, always pitting us against each other. You have to get that story first, we were told.

But working as a journalist in London, I realised there was another way of looking at it. The person sitting next to me and I could pitch different stories on different things or different angles on the same things and we would both get published. There were many, many stories to be told and there was room for us all.

Kevin in Coromandel Town

In blogging it's the same. And I've been touched by how generous people are to each other, helping each other along; commenting, linking to each other. (Except for the odd incident like the one I read about the other day where someone objected to a blogger linking to her, claiming she was "trying to steal her readers").

When I wrote my first post 18 months ago I thought delusionally that I would just go viral. Just like that! Someone said to me to me at the time: surely if you don't go big it means no one wants to read your stuff? No, I think it means not enough people know about your stuff.

Dad reaching The Pinnacles' summit

Anyway the viral didn't go and I'm still here plodding along. I'm hoping the blog will somehow lead to me writing for other publications and it has, but slowly, slowly.

The other day Cy, seven, was asking how my blog was going and I told him this. He said: "But Mum, you've been doing this for a while and nothing has really happened. Why don't you just get a job in sales?" My friend said: tell Cy that most people have to work at things for a long time.

Image The Pinnacles

Reaching the summit of The Pinnacles

So I'm happy to keep on keeping on. And I'll make sure to look out for you on the path. Whakaneke. I can step aside to make way for you or we can walk together and talk awhile.... Arohanui (much love) and thank you all for visiting, through all the great views and the dirty boots.


  1. What a gorgeous place, I could easily hang with the hippes and hug a tree....maybe even chug a beer!

  2. I'm glad you're here, plugging along. I think you're so talented and I love reading about your adventures (including, but not limited to, submitting your butt for billboard consideration.) I think there is definitely not enough people who know about you. In fact, I'm going to link to your blog on my blog. And steal your readers. Mwahaha!

    The Suburb Experiment

  3. Great post. Life is not always about competing. The world is big enough and wide enough to share, and we can all dig out our little niche.

    What a beautiful place you walked through, such stunning scenery.

  4. First of all can we talk about the size of that tree? Omg...1,000 years old..puts things in perspective, right?

    As for the blogging...it can be tough, right? I was SO naive when I first started thinking well if I start writing good fashion content, I will be in Lucky Magazine in no time...hahahaha! What I can say happened is that my business was started from my blog and that aspect is going SO well...that I can barely believe it...having a great core readership and dedicated clients is really what I am after anyway..I am a relationship girl. lol. Thanks for sharing...you have a great blog, very real and honest voice and I always enjoy reading your posts...keep doing it girl:)

  5. All so very poignant and true. I truly enjoy your blog and understand as a fellow blogger exactly how you feel. I question whether or not this makes sense for me on a weekly basis (more so when I'm having a particularly busy week).

    What i've discovered from talking to other bloggers who have hit their stride and have received loads of freelance work is that they treat their blog like a business. They spent 30 hours / week working on it, networking, commenting on others, writing for others, participating in forums, attending conferences, and on and on.

    I simply cannot spend that amount of time sitting at my computer. What I generally conclude is that I enjoy writing from time to time. I do not enjoy treating it as an obligation or job that causes stress or takes me away from all the other things I enjoy -- family being top on the list. So, I too continue chugging away. Writing when I feel like it. Sharing what I want and not worrying too much about what's to come.

    Glad to be on the journey with you. Wherever it may lead. xoxo

  6. I can't believe you don't have a journalism job here in the USA, you write so well. Always a pleasure to read your posts.

  7. My kids come home and ask what I did today. When I say "work on my blog" they look at me like I was slacking off all day. I have no doubt you'll get some action from blogging sometime very soon!!

  8. "trying to steal her readers" hahahahahahahah

    ..."delusional hierarchy" as another blogger (carrie, at This Free Bird) referred to it (the rising quest for internet fame) on twitter the other day.

    I am so happy you're here, and NOT in fact in some "sales" job =).

  9. p.s. and i absolutely love that so many can write about the very same topic and have such similar blogs (like mine- the very, very general "lifestyle" blog), and still express themselves in such a unique way!

  10. Great take on the world of blogging. Seriously, the blogger thought the other person was stealing her readers?? If one really thinks that, then he or she doesn't get it and is blogging for the wrong reasons. I have found a wonderful community in blogging and "met" some great folks. I've learned so much and I don't think it's about quantity, but quality. I've been at it for close to three years and while I don't have a giant following, I'm quite happy where I am. It's led me places and while it's not been a money-maker for me, there have been some perks along the way. Above all, it's been a creative outlet that I was missing in my life.

    You have a wonderful blog and I enjoy reading it and hearing about your family, travels, career, etc. I'm sure wherever you decide to take your blog, you will have great success!

  11. The thing with blogging....it takes marketing. Like everything else. Apple doesn't have the best rated phone but it does have the best marketing team.

    Social media helps a lot too. And commenting on other blogs - people usually comment/follow back which is nice :O) A fast way to build numbers is a giveaway. Contact some companies and get them to put up product for you to review/giveaway.

  12. A great New Year's lesson/resolution here...

  13. You're a fantastic writer and story teller. I think if seek out a writing job (rather than waiting for it to come to you through your blog) you would be sure to land it. I don't mean to offend with that last statement and I apologize in advance if I that is not an accurate statement. I really think you're talented and SHOULD be making money doing what you do so well. Don't stop blogging though!

  14. What food do you eat? I need to copy your diet (not liquid is it?) as you seem to have SO much energy!!!!

  15. I love everything you write and contribute.... and you inspire me to write more thoughtfully all the time! And this post is yet another example of this...

  16. I love what you said here: "surely if you don't go big it means no one wants to read your stuff? No, I think it means not enough people know about your stuff." So true! Never give up!


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