MEETING THE NEIGHBOURS

With work being a little busy over the past week, what with a parents day and additional preparations to be made as I look ahead to a busy summer with examinations, or should that be my students’ examinations… I have decided to pull together a few of the tasks from Blogging University 101.

One of the best things about blogging is the fact that you are able to join all sorts of communities for your different interests and a number of the tasks in the last few days have focused on just that: discovering and greeting other bloggers, and also building an audience of your own.

A community whether in physical or cyberspace form, can only flourish if it is tended to. So the tasks specifically have encouraged me to take a step out of my ‘safe place’ and to get commenting and connecting.

I have to say the ‘safe place’ is all well and good and can be pretty cosy at times, but it has been great to put my view out there and receive feedback in return.

Therefore, as well as the initial commitment I set myself when I first started Blogging University 101 of posting at least once a week (whilst work is pretty heavy – I am hoping that this will ease somewhat in the next month or so, so I can post more), I am going to set myself a second commitment: to regularly meet more of my neighbours.

PULL UP A CHAIR

The challenge posed by the fourth day of WordPress Blogging University 101 regarding ‘Identifying Your Reader’ initially stumped me. I imagine that the people who read my blog are varied and full of wonderful contradictions, much like the wide variety of blogs that I follow. So, taking inspiration from a careers course I took last year, I have decided to address this a little differently…

About Me

I am…

  • Creative. Yeah, I can do things the way they are ‘supposed’ to be. But, I like creating new things, new ideas – I want to see things in a different way as sometimes they are better that way.
  • Supportive. I am able to see the need for a supportive ear, whether it’s for advice or constructive feedback.
  • Sometimes pessimistic. So not every day is sunny and rosy. Perhaps I woke up on the wrong side of the bed, I’ll try my best to keep things friendly, but sometimes allow me some space to grumble. Although in some circumstances this may result in some space away from blogging.
  • A warm person. Ok, so sometimes I can be pessimistic, shit happens! But generally, certainly at least 75% of the time I am warm and a good person to be around.

I am not…

  • Stupid. I implore you to treat me like someone who has a few brain cells in her head.
  • Always ‘sensitive’ or ‘emotional’ because I am female. Though sometimes I may well be. I am human and full of contradictions but don’t use my gender to predetermine what I can and cannot do.

About You

I hope you…

  • Enjoy my writing. I write about a number of different things so drop me a line if there is something that you enjoy!
  • Have some compassion. It takes courage for anyone to put content ‘out there’ in whatever format so if you are going to comment on my work, please be constructive with any criticism. I am sensitive at heart.
  • Share and share alike. I write about a number of things including education, politics, psychology and mental health, but I don’t want to stick necessarily within these parameters, so if there is something that you think I would like please feel free to share it with me. And I will do the same.

Want to see the original inspiration for this post?

Check out: Reverse Job Application by Andrew Horner

TITLES, TAGLINES AND TELLING TALES

So I have already broken the commitment I shared when I started Blogging University 101, I stated that I would post once a week and here I am, two posts in two days.

I am still wrestling with some of the finer details of the blog itself, I am happy with its appearance and theme in particular although the tagline caused some vexation for a period of time. In the end and for the time being, I have chosen a quote by Ernest Hemingway, a writer whose work I have only touched upon in the past but what I have read struck a chord. Coincidently, the quote fits rather neatly with the theme: Hemingway Rewritten.

Who is Audrey Jones?

When I first established the blog back in 2015, I knew that I wanted to use a pen name. The name was pretty simple in terms of its creation, My late grandmother was called ‘Audrey’ and ‘Jones’ was an even simpler choice as, for me, it just seemed to fit. The pseudonym of Audrey Jones provides me with a cloak of sorts to help dampen some of the anxiety I experience when I publish my writing. I am getting better with dealing with this and I read recently that Beyonce ‘killed off’ her alter-ego of Sasha Fierce a few years ago as she feels more attuned now to who she really is. I can relate to this, and I would like to think that with time I will feel the same way. Audrey will merge with the ‘real me’.

I am curious as to whether anyone has some insights into this so if anyone has any feedback, then please let me know.

TAKING A SEAT AT THE TABLE

My first tentative steps into the blogging world was five years ago and looking back I can barely recall what the hell I was writing about, probably nothing much of note, although I am pretty sure that the blog and the accompanying writing was pretty ‘undeveloped’ to say the least.

I didn’t really know what I was doing and so would post sporadically and when I did click ‘publish’ I would be so eager to simply get something out there that I wouldn’t necessarily stop to perform a simple spell-check. Jeez… Particularly in those early days of blogging, I didn’t really consider the reason why I wanted to publish certain personal stories online or even the quality of the output. I just knew that I wanted to write.

Therefore in a bid to develop my blog and to take more consideration into the direction in which I want to take my site, I have decided to register with WordPress Blogging University 101 (again!) The first time I did this was in a different blog’s past life about three years ago. I met some wonderfully supportive fellow bloggers coming from a vast array of fields; photographers, novelists, chefs, fellow teachers, poets, students and many more.

At the time I had recently moved for work and found solace in the awesome community. But in all honesty, I lost direction with the blog itself after six months or so. Once again I had failed to consider what I was doing and why and so that early enthusiasm* dwindled into once again sporadic posts. Every time I even so much as looked at it, I felt despondent and frustrated, that was until I finally closed the site.

And the worst part? I don’t think I even graduated.

Ok, so perhaps there are worse things than not graduating from Blogging University 101. But in this case, there is, I stopped writing. And for quite a while. My job was busy and draining and when I tried to get stuck into something, I felt completely void of ideas.

So here is my commitment: I am going to post at least once a week.

Small steps and all that.

* I recall once challenging myself to a commitment of posting at least twice a week, something that at the time was unrealistic considering the demands of my job.