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Express yourself

Writing, blogging and … marketing?

Until recently I never saw my blog as part of a marketing process. Shock Horror!  I created a blog to express myself, because I love writing. Then my editor said, ‘Why aren’t you doing this and …’ Blah Blah Blah

I’ve always written posts because I wanted to, I’m very reactive and instinctive. I see something in the news and bang, I just have to add my piece. I love writing about everything and anything.

Which identity should you wear as a blogger?

Your own, of course. I stay true to myself and form my own opinions. Society likes to fit us into neat little boxes, I like to merge in between. I don’t belong to cliques.

So, I am a Mummy blogger, I do blog about parenting and my kids, some of the time. I react to news and events, especially those concerning women. I write about life as it twists over time, and of course, I am an author so I blog about writing, and books.

Is that wrong? Will I stop?

I also blog on Women on the Verge, where I feel free to express any views I like. I suppose I went through a phase where I felt restricted on my own blog as various people said maybe I shouldn’t be so outspoken, that I should see my blog as a way to market myself. Two words I struggle with. Yes, I know… I know…

That’s not me, so I went quiet for a bit. I’m crazy busy as it is, so I do tend to have seemingly quiet moments. I also have my private moments, when I need to retreat for a while.

So, I hope you enjoy reading my ramblings. Lovely to read your comments, thank you for your time.

Why have a blog if we cannot express ourselves?

This post was inspired by reading Kirsten Lamb’s post:

http://warriorwriters.wordpress.com/2011/06/15/more-sacred-cow-tipping-common-blogging-misconceptions/

PS I’m not a Madonna fan, just one of these crazy people who has a song bursting in their heads in response to anything.

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I’m a woman on the verge

Women on the Verge is a wonderful community of women, not afraid to speak their minds, coming from all walks of life and spread over the world. All wonderful women with stories to tell, experiences to share and most of all very supportive of each other.

It is an honour to be part of this wonderful community. I’d never joined one before but I’m glad I was introduced to WOTV. Wish I had more time to chat to all of them and in particular  Ana, it’s been a funny year, so much happening !I created my first post on their site, never realising how much I’d love it and how liberating it would be.

I’ve always found writing a good way to exorcise pain. As a novelist I write fiction, although there’s a little piece in me in everything I write and I don’t mean the blood, sweat and tears…Writing blogs posts on WOTV prompted me to start my own blog. Sharing experiences and pain lightened my soul and it’s amazing the response you get when you opened to people.

I’ve often been in tears because of it. Even if you only help one person by writing about abuse, heartache, grief… it’s a blessing. We all have a voice and experiences to share, it’s a powerful and amazing way to help each others.Long live women on the verge!
So go have a look :

http://www.womenontheverge.net/

A poet? me?

I’ve been writing ever since I was a little kid, never thought of much until I was in my twenties.I certainly never thought I would ever make a living out of it.Writing has always come to me naturally, so  I never assumed it could be any good.

I’ve always got plenty of ideas, just always lacking the time.Then, I find myself in the middle night writing a bit more, fighting this constant war between my brain and the torrent of words that want to escape.Yeah, I know, I sound mad again.

These days, my writing style has changed.Previously I wrote mainly fiction and sometimes magazine articles but recently a funny thing happened.As I was recovering from an illness and grieving the loss of my baby, I finally started to find myself again under all that pain.

Then one day as my life had so completely changed, I wrote my first poem.There, I’ve said it! I’d never written anything like this before, I never even considered it was a poem.Bizarrely, it all came out in five minutes flat and in French.Well,that’s another, long story and no, I’m not french.

The Dear One gently forced me to write it down, you see.He knows when I get so restless, my brain itching to let the words out so that day he sat me down, put paper on the table and a pen in my hand.He urged me to let it all out and there it was, the words surprising me as I struggled to keep pace with them.

So I started to write more and more, even started this blog, it seemed like a good idea, although at the time I wondered what I would put on this blog, when I’d find the time and why would anybody be interested.The truth is, none of this really matters because this has also been a wonderfully liberating experience.

I can add content whenever I want, nobody has a say on what I write but it has helped me expressing all sorts of emotions and sharing intimate details of my life i never would have thought of sharing before.
When I say liberating though, this brings up another paradox.Yes, it is liberating but I’m now even more of a slave to writing.

So back to poems, I remember the first time somebody wrote to me about my poems.I thought that was just a fluke but then the comments kept on coming.I know it doesn’t really matter what they are after all, the point is that somebody out there enjoyed or appreciated what I wrote.

Today, yet again several people referred to my poems, it still surprises me.I just never saw myself as somebody who could write poems so thank you for all the lovely comments here and on twitter, I really do appreciate them.

Why I blog…

Blogging is very different from the writing I usually do.I end up talking about very personal events in my life which I hadn’t previously done.

For someone who was once rather timid, this has come as a surprise.Normally I hide behind a pseudonym which gives my imagination a free rein.

I am very passionate and reactive and therefore tend to jump at the deep end.

Writing a blog, I find is an excellent way to ley out the torrent of thoughts and ideas raging in my head.

It is very liberating.I choose to write about anything I like and I haven’t got any deadlines to meet or an editor to please.

So, here I am, sometimes writing about highly personal events in my life, sometimes reacting to news or anecdotes and often expressing my love to my Dear Ones.

I’m very opiniated, that’s the way I am.I make no apologies for it.I hope you’ll enjoy reading me, it’s always a pleasure reading your comments and getting to know new people.

Thank you for reading me,

Elle

Computer rage, don’t you love the Internet?!

Heck,I’m not the most patient person in the world.Don’t get me wrong, I can be really patient with people I care about but when it comes to machines and myself, I seem to have none at all.

I hate waiting, the computer is always too slow and when it goes wrong, I want to scream with frustration.Often, I’m drumming my fingers waiting for downloads.Ok, so you might have guessed I ‘m not exactly computer savy.
In fact, if you’d told me 2 years ago, I’d end up spending so much time on the Internet and tapping away on a keyboard, I probably would have laughed.

I’ve been sucked in though by all the net offers you, so many interesting sites, you could waste hours, days and still there would be so much more to explore.
Of course, there’s also plenty of rubbish which you have to sift through and that can be quite maddening and time-wasting.Do I have time to waste?!
Shame you can’t filter all the trash that comes up , you have to go through this elimination process.
Still, sometimes, you get a pleasant surprise and often your eyes can open to new ways of thinking.

Some people regard the the Internet as evil, sure you do have to be careful but come on! Unfortunately, not everybody realises how much of themselves they’re giving away.

For my part, I’ve embraced the Internet.I can find all the music I love, find out what’s happening in the world, keep in touch with my friends all over the world.Yep, even the mad one constantly at my side who still finds the need to persecute me on my Twitter, joke!

The Internet also provides me with the tools I need to make the most of it.So often,I’m sat there wondering how to do this or that.When I started my blog, I had to find out how to burn a feed…Say what!
I didn’t have a clue but soon found out, thank you Google and all the geeks in this world!
So yes, I’ve surprised myself creating backgrounds for my profiles and so on.

Why do they have to make it so complicated though.Some things are dead easy like Twitter but when you want to do other things properly, there comes the challenge and my perfectionist side rears its ugly head and I get frustrated.Sometimes I think they like to make it more complicated than it should be so that you spend more and  more time slaving away.Perhaps it’s a conspiracy.Ok, only joking!

Most of all, I  really enjoy writing even more, blogging being so different from the writing I normally do.It has unleashed  all the thoughts and ideas swirling in my brain, quite liberating and refreshing.Tweeting was a challenge at first, expressing myself in 140 characters, a real challenge for my unrestrained mind.

Sometimes I just wish I had a button too, like a machine, at the very least a pause button to still my mind.
A little bit of peace, quiet please! Thank you very much.

The hazards of social networking

Until last year I only used my computer for writing and a little research on the Internet.All that changed when we finally got broadband.I know…

At the time I was recovering from a debilitating illness which resulted in the loss of my unborn baby.As I started finding myself again, a chance discovery on the Internet precipitated the return of my springing back to life.It was while searching for french  nursery rhymes to teach to my children that a link appeared.I was rather shocked at first, since it echoed from somewhere deep in my past, but also incredibly curious.Something that I’d long forgotten and buried brought back memories of the little girl I once was.

It reminded me of who I am, pushed me to re-evaluate my life and reconcile the many different aspects of my personality.I’ve had an unusual life…

Soon afterwards, I created a Myspace profile.I had no intentions in doing so to make new “friends”,the concept at the time sounding seemingly bizarre.After all, I had resisted my own friends’ calls to join them on Facebook.I’ve always been music mad, music provided  an escape for me growing up and still plays a huge part in my life.That’s why I was so taken with Myspace, the access to so many bands and their music.

Immediately came friend requests form total strangers which I found a little odd to begin with.

As I ended going to Paris one day, I happened to meet some of my new friends, a thoroughly pleasant experience.That week-end I was also to meet a very special person for the first time so we ended up staying longer than initially planned.

Many of my friends had started  following me onto Myspace by then.It was fantastic to exchange message,videos with friends living far away. When you have lived in as many countries as I have, it can be difficult to stay in touch.Through my illness and grief I had sort of withdrawn.All my energy was focused on my children, the grief I experienced had killed me inside and nearly sent me mad.Illness, for me, was a lot easier to cope with than grief.

I started to feel alive again, the constant river of tears finally drying up.As I re-evaluated my life, I realised I had choices to make.For a  few years since before I had lost my baby, things had been pretty difficult and I had been very unhappy, now I was faced with the decision to carry on as I was or to turn my life round again.Trouble was I’d long grown too tired to think about it, I’d isolated myself partly through pride and hadn’t really talked to anybody about it.

As 2 of my friends came back to live in England one day, they were quite shocked to see how I’d changed in so little time.Once I started talking, I didn’t stop.It snowballed and soon all my friends were told.I was quite ill again thoroughly exhausted and with so many decisions to make.(There is so much more I could say, some of it a little too private.)I started seeing things much more clearly being away from all the painful reminders.

Social networking gives you the opportunity of getting to know people you  would never have met otherwise, some people like you, others completely different, many, very interesting characters.I ‘ve also learned a lot and  surprised myself in many ways.I enjoy new skills, that is when I’m not screaming with frustration because the computer is too slow or my lack of knowledge when it comes to technical stuff .

I did get my happy ending after all, a rather unexpected one.I’ve learned a great deal over the last year or so, I got back in touch with myself, reconnected in more ways than one.I’ve remembered the little girl I was and her struggles and how she came through.I know I’m strong and confident again and capable of so much more.

We are free to survive our lives and to live our lives to the full.