Four years old today

I am talking about this blog – allaboutwordswa that I started four years ago today. I did a Google search on “how do I start a blog” and took it from there to here!

I received a Happy Fourth Anniversary from WordPress today. When I first started the blog I tried to write a post everyday and averaged about five times a week but lately I don’t write as often – not sure why.

I started other blogs during that time and my most recent It’s a Small World  is focused on photos taken by my microscope (Supereyes) and I am having lots of fun with it.

I learned a few things from blogging during this time. Some thoughts follow …

  • I have met so many amazing people  from all over the world and developed some online friendships.
  • My blog provides an avenue where I can think out loud – express my opinions or ask for input from others. It also reminds me of our common humanity.
  • The skills I gained in using WordPress were really useful when I was studying online and using online tools earlier this year.
  • My blog is evidence that I can string a few words together – I include it on my resume (sometimes) so that  potential employers can see that I am computer literate and they can get a bit of an idea about who I am from my writing.
  • I have another blog, Naturaliste Enterprises with my resume and work experience included.
  • When I get really interested in a particular topic – this year it has been about Baby Boomers and retirement related issues – there is an opportunity to put all my thoughts in one place – yes – another blog! This one is called Encore Australia. I saw a lot about Encore Careers in the US and it motivated me to set up an Australian website in relation to these issues. I hope to do more work on this in 2015.

Along the way I have gratefully received over 3,000 comments from readers, had nearly 30,000 views and a total of 600+ have subscribed to read my blog. It is encouraging to get followers and to have people read my posts but I don’t allow that to drive my writing and input.

This is my opportunity to say thank you for reading my posts and I love it when you leave a comment that leads to a discussion and the ‘likes’ are much appreciated as well :-).

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I am not making it up …

about ageI recently had my sixtieth birthday and that means I have done a range of things in those six decades. Sometimes I surprise people when I mention some of those things. I guess we all travel our own journeys and we can never be sure where they will take us. A list of some of my adventures follows:

  • I left home in country Victoria at 17 years old to live in Melbourne and I was a bit into the hippie culture at the time
  • I met my first husband in Melbourne and we married when I was 18
  • My three sons were born in my twenties
  • I lived and worked in several remote communities with high Indigenous populations within Australia including Numbulwar in the Northern Territory, Fitzroy Crossing, Derby, Geraldton and Esperance in Western Australia
  • I was the Newman correspondent for the North West Telegraph when I was living in the Pilbara
  • I didn’t complete high school but went on to gain university entrance as an adult and have since achieved separate qualifications in management and professional writing
  • Twice divorced meant some time as a single mother of my three sons
  • I started studying theology at one stage but didn’t see it through plus I was a Church Warden, Synod representative and Pastoral Assistant in the Anglican Church
  • I was a Shire Councillor and Deputy Shire President with the East Pilbara Shire and ran as a candidate for the State Government in 1993
  • During my time working for the government I spent time in Education and Training, Culture and the Arts, Communities and Disability Services
  • I am really interested in computers and social media and love WordPress 🙂

What I find interesting is the diversity of some of my activities but I guess there is some consistency in the overall story. There are a few adventures held back – I don’t want to give everything away!

Ways of learning …

My preferred learning style is to get my hands dirty and experiment. Ask me to do most things and I will dive straight in and have a try. Learning how to use my WordPress blog is a typical example. Recently I am helping a friend with her website and thought it would be useful to have some sort of manual to put some structure into the process.

There are HEAPS of manuals, videos, websites etc on how to use WordPress – all of which are probably excellent tools. I found one particular manual called Easy WP Guide, WordPress Manual by Anthony Hortin from Maddisondesigns.

It can be downloaded as a PDF so I did that and printed out a copy (140 pages – 70 back to back) and bound it. I then sat down to read it from cover to cover. I am pleased to note that I figured out most things myself through trial and error but there was one thing I learned that will be invaluable in the future:

I found an extra line of the tool bar – and that means I can write in different colours – and I didn’t know this before!

I can’t believe I have been using WordPress for over three years and didn’t know this. I still have more to read and to learn. Maybe there is value in reading the manual after all 🙂