2019 BLOG REFLECTIONS

This blog went live on March 1st of this year. At the time, it was called ‘A Day In The Life Of KN J’, homage to the fact that I was publishing stories based on days of my life. It was towards the end of April that I realised the name was not a correct representation of my writing – and that it was boring as hell! I was writing about snippets of my day or tales of my life, and so the name ‘KN J Tales and Snippets’ was born. What does KN J mean? Initials for my name. Why the space? KNJ was taken by some dudes. Very few brain cells were wasted there!

In March, I posted five stories – 100 Rocks, The Water Bottle, Lame, Fudge and It’s a Jungle Out There. These stories were my very first attempts at writing. I should probably go back and reread them sometime and see whether there’s been any improvement in my writing. It could be cringe worthy, considering I’ve since learnt about comma placement (and still not using them correctly).

During this blog’s inception, I spruiked and spammed mainly to family and friends. By the end of the first month, I had a total of 69 visitors and averaged 15 views per post. I had two likes and four comments, all from one super supportive and fantastic friend. I had ten followers, again all friends.

In April, I decided it was important to be disciplined with my writing schedule. I was going to aim for a weekly blog post, but I couldn’t commit to a specific day or time – I still can’t! I posted four stories – Lunch, The Art of Packing, Namaste and Basket Case . It would be The Art of Packing that finally enticed an internet wanderer to comment, and it elicited eight likes!

In May, I discovered the importance of SEO and terms like categories and tags. I doubled back and fixed my previous posts, in turn doubling my stats. The Silver Lining of Being Awkward and Half-Priced Discount…Still Not Enough were the first posts to break ten likes! My favourite post was Accidental Railjob.

In June, I delved into strategies to market my brand and created a Facebook Page and Twitter account. Other than WordPress, Facebook is my second highest referrer. I’ve only recently seen some engagement with Twitter. It takes a hell of a lot of engagement on all platforms to generate traffic and in the end, I stopped actively seeking inorganic methods. I found myself down the rabbit hole of the net, constantly checking stats and trying to improve traffic. It was wreaking havoc with my mind. It wasn’t my initial intent but somehow it had become my ball and chain. I forced myself to re-evaluate the reasons why I started this blog and did an overhaul in my thinking – I write because I want to share my experiences, my audience will find it in due course.

I began opening up about my mental health issues. My Struggle With Small Talk revealed my social anxiety issues and Find Your Strength was the first time I admitted to not coping with depression and parenting. It was also the month that my readership grew, and people began commenting. I began to understand that my words were being heard and people did resonate with my experiences, in both parenting and with mental health.

In July, our household suffered through influenza and a range of illnesses. It was a tough time where I resorted to fast food and self-pity – Chasing the Golden Arches.

In August, I received my first retweets on Twitter! Slaving Over a Hot Stove and How to Survive Toddlerhood. The writing community on Twitter is amazing and supportive. I do feel like an imposter calling myself a writer because I haven’t published any books but as it’s been pointed out to me – I write, therefore I am a writer!

In September, I struggled with content and motivation to write, producing only three posts – Stranger Directions, Live Without a Net and Little Bit of History Repeating.

In October, I got two awards! Sunshine Blogger Award and The Liebster Award. I think the last time I was awarded for something was in high school. The underachiever in me was extremely happy.

My Remedy for School Holiday Boredom took out the highest likes for the year at 26! I quit my job at the end of October, unable to balance working and motherhood and battle with mental health issues – Farewell Until We Meet Again was my goodbye post to my fellow colleagues.

In November, I did a creative writing course and submitted my homework as blog posts along with my usual ramblings. Funnily enough, I discovered that I like poetry and writing it. A Mother’s Love was my first poem. One of my stories, Remember to Breathe, was published for the first time in the Your Child magazine. They published When It Rains, It Pours the following month. Another magazine MamaMag published The Art of Packing. Man, it was the best feeling!

In December, The Dreaded School Run took out the highest number of comments for the year! I participated in Hoppy Tales, a short story writing tag that was super fun and brought a whole new crowd to my blog!

So… now that I’ve spammed you with a bunch of back links, what have I really got to say about 2019?

This year has been successful on so many fronts. It’s been a crazy journey of self-discovery and healing. Sitting down and penning my thoughts has taught me that I am capable of self-discipline, of reflecting on my feelings and actions, and more importantly, making the necessary changes to gain a happier me and experience a more fulfilling and purposeful life.

I’ve met wonderful and supportive people in the blogging and writing community. I’ve read some poignant, beautiful, inspiring and heartbreaking posts. I’ve laughed at funny gifs and admired Instagram-worthy photos. I’ve formed social connections I never dreamed could happen. Thank you to everyone who reads, comments or likes my posts – it means so much to me that you take the time out of your busy day to read my ramblings.

For 2020, I wish to continue my journey to create inspiring, empowering and humorous written pieces. I hope that my words can bring comfort, laughter and be relatable to those who read them.

I’ll be on a break for a few weeks so there won’t be any posts from me. I’m aiming for time away from social media so I won’t be online – much.

Happy holidays everyone! See you in the New Year! Keep safe. Love more. Hate less. Eat more greens.

Copyright © 2019, KN J Tales and Snippets. All rights reserved.

https://knj.home.blog/privacy-policy/

THE LIEBSTER AWARD

The Liebster Award is an award that exists only on the internet and is given to bloggers by other bloggers. The earliest case of the award goes as far back as 2011. Liebster in German means sweetest, kindest, nicest, dearest, beloved, lovely, kind, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing, and welcome.

The award is a way to be discovered but also to connect and support the blogging community. A great idea in promoting your own blog and others. Originally it was given out to blogs with less than 2000 readers but this has slowly lowed as the reward has gained popularity. It is now only 200 readers or less. It’s really an arbitrary number. If you like helping other blogs out go ahead and do it regardless of its size.

I would like to thank Rivergirl at River’s World for the nomination. This lovely lady was one of the first few people who started commenting on my blog posts, reaching out and forming a connection. In doing so, she gave me a boost of confidence. Instead of typing up a response and then deleting comments, I began pressing the enter button. Ok, enough of my mushiness!

River’s World is full of funny gifs, witty remarks, and good humour. Her posts are like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re going to get. Go check out River’s World and have a laugh!

Rivergirl’s impossibly hard questions for me:

1.  You’re a pigeon newly arrived in Hollywood. Who do you poop on first?

So many people, not enough poop to go around. It’s too hard to choose just one person.

2.  Donald Trump has been impeached. Mike Pence has been trampled to death at a gay pride parade. Nancy Pelosi has resigned her position and run off to Tahiti with a member of BTS. You’ve been chosen to be the next President of the United States. What’s your first executive order?

Wow. Just wow.

Such power could do serious damage if wielded poorly and I’m not sure I’d be the best commander of anything. I either make grand, life-impacting decisions without in-depth thought or struggle to choose between ham or salami sandwiches.

So… if the United States was unfortunate enough to have me as President, my first order would have to be a ban on salami sandwiches. You know… to make life choices easier for everyone.

3.  The Brussels Sprout is a much maligned ( and extremely gassy ) cruciferous vegetable. You run a PR firm and have just been hired to tweak it’s image. Go!

Scientists have discovered that eating twenty brussel sprouts a day will form sufficient gaseous fuel to allow humans the ability of self-propelled flight. You wanna fly? Eat those darn sprouts.

4.  Your lifelong dream of being a stripper has come true. What’s your stage name?

Candy Crusher (I was addicted to Candy Crush at one stage).

5.  Your cruise ship is sinking and you’ve scrambled onto a life raft only to realize it’s overloaded. What… or who… do you push overboard?  A case of craft beer, your significant other, the oars, a beloved pet wombat, or the ship’s navigator ?

*Note – if you say beer or wombat, you are dead to me*

This is an easy one. I’ll need sustenance in the form of wombat and beer. I’ll need oars to bat down those circling sharks. The significant other could come in handy for keeping insanity at bay, fishing and other survival needs. I’d push overboard the navigator because of you know… the best indicator of the future is the past.

Now for the nominees:

1. Seetha from 3 Little Birds. Seetha is a writer, a poet, a mother and an amazing, compassionate and supportive woman. Her work is emotive, empowering and insightful.

2. Kerry from Stories of Then. Kerry is an accomplished author with stories published in several anthologies, Ink Dreams and Heart of a Child. She offers valuable writing-related tips and advice.

3. Janea from My Dream Is To Tell Stories. Janea is the author of Searching for Fire, writer of poetry, short stories and writing-related topics.

4. Nathan from Nathaniel Fiction. Nathan is a new author, who has just released his book, Voices in the Dark. Part of the novel is free to read online.

5. Iain Saunders writes about mindfulness, life and business skills.

I recommend you check out the above bloggers and show them your support!

Post these rules:

1. Acknowledge the blog which nominated you.
2. Answer the questions your nominator asked.
3. Nominate two to six other bloggers who might appreciate the boost.
4. Ask them several unique questions.
5. Let them know you have nominated them.

And answer these questions:

1. It’s your first day at a new job, you’re in the lunchroom about to get your delicious leftover casserole, labelled with your name. Only problem is your new supervisor is sitting there eating it. What do you do?

2. Your phone is ringing. It’s a very important phone call that you must answer as callback is not an option. You’re stuck on a public toilet, surrounded by people in other cubicles. What would you do?

3. You’ve got two bags of rubbish and your bin is full. Your neighbour is prickly and doesn’t like other people putting their rubbish into her bin. You sneak out in the middle of the night to dump your rubbish anyway. As you lift the lid, your neighbour shines her torch on you. What’s your excuse?

4. You’re on a deserted island. A crate washes ashore. Inside you find the one thing that would make your life more bearable. What’s inside?

5. You’re on a reality TV show and to win you have to eat three of the following: bull’s testicle, monkey’s brain, fish eyes, bull’s penis, maggot cheese or soft-boiled fetal duck. What’s the lucky three?

While I would love to hear your responses, there is absolutely no pressure to participate. I am just happy to have you as part of my online community and this nomination is my way to recognise and help support your blog.

Thank you to everyone who likes, shares, comments and follows my blog.

xx Kathy

SUNSHINE BLOGGER AWARD

Hello everyone! I’ve postponed last week’s blog post to thank Jenny Furse for nominating me for the Sunshine Blogger Award. I am humbled and heartened that you thought of me for this award. It is a privilege to share the journey of motherhood, self-discovery and life with you and the blogging community.

Please check out Jenny’s wonderful blog: http://progressinbloom.com

The Sunshine Blogger Award is peer recognition for bloggers that inspire positivity and joy through their creative blogs.

Sunshine Blogger Award Rules:

  1. Thank the Blogger who nominated you and provide a link back to their blog so others can find them.
  2. List the rules and display an award logo on your blog post.
  3. Answer the 11 Questions the blogger asked you.
  4. Nominate up to 11 new blogs to receive the award and notify them by commenting on any of their posts.
  5. Ask the Nominees 11 new questions.

Jenny’s Questions:

1. How long have you been blogging for and why did you start?
I began journalling to practice mindfulness and promote good mental health. I found upon reading back on them that most of my entries were funny snippets involving the children and their antics. I wanted to share those experiences with others and so my blog was born seven months ago.

2. What makes a blog article worth sticking around for— one you truly enjoy reading?
I love reading uplifting, inspirational or humourous work. The best articles are the ones that leave you feeling warm and fuzzy on the inside or have you snorting your coffee accidentally from laughter.

3. What is your favorite thing about Fall?
Escaping from the sweltering heat of an Australian summer.

4. What is your go-to drink?
My life elixir comes in the form of a daily mochachino.

5. What favorite treat really hits the sweet spot for you?
Either a tiramisu or a cream sponge cake.

6. Tell me about a favorite date or share a great date night idea.
Anything with a comfy bed and a sleep-in will do just fine. Even a long nap will suffice.

7. Do you have a favorite family tradition?
The children like to make my husband’s birthday cake. It’s super cute, ultra messy and loads of fun.

8. What book(s) are you reading right now?
Red Dust by Fleur McDonald, who is an Australian author that writes about strong women who overcome adversity. Most of her books are based in the setting of an Australian outback and farming.

9. What one piece of advice would you give your younger self?
Make lemonade with the lemons life gives you. Smile, laugh, and don’t be afraid of what people think of you. Believe in yourself.

10. Do you have a secret or hidden talent?
I love to sing (so long as there are no witnesses). According to my seven-year-old, I’m no Katy Perry, but I’m OK.

11. What is one way you served or blessed someone else recently?
I am about to embark on volunteer work at the local neighbourhood community centre, helping disadvantaged people with learning basic computer skills and literacy. I’m looking forward to the experience and hope to make a small difference where I can.

My Nominees:

1. Rivergirl at River’s World. I love humour and Rivergirl has it in spades with her funny gifs and witty posts about her hometown Maine, husband’s antics and visiting wildlife. She is a lovely human being.

2. Stephen and Fionnuala at Fractured Faith Blog. Stephen is a published author of The Kirkwood Scott Chronicles – Skelly’s Square. He blogs about writing, his family, and many other topics. He too is another lovely human being.

3. Phoebe at Phoebe MD: Medicine & Poetry. Phoebe blogs about a range of health & wellness topics as well as poetry. I love that she has created the Pendants for a Cause to help the hurricane victims in the Bahamas and Children’s Heart Project. Please support these worthy causes.

4. Patrice at Mom Life With P. Patrice blogs about the challenges of motherhood, promotes positivity, and offers tips and advice.

5. Pallavi at Curating Thoughts. Pallavi writes thoughtful posts on motherhood and poems in a category she calls Mom Jam (wish I had thought of that!).

My Questions for Nominees:

1. When did you start blogging and why?
2. What are three words that best describe you?
3. Where is your favourite place to visit?
4. What is your favourite food?
5. What is your favourite movie?
6. If you could share a meal with any 2 individuals, living or dead, who would they be?
7. What is one thing you would never do again?
8. If you had to lose one of the five senses (touch, smell, sight, hearing, taste), which would you choose?
9. What’s the most unusual thing you’ve ever eaten?
10. Who is your role model? The person that you look up to the most? Why?
11. What are you grateful for?

I would like to thank everyone who reads, shares, comments, likes and follows my posts at KN J Tales and Snippets.