Liebster Award 2018

Have you heard of the Liebster Award?  If you haven’t don’t worry.  Neither had I until a week ago when an email arrived in my inbox from the lovely Vanessa of The Simpson Sisters, letting me know she had nominated me for the award. Vanessa had been nominated herself (you can read her own post about the award here) and was paying it forward, which is essentially what the Liebster Award is all about.  So firstly I want to say a huge thank you to Vanessa for thinking of me!

The Liebster Award is a recognition of bloggers by other bloggers.  The award started back in 2011 as a way to support and promote blogs with smaller audiences.  It’s also a nice way to find out a little more about someone whose writing you might read every week.  The ‘rules’ of the award go like this:

  • Thank the other blogger that nominated you and provide a dofollow link back to their blog.
  • Answer their questions in a blog post such as this one I’ve written today.
  • Pay it forward by nominating 5-10 bloggers who you enjoy following and would like to support.
  • Write 5-6 questions that you’d like them to answer.
  • Link your Liebster Award 2018 post to the original by the Global Aussie, and leave your blog post link in the comments section of the same post.

So here goes with my answers to Vanessa’s questions.

What prompted you to begin blogging? Was it for a business, to share personal stories or maybe to share a specific event?

To be honest I have an eclectic blogging journey, and I am not sure I’ve figured out where I’m going even yet!  

I first started blogging as a Cancer Rehabilitation Physiotherapist, before getting sucked into the health and wellness bubble and writing about ‘how to create a life that lights you up’ (that was definitely not my style!).  I then began building an online business as a chronic pain therapist. But that never felt right either.  

Then I got an email from a blogger I admired for the way she had built and run her online business. This email made me question whether I wanted to continue blogging or give it away altogether (you can read more about that story here). I took some time off writing for a while but then began to miss having a creative outlet.  So I started again, but this time with a personal blog. This personal blog is where I now share stories and lessons I’m learning in my own journey towards living simply and intentionally.  

A funny thing happened when I took the pressure off myself to create an online business and to simply write for pleasure.  While the number of people that read my blog each week is small, I  have more engagement and interaction with my readers than ever before.  Each week I get a personal email from someone telling me that my writing has impacted them in some way.  A few of my newsletter subscribers have even become  pen pals and we write to each other regularly, just sharing our thoughts about every day life.  It’s really nice, and I would much rather have a small number of followers I feel are close friends, than a large number of followers I never hear from.  

I am happy with writing a personal blog at the moment.  For me it’s about finding a community, and I have done this.  

Which social media platform do you feel most at home on and why?

The only social media platform I’m on is Instagram. I tried Twitter once for about five minutes. And I’m not a fan of Facebook either.  I do like Pinterest, and have a personal account filled with ideas about vegetable gardens, bird feeders and macrame hangers but I don’t have an account associated with my blog.  

I enjoy taking photographs of the landscape around me when out walking my dogs and Instagram is the perfect place to be able to post them.  I also like the Instagram story feature, where you can share snippets of your life as you go.  I have also discovered a wonderful community of like-minded friends.  Whenever I post something I know the same lovely people are going to like and comment on my post. I feel I know many of them well, even though we only share a small portion of our lives with each other.

While I use Instagram I am not on there every day. I prefer to spend my life offline rather than on. My fiancé and I are very private people and I am careful about what I share and what I don’t. This isn’t because I’m hiding anything.  It’s just how we have chosen to live our life. I wholeheartedly believe life is lived outside of a screen.  And when I die, I do not want my legacy to be the social media following I have amassed.  I want it to be the lives I’ve touched in real life.

Saying that I have made some wonderful friends through social media over the years.  Some I talk to regularly by phone, and others have become pen pals through email.  Some I have even met in person.  I wouldn’t have made those connections if it wasn’t for the internet, and for that I will be forever grateful.    

Share with us a podcast that regularly inspires you and tell us why? If you’re not a podcast listener how about some other resource that you regularly turn to.

I am a huge podcast listener.  Podcasts are my saving grace during the two hour round commute to work and back home.  My taste in podcasts is varied.  One day I will listen to creative and business podcasts, and the next day true crime stories.  

Hands down my favourite podcast is Real Talk Radio with Nicole Antoinette.  Nicole explains it best by describing her podcast as “filled with refreshingly honest conversations about the wonderful mess of being human”.  

Nicole talks with athletes, writers, activists, parents, adventurers, parents, coaches and everyone in between about what really goes on in real life. These conversations make me think outside the online bubble I sometimes live in.  They make me realise that there is a whole world out there, made up of individuals just doing the best they can.  A bit like me.  This podcast makes me feel less alone, which is all Nicole really wants.  

Countryside or seaside?

This is a hard question to answer!  Can I say both?  

I grew up as a city girl in Christchurch, New Zealand.  In 2012 I moved to Eungella, Queensland to live with my now fiancé, which is about as far from city life as one can get.  Eungella is a National Park and we lived on 14 acres amongst the rainforest.  It was an hour and a half from the nearest city, 686 metres up a steep range and twenty minutes down a dirt road.  We had no mobile phone coverage or internet access.  The power would go out regularly, and when it did we lost access to running water as well.  Which was fine if it was only for a few hours.  But not so fun when it was for a couple of days.  

I loved living here.  It was peaceful and quiet. Birdsong would wake you in the morning and it wouldn’t be unusual for a stray cow to wander through the backyard.  The stars at night were so clear and the sky would be filled with them.  Then in the mornings the sun would slowly rise over the hills, making the tress glow as if they were on fire.  

Here began my love for the country.  But I also love the ocean.

There is something about water I find peaceful and calming.  When I was going through a tough patch in my life a few years ago I would spend hours sitting on the sand at the beach staring out at the sea.  I don’t know, why but watching the waves definitely helped me feel better.  I love all water … the sea, rivers and lakes.  Ironically my biggest fear in life is drowning, and while water soothes my soul it also terrifies me.  I much prefer to be beside it than on it, which my fiancé can vouch for by my pleas for him to slow down when we're out in the boat!

My dream is to own an A-framed cabin on acreage, high on a hill overlooking the ocean.  Where there is not a neighbour in sight, and not only can you hear the birdsong but the waves crashing against the rocks below.  I’m hoping this dream will one day become my reality.  

Do you have a creative hobby other than blogging and photography? Are you a crafter, painter, stitcher or gardener perhaps?

At the beginning of this year my parents came to visit.  While they were here my Mum taught me how to knit, and I’ve been hooked ever since!  

It’s the perfect hobby for me.  Being someone who finds it hard to relax I now happily knit away while my fiancé is watching television in the evenings, without having to jump up every five minutes because I can’t sit still for longer than that.  Which, as you can imagine, used to drive him mad!

While I am still very much a beginner I would love to be able to get to the stage where I can knit blankets to donate to our local dog shelter.  This goal definitely keeps me going, even when my Type-A personality wants to pull a whole project apart because I’ve made a small mistake. Because lets be honest, the beautiful dogs won’t care as long as they are happy and warm.  

How do you write best? Do you need silence or prefer music to fill the void? At a desk, on your knee or in bed? On your phone or laptop?

I swear I am allergic to noise. My fiancé always jokes that living with me is like living with a ghost. I can’t even stand the bathroom fan going when I’m in the shower!  So I definitely need to write in silence.  

I’m also a laptop girl when it comes to writing. Having got first in Fifth Form Typing when I was at school I love seeing words flow across a screen as fast as the thoughts are forming in my head.  

Where I work from tends to vary depending on the season.  In summer I either work from the outdoor table or upstairs in my study with the door open, as the sun pours into this room during the afternoon. During the cooler months I tend to migrate to the couch next to the fire.  Our oldest dog Meg loves it when I write downstairs with the fire going, as I let her inside to keep me company.  

Now it’s my turn to pay it forward.  Here are the bloggers I would like to nominate for the Liebster Award 2018:

Emma from Oh Gosh Blog

Victoria from Feather and Wild

Rebecca from Margot Tries the Good Life

Amanda from Gorgeous Presence

Wendy from No Fear From Here

The questions I’d love them to answer are:

1.  How long have you been writing online and how has your blogging journey evolved over time?

2.  What is your favourite part of being a blogger?

3.  What are you obsessed with right now?

4.  If you weren’t doing the work you do now, what else would you have loved to do?  

5.  What do you think we should be talking about less, and what do you think we should be talking about more?

6.  If the animal kingdom ruled the earth which animal do you think would be president and why?

For those I’ve nominated I hope you enjoy answering these questions.  I’d love to read your answers so please share the link with me when you have posted them.  

Otherwise I hope you all enjoyed this post.  It’s a little bit of a different one from me but I’ve enjoyed being a part of the Liebster Awards 2018.

Liebster Award 2018

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