Whilst out on a walk this week, I started thinking about what I want to get out of this blog and how I am going to structure it…I thought about one of my favourite books Eat Pray Love (which I highly recommend to all those interested in one or more of – food, travel, meditation and relationships), and I was suddenly inspired – my blog should be about things that make me, ME. Things that resonate with me and I get enjoyment out of. If I am writing about things I am passionate about it will hopefully make my entries more readable too? (everyone’s a winner).
It on this walk, therefore, by the side of the river Medway with the sun setting over the sparkling water (and, just to ruin the illusion, the tide was out so it rather hummed) that the idea of my themed blog ‘Read Write Move’ was born. It perhaps doesn’t have quite the same ring to it as Eat Pray Love, but it makes sense to me. Let me explain…
This theme is quite simple and self explanatory. I like to read. Anything. I like to feed my thirsty mind with information – some of it useful, some not admittedly – and soak up knowledge, whether it be from an academic textbook (I have recently started studying again), the latest novel by a favourite author or devouring an old classic. Rather handily, I have just joined a ‘virtual book club’ via a friend on Facebook, where a book is chosen each month and on an agreed day we all post our feedback onto the book club ‘wall’. I am thinking that this theme will probably therefore be pretty easy to stick to, and my reviews may well form some of my blog entries.
I have always been interested in writing – English was my favourite subject at school and I loved the variety of authors we got to sample, from Maya Angelou to James Joyce to Dickens. Every author has their own ‘voice’ that is unique to them, and I have often wondered what mine might be. I took a gap year Feb 06/07 to travel, and whilst living and working in Sydney for three months I filled some of my spare time by taking part in an eight week Creative Writing course, taught by an interesting guy who had just had his first book published. I enjoyed the process of learning about the craft of writing and vowed that I would do more of it when I got home. A mere six years later here I am! I see blogging as a good way to get into the habit of writing about something I know a lot about (me!) and seeing where it takes me.
This theme is not quite as straightforward as ‘Read’ and ‘Write’. My thoughts are that it will cover a few things- exercise, travel and getting out and about (socialising, if you will) – they all involve moving, right?!
Firstly, exercise. Last year was really a year of physical change for me…after basically not being happy with my weight my whole life and starting a diet every Monday I finally decided on 1st January 2011 that enough was enough and I owed it to myself to do it. I dusted off my old Weight Watchers books, signed up to do the Yorkshire Three Peaks (I will save that tale for a future blog), and by the end of the year was three and a half stone lighter. Never did I imagine in my wildest dreams that I would actually shift the excess pounds one day, but I am pleased and proud of myself that I have. Now at my goal weight for the last seven months, I still work hard to maintain it (and will admit to being a tad obsessive about it at times, but I think you have to be!) and have decided that now is the time to get fitter in the hope that it will help with my weight maintenance. I have signed up for a ten mile charity walk in September for the Heart of Kent Hospice (Moonlit Walk). And this will form part of the training for the 26 mile London Moonwalk (which raises money for breast cancer) that I, my Mum and some friends will be signing up to do next year.
Next in the ‘Move’ category is travel…ever since the experiences of my aforementioned gap year (which took me to Hong Kong, New Zealand, Fiji, Australia and Thailand) I have had a passion for seeing new places and soaking up different cultures. I have a large world map on my kitchen wall with pins depicting the places I have been to which, despite being pretty ‘pin heavy’ in some places, only serves to remind me how much of the world I am yet to see! I have managed a few trips since my return five and a half years ago – to Dahab in Egypt, backpacking in Norway, a weekend in Paris, and combining a work conference with a few days of sightseeing in Rome. This year my travels don’t extend any further than the UK (although I am often amazed by how much we have right on our very doorstep ), but next year I am hoping to conjure up a bigger trip overeas.
Being social is the last part of ‘Move’…a friend of a friend once decided that she wouldn’t say no to any invite…This is not as dodgy as it first sounds – it’s more a case of not letting shyness/not knowing anyone/thinking something is just too hard or complicated to sort out/being worried about what ‘might be’ hinder you from experiencing new things and meeting new people. It’s about trying things – even if just to realise afterwards ‘I was right, I don’t like skydiving!’. It’s about living and experiencing, growing and learning about yourself (pretty deep, huh?!).
And that’s that…I am a pretty structured soul…I like organisation, I like things to be in their place, I like order and neatness, and I like to have goals and know where I’m heading. However, there is a contradictory part of me that likes a bit of spontaneity – to take things as they come and to not have too full a diary so that I can see how the mood takes me at the time.
I hope that by structuring my blog in the above way it will help to keep me on track and give me a reason and purpose for carrying on with it, but the themes are also quite flexible and open, which pleases the spontaneous side of me which likes to go off on a tangent every now and then. There are many other things I like to do which aren’t incorporated into Read Write Move (baking springs to mind), but I’m sure I’ll wheedle them in somehow, and if I can’t then I am sure I can forgive myself for going a bit off track…
So, there’s me thinking I might suffer from the old writer’s block when it came to blogging, and I have bashed that all out in one sitting! It seems a bit of self indulgent writing about ‘ME’ isn’t so hard after all 😉
Until next time…Love and blog ideas, sm x