HAPPY BIRTHDAY to TREVOR’S BIRDING.
10 YEARS OLD TODAY
I started blogging about Australian Birds ten years ago today.
What an interesting journey. It has, in part, satisfied some of my writing dreams. Even though I have published over 4000 blog articles in that time, on this and other sites, it has still amazed me of the result. Over all of my sites I have had over a million pageviews, over 7000 comments, over half a million readers from over 200 countries and a steady, but modest, income stream.
Trevor’s Birding, a companion site to this one, features photos and articles about Australian birds. Over the years I have travelled to many places here in Australia to capture photos of our wonderful and colourful birds. I have also taken photos and written about some birds I have observed in other countries, like Thailand, Nepal, Ethiopia, Morocco, and Spain. This site actually started on another platform and has had several upgrades over the years. I am hoping for some exciting new developments in the coming months, so stay tuned.
Trevor’s Travels, another companion site I write, and this one features articles about and photos of places I visit. These articles cover several states of Australia as well as Thailand, Nepal, Ethiopia, Morocco and Spain. I have many more photos yet to share on that site too. This site celebrates its 10th birthday late this year.
Of course, the site you are reading at present, Trevor’s Writing, has its 10th birthday in March next year. Many more articles to come and some interesting developments in the coming months.
And did I mention I also maintain and do some of the writing for our church website here?
This all keeps me busy writing.
I hope you like the bird photos featured today.
The more I write posts here on this site and on my other two sites (here and here), the more I find that I’m invited to speak about my passions: travel, writing and birding. I had another request yesterday to talk about Australian birds but I had to turn it down due to a lecturing commitment.
Today I had the delight and privilege of talking about blogging. I was the guest lecturer at the university where I already lecture, Tabor Adelaide. This was where I completed my Master of Arts in Creative Writing recently (read about that course here).
As regular readers of this site would know, I’ve been blogging now for almost 7 years. Over that time I’ve learned a few things about blogging and enjoy many of the benefits of this writing genre. One of the unexpected spin-offs of blogging has been speaking to various community groups. During my lecture I highlighted some of the other unexpected benefits:
Unexpected benefits of blogging
- Having my photographs published in some unexpected places.
- Earning some income from my photographs.
- Seeing my poems, stories and articles published in some quite unexpected places.
- Building a sense of community amongst readers of my sites.
- The many comments on my articles from people all over the world.
Other benefits of blogging
These benefits are in addition to the better known benefits of blogging:
- Improving my writing skills; the more your write, the better you get at it.
- Feedback from readers in the way of comments.
- The creation of some income.
- The opening up of various opportunities.
My regular readers would be aware that over the last few years I have been very busy working on my Master of Arts Creative writing degree. I finished the requirements for this last December and submitted my thesis paper for marking. I am still waiting for the results from the examiners.
Over Christmas and New Year I took a few weeks’ break from the intensive writing I did in the latter half of 2010. It certainly drained me emotionally and physically. Now I am steadily getting on with other writing projects. Most writers I know or have read recommend that once you have finished a major writing project, have a short break then get on with the next project. This is especially true if you have submitted a book manuscript to a publisher.
I haven’t yet submitted my thesis paper (a children’s novel) to a publisher, but submitting it to the examiners is similar, I guess. I could spend every day sitting by the phone waiting for a call from my supervising lecturer telling me of the result. That wouldn’t achieve anything, nor will it hasten the process. I will hear in due course, probably in the next 3 or 4 weeks. In the meantime, I’m getting on with other projects.
Some writers make the mistake of sitting by the letter box, or checking it every few hours, waiting for a letter from their potential publisher. That will not make an acceptance (or rejection) letter come any faster. Get on with the next project while you are waiting.
So – how am I using my time?
- Birding: I’ve been doing a little birding which is my favourite hobby. You can read about it on my blog called Trevor’s Birding. This site shows hundreds of photos of our beautiful Australian birds.
- Photography: I’ve just treated myself to a new camera and I’m having fun playing with it. Over coming months you’ll see the results here and on my other two sites.
- Reading: I’m aware of the ever increasing heights of the piles of unread books and magazines in my office and bedside table, and I’ve been steadily working my way through them. My reading during my studies was very focussed on what I had to read, not what I wanted to read. That will change.
- Swimming: Now that the weather has improved here in South Australia I’ve been making good use of our swimming pool. Having a solar blanket heats the water to very acceptable temperatures, even first thing in the morning.
- Writing: My writing has not been totally neglected, and after the Christmas break I’m steadily getting back into it. At the moment I am concentrating on writing articles for my web sites. I’ve written many of them for my birding site mentioned above, as well as for another site called Trevor’s Travels. This one is about my travels here in Australia and overseas. Then I am planning a series of articles for this site about writing, so stay tuned.
Sounds like my holiday is over and I’m back to writing again.
Christmas Greetings to all of my readers.
I trust that you have had a wonderful day with many blessings and much joy. I spent a quiet but relaxing day with my wife, daughter and mother in law. We had a wonderful Christmas lunch and we didn’t eat too much. The weather wasn’t too hot and I even managed a little snooze in the afternoon, the book I was “reading” resting peacefully on my chest. Late in the afternoon we had a lovely hour chatting to our son, daughter in law and grandson in Sydney via the wonders of Skype. It was amusing seeing our 2yo grandie showing off all of his new toys.
I haven’t posted many articles on this site this year. Now that I’ve completed my Master of Arts Creative Writing degree I will be able to bring you many more interesting and helpful writing hints here on this site. Stay tuned for many exciting events here in 2011 and beyond.
I wrote a few days ago that I was near the final editing stages of my novel for children.
Now I have another hurdle has come my way: illness. Sure, it’s only a head cold with lots of sneezing, a dry throat and the beginnings of a nose like a tap that cannot be turned off. It is the season for colds and flu here in Australia, and we’ve had some bitterly cold weather of late but that doesn’t bring much comfort in the midst of the discomfort.
I am trying to edit my novel for children, now in its 7th draft. Concentrating on the editing process is challenging enough; having a head that feels like it’s stuffed full of wool doesn’t help the process. I guess I should sit back, relax and get better as quickly as I can. Then I’ll be able to fully concentrate on the task in hand.
Can’t help wishing for someone to take over for a few days so I can relax and recover. In another life – when I was a classroom teacher – I wouldn’t hesitate to get a relief teacher in to take my place, knowing that would not only hasten my recovery but also be fairer to the children in my class. They deserved to have a teacher who was least willing to be there, be reasonably competent and certainly not sneezing all over them. Where are the relief writers? Never mind.
One thing about blogging is that you can write posts ahead of time, scheduling them to appear over a period of days or even weeks. I often write blogs in blocks of time, writing 5 – 10 in one day and scheduling them to appear at set intervals. During that time I can then go on with other writing tasks. This time however, I don’t have any scheduled to appear here. Sigh. (I do have some on my other blogs – see sidebar for links to them.)
I’d better get back to that editing.
Good writing – and good health.