When I was growing up “Get Smart” was a popular show with my family and friends. The question “Would you believe . . .?” was often asked humorously, in Max-style, starting off with an exaggerated and unbelievable suggestion, then moving through a series of diminishing magnitude to the, often insignificant, reality.
I am not going to start with an exaggeration for I am rather pleased with what I have achieved. I wish to make no comparison with anyone else who may have achieved a whole lot more, or even those who may have done less. I just know that I have learned a lot, and in fact, have learned so much that I now know what future learning I need to do.
If you know nothing, you don’t know what you need to know. It is only when you know something that you get an inkling of what there is to learn.
If, this time last year, you had said to me:
“One year from now you will be writing a blog and publishing your fiftieth blog post; you will have over 800 followers on Twitter and you will engage in conversations with people from all over the world.”
I would have laughed and said you were crazy. I had no thought of writing a blog and thought Twitter was just for twits.
I had followed only one or two blogs posted by family and friends on holidays so knew nothing of the pleasure or potential of writing or following blogs.
What I “knew” of Twitter was minimal and misinformed. I thought it was people sending messages about eating breakfast, going to the bathroom and other mundane events. I couldn’t see the point in that.
How wrong were my misconceptions how they have changed!
How I have changed.
What I would have considered a Max-style exaggeration a year ago is now a reality. And it didn’t take a year. It has all happened in just six months.
Six months ago I published my first blog post and tweeted for the first time.
I was both nervous and excited and had no expectations other than to see what would happen.
I am delighted with the result: the learning I have done, the people I have met and the way my writing has grown. One of the greatest pleasures is having control over what I write; another is meeting so many interesting people, some like-minded and others with differing views, but all supportive and willing to share their knowledge, ideas and thoughts.
I wouldn’t have started upon this journey without the Queensland Writers’ Centre (QWC).
In late 2012 I did a couple of sessions about digital publishing with Simon Groth (Manager of if:book Australia), and another at the beginning of 2013. While the talks were fascinating and I learned a lot, I was such a N00b that it was all still a forest to me and I couldn’t see the path to take me in and didn’t have the tools to clear a path. I needed more time to absorb the information I had heard and work out what to do with it. I still wasn’t convinced that blogging and social media were for me.
Belinda Pollard of Small Blue Dog Publishing changed all that at another QWC session in June. I am very grateful to her for convincing me that this was the way to go and that I just needed to get started. She described Twitter as the “water cooler for writers” and a great way to meet other writers.
Less than two months after hearing Belinda speak I was on my way, hacking a path through the undergrowth, searching for the warmth of sunlight through the canopy. My quest for information started with her website and crawled its way out and around other websites and blogs, some of which I return to often for reassurance, reminders and more information.
Now in answer to the question, “Are you experienced?” I can reply with a very definitive: ”Yes, I am experienced!”
I have lost my nervousness, but not my excitement. I have grown in confidence and knowledge but know that there is so much more to learn. In my Twitter profile I say that I was born too soon, but maybe I just started late. Considering that there were no computers and no internet for more than half my life and the only “mobile” phone I knew in my younger days was Maxwell Smart’s shoe, I think I’m doing okay in the catch-up.
In addition to all the generous bloggers and twitter users who have helped me along the way, many without knowing it, I am also very grateful to you, my readers and followers, who have visited, commented, liked, favourited and otherwise shared my posts and tweets, but more especially your knowledge, support and ideas. While I had no expectation that any of you would drop by to read or engage me in conversation, I’m so glad you did. Thank you. Please stay with me as my journey continues.