So I Want to be A Writer

Screen Shot 2016-07-19 at 8.15.05 pmI started this post to start writing. What to write about has taken some two months in the thinking. This was after some teacher friends introduced me to the world of podcasts over a cuppa. Although hesitant at first, the thought of learning this alien technology felt like too much of ‘a brain strain’. But once I found out I could listen to the ABC’s Richard Fidler anywhere, anytime I was hooked.

Discovered Podcasts

So started my foray into podcasts.  As I saw the myriad podcasts on offer, I thought about my passion for writing. That’s when I saw ‘So You Want To Be A Writer’ with Valerie Khoo and Allison Tait. I did some sampling, and I liked their jovial voices and easy manner. Their format was sharp, and covered a plethora of information, especially the insightful author-in-residence interviews.  Consequently, traveling an hour for work became more enjoyable after the series was downloaded onto my iPhone.

Motivated to Up-Skill

As the podcast was attached to the Australian Writer’s Centre (AWC), it motivated me to up-skill my writing. I took the first step and finally enrolled.  As of July, 2016 I started a 5 week online writing course for Young Adults (YA) and Children. Apprehensive at first, I liked that I could download the audio and PDF each week and re-listen to them as often as I needed to understand the concepts taught. Also online, was a questions and comments section and the AWC email for anything more immediate. Our tutor Sue Whiting: a children’s author who has also been published internationally, gave us feedback on our weekly assignments. From there I worked on improving my writing concept for that week. Then it started all over again. I liked that I got to know like-minded students. Although I felt a little self conscious at first, I knew this was my time to learn and it was here where I make my mistakes and learn from them; in a supportive environment.

World of Blogs

The podcast has introduced me to the world of ‘blogs’ and about having ‘an author platform’. I didn’t really understand what a ‘blog’ was until I heard it mentioned during an earlier podcast; a website where you place information on your choice of topics. Looking at too many random sites was overwhelming, so I looked specifically at their recommended sites and saw the diverse information targeted at specific audiences. I felt less panicked. However, the author platform seemed daunting, but I learned it was about developing a presence and relationships within the social media platforms (FB, Instagram, Twitter, Linkedin etc.,). This has been a journey in itself.

Generous Sharing

Importantly, it was also thanks to Allison Tait‘s generous sharing of information on her blog that had given me the confidence to explore this new world. With more than 20 years professional writing experience, as the author of the series “The Map Maker Chronicles”, and with a family to run, she amazingly juggles her time and yet still shares her knowledge. That takes commitment, dedication and persistence. Apart from all this, her earthy demeanour exudes a warmth and confidence which has had a galvanising effect on me – to start writing.

Name For Blog

Consequently, if writing was my aim then I needed to get into the game. A name for a blog had been a difficult decision; given so many quirky and catchy blog names.  However, it was after listening to ‘The Goat that Wrote‘ on #115Podcast which finally decided it. Big Sister Blogs felt an apt name, as the eldest of seven. I usually liked to talk, so why not write and allow my varied roles to dictate.

What To Write

Also what to write; something unique, was also difficult to decide.  After listening to numerous podcast episodes and viewing quite a few blogs, I decided my experiences and love of photographs ‘which make me look twice’ were unique. If my blog inspired, entertained or helped others in some way it would be a bonus, otherwise I was writing to write. My family would mostly be the target of my writing; seeing as I am the big sister.

22 thoughts on “So I Want to be A Writer

      • In the current course I am doing, I am learning so much. It is very professional and well organised. Sometimes in the audio with Valerie Khoo’s voice, it feels like she’s there, so I do everything she tells us to do, because I really want to improve and it can only happen if I practise and follow everything in the course. Not just the assignments where we practise a concept for that week, but the extra bits.


      • Hi Maria, no I’ve been blogging since 2010. The blog was for education and schooling more than anything in some of that time. I slackened off in 2013-14 as I was still working part-time and caring for grandkids. When we moved away from Sydney and I retired properly I knew I would need both intellectual stimulation and a daily routine so I challenged myself to blog daily. I liked it and it helped me adjust so much that this year I added topics for each day and am loving it again. I did that on-line course out of interest only. I stopped trying to make any money (sponsorship or paid posts) in blogging about 4 years ago. However, I like that i have a small (but growing) interested community and I have known (IRL or on-line) many Australian bloggers since I started. I am not the ‘usual demographic’ but have always been made most welcome as a ‘senior’ and ‘grandma’ but also respected retired Principal. Warm wishes, Denyse

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      • Thank you. I was trying follow your blog through my blog feed using the email address but not to follow on email. I was looking for a follow button which linked to the blog. If you can direct me please.


  1. Of all the podcasts I listen to, I’ve actually struggled to engage with the writing ones. It’s strange – maybe I’m not at the place right now for them.


    • I’ve heard a couple of them. This one is more relaxed for me. My mind set is in the listening and learning mode. I’m doing some online courses are more serious. I enjoy listening to ABC Richard Fidler usually who interviews writers and authors. Also I drive about 1hr 15min per day so it is the only time I listen to them.


    • I had someone take the time to show me how it worked and then I decided whether to continue or not.
      I didn’t want to know about podcasts until I realised that I could listen to my ‘once a week’ radio show of Richard Fidler, anytime through my phone in the car while travelling to work. It is awesome now that I understand it. I resisted new technology.
      But now I choose what I want to listen to on the radio, and it is not the news with all its bad things constantly bombarding us.


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