So this post marks, believe it or not, my 50th blog post on Kristen in Clogland! Considering the fact that a year ago I had not even considered the idea of blogging, I have thoroughly surprised myself with the fact that I have written so many posts in less than nine months. There was obviously a lot of information in there just bursting to come out!
Writing for my blog has been simultaneously enjoyable, therapeutic and rewarding. Helping others is important to me and always has been; so just the possibility that I may have written something that has helped make someone else’s life easier, makes me smile. During my career, I have always worked in roles where I can help people, whether it be in as a massage therapist, in tourism/customer service, or as a personal assistant; I am happiest when helping others. My daughter is the same and I can see that in her already even at the young age of seven. I have discovered that blogging is just another way that I can help others, by sharing, reassuring or advising the reader.
My blogs have varied this year from travel, to life with kids, to missing my family in Australia, to adjusting to life in another country and more. What I have learned from all of my posts, is that the heart felt posts seem to be the most read. The posts where I have poured my heart out for all to read, or the ones that perhaps caused the reader to shed happy or sad tears, they are by far the posts which were most popular. Well, I have had my fair share of trauma, drama, and challenges in my life, so I had plenty to write about. Posts such as The Day I lost my Sister and The Emotional Challenges to Living Abroad were each read over a thousand times. Furthermore, posts where I shared my personal experiences and struggles with learning the Dutch language, GP culture shock and raising bilingual children were also well embraced. All of these are in my top ten most read posts to date.
My personal favourite post from this first fifty, which also happens to be one of my most read posts, is 5 Years in Clogland. Whilst writing this post, I was able to reflect back on the positive aspects that I have come to appreciate about living here in ‘Clogland’. I really enjoyed writing this post and focusing on the small things in life that we may somtimes overlook or take for granted.
What I have also learned from fifty posts, is that the travel posts that I had thought would be the most popular, are actually not. Ironically they are the ones that took the longest to write. I spent hours and hours writing up my travel posts about Alaska, Germany, Mexico, Hawaii etc, but although they are helpful to those thinking of traveling to those particular destinations, they are not as popular. They are informative, rather than heart-felt, and I guess this is why.
Writing has been surprisingly enjoyable for me. I work full time, I am raising two children who are constantly challenging me and pushing boundaries, I have a household to run and dinners to cook. Yet, I still find myself continuously making time to write for this blog on a regular basis. I make the time, because I enjoy it. It is my time out, my ‘me time’. Sure, there are nights where I am so exhausted that all I want is to flop onto the couch and watch a bit of tele, but there are also nights where writing is exactly what I needed and I feel satisfied, excited and content once a new post completed is published.
I’ve learned that honesty and openness are always appreciated. My parents and husband have always told me that my face is like an open book. I guess my writing is the same. People love to read posts that they can relate to, posts that can help them through a hard time, posts that make them realise that they are not the only ones facing certain struggles in life. I have also learned that everyone is entitled to their own opinion and to not to get personally offended if people do not like, or agree with, something I have written.
I am always on the look out for writing inspiration. If there is somthing specific that I have not yet written about that you would personally like to know more on, I am open to suggestions. So please feel free to contact me with your requests.
If you have not yet ‘Liked’ my Facebook page, please do. I am closing in on 500 followers and I think this would be an incredible milestone to reach before the end of 2016!
In conclusion, I would like to take this opportunity to thank every one of you who have read, liked or shared one of my Kristen in Clogland posts this year. Please keep on sharing the posts you enjoy and I look forward to writing more open and honest posts for you in the future.