Those of you who have been following my blog for a while are aware that I am a huge Seth Godin fan. Today on his blog he posted about a Publishing Master Class that would be taking place in his office so of course I applied! Eight people will be selected to participate but I am sure that the reach of this intensive workshop will be far wider than Seth’s office walls!
The freedom to blog about things we care about is a remarkable opportunity and I’m interested to know from other artists and makers how blogging has influenced their creativity and the impact of being connected to other like-minded creative types. Please leave your comments below.
I will leave you with some food for thought “What’s changed is that more people than ever have a device that connects them to the town square. They have access to information, to courses, to opportunities that weren’t even imagined just twenty years ago. Twenty years! It’s an extraordinary thing to waste. And we’re mostly wasting it. Wasting it by waiting for a guarantee.” Seth Godin
Absolutely delighted that the image of a yellow spider Chrysanthemum in bloom has been selected as a winner in the Beautiful Flowers Group on Fine Art America. The comment by group administrator Maria Urso “Exquisite work, detail, color and clarity. Absolutely stunning.” is the kind of feedback that every artist thrives on.
As Seth Godin says we need to keep inventing our future “not all of it, just a little part. But enough to make a difference.” This post is dedicated to all those who ship their art and make a difference – whether they receive recognition or not.
Some things simply connect with us, resonate with us or excite us. There is no standard recipe for discovering what these things will be or deciphering how the connections are made.
I love flowers. They ignite my soul.
I also love traditional Korean martial arts (aka Kuk Sool Won) – who would have guessed?
I have a blog for martial arts as well as floral photography because I love sharing what I care about. Some may find that weird but in a recent post about a contest by Seth Godin it was reassuring to hear that we are all weird.
So I went in search of a connection to my diverse passions and discovered that Hibiscus Syriacus (Rose of Sharon), also known in Korea as Mugunghwa is their official flower. This flower also just happens to grow readily in our neighborhood and the shrubs are in full view of the dojang where I train.
Thanks to Seth Godin tomorrow marks the first annual RuckusMaker Day!
Tomorrow would have been Steve Jobs‘ 60th birthday and Seth describes his contribution as “having a point of view”.
He also explains that having a point of view and scheduling a time and place to say something is almost certainly going to improve your thinking, your attitude and your trajectory – and that a great way to do it is by blogging!
Today also marks the start of Social Media Week. My fellow flower-loving blogger Joyce Sullivan will be speaking at the conference in New York City too. What a great time to be inspired to blog!
I have a point of view – as you do and blogging certainly does give me the opportunity to share it with the world. While I share I also grow. I share about the things I care about it.
I share because I can’t help myself but get excited about the amazing experiences and people that life has brought my way.
I also read other blogs. I enjoy reading the tales that others have to tell.
Spoken-word poet Sarah Kay was stunned to find she couldn’t be a princess, ballerina and astronaut all in one lifetime. In her TED talk, she delivers two powerful poems that show us how we can live other lives.
When Sarah spoke about only being able to lead one life she captured the essence of why I love listening to people tell me their stories. These stories then often move me to write and often to take action to help others make a ruckus.
Naming this blog Fables and Flora was a chance to combine my passions of floral photography with stories I hear, see or read about or experience myself.
So enjoy the first RuckusMaker Day tomorrow! I would love to hear your stories about what you did!
As Seth says: Speak up. Not just tomorrow, but every day.
You know those countless times when you turn on the tv and see someone famous that you think is awesome being interviewed and somewhere in the process some arbitrary caller comes into view and gets to speak to them and you think to yourself – How did that person get there? That could have been me!
Well on Tuesday this week I was that arb caller.
Now imagine being given the opportunity of meeting someone famous that you admire and aspire to emulate and you get to ask them just one question. What would you ask?
Then imagine you had two hours to prepare before asking that question on live streaming tv! That’s what happened to me on Tuesday. Would you do it?
HuffPost Live gets in touch
Kat Santiago (@KatHuffPost), an Associate Producer and Melissa Montanez (@MelMontanez_) , a community screener from Huffpost Live (@HuffPost Live) contacted me via Twitter and asked whether I would be interested in asking Anne Geddes a question and if I was that I should get in touch. Sounds simple enough doesn’t it?
It appears that instead of the traditional routes of finding guests HuffPost Live scans Twitter and other social media platforms to find people talking about subjects that they will cover. Now you know that too…
I had been tweeting and blogging about Anne Geddes because of a photography competition being run by Fine Art America and a chance to be on national tv. Who knew I would get that chance even before the competition ended!
Fighting the Lizard Brain
My tweeting, blogging and sharing had gone through a rapid exponential phase in the previous week due to the #YourTurnChallenge and its mission to make us ship our art daily for seven consecutive days.
So you would think that since I was in super productive mode and determined to make a ruckus and a huge fan of Anne Geddes that I would jump at this opportunity to speak to such a famous photographer who produces such iconic images. But I didn’t.
I stalled. My lizard brain wanted to retreat. The resistance offered me so many reasons to not do it.
The time difference between San Francisco and New York. The fact that I had no clearly formulated questions. The fact that I was still relatively new to floral photography. The fact that I had a workout appointment with my lovely neighbour Rachna. The fact that I was having a bad hair day.
I could find lots of reasons to quit before I even got going. But then I thought about the blog posts I had been writing all week. About doing it scared but still doing it. About finding a place to put the pain and the fear and taking action anyway.
So I did. I said yes to the opportunity. I was not the only one contacted on Twitter so I thought I would be one of a few.
It was a flurry of activity then. I emailed the reporters. They sent requests for details and a photo. I emailed them my three questions.
1.Your name is synonymous with beautiful and captivating baby photography. How would you suggest photographers who are new to the field make themselves stand out from the crowd?
3. Sometimes parents are criticized for viewing their children’s lives from behind a lens and not being fully engaged in the experience. What do you think about the advances in photographic technology and it’s impact on our mindfulness?
I waited till they were ready to do a webcam test. The reporter called me, the producer called me. They sorted out some technical hitches and told me to ask the third question. We were good to go.
This week has been quite unusual at ours. My husband, Robin, and I have both participated in the #YourTurnChallenge to blog every day for a week, initiated by Winnie Kao, project lead for Seth Godin.
“Are you reading something Daddy wrote again? asked my son “You two have been doing a lot of writing this week!”
Indeed we have – we have been shipping with a group of like-minded individuals from across the globe – and it’s been awesome, frustrating, challenging and liberating.
Photo 1: Spring buds and blooms in the park this morning
Spring Blossoms in the Park
I have had my floral photography blog for four years and have steadily plodded along. I’ve blogged because I love to share what I experience and what I care about. I have a writing blog (needing a post) called Stories in #10Tweets a Genetic Counselling News SA blog (in stasis) a motherhood blog called MumDay (discontinued) and my floral photography blog that just keeps going and now my martial arts blog Junbi.
When I first started blogging I was hooked on the stats. Was anyone reading it? Did it resonate with someone? Did people like what they saw?
When the stats remained dismal for the first year I was initially demotivated but then I changed my perspective. I realised that I was blogging because I enjoyed it, so I would just keep sharing things I felt passionate about.
I love it when people like my posts and send me comments. It’s a great way to connect and I usually comment on and follow their blogs too. Connecting is what makes social media social.
So my newest blog Junbi is steadily taking off. It has allowed me to connect with those I meet in other settings in a more in depth manner. I asked more questions in my Kuk Sool Won martial arts class so I had enough material to blog about.
I paid better attention to what Master Saidi said during my lessons so I could recall the key points he was conveying.
I asked more questions after Tai Chi class and discovered that Tim was also an author.
I had something different to talk about when I met another expat Mum in the park this morning and we chatted about blogging, martial arts and floral photography.
Blogging this week has also allowed me to watch Robin unveil his writing skills and allowed me to peek into his mind during a run. Our kids got to see us committing to a challenge and shipping and they started writing their own thoughts too.
So we now have budding and blooming bloggers in one household! Congrats to all who joined the challenge this week and happy shipping on your journey forward.
I have joined the #YourTurnChallenge and started a new blog called Junbi. I would love to hear your thoughts on it!
This blog was initiated because of a challenge by Winnie Kao, the Special Projects Lead for Seth Godin, linked to his book What to do when it’s your turn (and it’s always your turn), to do a blog post a day for 7 days.
To follow Seth’s key theme in his book – it’s my opportunity to take my turn and to make a difference. We all have the opportunity to contribute, to lead and to live our lives to the full.
My husband is blogging for this challenge too. Read his posts on Remarkable Runs.
I have been blogging for a few years now. I have tried various approaches and some have worked while others haven’t. Fables and Flora has been my most successful as I think it’s involves the content that I am most passionate about – flowers of course! My aim for 2015 is to revamp Fables and Flora and take the content to new exciting places so watch this space.
Hope you enjoy the journey with me and please give Junbi a read too!