Yelly Writes

Immersing myself in inspiration

I have been wanting to revamp the blog and start blogging properly again.  But I needed inspiration – and probably a huge kick in the behind to get me off the proverbial couch and get to it.

I have been fangirling on Sara Tasker ever since I read an article on Stylist about how she quit her job and carved a lucrative career out of Instagram.  I thought, “Oh my gosh!  This girl!  Her photos!  How to be her?”  So it was because of Sara Tasker that I started seeking out women who inspired me, women who were brave to forge careers out of things that they were passionate about.

As with everything, I am easily distracted.  I completely forgot about improving the blog and allowed myself to be completely immersed and obsessed with Instagram.  While it was a creative outlet, it wasn’t what I was good at.  I did get quite a few likes on some of my photos though!  The photo below was actually liked 1,224 times!

Now that is a revelation because I knew it had a lot of likes but I don’t have a lot of photos that go over 200 in the like category, so when something gets 500+ or 700+, it is a major achievement.  It means my photo was interesting enough for people to look and click on that little heart icon.  Thank you to every single person who has liked my photos and posted comments!

Instagram is a lovely distraction, but I’ve always thought my writing was more sound than my photography skills.  So I searched for inspiration.  I read books – lots of books about blogging, writing. food writing, making money from my blog…I’ve read so many articles and was this close to buying an expensive book that “guaranteed” they would get you blogging and making a huge success of yourself and your blog after you read their book.  Nope, I didn’t buy the book – but I was tempted.

A friend of mine wanted to start a blog and helpful soul that I am, I said I’d help them set it up.  But I felt an awful fraud offering to help someone start a blog when my blog was right there, languishing in the corner!  I needed to brush up on inspiration basics, blog inspiration and tips!

Because Sara Tasker was my inspiration, I went back to her website.  I wanted to find inspiration.  I wanted to find social media tips.  I discovered she had a podcast – HOW DID I NOT KNOW THIS?!?  So I quickly made room for the podcasts and started listening to her a few days ago.  The first 2 podcasts were mind-blowing.  It was an inspiration fest.  When I get excited I write – and one thing I’ve learned from working in an office is, if you want to remember things, WRITE IT DOWN.  It’s something to do with your brain remembering things better when there is an action related to the act of remembering (I read that in a magazine in high school, it suggested studying for exams by walking!).

I’m still listening to Sara and the wonderful group of creatives who join her on the podcast episodes.  I’m still writing down what I now call my Hashtag Authentic buzz words.  Because that is what they are – they give you a buzz and inspire you to create!

When her website is back up, I’ll post a link to the podcast and the podcast notes (which I thought was a clever way of making you come back to her website!).   You can also download the podcast on iTunes.

Be prepared though, because you will be inspired into action – action that focuses on authentic engagement.


Yelly Writes

Listening to female voices

I’ve always had music in my ears ever since I could remember.  It started with my father having these huge headphones (which funnily enough would have probably been de riguer these days) and I started listening quietly these Hebrew children’s songs that my dad used to play on constant repeat so that we would speak Hebrew (apparently, I was fluent!  How I wish I still were!  I can sometimes understand the Hebrew and I remember being so happy that I didn’t necessarily have to read the subtitles when BBC showed The Honourable Woman on telly! Yep, high point in my life.  I love being such a geek!).

I had the 80’s requisite walkman and warbled to Debbie Gibson and Tiffany.  Of course, I had the double tape deck and of course I had the portable CD player that eventually you could plug into the double tape deck as a line-in (I think!  Am not entirely sure that’s what you called it!).

It was only when I moved to the UK that I started listening to audio books.  Stephen Fry’s readings of the Harry Potter books helped me through the long walks to work (I had the first generation iPod Touch by then).  After finishing the Harry Potter books, I started collecting music and creating playlists.

Then in 2014, Alan introduced me to Serial, THE PODCAST.  Along with the rest of the world, I was hooked!  I would listen to the episodes twice; once to listen to it as soon as it became available to download and listen to, and then again later in the week, before the next episode came.  It was great because Sarah Koenig spoke like me (I’m Filipino but I’ve always had a decidedly American accent – which made working in call centres decidedly easier since they required someone with an American twang!  My dearest dad flatly refused to allow us to speak in Filipino or watch Filipino shows.  Even my nanny spoke in English to me!  Oh and no, having a nanny in the Philippines did not mean we were rich.  It was just an acceptable thing to have in households with two working parents.  It was the only acceptable solution really.).  After Serial finished, I went back to listening to my music playlists.  I did miss someone talking in my ear.  So imagine my joy when Serial released their second season!  But of course, once the podcast is finished, it finished.

I started exploring the podcast world and found a lot of interesting listening available.  I listened to Richard Herring a lot for a while, except that it became a bit too sweary for me (I use the occasional expletive like “sh*t, sh*t,sh*t, oh sh*t”, or “f*ck!” or “bugger, bugger!” but even I surprise myself when I say them out loud.  Alan says I swear a lot, which probably means I feel so comfortable around him that I say what’s on my mind…even if it is a swear word!) so I stopped following his podcast.  I also listen to The Allusionist podcast because I love listening to people talk about etymology and language (and yes, because I’m a bit of a grammar monkey!).  Once in a while, I download No Such Thing As A Fish podcast episodes because I am a QI fan!

These days though, my train rides are entertained by 3 amazing women:

I love Emma Gannon’s podcasts because whilst I am not a millenial (I think in the timeline of generations, I am a Generation X-er, only just), her insights and the insights of her guests are inspiring.  Emma’s podcast Ctrl, Alt, Delete introduces her listeners to a diverse line up of creatives and successful people who have made social media their playground; people who have created niches in the social media world and aren’t stingy with sharing their experience and knowledge to people who want create their niche in this rapidly growing platform.  I realise that talking about Emma so much might made me sound like a sycophant (I don’t really care if I do!) but she is amazingly brilliant and the people she talks to are equally so.  It’s perfect listening when you want to stop hating your journey to work, perfect listening when you want to get inspiration to make a difference, perfect listening when you need to refocus and understand that your current job will probably be a means to an end – the end being doing something that you really, really want to do!

Ctrl, Alt, DeleteAnother lady I love listening to is Dawn O’Porter.  Dawn was also a guest on Emma Gannon’s podcast and I soooooo enjoyed listening to that episode.  It was very laugh-out-loud and I must admit, I did get strange/annoyed looks from people sitting near me on the train because I was constantly snorting, laughing into my sleeve or making funny faces.  Dawn has this very easy-on-the-ears voice that makes you just listen.  I was so happy she started her own podcast Get It On by Dawn O’Porter (I know you can get it on iTunes and acast..and I think, PodOmatic).  I loved the trilogy on men’s style that she had.  She talked to Jason Segal, Dermot O’Leary and her husband, Chris O’Dowd, about their sartorial choices.  I blame you entirely Dawn for the looks I got from that man who gets on at Colchester.  He was very annoyed with me because for several days, I interrupted his relatively quiet train journey!

Get It OnI’ve only just VERY recently discovered Sofie Hagen.  My introduction to her Made of Human podcast was her conversation with one of my favourite comedians, Sara Pascoe.  I first listened to her this morning and let me tell you, it was another LOL journey.  Sorry Mr Sourpuss Colchester.  It was just too funny.

Made Of HumanAlso, I’ve taken away a few, very cool, quotes that Sofie and Sarah shared during their conversation:

From Sara:  “Don’t find happiness where you lost it.”

From Sofie (sharing a Frida Kahlo quote):  “Leaving isn’t enough; you must stay gone.”

When I heard this I was slightly blown away because for some reason, it fit the situation I was struggling with (it was mostly about relationships that didn’t really matter anymore and that I shouldn’t feel guilty about not liking people – I will probably write about that at some point!).

Also, the nerdy chick in me will read about something Sara Pascoe talked about: the zero-sum game.  Have you heard of it?  Want to discuss it?  Wait, no, not yet!  I’ve got read up first!


Yelly Writes

So this is 40?

It’s my birthday!  Hurrah!

So this is how 40 feels?  I don’t really feel any different from yesterday.  Sure, there are aches and pains, creaking bones and clicking mandibles, but apart from the carpal tunnelly hands, I think I’m okay.  Oh and I’ve seen (and dealt with) a few more grey hairs!

I have been thoroughly spoilt with birthday presents, flowers and birthday greetings.  People have been so kind.  I’m glad that I’ve done enough good to deserve the well-wishes.  Thank you to my church baby Nikki who wrote me a lovely message.  I wonder sometimes if I’ve become too distant, too protective of myself to do any good, to do something for other people.  I’ve been struggling with myself lately, having internal arguments about how I’m behaving.  I’m glad I am still doing something to make some people happy.  Because that’s all I ever really want, I want to make people happy.

birthday40I want this year to be the year I make improvements to myself.  I want this year to be the year I tick off some of the items on my personal to-do list.  I want this year to be the year I officially establish my real “hustle” (it’s a little something I learned from Emma Gannon‘s podcast – listen to Episode 9 where Emma interviews Paulette Perhach.  These millenials are so driven, you get energised just listening to them!) so that my current “hustle” becomes my “side-hustle” so that I can do what I really want to do!

It’s not going to be easy, because I am plagued with procrastination and I have the tendency to allow myself to be swallowed up by inertia.  I am bolstered, though, by the desire to do something else, to do something creative, to work for myself.

I am determined to do something this year.

at40I don’t look too bad for 40, do I?