Casing A Life Less Frantic
Mother, runner, writer, blogger. Serial over-committer. Kelly believes a busy life need not be a stressful life. She blogs about embracing the busy by living intentionally at A Life Less Frantic.
How long have you been blogging and why did you start?
I’ve been blogging since 2010. I started because at the time I was really strung out running a business and being a new mum and was really feeling the lack of a creative outlet in my life. I needed something that was just for me … something I could do purely for the pleasure of it. So I started a blog called I love pretty things and it was literally a blog that talked about beautiful things I came across in shops and at markets that were pretty and I loved. And funnily, it seems there are a lot of people who love pretty things because it took off really quickly. I also had a personal blog at kellyexeter.com.au and eventually my passion for I love pretty things waned in preference to writing about A Life Less Frantic on my personal site.
Tell us a bit about your blog and what we can expect to see in 2014?
A Life Less Frantic is for people like me who like to have a lot going on, but don’t like the stress that generally goes with that. I’ve learned I can lead a busy life without being permanently stressed out of my brain and that’s what I share on the blog – ideas for living more intentionally.
2014? I released my first book (Your Best Year Yet: 7 simple ways to shift your thinking and take charge of your life) on Amazon in January and am hoping to release another around August. I don’t directly monetise my blog at all – my intention for it is to help me find ‘my people’ – the ones who are interested in my voice and my message. Hopefully these people like my voice and message so much they will continue to read my writing and buy my books 🙂
Do you have a favourite place or dedicated space for blogging?
We are currently living with my father-in-law while we build a house so I have a little desk setup in the upstairs living area. It is a long way away from the beautiful big study I had in my old house, but it does the job and there is lots of beautiful, natural light which for me is really important.
What are your must have tools and resources when it comes to blogging?
I pretty much stick with my trusty laptop. I write and edit all my posts in Word, create my images in Photoshop and then bring it all into WordPress at the last moment. If I need to take a picture I do it with my iPhone. And then of course when it comes to promotion of my posts – I go the full social media gamut: Facebook, Twitter, Google +, Pinterest, Instagram. Even Linked In!!
Have you ever experienced bloggers block and what are your top tips for when it strikes?
The only time I ever experienced blogger’s block was when I was not getting any exercise or because I had lost interest in my topic (I love pretty things). With A Life Less Frantic the quickest cure for blogger’s block is to go for a walk or a run. I have a long list of ideas saved in Evernote (oh look – there’s a tool I forgot) so if ever I am struggling I will go look at that list, see what ‘sparks’ in my head … then go for a walk and mull it over. By the time I come back from walking I usually have the bones of a post in my head.
What have been your blogging highlights and biggest challenges?
I am not big on competitions or being on lists so my main blogging highlights occur when someone emails me and tells me something I wrote made them think, or made a difference to their life. That’s really the be all and end all for me! Also being published on big sites like Mamamia, The Hoopla and Kidspot.
The biggest challenge I face is of course … time. Sometimes I find myself publishing something I know could be sharper and ‘better’ if I had more time to devote to writing and editing it. But if I waited till everything was up to my standards, I would never publish anything. It’s a constant battle!
Who inspires you and what’s on your Worth Casing list when it comes to other bloggers?
Darren Rowse for the way he leads by example with kindness and generosity. I really believe it’s because of his leadership that the entire Australian blogging community seems to have these values.
Nikki Parkinson from Styling You because she is just a true professional and an extremely hard worker. I have learned so much from watching how she operates.
Woogsworld/Kayte – again because she is just kind and generous – to her community and even to her haters. In fact I have seen her turn ‘haters’ around by simply being a nice person and this was very educational!
The list could honestly go on and on and I feel a little bad mentioning three such ‘big’ bloggers when there are many ‘smaller’ bloggers who inspire me just as much – but I think it is important to recognise their contribution to the wider blogging community.
Worth casing? Here’s three from left field for you: Penelope Trunk, James Altucher, James Clear. These three people always make me think. Since that’s what I aspire to with my blog, I find their blogs very inspiring.
What advice would you give to anyone that is thinking about starting a blog of their own?
Just start. And revel in that initial period where no one is reading your blog. Because that period where no one is reading – it gives you the chance to try different things and truly find your voice and your ‘point of difference’. Once you find your voice, readers will find you.
It’s also really important (in the early days) to read other blogs, comment and get to know other bloggers. These people will become your biggest advocates so find ‘your kind’ of people and connect with them in a genuine way.
You’ve written and published a book to Amazon this year. What’s it about and how is it going?
Yes as I mentioned earlier my book is called Your Best Year Yet: 7 Ways to Shift Your Thinking and Take Control of Your Life. My intent with this book was not to set the world on fire … rather to get people to slightly shift their thinking with regard to the common thought patterns we have that hold us back in life.
How’s it going? Well I am happy to say that I’ve now sold more books than I gave away (and I gave away over 200!) so that’s my first ‘sales’ goal achieved. But the main thing that’s been lovely is that people seem to be both enjoying it and getting something from it. And those are the most important things for me.
If you weren’t in the business of blogging what would you be doing?
I would always be writing in some form or another. But I have to say, as a writer, you want to know your words are being read. So I couldn’t imagine ever NOT being in the business of blogging because with blogging … you know your words are being read!