You’ve previously said that you put a lot of effort into developing your personal brand. Can you walk us through the process?
Before I sold the book to publishers, I learned through my research that agents and publishers look for authors with platforms, like popular blogs. So I began brainstorming blog ideas that would:
(a) Fit with the theme of the book,
(b) Inspire, or offer the reader take-home value, and,
(c) Align with my voice and my self-deprecating sense of humour.
One day, while touring New Zealand by van, an idea struck out of the blue: the Fearful Adventurer! This theme would allow me to be open about my fears, while gently inspiring other fearful people to take leaps. Once I had that idea in place, I began designing a look and feel to align with that theme.
You write less frequently then most bloggers, but your posts are of a very high standard. How much effort do you put into the average blog post?
I don’t use a timer because that would be like weighting myself after a large, delicious meal, but yes, I always put a lot of effort into my posts. Some of my posts contain illustrations and when there is paint involved, a post can easily take me 16 hours or more.
I don’t plan them out—I let them evolve on the page. Sometimes that happens quickly over four hours, sometimes they’re created slowly over a week.
I don’t call it ‘work,’ though. It’s creative play.
Tell us more about the concept of creative play. How can non-artistic bloggers be more creative with their blog?
You’ve written about the difficulties trying to blog and travel at the same time. How do you manage to write such captivating blog posts while living a nomad lifestyle?
It’s tough to surrender into a ruminative creative headspace if you’re moving around a lot or worrying about where you’re going to sleep at night!
Travel gives me a lot of inspiration for what I create, but generally I have to wait until I’m fixed in one spot before I can process those ideas into any kind of art. I wrote Love with a Chance of Drowning a year after the voyage was over. By that time, I’d had a chance to process the experience retrospectively and make meaning out of the whole experience.
There’s a lot of value in fully experiencing the moment while you’re in it, and then turning it into art later on