Blogging in English: Who am I?

I started writing this English blog since April last year, and my embarrassing first post was about cardmaking: it all started with my mother in law. My even more embarrassing second post was one way to make your child more popular.

15 months later, my recent two posts were Pondering Freedom of Speech during Ramadan and Copyright violation: are you a victim?

From cardmaking to Ramadan, have I not noticed the difference in my subject matter, style, and language?

Lorelle on WordPress logoRecently, I took up Blog Exercises set by Lorelle VanFossen, a veteran blogger, and a die-hard WordPress loyalist (Please make sure you spell the trademark WordPress properly with 2 capital letters, to avoid her wrath.)

Her exercises have become my blogging nutrients. I have a dedicated bog exercises series to record my journey, because deep down, I really have a desire to improve, not just in my English grammar, my writing skill, but also my thoughts.

Today, I would like to encourage you to view Lorelle’s comprehensive Giant Blog Exercise Check List Part 1. I think it’ll benefit you as a blogger, a writer, and a thinker, whatever your blogging topics are. This list will open your eyes. It may even change your life. If not, at least it is a place with wonderful resources for your reference. The topics cover:

  • Site Organisation
  • Blog Purpose, Goals, and Focus
  • Blog Structure and Organisation Basics
  • Site Design
  • Post Organisation: Categories and Tags
  • Content Organisation and Structure
  • Site Maintenance, Web Design, and Workflow
  • Publishing Tips and the Business of Blogging
  • Blog Techniques and How To
  • Writing, Editing, and Content Development
  • Community Building, Social Web, and Interactivity
Suffer injury? A poster about improving skills and techniques, seen in my local health club.

Suffer injury?

I saw this advert last week in my local health club. This advert speaks to me as it reflects my determination: I’m trying to better myself.

Enjoy running but suffer with injuries?
Want to develop an efficient, natural running ability?
Technique is everything.
Running is a skill.

My connection with WordPress started in 2008, and I spent four years writing in this Chinese blog. My initial dream with blogging was to share my views from Britain to a great Chinese audience. However, WordPress is blocked in China. Millions of people were not able to access my site in a normal way. My main Chinese readers came from Southeast Asia, America and Hong Kong. I only had a small number of readers from the mainland China, who successfully overcame the Great Firewall of China to reach my blog. I valued my friendship with these loyal, brilliant readers, and most of them were bright, young, and intellectual.

From Chinese to English

Since last year, I switched to WordPress in English, as I was exhausted in writing in Chinese, and I wasn’t producing fresh materials. The WordPress community in Chinese language was extremely small, and the topics were very limited. I didn’t have the technical knowledge to reach other potential Chinese readers in China through WordPress. I didn’t want to leave WordPress. I didn’t want to blog in China’s blogging platforms. Therefore I needed a fresh start.

I so wanted to taste what it’s like to connect to a wider audience, so I had to use their language – English. In the past 15 months, I’ve enjoyed the happiness of connecting to a wider community. When writing in English, my thought process changes too. It’s interesting. I think and write differently in two languages. This’ll be a new topic for another post.

Fifteen months is only a very short time in a blogger’s life. I’m a toddler. I’m very lucky that in this English world, I’m packed with a lot of support, particularly from Lorelle on WordPress, my source of blogging nutrients.

You can find more Blog Exercises on . This is a year-long challenge to help you flex your blogging muscles.

My Related Posts:

Am I British enough?
Pondering Freedom of Speech during Ramadan
Honouring Nelson Mandela: Make Everyday a Mandela Day
Sharing my favourite things
Where’re you really from?
Walking in the wood – Part 1
Weekly Writing Challenge: My Mum’s Net
5 changes of a Chinese wife in England: on Language
5 changes of a Chinese wife in England: on Culture
5 changes of a Chinese wife in England — on Food

17 thoughts on “Blogging in English: Who am I?

  1. ShimonZ

    My reason for blogging is almost the extreme opposite of yours, but both of us are blogging in a foreign language, so I am really looking forward to hearing your thoughts about thinking and writing differently in two languages.

    1. Janet Williams Post author

      Dear Shimon,

      You must be doing the right thing with your blog. Your readers’ comments are always so impressive and there’re excellent exchanges of conversations on your particular blog. I think it’s not just your mastery of the English language, it’s your wisdom, your sense of humour and your storytelling narrative style.

      Would you think writing in English would allow you to write things that you would not write or share in your mother tongue? I’ll have a think about this topic and will share it in the future.

      1. ShimonZ

        Up until now, Janet. I have felt more restrained in writing in English than I do writing in Hebrew. I can share more in Hebrew because my readers have more in common with me, so far as experience is concerned, Thank you for your kind words regarding my blog.

  2. The Laughing Housewife

    Like language, a blog is a growing, living thing. As you change, your blog changes; as you gain experience, you see how to improve it.

    When I first started blogging, it was a mix of anecdote, laughter, opinion and poetry. Then I created a specific poetry blog. My poetry improved and I closed its blog, because I wanted to be able to submit my work. My blog now is mostly about making people laugh but I throw in the occasional serious post, if I feel strongly enough about something.

    My point is, a blog reflects personality, and personalities change. Don’t be embarrassed at your early posts: they are a part of what made you you.

    1. Janet Williams Post author

      Thanks Tilly — I can see how your blog evolves too. I agree that a blog reflect our personality and we change (with age!). However, I’m also wondering whether to treat a blog as a project, stay more focused instead of writing random thoughts. If I feel tired with my blog, what will keep me moving forward? These days, I’m thinking of the purpose of a blog and what best to keep it up.

    1. Janet Williams Post author

      The list from Lorelle is a great resource to help us re-think about blogging, and how we can improve the world that we create in our blog. I’m sure you’ll find something interesting there.

    1. Janet Williams Post author

      I’m lucky as I’m not blogging from China. Millions of people there have fought hard to overcome the Great Firewall of China and they are pushing their limit. I have full admiration for the people there. China’s equivalent of Twitter (named Welbo) is active, colourful, and engaging, and millions of people there are challenging their freedom of speech each day.

  3. Lorelle VanFossen

    I adore your description of the blog exercises as your nutrients. Makes me laugh and cry at the same time.

    I’m so proud of you. You have come so far and done so much, in your life as well as recently. Keep rocking on and setting a great example for others.

    1. Janet Williams Post author

      Hi Lorelle,

      With your challenges, I can see myself stretching my muscle a bit each day (stretching a bit too much?)

      I can see your thoughts behind all the exercises. They involve a lot of high-level thinking questions. High-level thinking makes your exercises so distinct from other lightweight or aimless challenges, prompts or weekly challenges around WordPress.

      It reminds of learning how to drive. This is another analogy and I’ll explore later.

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