Day 11: Mistakes Were Made

blogging, expat blog challege

Prompt: When I started my blog, I wish I had…

Picture credit here.

Starting this blog nearly four years ago was a haphazard endeavour. People at home seemed to be interested in the pictures and dispatches I was sharing on Facebook from having recently arrived in Australia, and I thought that I could go further on a blog. Also, I’d taken up reading some expat blogs of Americans in Sydney, which was helping me with the idea of living here, rather than just being a tourist. I thought maybe I could pay it forward. Finally, when I first arrived, I was on a tourist visa, so I couldn’t work, and I had a lot of time on my hands. I was in desperate need of a creative outlet. And so, one day on a whim, this blog was born.

I didn’t give much thought to a plan, style, or the best platform. Most of the blogs I read were on Blogger, so that’s what I went with. In hindsight, it was a silly choice because my professional web page is on Word Press, so I already knew how to use it. I’ve since had another professional project on Word Press, as well as worked with it on a website re-design project at my job at the historical society. For those of you who don’t deal with the sort of thing, the difference in platforms is that Word Press gives you a lot more freedom, you can have your own domain name (not with the oh-so-professional sounding “” in it), and it’s just way, way sexier to look at. I desperately wish I’d started over there, but now it seems like a lot of work to migrate. I periodically research moving this blog to a Word Press site, and I know it’s do-able, but for now I keep tossing it into the ol’ too hard basket.

Another thing I did poorly was break a pretty essential rule of storytelling. I never introduced the character. In part, I probably thought that most of the people who were reading this blog would know me. But, also, because Partner-in-Crime is a very private person (despite being the King of the extroverts), he preferred to not have me say to much about our whys and wherefores and whos and whatsits on a public Internet site. It took me over two years to write the post I should have written on day one. I’ve been learning since the beginning how to walk the fine line between sharing true things and maintaining your privacy.

Finally, and this really falls under the “what was I thinking?” category. The title of this blog. Ugh. I hate it! Being all literary-minded and stuff, I spent a good couple of hours on my first day of blogging plowing through a book of Australian poetry that we’d picked up from an op shop. I wanted the name to be poetic, and decided that book was the place I was going to find it. I found fewer name candidates than I’d hoped. I really wanted to name it “In a Sunburnt Country,” which is from the same poem, “My Country” by Dorothea Mackellar but Bill Bryson had already used that for his book on Australia. So, I settled on the first line of the last stanza, “An opal-hearted country.” Granted, it is poetic and lovely imagery, but I doubt it means anything to pretty much anyone. It hardly means anything to me. Again, had I thought about style or my audience, I would have chosen more wisely. One of these days, in a fit of frustration/inspiration, I may just up and change it because, hey, it’s my blog, and it’s not the boss of me!

More reading material? Another American in Sydney blog that I have gotten to know through this challenge is Granite House on the Hill. Jackie and Josh came to Sydney just over a year ago. She’s an exceptional writer who I have loved reading this month. Definitely pop over. 

12 thoughts on “Day 11: Mistakes Were Made

  1. Samantha

    Well geez. Let’s just chalk up not photo crediting all my pics & whatnots on my blog to my regrets. Lol. I had tried wordpress – but I couldn’t figure it out & I was frustrated… so I went with blogger. I read your beginning post & really enjoyed it. Ugh, it’s so hard picking the perfect blog name – perfect format, etc.

    1. C. In Oz

      I’m seriously not great about crediting photos – I remember maybe half the time. And, yeah, Word Press is a little tricky, but I already knew how to use it, so why did I end up here? Who can remember…

  2. Christie

    I share the same regret about my blog title, although I didn’t think of it when typing my post. ‘Down under’ is such a cliche, and I have since discovered that many Aussies don’t like it. I think I put about five minutes worth of thought into the selection. I like yours, though. I can totally understand why you chose it. I loved reading Bill Bryson’s book, and I think it’s a great title, but it rained for most of our first two years in Melbourne, which was kind of funny.

    1. C. In Oz

      Oh, I like yours! The grass is always greener. The thing I like about blogs that have something like “Down Under” in it is that it tells you something about the blog right off the bat. But, I see where you’re coming from.
      I loved Bill Bryson’s book, too. I’ve been meaning to re-read it now that I’ve been living here for awhile. Just wish he hadn’t stolen my title!

  3. Cosette Paneque

    Dooooo eeeeet! I migrated one of my blogs from Blogger to WordPress and I gave it a new name. I was hesitant too because it goes back to 2006 and I thought, “Bloody hell, that’s a lot of posts.” The migration itself takes minutes, but I did spend about a month going through the entire blog and curating it (because I’m anal retentive like that). I’m very glad I did it.

    1. C. In Oz

      Was the migration seamless? No problems with how the posts moved over? I know I’ll do it one day, but I admit to being nervous about it. And, I have to think about what I actually DO want to call this blog. I just know what I don’t want to call it.

    2. Cosette Paneque

      It was seamless in the sense that everything transferred over. I didn’t lose anything. But because the design was different, things looked funny sometimes. For example, photos might be too small or too big. That’s why I went back and curated it, fixing formatting issues and photos, updating some good posts and re-publishing those (oldies but goodies), and also deleting posts that had become totally irrelevant. It was also cool to re-read through my entire blog, years of posts.

  4. Kelli

    I was thinking about migrating too but just settled for adding a picture of a mosque. That I took so no photo credits needed 🙂 I haven’t introduced myself either and don’t even have anything of worth on my profile. Hmm…

    1. C. In Oz

      I really like your new design. The picture is great.
      I guess I thought about the introduction because I think, heck, hardly any of my friends even read this thing any more. I think most people who read it now are expats in Australia, or at least that’s who comments, so trying to think about those readers.

  5. Yvette Niesel

    I always enjoyed your blog, but I have to admit that it became infinitely better once the Hushpuppy arrived. If you migrate, I’ll definitely continue to follow you no matter what!

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