On expat blogging

I have dedicated my entire life to avoiding the horror of public speaking. When Judy Rickatson asked me to be part of a panel discussion on “Blogging for Expat Success” at this year’s FIGT conference, I was relieved to have a rock-solid excuse for saying no: a scheduling conflict meant I wasn’t able to attend.

I should’ve known that wouldn’t stop Judy. “No problem!” she replied briskly. “We’ll just pipe you in via Skype.”

Rats! Outmanoeuvred by someone smart enough to have a Plan B. “Hurray,” I said weakly.

So this past Friday there I was, sitting at my computer and straining to hear the wisdom of Linda A. Janssen of Adventures in Expat Land, Rachel Yates of Defining Moves, Norman Viss of Expat Everyday Support Center, and Judy of Expatriate Life.

I wanted to post a clip or two of each panellist, but unfortunately the setup in the conference room proved too awkward for my Skype recorder to handle. So, my friends, aside from one fleeting glimpse of my fellow bloggers, you’re stuck with me prattling on about how easy it is to set up a blog, why blogging is good for the soul, and how I Was An Expat Wife saved me from a trip to The Big House.

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About Maria

I'm a Canadian repatriate, former expat spouse, mother to two TCKs (and one yellow Lab), mentor to new immigrants, writer, reader, world traveller (grounded for now). I write about expat/repat issues and am still trying to figure out my place in the world.
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22 Responses to On expat blogging

  1. mirrorgirl says:

    The best feeling in the world is after You done something scary! And: You did so well! You explain why you started writing in a consise, understandable way. You even use humor, which is great! I also like your comment in the end: anybody can do it, trust me!

    • Maria says:

      True! It’s like hitting yourself in the head with a hammer: it feels so good when you stop.:) Actually, I find it’s not too scary when the audience is receptive and the subject is one you feel passionate about. Thanks for the sweet comment!

  2. Judy says:

    Oh you are SO clever to think of recording yourself on Skype. Too bad we couldn’t record everyone else. Thanks so much for taking part and not for mentioning the bald spot on my head (from tearing my hair out over technical challenges) 🙂

    • Maria says:

      The plan was to include everyone in the video, but clearly I’m not THAT clever. And why should you have all the hair-tearing techno-cursing fun? (Also, you’ll notice I edited out the part where I demonstrated how close I wanted the others to hold the microphoone: not down here, but up here, no, not down here, etc. My brats darling children are threatening to post that little tidbit on YouTube.)

  3. I loved hearing what you had to say as a TCK myself and who is living the expat life now with my family, raising our own TCKs. I’ve started blogging this year about my experiences and I can so relate to what you said about having your blog. I didnt realize how big the expat community was until recently and its really so amazing to me. Thank you for sharing to help others! I hope by sharing my own story about TCKs and now experiencing the Expat life can help others.

    xx
    Bonnie Rose – 10 Things Expats Raising Children in England Should Know

  4. This is no horror, you came across as a seasoned speaker. You did a good job of speaking AND masking your jitters:-) Way to go Maria.

  5. That was fun to watch! I did n’t make is to FIGT13, hopefully I will make it to FIGT 2014 but at least you gave us a taste of the conference. Quite impressive how you made that little film. I agree having a blog has opened up the world for me and connected me with lots of interesting people and blogging is so much fun!

  6. Congrats – brilliant star turn on the catwalk there. And great to meet someone else with that in-built fear of the public podium 🙂 See you out that way soon!

  7. Loved having you with us (if only via Skype), Maria. It was a relaxed crowd, and with Judy’s great questions and our talented fellow panelists, it was educational and a lot of fun. Hope to see you, Drie Culturen and others at FIGT 2014 🙂

  8. Sine says:

    Very well done Maria! I loved hearing what you said, all of which rang very true to me but trust me, I couldn’t have said it as eloquently and without a single “ummm”. It was also great seeing you in a video – we really DO have to skype sometime!

  9. michelloui says:

    I would NEVER have guessed you try to avoid public speaking! But the title is what drew me to this one as I too am the same. A close friend asked me to read at her wedding recently so I said yes, then spent the next 6 months feelling ill about it. When it came time to do the reading I was in such a panic I did something weird to my voice and afterwards everyone came up to me and said ‘oh, you read that with so much emotion I felt my eyes welling up!’ I felt like replying that it was just the panicked constriction of my vocal cords but instead I just said thanks. You, on the other hand, cover any nerves perfectly and I really enjoyed your message. And yes, anyone can do it (with the right attitude)! I would love to go to a FIGT conference sometime to hear/meet more expats–even if it’s via Skype! Well done.

    • Maria says:

      I laughed out loud reading this. Your constricted vocal cords did a great job! The best way to handle public speaking in my opinion is to tape it and edit judiciously.:) And yes, you should definitely try attending FIGT — it’s a great couple of days. Thanks for the comment.

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