Oh Well!

A few days ago I came across a post by Chuck Wendig that summed up a quandary I’ve been in lately. When I say came across I actually mean read in my Feedly because I follow his blog. But that sounds boringly practical, so instead imagine me wandering aimlessly through the wild grasses of the internet before stumbling over the tree stump of enlightenment. The post just consisted of the flowchart below… And I was forced, as all devious flowcharts force Click for more

Changing My Viewpoint

A while back I realised that I had an attitude problem. It wasn’t immediately noticeable to everyone, in fact for the most part, nobody knew. But I knew and it was eating me up inside. This attitude was one that is probably not uncommon in expats. It’s a negative view of the country you live in, a pessimism that colours your view of everyone and everything. For a short-term expat this leads to a lot of comparisons with how things Click for more

Being Short-sighted

I need to start wearing glasses, metaphorical ones, I’m already wearing ones for distance. I can see the outline of my goal, the bright shiny vision of the future. I can see exactly what it will be like and how good it will make me feel. There is a soft-focus effect at play though, the image is not crystal clear. What is perfectly clear is the wall between me and my goal. It’s a wall that can only be broken Click for more

Writing from the heart

When I think of my most productive time in terms of creative effort it is slightly contradictory. I produced most but yet produced nothing for publication. In a way it was writing in its purest form, to figure out the world and my place in it. The overriding value in my life was, appropriately enough given the week that’s in it, love. I was newly married. I was exploring the culture I’d married into. I was learning a new language. Click for more

F**k the Begrudger

The last week I’ve been thinking about my inner critic, prompted in part by Tara Sophia Mohr’s blogpost and by her description of her own inner critic piping up in the Global Niche conversation of last Friday night. My own inner critic is pretty close to a realistic thinker. At times it is a little too realistic and needs to lighten up and have some fun every now and again. What I have to look out for is my inner begrudger… Click for more

The Compass

This is inspired by week two of A Year With Myself. Leonie Dawson asks have we found our soul’s compass yet. Once upon a time I had a compass. It looked like this. It was a tool, a geologists compass. Not only did it help to locate me, it also allowed me to make maps, to reveal features that the eye couldn’t see in the landscape. It helped illuminate the enormous forces that shaped whatever piece of land I was Click for more

The Threshold

Just as I was pondering how to give myself the kick in the ass I need to get blogging again, I stumbled across this idea of A Year With Myself. Well, sez I, there’s the kick I need. So the plan is to participate while also getting on with the other things I’m planning. The way I see it the threshold is a little like the frost on the flowers, it can be deadly and paralysing but with a little Click for more


Announcing HYBRID AMBASSADORS: a blog-ring project of Dialogue2010 You met our multinational cultural innovators this spring in a roundtable discussion of hybrid life at expat+HAREM. Now in these interconnected blog posts some of them share reactions to a recent polarizing book promotion at the writing network SheWrites. Join the discussion on Twitter using #HybridAmbassadors or #Dialogue2010 I am special. I really am. I’m from a small country. That makes me special, there are only so many of us out there. Click for more

Being a perfectionist

Being the procrastinator that I am, I also like to think of myself as a perfectionist. The logic is simple – I expect to do a terrific job, spend a tremendous amount to time waiting for the optimum moment when the stars collide and inspiration hits with a physical force. That never quite happens. Instead I wait and collect and gather and wait some more and generally at the very limit of my deadline I get the words out. This Click for more


A few weeks ago I had a problem. It should have been simple – there were only two solutions. All I had to do was choose. But I couldn’t, no matter how hard I thought about the problem both solutions looked bad. It was a rock or a hard place, the frying pan or the fire. I was spending far too much time obsessing and getting nothing done. Then the Handyman provided a flash of inspiration. ‘There is no wrong Click for more