Thursday 20th January 2022

Why Did I? 32/51. #LifeThisWeek. 64/2020.

Why Did I? 32/51. #LifeThisWeek. 64/2020.

I have given this optional prompt some thought and as my blog is having its 10th Birthday in late 2020 I decided to go with this question.

I am 67 here: only birthday cake photo I have.

Why Did I Start a Blog?

Before I did…here’s what went on.

  • From the time of my final retirement from education in early 2010 I was noticing how much I missed social connections and engagement with people. I miss school! It was, as I found out, my only place of being with people for a purpose and for a long time in my life: 4 decades.


  • I had my first iphone and discovered the (then) wonderful, engaging and fun world of Twitter. I called myself @denwise1 – a play on the spelling of Denyse with the y and added ‘one. Geddit? I am now @denysewhelan1 and have been for some years.


  • I first found fun and engagement via a very simple and great (then) on-line space called mamamia (dot) com and there were so many chances to engage and ‘chat’ with others. I virtually met so many people then, who have gone on to become IRL (in real life) friends I have met.


  • Suddenly I was connecting and I loved it, especially Fridays when there seemed to be a great number of us chatting away.


  • I found blogs like Woogsworld, Baby Mac, Styling You, MagnetoBoldToo, and many, many more. I loved commenting and, as I said making connections.


  • I was in awe of the ways in which this blogging thing worked. You wrote a post, published it and people read it and commented.

I thought (naively) I can do that!



Here Goes. The Blog. How I Did This. Not Well. But….

I outsourced my blog making to my internet provider and away I went. OH OH. No idea of what to do next. It was, as I saw, a static page. Ummm. That was not what I wanted. Initially I called my blog: Memories by Denyse. It was self-hosted on a wordpress platform and my name had already become my website. But, I know not what to do. So disappointed but also I am not someone who gives up.

Becoming Enlightened AND Overwhelmed.

I ummed and aaahed whether I could call myself a blogger when the first (ever!) Aussie Bloggers Conference was announced: to be in Sydney where I lived and on a weekend. Pay your fees and accommodation and come and meet like people. This was awesome. As an idea. You know that imposter syndrome, I really had it then.


Why Did I Attend the First Aussie Bloggers Conference in March 2011? 

To meet the people I already ‘knew’ from their blogs, their twitter feed and their comments on Mamamia. It really was that simple. Of course, I did hope to learn a bit more about this blogging thing but it was all about meeting people. From that day, and into the evening I met so many who had previously had twitter handles and blog names.

There are many of us still blogging from then but there are many MORE who have stopped blogging and ventured back into work, on-line ventures and more. But back then, it was a rush and a buzz being part of this and for me, knowing new people. Nothing to do with my world of education. And all, of course, much younger than I, but all very inclusive.

Why Did I Change The Blog’s Purpose Over Time?

  • Initially the blog was to help me make memories of the time we were living in as a family. I really could only add words and a few photos. I had no idea how to get anyone to read my blog’s posts.


  • I sought help from a couple of self-titled blog makers/developers over the next 2 years but remained frustrated that I was paying other people to do something I was not getting any income from. But wait. There IS more.


  • I made the blog into THREE: memories by denyse ...teaching by denyse….school by denyse …to match what I thought were my audiences. This was in 2011-2012 when there were at least 4 blogging conferences and meetings and I was R E A D Y to share my talents and skills (my words!)


  • I tried my best to share the words from the blogs with relevant audiences: parents where I was advising on starting school, and pre-service teachers needing help with potential employment and a personal blog about family life.


  • It was too much. No-one was reading much. I was working FAR too hard. I did at one stage, get some sponsorship and that $500 paid for my flights to Melbourne and attendance at Blogopolis. I did not enjoy having to be connected with a brand.


  • I sought local website development and blog-making help and after a coffee shop conversation, with me using hand drawn charts and ideas, the wonderful and patient Craig (who I call Tech Guy) came up with what is NOW:


  • I already had the name as my website and it took me till 2014 to finally let go of doing any kind of blogging other than what worked for me.

Why Did I Seek An Audience and How Did That Come About?

I am going to share this in next week’s post: I want. It kind of goes with the story too.


Do you have a story to share about how/why you began to blog?


Link Up #201

Life This Week. Link Up #201

You can link up something old or new, just come on in.

* Please add just ONE post each week! NOT a link-up series of posts, thank you.

* Feel free to go with the prompt for the week to add your ‘take’ on the prompt. Or not.

* Please do stay to comment on my post as I always reply and it’s a bloggy thing to do!

* Check out what others are up to: Leave a comment on a few posts, because we all love our comments, right!

* Add a link back to this blog in your post somewhere, or on your sidebar or let others know somewhere you are linking up to this blog’s Life This Week.

*Posts deemed by me, the owner of the blog & the link-up, to be unsuitable for my audience will be deleted without notice. These may include promotions, advertorials and any that are overly religious or political or in any way offensive  in nature.

* THANK you for linking up today! Next week’s optional prompt: 33/51 I Want? 17.8.2020

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter



  1. Ha I must have just missed you when you were a bloggy pioneer because I started my blog in November 2011. I started to blog because I needed somewhere to empty my brain after my second cancer diagnosis in a year and also to keep my friends and family up to date. I also wanted to create a space where people who had a similar diagnosis could get information and feel supported. There wasn’t much out on the interwebs about thyroid cancer that wasn’t doom and gloom then and I remember when I was diagnosed I felt so alone. It’s so funny because although hubby built the site (and did an amazing job) I had no idea what I was doing or what blogging involved. Come to think of it, I don’t know much more today, I’m blog like a person in a dark room fumbling around trying to find my way! The best bit about blogging is the friends I have made in my computer and you’re definitely one of those!

    • Aww thanks Sam. I agree. Made some great mates via blogging.

      Isn’t it interesting that there is always a “WHY” to when we started.

      Your blog’s initial purpose certainly helped me with my decision to blog about head and neck cancer and to be a source to help others as you have with thyroid cancer.

      Handy to have hubby as your tech guy! In-house to boot!


  2. I started blogging because I was more or less doing it in the comments section of Kidspot…it’s funny how it starts…

    • So similar to my start! Mine was mamamia and yours was kidspot. Both still going of course but in oh so many different guises.

      How did Pandora and Max become the title for your blog Lydia?


  3. I started blogging to do something productive with my down time. I find writing relaxing. Keeps me thinking, learning and connecting. The focus of my blog has changed over time and like how it has grown and changed with me.

    SSG xxx

    • I remember finding your blog…can’t remember how (like most I think) and I was intrigued by your title and your posts.

      Of course, life has moved on for both of us and now we have even met!

      What a great place the internet and blogs can be to share our stories, SSG!


  4. I found it interesting reading about how your blog evolved. Your post brought back many memories of the early days of blogging. I started my blog as a diary of my fitness events. In those days I travelled interstate often for events. Your blog has become a wonderful resource for HNC but also gives you a great platform as an Ambassador.

    • It is a good thing to know how each of us began blogging. You were a busy woman and blogger then I imagine Jennifer.

      Life, as it is, can change our focus as mine has for the blog and I like many have been fortunate to do so and virtually meet many like you along the way.

      Yes, the blog is helpful for sharing HNC awareness but I still get a ‘wow, you blog’ look from some people when I hand them my card!!


  5. Great to know how you started Denyse. Look forward to Part 2.

    • Quite a bit for me to remember too, Maureen. Such a different life for me then but I knew I needed connections with people and blogging then and now, has done that for sure!


  6. This was so interesting Denyse and instead of writing a new post I have returned to an early post about why I started blogging and updated it a little bit. Thanks for the inspiration to relook at the whys of blogging. I am so glad we’ve managed to connect although we’ve both been blogging for some time, it’s taken a while! Your early blogging history is similar to many. I must admit I didn’t expect much from my early days and didn’t think I’d still be here blogging in 2020! Thanks for the opportunity to share and look at things each week.

    • Thanks Debbie. I guess, because of the twitter following and where I really gained traction with many, many bloggers to be and bloggers that was where the Aussie Bloggers Conference grew from. So many are no longer blogging but they tended to be “mummy bloggers”, “travel bloggers” and “food bloggers”.

      I did have quite a downturn in interest for my blog for 2014 – it was the peak decision time in my life: retirement and moving – and because of knowing me, I upped the blogging to in 2015. More in Part Two. It has helped my mental health so much to connect with others and to write!


  7. Hi Denyse, Thanks for sharing your blogging journey. I started blogging in October 2016 to move from my paper journal to a digital journal, connect with bloggers and readers, and writing as a hobby. #lifethisweek

  8. I had been writing online for many years (since 2000 or 2002?? I don’t remember the exact year) in a number of places before I came across the blogging community. I’d had a few websites over the time but was also very active in certain forums and other places. I didn’t feel ‘free’ enough at the time to really make my own internet home – that came later!

    • Wow, I think you ‘win’ that for me. That’s huge. The Australian blogging community really did go all out on promotions and upskilling your blog…via Problogger, Blogopolis and Nuffnang.

      I went to Problogger when it was small and a day only conference in Melbourne. I took away all the info and tried to make my blog more SEO friendly, blah blah but then it all was too much like work and so I let that go.

      Happiest now, with this space, keeping me connected and quite busy for the past few years.

      Glad to see you here too.


  9. Hi Denyse, Congratulations on 10 years blogging! I started my first blog This Is Who We Are to pass on my family history research to my family. My other hobby is genealogy. I always had the idea for my current blog but didn’t start it until last year. I had my domain name for 6 years before I used it! I love writing and wish blogging was only about that, but it’s become more about promoting the blog and learning the technical side of it. That does my head in. It’s also about connecting with like-minded people which I love. Regards, Christina

    • Thanks Christina. I hope you have all your blog posts still there for the genealogy. I had a few starts to that as a hobby but lost interest and the cost to be on Ancestry wasn’t value for me. My daughter has done more and as she is a teacher/librarian she loved being an archivist.

      That was foresight to get the domain sorted…and then take your time.

      Like I have said, others helped me build the blog and it is in a state where I can maintain it. I no longer concerned about page views etc. I certainly do not want ads on my site either. I find them very distracting on some blog. But understand people want some income to pay blog expenses.

      We just decided to ‘accept’ my hosting fees, and blog name renewal fees along with the link up costs as part of what I do. A long time ago, I used to claim the expenses as I was a sole trader education consultant but I wound that up in 2014.

      Lovely to hear your story too.

  10. I started my astrology blog in 2008 and this one in 2012 – it was a place for my rambles. It’s still for that reason. Thanks for providing somewhere to both link up and share in the stories of other bloggers.

    • Good on you for a space for your rambles. I enjoy them very much.

      It’s a pleasure to host. #201 today!! Yikes.

      Just the best bit about blogging is the connections and the conversations.

      Thanks Jo.


  11. Sounds like it was a learning curve for you at the beginning like with most of us, Denyse, but I’m glad you persisted. Blogging friends are amazing! It’s so good to have met IRL. Here’s to many more years of blogging from you! I’ve been blogging since 2008, so just a couple more than you and the scene certainly has changed!

    • Thank you so much. Yes, blogging friends ‘get us’ don’t they? Very fortunate to have met you of course…and Sam and a few more.

      The scene seems to be much more individualised now. The fewer link ups means less sharing I guess.

      I am always grateful to have started this link up when Kirsty had decided to retire hers.

      Take care,