Why I’m Learning to Blog.

This is the first lesson in a series of tasks that I’ve been set, to learn the processes on the WordPress blog site.

The reasons I write are varied. I’d like to write more, I’d like to be read and have my articles commented upon. I guess to be recognised as a valuable contributor to whatever topic I’m contributing to, is some kind of validation of my experience and skills.

I recently wrote a long running column in a motorcycle magazine called Heavy Duty. This is a Harley Davidson enthusiast magazine and although I had owned several Harleys over the years, I had just bought a Victory motorcycle. This brand of motorcycle were brand new in Australia, having opened the doors on the fabulous Melbourne dealership in 2011 and as I knew the owner of Heavy Duty magazine, I simply asked him if I could write a Victory column.

He agreed, and as the Victory parent company Polaris, advertised in the magazine, we thought it would be a great adjunct.

I went on to write the column “Victory Speech” for about 4 years. I also managed to write several test ride articles for the magazine over this period. All my contributions to the magazine were gratis, except the very last article, for which I was paid $100.

Prior to this, in 1992, I was invited to write a column in the Sunday Age. This column was called “Tool Time With Olly Downie”. This was where my skills as a residential building contractor were called into action. I had at the time, recently renovated a home for a woman who was a sub-editor of the Melbourne based “The Age” newspaper. She asked if I could write. I quickly decided that I could, having just successfully written to the tax department, asking for a fine to be disallowed. As my request was successful, I naturally based the decision on my literary skills, less so on the argument that the reason for the fine was unfair…

However, she asked me to write a thousand words on the subject of what would I suggest to a new home owner, to assemble as a home tool kit, the contents of “the bottom drawer”.

After spending an afternoon with a staff photographer, that first article was published with almost no corrections, into a weekly publication with hundreds of thousands of readers……Many more articles like this followed.

This is the nub of my writing career, if it can be described as a career. I haven’t really made any money apart from my small stint with the Sunday Age. I enjoy writing, I love the challenge of belting out 1000 words with a 2 hour deadline. I thoroughly enjoy the satisfaction that comes with a well written piece. There are many more small stories to pen and I assume that many more will come with this fundamentals blogging course.



3 thoughts on “Why I’m Learning to Blog.

  1. It’s good to see that you are back blogging. Not everyone has that ability to describe an event in an understandable and entertaining way that the reader can connect with.

    Liked by 1 person

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