The transition from full-time editor and commuter to stay-at-home freelancer has been made a lot easier by two things: my garden and my new addiction to social and other on-line media.
The gardening is a bit of a no brainer. The garden is a place to unwind and also be creative. I’ve chopped, pruned, planted, fertilised, mulched and watered (and watered) over the past four months. My chooks and dogs are also happier as they are spending more time in the garden with me as well.
In between bouts of working on the computer (writing this blog, updating websites, putting together newsletters and magazine articles and even a book) I also have time to post on Facebook, tweet on Twitter and I’ve finally Linkedin.
Social media is an all-embracing web once it gets hold. May be I’ll tire of its demands (opening your email in the morning to 86 emails from Linkedin is a bit daunting) but for now I am catching up with people I’ve neglected for far too long.
I’ve also become a bit of a zealot urging others to get on to social media trail. Take the plunge and do it is my message. If it all seems too hard just start with one thing, get used to that then wade in a bit deeper.
One of the delights I’ve found by being part of Facebook is the sharing of photographs – and not just of FB friend’s dogs, kids and sunset shots. Although I love to see what friends and family are doing, it is the plant posts I learn from.
Among the connections on my Facebook are people who post photographs of brugmansias (every one a winner) and other flowers, people who add shots of their gardens or show me plants growing in far-flung places (like Alistair Hay’s shots of various plants from Melastomaceae growing in Colombia). There are also Facebook sites dedicated to native plants and to a host more. If you don’t find them, they’ll find you.
Then I’ve signed up for newsletters from the world of science, horticulture and environment along with updates from on-line media and special interest groups. I am enjoying having time to read stories that interest me from bloggers, websites and of course the likes of The Atlantic, The Global Mail and other on-line newspapers.
Getting involved in social media isn’t something you have to learn how to do. It is easy – you just log on to whichever media you’ve decided to join, then follow the prompts. As well, it is available all the time and it’s at the tip of your fingers. So get involved (start by posting a link to GardenDrum!). You’ll be delighted by the journey.