I rang up my parents the other day to talk through one of those family crisis things that happens to all families and after we were done hashing through all of that, my father exclaimed:

"Lawd, girl, you ain't easy."

Daddy has been saying that particular expression for a very long time now but I laughed nervously, guessing what was coming next.

His voice went all soft, like he was trying not to let Mummy in the back room hear.

"You google yourself?"

What could I do but giggle in embarrassment.

"Yes, Daddy, I've googled myself."

"Girl, what you doing on that side of the pond?"

"I'm blogging, Daddy, I'm a blogger."

"You ain't easy. Ever since you a likle girl, head up high like you wan' see everything. How you go and make Google take notice of you like that- you're 4, 5 pages deep, ya' kno'"

Yup, Daddy-o, I know.

I don't know how it happened, it just sort of did. And well... it was my blog's birthday this week. Kalinago English is one year old.

So I decided it's probably about high time for a little reflection on the reasons why I blog because this week while I was working on a project for a Publishing House it hurt not to be blogging.

Dan Pink, I think, hits the nail on the head. Motivation, he says, boils down to three things.

Autonomy, Mastery, Purpose.

Last year I was offered the opportunity to write a Business English course book which I turned down mainly because of the abysmal pay.

As I don't earn much from the blog, why one and not the other?

Okay... as a dogmeist I'm hardly interested in writing a media I don't believe in. But I do write resource materials so that's not really it.

It's because the blog is mine.

It's all mine. Every single article, the good ones and the bad ones. The outstanding drafts, the layout, the half-finished ideas and series. An enormous amount of satisfaction that I can produce this thing all by myself.

The photograph was taken by my little brother and is of the harbor near our house. The name comes from one of the tribes I'm descended from.

The whole thing is me, comes from me and yet is not about only me.

If you were to have a look at my articles from October or November last year, well actually - please don't, you'd have noticed I'm becoming a better writer.

Now, it's not that I'm a big head, and in part it's to tell new bloggers to be a little patient - you will get better and people will come and visit your site, but it's also to share how thrilling it is when I compare my writing and teaching six months ago with today and recognize that in six months, in another year I will have learned even more.

I write for teachers.

For teachers just like me. Teachers who I educate, teachers who teach other teachers to educate too.

Whenever you get something out of my blog, out of my words or videos, when you reflect as I do on your own teaching practices - I get a kick and feel like I am contributing something to the world I live in.

I'm always thinking of new things to share with you.

At the top of Maslow's Motivation Pyramid is the actualization of the self, however I think there is an even greater drive for motivation and that is being part of an actualization of a community.

It's never been about Google. It's not about what OneStopBlogs thinks or Babla and I don't really care about visitor statistics.

I blog because you come: you read, you share.

Thank you for a great year.


15 Responses to “One”

  • Carol Goodey says:
    September 20, 2009

    Happy Birthday to you and your blog, Karenne! As far as I can remember, yours was the first blog I read - or at least the first one I paid attention to - after following a link from one of your posts to the Dogme forum. I'm very happy to have found it and each post - whether you're reflecting, sharing, or ranting - is hugely enjoyable. Long may you blog! :-)


  • Darren says:
    September 21, 2009

    Happy Birthday! The internet needs people like you to kick it up the arse and keep it moving ; D

  • Johanna says:
    September 21, 2009

    Happy birthday to the most sharing blogger we know. Thanks for all your support.


  • Chwa says:
    September 21, 2009

    Happy birthday, Kalinago English! Thanks for your encouragement for new bloggers like myself, your words mean a lot to me.


  • The TEFL Tradesman says:
    September 21, 2009

    You have parents, KArenne? WOW!!

    Happy birthday (belated greetings, I know) anyway. Here's to the next one!

  • Ken Wilson says:
    September 21, 2009

    Well done, KS! As you know, you were the one who convinced me blogging was a good idea, and I also stole your brilliant personalised method of getting your point across. Maybe it's just some deficiency in me as a reader, but I need a strong personal narrative thread to make reading-for-development bearable. (There is a good side to this - I read other 'worthy' ELT blogs to cure my insomnia.:-))
    The one thing I will take issue with is your determination not to write a book. You cite 'abysmal pay' as your reason, but also your tenacious belief in the power of dogme. Well, I've leave the second part of that unchallenged, but I would just say that you are a fabulous writer, and business English NEEDS someone like to you to take it to a new level.
    Hope you are enjoying September, and keep juggling those frogs.

  • Barbara Sakamoto says:
    September 21, 2009

    Very happy birthday! It's hard to believe you've accomplished as much as you have in just a year--I've googled you, too!

    You have one of the most genuine voices in the blogosphere, and a generous heart to go with it.

    Looking forward to your next year!

  • Patrick Jackson says:
    September 21, 2009

    BRAVO! I hope you will share your glory by shaking it up with another legend (250th birthday of Guinness this week if you somehow hadn't heard). Congratulations on an amazing year.

  • Shelly Terrell says:
    September 21, 2009

    Happy Birthday to your blog! Your blog has really accomplished a lot within a year. One of the reasons is because your posts engage readers by your passion! You have taken many risks this year emotionally in this blog. Thank you for sharing! I am lucky to be one of your readers.

  • Marisa Constantinides says:
    September 21, 2009

    Happy 1sr birthday to your wonderful blog, Karenne and best wishes for more and more of your great posts.

    It's not just from the other posts here that it's crystal clear what a great blogger you are, what a very personal style you have, and how much your passion and energy has done for many a new and inexperienced blogger like the writer of these lines.

    I am so happy to have met you and got to know you through your posts and truly thrilled to be in your circle of friends.

    Here's to you and for more Google pages dedicated to you!

  • Janet Bianchini says:
    September 21, 2009

    Congratulations on your first year of your incredible blog. You have achieved so much in a short time and what you write is genuinely from the heart, which makes it all the more compelling to read.

    Your generosity in helping bloggers such as myself to gain a voice and grow in confidence is really formidable.

    Well done, Karenne. You are ONE in a million. Long may you blog!

  • Jeremy Day says:
    September 21, 2009

    Happy Birthday Kalinago English, one of my absolute favourite places on the internet. And thanks, too, Karenne for all the support you've given me - motivational as much as technical. You've had a big impact on my life since you shoved a microphone in my face nearly a year ago. Keep up the excellent work.


    September 22, 2009

    Aw shucks, guys... I don't really know what to say, I feel like I had a virtual party on my blog today!

    Carol - it makes me so happy to know that I was your first blog to read and that you came here from the Dogme group :).

    Darren - doing my best to kick it in the behind - note photo of me with broom LOL.

    Jo - thank you so much for your support back!

    Chwa - you are right behind me mate, your blog is full of powerful entries and am enjoying watching it grow.

    Sandy - yup, I have parents. Sometimes they're not sure of that themselves...

    Ken - you are so sweet, so warm - thank you very much for your kind words but no, you will not see me writing a course book! I'm ST's virtual protege...even if he doesn't know it, LOL.

    Barb - I should have googled you! What a shock realizing who you were although in my defense Let's Go author doesn't use her married name :).

    Pat - thank you! And I would kill for a guiness :)

    Shelly, Marisa and Janet - me 2 u. Thank you for coming and visiting my blog, for reading my posts, for sharing your ideas and thoughts and for all your great postings :) - it's really wonderful being connected to you guys.

    Jeremy - note to self, shove microphone in people's faces more often, they turn into wonderful friends.

    xx Thanks again everyone for your lovely wishes.


  • Chiew says:
    September 23, 2009

    One year, eh? Well, many happy returns! You're a natural, Karenne.

  • Anne Hodgson says:
    September 23, 2009

    Happy blog birthday, dear Karenne!

    Sorry I missed your day, but I'm sure you'll be living it up for a long time to come! Thanks again for your dedication to networking and the community you are a cornerstone of. Good luck with whatever else is on your plate!



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