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writing

November 2016 blog course

A New and Improved 2Summers Blog Course

I taught two one-day blogging courses last year, and they went really well. We met at Bridge Books, learned about blogging and social media, and photowalked around downtown Joburg. Everyone seemed to have fun and leave the course with fresh inspiration. My November 2016 blog class in front my favorite downtown mural by Faith47. But this time I want to do more. Learning to blog is not a simple, step-by-step process. Every blogger wants something different from his or her blog and the people who attend my class tend to show up at various points in their blogging journeys. Some have established blogs already and are looking for pointers to spruce things up. Others have only a vague notion of starting a blog. Some plan to blog about food; others about women’s rights. Some want to start a new business while others just want a new hobby. I started to think about a way to structure my course so that every blogger or potential blogger, no matter where they are on the spectrum, can come away with a clear plan of action. The new and improved 2Summers blog course was born. The Next 2Summers Blog Course: August 2017 My next […]

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Blogging at Frankfurt Airport

Another Chance to Attend #2SummersBlogClass

Here I sit, in the Frankfurt Airport at 11:00 a.m., blogging. This airport offers excellent free wifi and I have a few hours to kill before my connecting flight to Washington D.C. How fortunate that I have a blog. Otherwise I’d be really bored right now. This is where I’m sitting, right now, and this is my blog. Would you too like to have a blog of your own, to pass the time during endless airport layovers? If so, you should attend my #2SummersBlogClass on 19 November at Bridge Books. I held my first blog class back in July, and I must confess I was nervous about it. First I was worried that no one would sign up, and once people did sign up I was worried that no one would like this class. That didn’t happen though. Everyone loved the class, including me. I received several nice comments afterward but here is my favorite, from #2SummersBlogClass participant Roslyn: “The day did exactly what the advertising said it would – I learned to blog! We created the structure and did the technical tasks and then got tips about how to write and how to include photographs. Heather’s style of mixing anecdotes […]

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Heather blogging course Facebook

Wanna Be a Blogger? Come to My Course at Bridge Books

I’m not usually one to toot my own horn. But I’m a good blogger. (I’m not usually one to start my blog posts with clichés like “toot my own horn”, either. But I’m trying to be outrageous here.) I’ve got 99 problems. But blogging ain’t one. Anyway. There are many things I don’t know how to do. I can’t bake a soufflé, for instance, and I can’t change the oil in my car. I can’t knit or do back handsprings. But damn, can I blog. Give me a camera, a laptop, and some interesting subject matter and I will blog until the cows come home. (There it is — another cliché. Outrage.) I will blog until these cows are safely home. When Griffin from Bridge Books asked me to host a one-day blogging and social media course at his rad bookshop in downtown Joburg, I couldn’t think of any reason to say no. Although I kinda wanted to, because the idea of standing in front of a room full of people (okay, it will only be about 10 people, but still) and teaching them stuff is terrifying. But again, I know how to blog and there are lots of people out there who […]

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Thoughts on Blogging, Working, and Making Money

I started this blog in June 2010 and named it 2Summers on a whim. I was moving from the United States to South Africa and I would experience two summers in the same year. Two summers, I thought…2 summers. 2Summers. It had a nice ring to it. I opened up WordPress, fiddled around a bit, and in minutes I had a blog. My first post was called Two Summers in 2010. The first photo to appear on my blog, in my original 2Summers header: South African and American flags in Melville during the 2010 World Cup. (Photo: Jon Hrusa) I never planned to become “a blogger”. I was a writer, sure, and later I became a photographer. But a blogger? No. I blogged as a hobby — to keep friends and family informed about my life, and maybe help other Joburg newcomers/visitors find their way around this awesome but confusing city. Blogging wasn’t a career; in fact it was the opposite. After 15 years of working nine-to-five copywriting and editing jobs, blogging provided a new opportunity to create my own personal content. No deadlines, no one telling me what to write or when, and certainly no paychecks. Blogging was something I did when I wasn’t working — it was […]

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Confession: I’m an Artist

Last Friday, an artist named Amanda Palmer performed a show in Joburg at the Sheds @1Fox. Confession #1: I had no idea who Amanda Palmer was until a few days ago. Confession #2: I didn’t go to Amanda Palmer’s show. When I heard Amanda Palmer was coming to Joburg and realized that this is a big deal, I googled Amanda and then downloaded her book, the Art of Asking. I started reading the book this weekend. I’m only on page 53 of 348 but I’m already blown away. Here are a couple of amazing things that I’ve read in the book so far: There’s no “correct path” to becoming a real artist. You might think you’ll gain legitimacy by going to art school, getting published, getting signed to a record label. But it’s all bullshit, and it’s all in your head. You’re an artist when you say you are. And you’re a good artist when you make somebody else experience or feel something deep or unexpected. And: In both the art and the business worlds, the difference between the amateurs and the professionals is simple: The professionals know they’re winging it. The amateurs pretend they’re not. I’ve never met you, Amanda, […]

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The Joburg Expat Climbs Kilimanjaro

*Photo above courtesy of Eva Melusine Thieme. Some of you will probably feel cheated when you open this, thinking that I climbed Mount Kilimanjaro myself. Sorry to disappoint you. While I am an adventurous person and I think Kilimanjaro is beautiful (I’ve seen it from afar), I’m not particularly interested in climbing it. I’m content with hiking up smaller mountains, as I did in Lesotho. Me on a mountain called Fukufuku in Lesotho. Not Mount Kilimanjaro. (Photo: Michelle Stern) Anyway, this particular Joburg expat (or Joburg migrant, if you will) did not climb Mount Kilimanjaro. But another Joburg expat — my friend Sine — did. I first met Sine (professionally known as Eva Melusine Thieme) through her blog, the Joburg Expat. Sine and I moved to South Africa from America at around the same time, and we both started blogs about it. Sine (who is originally from Germany but every bit as American as I am) moved back to the States in December 2012 and renamed her blog “the Ex-Joburg Expat”. I still read it faithfully. Sine and I only saw each other occasionally when she lived in Joburg. We lived far apart and our lives were drastically different. Sine is a busy mother […]

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