How I Blogged My Way to Happy

So I guess the point is not how long I've been blogging but what I've achieved by digging deep.



Why do I blog?

It’s complicated.

Years ago I tried to be a journalist but I didn’t have the discipline for freelance work and the reporters in my hometown were growing into their chairs. 

When I decided to move to Australia I had a pow-wow with my editor-turned-mentor and we discussed blogging. He told me to set it up like a business. To connect it to Facebook account, twitter, youtube, (this was over 7 years ago!) He was and still is very clever.

I had a snappy name for my ‘ex-pat’ blog, 'Kangaroo Spotting.' It would detail the accounts of an American who moved to Australia for love. All my social media accounts were-a-go (I didn’t even know what a tweet was back then). One thing Tim, my editor, mentioned was that I had to be prepared to do it for at least a year before I worried too much about monetising.

“Do it for one year,” he wisely told me, “then see if you can turn it into a business.”

I was psyched. I had a plan. I told lots of people about it. I was ready to be validated and acknowledged. Ha. Ha. Ha.


That was seven years ago. I never advertise the fact that I started blogging in 2010- especially when I see bloggers who smash my stats after a year or two in the game. There were a lot of crickets those first years. I didn't write regularly and I was not confident in my voice. (Please don’t go through my archives, I realise just saying that will make you want to go through my archives, consider yourself warned).


Adjusting to life in Australia was hard. I felt vulnerable, homesick, and it was far from the romantic experience I envisioned sharing with readers.

Fast forward to the birth of my daughter in 2013. When she came through me it tore down the shoddy walls I built to contain my creativity (and fragile ego). Time was of the essence and my options were now more limited. Reality check- No one was going to hand me a dream job.

I started writing again. I needed to be a person my daughter could look up to, someone who felt fear and followed her passion anyway. I wrote through postnatal depression and I wrote to heal. I wrote to help others and to learn how to help myself. I wrote my way to a creative life and a full heart.


It’s coming up to three years since I started writing in my blog regularly, two since getting serious and one since deciding to put off baby number two for 12 months to see what I could do. In January I set the intention to write a book (and continue blogging) but 2016 had other plans for me.

Instead this year...(I'm about to toot my own horn so feel free to skip over this section and grab a coffee or something).

  • I appeared in a National ad campaign to raise awareness for services that help mothers with postnatal depression.
  • I did a guest post for a blog I’m a fan of, some freelance work, sponsored stuff and taught my first abstract art workshops.
  • I took a Magical Blogging course and a Design and Copywriting course (TBC).
  • I was invited to TWO rad bloggers events and a workshop.
  • I was nominated as a finalist for a HUGE-big-deal-blog-award that comes with many opportunities. Vote for me here and receive a lifetime of virtual high-fives.
  • I booked my very first art show (Melbourne, October 14). You can book tickets here.

So I guess the point is not how long I've been blogging but what I've achieved by digging deep. After throwing myself at my blog, I even learned how to reel it back and create some healthy boundaries. You would have thought I would be good at boundaries by now after all those jerk ex-boyfriends! #slowlearner

Writing isn’t about making money, getting famous, getting dates, getting laid, or making friends. In the end, it’s about enriching the lives of those who will read your work, and enriching your own life, as well. It’s about getting up, getting well, and getting over. Getting happy, okay? Getting happy. – Stephen King

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8 comments on “How I Blogged My Way to Happy”

  1. This makes me really happy to read. And gives me hope. I'm with you - I found it really difficult to write to deadlines, and also to write about things that didn't appeal to me, even though it appealed to the readers of XYZ publication. How selfish HA! I started my little blog in its current form in 2014. Like me, it is frenetic and may possibly suffer a case of multiple personalities, but I am REALLY happy with it. It keeps me sane, which is I think important in a world that suffers from increasing insanity, no? I love your message Dawn, I love all you have to say. Thanks for sharing your world with all its foibles. xx

    1. Thank you Sarah!! It's such a difference isn't it? Writing about what YOU want to? I could do it all day everyday. And what's worse (well, for a creative person) is that I was writing for a Business paper! Don't get me wrong I loved the experience and learned a ton- even had the freedom to write about things like 'men's business fashion' but in the end- it's not me. ❤️

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Dawn Rieniets is both a visual artist and brand copywriter. She uses her MA in English, journalism and sales background to craft engaging brand identity copy for small to medium-sized businesses (SMEs) globally.

Dawn exhibits artwork independently and with groups; Thou Art Mum and Melbourne and Victorian Artists (MAVA). In her online store, you can find original pieces, wall art prints, and other home decor. A few times per year she accepted personalised and sentimental art commissions for clients.

Dawn creates out of her home studio in Wurundjeri country, the Northern Suburbs of Melbourne.
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