Today I have the privilege of hosting the Footprints Australia Blog Tour on my page! Footprints Magazine was launched in Brisbane by Janet Camilleri in January, 1998 and has recently notched up 50 issues. This blog tour is part of the celebrations on reaching this milestone. To find out a little about Footprints Magazine, please visit the web-site here. And if you’re on Facebook and want to keep up with the happenings at Footprints, please click here. So now, on to my interview with Janet...
How do you schedule in time as a wife, mother and worker to undertake your Footprints responsibilities?
I discovered a long time ago that being busy helps keep me organised! When I was studying, I joined a choir, worked part-time and was involved in youth and church. My Mum was worried it would affect my studies but I found that knowing I had other commitments meant I got stuck into things and actually used the free time I had. I guess it’s a bit the same now.
I am very blessed to have an extremely supportive husband and children! When a Footprints deadline is looming, Lawrence will pitch in with cooking and housework and looking after the kids (now they are older this consists more of chauffeuring them around the place rather than keeping them amused).
And I love doing Footprints, so it is not a hardship to make time for it! Admittedly, sometimes I get too engrossed in it … I try to keep my antenna up so if I sense he is feeling neglected or would like some company, I put him ahead of any Footprints duties J
As for work … it really gets in the way of this life thing hey??! Seriously though, I have purposely chosen a job which is only four days per week, and when I had the opportunity of a promotion last year (after 7months relieving in the position) I didn’t take it. The reality is that a fulltime or higher level job would take up a lot more of my brain space and make it a lot harder to run Footprints. So I guess I’m sacrificing a “career” and a bigger pay packet for this ministry … but I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Do you use any special tools of the trade to assist in organising your time?
I would be absolutely lost without my diary – I use it to store all the ephemera of my day-to-day life - appointments, bills that need to be paid, notes, shopping lists – I live by it!
I am by nature a very organised person – I dislike chaos and mess, I just can’t work that way!
Do you have any hints and tips for ladies who wish to incorporate a ministry/blog page/publication/interest into their schedule?
Firstly and most importantly – is it something that God wants you to be doing? Because if it is, He will help you. Is it something you have a real passion or love for? If you love doing something, you will find time for it. End of story. People often tell me “Oh, I’d love to read (or write), but I just don’t have time.” If it’s a priority, if it’s what God wants, if you love it – you’ll find the time.
It’s not about waiting for great big chunks of time to sit down and write or do your ministry or hobby – it’s about making the most of any little snatches of time you may have. Sometimes I might get a couple of ideas for articles, so I will scribble them down in my diary. It takes all of two minutes, but next time I am at the computer, I will type them each in a new document and save them. That takes about five minutes. Then next time I have some spare time, or I am in the mood for writing, I open up those documents and add to them. Later again I will go back to finish them and am often surprised by just how much I have already achieved! Life is made up of millions of spare minutes – make the most of them! Read while you are waiting to pick the kids up from school. Write while you are sitting at the doctor’s surgery or on the bus or train to work. You’ll be amazed at what you can achieve during this previously wasted time!
Do you have any recommendations for any writing courses that would assist ladies with their writing?
I haven’t personally done any writing courses so can’t really recommend any (although I did take some creative writing classes when I was at teacher’s college about 25 years ago!).
I’m pretty much self-taught at writing and editing! When I first realised that anybody could write and submit material to magazines (and even get paid for it!), I went to the library and devoured as many books on the subject as I could – so that would be what I recommend to other budding writers. Look under Dewey Decimal Number 808! Other resources I recommend are:
- the US publication “Writer’s Digest”;
- “The Australian writer's marketplace: every contact you will ever need to succeed in the writing business” (compiled and edited by Queensland Writers' Centre);
- joining an online group such as www.momwriters.com;
- submitting your work and honing your craft at www.faithwriters.com;
- joining a writer’s group such as www.omegawriters.com;
- attending writer’s events and festivals such as www.thewordwriters.com.
Does Sophie de la Snuggles (the Footprints mascot) contribute to the magazine?
Not yet! Don’t put any ideas in her head!!!!
There is a bit of a story behind Sophie … my husband was studying part-time a few years ago in addition to working fulltime, so I often went to bed while he hit the books. It was a trying time – both of us resented being separated by his studies. So he bought me this beautiful white stuffed toy puppy for me to cuddle in bed when I was missing him … and somehow she has become a part of the family, with a real personality and her own trademark sayings.
I’ve brought Sophie with me to Footprints Team retreats to keep me company (no boys allowed!) and so most of the Team have met her and are very familiar with Sophie-isms, so it seemed only natural to make her our mascot! One of our Team Members is a psychologist, she tells me the official name for Sophie is a “transitional object” LOL …
Sometimes I think I’ve missed my calling, I’m so good at doing voices and creating characters for the kids’ stuffed toys (when they were younger) and now Sophie – maybe I should have become a puppeteer! Nah, I think I’ll stick with Footprints :)
My thanks goes to Janet for allowing me to be a part of the Footprints Australia Blog Tour. The tour is nearly over but you can read all the interviews you've missed, and catch the next two, here. Each interview will give you a great insight into what goes on with Footprints, and with Janet!