For those of you who have been following along on my journey since I started the weekly blog back in August 2011 its been quite the ride.  Having never written prior to sitting down on that fateful day it was I must admit it wasn’t really so daunting as my audience was, and still is Zach and Sami.

Little did any of us know that my blog would literally go viral (in a good way!) and that not only would I have a solid and loyal following with my friends and family, but also with a truly worldwide audience.

There has been a significant resurgence in readership since the start of the year, culminating in an incredible 82,959 readers in May alone… Wow!!!

Right!  I’m just blown away with the fact that I’ve just surpassed 500,000 readers of my blogs…now if I could only get of few more of them to buy my latest book…   🙂

So I’ve been trying to ascertain what might be driving this surge, and although difficult to pin point exactly I would hazard a guess that there is a hunger for real, authentic and everyday stories.  Well, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it!  Lol!

My journey started with me wanting to ensure Zach and Sam knew who I was and that they learned about the stories of my life, my travels and adventures.  The number of readers or the books were never a part of my motivation for writing, and although its flattering it was always, and will always be about documenting these moments for them.

Not just the good stuff, but also the stuff that adds color and texture to our lives, for example the messiness of conversations with our kids, the incredible highs and lows of the teenage years, traveling with your kids, the adventures and those moments that illicit your feelings of love and joy with your shared journey…and the list goes on.

Interestingly I was having a conversation at my book signing this past weekend about how I got started writing.  I explained that it started with my dad, and wanting to know more about him and his life, and so I turned the question back on the person who I was having the conversation with, and if they knew the stories of their parents and grandparents…  I could see them thinking about the question, but they confessed that they had few stories that had been passed down.

Now, I’m not sure that they will go home and commit to capturing and writing down the stories of their parents and grandparents lives, or those of their immediate family but I do know that these vignettes are the thread of life between the generations.  These family stories provide a richness and perspective that brings generations together, a sense of a shared life perhaps…  Ultimately its all about the art of storytelling!

The ability to bring a story to life, adding the color and layers that engage those around you, is something that has always inspired me and evident in my speaking as this is my primary method for conveying my message…through stories.

Many of the people I work with or know would rather walk across burning coals than to stand up in a room or auditorium full of people and speak, whereas I’m the exact opposite.  Nothing gets my juices flowing more than engaging an audience, the bigger the better!  Especially when I get to talk about something I’m passionate about. 🙂

When I was with Accenture I often had the opportunity to speak and so a double ballroom filled to capacity was just the perfect way to start the day…yes, many would call me crazy!  Standing on stage in front of almost 1000 people for hour speaking about the topic du jour I found to be thrilling and exciting.

I think its something in the energy that I get from the audience when I’m speaking that engages me wholeheartedly.  It was the same when I was performing onstage with my Improv team at The Second City in front of a live audience.  For me, it heightens my senses and brings out the best in me, whereas for others this would be a totally debilitating experience.

So rather than rendering me speechless, it actually sharpens my ability to tell stories…as crazy as that sounds.

I’m sure you won’t necessarily believe this but I was a rather shy child growing up, and to a large degree still am…  Its an a bit of a conundrum really, in that deep down I’m rather reserved and shy, yet come to life telling stories in front of an audience – strange really.

Now if you’re interested in a fabulous book that is often considered in the top 50 books of the twentieth century for its storytelling, then look no further than Unreliable Memoirs by Clive James.  He’s been somewhat of an inspiration for me personally (although clearly not in the same class) but I enjoy his “conversational” style of writing.  Check it out!

Let me know your impressions if you read it, trust me its an easy read full of wonderfully rich and funny stories of his life growing up in Australia.

Ha!   Now there’s the common thread  🙂