Weekend reads: Amazon Reunion, Writer’s Block and more

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Amazing Amazon reunion
It’s easy to forget that many things we think are facts, are actually culturally determined. And with that culture, also come preconceptions and prejudices. Especially when other cultures think about topics differently. The notion of right and wrong, good and bad is an integral part of that. So, no surprise that those of us with multiple heritages can struggle in finding their identity. Just like the main characters in this story of a son searching for his Amazonian mother.

Overcome that writer’s block
The summer vacation season is almost over in the Northern Hemisphere, and that means we all need to get back into the work routine. For some that means turning back to a writing routine. That can be difficult, so Ana Canhoto looked for some tips to restart writing, which resulted in a blog post that is a great start in itself.

Who’s that in the shadow?
Startups often have one founder that gets all the attention. But, she’s never alone. VC Jeff Bussgang shares why it’s so important to also focus on the co-founder who is not always in the spotlights.

Self-promotion: new Dad-to-be blog
In a small act of shameless self promotion, I wanted to share about my new blog. Yes, I’m going to be a dad, and that’s exciting. A whole new world opens itself up to me, and I’m sharing that on a new blog called The Neverending Miracle. It will have general thoughts, poetry and of course I’m sharing experiences and tips on all things a Dad-to-be gets confronted with. Like picking a name, and which design principles we followed for that. The post also contains a practical tool to help you pick your baby’s name.

Don’t let your new blog topic run into a dead end: spin it off

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As you may have noticed, I started blogging about being a Dad-to-be recently. After a few posts posted on this blog, I felt I had so much more to share about it, that I spun off the Dad-to-be blog to a dedicated site: The Neverending Miracle. Last year, when I was working on my poetry project A Poem Each Day, I did the same. Here are my three reasons for spinning off blogs.

Focus!
On this blog here, which I’ve been keeping since 2007 after having had several other blogs before that, I try to focus on a few topics. Some posts are inspired by our expat-life: discovering things in the place we live, other by work-related interests such as innovation. Then there are the things I feel are worth sharing: interesting reads, music, observations. So, maybe you could conclude that this blog has a lack of focus. But that’s a way of keeping it on-topic just the same. Just as with the poems, I felt that my Dad-to-be posts were going to be so numerous, that they would drown out the other posts here. Plus: it is such a specific subject, that a dedicating a site to it, seems the best thing to do.

Potential direction
This blog is really my personal blog, and I intend to keep it that way. I share my thoughts here on the topics mentioned above. The poetry blog, as well as the Dad-to-be project are of a slightly different nature. And even though I am running them alone, with only my content on them, they both have/had the potential of growing out to be something else. The best way to facilitate that, is to separate that specific content from the content on this website.

Audience
While the first two point are very much ‘sender-oriented’, the main point of posting your thoughts to a blog is that people read it. The third point has much to do with the first, however, more from an ‘receiver’ point of view. The poems I published last year were aimed at and attracting a specific type of audience: those who like to read poetry online. The Dad-to-be blog also has an audience in mind: relatives/friends and those who are also Dads-to-be, or maybe recently became dads, and want to read about how another guy is experiencing all this. In both cases, the audiences are likely to also have a focus, and might be chased away if the blog is to wide-ranging.

So, there you have it: my three reasons for operating several blogs. Do you work in a similar manner? Or the opposite? Let me know in the comments.

Sunday Spotlight foodie edition: Mindful foodie, Maarten kookt and Foodie International

This edition of Sunday Spotlight is dedicated to foodies. There are three I like to mention especially: Mindful Foodie Lesh Karan, old school friend Maarten Lenoble and Elyse Pasquale AKA Foodieinternational.

The Mindful Foodie blog from Lesh Karan is certainly one of my favorites. She likes real food, knows about and maybe even more important: knows how to make delicious meals with it. And that’s exactly what she shares on the blog. Knowledge and recipes. Her blog is certainly worth following, especially if you like recipes with Asian influences.

Maybe a bit more difficult to follow is Maarten’s blog. Not because it’s hard to find, but because he writes in Dutch. He shares his love for good food and cooking by writing about his latest purchases of not only cook books, but also some really cool toys. Eh, utensils. But what really sets him apart from the rest, are his recipes for cooking with children. His own kids are Junior Master Chefs to be, and the recipes are honest, fun and great to make with children. Worth using Google Translate or a dictionary for this one.

Elyse Pasquale is on an exceptional adventure: she travels around the globe and writes about food. I might be just a tiny little bit jealous of her. Obviously she has a blog, on which she shares her adventures, but what I really like is her Instagram account. Amazing pictures of her travels and glorious, glorious food. If you’re not on Instagram, it’s worth doing so just to see what she shares.

What’s Sunday Spotlight?
Sunday Spotlight is my way of saying thanks to those members my online communities who have made an impact, or who I simply love to follow because they share awesome things. It is also a nod to Ana Isabel Canhoto, and the way she interprets the popular #FollowFriday meme on Twitter. I even had the honor of featuring in a FollowFriday post on her blog. How awesome is that?
In every Sunday Spotlight post I will introduce you to one or more very special people. These people have stood out in my social networks, and that’s why I think they are worth following. They might impact your life as well.

A Good Week For This Blog

A Clear Blue Sky debutes on The Paris BlogThis week has been a good week for A Clear Blue Sky. First of all, I got invited to become a contributor to The Paris Blog. A group blog on life and living in Paris, which happens to be one of my favorites, especially since I moved here. The obvious move was to happily accept the invitation, because to me it was just a great honour  to join the ranks of al the amazing blogging colleagues, blogging on one of my favorite subjects. And by Thursday, my first contribution was made. I think this is a good place to thank Laurie for the invitiation, and of course all her work on The Paris Blog. Be sure to visit the site, and also those of my colleague contributors.

To celebrate this amazing thing, I expanded this site with a recommended reading page. You will find a selection of my other favorite sites, and a (changing) selection of my favorite books. Enjoy this new addition, and of course The Paris Blog.

Small update: I also fixed an issue I had with the archives. They will now load in the proper lay out.