Sunday, March 1, 2015

10 Things I Learned from Ollie Salsabeela

As I wrote on my previous post, I attended Blog English Club Meet Up last Saturday (28/02). This was one of my weekend trips to Jakarta that I felt enriched after. Ollie Salsabeela as the guest speaker shared her experience in blogging in an informal way, yet structured enough as we saw on her slide show. Here’s what I’ve got from her session.

1.       Before you blog, start with why. This will make you easier in finding what to write, maintaining your passion, or even keeping your commitment to be discipline in writing blog post regularly.
2.       Be confident in writing English post. Ollie said that a lot of Indonesian feel unconfident and afraid of making mistakes, while in fact they are able to speak or write in English. There are people out there who like to criticize. She added, “It’s their right to criticize, but it’s up to us feel intimidated by critics or not”.
3.       Communicate first, grammar check later. Some people worry about grammar too much, thus prevents them to start writing. How to get your message across if you don’t even dare to speak up? In native speaking countries, people want to know our story, not our grammar comprehension. If you have “grammar nazi” kinds of friends, don’t be afraid.  She suggested us to use them to check our writing grammatically. They’d love it.
4.       Use simple words and read out lout after you write. Usually, we’ll find mistakes easier if we re-read the post and read aloud. If we don’t know the word, just explain it with words we understand. Read excessively can also enrich your vocabulary.
5.       Nurture writing habit. Whether we have ideas or no, we have to write. It’s like going to gym, but it’s the brain that we exercise. If we run out of idea, we can write a reflective or gratitude writing about yesterday. Meeting strangers can also be a topic, since everyone has their own story. A lot of stories mean a lot of lessons.
6.       Know what sparks your excitement and enthusiasm. If we really like something, we will have a nonstop energy to do it. That thing we are passionate about will drive us to be consistent in writing such topics, and people will reward us for what we like. Ollie likes to travel, she writes a lot about travelling, then people rewarded her with free travelling opportunities.
7.       Hangout with the optimists and positives. Joining an English club is an example for this case. Since everyone is learning, nobody will judge your English.
8.       Put a label on yourself. Ollie label herself as a spa reviewer, and nobody knew what it was. It’s fine. This is part of the confidence in writing that we should have. Fake it till you make it, because people see by its cover.
9.       Practice, practice, practice without being afraid of critics.
10.   It’s not only the way you write, but the way you live your life.
This is my favorite quote from her. When I asked her whether she had unfinished posts or not, and tips to overcome the problem, she answered with that quote. If we are a procrastinator, then we are likely to blog inconsistently or having unfinished blog post. Ollie said, she will post now or never. It’s not different with how she lives her life: throw away/give out anything that doesn’t suit her, not keeping things in the reason of “maybe someday I’ll need it”, reply urgent email soon. Do what’s important for us first. She has 3 companies and co-founder of 2 others, and still have time to write. "Busy is not an excuse. Do you get the point?

Well, I really feel recharged after writing this out of my head. I hope you do, too. :-)


  1. Thank you, i just rewrite Mbak Ollie's hehe

  2. Wow. Mba Menur. You wrote down one by one. Really detailed.
    Thank you so much for the sharing. I wasn't focus on the presentation last Saturday, but now I know. Thanks to you.

  3. You're welcome. So it's for you to read :)