What Katie Wrote

  • How can you support your local businesses without spending a cent?

    Did you know you can help support your favourite local businesses without actually spending any money?

    Google reviews can help small businesses thrive

    Think about what local businesses you use regularly.

    • Have you had a fabulous meal at a local restaurant?
    • Has a shop assistant gone out of their way to help you?
    • Maybe you’ve bought a locally produced product and you absolutely love it.

    Why not take a few moments and leave them a Google review?

    What is a Google review?

    It’s a quick and easy way to support local businesses without spending extra cash.

    Many businesses will have a Google Business Profile (formally known as Google My Business). It’s a free listing on Google where businesses can list all their information, including:

    • Location
    • Contact details including a website
    • Info about their products and/or services.

    It’s also a way for customers to leave feedback that is open for anyone to read.

    How does it work?

    The more reviews a business has, (good and bad) the more the Google bots will find it a reliable profile. This means they are more likely to be ranked higher on search engine results pages (SERPs).

    The higher a business is on those SERPs, the more likely people will find them.

    So in other words, leaving a review on a local business’s Google profile will help other people find them and hopefully increase their customer base.

    Improving a business’s visibility online as well as helping local people find awesome local businesses for all their purchasing needs. Think of all the good karma you’re creating!

    How to leave a Google review

    If you want to leave a review but not sure what to do, never fear! Google explains how to leave a Google review.

    If you’re a local business and want to get in on this googly goodness, Google is here for you too. Find out how to set up your Business Profile on Google and follow their simple steps.

    Or if you need more practical help, contact me and I can help you to pimp your profile and get those google juices flowing your way.

    So, which businesses are you going to leave a review for?

  • Why should you use a copywriter?

    Thinking about using a copywriter?

    Many people wonder why they should use a copywriter for their content creation. Obviously, I am biased and would always recommend you use a professional where possible to do the tasks you struggle to complete.

    I am living that statement right now as I work on my own branding and web content.

    Why is it that you can be so positive about other people, but when it comes to saying nice thingsin relation yourself, many of us trip and fall at the first hurdle?

    That’s how I find it. I am the first person to say confidence-boosting things to my friends but can’t seem to say them about myself. It’s as if I have no confidence in my own positive bits.

    Confidence is key

    Being a copywriter and starting my own business is helping a lot with that. You need to have confidence in yourself if you are going to succeed. You will never get clients if you think you aren’t good at what you do. If you don’t believe in yourself, why should anyone else?

    Thankfully, I love writing. Whenever I’ve shared little poems, stories or helped someone re-write a letter or their resume, people have been so full of praise, I’ve taken on the compliments and let it drive me to where I am now. Now I have a whole heap of testimonials that cheer me up if I ever feel less than awesome about my abilities.

    Working as a copywriter

    Being a freelance copywriter ticks so many of my boxes and I can’t quite believe I am getting paid to do something I love. Yes, I need to continually develop my techniques, skills etc. but does that ever end? Anyway, it’s something I want to continually improve upon so it’s not exactly a chore to me. The word nerd in me is excited to start The Recipe for SEO Success so I can improve on my SEO copywriting services.

    But I tell you what, writing about myself is HARD! Saying nice things about myself and my business is hard. It’s a strange thing to admit as a copywriter but finding the right words to describe me is proving tricky.

    I don’t want to sound like I’m boasting. “OOO Look at me, Look how awesome I am.”

    But at the same time, I need to show confidence in myself. “Yes, I am the right kind of awesome for your business.”

    So, instead of beating myself up and agonising for weeks on end, I have sought the services of a professional.

    Professional content

    Little Design Farm is a beautiful boutique graphic design company in Western Australia.

    It has the quirky side that I like and the brand colours are bold which appeals to me.

    It’s also run by the beautiful Deb who just gets what I am about and what I am trying to achieve with my business.

    Little Design Farm ready to cultivate my ideas

    I am slowly working through her branding brief and logo development but even with those templates, I am finding it hard to write actual nice words about my brand because I am linking it too closely with myself.

    • If your business was a celebrity, who would it be and why?

    I assume saying Danny DeVito because he is small, dumpy and weird looking isn’t the right way to view my brand.

    • If your business was an animal, what breed would it be and why?

    I suppose a sloth doesn’t give the right image to potential clients.

    • Who is your target market?

    Erm, nice people? Too broad?

    • Ten words that best describe your company.

    Not boring. And eight other words that are professional sounding.

    Better together

    After our initial meeting and subsequent discussions with Deb, we are creating a logo, branding, and any other creative content we think will be needed as my business grows. Working with someone experienced in the area of branding will ensure I stop making it all about me and focus on what is important; my business, my skills and my experience. (I’m sure she will have some nice things to say about me too though!)

    Using another professional to help me move forward isn’t being lazy, it’s about understanding where my strengths are and focusing my time there instead of struggling to do something and making things harder for myself than they need to be. It’s also about appreciating the talent of other professional creatives out there.

    So if you’re now thinking “I need a copywriter”, drop me a line so we can get your creative content flowing and help make your business shine. You deserve to focus on your strengths.

    To paraphrase Vidal Sassoon, “If You Look Good, We Look Good.”

  • Our Autism Life and My Two Big Cs

    I follow a few Autism-focused blogs. Like the Autism Spectrum, there are many many different blogs, all with a different viewpoint. It can be very reassuring to read about someone else’s struggles that are similar to your own. It is also good to be able to celebrate with them with huge milestones which to others might seem insignificant.

    Three Little Birds and Finding Cooper Voice are two of my favourites and a while back they both showed me exactly why I like them.

    They talked about two parts of Bear’s Autism that I struggle with the most. It’s nice to read that other parents feel the same and openly talk about it so that I am not left feeling like a bad person.

    Autism and Compartmentalisation.

    Three Little Birds posted on the 19th of April how her son compartmentalises his life. She talks about the routine in his life. How certain parts of his life go a particular way and other parts of his life go another particular way.

    Bear does this too. It’s mainly School vs Home.

    At school he must wear his uniform. Getting him to wear different things for special days is very difficult.

    He doesn’t like me being in the classroom. I am mummy at home, I am not mummy at school. When I go in for parent help, the teachers put me with different children as they know Bear will not like being with me.

    In the same vein, he doesn’t like seeing his teachers or EA outside of school. We saw his EA at the shopping centre once. He hid and refused to talk to her. Not because he doesn’t like her. But because it wasn’t school.

    The Good

    It can be very useful though when you understand how it works in his overactive brain.

    He is a very naked Bear at home, but he knows that underpants must be worn at school. It’s part of his regular routine when he puts on his uniform.

    He has almost the same lunch every day. I’ve tried to give him other things or let him chose other things. His response is almost quizzical! What else would be in his lunch box?

    We rarely have school refusal. He may just simply enjoy school, but he knows that Monday – Friday are school days.

    We walk the same way each day and he knows where he has to wait if he is ahead of me. This might just sound like routine, but on the days we walk that way that isn’t school, he doesn’t always wait.

    And the Bad

    But it can be hell when things aren’t how he expects.

    Meatballs always come with spaghetti. We had a full-on meltdown when I used twirly pasta instead of spaghetti.

    If he has ham for dinner, it must come with two fried eggs and the fork sticking out of the ham steak. I am very grateful I was able to convince him that eggs aren’t really green. But if the fork has been forgotten or put on the side, take cover.

    Don’t even get me started on homeschooling during COVID.

    It. Was. Not. Good.

    Photo by Mikhail Nilov on Pexels.com

    Getting him to do homework after normal school is hard enough. Getting him to do school work or join in on Zoom for online classes was impossible. School is School. Home is Home. Never the twain shall meet.

    As I mentioned in my previous blog post, Life of a Bear in Lockdown, when we attempted online therapy, he became very violent with me. Not his normal self at all. Therapy only happens when they are physically with him, or it doesn’t happen at all.

    What helps?

    It’s all about understanding and preparation.

    When we need to do things out of the routine, he needs communication so he can wrap his head around it.

    The best way I’ve found to explain this is Tendril Theory. This Cartoon was created by Erin Human.

    This is great when it’s about moving from task to task, but for my Bear, the same applies when changing the parameters of his compartment.

    Recently, he needed a day off school so we could see his paediatrician.

    • This meant taking Frog to school but not him.
    • It meant not putting on his uniform on a school day.
    • It meant not having his usual hot dog lunch order.

    Because we talked about it beforehand and talked through what he would be doing that day (which has its own routine!), he was quite happy that day and everything went smoothly. he was able to retract his tendrils.

    Had we not talked about it and just ripped out his tendrils, he would have been much more unsettled, more difficult to deal with, and the day would have just been painful.

    Autism Life and Comparisonitis.

    On the same day Three Little Birds posted about Compartmentalisation, Finding Cooper’s Voice posted about having the “perfect” life.

    If you only read one or two of her posts, you would think she is the most perfect “autism mum” as she seems to handle life’s challenges with her son Cooper with amazingness.

    Normal for who?

    In this post, she points out that there are still the hard parts of her life. Not as a “woe is me” call for attention, but to show how ‘normal’ her life is. Normal for her, and that’s ok. Her normal can’t be compared to anyone else, because no one else has a Cooper. No one else has a Cooper and Sawyer.

    Even as a mother of a child who has Autism, I can’t compare our lives as our boys are totally different. Their Autism is different. But it can be hard not to sometimes.

    Social Media; Helping or Hindering?

    I love social media. It has given me the perfect way to keep up with friends and family that I would otherwise not see for far too long thanks to my living in Australia. Most of the time, I am able to remember that what you see on social media is the best part of someone’s life. Most people don’t tend to post about the crappy parts unless they are trying to make a point.

    But when I’m having a bad day (yes even I have bad days!) and I see all these people having fun, it’s hard to not compare their lives to ours. Add in my own anxiety and it can easily spiral into a pit of despair.

    Why didn’t we get invited to that? Is it because of Bear? Was it because of me? They are so much better parents than me, look at all the activities they did with their kids over the holidays. It’s not fair that they get to do all those activities over the holidays. Why are their kids so well behaved and mine are creatures from the depths of hell? My poor angelic children are stuck with this useless piece of blergh as their mother.

    Look at her, she has six kids and looks amazing. Look at her, she has children and a successful career. Look at her, she is such a mother earth figure. Look at her, so well turned out.

    It’s exhausting. And useless. Most of the people I will be comparing myself to will have their own insecurities. Many of them will be doing their own comparisons.

    Moving forward, slowly

    Comparing myself with others is a lifelong personal issue but one that is definitely getting better as I get older. Maybe I’m getting wiser with age. Maybe I just have less fucks to give out these days! I know that our autism life is easier than others, but it can also be more challenging than others. Most importantly, I know I am doing my best.

    What helps?

    Communication. Again! It’s so key in life.

    If I am struggling with comparing myself to others and spiralling, I talk. To my friend or my Facebook communities. I open up to my family or to Husband. And if none of that helps, I talk to my doctor.

    I’m not willing to let myself spiral down so far as I once did. Because no one can compare to me. No one can compare to my Bear. And no one can compare to our Autism life.

    No one can compare to my copywriting skills as no one is quite like me!
    If that’s what you want for your website content, contact me and let’s chat.

  • Life of a Bear in Lockdown

    Many Autistic people thrive on routine. Bear is usually one of those so I assumed he would struggle without them. Surprisingly, Bear has reacted quite well to the changing routines that have come with COVID-19 lockdowns. 

    First Lockdown Fears

    In WA, we have been very lucky and had minimal lockdowns.

    When we had the first lockdown, there was talk of it lasting 6 months, I remember calling my parents in the UK in tears because the thought of being locked up with a hyperactive bear terrified me.

    Wonder Woman in tears from lockdown
    Even Wonder Woman would struggle with the thought of 6 months in lockdown.
    Bear climbing a tree in the dark
    Climbing doesn’t stop just because it’s dark.

    Thankfully, that first lockdown didn’t last 6 months and, living in WA there is so much space, we were able to find plenty of places for our outdoor time.

    It “may” have been a tad longer than our allotted hour, but when there is no one else around, why would we rush home to the confines of the house.

    Empty beaches,
    Clear woods,
    Very early morning walks at the local oval.

    We managed to fit in plenty of outdoor time.

    Online was a No-Go

    We tried online school. Bear’s school created online platforms for the kids to submit work we could download first. There were regular Zoom meetings where the teacher would read stories. He was able to sit through some of it, but as he compartmentalises his life, he found it very hard to do schoolwork at home.

    Telehealth was attempted for his therapy sessions. His speech therapist set up a session with him on his iPad. I tried to get him to sit down and listen, but he quickly became very upset and he became the most violent towards me than he has ever been in his entire life.

    His therapist saw this and quickly shut down the session. The benefit of having all his therapists coming from Down South Therapy, she was able to make the call that Bear needed face-to-face sessions to continue and he was a priority for all his therapists. They continued to come to the house during lockdown. There were a few changes which he did struggled with a bit. 

    For example, he is a very touch-based bear. Not surprising when you understand he is a deep pressure sensory seeker. When they had to insist on some distance between him and them, he didn’t really understand and would still scoot over to them. He was so used to being able to sit up close, lean against them or even sit on their knee (not so much anymore as he is getting so big now!), his comprehension of not being able to even touch them just didn’t click.

    Witnessing this with my Bear meant that when we next saw his paediatrician, I was not surprised when he said that many of his autistic patients did not cope well with telehealth appointments. The popular ideology that all autistic people are introverts is being shown more and more to be false and my Bear is the perfect example of that.

    Routine, Schmoutine!

    Other than these few changes, he coped very well with his lack of routine. He did ask why he wasn’t going to school, but he was ok with not going. I will admit there was a fair bit of screen time with either his iPad or the TV, but he has never been a couch potato with his screen time.

    In fact, he is very active even when watching TV. The TV is regularly abandoned so that they can act out whatever they have just watched. Bluey is regularly re-enacted which is one reason I love that show. If you haven’t seen it, please do yourself a favour, no matter what your age is and watch it!

    I was a little nervous when it was time to go back to school. Grateful! But worried about another change in his routine, even if it was back to “normal”. 

    ? How would he cope with the extra handwashing and sanitising that was needed?

    ? How would he cope with seeing most of the adults with face masks on? 

    ? How would he cope with the limited people he could interact with at playtime?

    Yet again, my Bear surprised me, and I think most people at school when he walked in on that first day back as if he had never been away. Straight back into his normal school routine. Perfectly happy with sanitising his hands regularly. In fact, he and Frog remind me to do it when we go to the shops even now. It’s their normal.

    Our second lockdown came straight after the long school holidays so no real difference to how we had been living over the past 8 weeks anyway.

    With this latest lockdown, it’s currently only three days over a long weekend. So again, no change to our normal routine other than not being able to go to the park, like we would have done. We had plans to go on the Rediscover Rockingham Tram as it was the last weekend it would be running, visit the local Rotary Sunday Market to scour through the toy section for more Transformers and then just frolick along the Rockingham foreshore while the weather was still warm. But these activities are not routine, so he will be fine with not doing them.

    Keeping some of the old routines

    local park with the sun rising in Rockingham
    Seeing the sun rising on our morning walk

    We still have our small routines within our day. We will get outside every day in some shape or form.

    He will still get his sausages, baked beans, cheese and toast for breakfast. He will still be able to watch his YouTube videos and re-enact them around the house. We will still eat dinner at the table (a fairly new routine since Husband stopped FIFO work), go straight into a bath after dinner, into PJs for quiet time before bed.

    He will still, sadly, wake at 5am with fully charged batteries up his bum. He will still be naked far too much. 

    Plenty will still be familiar and comfortable. We have a few activities planned to keep them both entertained, but mainly it will be just trying to keep sane until we can be out of the house as normal.

    Who wants to be “normal”?

    “Normal” has never been a word we embrace in our house. “Team Weird”, as the Frog likes to say, have always needed to do things a bit different.

    So maybe that’s why he has coped so well. 

    Being different is our normal routine.

    If your blog posts are feeling a bit routine, contact me 
    and you can be part of Team Weird and try something different

    You can check out some of my other content creations on Facebook and Instagram.