The first rule of Blog Club…

In Blogging, Men on June 6, 2014 at 3:06 pm


The First Rule of Blog Club: You do not talk about blogging.

Well, I wish it was. It drives me mad the way so many blogs seem to start ‘I meant to blog about this weeks ago…’ or ‘I feel really bad I haven’t posted for ages…’

I really don’t give a shiny shite. If you’ve got something interesting to tell me, get on with it. Never apologise, never explain.

The Second Rule of Blog Club: I’m about to break my own rule.

I sometimes angst that this blog isn’t ‘about something’. Starting from one of the earliest blogs ever to break out – Julie and Julia – having an angle has seemed to be the essential characteristic of a successful blog.

For a lot of them it seems to be nothing more taxing than Look How Fabulous I Am! I’ve got these shoes! I made this cake! Look! A flower!


If it’s done with conviction and at least a modicum of style, I find those me, me and – did I mention? – me blogs very entertaining and get a lot of good info from them.

The best take a lot of serious hard work by the authors. (And the bad ones can give you an evening of screaming laughs with your best gal pal… Why do they always stand with their bloody toes turned in? ‘ickle ickle me…’ SLAP.)


So I keep beating myself up for not having a theme. I jump about from style, to food, to hairdryers, cats, clutter clearing and random pictures of hot men with their shirts off.

I keep trying to come up with a brilliant concept for a theme, but whenever I have an idea I immediately feel trapped by it. I don’t like being tied down to one area. In my thirty plus years as a journalist, I’ve never been able to stick to one thing either.

I’ve been back and forth between food and fashion the whole time, with segues into travel, popular music (that was fun in the early 1980s, let me tell you…) and political op eds.

And my favourite kind of piece to write has always been reportage. 24 hours at City Gym in Sydney (inspired the character of James in my novel Mad About the Boy). Going to Las Vegas with Manpower (hilaaaaaaaaaaaaarious). Following Elle McPherson on a promotional undies tour of Australia (interesting). Going to Dublin with the rugby world cup winning Wallabies in (zooee, mama…)

So I’ve decided the Unique Selling Point of my blog is going to be not having one. It’s just stuff. What I would talk to you about if we met up by the water cooler in an office.

Which is the obvious cue for this picture:


PS I didn’t need a justification for the picture at the top of this blog, did I? And while we’re at it, plenty to enjoy in this clip too…

  1. Lovely blog post, Maggie, Thank you! Isabelle xxx (Ottawa, Canada)

  2. Keep doing your stuff Maggie – love it! Oh – and what about the bloggers who stand with that ‘chicken wing’ pose – you know – hands on hips then shoulders and elbows pushed forward – absolutely hilarious!

  3. Maggie, I too love reading everything you write. The variety and surprise factor with the subject is a bonus!! It is just like catching up with a friend.

  4. I don’t care what you write about, it’s always a pleasure to read – and I especially love that it isn’t all sunshine and roses in your world – I am totally over blogs by people who seem to think that their baby’s poo is interesting…. And that it doesn’t smell, of course. Your blog is for grown-ups in the real world, mostly. There are no men with their shirts off in Sydney just now!

    • ha ha ha I actually take some kind of perverse pleasure out of the My Perfect Life bloggers and Instagrammers. I think it could make a great movie – what was really going on…

  5. And keep it coming (especially gratuitous photos of Brad. And Manolos). I’m sure most of us here are fans from the Good Weekend column and know full well you write about “stuff”. Look! Here I am on Saturday morning, with a cup of tea, reading Maggie. Just like old times!

  6. Maggie, I love your blog! I love the anticipation when a new-post email hits my inbox and the variety of topics you cover. Keep it coming!

  7. Your USP is your ability to write about stuff backed up with an informed opinion. Please don’t change!
    Like Anne At Home, it is Saturday morning, but with coffee, reading Maggie. Even better, I can write a note to you and read everyone else’s views.

  8. The best pert is that we DON’T know what to expect and all posts are good. I’m even trying to chuck at least on thing out of any cupboard every week. And if a new piece of clothing comes in, another goes out. Is this from reading you?

  9. Nothing wrong with sharing a bit of eye candy with friends. Photos of beautiful clothes (and hot bods) may not change the world, but they sure bring a smile to my face. By the way, I love Franco’s take on Robert de Niro, hilarious!

  10. I so agree with what you say and with your commentariat. Food blogs are the worst – look up a recipe and you have to scroll through pages of waffle first. And the toes turned in – the Sartorialist’s girls so often have turned in toes – how can he do it?
    And Saturday mornings have never been the same since you left Good Weekend…

  11. And Maggie that is why we love your blog. Thank you. That is all. 🙂

  12. Maggie, the hairdryer post changed my life… I’m with the other Sat morning Sydneysiders who love all your posts!

  13. Never apologise for posting pics of Bradley Cooper. *

    Following a blog is really about finding like minded people and whilst some blogs need a theme ( I follow several chicken keepers while I cogitate on having my own chooks, to pick up tips ) you don’t Maggie because you are writing about the things that interest you. I think if it interests you, it’s a fair bet it will interest us too.

    *you could post photos of Richard Armitage too. I wouldn’t complain.

    • Thanks Bollyknickers ha ha ha Is that Bolly as in Bollinger or as in Bollywood?

      • Bollinger – because anything but French champagne gives me a headache. I pinched it from Ashes to Ashes- my brothers childhood nickname for me was Knickers so it felt right!

      • Ha ha it made me laugh. I’m with you on the French champers, although I have recently developed a (necessary) tolerance to prosecco… xxx

  14. I agree with all of the above. Your USP is one M Alderson.

    • Thank you so much A.L. I wasn’t looking for compliments and I’m quite overwhelmed how nice you have all been. I wrote it partly to try and understand it myself and now I feel at peace with it. I don’t have to eat a different yogurt every day for a year to do a ‘succesful’ blog… xxx

  15. NEVER CHANGE. Never, never, never…

    Which may sound a bit obsessed, but yours is a blog that I always read with alacrity: I’m a real greedy guts with it. The concepts of a) not bothering with it, or b) putting it aside to read at a more appropriate moment (ie when I don’t have some rather pressing deadlines breathing down my neck), are non-existent.

    Thanks awfully for these jewel-like musings.

  16. I love that your blog is just about stuff, that it is real. For me like others, it in a small way makes up for the fact you are no longer in Good Weekend.

  17. Just keep doing what you are doing! Agree with the above comments – it’s like the Good Weekend all over again. And, I’m still waiting for your shoe inventory following your post “Eight Pairs Of Shoes” July 2013 (you were going to get back to us on that one). Maybe you’ll do an anniversary “shoe” post in July 2014?

    Thank you! xxx
    PS Love the shoes pictured above. I have a similar pair by Rupert Sanderson from way back. And yes, I wear them often (when it’s not raining).

    • Ha ha Val, I’d completely forgotten about that… I really must stop saying I’ll come back to things, because my butterfly brain flits off elsewhere and it never happens. Thanks for kind words xxx

  18. I love that you seem to be obsessed with something. Then not. Just like my relationships with my girlfriends.

  19. I have a blog without a theme too and that’s just the way I like it – no limitations.

    • Soo soooo glad it’s not just me. I’ve been feeling I was somehow failing at it, so writing that post was partly about understanding it myself xxx

  20. Maggie, you’re not a blogger, you are a writer. This is just your column online. I feel like you know about so much about so many topics (good paint colours to the perfect heel height). In fact when I moved to Sydney a few years ago I often thought “Maggie would know” when I was trying to track down the good hairdresser or beautician.

    • You should have asked me! The only person I let near my feet is Rosa in Queen Street, Woollahra. She’s a guru and a wise woman. Forget the name of the salon but it’s at the east end of Queen Street. xxx

    • I so agree with this. I don’t see it as a blog, either. For me it replaced the Good Weekend. What I don’t like in (most) blogs is the ‘perfectness’ of (some/most) of them. The smugness is just too much. I like that what you write about is unpredictable. The only blogs that I follow are basically ‘house porn’ (hint hint). I love that you’re never boring.

      • Oh girlfriend you and I are so on the same page… I could write a PhD on it. It’s unbelievable. Some people – and I count several very good friends in this group – do the me me me thing, but they do it brilliantly, professionally and I so admire them. I’d rather set fire to my hair than do a selfie of myselfie, but I salute my pals who can pull it off. But there is this whole new wave of crap bloggers, who aren’t professional at all and they all ponce about with their toes turn in, getting freebies up the ying yang. I’ve got to work out a way to make a living from this on my own terms…

  21. Oh Maggie, that is why I (and clearly ‘we’ from the above posts) love you! You just write about life – and it’s always entertaining. Keep up the good work!

  22. Maggie, I couldn’t find you in today’s sunherald or last week’s either. Have you stopped writing for them?

    • Hi Mila – yes, the Sun Herald has canned me. It would be great if you fancied writing to the editor Kate Cox, to complain! The Rules will still be available online – and I hope to be updating this site more regularly. It’s not pleasant, but as a columnist you always know the axe can fall at any time xxx

      • I missed you in the SMH this morning too. I will write – there is less and less to justify my subscription to that newspaper. I don’t wish to be mean but how can they keep Fitzsimmons and can you?

      • I can’t comment on Fitzie – old colleagues are comrades for life – (and I’ve never been in a rugby world cup winning team…) but please do write to Kate Cox and tell her you’re disappointed. xxxx

      • My complaint has been emailed- I doubt it will do one iota of good but one can only try.

      • I queried the herald yesterday and they couldn’t answer why – that’s how well informed their staff are! I will certainly follow up with a complaint to the editor.

      • Thank you so much xxxxxxx

  23. Hi Maggie, you are SOOOO beyond needing to have any focus to your blog. I’ve been reading you for more than 10 years and I would read absolutely anything you had to say about anything. I have absolutely NO interest in fashion whatsoever, I think the whole thing is a silly bubble which distracts people from spending their money on much better things like books or holidays or something. But you made me interested!!! You made me want to read about it. You made me see how you could be in that world and still laugh about it too.

  24. That is so unfair thet they canned you. What do they think we buy the paper for? Still miss your column in the GW!

    • It is par for the course for all columnists, but never easy to take. One of my very best friends is going through the same thing, she just lost a hugely popular column in the Sunday Times – I know how she feels. I still have ideas for Good Weekend, but then I write them on here! xxx

  25. Maggie love “The Rules” in Sunday Age and still miss Good Weekend column. Please tell me “The Rules” is staying – love it and all your musings. Have to comment on the little girly toes pointed inwards, shoulders hunched forward poses. I cringe every time I see one of these, which is far too often – what are those girls/women thinking? They need a good shake as do the photographers who persist in allowing them all to look so gormless…

    • Thanks for this – the Rules is staying in the Age at the moment, but if you would write to the editor and tell them you love it, that would be totally brilliantly great! xxx

  26. Ok I have been trying to log in and ask why you weren’t in my Sunday paper anymore but from the above I can see why. Cross email on its way to person responsible.

  27. Bugger, bugger, bugger. I cannot believe that you have been dumped from the SMH. I will do my “Angry of Mayfair” and write to the editors of both Fairfax rags.

    Now – how about you think about extending your blog offering a la Wendy Harmers’ The Hoopla and start recruiting paying subscribers? I am sure there are heaps of us out there (you only have to look at the above comments) who would gladly pay for the privilege we currently enjoy for free. Just putting it out there…

    • Ah Jane, you are such a good egg. I have thought and agonised over this long and hard. It’s certainly getting harder to make a living as a writer the old way. Everywhere wants to pay a fraction of what they used to pay. Me and my life long journo writer pals talk about this all the time. I have thought about putting ads on here, but you don’t make proper money unless you do ‘sponsored’ posts and while I have enormous respect for friends who do that brilliantly – and always full disclosure – it would clip my wings. I am in awe of what Wendy’s done, it’s so good – and she pays her writers. But she offers a full news and comment service, which I couldn’t compete with, but I am going to have to stop thinking of all the reasons why I can’t do things, aren’t I ?! thanks for your encouragement x

  28. Maggie,

    I only follow one blog. Your wit, insight and humour have kept me going through life over many, many years, including now, caring for my ninety two year old mother with Dementia. Write what you like, when you like, about what you like, and how you like.


    • Thanks so much for this Carole. I’m so so sorry to hear about your mum. I know how hard it is. My lovely mum is 90 and it’s so hard to say the right thing sometimes… Dementia is such a cruel disease to the sufferer – and everyone who loves them. I have so many friends going through it with parents I remember as vigorous, cool, role models. Sending you much love x

  29. You are a theme in yourself Maggie.

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