5 minutes with Janine Ripper
I’m a big believer in networking with like-minded peeps and creating community within your field. Recently I caught up with fellow Perth blogger, freelance writer and social media buff, the fabulous Janine Ripper. Read on, get inspired!
1) Why did you start blogging?
I started blogging initially as a way to get back into writing. It was in 2010, and I had suffered from writers block since leaving University in 1999! For some strange reason, I could only write when I travelled, and since it’s what I was passionate about, it really upset me that I couldn’t write when I was home in Perth…so I started blogging and haven’t looked back! I LOVE it. It has really allowed my creative spirit to return and provided me with an avenue to share my experiences with depression. In a way it has provided me with a ‘voice’. Thinking back to when I started, I was a big introvert, so it was perfect for me…now, when people meet me, they think I’m a bit of an extrovert! I think this quote from Susan Cain captures how I feel perfectly:
“The same person who would never raise [their] hand in a lecture hall of two hundred people might blog to two thousand, or two million, without thinking twice. The same person who finds it difficult to introduce himself to strangers might establish a presence online and then extend these relationship into the real world.” Quiet – Susan Cain 2012
2) Where do you find inspiration to write when you’re having an “off” day?
Gosh, this is hard. I can’t really force my writing, and have to be in the mood, but as I grow as a freelancer, and get more clients, I have to snap out of it and force myself to write!
I find mindful meditation helps to clear my head a bit and relieve the stress and ‘freak out’ associated with writers block. Hatha yoga stretching and a good walk are also good to clear the cobwebs. Recently I’ve started listening to podcasts and chanting…sounds so ‘woo woo’ but, when teemed with some incense or nice scented candles burning, it sets a really nice vibe in the house.
In regards to inspiration for myself, I have a list of titles stored away. Sometimes I am struck by an idea or a title, but not the content, so I write the titles down and look back on them later to see if more ideas will come to be. Looking back on old posts is also good. They can stimulate another train of thought, or just lead to a whole rewrite of the old post. At other times, quotes and books are a really good source of inspiration, and can sometimes help get me thinking and writing about something poignant.
If the above fails – coffee works a treat.
3) Wow your website Reflections from a Redhead is fantastic. How long did it take you to get everything set up how you like it?
Thank you! Would you believe it’s still not the way I want it, 4 years later? The website has undergone a few facelifts in its time, and I’m constantly tweaking things to try and get it the way I like it, to optimize it and make it better, and so on, but it will never be perfect. Right now I want to change the theme again…but I’m trying to resist and just leave it the way it is.
A wise person, and very successful Australian blogger, once advised me that it will never be perfect, and to release those perfectionist tendencies and just roll with it. Believe it or not, even people with very successful blogs feel this way – I’ve talked to them and joined their Mastermind groups!
4) What three pieces of advice would give to someone thinking about starting a business?
- Try and have a nest egg or some savings set aside as a buffer to pay bills and any other incidentals that arise. I resigned from my job with no savings and then started my business – with some money set aside it would have definitely relieved some of the stress and pressure!
- Get out and talk to people. People who have started their own businesses, who are successful, who have failed, who are in your industry and who aren’t. Talk to people who are stating up, just like you (this helps so much!!! It makes you feel so not alone and crazy!). Follow and study successful people in your field, and investigate what they have done, and how they currently do things. Join Mastermind groups! There is so much information on the internet these days, a lot of it free, and you would be surprised at the amount of people who will give some time – and information – to you for free!
- Stay true to yourself i.e. be authentic and don’t sell your soul, or ideas, just because someone tells you to do it another way (their way). As soon as I stopped doing what people told me was the right thing, things really started happening for me. In the end, it’s YOUR vision, and its up to you to lead the way! Also, remember to question everything you hear, and in the end, listen to your heart, stomach and mind. Your intuition will tell you the right way to go. Sometimes it really pays to throw caution to the wind and just go with it…
5) Where are your three favourite places to go in Perth to write?
Generally I stay home and write. It saves petrol money! Also, I’m a bit of a homebody, and like to be comfy, so I move from the couch, to my office, to the patio…My backyard is pretty awesome. With the trees, birds and my dog, it’s the ideal setting really! Any cafe with a comfy chair / couch. I’m still on the lookout for the perfect place in Perth…but my fiancé is thinking about starting a café, so I’ll definitely be making sure there’s a chair there for me – and great wifi!
6) What is your favourite social media platform and why?
I love Pinterest. Pinterest is purely a fun social media platform for me. I don’t overly use it for business, or promotion. I use it for pure fantasy – I love designing my dream wardrobe I may one day be able to afford, planning our wedding for whenever that happens, as well as planning renovations to our house…or dream home, collecting recipes (Pinterest is awesome for food porn!), and pinning places I want to travel to.