- When someone says: what are you writing? It sounds in my ears like they’re saying: I’m going to set fire to your hair. Or I’m going to kill your children. And I don’t even have any children. It’s like asking a man: are you still beating your wife? He is condemned by the question before he has a chance to answer.
Asking a writer what are you writing is like asking a philosopher what are you thinking? Or a firefighter what fires have you been fighting? But, then, you wouldn’t ask a firefighter that. You’d ask: put out any interesting fires lately? To which he replies: Yes, I just carried a little girl and her puppy out of a blazing apartment building. That’s heroic. That’s awesome. You ask the writer: what are you writing, and its like asking a fish in which direction he’s swimming?Writers don’t immediately know what they are writing. The meaning evolves in the writing. They sense more than see that there’s a crack in the universe and feel a need to fill the vacuum. Rightly or naively, writers see themselves as society’s conscience; a safety valve.From this perspective, all writing is political: a mother murdering a child abuser; a mean boss sacking a pregnant employee; a group of wheelchair vets occupying a recruitment office. The drama will be layered in social comment. We laugh our heads off at the antics of Peter Griffin in Family Guy, but underpinning the humour is an intricate substructure of ideas, opinions: of politics.Newspapers and broadcasters dip their bowls in the great soup of concepts writers put into the public arena through surveys, reviews, blogs, tweets, Facebook posts. Writers are worker ants, always labouring, often without pay, for the good of the nest: the planet we all share. From now on, when friends ask: what are you writing, I’ll tell them I’m creating a story about how the people woke up one morning and discovered when they came together to save the last of the orang-utans, the last Indian tigers, they lost their feelings of apathy and boredom. They looked into each others eyes and began to see a way to bring about a fairer, better, more equitable future for the entire planet. First published at www.blogcritics.orgAuthor : Chloe Thurlow is a best-selling English novelist and syndicated blogger. Visit www.chloethurlow.com
Tuesday, 27 May 2014
I am Introducing this section so that Blogger Interviews can feature the people we interview so that we can easily view what they are upto ;) , Watch this space for more as we get authors and writers from around the globe to write just for you .
Sunday, 25 May 2014
Interview with ILA ,Blogger,Activist and Mommy Blogger
1. Can you tell us a little about yourself, your blog(s)/website(s), and your aspirations and your hobbies!!
About Me: My name is Ila. I’m a stay-at-home Mom
to two little boys. I am building faith for
myself and in our family. Faith and Family are my top priorities. I’m also a
very dedicated activist for Multiple Sclerosis awareness and Autism Awareness.
You can Meet Our Family
on my blog. I’m also a guest blogger for YourLDSBlog.com
Blog: I’m a lifestyle blogger at He Has MS. Faith, Wellness, and Activism… That sums up my blog. I write about Christian & Inspirational topics, Health related topics, Family life, Special Education, Multiple Sclerosis, Autism, and Fundraising. My primary goal when writing is to help others live a happy, healthy, and fulfilled life. For me, blogging is personal and a nice therapeutic outlet.
Aspirations: To help others and to inspire them.
Hobbies: Blogging and Activism are my main hobbies. I also like to work-out, read, paint, do crafts, work on home improvement projects, organization projects, and work with my children on goals I have for them. My children are young, so I non-officially homeschool them. My 3 year old is only a part-time ‘homeschooler’. I think as far as hobbies go, I am just the stereotypical “Mommy Blogger”. My life revolves around my faith, my family, our home, and my activism projects.
2. How you first got involved in with blogging/writing, are you an imaginative person?
I have always been a writer, just not writing for the public to see. As I was growing up, I would write in personal journals and write poetry. I am very creative and have an imagination.
I officially started writing on my blog because our family was going through a traumatic life change after Multiple Sclerosis became a part of it. You can read about that original diagnosis on my blog page titled, “His MS Story”. Because our lives were so different, I wanted to inspire, encourage, and help others who may be facing some of the same challenges.
I decided to create my blog after searching and searching for answers about Multiple Sclerosis, but never finding an answer. I write to answer those questions, from a personal perspective. I write to raise awareness about Multiple Sclerosis and Autism.
3. What do you find most challenging about blogging/writing about your topic?
I don’t find it challenging at all. I blog because it is therapeutic and I like it. I write from my heart, so there is always inspiration.
4. Tell me about some of the people you have met while working on your blog?
I haven’t actually met anyone. I have met a lot of people online that are amazing and inspirational. All of my twitter followers are amazing people and many of them are changing the world.
5. How would (someone) describe your blogging/writing style?
I recently had a dedicated reader tell me that I write as if I am speaking directly to her. That is how I write, like I’m talking to a friend. My readers are supportive and encouraging. To me, my readers are my friends. I write from a personal perspective and always include how it applies to my life.
6. What do you do when you are not working on your blog?
When I’m not blogging, I’m usually busy with the tasks of being a mother. My 2 boys keep me busy! I take my 3 year old to his therapy appointments, we do ‘unofficial’ homeschooling activities, I clean, cook, etc. The work of a Mom never ends…
7 .Where do you see yourself blogging/writing wise in the next 6 months, and 5 years down the road?
You know what… this is a tough question.
When I first started blogging, I didn’t think anyone would read it. Now, every time I look at my blog stats… I am so surprised. I almost had a heart attack when I got a google page rank 2.
The only thing I can say for sure about the next 6 months or even 5 years… I’ll still be writing because it is my hobby. Writing on my blog is very therapeutic and I know that I’m sharing information that can help another person living with the same challenges as our family. My blog readership will probably grow, just as it has been growing. If it doesn’t, I’m okay with that. I blog because I like to, not because I have to…
8. What networking do you do that you feel helps your blogging/writing business?
To be honest, the only thing I do is use Pinterest, Facebook, and Twitter. I don’t even put a lot of effort into social media. I don’t even promote my blog!
9. How do you keep coming up with material/content for your blog? Many people struggle with coming up with different articles/posts and they only have one blog.
I’m a lifestyle blogger. The inspiration for content is always there. My blog posts are about topics very close to my heart. Occasionally, I will publish guest posts to add different perspectives on my blog.
10. Whats your strategy with your blog in general?
Strategy? Hmm… I have a blog mission statement. It helps me keep my posts from being so random. Still, I do post randomly. Again, this is because I’m blogging about my life and that is constantly changing.
11. Any specific tips you have for newbie bloggers who want to make it in the blogosphere?
- Choose a topic that you enjoy and will continue to inspire you
- Your blog should contain quality posts. It isn’t about the quantity of posts, but the quality of each post. Your readers won’t keep reading if you publish posts that aren’t high quality. It’s better to post a few quality posts a month than to post poor quality posts daily.
-Spell-check! Aim to have your blog posts free of grammar/spelling errors.
-Unless profanity enhances your niche, try to use something else. Many advertisers won’t use you if your site is full of profanity and negativity towards brands.
-Format your blog posts using Heading and Sub-Headings. If you are writing large posts, breaking up the writing is easier to read. Consider using bullet points to highlight ideas. Also, instead of doing a massive post, consider breaking the post up into a series.
-Establish relationships with your readers. Ask them questions, talk to them, visit their pages, etc. Readers will come back if they have an established connection with you.
12. What would you prioritize? Content? SEO? Traffic? Readers?
Personally, I prioritize my content.
Truth is… I still have a lot to learn about SEO! Traffic and readers will come along if you have quality content. Like I said earlier, I didn’t think anyone would read my blog when I first started out… Now, I have an online presence with others like myself, in all areas in my life. That only happened because of the content on my blog.
13. Whats the best thing a blogger can give to his readers?
A unique perspective. There are so many blogs out there, why should they read yours? You have to be able to offer them something, even if it is just advice or something they can relate to. It establishes a relationship with your readers, so they will want to come back.
14. A lot of people are interested in blogging/writing for the money earning potential. What are some tips for people interesting in making money from blogging/writing? What are some realistic expectations in regards to what can be made?
I blog as a hobby, so I have never tried to earn money from blogging. I do know that you will only get paid from putting in the effort to do so. Make sure advertisers know you are willing to sell them ad-space, provide paid-posts via sponsors, etc. Affiliate marketing is also really popular, especially through Amazon associates. Most people can make money through that avenue. I rarely post up affiliate links on my site. I just haven’t wanted to. Pay-per-click seems to be a popular choice for making money through blogging too, for example: Google AdSense.
I appreciate the sponsorship opportunities that I have had reviewing products and hosting giveaways. In a sense, that is earning money through product. The value is the same. I could sell the products that I review, but I don’t.
15. What motivates you most in life?
My children. They motivate me to be a better person in all aspects of my life.
16. What has been your strategy for creating visibility to yourself and your blog?
This is another area where quality content is so important. I write and they come. It’s as simple as that. I do visit other blogs and comment, but essentially… I only share my posts via my social networks. That’s it really.
Even now, after blogging for a few years…some of my family doesn’t even know I have a blog and the ones who do, rarely read it. It’s all about content! My readers are people who like my content on my website, they can relate to it, and they are inspired by it in some way.
For anyone who has the willingness to promote their own writing, there are a lot of different ways to do it. First of all, you can tell people about it. Lol I blogged a whole year before a single person in my ‘real’ world even knew. Second, you can promote online and off-line.
Online, visit other blogs- leave a comment and let them know you’d love their input on your blog/blog post. You can enter into blog-hops and linky-parties. Join communities and forums relevant to your blog and establish relationships on there. You can place free ads on various websites or you can pay for ad-space on another blog. You can sponsor giveaways on other blogs; as well as self-pay for a giveaway on your own blog.
Off-line advertising: Good old fashioned flyers! Leave them everywhere, and tell all of the people you know that you have a blog. When someone asks what you do for a living, say ‘I’m a writer at ___ website and I write about ______.” You can submit articles and press releases in newspapers, magazines, etc. There are a lot of ways to do it… you just have to be willing to work hard.
17 What was the most challenging moment in your blog content development process and why?
The most challenging moments for me is always the ‘finding time’ phase. I’m a busy mom! Developing content, editing pictures, research, etc. All of that takes up time. For me, I usually blog late at night on very little sleep. I always have to go back and review posts for errors. Sleep deprivation = errors!
18. Everyone has a favorite/least favorite post. Name yours and why?
My favorite post- “Huge List of Multiple Sclerosis Symptoms”. It’s my favorite because it is very informative and a lot of my readers have benefited from the list. Also, I really love all of my Bible Study posts. They are all very special to me as I am trying to build my faith.
My least favorite post is “Dear Angry Reader….” I don’t like that post because I was angry/sad that I even had to write it. Other than that, if I don’t like a post later on… I just edit or delete!
19. Name some of the bloggers whom you look up to and why?
DeeAnn from Snippets N’ Stuff: She’s another lifestyle blogger that has been through much of the same things as I have. She’s a mom with a child with disabilities and she is a MS caregiver. I can relate to her and she always has great tips that I find helpful.
Laura from Laugh N’ Learn: She’s a mom and she homeschools her daughter, who is around the same age as my boys. I appreciate her posts and they inspire ideas that I use for teaching my own children. A lot of her content is useful for helping a speech-delayed child, like my child.
Abiola from The Ramblings of A Nigerian Workahomom: She is a mom and I like seeing how a mother in another country does the ‘motherhood thing’. For instance, I didn’t know that in Nigeria, maternity leave is for three months. She offers diverse content and poetry that I like, plus a multi-cultural experience.
Jodi from The Noise of Boys: She’s a mom of two boys, one with food allergies and one with sleep issues. I can relate to her writing, as each of my sons have a similar dilemma. She offers cool giveaways and reviews on products that I’d consider buying. I value her opinion.
20. What is the story behind the name of the blog?
The love of my life was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis… So, he has MS. The whole reason I started the blog was because of this, so the name “He Has MS” seemed appropriate. That’s all there is to the name. It’s simple and memorable.
21. Your connection with any Blogger Network like Indi blogger or Writeupcafe or any other and the experience?
I’ve never heard of them! I’m a member of BloggyMoms… I’m a member of some review websites, if those count.
22. Which genre do you feel gets the raw deal?
Being open-minded, I can appreciate something from every genre. This is true for everything: Book genres, art genres, music genres. I like a little bit of everything.
23. Which one plug-in would you suggest all bloggers to have?
I like to keep things simple, but if I had to choose… Have something that connects you to your social media sites. If you have an online shop, have a plug-in showcasing those items on your site.
24. Five adjectives that describe you.
Dedicated. Intelligent. Creative. Busy. Exhausted.
25. What book would you say has made the biggest impact good or bad on you?
The Authorized King James Bible. For one, it is how I grow faith. It is my ‘go to’ source for answers. Plus, I like the literature language used in it. I appreciate the poetic nature it.
26. Do you get easily provoked by positive/negative comments??
Being a blogger, the negative comments do come along. Most of the time, I can ignore them… Sometimes, I can’t. See my ‘least favorite post above’ as an example. The positive comments are the only ones I will publish on my site. I want my blog to be friendly and encouraging.
27. Do you plan to write a book, as every bloggers dream it is?
I have never dreamed of writing a book. I don’t think I ever will…
28. Are you a judgmental person, do you prefer to take sides instead of standing neutral?
It depends on the topic. I’m judgmental and will take sides when it comes to Autism Advocacy, Special needs children, bullying, Multiple Sclerosis Advocacy, Child Abuse, and Breastfeeding as a right. Other than those topics, I stand neutral in most areas. I am only judgmental when it comes to doing the right thing and someone is mistreating someone else.
29. Your collaboration with other bloggers, are you much into social networking, tell us everything about it?
I comment on their blogs. I use social media to network too, but I’m not very big on it. I utilize hootsuite.com for most of my social media maintenance actually. That’s all there is to say.
30. What genre attracts you the most and which genre you avoid?
Classical Literature. I don’t avoid anything….
31. Your Views on Contests and increasing plagiarism?
Contests, hmm…. Nothing to say. Increasing plagiarism, for that I say: Be creative. Find your own voice. If you need to use content from someone else… Ask for permission to use their content and always credit your sources.
32. Words for me and my blogs Desire v/s Destiny and Blogger Interviews and my Website www.MyMagicJobs.com
I think you’re doing a good job. I like the layout of the webpages and like that you use a lot of white spacing throughout. I like that you make posts easy to read and that you utilize bullet points.
33. On winning the Award/s , Are they Really necessary.
Perhaps they are to some…but not to me. I haven’t won anything and I don’t care.
34. So what’s Next in your list?
I have some blog topics, giveaways, and reviews that are on my ‘Blog To-Do List”. Just the same old, same old. I will continue to live life and blog about it.
35. Words for your readers and why they should follow you?
Following me is just a way for us to be friends. I share things related to Christianity, Education, Awareness for Autism and Multiple Sclerosis, as well as healthy living links of interest. Following me will also ensure that you never miss a post on my blog He Has MS.
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