Julie de Rohan – Truly Inspired 42#

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Truly Inspired Series

Truly Inspired Directory

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1] Blog Name

Julie de Rohan (took me ages to come up with it).

2] What is your blog’s specific genre?

“The aim of my blog is to offer awareness, insight and understanding about bingeing/overeating issues – I use the umbrella term “emotion-driven overeating” to include compulsive eating, emotional eating and binge-eating disorder.”

3] How old is your Blog?

“Just a toddler of 16 months.

4] Why did you feel the need to start an actual blog?

“I feel there’s a lot of misunderstanding about overeating issues and people who are overweight and I wanted to try to redress the balance.  I began bingeing at a young age and it took me decades to resolve my problems.  My hope is to help other people struggling in a similar way.  But it’s not a “hey, just do what I did” blog – it’s intended to help people get in touch with their own experiences and aid their self-awareness.”

“I also felt it was time to add my voice to the debate and to stand up for what I believe in, however vulnerable that may make me feel.”

“I’m a psychotherapist working with people with emotion-driven overeating and I absolutely love working with this client group.  It’s amazing to me that something that was once so personally negative, painful and shaming is now something so positive, fulfilling and rewarding (although often challenging).”

“When I started, I hoped that some of my clients might be interested in reading my blog, I didn’t count on people around the world showing their interest too – that’s been an incredible bonus.”

5] What age were you when you first started to write?

“Very young, I think, I used to write poems and stories (probably mainly about cats) when I was little.  I also wrote a really pretentious play for my Drama and Theatre Studies ‘A’ Level when I was 17 but the least said about that the better – it was tragic in every sense of the word.

When I look back, I’ve always written but it wasn’t until I started blogging that I realised I was a writer.”

6] Was it a natural process or did something or someone inspire you to put your first thoughts to paper?

“I think it was a natural process, I was always writing or drawing (or playing with imaginary ponies) when I was a child.”

7] Would you say that your creativity flows easily or do you need to be motivated by an event or a moment in your life to trigger it?

“I’m so grateful that it flows so easily and I really enjoy the process.  Usually the post I’m writing tells me which one I need to write next if that makes sense.”

8] How frequent or prolific are you with your writing and blogging?

“I made a deal with myself when I started that I would only publish a post once a month (although I publish two posts in March, no one knows why).  I think the temptation is to publish loads when you first start and I knew I wouldn’t be able to maintain that and I didn’t want it to feel like pressure.

“I know it goes against the accepted wisdom that you should publish frequently but it suits me.  I have to fit it in with my work which keeps me really busy.  In the 16 months that my blog has been alive and kicking, I’ve only published 18 posts which would probably horrify some serious bloggers but I’m OK with it.”

9] Is it just WordPress that your writing is displayed or other platforms as well?

“Just WordPress at the moment.  What’s a platform? (I’m kidding).”

10] Do you use social media to advertise and market your blog? If so which ones and how effective is it/are they?

“I don’t use any social media – as a therapist, I have to be careful to maintain personal and professional boundaries.  Also, I’m a bit rubbish at knowing how the whole social media thing works.  I’m thinking of branching out to something called “Instagram” though – I don’t know if you’ve heard of it... 😊

11] Writers block we all get it at one point or another – if you do suffer from it, how do you tackle the problem?

“I don’t think I publish frequently enough to suffer from writer’s block.  Also, I currently have a list of about 25 blog post titles so, given that I only post once a month, that should do me for the next 2 years!”

“I do procrastinate though which is why I have to use mytomatoes.com when I’m writing (an online kitchen timer and Pomodoro tracker) so I write in 25-minute bursts – if I can hit that “Start Tomato” button I know I’ll be OK.  It’s just making myself sit down in the first place.  I also drink a lot of tea and get distracted easily.  Oh no, now I want a cup of tea.  Back in a minute.

12] Which is your preferred writing/creative style?

“Each of my posts is a question.  The idea is to get the reader thinking about their own experience.  I feel it’s my job to offer information that might help them connect to their own experience, rather than being too prescriptive.  I’m a firm believer that the answer to our problems lie within us, and I try to help people find those answers.  I hope I write in an accessible way, not too therapy-ey or academic, I also like a bit of humour as you can tell.”

13] What is the best thing about blogging in your eyes?

“It’s so creative and a nice balance with the work I do.  Probably the best thing is “meeting” such wonderful, interesting, diverse people – I love reading other people’s writing and I feel my life is enriched by the people I engage with through blogging.”

14] What prompts you to write about a topic on the day that you post?

“It’s usually been in my head for a while, pestering me, and then I’ll have been working on it for a number of days, constantly editing and refining, so I just post when I feel it’s good enough to send out into the blogosphere.”

15] What advice would you award new bloggers to help and encourage them promote their blog and engage with their audience?

“Reply to comments!  It puts me off if I see someone not replying to comments. I don’t mean if someone has left a comment that just says “great post!” but if someone has left a really thoughtful comment on your post, I think that warrants a response, not just a “like”.  Likewise, leave genuine comments on other people’s blogs that demonstrate what they’ve written has touched you, made you think or affected you in some other way.”

“Also, if someone reblogs a post and I’ve enjoyed it, I like to go to the original source and like it, not just the person who reblogged.”

16] Do you have an overall blogging strategy or simply write because you enjoy writing?

“I write because I enjoy writing and I don’t think I realised how much I enjoy writing until I started blogging, but I also write for the reasons I’ve given above.”

17] Do you feel it is important to have an engaging audience to the content that you write?

“Absolutely!  I love it when people share their experience of how the post relates to them, it’s incredibly humbling and gratifying.”

18] If no one ever commented on your blog would this concern you, and if so how would you rectify the situation?

“I would ask myself “how am I engaging with others?”  Relationships should be reciprocal and that includes on WordPress.  I don’t mean “like” for “like” sake but real and honest engagement with other bloggers.  I’d also be assessing the quality of my output and asking myself “would I be engaged by this piece of writing?”

19] How long from start to finish would/can your content take you to complete?

“It takes me on average about 9 tomatoes – 9 x 25 minutes = 225 minutes, that’s 3.75 hours.  I write over a number of days and I’d say it takes me 4-5 hours per post, including breaks, general fannying around time and finding a photo etc.”

“It can take me quite a while to find a photo to go with each post and I have an agreement with myself that I’m not allowed to start looking for one until I’ve finished writing the post, kind of like a reward (no, that’s not sad).”

20] Which do you think are your best 3 posts to date? Please link below so that our readers can see your style and take a step into your world.

“I’m going to go with the three that have been the most popular to date:

“Why Do We Need to Let Other People Own Their Feelings?”

Feelings

https://juliederohan.com/2018/06/17/why-do-we-need-to-let-other-people-own-their-feelings/?wref=tp

“What’s the First Thing You Say to Yourself in the Morning?”

Morning

https://juliederohan.com/2018/05/20/whats-the-first-thing-you-say-to-yourself-in-the-morning/?wref=tp

“What’s the Big Deal about Exercise?”

Exercise

https://juliederohan.com/2018/01/16/whats-the-big-deal-about-exercise/?wref=tp

21] Finally, what advice would you offer new writers to the blogging community?

Why

“My best advice would be to let go of expectation.  By that I mean, when you’re writing a post avoid getting caught up in how it will be received.  Don’t try to write what you think other people want you to write, write what speaks most to you, that way you’ll develop an authentic voice.  That doesn’t mean you write without empathy but you’re not solely focused on what other people will make of it.

“It can be a good idea to write a few notes about what your intention is for your blog – what is it you want to say, who is it for, why are you doing it?  I see a lot of bloggers saying “I want to inspire people”.  Well, good, but how?  Is it really about inspiring others, or about being seen as inspirational? 

“I would also avoid getting distracted by numbers of followers and hits and concentrate on what you’re doing.  I know that goes against the grain as there are plenty of articles out there telling us how to aggressively market our blogs, but I think it can be quite damaging to get mired in it all, there’s a danger of becoming dispirited and losing sight of why you started blogging in the first place.

“Do what you do well and trust that you’ll get the engagement you want. Rather than thinking “what’s in it for me?”, I think a good question to ask is “what do I have to offer?”

“I had to write myself a personal “Blogging Manifesto” after I’d been blogging for a few months because I found myself distracted by the things I’ve listed above.  I look at it periodically to help keep me on track. It says things like “I focus on what I write and how I engage, rather than on how many followers I have”.  I’ve found it a useful way of keeping my attention on the real reasons I’m blogging.

“Many thanks again for this opportunity, Rory.  I’ve really enjoyed answering your questions, I hope you and your followers enjoy my answers.  I would also encourage other bloggers to take part in your “Truly Inspirational” series, it’s a lovely way to pause and reflect on your writing process.

Self-talk

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First and foremost my thanks to Julie of Julie de Rohan for taking the time to participate in the Truly Inspired 2 series and sharing with us her views and thoughts as to how her blog came into both being and fruition.

“Do what you do well and trust that you’ll get the engagement you want. Rather than thinking “what’s in it for me?”, I think a good question to ask is “what do I have to offer?”

The advice offered here by Julie l think is very, very true and is a question l often ask myself, as l feel sure that perhaps many of you as the readers do as well. We all hope that we have something to offer.

Overall, l enjoyed reading Julie’s interview, and my thanks to you Julie for taking part and sharing with us your favourite posts and the inspiration behind the creation of your blog.

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What made you start writing, what inspired you to decide to start blogging about your story? Tell us about it. Take us through a sampling of your journey – tell us what makes you who you are?

  Julie is our 42nd Interview will you be our 43rd?

Please drop me an email at ….

aguycalledbloke63@gmail.com

…. and l will gladly write you up and share who you are.

It is simple – email me at the above Addy or drop me a line in my contact box and l will email you the questionnaire. Fill it in, send it back , and include images that you feel may support what you write, or about your blog, and l will write it up as a post and insert it into this series here.

Come ON Who is going to be number 43???

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