What is your blog’s specific genre?
Chickens Dottie, Florence and Jemima;
A mixture of mini adventures rambles and hill walking, topics which inspire me, interesting places, nature and the environment, pets, gardens and chickens! Random subjects I find fascinating or make me smile!
How old is your blog?
Cosy Cottage is just over a year old, beginning in September 2017.
Why did you feel the need to start an actual blog?
Four years ago, I took a 6-month sabbatical from work and it was suggested that starting a blog would be useful for work purposes (for experience of writing, technology and media). Before then it never occurred to me and I assumed that blogging wasn’t for me even though I enjoy writing. I stopped writing the blog because of a lack of time and commitment and forgot about blogging until last year, when three chickens came to live in my garden. This coincided with getting an ipad and wanting to write more. Then I thought I could be motivated to write more often by using the ipad and create a diary (sort of) about my chickens, gardening and other topics which would help me to learn at the same time.
What age were you when you first started to write?
I remember ‘writing books’ from a very early age, maybe from six or seven onwards. I would have an exercise book and write a story. I remember being inspired by The Famous Five and The Lion, the Witch and The Wardrobe (and being obsessed with wardrobes in MFI, just in case it was a magical one – but I never found it!) I wrote a story about a cave leading to another world, it was no work of art but I remember really enjoying creating that magical world.
Scene from Scafell Pike
Was it a natural process or did something or someone inspire you to put your first thoughts to paper?
I think it stemmed from reading and being absorbed into imaginary lives. I liked the idea of creating characters and situations. But then real life got in the way and for a long time the only time I used my imagination was via reading.
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 think I have a good imagination (especially at night after watching a horror film or reading a Stephen King novel)!) but am very critical of my own creative writing. My descriptive writing definitely needs working on.
How frequent or prolific are you with your writing and blogging?
I try to post once a week at least but generally write when I’m in the mood and schedule posts in advance just in case I get too busy to write. I used to just post whenever with no schedule but I like having an organised schedule. It motivates me more.
Is it just WordPress that your writing is displayed or other platforms as well?
I just use WordPress as my writing platform.
Do you use social media to advertise and market your blog? If so, which ones and how effective is it/are they?
I have a Facebook and Twitter account for my blog page but they don’t really generate much traffic. I also started an Instagram account. Social media is interesting but can feel time-consuming. Most traffic comes from WordPress.
Writers’ block we all get it at one’s point or another – if you do suffer from it, how do you tackle the problem?
I just don’t write if I don’t feel like it. By scheduling in advance, I hope to give myself some leeway.
Jemima on her own
What is your preferred writing/creative style?
I tend to write about topics which interest and inspire me. I like learning from what I write about. So it is quite factual but with a personal twist. Sometimes I make the posts more creative, for instance by imagining what my chickens might say.
What is the best thing about blogging in your eyes?
It helps me become more creative, learn about new topics and places. It’s also opened my eyes to other blogs which I enjoy reading, I would never have encountered them had I not started writing.
What prompts you to write about a topic on the day you post?
If it interests me or inspires me, it motivates me to write about it and hopefully it interest others. I try to give a personal slant so it’s a little different to what’s been said before.
What advice would you award new bloggers to help and encourage them to promote their blog and engage with their audience?
It’s been said before by other bloggers but I will say it again, read other blogs and interact, like, follow and comment. You might start doing it to gain more followers, you’ll end up loving some of the blogs you encounter.
Do you have an overall blogging strategy or simply write because you enjoy writing?
It would be lovely to earn money but it’s not really a consumer blog, it wouldn’t lend itself to advertising easily. And I would prefer to write about what I like and keep it as an enjoyable hobby then think of advertisers and start changing my style or topics to suit. Enjoyment is my overall aim. I think if it became more like a job, for me, the enjoyment would go. My secondary aim is to raise awareness of issues relating to nature and the environment, which I am concerned about.
Do you feel it is important to have an engaging audience to the content that you write?
Although I enjoy writing for its own sake, it’s nice to feel other people are reading my writing and unless people ‘like’ or comment how can I tell? Saying that, I have often in the past read blogs and enjoyed them and not ‘liked’ or commented.
If no one ever commented on your blog would thus concern you, and if so, how would you rectify the situation?
I think it depends on the topic, some will get no comments and others will get a few. But again it’s nice to feel people are reading my blog and usually I get a few comments. Acknowledging comments is important and is something I’ve learnt. But if comments otherwise dried up and I’m still writing about the subjects I enjoy, I’m not sure what I could do? Just carry on writing for myself I suppose!
How long from start to finish would/can your content take you to complete?
It depends on the topic. The posts about my hens can take about an hour or two, but if I visit somewhere and there is a lot of information about the place, the research can take more time.
Which do you think are your best three posts to date? Please link below so our readers can see your style and take a step into your world.
Swan at Glasson Dock
Three of my posts are:
Finally what advice would you offer new writers to the blogging community?
Don’t expect too much too soon. I’m sure it’s been said before but blogging is a journey, like life. Enjoy.
Scene from Pendle Hill
My genuine thanks to Clare for taking the time to write about the inspiration and creational thought to her blog.
I think that Clare like so many of our bloggers to date who have been interviewed here in Truly Inspired has the right formula for success, first and foremostly write for yourself, your creativity is for your own passions and enjoyment. Secondly don’t hyperfocus on an audience, they will come. Interact with your community and they will interact back. Write about what ‘you’ know about and don’t forget to add your own personal style to your topics, as they are what makes you you.
If you are not yet aware of Clare’s blog Dreams and Adventures at Cosy Cottage, do make it a point of popping in and saying Hello.
Once more, my sincere thanks to you Clare for taking part.
So tell me, tell us. What inspired you to start your blog, did you just one day have an epiphany like Clare and her chickens and think “Yep, now is the time to start blogging!”
Please drop me an email at ….
…. 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.