1] Blog Name
2] What is your blog’s specific genre?
Writing / Books / History
3] How old is your Blog?
3 years old
4] Why did you feel the need to start an actual blog?
I decided in 2015, when we lived in Bordeaux, that I wanted to write a book. Once I started, it became obvious how much I didn’t even know that I didn’t know (if you get my drift), so I began reading everything I could about writing. It was not easy to find much information – I felt like I was not a proper writer because I didn’t have a Master’s degree. I decided to document my journey to publishing and share lists, advice and resources that I could never find when I was starting out.
5] What age were you when you first started to write?
I wrote poems and stories in high school, inspired by the the helter skelter feelings of the time. Then the pen took a back burner to university, my office job and my family, until I started writing again four years ago.
6] Was it a natural process or did something or someone inspire you to put your first thoughts to paper?
My first blog was a travel blog about our adventures living in France, just for the eyes of family and friends in New Zealand. I quickly realized I couldn’t keep up with the amazing photography travel bloggers needed, but I loved the writing side – making people on the other side of the world feel what I was feeling.
In France, the simple joy taken by the people there of food, wine and nature inspired me. And I loved the nearness of the history; cool limestone walls built in the 18th century, flicking a coin into an elegant fountain, picking my way through strangling vines on Roman ruins, exploring the dark depths of a cave which had ancient drawings and was also used as a weapons store in World War Two.
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?
As I’ve become less hyper-critical of my own writing, I’ve found the ideas flow a lot easier. I often lie awake at night, while a persistent story idea needles at my mind.
8] How frequent or prolific are you with your writing and blogging?
I work as a freelance writer and proofreader, so I’m always dabbling with words. I write something every day, whether it’s refining a flash fiction story or part of my novel. I blog about six times per month, on average.
9] Is it just WordPress that your writing is displayed or other platforms as well?
My blog is on WordPress and I have a few short stories published in literary magazines.
10] Do you use social media to advertise and market your blog? If so which ones and how effective is it/are they?
I love Twitter. If you can get past all the ‘buy my book’ tweets, the writing community is very welcoming and gives so much support and great advice.
Facebook is also pretty helpful – I find a few shares on Facebook helps content get a lot of views. Sharing in Facebook groups, or liking and commenting as my blog Facebook profile is another good tip.
Oh, and Pinterest – that’s my best. I get quite a bit of traffic from Pinterest. But it’s easy to get stuck on there for a few hours, looking at all the pins.
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 definitely get writers’ block. It is tied up with my mental health and how critical I am of myself. I find writing in beautiful places helps, like a cafe overlooking the beach or park. Taking long walks is also therapeutic, and my dog enjoys it too. Oh, and reading great literature.
12] Which is your preferred writing/creative style?
I’m a pantser. I started writing my novel based on a historical event, (the Great Plague of Marseille 1720) with a few snapshots in my mind, weaving the story from there.
I love writing setting, especially vivid places that whisper about the characters or foreshadow events later in the book. Most of my short fiction starts with an idea of place and explores the psychology and relationships of the characters.
13] What is the best thing about blogging in your eyes?
The best thing about blogging has been meeting the hard-working WordPress community – so many interesting personalities giving their unique perspective through the written medium. It is nice to get feedback on my writing too.
14] What prompts you to write about a topic on the day that you post?
Sometimes, I feel an overwhelming need to rant, based on something that happens during the day – like the time I witnessed a waiter being mercilessly hassled for his effeminate voice. Mostly, my posts are scheduled in advance as I take quite a bit of time to research them.
15] What advice would you award new bloggers to help and encourage them promote their blog and engage with their audience?
Write your personal stories – if you write what is meaningful to you, it shows. Try not to copy other blogs.
Read as many blogs as you can and show an interest – comment on and support your favourites.
Share personal success stories and behind-the-scenes information, like stats.
16] Do you have an overall blogging strategy or simply write because you enjoy writing?
My only strategy is to work towards a website that I would love to have found when I started writing; writer motivation, author interviews, free or cheap resources, book reviews of similar books.
17] Do you feel it is important to have an engaging audience to the content that you write?
Yes, otherwise we may as well be writing a diary.
18] If no one ever commented on your blog would this concern you, and if so how would you rectify the situation?
It would concern me, although I don’t worry about my numbers much on a day-to-day basis. I find clickable titles are a big drawcard of readers and people comment more on the ‘thinking’ posts. An important part of blogging is the promotion, and taking part in link-ups or collaborations is a great way to drive readers.
19] How long from start to finish would/can your content take you to complete?
An in-depth article could take me three full days to complete, but I tend to do it here and there in the evenings.
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.
- What We Learned from Dragging the Kids to France http://www.writersideoflife.com/lessons/
- How to Engage your Readers through Effective Communication http://www.writersideoflife.com/writer-reader-communication/
- Should I use a Pen Name? Judging books by their covers. http://www.writersideoflife.com/who-are-you-reading/
21] Finally, what advice would you offer new writers to the blogging community?
Write often and write truthfully. Writing is scary – when I tell people I’m writing a book, ninety percent say ‘I’ve always wanted to do that’ or ‘I’d love to tell my life story’. Well, just start writing.
Don’t be too hard on yourself. Writing is constantly learning, about yourself and how to express your thoughts so that other people want to read them.
Writing can be fun, it can be healing and can quickly become an obsession. We need the critical thought that comes with the creative arts now more than ever.
My sincere thanks to Kim for taking time out to participate in the Truly Inspired questionnaire. l also agree with Kim’s philosophy that we should have an engaging audience, because otherwise what’s the point, if we don’t need it, them, well we can of course write in a diary.
Her advice also for new bloggers and writers alike is spot on, like many before Kim and myself have made mention to – write often, write what you know about, write what you are passionate about and for, write from your heart and write honestly and truthfully. Read as many blogs as you can and interact and engage with other bloggers, their support and feedback to your content is critical.
So what inspired YOU to start your blog?
Kim is our 56th Interview will you be our 57th?
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 the series.
Come ON Who is going to be number……..