1. What am I working on?
A few things.
Like finding a balance between living and blogging. I frequently have an urge to write and plenty to write about (as of now, my draft count is 142) but I also have a life to live – a very busy one, especially since the hubs is now based in Indonesia and our new home needs to be renovated next year. My priorities are clear – it will always be my real life above my blog, it’s logical too because I blog about my life so no life is the same as no blog.
Like cutting down on advertorials, sponsorships and reviews. Surprised? Don’t be. It’s so easy to be greedy (I know because I’ve been there) or to want to take on certain engagements just because my blog is visible enough to be asked and it feeds my ego (it’s now my pet peeve about other bloggers, especially those who are willing to write for anything or nothing but again, I know because I’ve been there). But as a blogger, there will come a face palm moment when you go “I cannot afford this myself meh?” or “I need this meh?” or “I’m hard up for this meh?”, also known as “I need to do so much for being paid so little / a product that is of so little value meh?”. Something like that. Since quite sometime ago, I have started to do two things – write in to work with businesses I would like to work with and decline invites that are not relevant / I won’t use / they ask for the sky / the price is not right / I can’t be sure of the commitment needed / I don’t like the way the business or PR treats bloggers, even if they were willing to pay. It has been liberating.
*not all media invites I declined are for negative reasons of course, some were because of timing or for logistic reasons and there are some events I’d love to attend but was not invited, not even when I asked to go. #justsaying
Like cutting down on the stress of blogging. Take this blog train for example, it has its rules. You’re supposed to write about your process and then tag people to go next so that the blog train continues. I was so damn stressed about getting the next bloggers, simply because many fellow bloggers whom I personally know or whom I really want to invite to write are already “taken”. I don’t want to tag people I barely know, because I have to introduce them at the end and I don’t want the introduction to be fake-ish, for the sake of doing it. By right, I’m supposed to have published this post on Monday but I was still looking for the next bloggers to tag. I love this topic and do want to write this post but that was stressful…until, I approached Dominique (by then she had already written her post) to ask if she’d like to go after me and she gave me the best piece of advice I’ve heard in my blogging life. Basically my take away was, write because you want to write about the topic – and enjoy writing it. Not for the sake of doing it or for the sake of following rules. Eureka moment, an important one. Thanks Dom!
In terms of the topics that I’m working to publish on the blog – A lot. I want to write pre-school stories / tips, update about our eating situation, include beauty related stuff for mothers, share about what I’ve recently been trying out in my attempts in natural living and so much more. I also owe many people many posts and I’m working slowly to clear them. So many things to write, so little time.
2. How does my work differ from others in its genre?
It doesn’t differ from the work of any family and lifestyle blogger but we’re different people, so you read about different lives, experiences and perspectives. Same difference for all bloggers within the same genre. #isthisquestionnecessary?
3. Why do I write what I do?
This quote (which I came across while reviewing the book Keep Calm & Mother On by Pauline Loh) pretty much sums up the first reason.
“There is no death, daughter. People die only when we forget them,” my mother explained shortly before she left me. “If you can remember me, I will be with you always.” – Isabel Allende, author of Eva Luna
I’ll still be here, on this blog. Mostly for Joy, so that she’ll have these, in place of me, to hear about her childhood and what I thought about her and the things we did together. #memoriesofmymother
The other reason is because I want to write advertorials, receive sponsorships and review food, goods and services (that I am interested in of course, read #1). For money, for experiences we might never have otherwise, to save on what we need to use and because I love my food. I work (hard) for them and I don’t lie on the blog. #stayreal
4. How does my writing process work?
It always starts with interest. I have an experience and “I must blog about this” pops up in my head or a product / service / photos of food i’m invited to review looks super good.
I take photos according to my gut feel and many nice ones were taken by accident. My writing is guided by the photos I take since they are my memories of what happened. I think that’s why I hardly experience writer’s block, I suffer from long-blogposts-disorder (LBD has a whole new meaning).
I don’t know if anybody has realized by now, I have OCD when it comes to certain things, so in my Macbook, I have a folder for each and every post I write. They contain sub folders for media kit, raw photos (means also includes anyhow take or will never use photos), selected photos, edited photos (which will form part of a collage) and final photos. And, each post folder is named in a particular way such that they will appear in chronological order when I open up the folder in my time capsule containing all my posts (I no kid you, see picture). I am seriously considering if I should just save a plain text copy of the HTML of each and every post. Just in case, you know, the blog disappears. #paranoid
I prefer to work on my macbook as opposed to blogging on my phone because photo-editing / previewing and generally reading is much much easier but sometimes, I’d be attacked with a sudden string / paragraph of words that are exactly right to describe something I want to write on the blog. If it’s such a good idea (to me), I’d make my lazy self type them out painstakingly using the wordpress app on my phone.
I work best in complete darkness late at night in the bedroom with my laptop on the floor, kept warm with Joy’s fleece blanket (because she doesn’t use one after she’s fallen asleep and our aircon is always on at night). Cannot see anything other than my macbook means there is a lower possibility that I will be distracted, although I’m always hungry and I almost always have food by my side when I’m writing. Ever since I adjusted my operating hours from 11am – 4am to 7.30am – 12am (or so), I’ve been blogging in the day and this is how my “workstation” looks like. Not pretty but very comfortable. When we move, I’m going to make sure my writing corner is well taken care of.
The first post I read about on this blog hop was Summer’s. It was then that I feverently hoped that someone would tag me to write too because it’s an interesting topic and (as you now know) I have so many things to say. So I love you Cherie, for tagging me and, like I’ve said before, I’m glad you enjoy being supplied with photos of food at your hungriest times!
In the end, I did manage to find two other mummy bloggers, whom I personally love to write about this interesting topic. I would really love to read what they’ll have to say and I think you would too.
Angeline Ng – http://simplymommie.com
Angeline is an educator who gave up her career to stay home for her children. She writes about interesting home learning activities and her blog is filled with a lot of recipes I want to try out, especially the nourishing soups. I have long considered Angeline a personal friend as opposed to a fellow mom blogger. I love chatting and sharing honest thoughts with her, sometimes we text each other late into the night and don’t get a good night’s sleep but its worth it. I’d always remember one thing she told me about doing reviews on the blog, something like “if the comments are all good by default then review for what?” #bloggerwithintegrity #stayreal
Justina Tey – http://makingmum.blogspot.sg
Do yourself a favour and follow the Facebook page of Justina’s blog (link here, you’re welcomed!) – trust me, it is always interesting and the content she shares on her page is not limited to her blog posts. Talking about blog posts, Justina’s writing is always engaging and I often feel positive, happy and grateful for things in general after reading. You can tell, I am a fan.
Read Justina’s post on her writing process here!
I hope you enjoyed this post, as much as I enjoyed writing it and recommending other awesome bloggers to write about the topic. If you own a blog and love this topic, please do write and let me know when it’s published – I’d really love to read.
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