Welcome to yet another post in the Interview with a Blogger series.
In today’s post I will feature Shoma Chakraborty of shomachakraborty.blogspot.in
She is one of the bloggers whom I follow closely. Shoma is a Writer, Journalist, Education and Marketing Consultant.
Without taking much of your time let’s hear it from Shoma!!
Q. 1. Please introduce yourself to our readers.
A. 1. Gee! How do I start?
Okay. I am a Jill of lots of trades. I was born curious and have questioned things right from the time I was a toddler. My “what is this” and “what is that” drove all my minders to mindlessness. As I grew up I was introduced to books and art by my ultimate Bhodrolok Bengali parents and since then, I have been dabbling in both – sometimes successfully and at others not so much but, I am yet to give up.
After completing MA in English Literature from Delhi University, I worked as a journalist for almost a decade before switching to education content creation which I did too for a long time. But, over the years I realized that jobs are just that – jobs and that’s true even for your dream jobs – it made me immensely restless. That is when I decided to do things for myself. Being true to myself and fulfilling my own dreams. I decided one day in 2012 to go back to my creative self. This has really kept me grounded and fulfilled. Now I work as a full time vagabond. Don’t have any bosses or subordinates. I live on a shoestring budget, pay my bills on time and don’t binge shop so much. But, I am at peace.
Q. 2. What was your inspiration to start your blog shomachakraborty.blogspot.in?
A. 2. I wanted to give my creativity an outlet. I am a restless introvert. It is a pretty difficult state of being. For me it is always hard to sell. I wanted to find a platform with live audiences where I could entertain them from behind the scenes. A blog seemed like, “just what I needed”. Hence, I started the blog. I started blogging in 2012 and one of the first posts was titled, ‘Halfway Through’ because, the year was half over. My blog was born the same month I did – June. I have been writing in it ever since but, now I am thinking of spreading my wings and taking it to the next level. I have posted on topics of varied interests and also shared original works of fiction and poetry over the years. With hundreds of posts in it, it has now become imperative that I take it to the next logical level – a website. That is the project I am working on at present and hope to share it with the world soon.
Q. 3. How would you describe/introduce your blog to the new readers?
A. 3. It’s very simple. It is how I introduce it in the blog too, “Diary and ramblings of an imaginative mind. Drop in for stories, poems and ideas and a cup of tea.” It is a place where I share my thoughts and feelings with the world. It’s like an adda where, I say my piece and enjoy the freedom of expression.
Q. 4. What do you think as the best and challenging aspects about being a blogger?
A. 4. A blogger is supposed to be honest. Honesty is the most refreshing as well as the most challenging aspect of blogging. If you are endorsing products or experiences for a fee then, you are drifting away from the purpose. Having said that, I would also say that it is nearly impossible to live on fresh air – especially in Delhi which is one of the most polluted cities in the world – bad joke! So, one has to then look for avenues other than the blog to make money. Otherwise, one can collaborate by mentioning clearly that it is a sponsored-post when they share one. However, maintaining an honest voice becomes a challenge because you are also expected to pay bills.
Q. 5. How would you describe your blogging style?
A. 5. Whimsical. And that is how it should be if you want it to be a blog. It should reflect your mood and personality. I write on pretty much anything I feel like and enjoy the process immensely as do those who read my postings. It reflects me almost like a child I raised up all on my own.
Q. 6. What do you think blogging will look like in next 5 years? Will it still be around?
A. 6. Blogging is definitely here to stay but, the general feeling is that the social media platforms and public relations has exploited it to a stretch. Subscribers are getting increasingly weary of paid partnerships as they were gung-ho about postings even a couple of years back. The churning will obviously take place in the next few years and hopefully the honest bloggers will survive the onslaught. One thing that’s really positive about blogging and social media is that it allows space for everyone and despite the paid partnerships and sponsored posts it does make way for the creative and original content though it takes a little longer to get there.
Q. 7. Which part of blogging excites you the most – post writing or photography?
A. 7. Both. I am also an active Instagrammer and you can catch my gallery @theshahofblah on Instagram. For me it’s all about being creative. I don’t bother what platform I am on as long as it is reaching the right audiences.
Q. 8. What is the biggest surprise that you have ever experienced after becoming a blogger?
A. 8. That’s an easy one. It’s having people I don’t know at all coming up and praising my work – especially writing style. Also, people like you who want to post my interview in your blog! Appreciation is what any artist craves for and it comes easily on the social media.
Q. 9. What has been the toughest criticism and best compliment given to you as a blogger?
A. 9. Criticism I have not really come across much on my face but, friends and old colleagues ignoring postings just to prove that you are “a no one to give an opinion on anything” or “are just not good-enough to be read” really makes me sit up and think if I was living under a rock all my life. Compliments have also come from the strangest of places and sources on originality and my ability to hold an audience till the end of a post. Some have even written to say that my posts have helped them take tough decisions or just enjoy a happy hour in bed. That makes me really happy.
Q. 10. Would you like to share some words of wisdom or tips for the aspiring bloggers?
A. 10. Like any profession that is best described as a hobby like, art or theatre, blogging too needs passion and dedication. Nothing is more important as talent. If you think you used to write excellent essays in school and therefore, you can be a great blogger then, please think of doing something else. Blogging is not about just descriptions or professional photography. It is about making “a connect” with the reader. If you are able to do that, you will survive otherwise you can always pay social media platforms to sponsor your posts and see if you are able to make it in the long run. But, whatever it be, the trick is to keep posting. Nothing like perseverance to see you through.
Thanks and a very happy 2018 to everyone!
Thank you so much Shoma for spending your time and helping our readers to know more about you. It has been a great pleasure for me interviewing Shoma and I’ll be back again with more interviews like this.
Thanks for reading!!