Interview with a blogger – Novemberschild aka Romila

Welcome to yet another interview with a blogger post on The Mixed Flavors.

I’m glad to feature Novemberschild aka Romila for the second time. She is a highly experienced blogger, author, poetess, columnist and a well-knows writer. If you have not read her blog Novemberschild.com yet I insist to visit her blog. I’m sure you’ll like it.

Recently she has launched her new and 3rd ebook Midnight Musings, which is a collection of 26 Haiku – short poetries. I’ve read the collection and reviewed it on my blog. You can also read it here.

Without taking much of your time, let’s hear it from Romila aka Novemberschild.

  1. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

From school magazines to local newspapers to national magazines to websites to   blogs to famous publications, I have written for all. I am an observer. I don’t forget people, incidents, and experiences. I enjoy speaking, binging on desserts especially ice creams, learning, Karaoke singing (no audience pleases), shopping, helping people succeed, anything God created and the rains.

  1. When did you first start writing and when did you finish your first book?

I started writing at the age of 13 in the year 1996 for my school magazine as I was approached by my Hindi teacher Mrs. Rashmi Srivastava who saw the writer in me. I was hesitant as I had never written a single word before that because I was always a reader, but she encouraged and helped me. My first piece was in Hindi on the topic Unemployment which was approved and published and after that my mother discovered a prospective writer in me and she pushed me towards writing. My first ebook took me just 3 months to write and complete.

  1. How do you choose a genre you write in?

 It is completely on basis of my convenience. All my ebooks have been just spontaneous when it comes to the theme/genre.

  1. Where do you get your ideas?

From my surroundings.

  1. Do you ever experience writer’s block?

I don’t believe in writer’s block or waiting for inspiration. If you’re a writer, you sit down and write. When you get writer’s block (or any other creative block) it can be tough to get past it. There are strategies you can use to get the juices flowing. They all have one thing in common: they involve actually doing the work. Why is that? According to author Jodi Picoult, it’s because writer’s block is just another name for procrastination. Just pick up your pen and pad, get to writing.

  1. Do you work with an outline, or just write?

Once I have a theme/genre in mind – you can call it outline; I write and go with the flow. The drafts are always bundles of pages before the manuscript gets finalized.

  1. Is there any particular author or book that influenced you in any way either growing up or as an adult?

Nothing in particular. Every book I have read as a child till today has been of some positive influence in my life.

  1. Can you tell us about your challenges in getting your first book published?

I have been an independent author as I took the indie publishing route. You are your own publisher. You don’t have one. On the inside cover of your book it says: YOU, isn’t that pretty awesome? I am glad I faced no challenges.

  1. Tell us more about your recent creation Midnight Musings.

Midnight Musings is my 4th book- 2nd poetry attempt and first in Haiku. I am happy to call myself a successful poetess.  I experimented Haiku and I am happy with the result. I wrote haiku because I love noticing what’s going on around me and within me. I feel each day offers gifts of insight and moments worthy of contemplation which I tried to bring it alive through my poems.

  1. What was your favorite poem(s) to write in Midnight Musings and why?

V for Vagina

 Here comes the baby!

Oh thou vagina third degree tear.

Pregnancy is fun.

 I have not experienced pregnancy but I wrote about imagining the pain and happiness. It is difficult to write about something you have never practiced in life.

  1. How did you come up with the title?

All the poems I wrote happened between 12am -2am. I write during nights. It took me more than 62 nights to write them and all these nights have been special for me. The most challenging bit was handling Haiku with alphabets Q-X-Z. As always self-brainstorming session helped me crack that challenge – Midnight Musings perfectly got into the vibes, mood and my poems.

  1. What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What has been the best compliment?

Toughest criticism – I have not received any criticism but yes people have confessed that they hate my writing talent and are jealous of my success.

Best compliment – You are such a gifted writer and such a warm person, an inspiration to many writers out there including me.  I don’t know you personally but I do want to be like you.

  1. Will you have another new book coming out soon?

Yes. It is ready. It is micro fiction, small cute book. It shall be out in September – the last for the year.

  1. Do you have any advice to give to aspiring writers?

My advice is this to anyone who announces they want to be a writer. Well, for a start, nothing should stop you. You cannot go around saying “I want to be a writer,” you can only go around saying “I am a writer.” All you need is a block of paper and a pencil. Believe in yourself. Sounds super cheesy, I know, but it’s important. Writing is really hard, and you have to put in a lot of work behind the scenes before you see any sort of progress. If you don’t think you can do it, you probably won’t. So stay positive, post little sticky notes with inspirational quotes on your desktop, change your computer’s wallpaper to something that motivates you and keep going. You will face rejection (over and over again) so you need to be your own biggest cheerleader.

  1. Is there anything that you would like to say to your readers and fans?

 I would want to quote Steve Irwin – Whatever you want to do in this world, it is achievable. The most important thing that I’ve found, that perhaps you could use, is be passionate and enthusiastic in the direction that you choose in life, and you’ll be a winner.

Interview with a Blogger – Pujarini Mitra

Hello friends. Welcome to yet another interesting post in the Interview with a Blogger series.

In this post I’m featuring my up-close and personal interview with Pujarini Mitra. She is the creator of the travel blog mysoultravels.com. I met with her through the social media site and I’m glad that I could connect with her.

Without taking much of your time, let’s hear it from Pujarini.

Q.1. Please introduce yourself to our readers.

A. Hey There! I am Pujarini Mitra. Well if you find my name difficult, just call me Puja. I am a family travel blogger with a 9+ years of experience in IT and HR in my earlier avatar. I caught the travel bug pretty young, coming from an Army family. I love to travel and explore offbeat destinations. I have been a solo traveler, a couple traveler and now I travel with my toddler. My ambition is to visit 100 countries before I turn 40.

Q.2. What was your inspiration to start your blog mysoultravels.com?

A. I love travelling and blogging about it. Travelling is my passion and it makes me feel free, inspired and empowered. But there was a point when I almost gave it up. Like every new mother, my life changed significantly after I had my baby. With the increased responsibilities and a fulltime career, travelling took a backseat for the initial months. When I finally started thinking about travelling again, I realized I was petrified to travel with my infant. I spoke to my friends, colleagues, googled but realized not too many people travel with young kids. To be honest, it’s difficult and crazy at times but you just need to find a way to do what you love. I used my maternity leave to travel to 50 cities and we have been travelling with our toddler ever since. I hope that through our blogs and photos we are able to encourage new families to travel more with their kids.

Q.3. How would you describe/introduce your blog to the new readers?

A. MySoulTravels is a family travel website with kid friendly destination guides, tips and plans. When you travel with kids, it’s very different from how you travel solo or as a couple. You really need to do a lot of research about the place beforehand and yet there would be many challenges that you have to learn to manage on the go. MySoulTravels lists down those hurdles and prepares you to travel better with your kids. We review destinations, activities, accommodations and tell you all about it. However, our trip guides are for all ages and groups ? and I am sure if you love travelling you will something interesting to read on our website.

Q.4. What do you think as the best and challenging aspects about being a blogger?

A. The best part about blogging is that it gives you a channel to explore your creativity, tickles your curiosity and make you more honest. I have started travelling so much more after I started blogging. It’s such an enriching experience.

The challenging aspect about travel blogging for me is always to strike the right balance between taking a photograph for my blogs or just stopping to enjoy the moment while managing the baby all at the same time.

Q.5. How would you describe your blogging style?

A. I think my blogging style is simple and honest. I keep my blogs as personal as possible so that I can connect with my readers.

Q.6. What do you think blogging will look like in next 5 years? Will it still be around?

A. Of course. I think we are about to see blogging as a booming industry very soon in India. Every business today is trying to reach out to the individual customer level and improve the customer experience. As bloggers, we are that interlink between the two, continuously providing insights on how to make the brand a true success.

Q.7. Which part of blogging excites you the most – post writing or photography?

A. Both actually! I love writing as well as photography.

Q.8. What is the biggest surprise that you have ever experienced after becoming a blogger?

A. I was very surprised when I got nominated for the best newcomer blogging award just after 2 weeks of starting.

Q.9. What has been the toughest criticism and best compliment given to you as a blogger?

A. The best compliment was last week, when a young mom read my blog about managing jet lag with kids and messaged me to say that she has just booked her tickets for an international trip. Yoohoo!

I am yet to get some super tough criticism ?

Q.10. Would you like to share some words of wisdom or tips for the aspiring bloggers?

A. I think the best thing if you love blogging is that the blogging community is very collaborative and supportive. If your content is good and true, you will find people who will help you. Find your passion, keep blogging and create value for your readers. Be patient and everything else shall follow.

Wow!! It has been a fabulous interview I must say. I have thoroughly enjoyed this interview post and get to know Pujarini more. I hope you all too have enjoyed this post.

See you soon with another interview and will be back soon with more interviews like this.

Thank you for being with us!! Happy Reading!!

Interview with a Blogger – Pawni Mittal

Hello friends!! Welcome once again to the Interview with a Blogger series.

This feature brings to you the life and times of an Instagram blogger – Pawni Mittal. I met this beauty and lifestyle blogger through an influencer marketing website

I’ve had a great fun interviewing her.

Let’s hear it from Pawni now!!

 

Q. 1. Please introduce yourself to our readers.

A. 1. Hello readers! Hope you all are doing well. My name is Pawni Mittal and I am an Instagram influencer/blogger.

Q. 2. What was your inspiration to start your blog pawnim.wordpress.com& Instagram blog https://www.instagram.com/coffee_nd_mascara/?

A. 2. Well, my inspirations have been many, from big YouTuber to Miss World 2017 Miss Manushi. They have all inspired me and helped me find my passion. I believe that one should follow his or her passion even though it doesn’t lead them to a career so to say. And also if it doesn’t bring a career, you must balance between passion and career.  Career can be many but passion in life brings a different level of satisfaction. Blogging is my passion, I am always known among my people as “a resource lender”, so I always like to share my feedback, let people become aware about basic to in-depth details about any product/service that they might be purchasing.

I am a beauty and lifestyle blogger. It gives me happiness and satisfaction to blog.

Q. 3.How would you describe/introduce your blog / Instagram blog to the new readers?

A. 3. It’s a blog for consumers. I belong to a middle class family and am aware of the struggle we face as consumers. My blog gives honest reviews, DIY ideas and I am planning for starting a series of style on budget. Also I have this creative side which can be seen in photographs of blogged products. I click pictures from my phone and I don’t go for filters as it fakes out the image. I feel fashion, makeup and lifestyle are very dynamic as fields to explore. I really enjoy it.

Q. 4.What do you think are the best and challenging aspects about being a blogger?

A. 4.

BEST ASPECTS:

1) As a blogger, you learn new things every day.

2) Bloggers get practical as well as theoretical knowledge.

3) Best job to show your creativity.

4) Can be done as a part-time.

5) No huge investment required.

6) Photography is also one of the best part of blogging.

7) Your canvas to give your opinions or thoughts.

CHALLENGING ASPECTS:

1) Requires patience.

2) Time consuming. It takes time to get good number of followers.

3) Their will be people who would not believe in you or criticise you but then this made me more mature and active. You can’t always get support, you need criticism too.

Q. 5.How would you describe your blogging style?

A. 5. I think from my prospective first I write what I as a reader would enjoy to read. I try to incorporate as much information as I can and still make it light and easy to read blog.

Since I am an Instagram blogger, I give small videos also with my blogs. This way people who don’t want to read can look at the video clip and get some information.

Q. 6.What do you think blogging will look like in next 5 years? Will it still be around?

A. 6. Oh! It is already becoming so important.

From MNC to startup restaurants all have their blog pages. Consumers are becoming smart and aware and would always like to be aware about where they are spending and would it benefit them or not.

I think 5 years down the lane, blogging will be growing as IT has.

Q. 7.Which part of blogging excites you the most – post writing or photography?

A. 7. Haha!! Well… both are equally important and exciting for me, as soon as I click I reach to my note book and vice versa.

Q. 8. What is the biggest surprise that you have ever experienced after becoming a blogger?

A. 8. My first brand sending me skincare products to review. More than a surprise it was motivation for me. As I am a beginner I never thought to get connection with brands this soon.

Q. 9. What has been the toughest criticism and best compliment given to you as a blogger?

A. 9. Criticism – No I don’t think I’ve had any ‘tough’ ones.

Compliment – “oh! You are different from other bloggers, you are very honest”

Q. 10.Where do you see yourself as a blogger in next 5-6 years?

A. 10. I can’t say anything as of now but yeah I really hope to grow big and share my knowledge with everybody.

 

Thank you so much Pawni for spending time with us and sharing your thoughts. It has been a pleasure knowing you through this interview.

 

Hope you all too liked this interview and getting to know the beauty and lifestyle blogger Pawni.

We’ll be back again with more such interviews and get to know a blogger.

Happy Reading!!

Interview with a Blogger – Shoma Chakraborty

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!!

Interview with a Blogger – Tina Sequeira

Welcome back to the Interview with a blogger series, after a break.

Today I’m featuring Tina Sequeira, Indian author, blogger and a book critic. I’m glad to meet her through the #MyFriendAlexa campaign and become a fan of her blog.

So without taking much of time let’s hear it from Tina.

 1. Please introduce yourself to our readers.

Hello! I’m Tina Sequeira. I’m a thirty something with an obsession for words. Ironically, Introductions throw me off the bowlines. Past the starting hiccup, I am all yours – words bizarre and conversations unlimited!

I´m an Indian author, blogger and book critic. Professionally, I am a management professional having worked in elite multi-national companies and also worked as an academic professor for a brief stint.

I manage the award winning blog ´The Tina Edit´ which has recently won the Orange Flower Award 2017 in the ‘Writing for Work’ category and was among the Top 5 finalists amongst 1369 entries in the category of ´Parenting´, ´Humour´ and ´Poetry´ in 2017. The blog was amongst the top 5 finalists in the category of ´Personal Blogging´ for the Orange Flower Awards 2016.

It was one of the biggest highs of the year for me to receive the award from India´s leading author, columnist, TED speaker and writing coach, Sudha Menon in Mumbai recently.

I am officially listed as a Goodreads Author since June 2017. My debut EBook ´Soul Sojourn´ is the proud outcome of my first ever participation in the A to Z Challenge – 2017 in association with Blogchatter. It currently tops the ‘Best Ebooks 2017 ever’ on Goodreads.

I am proud to be part of the exclusive ‘Influencer Club’ on Mycity4kids.com.

I was one of the featured authors of the month April 17´ by Women´s Web. You can pore over my author interview here – ´Writing is a Literary Striptease´

I do harbour grand plans of publishing many fun books in the future. For now, you can catch some of my writings here and my regular feature publications at Women´s Web, mycity4kids.com, YouthKiAwaaz, Siya Woman, Readomania and more.

As much as I love to write, I love mingling with people. All kinds of them! I believe people are living books by themselves. I dig family and friends´ get-togethers and parties – cook, eat, drink, sing, dance and all that fun ´n´ frolic merriment!

2. What was your inspiration to start your blog thetinaedit.com?

A compulsive readoholic and writoholic, the only cure it seems is Books and Blogs. The more I have, the more I seem to crave for it. And, what do you know? I do not want to get cured. Ever!

So, The Tina Edit is the result of this passionate addiction. It reflects my pure love and joy of living through words. Because words are all I have, darling! And, they are priceless and timeless!

Blogging happened to me, thanks to my brother who egged me onto it in 2006. Since then, there has been no looking back. It started off as three blogs which went by the names Tina´s Tales, Tina´s Teasers and Tina Tells in blogger/blogspot.

My blog has now migrated to WordPress and morphed into The Tina Edit.

 3. How would you describe/introduce your blog to the new readers?

The Tina Edit is a refined, mature, funny and hopefully wiser account of my personal ramblings. As a reader, you will get to choose from an interesting and diverse range of topics. There is a little something for everyone, I promise!

It is a personal blog which showcases my life happenings, fictional stories, poetry and hard hitting articles on various topics ranging from gender equality, parenting, work, books, movies and more.

It´s your nook for a good read.

4. What do you think as the best and challenging aspects about being a blogger?

The best aspects about being a blogger is the network of readers that you build over time. I´ve been blessed to have enjoyed so much readership in such less time. 2017 marked my comeback to blogging for many reasons. One being building a loyal readership base. I am quite happy that I have achieved that goal this year.

It´s motivating to see your blog actively read by people around the world. It helps you gauge your worth as a writer and also learn from other´s writing styles as well. There´s simply no point in having an ornamental blog that simply showcases your work and achievements. I like to keep my blog organic, alive and kicking all the time.

The most challenging aspect would be to keep up with social media/online networking. This seemingly frivolous task is pretty time-consuming. I find the networking aspect exhausting at times. I wish I could outsource it honestly. I personally think it´s a double edged sword. It´s a boon and a bane at the same time.

5. How would you describe your blogging style?

Experimental, Versatile, Unpredictable, Spontaneous!

I don´t like to be caged into one particular box, style or category. I don´t like following a particular narrative. I like to keep my readers guessing. I get bored reading stuff that´s unexciting and so, I try to consciously veer away from the herd.

6. What do you think blogging will look like in next 5 years? Will it still be around?

The future is great for innovative, creative and crisp content. I think Vlogging, podcasts, audiobooks and real time content will kick into action in the mainstream in a big way in the coming years.

7. Which part of blogging excites you the most – post writing or photography?

The entire experience of blogging excites me – conceptualising the idea, ruminating on it and finally getting down to business. I love to see the feedback of my readers as well and the views that they have to share.

8. What is the biggest surprise that you have ever experienced after becoming a blogger?

There have been many surprises. One amongst them is the vast reach of the medium. One of my posts went right up to the notice of Bollywood actor Kunal Kapoor who shared my post on his Twitter handle with some kind words of appreciation: ´Well written and incisive.´

I have to share this amusing incident. One reader mistook me for a man because my writing was untypical for a woman. Whatever that meant! He actually sent me a friend request only to check my gender… if I was masquerading as a woman being a man. Later he apologised for his gender stereotypical thinking that only men can write certain genres and in certain styles. That incident came as a surprise as to how female writers are generally perceived on the whole. I´ve been lucky to have a healthy mix of both male and female readers. It also gave me the confidence that my writing connects to the male psyche as well and not just to the female psyche.

9. What has been the toughest criticism and best compliment given to you as a blogger?

I have faced some serious backlash on articles where I took a definite stance. Comments that were derogatory but I am proud that I handled those comments with a lot of objectivity and grace. If I may say so myself!

Twitter is a place where one gets to witness the harshest words. Be it abuses or name calling, I´ve seen it all. On rare occasions, I have taken on the Twitter trolls as they are popularly called and beaten them at their own game. The really hopeless cases get reported and their accounts have been suspended. But, mostly, I choose to ignore and move on with my life.

Honestly, the criticism doesn’t bother or affect me at all. I take them with a pinch of salt. Similarly, I don´t get praise get to my head as well.

Surely, I have received some wonderful compliments from fellow writers, editors and bloggers. Most of them like the way I write and look forward to reading my articles. The compliments have ranged from being creative, interesting, engaging, bold, wise and honest/realistic. Compliments are always motivating.

I am genuinely thankful for every brick and bouquet that gets hurled my way.

10. Would you like to share some words of wisdom or tips for the aspiring bloggers?

Find the purpose for your blog – Why do you want to blog? Initially my reasons to blog were to simply maintain an online journal. But over the years, along with age, my purpose for blogging has also drastically changed.

Everyone is motivated by different things in life. Some get into blogging seeking brand endorsements or the money. Some get into blogging for fame. Some get into blogging as a form of self-expression.

First understand why you want to blog and then create a strategy accordingly. Set goals for each year as to where you´d like to take it and stick to it.

Thank you so much Tina for your time and sharing your thoughts. This has been a great pleasure knowing about you. Am sure our readers too have enjoyed reading this post.

Thank you for joining in and please drop a comment if you would like to do an interview on my blog. I would be glad to feature you!!

Interview with a blogger – Crystal and Candy from The Travelpockets

Welcome once again to the Interview with a blogger series. This post I should call it as interview with bloggers as it features not one but two bloggers – Crystal and Candy – the blogger sister duo from the United States.

Their blog, www.thetravelpockets.com, is a travel and style blog wherein they write about their travel adventures, tips and tricks of a safe travel, style and many more. And yes the icing on the cake is the photographs that they post on their blog.

Thanks to the social media through which I got connected with them and enjoy reading their travel adventures and also like to watch their videos on their YouTube channel.

Now it’s over to Crystal & Candy to hear about them more…

1. Please introduce yourself to our readers.

We’re sisters, Crystal and Candy, who grew up as military brats and spent the first half of our lives in Japan. The majority of our family resides in Japan, but we ventured out and have spent the second half of our lives mainly in the United States.

2. What was your inspiration to start your blog www.thetravelpockets.com?

We both love traveling and have always documented our travels mainly with photos and videos. We would often receive questions about the places we stayed, how much things cost, recommendations on what to do, etc. We started noticing that the photos and videos we shared were inspiring people to travel, so we decided to add some context to them.

3. How would you describe/introduce your blog to the new readers?

A fun travel blog created by two sisters who love traveling the world in style and finding the best hidden gems.

4. What do you think as the best and challenging aspects about being a blogger?

The challenging part is capturing as much as we can of our travel experiences for our readers. It’s hard to take pictures AND shoot video everywhere we go but we have adapted and now have the system down.

The best part is that we travel a lot more together now and have more quality sister time. It’s also been wonderful meeting fellow bloggers.

5. How would you describe your blogging style?

We ourselves read a ton of blogs when researching travel destinations and we prefer reading posts that are concise and deliver honest feedback. Since we enjoy this type of writing style we try to keep things fun and to the point. We also prefer blog posts with personal photos rather than stock images. Being able to see a personal photo or video really helps tell the story that is relatable and authentic.

6. What do you think blogging will look like in next 5 years? Will it still be around?

More people are starting to rely on information from bloggers, so yes, we believe it will still be around in 5 years.

7. Which part of blogging excites you the most – post writing or photography?

We enjoy both parts of blogging but photography is probably where we excel the most. We’re also incorporating more videos to our posts, so that’s been fun as well.

8. What is the biggest surprise that you have ever experienced after becoming a blogger?

That people actually read our blog and give us kudos for our posts. We started blogging to have a space to share our content, in one place, mainly for our friends and family. The fact that our audience has expanded outside of our immediate circle truly makes us happy.

9. What has been the toughest criticism and best compliment given to you as a blogger?

Best compliment would be that our posts are really authentic and natural.

Toughest criticism would be that we don’t have the right information. It’s especially hard when we get criticized for content that we know to be true, like our posts on Japan. We grew up in Japan and our mother is Japanese, so when people say we are providing false information, we take it a little harder than normal.

10. Would you like to share some words of wisdom or tips for the aspiring bloggers?

Keep a consistent schedule with your blog and try to keep your posts as simple as possible to help the readers. We find ourselves less focused with posts that have fonts that are difficult to read, tons of pop-ups and ads, and little to no photos.

We also think it’s important to help out other bloggers. We’ve asked fellow bloggers for help and we’ve also helped bloggers who have reached out to us. We really don’t view other bloggers as competition and see everyone as a community of travelers.

It has been great to know more about The Travelpockets. I hope you all enjoyed the interview too. I would like to thank Crystal and Candy for their time in doing this interview and share their thoughts.

Interview with a blogger – Keerthi Vydyula

Welcome once again to the Interview with a blogger series.

Today we will feature Keerthi Vydyula of thoughtsthrulens.blog. I felt glad when she accepted my invitation to do this feature post for my blog. I met her through the My Friend Alexa campaign.

Keerthi is from Hyderabad, the City of Pearls. She is not just a blogger but a photographer too. She likes to travel and “Kheer” is what her nick name is. It’s a great pleasure interviewing her and knowing more about her.

So over to Keerthi…

 1. Please introduce yourself to our readers.

Thank you Sham for having me on your blog. I feel happy and excited.

I am Keerthi. I am a photographer and a blogger. I blog at thoughtsthrulens.blog. It is about travel/photography, short stories and personal musings. Photography is my passion and this passion extends to food as well. I enjoy cooking and find joy in tasting new dishes, so I am a foodie as well! I am also an avid reader and love reading.

2. What was your inspiration to start your blog thoughtsthrulens.blog?

I love reading, but never in my life had I thought that I would try my hand in blogging! I had read some outstanding blogs, and they did inspire me to write, but I still couldn’t bring myself to take that next step and start a blog. I underestimated myself. The credit goes to my friend Saumy Nagayach who blogs at saumynagayach.blogspot.in. He encouraged me and literally pushed me to write blogs. It started with a single post last year. This year has seen many more posts than I imagined.

3. How would you describe/introduce your blog to the new readers?

It is a blog where you can find everything from travel stories and collection of my best clicks to life experiences, short stories and personal musings. It is a pinch of everything, as the tagline of my blog states. I’m planning to start a mini food series as well!

4. What do you think as the best and challenging aspects about being a blogger?

The best aspect would certainly be the love we get from fellow bloggers/friends and the virtual connect we form with each and every one of them. That is something that intrigues me.

The most challenging aspect would be the time crunch, I guess, as many a times we find it difficult to manage work, personal life and blogging activities. But at the end of the day, these virtual friends we find out of nowhere keep us going. Personally, my tribe helped me a lot in achieving my goals which I thought I would never complete on time.

5. How would you describe your blogging style?

I try to keep it as simple as possible. My goal is to achieve a certain connect with the reader and I feel it is only possible when I keep it simple and classic.

6. What do you think blogging will look like in next 5 years? Will it still be around?

There is no way that people are going to stop blogging! Blogging/writing is an expression and I feel it is not going to end any time soon. So most certainly not in the next 5 years. I am a hundred percent sure that it will flourish even more in coming years.

7. Which part of blogging excites you the most –post writing or photography?

It depends on my mood. I mostly enjoy photography. These days, I’m trying my hand at writing fiction, and I enjoy doing that. I’m still not confident but I’m trying to write better, and I’m sure I will very soon.

8. What is the biggest surprise that you have ever experienced after becoming a blogger?

Ah! I must say, these wonderful blogger friends for sure surprised me with the love they showed towards me and my blog. They constantly appreciated and encouraged me. Sometimes, they even corrected my mistakes and helped me grow. That is something I never expected from any of them, none of whom I have met till date.

9. What has been the toughest criticism and best compliment given to you as a blogger?

Toughest criticism? Not much actually. It was only on one instance, when an anonymous person felt that my blogs posts are a bit short and it would be good if they’d be a bit long! I was stumped to hear this as I always felt I write lengthy posts. But I took the criticism sportively!

Compliments! I have got many for my photography. I feel overwhelmed at times with the love that my readers show for my clicks.

10. Would you like to share some words of wisdom or tips for the aspiring bloggers?

From my experience, I would say that do not fear to take that step if you’re really passionate about writing and sharing your thoughts. Never forget that writing is an expression and it might well become your best way of expressing thoughts. So be confident and give it a go. In long run you will see the results and your blog will flourish. It is all about one’s determination. So keep the hope high and get going!

 

Thank you Keerthi for your time and sharing your thoughts. It was great to know more about you. I hope our readers too have enjoyed reading this interview.

We will be back again with another blogger in the Interview with a blogger series.

Interview with a blogger – Ashwini Dodani

Welcome once again to the Interview with a blogger series. For this post I would say a blogger and a poet.

Today, friends, I’ll feature Ashwini Dodani – a blogger, poet, a digital and social media professional from Mumbai. Ashwini is an MBA graduate working in social media and branding domain. He has liking for words and loves to write. I met him through social media through the MyFriendAlexa campaign and became buddies. I like reading his blog and the poetry he writes. When I was planning the Interview with a blogger series his name was there in the list and am glad that he agreed to do it.

Let’s hear it from Ashwini…

1. Please introduce yourself to our readers.

Somewhere between a creative strategist, poet, blogger and to be better human being, always. I am Ashwini Dodani or Ashu as everyone calls me. I love to write and I write to spread the word of the importance of words and writing. I breathe poetry, for real cannot live without it. Digital Marketing feeds my stomach, writing feeds my soul and takes care of my wishes.

2. What was your inspiration to start your blog ashwinidodani.com?

I started with Blogspot almost 8 years back and my blog was always the same till before 2 years now when I shifted to my own domain and take care of my platform. The need to have your own platform was fascinating because it’s like your own home, you decorate, stay and exist there. ashwinidodani.com is who I am in totality, is where I stay and is who I belong to. Myself.

3. How would you describe/introduce your blog to the new readers?

It’s a personal blog with a variety including Poetry, Reviews, Inspiration, Positivity, Poems (of course ;)), Event Experiences. A wholesome of all the experiences which define my life.

4. What do you think as the best and challenging aspects about being a blogger?

I think being a blogger makes you disciplined if you really are a “Blogger” and taking Blogging seriously. It pushes you to challenge yourself, your hidden potential, be participating and try new things when it comes to writing. It’s like your own high, your own baby you take care of and like your own venture/start up. It fails, you fail. It succeeds, you succeed. There are both bitter and sweet moments but the best part about it is that you learn how to never stop learning.

5. How would you describe your blogging style?

Experiential is the first word which comes to my mind when it is about blogging style. My words are all about my experiences whether it is my opinion on a book I read or a place I have recently visited or an emotional break down or uphill which made me write a poem. Its more experiences and personal.

6. What do you think blogging will look like in next 5 years? Will it still be around?

Blogging, as they say has just found its sweet spot. This generation is all about bloggers, they are the new and more trustworthy journalists. Blogging will only rise in the upcoming years but more to add to this, expertise will weed out all the non-consistent bloggers. It will always be around but the experts and regular bloggers will ace the game better.

7. Which part of blogging excites you the most – post writing or photography?

Both actually. Sharing experiences through visuals is the best way one can write about the feeling. Also, photographs, videos and all the visual content is gaining more traction in this social media generation. I enjoy doing both and recently I have been into clicking more compared to last 2 years.

8. What is the biggest surprise that you have ever experienced after becoming a blogger?

People need a unique identity and a voice and I found one after being a blogger. Surprise you may say that I got recognized by well-known platforms who saw my content worthy, it lead me to be confident about getting published and the most surprising thing is that I grew as a writer who decided to never stop writing. However, intangible this may sound but this confidence as a blogger/writer is very surprising. I love it.

9. What has been the toughest criticism and best compliment given to you as a blogger?

Best compliment as a Blogger/Writer/Poet I have ever got is “Where you get all these things from, you write?” I love it when people think it’s not original or copied or are in an awe of what I write. It gives me a different high. Criticism has always been about a little bit about grammar here and there.

10. Would you like to share some words of wisdom or tips for the aspiring bloggers?

If you have decided to be one, never look back. Take all the criticism positively and put that energy into improving your art. People will come and go. Readers will come and go. Only you will stay with your passion. Never give up for anything or anybody. Success and failures are just phases but consistency is the king. No successful blogger made it in a day or month, it takes years or sometimes decades to make a mark. The timeline doesn’t matter but the passion does. Always stick to it.

This has been a real awesome experience to interview you Ashu. You have been phenomenal. Your words are inspirational and wish you all the very best with your blogging spree.

I hope our readers are inspired too and have enjoyed the interview. Thank you so much for sharing your insight and time with us Ashu!!

Interview with a blogger – Richa of Savorytales blog

Here is another one in the segment. This is my 3rd in the Interview with a blogger series and this post features Richa from Savorytales.

Richa is a food blogger from Mumbai, the city of dreams, whom I follow very closely and love reading her posts on her blog. It feels good for me to interview her on my blog and sharing the same with you all. Hope you will also enjoy the post.

Over to Richa…

1. Please introduce yourself to our readers.

Hi, My name is Richa. I am a food enthusiast living in Mumbai. A banker turned food blogger and I blog at http://savorytales.com/. I love travelling and of course food.

2. What was your inspiration to start your blog savorytales.com?

Earlier I used to write reviews of restaurants on Zomato out of interest and for the love of food. I realized that I enjoy doing it, I enjoy clicking pictures of food so thought why not do it in a more organized way. Therefore, I started my blog and started sharing some everyday recipes too on the blog.

3. How would you describe/introduce your blog to the new readers?

My blog is all about food so it is for all the food lovers. Anyone who is interested in reading restaurants reviews of Navi Mumbai or Mumbai is invited to visit my blog. I share simple and everyday recipes on the blog, which can be prepared with the basic ingredients available in any kitchen. So, people interested in cooking will find the blog interesting. Also, I have started to share my travel stories so travel enthusiast will find it interesting too.

4. What do you think as the best and challenging aspects about being a blogger?

Well, the best part about blogging is that it is limitless. There is no end to how creative you can be. You can be experimental, candid, bold and have the freedom to express yourself because it is your space. You can connect with so many like-minded people who share the same interest and passion. And the challenging part, according to me is sticking to a schedule and being regular in blogging. Because regularly posting good content is the key to a successful blog.

5. How would you describe your blogging style?

I still consider myself a newbie as I keep trying new styles to write blog posts. There is no such particular style as of now. (Hopefully I’ll find one soon :))

6. What do you think blogging will look like in next 5 years? Will it still be around?

Blogging is going to be at all new level in next 5 years. I believe it will be much more organized in coming years than today and will develop as an aspiring full-time profession. Even today blogging is not only about blog post, it’s branching into video blogging, micro blogging and so much more.

7. Which part of blogging excites you the most – post writing or photography?

I loveeeeee photography part of blogging. Preparing the dish, styling, clicking pictures, editing is something I enjoy doing. There is so much to learn in photography and you can be as creative and experimental as you want.

8. What is the biggest surprise that you have ever experienced after becoming a blogger?

A post on Instagram surprised me in a pleasant way and that post helped me gain around 200 new followers in a day or two.

9. What has been the toughest criticism and best compliment given to you as a blogger?

I consider myself blessed enough to have received encouraging compliments on my posts. One of the best compliments was from Rashmi Uday Ma’am on one of my pictures. I am yet to receive my toughest criticism, hopefully it will help me improve my work.

10. Would you like to share some words of wisdom or tips for the aspiring bloggers?

It is very important to identify what you are passionate about and blog only about it. Try to be innovative and original, don’t copy paste others work. Keep posting good and regular content on your blog. And yes, good photography is very essential to attract readers to your blog.

It has been a pleasure and great experience to know more about Richa through this interview. I thank her for the time and sharing her thoughts on herself, her blog and much more.

Interview with a blogger – Kajal of Missbhukkad Blog

It has been a fabulous experience in featuring my first interview with a blogger post earlier on my blog. It was great to know Romila in the earlier post and hope you all enjoyed reading the interview as well.

Continuing the stint I thought of featuring some of the bloggers whom I closely follow and it is Kajal of missbhukkad.wordpress.com this time whom I’m featuring as a part of my interview with a blogger initiative. Her blog name, Missbhukkad, is not just about food but also displays her passion for travelling. She is an entrepreneur, wife, fashionista, image consultant and aiming to be a restaurateur soon.

I met her through social media and being a fan of her blog posts I thought of reaching her for this interview post. She is a very friendly person. I enjoy reading her posts and am sure you too will like them. Without doing much delay let’s hear it from Kajal… Over to her!!

1. Please introduce yourself to our readers.

Hi peeps, I am Kajal. I’m an entrepreneur as well as a blogger and content writer. I run 2 different blogs. One is called Missbhukkad which is for food, travel and lifestyle. 2nd one is known as @bewitching.k; for fashion, beauty and lifestyle.

2. What was your inspiration to start your blog missbhukkad.wordpress.com?

Blogging was something that intrigued me for quite a while, but I was unsure of how it works. I used to believe bloggers are people who write about things they like and I was unsure if I could do justice to writing. However, last year in September 2016 I just returned from my road trip to Leh and on my way back I was firm that I wanted to know everything about blogging and start with it. After 7 years of working as Managing Director, Sales with total 9 years of corporate experience I finally, with help of Google, got started purely coz of my passion for food at the time. One of my blogger friend was an inspirational factor since that made me feel I could do it too. Every day since has been a new learning experience.

3. How would you describe/introduce your blog to the new readers?

A blog for best of food, travel and lifestyle, spiked with some personal recipes and health quotient.

4. What do you think as the best and challenging aspects about being a blogger?

Best part is such yummy food, so much love from the people, encouragement by fellow bloggers and lots of new friends bonding over food and sharing the same passion.

Challenging aspect would be making sure you give enough time to write. Being creative and engaging with the audience. Dealing with cheesy messages. Doing something new constantly.

5. How would you describe your blogging style?

Very me….simple and easy to understand, but with a taste and class.

6. What do you think blogging will look like in next 5 years? Will it still be around?

With the way the industry of blogging is going, it’s definitely here to stay. The number of bloggers are constantly on the rise every day. Lot of people have started getting into it. People with actual knowledge of their selected field are definitely here to make a mark for themselves.

7. Which part of blogging excites you the most – post writing or photography?

Photography is super fun, making the pic look tempting and drool worthy is definitely the best part. Post writing is fun in its own way. Describing the dish and giving my honest opinion about the taste helps people decide if they’d like to try it for themselves. More number of people are trying it and messaging me saying how much they loved it is absolute happiness.

8. What is the biggest surprise that you have ever experienced after becoming a blogger?

The number of people interested to get other people’s reviews for food or travelling or anything was a surprise. The biggest thing was it actually opened a whole new world to me which I didn’t know existed which is the social media communities. Before blogging the only thing I ever used was Facebook. Also the surprising part was that this is a recognised way of doing business for so many brands it’s not even funny.

9. What has been the toughest criticism and best compliment given to you as a blogger?

Toughest criticism haven’t got much of it really speaking.

Best compliment was when people started saying we love reading your blogs because it makes the dishes come alive (for food) through description, or we can actually visualize the places described in your travel blog, or when people started saving my home remedy beauty tips more than my make-up reviews for reference and asking me to post more of those (for beauty blog).

10. Would you like to share some words of wisdom or tips for the aspiring bloggers?

Get into blogging only if you are really passionate about what you are writing. Don’t see others and jump in the well. Also it’s not as easy as it looks, there is lot of time and efforts that are put into it every day, so be prepared to give your 100%. Also don’t try taking the shortcuts it’ll make you feel good at the start but won’t last long. Make friends, help each other to grow together and enjoy doing what you are doing with all your heart.

I hope you have enjoyed reading the interview and get to know Kajal more. If you have not visited her blog (missbhukkad.wordpress.com) yet then visit it soon and explore. You can connect with her through her Twitter handle @missbhukkad

Thank you Kajal for spending time with us and sharing your thoughts. It was pleasure having you!!