Let me introduce you to Elle from knowleselle. Elle and I had a little bit of fun getting together to work on this interview as her phone had had a mishap (Brrrring, Brrring, Brrrring! Is that a cellphone I hear ringing?) and (It’s a Little Like Drowning) but we got through it and she is joining me on the couch tonight. Elle was one of my very first blog followers and for that I am so very grateful. Elle is a self published author so I’m sure she has lots in common with many of you who follow my blog. She currently lives with her bandmaster husband in the Florida Panhandle and she once lived in Alaska! There is heaps of information about Elle on her About page. Elle’s blog is a mixture of posts about her writing and anecdotes about her life and family (Santa Clause – Truth or Myth?). What can I say except that I enjoy her posts and the warmth in her writing.
Hi Elle. Welcome to the couch. Just brush those stray dog and cat hairs away would you? Sorry, our last guests have bought their animals with them when they visited. 🙂
Let’s get this show on the road with my first question. What drew you to blogging Elle?
I remember reading in the newspaper about the ‘new’ blogging world years ago. That was certainly a new word to add to my vocabulary. The newspaper article caught my eye and I was interested. However, I put it on a back burner. I was amazed about how much was ‘blogged’ about in the years to come, but was very intimidated about blogging myself until I wrote a book and self-published. That’s when I started marketing ‘Crossing The Line’ and the # 1 tip I read over and over again was to start a blog. Oh no! Here we go! I had just gotten initiated into Facebook and was having a time dealing with that. Social media was my downfall, but I was determined to try it all.
I still struggle to understand Twitter so I feel your pain. 😉 How long have you been blogging?
It will be a year January 23rd. I can’t believe I have come this far!
Wow! Happy Anniversary for the 23rd. 🙂 When you began your blog, did you start with any theme in mind?
I started out to write about my experiences in writing, editing, and promoting through social media. What I know about that you can put in a thimble! The best way to say it is my blog has grown from that to ‘Life Along The Way As I Write’, because there is more to my life than just promoting and writing my books. With a band director husband, five children – the ‘baby’ and only boy in college and eleven grandchildren there is a lot going on around me to write about. We are also living in and updating my husband’s 1047 square foot family home (beach house feel to me) that contains lots of ‘stuff’. Things that are important to him are not always important to me and I seem to put my foot in my mouth a lot. That ordeal makes a good subject when I need to vent! I write very little about promoting and editing now, but I’m sure I will have other views on those subjects again soon when I start to publish the sequel, ‘What Line’. I also have thought about changing the title of my blog to something a little more cute and catchy. Knowleselle isn’t very catchy and doesn’t say much about my blog, but I am not quite sure how that works and I don’t want to lose followers along the way, so we’ll see. It’s a never ending learning experience for me.
Call me slow but you know I only realised that your blog name was your name in reverse (insert Homer Simpson say “DOH” here). As you were already a writer when you began blogging, do you think you have gained anything by blogging?
First of all, I found that I love to write more than I realized and those ‘likes’ and ‘comments’ I receive on my post do so much for a person’s self-esteem. I think blogging has made me a better writer, a better storyteller, and a better person and friend. Along the way I have learned tons of stuff about what to do and not to do about promoting, marketing, editing and social media and I have taken advantage of such great bloggers out there that really know their stuff. They are offering their expertise on all kinds of subjects on a silver platter, free for the taking. You don’t have to be a blogger or a writer to take advantage of that.
It’s certainly a very giving community that’s for sure. Are there any challenges in your life that you feel blogging has helped you with?
Basically I’m a shy person. Facebook scared me to death and now that I have the hang of it, I can let loose a little – you know – show them what I’m really made of. Blogging took that shyness and insecurity away and made me open myself up to the world. It wasn’t as scary as I thought it would be and I have actually found the humour side to my personality – although my family doesn’t always agree with what I find humorous in some situations! I never had an outlet to let all that out until I started blogging.
My family don’t get my sense of humour either so don’t feel bad about that 😉 How often do you find yourself at the computer working on a blog post?
I don’t have a set schedule. I tried that and failed. There was too much pressure on me to keep up and felt I had let down my followers if I missed a deadline. Now I blog as it comes to me, but very rarely more than once a day. It’s more like 3-4 times a week on an average. Sometimes more if I am really on a roll for the week!
It sounds as if you have worked out what works for you. Where do you go to find inspiration for your posts?
A lot of my inspiration comes from reading posts of my blogger friends. Sometimes a light bulb goes off in my head as I am reading. As I go about my life day to day I am always questioning whether what is happening around me would create a great blog post. I am continuously conjuring up a blog post in my mind in any and all situations. The wheels are always turning. I think I missed my calling and should have been a professional blogger – it’s so much fun! Does that pay because I still need my day job! LOL
Not sure about the paying thing. If I could quit my day job some days, I know I would 🙂 It’s definitely more rewarding when you write. I like asking this next question because I always gets such varied responses – do you have a particular quote or mantra that you feel fits your life?
No quote – just a little advice to the new bloggers. Be yourself. Don’t let others intimidate you and if you are going to blog – write what you know and put you whole self into it. Let the world know who you are.
Great advice. I think it’s important that people remember that this blog is their page and they are not writing for anybody else but themselves. I think as readers, we should also remember that.
So what do you look for when you are out reading other blogs? What take your eye?
The subjects of course and great titles. A lot of the time it’s all in the title. I often click on gravatars of others through a blog I am reading to guide me to other bloggers interested in the same subjects or one who is writing on a subject that interests me or I want to know more about. That’s how I found you, Suz! J BTW I never knew what a gravatar was until I started blogging.
Neither did I Elle! lol
I have one final question to ask whilst the couch (and floor) is yours. Do you have anything else that you would like to share?
I have met some exceptional friends through blogging even though we have never made eye or voice contact. I hold you all close to my heart and who knows – one day I may visit the other side of the world and there you will be! Thanks so much, Suz, for allowing me to become your friend and for taking the time to spearhead a great concept as this in your blog.
Don’t you go making me cry…. damn these hormones!!!!!!!!
Thanks for visiting the couch tonight Elle. It has been a pleasure!!