Hi, I’m Denise Mooney, freelance writer, mum, book nerd & Irish expat. I’m obsessed with writing, creativity and the wonderful world of books and publishing.
My blog is a place for writers and aspiring authors who are looking for advice, inspiration and a little reassurance that all writers are batshit crazy a little on the kooky side. It’s where you’ll find my thoughts on everything from how to find time to write when you’re a fulltime parent, how to build your confidence as a writer, how to deal with clients and, umm, swearing. You will also find regular interviews with fabulous writers, who very graciously offer their tips on creativity and how to get your work published.
Worth Casing Blogger | Denise Mooney
How long have you been blogging and why did you start?
I started a business blog in 2011, but I struggled with it because I didn’t feel like any kind of expert. At the time everyone was talking about “authority blogging”. When I went to Problogger the following year, and heard the keynote speaker, Sarah Wilson talk about how she wrote, not from an expert point of view, but as a way of sharing her personal journey, a light bulb went on in my head. I completely changed my approach after that, and it’s really helped in terms of my writing. Even though I’d been writing for years and had worked as a journalist, it took me a while to get used to writing in a more personal tone. I’ve loved blogging every since. I even managed to post regularly (most weeks anyway) after I had a baby last year.
Tell us a bit about your blog and what we can expect to see in 2014?
My blog is aimed at writers and aspiring authors. I do my best to offer tips and encouragement, with plenty of inspiration and a few laughs. Writing is such a solitary pursuit. You live inside your head a lot and it can get a little weird in there (speaking for myself)! This year, I’m planning on running a series of writing challenges, to help freelance writers hone their skills and get their work published. I’m hoping to get it up and running very soon. It’s all in my head; now I just need to write it! I’m also planning to run more interviews with interesting writers and authors.
Do you have a favourite place or dedicated space for blogging?
Honestly, these days I do most of my writing at the kitchen table. What used to be my office is now the baby’s room, though he still lets me have a desk in the corner!
What are your must have tools and resources when it comes to blogging?
I absolutely love Pic Monkey and I also use the Buffer app when I need to schedule updates. I’ve recently discovered the Wordswag app, which I’ve been fiddling around with and I really like to listen to Coffitivity while I work. I totally get why people like working in coffee shops now!
Have you ever experienced blogger’s block and what are your top tips for when it strikes?
It’s been quite a while since I experienced blogger’s block to tell you the truth. I have a list of blog topics in Google Docs that I’ve never written because I think of something new every week. I think a lot of bloggers are like this, because they love the topics they write about so much. Having said that, we all get a bit burnt out from time to time and that’s when you can find yourself getting a bit stuck for ideas. I’ve actually blogged on this topic a couple of times (7 tried and true strategies for overcoming blogger’s block).
I do think it’s healthy to take a break from blogging when you can. Even if you can schedule a couple of posts in advance it’s worth it. You come back to it refreshed with lots of new ideas. I also think it’s important to get away from the computer and get some fresh air. Physical exercise really helps the creative process.
What have been your blogging highlights and biggest challenges?
I think my biggest challenge was figuring out who I was writing for in the first place, apart from myself of course!. Because my blog started out as a business blog, I was confused in the beginning about which direction to take. Once I figured out that my blog was a space for other writers, it became a lot clearer which topics I should concentrate on.
The biggest highlight was making the list of finalists in the Australian Writers’ Centre’s Best Blogs Competition. It was a good indication that I was heading in the right direction. Another highlight was discovering the Digital Parents website. It’s really opened up another world to me in terms of the bloggers I’ve met and connected with online. It’s a fantastic community.
Who inspires you and what’s on your Worth Casing list when it comes to other bloggers?
I find inspiration everywhere to be honest: TV shows, biographies and I’m a big fan of documentaries. I’ve always found real-life stories more fascinating than fiction, which is probably one of the reasons I loved my job as a journalist so much.
I don’t have loads of time to read other blogs but I try and keep up with my favourite ones. I love Kelly Exeter, Sarah Wilson and I’ve recently discovered Anna Spargo-Ryan, who’s a beautiful writer, and Reservoir Dad who is hilarious. Emily at Have a Laugh on Me is always an interesting read and Pinky Poinker cracks me up, I love her posts.
What advice would you give to anyone that is thinking about starting a blog of their own?
Just do it. I honestly think no matter how hesitant or unprepared you feel, the only way to go is to start writing and putting your work out there. The more you write, the more you develop your own style and voice, and getting feedback from readers is (usually) good for your confidence. Also, bear in mind that you need to make an effort to build your readership, at least in the initial stages. You can’t rely solely on social media for this, unless you already have a tonne of Facebook friends who are happy to promote for you. It’s really worthwhile to spend time networking and connecting with other bloggers, and joining groups and link-ups. It’s also a great way of meeting other bloggers.
What’s your favourite piece that you’ve ever written?
I’m definitely proudest of the writing I’ve done on my blog. There’s a post I wrote earlier this year about a little-known Dublin story that I really like (How 11 women from Dublin helped defeat Apartheid) , and my post on swearing has attracted a lot of comments and shares (Swear please. I’m Irish).
If you weren’t in the business of blogging what would you be doing?
I would be writing in one form or another. I still do a bit of copywriting and I’m trying to find time to start writing articles again. I’d probably write the Great Australian Novel if I didn’t blog. No wait! I’m going to do that anyway.
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