Emily is an accident-prone recovering chocoholic who reads, writes, marketeers and parents. And blogs! Words and numbers constantly do battle in her head, which keeps her (in)sane while her children do battle under her nose. You’ll find Emily at emhawkerblog, the bloggy home where she tucks her thoughts about reading, writing, life with kids and life in general in to bed. Night night, thoughts. Shush now.
How long have you been blogging and why did you start?
I have been blogging for three and a half years. I started blogging purely to get myself in the
habit of writing every day. The reasons for blogging have been added to since then, but it’s still
mostly an exercise in voice creation and maintenance.
Tell us a bit about your blog and what we can expect to see in the next 12 months?
My blog is a personal blog, and has naturally evolved to focus on reading, writing, life with
toddlers and (randomly) topical news and everyday life worked into song format.
In the next 12 months, you’ll see more book reviews, song rewrites, grammar tips and toddler music group programs. And more of whatever crazy idea I have next.
Do you have a favourite place or dedicated space for blogging?
I blog wherever I can. I don’t yet have a dedicated space for blogging; after renovating for four years, hubby and I decided to take a ‘little’ break… a break that started two years ago. You’ll usually find me blogging at the dining room table, studiously ignoring the toys scattered around me and the dishes in the sink behind me.
What are your must have tools and resources when it comes to blogging?
WordPress and my brain. I’m probably meant to say my camera, but I suck at the visual side of blogging. I do however plan to incorporate more YouTube clips in my blogging, so getting the right equipment and programs to make better quality videos is on the ever-expanding to-do list.
Have you ever experienced blogger’s block and what are your top tips for when it strikes?
I have, but usually my blogger’s block comes in the form of wanting to write about something I feel I shouldn’t. In that case, I write the post, and sit on it for a week. And, if it’s a story that impacts on anyone else in my life, I run it past them. If I’m not happy, or they’re not happy, it doesn’t get published. If, after a week, I’m okay with it, I hit publish. Then chew my nails off.
As for actual writer’s block, where the topic’s there but the words just won’t come? This is how I deal with that.
What have been your blogging highlights and biggest challenges?
Highlights: seeing the blog readership grow incredibly last year; (finally) making the move from Blogger to WordPress in December; attending the Problogger conference; realising that the bloggers I admire once stared at a blinking cursor on a screen, working up the courage to type their first post; meeting one of my favourite bloggers and having her come up to me for a hug instead of the other way around!
Biggest challenges: finding the time; making the time; justifying the time to those who just don’t understand why I do it and what I get from it.
Who inspires you and what’s on your Worth Casing list when it comes to other bloggers?
The ‘who inspires me’ list could get out of control! I find the bloggers who are supportive and inclusive of their community to be the most inspiring: the ones who treat blogging as a conversation and a mutual learning experience rather than a chance to lecture. Styling You, Woogsworld, Fat Mum Slim, Maxabella loves, Kelly Exeter, Essentially Jess and With Some Grace nail that sense of community all the time. (So do plenty of others, but I’ll stop there before this list gets out of control.)
I also admire anyone who can make me belly laugh and/or think deeply about something. Or both at the same time. Handbag Mafia, Hugzilla and Mumabulous, I’m looking at you right now.
What advice would you give to anyone that is thinking about starting a blog of their own?
Make like Nike, and just do it. Know why you want to blog and look into the best options, but don’t spend so long planning and analysing and thinking and praying that you scare yourself out of it.
What is your favourite kind of blog post to write?
I write lots of different kinds of blog posts, and honestly enjoy them all. (Otherwise, why
bother?) But my absolute favourites are usually responses to questions from readers. My
Practical Grammactical series is quickly becoming a favourite to write, because the grammatical grumbles are flying in thick and fast. I love being able to break down seemingly complex rules into bite-sized chunks.
If you weren’t in the business of blogging what would you be doing?
At the moment, blogging isn’t my ‘business’. It’s an extra. I’m a mum first and foremost, and I’m also a freelance writer and editor with clients from the very different worlds of financial services, construction, real estate and online retail. So more of that. Or sleep. If I wasn’t in the business of blogging, I’d get more sleep.
More ways to CASE
Have you met Emily Hawker? Didn’t Emily do an amazing job of the This is How we Do parody?