My blog has been thrust into the spotlight twice. By choice, really.
The first time was earlier in the year when it was about two or three months old. A friend told me about an advertising company she worked for that was hiring. She thought that since the job description was more of blogger like,then I could definitely do it. I got called for the interview. Interestingly, one of the interviewers had printed out a page of one of my posts as a reference point for the interview.She was a pleasant lady who gave me a few more helpful tips on blogging that I use till date. Though I didn’t get the job, I can say I came out a little stronger as a blogger.
Before I talk about the second time, let me give a little history about my writing life. I know this is an entirely different topic from what I normally do here but I thought I should do it nonetheless. Being an African, my first language was of course Swahili. I commenced learning in English in nursery school. By primary school, I already knew that English was my forte. I was excellent at it.
At around age 7, I discovered my passion for writing fiction. My childhood years were spent holed up in the house writing short stories. I carried on with my penchant for short stories all through high school. And though I have never been a published writer, my mother’s house is an archive of the short stories I wrote from early childhood and a horde of unfinished manuscripts from my older years. For some reason, I never got round to finishing my longer stories.
My first completed manuscript which I finally sent to a publishing house came into being in May of 2014. It was a book I managed to pen from November 2013 to May of 2014. Unfortunately, it did not meet the publisher’s standards and the hard copy is currently with my best friend, a literature graduate and enthusiast while the soft copy is somewhere in my mail.
Luckily, by then I had discovered blogging through a friend. I started blogging in September 2013 through wordpress. At the time, I was running a blog called LIFE’S MUSINGS BY LORNA: the things that make a delightful read. I was fumbling in the blogging world which meant that I blogged on so many different topics. I ended up changing the blog title to LORNA’S DELIGHTS which took me completely off track.
Over time as a blogger, I had realized that women’s issues and relationship topics appealed to me. I had pretty strong views on those two topics which I decided to pursue. I did away with the previous blogs and started this particular one in March of this year. So far, I can say that this blog has been way successful than the other two blogs. Not in a recognition way but in a way where I can feel like my words, impact most of my readers and that more people are reading and following my blog because of the substance it has. Not because they just stumbled upon it.
I have been asked by so many people who come across my blog if I’m a feminist. Of course I am. Otherwise, I wouldn’t be blogging on a feminist view. My title says it all. There’s this idea out there that a feminist is someone who can easily be spotted. I’m not that kind of feminist. I also know that many women who subscribe to feminism are equally not that kind of bashful feminists as is expected.
I’m your average person. I seem timid. Unsure of myself even in person. I have always been very secretive of my writing and only became open about it when I began blogging. My manuscripts from my younger years were always hidden. Stashed in a drawer where nobody could find them. But my incessant need to write made sure that my elder sister’s school exercise books were not spared either. I would scribble in all of her books with writing space which meant that inevitably, she would stumble upon my fiction stories mostly, when I was away in boarding school.
Which brings me to the second time my blog has been thrust into the spotlight. Last week.
For a while now, I have been trying to get a columnist slot in the newspapers or magazines. I have tried a couple. Maybe I’m not that aggressive in trying because so far, none has yielded fruit. Last week, one of the magazines finally responded. I was surprised that they actually had. I got called for an interview. Funnily enough, I have never been to an interview concerning writing for a magazine meaning, I was unsure of what exactly I was supposed to do in preparation for it.
I’m the type of blogger who incorporates blogging into her life. If I get a blogging idea during the day, if there’s time, I will put it down on my blog. Most of my readers do not know that I was working a sometimes fast paced job these past couple of months yet, I managed a record 12 posts in the month of November. The highest I have ever posted in a month on this blog. I had to create time for that.
Sometimes I may be walking on the streets in town on totally different errands then suddenly pop into a cyber and do a post in the middle of the day or at the end of the day. That’s just how I manage this whole blogging thing.
Anyways, I turned up for the interview and it didn’t go the way I had expected. I knew of the magazine. I had pored through it sometime back but it had been quite a while back. I hadn’t factored in the fact that I was supposed to pitch ideas or rate myself on how much I should be paid per column. I always thought that my blog spoke for itself and if I was to do a column, it had to be feminist based or relationship based.
I could deviate a little and do a muse or a travel based one or a beauty based one. See, I’m already pitching ideas on my blog. And since I have done this for so long as a hobby that is not a salary earning thing, I totally forgot that with columns in newspapers and magazines, you get paid. My bad.
I’m more of an expressive person through written work. Not so in person. I can be terribly shy. I panic on a whole lot of other levels. Some of my job interviews which backfired were mainly because I got a panic attack. My palms were sweaty, I couldn’t express myself, my throat was dry. It’s hilarious really. I take it in my stride. Perhaps I had expected to be cut some bit of slack in this said interview which rarely happens in interviews.
But the disappointment was all too real for me. It bothered me for days that I hadn’t been prepared for this interview or felt like I had been taken seriously. That’s the worst feeling for a writer or blogger. I may sound like a defeatist but I’m not applying for columnist slots in the near future. Don’t get me wrong, writing is in my blood.
I have plans for published books. I need a lot of time on my hands and concentration for that. I have absolute admiration for successful writers, magazine editors and publishers, newspaper columnists and amazing bloggers.
All the same, I think I love this blog too much and I hope it continues to speak for itself. When I feel ready again to do a column or article on a newspaper or magazine, I shall be prepared for it then.