Hello and welcome to Mom Blogger October on the Times of Amma. As regular readers know, the Times Of Amma community is all about inspiring Moms and building them up as they work on being themselves and Mothers. And so, this month is dedicated to featuring Moms who are working on being themselves and mothers, while expressing themselves through their blogs.
Today we meet Rashmi Raj who blogs onLife, Experiences, Perspectives, Positive Parenting, Lifestyle and also Fiction (short stories)
Rashmi is a devoted mum and an avid reader. When not engrossed in a book or attending to the whims of her spirited offspring, she indulges in creative writing and blogging. She was a lawyer before she surrendered to motherhood and took up writing. Today, she is a regular contributor to lifestyle, parenting and e-learning websites; and she also created FindMyRead - a vibrant community of book lovers that gives out interesting info on books and reading, book suggestions, recommendations and much more!
What was it that prompted you to become a blogger?
An article I read online about someone who blogs for a living; and is happier now that he has taken up blogging full time than he was with his day job!
This was around the time I had had my little one and then a couple of miscarriages very close to each other. I had quit my day job sometime before and was physically and emotionally down; spending my days eating chocolate bars, reading and surfing the net. That’s when I saw the article on my social media feed about a travel blogger who was said to have quit his day job to take up blogging full time and apparently was making way more money! Now, books have always been my lifeline; and writing always fascinated me; and to think that you could actually write what you wanted and turn it into a business/profession felt like the best thing in the world. Without even meaning to, I began to research more and more about blogging and creative writing. And the result was Rashmi's Ramblings. (In a way, it probably got me out of my depression?)
Which has been your most memorable post to date and why?
Memorable post! Wow, that’s a difficult one. All my posts originate from an experience or a memory of mine, so it is difficult to pick favourites as they are all, in a way, part of me. And maybe if I was asked this question at a different time, I might have had a different answer…but right now, I feel my favourite one is a short story – Connect Disconnect – about a father who is so caught up in raising his son in a way he imagines is the right one; that he fails to see what it is that really makes his son happy; and when he does realise It; well, that is moment I especially loved creating J Also, it was my first ever attempt at a short story and I got such good reviews for it; I am really glad I wrote it!
What has the most memorable comment on your blog been so far?
I had written this post Dear Girls on the rising tide of feminism in our country; and how sometimes we completely miss the real point and go with things like breaking free of traditions and such in the name of feminism. To this post I received a candid comment from someone who claimed to have done exactly the things I more or less objected to; and eventually having found her peace. It was a great comment as it took courage on the person’s part to come out and say what she did; and it also gave me a glimpse into the perspective of someone, the kind of who, I felt were taking feminism all wrong. It was humbling to realise that I can have a point of view and I can blog about it, but that doesn’t make it completely right.
Have you ever been trolled? How did you handle it?
Fortunately, I haven’t been trolled (and I hope I am not in the future too) But yes, I have received all kinds of comments on my posts (on social media especially) where people have disagreed with me; or I have also received silent treatment (i.e. not many people liked or shared those posts; and hardly anyone commented) for a post or two which were “stingers” according to them; but then again, they were my point of view. One example – Do we owe our children? (I ended up sharing this post on a parenting website I contribute to and when they shared it on their social media, it created a whole controversy; many working moms took offence and said I was belittling their attitude and judging them. But I knew that the post was a result of a recent talk I had had with a few friends of mine and I had seen them do what I mentioned in the post; and I didn’t agree with it.
About handling criticism, well, I think I am a very conservative person for today’s brave new world; and sincerely feel, that in embracing all the newness and the modern values; somewhere our present generation is losing out on what was actually good about the values we have followed traditionally. I am not against modernism or change; but I am all for the goodness and the value of these values; and wish to pass them on to the next gen. That is probably why sometimes my posts meet with disapproval from the new age readers of today; but hey, these are my thoughts; and I welcome, address and positively respond to all the comments and reactions I get for my posts.
Have you ever started to write a post and then abandoned it? Why?
Sometimes it happens that you start with a brilliant idea and then once those few lines/paragraphs are actually on the paper, you don’t know where to go from there! I have some ideas like that, which have a start; and are waiting to see where I can go with them. But one thing, I always make it a point to revisit such ideas at a later date; and more often than not, something just clicks; and a beautiful new post is born!
Do you stick to a regular posting schedule or do you post whenever inspiration strikes? Do you have a writing routine?
I am a very impulsive person. I’d say I am spontaneous to a fault! So, my writing (or as is more and more the case, my noting down of ideas) happens as and when inspiration strikes! I did stick to a regular posting schedule in my initial days, but since I began taking up commercial assignments, that is increasingly becoming a rarity.
But I do have a writing routine. All my writing happens in the first half of the day, or late at nights (when my little one is in school or otherwise occupied). And more recently, since my short stories have inspired me to dare to dream that I may want to write a book one day; I do make it a point to indulge at least for a half hour every day in creative writing.
Do you find it hard to get your voice heard in the crowded blogosphere?
The blogosphere is crowded, I agree; but I also feel that there is place for everyone here. And the more unique and relatable your voice, the more visibility you have. So yes, while it is not easy to get heard over the crowd, it is certainly worth the effort to make your posts dazzling; as when the noise is all toned down; your posts shine as the beacons of light that they are J
Many say that blogging is dead thanks to other micro-blogging avenues like Twitter, Snapchat and others. As the owner of a traditional blog, how would you respond to that?
I guess, the world of the internet is really big and like I said earlier, there is space for everyone writing in every different way. Micro-blogging sites have their place, no doubt; but blogging has its place too; because this is where, as a reader, you find an honest voice which is not confined to a few characters; and is thus capable of conveying what the writer wishes to say in his/her exact voice.
From the point of view of a writer, too, both blogging and micro-blogging sites are important. One gives you an avenue to showcase your writing and the other helps you reach it to readers across the world!
Do you see your blog as a stepping stone to something else? Do you see yourself wearing the tag of 'blogger' five years down the line?
Okay! I have already worn the tag of “blogger” for the past five years now; but yes, I have also been adding other tags to it over the past few years – creative writer, copywriter, editor, brand development content manager and editor – and wish to add more in the future. But my true love is books; I do hope I am able to write that one novel that I believe is inside me! J
What tips do you have for other Indian Mom bloggers?
Blogging is for everyone who has the eye to see the beauty and humour in everyday life and the will to learn lessons life invariably teaches us every day. All you have to do is have courage and honesty; and your true voice! So go ahead, create a blog; and enjoy every bit of it!
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