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, Sabiha Ghiasi who in her latest role, is a first-time mom to a baby girl. She is formally educated as a writer, and practices her skill as a corporate and marketing communications freelance content creator. She is a born food lover, reader, and head-strong argumentative feminist. When she is not driving her husband crazy to spend every non-working moment with her, she can be found browsing food videos online. She blogs about books for kids and grown-ups at GhiasiReads on Instagram and Facebook.
What was it that prompted you to become a blogger?
I was at a job interview for a writer’s profile at one of the big 4 audit firms. The interviewer spoke about things that interested him. He then asked me about my hobbies. I told him I loved to read and write. He was excited to know where I blogged so he could read more of my work. When I said I didn’t blog, his face literally fell. That’s the last time I claimed to like anything without proof of it! (I now carry around my extra pounds as proof of my love for food.) Sometime later, the big blogging idea finally hit. My mom was travelling to Kuwait, where the family is settled since the mid-‘70s, and she was leaving me behind in our flat in Mumbai for the first time. I am domestically handicapped so it was a great opportunity to document the mess I would create. I actually managed just fine and the series garnered enough encouragement for me to blog on!
Which has been your most memorable post to date and why?
It has to be the first post of the blog, which was on living alone as a social experiment. I still get giddy thinking of the feedback I got. It truly introduced me to the world as a writer.
What has the most memorable comment on your blog been so far?
None too memorable on the blog, but my boss told my team at work that he thought I wrote really well! This was behind my back and someone mentioned it to me later. That was the most memorable feedback ever (and not even to my face!)
Have you ever started to write a post and then abandoned it? Why?
Yes, I’ve had a post on the ‘5 best graphic novels for dummies’ drafted for ages but I can’t seem to get more than 3 to write about.
Do you stick to a regular posting schedule or do you post whenever inspiration strikes? Do you have a writing routine?
I used to have a posting schedule when my ideas were series based. Currently, with work projects and my toddler, I don’t get the time. I am much more regular on social media such as my pages on Instagram and Facebook called GhiasiReads, but long-form writing had taken a back seat. I am so glad to have found a community that looks forward to what I have to say about the journey of motherhood and so, I’ve embraced my best art form yet again.As for my writing routine, I write for a living. I can’t go long without not writing at all. It keeps me sane. But yes, I don’t always write for myself anymore.
Do you find it hard to get your voice heard in the crowded blogosphere?
Not at all. I have a niche. I love reading. The audience that knows what I write about, and appreciates my writing style, is always ready to read anything I throw at them. I use that privilege responsibly.
Many say that blogging is dead thanks to other micro-blogging avenues like Instagram, Twitter and others. As the owner of a traditional blog, how would you respond to that?
I’ll answer that as a professional writer (and someone who absolutely LOVES reading), they are unfortunately right when it comes to long-form, pure text blogging. People just don’t seem to make the time to read. Our copies are getting shorter by the day. Video is the new content king. We are expected to emote and get ideas across in 140 characters. That is saying something.But, I’ll also tell you this, the ones who love reading good quality content will always find a way. So, I’m not going to let anything dim my light of writing LONG prose. I love it, and the ones with a larger attention span than a peanut also do. I’m there for them.
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?
The ‘something else’ is ensuring people read and encourage it in children. I write about topics that are as ‘massy’ as possible because I want people to READ! It is wonderful to have your imagination run wild and for once, not be instantly gratified. People need to give reading lots of chances before saying they don’t like it!I always see myself as a writer first. It is my form of therapy. Blogging is a way for me to share what I think with the World Wide Web, and I don’t see why I will ever stop completely. Yes, it may become sporadic, but write I will.
What tips do you have for other Indian Mom bloggers?
We belong to an extremely unique culture where a 23-year-old living alone can be really shocking, intriguing, and comical. Play to your strengths, ALWAYS play to your strengths. Blindly copying something that you found interesting at a glimpse will not find sustenance in the long-run. Take your time, face a few falling faces, and find your vibe. Because I guarantee it, your vibe is as unique as our dearest Indian culture.
You can follow Sabiha's Blog here
If you are an Indian Mom Who Blogs, follow the Times of Amma on Instagram and Facebook for more.
Click here for the 2016 edition of Mom Blogger October.