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, Alpana Deo, a mother of two. She is a Houston based mommy blogger and founder-editor and writer at Mothers Gurukul, which features articles on various parenting topics, recipes that she tries out in her kitchen, craft and DIY projects that she does in her free time, audio stories for kids and much more.
What was it that prompted you to become a blogger?
I always had an inclination towards writing. Whether it be writing poetry (yes I started with short poetry) or writing for my debate competition at school, I liked writing in any form but I never took it seriously. I guess we all need a push sometime. In my case, I would say being on H4 visa status was the push. After I moved to USA after my marriage, I was on H4 visa status which means I cannot work until I get either my work permit or Green Card. At that time, I started writing for Austin’s Local South Asian News Paper just to pass time. And when my articles started getting published, I thought of starting to blog more regularly and that’s how Mothers Gurukul came into existence. I never expected that I would start enjoying writing to this extent. It gave me a new direction, a new identity and a new path to follow.
Which has been your most memorable post to date and why?
That’s a tough question. So far, I have written more than 200 posts. Every post I write, I try to do equal justice to but if I have to pick one then I would say it is the one titled, "Do not compare child with others". I believe that every child is unique and god’s gift. We have no right to compare them. We should respect them for who they are. We should respect their individuality. I am the mother of two kids and I do not like comparing them. I cherish every moment I am spending with them because very soon they will be grown up and on their own. I don’t want to have memories about how my kids used to try hard to prove themselves better than each other. Instead I want to create memories that we would like to talk about when they grow up. Am I getting emotional? I guess I am.
What has the most memorable comment on your blog been so far?
It is not a comment but a Facebook message. I remember once I couldn’t post for a while because I was on vacation. And one of my readers asked me about my well-being and when I would be back with a new post. She said we are missing your posts. We feel so connected as if one mom is talking to another mom. To me, that is like a certificate for my writing because that’s what I want. I want moms to feel connected when they read my posts.
Have you ever started to write a post and then abandoned it? Why?
Fortunately this has never happened. If I take up anything, I do not leave it in the middle else I won’t start it in first place. You can call it my personality. As we say in Hindi – “Jo kaam haath e liya hai use poora karo”. Whether it is a guest post or something for Mothers Gurukul, I have never abandoned any post. And I hope it will continue like that.
Do you stick to a regular posting schedule or do you post whenever inspiration strikes? Do you have a writing routine?
Yes, I have a regular posting schedule. I am not among those who post every day. I wish I could do that but currently my other commitments do not allow me to do so. I do have a writing routine. I spend some quality time every day for writing and reading other bloggers posts. In fact, recently I have participated in a writing campaign which kept on motivating me to write good, be disciplined and write regularly.
Do you find it hard to get your voice heard in the crowded blogosphere?
I would rather call it challenging. Blogging is not easy if one is doing it sincerely and seeing it as a career option. It is not just putting your words on paper but so much more than that. Today there are so many bloggers out there so yes it is challenging to make readers come back to your writing and stick to you. That’s the harder part.
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 would say it is not dead but has changed with time. I see the main reason for this shift is lack of time. Today people don’t have time to sit and read a 500-600 word blog post. They prefer something short and quick. Also, there is no written rule that a traditional blog cannot be written in 100 words. Lately, I came across couple of 100 words story plots and believe me they were as good and effective as any other blog. Whether it is a traditional blog or a tweet or Instagram, the main purpose is to let your thoughts and ideas reach the audience.
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?
Yes, I do. I have few other plans that I want to implement. And that time, my blog will definitely be a base as I will be having plenty of material to start with. As a blogger, I want to grow not just in my writing but also in my reach. As I said earlier, if needed I might have to add new dimensions to my writing.
What tips do you have for other Indian Mom bloggers?
To all the Indian Mom bloggers, I would only say that now when you have stepped into blogging then give your 100% to it. I know we all have priorities, and lot of other commitments but if writing or blogging is something that gives you satisfaction and a feeling of fulfilment then please don’t stop yourself. Live your dream. You need not be an established writer to pen down your thoughts. It starts with a single write-up that you write with emotions from the bottom of your heart. You should be happy with it then only you can do justice to it. Good luck!
You can follow Alpana's blog here.
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Click here for the 2016 edition of Mom Blogger October.