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 Nayantara who describes herself this, “About a decade (or more) ago I was cramming my literature notes for what would be my final English literature exams. My professors had failed to convince me not to let go of Literature and choose the more popular Economics as my Major and I was sort of happy that I could just enjoy a book and not tear it apart in an exam hall. However, there was a secret desire deep within to see my name in print someday on the cover of a book. But that dream never saw the light of day. Cut down to today and every time I see my name followed by the title of my blog post, it gives me a high like no other. Perhaps this is the closest I have come to see my name in print.
I started MommyingbabyT because I needed a voice and a platform to talk about this wonderful experience called motherhood. Seeing motherhood first hand has been an eye opener in the sense that I experienced joys and witnessed tiny miracles every day. And I wanted to scream and tell these to the whole world.
Blogging and writing have been incredibly therapeutic by allowing me to express myself and lay bare all my emotions about this sometimes overwhelming new role.”
What was it that prompted you to become a blogger?
During my pregnancy and after I had babyT, I relied a lot on information from other mothers via online forums/ groups. That's when I realised that this was where the real knowledge and experience was. I learned so many new concepts and practices around parenting and raising a child. But there was also another group of mothers who knew nothing about half of these concepts. I had found immense joy and satisfaction in them and wanted to spread the word. So I chose to write too.
I also was writing letters regularly to my baby (via a private email account.) and I enjoyed it. It was then that I felt maybe I could also write addressing other mothers and caregivers, and talk about my experiences. I have always wanted to write and it seems like motherhood finally gave me the push to do that.
Which has been your most memorable post to date and why?
Most of my posts about breastfeeding and cloth diapering. I really feel blessed to have experienced the joy of breastfeeding. I didn't think it would be so hard but then I also didn't know the joys and benefits of it. Cloth diapering is a madness which overtook my brain. I was so obsessed with it. I wouldn't be lying if I said I have enough material in my brain to write a PhD thesis on Cloth Diapering. :D So all my posts on these two topics are from the heart and I take great pride in them.
However, one very spontaneous post has received a lot of appreciation and has been spread far and wide is my (amateur) poem on breastfeeding. Many new mothers have told me that it inspired them to not give up on their breastfeeding journey and that makes me feel like my job here is done.
What has the most memorable comment on your blog been so far?
I usually push my family to read my blog posts and comment on them (bleh) and eventually they got fed up and so did I of pushing them. But one fine day I woke up a long comment on one of my posts from my mother about how proud she is of me for my writing and that she wished my blog takes me places. It was most unexpected and it made me smile all day.
Have you ever started to write a post and then abandoned it? Why?
One of my primary intentions was to talk about my battle with infertility and the depression that came along with it. I somehow have never found the right words for them. I have touched upon it in a recent blogathon but I don't think I have it in me to do a detailed post.
Do you stick to a regular posting schedule or do you post whenever inspiration strikes? Do you have a writing routine?
I love blog marathons and other blogging challenges where you blog as per a calendar. My real blogging impetus began with the A to Z blogging challenge I took up early this year. It was really nail-biting at times with inspiration striking at 11 pm and then me finishing the blog in exactly 59 mins and publishing before the clock pushed the calendar forward. I seek meaningful blogging challenges like that. But otherwise, i aim for at least one blog post per week. I try and plan my posts but I am not rigid about them. Sometimes I choose to write about what inspires me or that a-ha moment I have.
I usually write at night. I am a complete night owl, have always been so. And with motherhood nights are my most productive times. So after babyT has fallen asleep I am on my laptop and I write or indulge in social media related to my blog. I am up till about 3 am most days. But then I wake up late and compensate for the sleep.
Do you find it hard to get your voice heard in the crowded blogosphere?
I think there is space for everyone out there. Blogging is really easy and mostly low investment. So there are new bloggers coming up every day. But that should be your motivation to push yourself and excel.
It is also really interesting to note that everyone has their own niche and they excel in those. However, it is really important for the mom blogger tribe to be united in their stance, have an unspoken code of ethics (respect for each other's views even if they are very stark in contrast to your own etc.) and support each other.
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 think it is very important to have visibility on all social media channels today. The tendency today is for someone to look up people/ blogs on a Facebook or Instagram first and then check their blog from those links. However yes, these platforms are limited in how much they will let you say/ express. For someone like me, who thrives on reading content and richness of information a blog is a must. Blogging is still the sacred vault of information which will withstand the test of time on the information superhighway and so I don't think it will ever die.
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?
I sometimes wonder if I will have enough content to write about and enough time to do it in once babyT grows up. But from whatever little I have seen of motherhood in these 2ish years is that every day is a new surprise and some new learning for me. So I am sure there will be no shortage of topics to write about. How will my boy perceive me laying out our life online - now that is something I cannot visualise right now. But yes it would so awesome to be listed as a noted parenting blogger somewhere.
What tips do you have for other Indian Mom bloggers?
Write about your honest motherhood. write about your daily life. Use your writing to free your mind and find a channel for your energy. Find a niche and revel in it.
You can follow Nayantara’s blog here.
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Click here for the 2016 edition of Mom Blogger October.