Moms Who Blog : Featuring Lakshmi Iyer
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. We start off with Lakshmi Iyer, who has a certificate in creative writing from The Writer’s Studio at Simon Fraser University. She blogs for The Huffington Post. She can be found online on Twitter @lakshgiri and on Facebook. She is working on her first contemporary women’s fiction tentatively titled Hindsight. It is the story of a woman who believes she has left her past behind only to find it catching up, one nightmare at a time. It is a story of love, redemption and closure. A mother by adoption and biology, she resides with her husband and children in the Northeast US. On most days, she can be found by the stove serving up hot food. When she is not cooking, she recounts the mundane-ness of her life in startling detail on her blog - Lakshmi Iyer - Author Page (previously 'Saying It Aloud') Lakshmi has been blogging since 2005 and she posts about topics like Parenting, Living in the moment, Life lessons, Adoption, Infertility, Writing, Immigrant stories, Straddling cultures, and Identity.
What was it that prompted you to become a blogger?
Hmm! I have always written notes starting from way back in middle school. I kept personal diaries pouring my heart into them until my brother found one out and teased me about it. Then I took to keeping those words in my head. I would play with words and with the advent of email, I took to writing long rambling emails to anyone who knew me. I discovered Sulekha in 2002 and published my first piece about “ponn paarkal” or bride seeing. When blogs came around I started journaling and posting pictures for family. In September 2005 I officially started my first blog that was called Laksh Musings. So, it was not one inciting incident so to speak, more of an evolution of the way I interacted with words and the world around me.
Which has been your most memorable post to date and why?
That’s a tough one considering I have over a 1000 posts on my blog. If I had to pick only one, it would be one I wrote about the haunting desolation that followed our failed adoption. I like that post for how lyrical it seems when I read it now. The link is here.
What has been the most memorable comment on your blog so far?
A long time ago, I wrote a post on choices and in it I referred to everybody’s right to choose who they want to be. This was surrounding a discussion on same sex marriages. I cringe to admit that I was clueless and had no idea what I was talking about. One of the comments to that post asked me to go research was homosexuality was and why it was not a choice. It was eye-opening, the amount of misinformation I had and touted just because I had a blog and could write. It made me reevaluate everything I write.
Link to post here and the comment was by Vidya
Have you been trolled? How do you handle it?
Thankfully I have not been trolled with the exception of a rare comment here and there. I use comment moderation and reserve the right to delete comments I feel are not related to the content or are hateful.
Have you ever started to write a post and then abandoned it? Why?
Definitely! Mostly I delete when I feel the post is not shaping up the way I want it to. Then there are posts I write as a reaction to something that upsets me. I have learned over the years to never post anything that I will be ashamed to read a day later or a week later.
Do you stick to a regular posting schedule? Do I have a writing routine?
I tend to average 2 - 3 posts a week. There are spells when I don’t write anything at all. No, I don’t have a schedule. I write when inspiration strikes which is typically in the mornings or late at night. I tend to write when there is triggering incident i.e., a child throwing a tantrum, guilt after my kids leave home, anger with something that was said to me. I play with the idea in my head and the post kind of writes itself in my head before I actually sit down.
Recently I have taken to establishing a routine of sorts. Each morning I sit between 10:00 AM to noon. I write again after 9:00 PM. I write essays, posts, work on my manuscript. Most of the work is invisible because I do not post it anywhere. I think of it as working on my craft.
Do you find it hard to get your voice heard in the crowded blogosphere?
In some sense yes. But, it does not bother me anymore. When I started blogging, stats excited me. I would write just to see the number of hits and comments. I got a high each time I saw a comment notification. Over time, I have taken to writing for myself. I write to leave a legacy for my children. I write because that is all I seem to have passion for. In that sense, being noticed or not does not impact how I feel about blogging.
Is blogging dead?
Yes and no. I feel like email and other technological inventions before that, blogging is now passe. Everyone you know has a blog. Other avenues are now the ‘in’ thing like being featured on Huff Po or Brain, Child Magazine. Like email, blogs are here to stay. Blogs are now author platforms, a launch pad into other bigger, greater things. They are monetized, they are used to peddle influence. They have morphed into something else altogether.
Do you see your blog as a launch pad? Will you still be a blogger five years from now?
I will always be a blogger. At least until I decide it has outlived its usefulness as a public diary for me. Do I hope it will be a launchpad? I sure hope so! Who doesn’t dream of being ‘discovered’ by some hotshot agent and landing a book deal? But practically I don’t think my blog will do any of that for me. At best, if/when I do eventually publish the book I am working on, I hope my blog will be a means for my readers to get to know me. I hope it will be my home on the web and be welcoming of the new friends I make.
What tips do you have for other Indian Mom Bloggers?
Hmm! I’d say be original, let your words speak and don’t worry too much about the numbers unless you blog to monetize. In the latter case, I have nothing to say as I have no clue how that works. Oh! One other thing - Find your niche and stay true to it. Pandering to every passing fad will not separate you from the rest. ~ You can follow Lakshmi's blog here -
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