Thursday, April 26, 2012

Meet the ... blogger

This is the first in an occoasional series of interviews with others that do things in their own way or have achieved in areas that I aspire to.  Today it is Sarah, a blogger and forumer...but as you read is so much more.

I first “met” Sarah on the River Cottage forum where she was always willing to engage in conversation with us newbies.  She was then and still is a fountain of knowledge relating to all aspects of what I proudly call homecrafts, the art of living, providing what you can yourself and sharing with and caring for those around you.  She lives in Dorset with a large garden full of delights, animal and vegetable…both decorative and for eating.  I would say she is addicted to knitting…and she would agree… but I know she is very competent in all needle crafts.  And as I said is an excellent “homecrafter” meaning she will make soap and washing products, make cheese, brew, can and tin, make preserves and jams and I’ve known her to make a sausage or two. She has a number of blogs and runs the Creative Living Forum.  This is her perspective on what she does and why?

When did you start blogging?
I think I started blogging in 2007 or thereabouts; I've never been one to write a diary as such, but this presented me with a way to record my life and share knowledge gained over many years, keep up with technology and have somewhere to share my photos with others.
What is the main focus of your blog?

The main focus of the blog is day to day home life, with a smattering of quotes of wisdom, links of interest and to share information freely with others.
Who do you believe your typical blog reader is?

I'm not sure I have a typical blog reader as such, but would like to think they share a lot of my interests and concerns. I imagine them to be mainly women, but I know I have a few blokey followers lol
How often do you blog and how does this fit in with and reflect your daily life?
 I try and make a post most days, and this fits in with sitting down for cups of tea mostly. Just day to day stuff more or less as it happens. Sometimes there a few posts in one day if I have a lot to share. Rarely I miss more than say two days, I just seem to have a lot to say lol
What type of blogs do you follow?

I don't follow any blogs as such, but there are a few I read regularly - craft ones of various sorts, self-reliance/home-steading ones, gardening ones, and ones where the writer gives a little of themselves to you so you feel you can begin to know them a bit.
What do you believe makes a good blog?

A good blog is an honest, unpretentious blog- not overly smart or clever, just interesting and thought provoking. It makes you want to return and read more about the person and their life. Photos help a lot, and a bit of humour from time to time, not too much personal detail either.
Blogging do's and dont's?

Do's - keep it honest, posts not too long, acknowledge writers etc if you have taken from elsewhere, include photos, keep it up to date, including the items down the sidebars etc

Don'ts - don't keep changing the layout or background, not too much negativity or ranting and raving, no pretentious writing, no Americanisms unless you are American, don't make things up or gild the lily, don't patronise or talk down to your readers, don't get mushy or overly sentimental, and don't pretend you can write well if you can't, consistency is the key, no humble bragging, no bragging, no name dropping, no snobbishness.
Do you blog for you or your readers?

blog both for myself and my readers.
I often feel a little narcissistic when blogging and slightly voyeuristic when reading others, do you ever feel this way?

I don't see my blog as narcissistic, but I do see some others that are! I think the whole internet can be seen as voyeuristic to
an extent, everybody wants to know things about people and then talk about them! We all do it............. lol
Do you have any blogging mishaps that you would like to share with us?

No blogging mishaps - so far, but there's plenty of time yet!

You also have a forum with a large following, tell us about that.  Why did you set it up and what is the focus of it?
I set up Creative Living forum after becoming disillusioned with a few that I was on or had been on. They weren't quite what I wanted, so in true MrsL style, I went off and made my own.
Do you have a typical forum member?

No forum member is typical I think; I love the diversity of people on there, there are a lot of very interesting and talented people who belong. If there was one typical trait in my forum members, I would plump for compassion I think, they're a lovely bunch in the main.
From a user perspective what do you believe are the advantages and disadvantages of a forum?
Well it's great to be part of a community, albeit online (I find it little different to life itself though), mutual support when you need it, spending time when you choose to with people you choose. It's a great place to have wide ranging discussions that can be mind-changing or re-inforce your own beliefs/ideas, great for inspiration.
Disadvantages - some folk can come over as a bit pushy and competitive, but if you can give them the benefit of the doubt, it's not too bad. Can be a bit addicitive, and you can easily get caught up in others' problems sometimes.
How do you believe the internet and in particular social networking has changed the way we live, and is this change a positive or negative one?
I think in the main the whole online and social networking thing has changed lives for the better; communications are ever changing, and people like and feel the need to keep up. Computers are more and more available now, to all generations, and any form of communication is better than none. Personally, I love Facebook, and have made some good friends via there, and play Scrabble, share photos etc. As with everything, parts of the net can be misused, but in the main, I think it's a good thing to be involved with. I can't imagine my life without it now.
If you are not at a computer what are you doing?

If I'm not at the computer, I'm doing some of the things I blog about - gardening, knitting, making, housework, animals etc. If not that, then just sitting with a cup of tea and lost in my thoughts - quite often that one!
Describe your ideal holiday, who would you be with, where would you go and what would you do?
Ideal holiday - atumn/winter, isolated cottage by the sea (close enough to hear it); paints, knitting, couple of books, good wine, simple food and the man I love. Nothing fancy :)
You have a choice, the internet or your knitting needles…which is it?
That's simple..knitting needles every time!
Any other words of wisdom you would like to share with us?
Words of wisdom, can't be a beacon if your light don't shine and bloom where you are planted :)

When I was interviewing Sarah I said that the working title was "Meet the ...Blogger" but asked had she any sugggestions to better showcase who she was, in typical Sarah fashion she humbly ignored this question.  Sarah works very hard to have a "simple" life. To provide as much as she can herself and reduce her impact on the earth.
You can find Sarah at her blog Unbought Delicacies


Anonymous said...

What a great interview...will bookmark your blog as I can see you have lots to share too,
love Sue

Quirky Apple said...

Thanks Sue, and thanks to Sarah for sharing with us.

Elettrarossa said...

...your question were interesting and I loved to read the answers :D Have a nice day you both!