Sometimes I wish I was a Fairy BlogMother. And if I were, I would wave my wand and give Nona her wish; to be a Stay at Home Mom slash ProBlogger.
We’ve been blog buddies since SWB’s early days, and I just love her.
She writes about her life as she lives it.
I have no doubt that you will enjoy her interview answers.
Much bloglove to all,
1.) How long have you been blogging? How many different kinds of blogs have you had? What blogs are you currently updating?
I’ve been blogging since around 2001. I thought it was 1999, but visiting the Wayback Machine to peek at my first blog it said I joined in 2001.
I’ve had so many blogs in the 15 years between then and now that I can’t even begin to remember all of them. Many of them don’t even exist anymore.
Actually, the type of blogging that I do doesn’t really even exist anymore. Blogging now is a different creature than blogging in 2015. In a world of SEO, keywords, and affiliate marketing I’m still discussing what I had for supper the night before. And not because I’m a “food blogger” but just because I want to talk about what I had for supper.
I’ve been bouncing from one PPV and PPC blog to another, riding each one to earn a few cents until it goes under.
2.) You are a full-time Mom with a full-time job. Tell us something about your average day. How you manage to fit in blogging and your art projects?
On an average day I usually set my alarm for 6, but I never crawl out of bed until 7 because I usually have to get up 3 or 4 times a night with my toddler who never sleeps through.
Then its a flurry of feeding. One dog eats inside. One dog eats outside. One son won’t eat anything but pop-tarts. The other one wants a hot breakfast. But before I fix his hot breakfast I have to get dressed (no hanging out in jammies even on my days off) because I have to go outside and carry the Labrador inside. No small feat since he’s almost 80 pounds and uncooperative.
Then I have to convince the older boy to take his vitamin and brush his teeth and get dressed. I have to convince my toddler to give his brothers underwear back and to come to HIS room so I can get HIM dressed.
Next thing I know its already 9am, my coffee is cold and I’ve not even had breakfast yet but I have to get ready for work. Depending on the day I have to leave home at 9:30 or 12:30 to get to my job.
On a 9:30 day I get home around 7pm and have to cook myself supper while I wash the dishes that piled up all day. I usually eat while giving my sons their baths. Depending on whether he had a nap or not the youngest goes to bed at 8:30 or 9 and the oldest goes to bed at 9
during the school year. So I get to see them about 4 hours. After both of the kids are in bed I take my bath, and by then it usually bedtime,unless I have enough energy to try to write.
On a 12:30 day I get home around 10pm. The boys will already be in bed so I don’t have to bathe them, but I still have to wash a days worth of dishes while trying to find something to eat. And I will have gotten to see my kids almost 5 hours! I don’t usually take a bath on those nights either so if I ever smell a little off when you see me you can guarantee I didn’t get home till late the night before.
So any blogging that I do happens after 10pm. And that is if I have the energy for it. Some nights, specially the ones where I don’t even get home until 10pm, I just don’t have what it takes to form coherent sentences.
As for crafting…. I’ve almost forgotten the meaning of the word. I think that is why my craft blog is suffering the most. I never get to finish any projects.
At least with my reading I can do that on my lunch break at work, or a couple of chapters when when I’m in the tub, but I can’t really cross stitch in a bubble bath.
Just this week I did get a spurt of energy and as midnight turned into1am I was sitting at my tiny little desk with a 16″x20″ canvas and several tubes of craft paint doing a paint along with an artist on youtube. She was using artist grade paints and fancy paint brushes, and I had my 50 cent bottles of paint and I’m pretty sure one of my brushes came out of a kids color by number set.
But when I finished that painting I felt rather accomplished. Like, I did it! I CREATED SOMETHING.
I was going to blog about it, but…it was 1am and I needed to sleep a little before my youngest woke up again.
3.) Do you share your blog with family, friends, and co-workers?
Yes and No. I don’t go to any of them and say, “Hey, I wrote this thing last night that I think you should read. BUT I don’t exactly keep it a secret. Most of them are connected to me on facebook and I’m always sharing my blog links on Facebook.
Honestly, most of the people I know in real life don’t give two shakes about my blogs. Which is apparent by the way none of them click my links.
I have tried many times to talk to my husband about my blogging. How I would really like to make it professionally, and what that would take. I don’t think he even listens. If you asked my husband what my blogs name was he couldn’t even tell you. I lost him completely when I
muttered the phrase, “I could work part time to have more time to write.”
4.) You love animals. How many pets do you have? What are their names? Can you tell us something about them?
Well, you know all lovers of fur children love to talk about their pets!
Having lost our cat at the beginning of the year (She was murdered by a stray dog) we currently have 2 dogs and my fishies.
Boomer is a chocolate lab and he is ancient at 13 years old. He is full blooded and has been a pain in our backsides since the day we brought him home. Soooo many medical problems.
Right now he looks like a science experiment gone wrong, missing most of the fur on his back half due to a skin problem he’s had most of his life. We just had to have a mass removed from his back
that was the size of a hamburger. It started out life as a skin tag. Parts of his spine are fused together and he can hardly walk. Carrying him up the ramp is part of my every morning. I’m starting to think it might be a mercy to ease him out of life, so to speak, but hubby won’t
hear of it.
Meanwhile there is the mutt, Rusty, who is only about half a year younger than Boomer, but looks and acts as if he were a decade younger! Proof that full blooded dogs are often not as healthy as the mutts.
We found Rusty in the parking lot of a store I used to work at. We were only going to foster him until we found his owners (he seemed well-fed and was housebroken even though he was covered in ticks!). Then we were going to foster him until we found a forever home. Then somehow we BECAME the forever home.
The vet said he’s part chow and part golden retriever (Best guess). And he’s pretty much a hair machine. There are dust bunnies of that dogs fur in the hallway big enough to be another dog.
Oh, did I mention they both live inside with us?
I have a betta fish named Bowie. He’s new. He only has one pectoral fin but seems to get along just fine. I have the urge to sing “Just keep swimming, just keep swimming” every time I see him flapping his remaining fin for all he’s worth.
Then I have an aquarium with a big goldfish in it. His names George. He used to be one of a pair. Fred and George. But there was a horrible incident involving SpongeBob’s pineapple house. Lets just say that neither Fred nor the pineapple are still in the aquarium.
There are also 2 cory catfish in there. They don’t have names but moved in at the same time George did. And snails. Lots of snails.
If I didn’t have to work full time outside of the home I would have rats too. For many years this house was never without a pair of rats living in the breakfast nook. I miss them, but after child #2 was born I had to choose one thing that I was taking care of to give up and
since my husband won’t part with either of the human kids it had to be the rats.
(just kidding about giving away the kids, though I’m sometimes tempted to sell the husband)
5.) I know you would love to be a stay at home Mom. Describe your typical day and what you would do if you were.
I would sleep in. No more hitting the snooze button for an hour. Because I won’t have a job to be at I can sleep all the way to 8!
I’m sure my mornings would be just as hectic because…4 different mouths to feed…that’s always gonna be crazy.
After breakfast instead of having to run out to work for the next 9 hours I’ll get to stay at home with kids.
I see mornings being outdoor playtime. Then after lunch the little one would go down for a nap and the older one will start his homeschooling with his dad, which gives me a good 3 hours of mid-day writing time.
Then it would be some family time before supper. Maybe video games or board games. Maybe a movie. Then supper time, and all the baths, and cleaning the kitchen.
The evenings could be my social networking or simple internet goofing off time.
With some alterations though. I know eventually I’ll have to forgo some afternoon writing time for deeper house cleaning but….I’d have time to spare not having to be out of the house for 9 hours a day.
6.) Have you met any of your fellow bloggers off-line?
I have not. There are a couple of them who live in my state, but we never manage to be in the same place at the same time. I don’t travel much.
7.) Recommend five blogs that you read regularly.
Mrs. Happy Homemaker – We were actually BFF back in middle school. Then her family moved away. She started out on blogger some years ago and now she’s Pro and earns her family’s income through blogging. I DROOL over all the amazing things she cooks. But, I’m not a cook so it never goes far past the drooling
Someone else told me about The Bloggess and told me to check her out as a blogger who just randomly writes about her life without a niche (when I was bemoaning never being able to go pro because I’m nicheless).
Oh, and she’s also written a couple of books. She’s basically living the life I see for myself in the head. Also, she’s very entertaining.
Other blogs that I read regularly I bloggers who, like me, are not in the pro range, and write about their life as they are living it.
Rusty2Rusty’s Chatter covers a lot of subjects. She does blog about food a lot. And animals. She also does a lot of product reviews.
Learning to Live Free is a lovely lady who is trying to get off the grid. Ultimately she wants to run her home off of solar power and feed herself primarily through a garden that she grows. I started reading it when I was going through an intense “I want to homestead” phase.
Becky’s Homestead is another one that I started reading while in my “I want to homestead” phase. She updates pretty reguarly and also puts out a video on youtube every week.
8.) What are your five favorite blog posts on your personal blog?
I like my Ghostbusters Review because I feel like I found a little bit of my old blogging self in writing it again.
My Imiginary She Shed – because it is really fun to imagine what all I could do if I had an
office of my own.
A Motivational Letter to Myself – I was in a good (mental) place when I wrote that one.
The “Game” of Life – While researching this one (if you can call it research) I got into a conversation with people I don’t normally talk to often, so that was good.
I’m having trouble picking a 5th favorite. I’d have to say pretty much any of my Wordless Wednesday posts. Probably because most of the feature my boys. I love my boys.
But there is “I Long for Adventure” which is simple, but still holds true whenever I’m reading a good adventure story.
9.) Is your first blog post ever still accessible online?
It’s not. That was on Xanga, which is still there, but not there. It seems to be in an endless reboot to Xanga 2.0, whatever that is. Go to the Wayback Machine and search for xanga.com/winona and you’ll get to see peeks of what it looked like here and there, but not the very
10.) You have a book review blog – Noner’s Bookmarks – would you like to do that professionally? Why or why not?
Funny, some co-workers and I were discussing this just recently.
I would LOVE to review books professionally, but ONLY if I get to pick the books I read.
I’m a lover of horror and thrillers and mystery. I like some contemporary fiction. But, if I had to sit and read book after book after book and all of them were Harlequin romance novels with Fabio on the cover then it would be just as bad as keeping my current day job.
Maybe worse! (not to offend any romance lovers out there. Its just not my genre.)
11.) If a friend wanted to start a blog what would be your top five do’s and don’ts.
1. Write about something you love. If you pick your topic based solely on earning potential but you don’t love it, you’ll struggle to come up a minimum of 52 posts.
2. Visit other blogs. Leave comments! This can help you forge friendships with the bloggers you love, and the other people who read them.
3. Social Networking. Facebook. Twitter. G+. All those other places. You have friends there, right? Share your stuff, sure. But you know those other blogs you’ve been reading? Share THEIR stuff too!
4. Join blogging groups. Not only is this another way to share your content, and find other comment, but it puts you with other people doing the same thing you are doing. They might be able to answers questions for you. You might be able to answer questions for them.
5. Grow. Expand. Change if you want to. Don’t niche yourself in a corner. Sure, you might lose a few readers along the way, but you are sure to find others.
1. Give up. It will be tempting as you put hard work into something that nobody seems to read. Just keep it up. Your audience will come.
2. Sit and wait for people to find you. Its not going to magically happen. You gotta act like an internet version of a sign twirler. Draw some attention to yourself.
3. Let your blog sit without being updated. I can’t give you exact numbers, but I know you lose a lot of readers if you don’t update on a regular basis. (at least once a week)
4. Give up your personality. Let all of yourself show in your writing.
Having a unique voice can make all the difference.
5. Quit your day job. At least not at first. People can and do earn their entire income from blogs. But chances are really good that its not going to happen overnight.
12.) Name five women you admire and tell us why you do. They can be anyone you know or someone from the media.
This one is actually hard for me to answer. You would think names would just pop into my head, but nope. I don’t really keep up with celebrities, and being raised by my dad and two brothers I tend to lean towards the masculine but…There is my Aunt Lavin. Sadly we lost her a few years back but it seems like yesterday. She hardly had a harsh word about anyone. She would go out of her way to help EVERYONE. She was the kind of person who would sit by a deathbed and hold hands to help ease a person over. She was amazingly kind, amazingly beautiful and amazingly talented. She would go from hobby to hobby, mastering a craft and moving on to another. As a child and an adult I loved sleep overs at her house. I aspire to be half the woman she was, but could only ever be HALF
because there is no way I’d ever reach her level of awesome.
Jessica Stewart is a woman who used to work where I work. I think of her as Sunshine because she really is a ray of sunshine. Her spirit just GLOWS. She radiates happiness. She does yoga, works with an animal rescue and is quick with a kind word when A kind word is needed. I regret that we are only connected through Facebook now instead of getting to see her in person every day!
And honestly those are the only two people who comes to mine as being real inspirations in my life. Two people I would love to emulate. I could make up 3 more I guess, but after thinking on it for a couple of days I think I’m gonna leave it at two and be a rebel.
13.) Have you read and/or reviewed any books on blogging?
I’ve read a book or two on blogging, but I’ve never reviewed one. The first one was something by Darren Rowse. I have found that blogging info is usually not that useful to me. Mostly because I’m not a niche blogger. I understand the concept of things like SEO, I just can’t seem to make them work.
Some days I feel like I need to pick up a copy of Blogging for Dummies and go back to basics.
14.) You use Blogger – can you tell us why it’s your choice?
For me, Blogger offers the most personalization with the best price. I mean, its free and I can make it look however I want it to look with minimal coding knowledge.
I’m a sidebar junkie. I like to be able to have sidebars and put things in them other than my blog archive.
I know WordPress is preferred by many professional bloggers, but the free WordPress doesn’t let you decide what to put in your sidebars! And a self-hosted WordPress site is out of the question because its out of the budget.
I also like that Blogger doesn’t care if I have adsense or throw in some amazon affiliate links. Other free hosts can be picky about letting their bloggers have advertising that is not THEIR advertising.
Which is another think I like about Blogger. Its free, and its not full of ads. So what if I have to have the blogger bar up top. I’m okay with that!
Two Questions I Wish I Had Been Asked
1. What do you want to be when you grow up?
My first dream for my grown up life was for me to be a vet, but when I hit third grade I decided I wanted to be an author when I grew up.
I’m all grown up now, bout to turn the corner onto “You’re Getting Old Avenue” and I still want to be a writer when I grow up.
But, I want to write fictional books. So, if my scribbles could turn into the next Harry Potter series, yeah…that’d be great.
So, to be ale to earn a living from my imagination, while staying at home with my boys. THAT’S what I want to do when I grow up.
2. If you had to live your life over, what would you change?
EVERYTHING. Well, almost everything.
I would want to be harder, not to wear my hart on my sleeve all the time. I would want to not be afraid of EVERYTHING (and I mean that literally, due to many anxieties.) I would want to spend more time with my family who I have lost, less time worrying about fitting in. I
would want to be better at voicing my thoughts and opinions. I would want to study harder, have gone to college, opened my own business.
I would somehow want to have my same two amazing children without having to have left my family and friends behind.
I would want to keep my creativity (but maybe have a little more talent to go with it).
And I would still want to write…but I would be internet famous by now.
The world according to Noner Says…