This week I was really lucky and super happy that I could sit down for coffee with Michaela from Not Another Slippery Dip. Michaela’s blog is a fantastic blend of honest motherhood, parenting, lifestyle and lots of delicious recipes. Michaela is also a freelance writer so I always see some articles popping up on different publications I follow. We recently said congratulations to her as she is expecting her 4th child so you can also follow along and check out her beautiful photos on Instagram.
Recently she was nominated as a finalist in the Bupa Blogging awards and once you check out her page you will see why. I was stoked that she agreed to sit down with me to answer some easy and some not so easy questions!
How long ago did you start your blog and why did you decide to write a blog?
I started my blog four years ago! In fact, I just celebrated my 4-year blog-iversary. It’s hard to believe that it’s been four years since I published my first post. It was actually my sister who suggested I start a blog. Perhaps she got tired of me venting my parenting woes to her! I also studied creative writing at university so storytelling (which is essentially what blogging is) seemed like a natural fit for me. Mind you, I gave it virtually no thought whatsoever. I literally jumped onto Google one night and typed in “blog templates”, and an hour or so later I had picked a name (the first that spring to mind and appropriate considering the amount of time I was spending in playgrounds and published my first blog post.
Not to do what I did and start a blog on a whim!! LOL. I think these days there is a lot more information available to new bloggers, which means that bloggers can really prepare before they launch. I didn’t think about any of the recommended steps to take beforehand, and I think it may have helped if I did. My decision was purely a knee-jerk reaction to my sister’s suggestion. So, if you’re serious about blogging, my advice would be to do your homework. Think about what you’re going to write about; try to identify your unique voice, think about will set you apart from the sea of bloggers, what platform will you use? will you need social media accounts to promote your blog content?, and think very carefully about what you will name your blog, as once you’ve named it, it can be a complex process to change it. I would also offer this piece of advice: write as though no one is reading. Now this may sound counterintuitive, as naturally you want people to read what you’re writing, but if you think too much about what people might think, you become self-conscious about your writing and I think the best posts are the ones that are not censored. Write freely and from the heart, and the audience will come!
What is your most favourite thing about blogging?
This is easy. I love to create, capture and connect. By this I mean:
I blog to create stories: Parenting is tough. It’s exhausting, relentless and demanding. It’s also joyous, fulfilling and intensely rewarding. It’s a complex journey, dotted with ups and downs.
I blog to capture time: I like to think that every time I write a post I am making a deposit into my children’s memory bank. I write to freeze some of these mothering moments in a time capsule.
I blog to connect with others: I believe connection is fundamental to surviving (and indeed enjoying) the many challenges and discoveries of parenthood.
If one piece of clothing could best describe you what would it be?
My gosh, that is a tough question. Almost as hard as being asked what vegetable would best describe you!! Ummm, that’s got me stumped. Let me come back to you…..
What is your least favourite thing to do?
I really detest housework. Honestly, I don’t know how people enjoy it. I get that there’s a pleasure in having a neat and tidy house, and some people get a kick out of a good vacuum and mop, but this is NOT ME! I see it as a necessary evil and spend little time doing it. As such, I have very “relaxed” domestic standards and prefer the “lived in” look to the display home vibe that some people have got going on. Or perhaps that’s just a convenient way of selling it – maybe I am just lazy!!!
What is a unique or quirky habit that you have?
Hmmmm, another toughie! Well, I don’t know that it’s particularly interesting, but I really loathe orange food. And I am a vegetarian so this means I am a real pain to cook for. I hate carrots, pumpkin, sweet potato – all those orange veggies. I think it stems from when my dad used to make me sit at the table until every single cold carrot was eating, even if I was dry retching. My husband could probably expose many of my “unique” (read: annoying) habits, so it’s a good thing you’re not asking him!
What has been your proudest moment through blogging?
Well, I am going to mention two things, if I can
- I wrote a post last year when I experienced my first miscarriage (sadly it wasn’t the only one). It took me a while to write the post and feel courageous enough to send it out to the World Wide Web. When you are expressing something as raw as this, it can leave you feeling very vulnerable and exposed. But I was determined to give voice to the one in four women who experience pregnancy loss. This post was viewed by thousands of people all across the world, and it attracted the highest number of blog comments I have ever received. The response was overwhelming and I felt very proud of myself for doing my small bit to “un-silence” an often-silent grief. Women email me weekly about this piece to thank me for writing their story. Though I wish I never had to write such a piece, I am so glad that I was able to connect with others through it and help them in a small way. You can view the post here. http://www.notanotherslipperydip.com/2015/06/29/miscarriage-grief/
- Recently I was a finalist in the 2016 Bupa Blog Awards. I attended the awards ceremony last night and though I didn’t win my category I was absolutely thrilled to make it to the finals and be recognised as a blogger with relevance and value. It was a lovely moment to share with my readers who have all contributed to building my online community and I honestly feel that if I met any of them in real life, we would get along so well. I love my audience as they “get” me and get what I am about – real mothering, someone who is happy to celebrate the triumphs but not afraid to confront the darker shades of parenting in the modern age. My tagline sums it up: embracing the messy, mundane and momentous!
What is one thing that you can’t live without?
Oh this will sound bad but my iMac. Truly, I love my computer! It has years and years of precious memories and I would be devastated if anything should happen to my photos and videos. Also, as a writer and blogger, I use my computer every day and it is where I feel the most comfortable, pursuing my passion and purpose and recording life events.
Oh and obviously my kids and hubby and all that….you know the drill J
If you could live anywhere on this planet, and take everything that you love with you, where would you choose to live?
You are making this very hard! I want to choose two places: Rome for the food, culture, people, strong sense of family and community, and gelato – naturally! And Vancouver because I lived there a long time ago (when I was footloose and fancy free) and I would love to return with my family. it was the most stunning and friendly city. Being surrounded by mountains creates a very tranquil environment and I am not naturally tranquil so I need all the help I can get to relax J
Postscript: Coming back to your curveball of a question about what item of clothing I am….. I would love to say I am like a maxi dress: free flowing, relaxed, cool and boho chic. But the truth is I don’t do the chilled out vibe naturally. But I am working on it….