Next up in my ‘Interview with…’ series is Kate of Kate on Thin Ice. She tells us all about how she got into blogging and who inspired her to do so – she’s now being writing for over 10 years. As well as writing, she accidentally dyed her hair blue instead of black and broke all the rules when visiting in an open prison…
Enjoy the read!
Q. Why did you start blogging?
In 2008 my Mum asked to come and spend Christmas with me. Fuelled by her Bell’s whisky in the early hours of Boxing Day she said she thought I should write as I had always wanted to. She said that even if I just kept a diary it would be a positive thing. I toyed with the idea of getting a pretty notebook but thought that my arty daughter would probably use it. I did an Internet search for “online diary” and came across blogging again.
Q. Were you inspired by anyone to start blogging – if so, who?
I was inspired by my adoptive Mum who left school at 12 to work in a factory when her brother took the King’s Shilling so she was unable to go to grammar school as it meant his wage disappeared from the family home. Mum educated herself expanding her vocabulary by reading Readers’ Digest. Mum was amazing – feisty with a ribald sense of humour. She left factory work and went to work in a hospital doing cooking as an assistant to the cook for the nurses’ home. When the nurse became sick on Christmas Day, my Mum had to step in and do the whole thing.
Mum gave me a love of learning and was there to see me graduate in Law from Cambridge University. She did lots of community work using her skills of cookery and fundraising to help so many good causes. She was also frustrated at the position of women in society which I empathise with completely. I like to think my blog is her best legacy.
Q. How long have you been blogging?
I had a very brief foray into blogging in around 2007 I think. I was having the day from hell and wanted to get it out there because nobody wanted to listen. That’s how it felt at the time anyway. I was in the grip of post-natal depression so I think I wrote two posts. Nobody read it and I could not find it now if I tried. I started properly in 2008 anonymously for many years and built up my confidence slowly but surely.
Q. Best parenting advice you’ve ever received (is there such a thing?!)
I did like it when a health visitor said not to worry about the mess in the home. I did not learn from that and drove myself way too hard. All that leads to is the whole household taking advantage of you.
Q. What are your parenting bugbears?
It is the relentlessness of it that gets to me. I could do it all really well if there were enough breaks built in. Also the way that problems just become bigger as they get older just as my late Mum used to tell me.
Q. What advice would you give to new parents?
I would say take everything self-appointed experts say with a huge pinch of salt, questions any research particularly looking at who is funding it and follow your instincts. I would also make it clear that if you do not look after yourself you are not going to be able to support your family properly. I might also add that you are as likely to be remembered with affection for the times you got things a bit wrong as for when you got them right if not more so.
Q. What advice would you give to parents thinking of starting a blog?
Do it! Work out what you want from it whether that is to express your feelings, to make money or something else entirely. Once you are clear on your aims, you can make sure your blog name, blog posts and promotional strategy match those aims.
Revisit your original aims often – it is fine to review them but not just at the beck and call of brands, public relations companies and people who may not have your interests at heart. If you can invest in training courses, do that sooner rather than later. Be ready for an amazing and unpredictable journey!
Q. What are your favourite blogs (parenting or otherwise…)
Kelly of Daydreams of Mum, Mackenzie Glanville of Reflections from Me and Hayley of Downs Side Up
Q. What are your tips for a successful blog?
I would argue all blogs are successful. I love how they give women and mums a real opportunity to express their thoughts and feelings. We should use that opportunity wisely and help other women and mums when we can. Apart from that, I would refer you to the question above.
Tell us five things we don’t know about you…
- I have tried to dye my hair black and it has turned blue!
- I have taken a mobile phone into a closed prison which is against the rules
- I have got naked more than once for blogging purposes.
- I am a trained debt counsellor
- I drive myself too hard
You can find Kate at the following; BLOG, TWITTER, FACEBOOK, INSTAGRAM & PINTEREST.