It’s always lovely, when you get to feature a blog by a process of random selection and it turns out to be a blog you actually read anyway. I’ve definitely been lucky during these monthly blog swaps and this month, my featured blogger is Celeste of Surviving Jonkersville.
Celeste describes herself as a “Stay-At-Home-Mom turned Work-At-Home-Mom of 3, Wife of 1, Virtual Assistant, Lover of life, Writer, Blogger, Bookworm, Proudly Capetonian (minus the passion gap) and a self-professed Coffee snob.”
Whew… that’s quite a mouth full… I’m going to sum this up and call her “Super-Woman.”
What I love most about her blog is that each post is an exciting adventure down a new road. Her latest post is her own obituary (go have a read) but her posts are a fresh perspective on various things. I enjoy her “tandem posts” where one title is given to her and a couple of other bloggers and then each writes their own version of the heading because it’s always awesome to see how the different minds process the prompt.
We even share a love of the movie The Notebook (read about how it changed my life) so how can I not love what this woman with a great sense of humour has to say but you don’t have to take my word for it, read it in her own words!!
What three words best describe you?
Flexible, Silly, Passionate
Can you tell us a bit about how and why you first got into blogging?
A psychiatrist suggested it a few years back as part of therapy but it didn’t pay too much attention. A while later a friend of mine entered a weight loss competition and part of her challenge was to blog daily for 3 months. She’s Afrikaans and can’t express herself too well in English so I was her ghost blogger and got paid in lots and lots of choccies. After that a few people asked me to do some write ups for them as a ghost until I decided to try my hand at blogging. I did it incognito at first but there was still no satisfaction. I wanted my own brand for a change and see how people would respond to my voice. Last year I decided to do me and here I am.
What do you think is the impact of your blog on your readers (what makes them keep coming back)?
Hmmm… I’d like to think it’s my ability to incorporate a bit of humour into my posts and touching on relatable topics. Mostly I think it’s because I’m an average woman talking about real experiences and emotions. By average I mean not a celeb or public figure. There’s no way I consider myself average. Silly, yes, but not average in the mediocre sense.
What’s your best advice for a new blogger struggling to get readers/followers?
Be authentic. Be YOU. Not the you you think people want to see/read but the real you. Don’t worry about the masses. Even if you have one follower, write for that one follower. Find your niche and love what you do. Also, it is a great idea to follow other blogs and comment. Blog love is oh so important, plus you’ll get to know some pretty in-ter-es-ting people.
How do you motivate yourself to keep the blog up and running?
Every Thursday I participate in a tandem blog with two amazing bloggers and it motivates me to keep writing even if I only have time to post that one blog per week. Other than that, it’s my gran’s random “How’s your blog going?” or my kids who often tell people “My mom has a blog” that makes me want to keep blogging.
What do people usually say when you tell them you’re a blogger?
“Oh” (followed by a blank stare), “What’s that?” (Mildly interested stare) or “That’s nice” (back to blank stare) or “Wow! That’s so cool!” (Genuine interest detected and I proceed by giving/force feeding them my url). Then there are those who haven’t read a single post but chide me for putting my life story on the interwebs. “I don’t understand how you people can put your entire life on the internet for anyone to see!” And I’m like “How come gran gets it but you don’t?” (In my mind obviously because you know arguing with fools and all.)
One of the things I love to do on my blog is to use featured quotes in every post. What is a quote that you find yourself going back to time and time again, that has in a way become your “life motto?”
“Experiences are meant to be shared.” Some important famous person may have said it but I’ll give my sister credit for this one. It helps to know that we’re not alone even though our circumstances may differ somewhat.
You work from home as a Virtual Assistant. How did you get into that?
I got retrenched last year and have been battling to find a job since, so I decided to put my skills to use and instead of doing favours and getting paid in “thank you’s” I’ll start charging. So far so good. I also do admin for SME’s and entrepreneurs who don’t want the hassle or can’t afford the extra expense of a full-time employee. It takes a whole lot of convincing to get clients to buy into it so you have to let your work do the talking. Never underestimate the power of word of mouth either.
When can we expect the release of your mother daughter music video? Tell us about how that will be going down.
We’re looking at doing that towards the end of the year. Just as soon as I’ve got the video making/editing and YouTube stuffs sorted. I’m hopeless at technology but I’m learning. It’s going to be a dance/exercise/fun clip for moms and daughters. The idea for the clips is to show women some easy exercises they can do to stay in shape. The type of workouts you can do while watching tv or doing the dishes.
What is the most embarrassing thing that has ever happened to you?
Two years ago a huge wave crashed and I went underwater. When I got back up I didn’t realise that the water pushed my bikini top down until a woman pointed it out to me. I flashed on a public beach!!! Thank you Mother Nature. I got out the water so fast, dressed and put on big shades and a wide-brimmed hat in one minute flat. I no longer wear bikinis. *true story*.