Happy New Year! Susan Wicker from Writing Straight From the Heart is here to kick off the Meet the Blogger feature for 2016. Susan's blog is a gem; it combines wonderful commentary with lovely photos, showcasing her interests, daily life, and assorted adventures. It's one of the most warm and inviting spots in the blogosphere. :)
Welcome, Susan! Why did you start blogging?
In 2009, I went to see the movie “Julie and Julia,” about the late chef extraordinaire, Julia Child, and a blogger who decided to make many of the chef’s recipes. At the time, blogging was a total mystery to me. However, the blogger in the movie had so much fun sharing with many people via her computer that I wanted to learn more about blogging. Plus, I love to write. It’s actually one of my life’s passions. To think of sharing my writing with people in Blogland was and is, immensely satisfying. Soon after I saw the movie, a free blogging course was offered at a local library and I signed up for it. As a result, it helped me start my blog, “Writing Straight from the Heart.” It was October and love at first sight. I’ve been blogging ever since.
It's true, your blog illustrates how much you love blogging! How long have you had your current blog?
As previously noted, I’ve had the blog since autumn of 2009, so this past fall will make it seven years since starting!
Congratulations, that is a great milestone! What is your blog about?
My blog is about slices of my life. Baking, cooking, crafts projects, day trips, entertaining, flowers, gardening, grand parenting, interior decorating, my love for cranberry glass as well as other colored glass, and everything in between, including life’s ups and downs, are all fodder for my posts.
It's a wonderful blend of lovely photos and your writing. What benefits have you gained through blogging?
There have been numerous benefits. Blogging has helped me develop discipline in my writing. It’s something I do every day and look forward to. Having written more than 2,100 daily posts, I’ve learned to write fairly quickly and, hopefully, accurately. It goes without saying that meeting people throughout the USA and in numerous other countries has been a huge benefit. The people in Blogland are totally phenomenal. Having a blog helps when submitting freelance articles. It shows editors one is serious about writing and has a following. I've learned so much about other people and their opinions and ways of life. It has been totally awesome. It's also a benefit to get comments on posts from readers all over the world. This is so very exciting to me. My followers as well as others who make comments, I consider my very dear friends.
There are so many great benefits, aren't there? What projects are you working on right now?
Currently, I write feature stories and take photographs for a weekly newspaper and have done this for a few years now. I also work with teenagers who are in an independent living program. Naturally, I’m always encouraging them to write. Another big “project” are visits from my little three-year-old granddaughter. Among our many activities together, a favorite is reading tons of books. Maybe she will be a writer some day, too.
Maybe she will! You can teach her a lot about the writing process. What might people be surprised to learn about you?
It might surprise people to know that I have taught Creative Writing to incarcerated male inmates as well as to teenage mothers. Both experiences were challenging but extremely enlightening.
I never would have guessed! What advice would you share with a newbie blogger?
My main advice would be to simply write! Write what is in your heart and don’t be afraid of anyone criticizing you. The more practice you have at your craft, the easier it will get. You will find unparalleled joy in sharing your writing with others.
Thanks for visiting with us, Susan!
Thank you, Karen!
More About Susan
Born in Massachusetts, Susan is one of five sisters who remain close to this day. Her ninth grade English teacher told her she had writing talent and encouraged her to develop it. She majored in journalism at the University of Arizona, and worked as a newspaper reporter for small town and metropolitan papers. After she married and had two children, she worked in human services and continued as a freelance writer. Now a proud grandmother, she writes for a local newspaper.
Did any of your teachers encourage your writing when you were young? Have any questions for Susan?
Teacup photo credit: Free Images