Monday, January 4, 2016

Meet the Blogger with Susan Wicker

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.

Visit Susan's Blog

Did any of your teachers encourage your writing when you were young? Have any questions for Susan? 

Happy writing,


 Teacup photo credit: Free Images


  1. What a unique way to start blogging! Awesome Susan is working with kids.

  2. Hi Karen and Susan - I saw Julia Julia after I'd started blogging and thought - how cool that was ... fun film, fun concept. Writing straight from the Heart is a good name for a blog - and obviously encompasses your interests ... wonderful you've been writing professionally for a while ... Cheers to you both - and this has reminded me I need to get my notes to you Karen - so you can slot the post in sometime ... preferably not April - with the A-Z ... Happy New Years - Hilary

  3. Karen and Susan: We all seem to have come to blogging from different ways. I like the way that Susan came to it. Happy New Year to you both.

  4. The blogging community is awesome all right.
    We started blogging at about the same time. Hard to believe we're coming up on seven years, isn't it?

  5. So nice to meet Susan! Thanks, Karen.

    Only one teacher stands out in my memory for encouraging my writing, Ms. Bird. I'm so glad she did!

  6. Natalie,
    You never know what will inspire, do you? :) Susan's been a faithful blogging friend over the years.

    I know - that film is fun, isn't it? I learned a lot about Julia Child, what an inspiration! Susan inspires as well, with her upbeat and lovely blog. :) Will email you soon about your spot!

    I know - all sorts of inspiration out there, right? Glad to see you back and feeling better! :)

    Time flies when you're blogging, doesn't it? Well, most weeks, anyway. :)

    You are welcome. Happy to make the introduction! :) Looking forward to having you back here soon!

    Happy writing,

  7. Many thanks for letting me participate in Meet the Blogger, Karen. It is such an honor to be on your blog. The entire blogging community is just a gift in life, and that certainly includes you! Susan

  8. It's always great to meet new bloggers. In this time when it seems bloggers are turning more to other social media outlets, I am happy to know there is still passion out there to continue blogging!

  9. Hi Karen and Susan! I have been to Susan's blog before, but I didn't know anything about her background, so this is so fun! (My husband also graduated from the U of Arizona!) I can also appreciate the love of sisters. I am so blessed to be close to mine as well.

    Blessings for a wonderful 2016 to both of you, may God grant you every inspiration to help you write!

  10. What a treat to learn more about you, Susan! I sometimes link to your blog to give mine a bit of variety. Besides, I'm a collector at heart. :) Happy New Year and many new blogging adventures.

  11. Working for the newspaper must be fun. Blogging obviously compliments it.

  12. So glad to know about Susan.

    Commenting on your blog after a long time because I just returned to blog myself.


  13. Thanks for featuring Susan. She always offers interesting information and photos on her inspirational blog. Oh and don't forget her collections. Blogging is indeed a fun way to meet interesting people.

  14. Susan,
    It's my pleasure to have you visit! So glad to feature you and your blog. You are one of my longest and most faithful followers! :

    You're right, social media is pulling bloggers in many directions, isn't it? Happy to introduce you to Susan! :)

    I know, it is nice to learn more about Susan! I think her blog is vibrant - a reflection of her personality! :)

    Susan R.,
    Susan always has something fun going on at her blog, doesn't she? Fun to get to know her better! :)

    I agree, I think those activities make Susan's writing more interesting. :)

    Good to see you, and happy to hear you are back at blogging. :) Glad you got to meet Susan! How's that sweet little one of yours?

    You are welcome. Her blog is fun, isn't it? Love hearing about her travels out and about, as well as her collections. :)

    Happy writing,

  15. I love sharing reading, writing, and personal things on my blog. I also noticed I improved my writing skills via blogging. I write faster and tighter. It used to take me awhile to compose a post, but now I do it with ease.

  16. I cannot imagine blogging daily. At one point I was on the blogosphere 3 times a week (before other social media platforms really filled in the gaps), and it was almost more than I could manage. So many wonderful people, so many incredible things to share, so LITTLE TIME. I think I've been to Susan's place once or twice.

  17. Thanks, Karen, for introducing Susan and her marvellous quest for learning and teaching. What a terrific role model. Susan, you're amazing. Just goes to prove the world is becoming a better place every day. Thanks to blogland. It's been a honour meeting you.

  18. Medeia,
    It is a great way to sharpen our writing, isn't it? :) So many benefits, the friends included!

    You're right - so many great people - and so little time! :) Susan has a great spot, doesn't she?

    You are welcome! Glad you got to meet Susan. :) She is a wonder, very inspirational!

    Happy writing,

  19. Hello, Susan! Thank you, Karen, for this informative and helpful interview. Susan, you've had a fascinating life from what I can see. All the power to you for working with people who need help expressing themselves. I'm going over to visit your page, Susan. All the best to both of you in 2016!


Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts. Have a blessed day!