Blogging is a different world altogether. You meet people, make new friends, encourage and motivate each other’s writings.
One day, while reading, I thought about knowing more about my fellow bloggers. I have not met them in person and this led to the curiosity to know them, about their lives and learn from their blogging journey.
And this inspired me to host posts from the bloggers I follow. I asked some of the bloggers and was extremely happy to hear positive responses.
Starting with the first in this series, I have Anamika Agnihotri, who writes at thebespectacledmother.com. She shares her parenting experiences in raising her 5-year-old son telling the funniest anecdotes as well as sharing some hands-on tips. She says, “Parenting is a tiring job and at times can tend to become daunting too. Over this period of time, I have learnt some and am still exploring the fine nuisances of it.”
Here is a sneak peek of the conversation:-
1- Please tell something about yourself and your blog?
I am Anamika Agnihotri, a stay-at-home mother of a 5 year old boy. I am an introvert, an optimist, a spiritual seeker and an eternal learner. After completing my MBA in 2004, I worked in the corporate sector for 9 years before giving up my job in 2013 when, as a family of 3, we shifted to UK owing to husband’s work. At present, I live in Bangalore. I am in love with my current role as a parent. This role ensures I get daily doses of lifelong wisdom from none other than my son. Ironic but true since this should have been the other way round. Apart from becoming wiser with each passing day, I am invested in raising a reader and I myself love all things books, reading and writing.
I blog at thebespectacledmother.com where I write about my everyday stories, book based discussions with my son and his never ending questions.
2- What inspired you to start your blog?
I always wanted to write. I had these (half-baked) stories boiling in my mind which never made sense to me but prodded me to write anyway. So I filled my diaries. I poured my passion into crafting the best work e-mails in office. I wrote a skit for an office play for introducing my team in Six Sigma Presentation (which was great on paper but not at all good in execution).
When I began as a full time stay-at-home mother, I was a clueless, bewildered soul who struggled with parenting. I was losing my hair and my sleep. I was also battling with mild depression at that time. However, with passing time things started perking up. With some free time at my hand and also for deviating my mind, I started my blog to write about my struggles, my mental state and my occasional break-throughs with respect to raising my son..
3- How do you manage time to run your blog efficiently?
I have kept blogging pressure free for me since I did not want it to become yet another chore amongst a sea of other chores. I only blog once a week. I am committed to blogging on Mondays with my Monday Musings post. On rest of the weekdays, I devote 2 hours each day to reading, sharing and commenting on other blogs.
4- How do you motivate yourself to keep the blog up and running?
My motivation comes from the heartfelt interactions with other bloggers on my blog as well as theirs. I know who my audience is as a lot of readers are regular visitors who come to read my posts every week. Also, because of the fact that my blog is an extension of me, I do not have to make extra efforts to keep it going.
5- What do you do when you aren’t working on your blog?
When not working on the blog, I run errands, take care of the house and check social media sites often in the midst of everything. I spend a lot of time reading whether it is reading my books or reading to my son or hearing him read out aloud to me. I also run a weekly book club on Friday evenings where I hold storytelling sessions for 4-6 year olds.
6- Can you name some of your favorite bloggers and tell why they are your favorites?
My most favourite blogger is Corinne Rodrigues. She writes about self-acceptance, compassion and gratitude. There is so much to learn from her and her blogs. She was the first person in the blogging world who generated confidence in me with respect to who I am, as a blogger and also as an individual.
The other bloggers whom I love to read and connect with are Shailaja Vishwanath, Tulika Singh, Nabanita Dhar, Esha Mookerjee-Dutta, Parul Thakur. The connection is the reason which makes them my favourites.
7- What is the biggest difference in your life post-blogging?
The love and acceptance that I received through blogging has made big differences in my life. The biggest difference is I am, at present, most comfortable in my skin.
8- What has been the one thing (blog post, project, etc) that you have been really proud of?
I have been especially proud of my article which got published in the June 2016 edition of the ‘Complete Wellbeing’ magazine. The article was about gifting the life-long love for books to the children, a topic closest to my heart.
9- If someone was interested in blogging, what would be a few things you would suggest?
I would suggest –
- Be authentic.
- Write from your heart.
- Invest in making genuine connections with fellow bloggers.
10- Tell about your favorite: Book, Quote, Author, Song and Movie.
My favourite books are actually 2 –
Eleven Minutes by Paulo Coelho – This book did the same for me which Alchemist did for rest of the world. It got me in touch with my dreams, ambitions and belief in self. It moved me spiritually.
Zahir by Paulo Coelho – Zahir came to me when I was on the verge of making the life altercating decision to quit my job. This book spoke to me, almost jolting me to begin writing and honour my long time aspiration.
Quote – ‘Control what is in your control‘. This is the quote from the Andre Agassi’s autobiography. I practically live my life on the basis of this quote.
Author – The most recent favourite one is Khalid Hosseni. I read all 3 of his works back to back a few months ago. What a story teller he is? I feel I know Afghanistan very well – the life and pain of Afghan people, the plight of Afghan women, Afghanistan from the olden times to the post-Taliban era. I couldn’t sleep for a couple of days after I read ‘A Thousand splendid Sons’. It was haunting.
Favourite movie – I hardly watch movies but there is one movie which I must have watched numerous times and it is ‘English Vinglish‘. There is a considerable resemblance between the main protaganist played by Sridevi and my mother in the treatment she received from the rest of the family, gaslighting being the new term for it. Sridevi’s character was inspiring in her fight to overcome her shortcoming of not knowing English. This movie reminds me that a housewife’s worth is not dependent on how her family sees her or treats her but how much she values herself. The world puts down those who fail to value themselves.
Song– I do not have a favourite song.
I am really grateful to Anamika for taking out time for this interview. If you want to know more about Anamika, you can follow her at Facebook or Twitter.
Keep reading my space for the next guest post. You can write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will be happy to host your post on some interesting topic.