Being an independent journalist I don’t like people addressing me as a BLOGGER for the passionate interviews-based work I do.
On the other hand she is the one who not only takes pride in being called a BLOGGER, but also basks in the glory of the number of awards she has won for her blog site www.anupamadalmia.com.
Meet Anupama Dalmia – the top blogger at various parenting and women oriented websites. She has also featured as a part of ICICI Bank’s “Fund Your Own Worth” initiative which is a campaign that brings forth stories of inspiring women from all over India.
Anupama and I differ at work, but are same when it comes to people trying to judge what we do. Yes, our eyes roll and brows frown when people say: “Wow, you work from the comfort of your home!” “Oh, you mint money just by penning a few words daily”; ” Wow, please find me an easy job like yours, as well”
Anupama asserts with a shrug, “Walk in my shoes first and then judge the ease of my work.” So here is one-on-one chat with her to make people aware of the efforts that go into blogging.
MAHIMA: Let’s start with something nice to begin with….what do you love to pen about?
ANUPAMA: My personal favourites are topics that motivate women, be it new mothers or working professionals or stay-at-home mothers or the ones working from home. The woman in me understands the damage patriarchy has done to our society. Thus, I
am trying my best to motivate women through my pen.
MAHIMA: How did your journey as a Blogger begin?
ANUPAMA: I wrote a poem for my daughter on my first Mother’s Day. It was very well received and my husband encouraged me to take up writing professionally. After he created a basic website, I kept building on it as and when I got time. And that’s how it all began.
MAHIMA: A qualified engineer and an MBA who is a trained dancer. So why divert to blogging?
ANUPAMA: Writing started as a casual time-pass activity, when I was down with chickenpox in class 8. It later became a passion to motivate women, supported by my husband. Well, everyone can’t be a journalist like you. So why not contribute in my own little way?
MAHIMA: Nice gesture, not many think like that. Journalism has its own constraints. So I am sure blogging world too has its own. What cautions you take?
ANUPAMA: For bloggers DON’Ts are more important than DO’s:
DON’T BE OVER-CONFIDENT: Writing is not just an art but also a craft. No article is the final article; revise & revise again
DON’T IGNORE CRITICISM: Take criticism positively as it helps you grow as a writer
DON’T BE TIMID: Put forth your point clearly & fearlessly
DON’T TRY TO PLEASE ALL: Disagreement is fine; pen what is right
DON’T WORRY ABOUT TROLLS: Social media backlash can be worst for a woman blogger; take it in your stride
DON’T ABSORB NEGATIVITY: If a comment doesn’t make sense to you, ignore as long as it is not disrespectful
DON’T APE ANOTHER BLOGGER: Make your own voice strong with time, be yourself. Be a writer, not a copy-cat.
MAHIMA: You just mentioned– “social media trolls can be worst for a woman blogger.” How do you handle them?
ANUPAMA: I report the really disrespectful ones and make sure others realise that I won’t tolerate lack of respect in their comments. In some cases, I simply yet assertively clarify my point. And to my surprise, few even apologise. In short, don’t let people bog you down, but don’t tolerate nuisance either.
MAHIMA: Each journey to the TOP has its own struggles. Please share yours…
ANUPAMA: My primary struggle is to balance time between blogging and taking care of my toddler daughter. At times, I have blogged on my phone with my daughter sleeping at my lap. Another struggle has been the debates with loved ones that ensue at times after I have written about a particular topic. For instance a debate is obvious when you root for causes like: Why Less Number of Women in Tech World; Why less women take up Coding? It is tough to stand against your own, but one has to do it, if my conscience is right.
MAHIMA: What’s your advice to writers who wish to walk in your footsteps?
ANUPAMA: Pen words of passion and what is right. Do good research, look for opportunities to write on websites like TechThirsty, Sheroes and others which promote talent. Also start your own blog. Remember, when you are not getting paid-work, a consistent work on your own blog will work as a sample for a later pitch for paid work. The thumb rule is: BE CONSISTENT IN BLOGGING–pen once a week, but be consistent.MAHIMA: So what makes one a successful blogger?
ANUPAMA: Effective communications skills: write as you talk–easy to understand; write honestly; be sensitive and in-depth about what you write. Above all, learn to market your work on social media.
MAHIMA: Hard-work is behind your success. Who else or what else?
ANUPAMA: Family, friends and of course my blogger friends. It is amazing the way our tribe has grown by egging each other and helping each other improve.
MAHIMA: You have won several awards, deserved respect. Still do you find something amiss?
ANUPAMA: Blogging is still not considered as a “respectable” profession by many. There are many who disregard the seriousness of this work. This ignorance can be demotivating. But then one has to choose between getting depressed or motivating others. With time, I chose latter.
MAHIMA: Hmm..thoughtful. Talking about next….Gender bias. What’s your take on it with-respect-to bloggers and their earning.
ANUPAMA: No I don’t think so at all. In fact, this is one industry in which I never faced any gender bias. It is all about how passionately you pen your words.
MAHIMA: How do you strike a balance between your personal & blogging life?
ANUPAMA: It is extremely hard to strike a balance but the only way out is by devoting certain hours to personal life only,
unless there is something really urgent I need to work on. Example: I work only when my daughter is at
school or when she is asleep. Since my husband has a hectic work schedule, we spend quality time during weekends.
MAHIMA: A parting quote to motivate women writers….
ANUPAMA: I would like to quote Mahatma Gandhi: “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” If you feel women are not much accepted in blogging or for that matter tech world, be the change like me. Simply take on the world with your passion and talent.
Interviewed by Mahima Sharma, Columnist TechThirsty
Author is Ex-News Editor CNN-News18 and ANI (a collaboration with Reuters)
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