This is the final post from retired librarian and author Cathy Cade, who has been blogging since early 2018. She shares posts on a variety of topics, including some excellent grammar and self-publishing tutorials. I thought that now you have been introduced to Cathy we might find out more about her in this post, where she was awarded the Sunshine Blogger Award.
I was surprised and delighted to be nominated for a Sunshine Blogger Award. Many thanks to Lily Pierce of Retrospective Lily , which was one of the first blogs I discovered on my blogging journey. I never fail to be inspired by her positive attitude. The blogging tips are helpful too for us beginners.
The Sunshine Blogger Award is peer recognition for bloggers who inspire with positive, creative and motivational content.
Each nominee answers the interview-type questions set by their nominator and passes on the compliment to eleven of their favourite bloggers, setting eleven new questions for them to answer.
My answers to Lily’s questions…
1. Why did you start blogging?
Writing gurus recommend that wannabe writers build up a web presence before publishing anything. I prevaricated, having nothing to publish as yet. The catalyst for me was joining a local writing group, where I found myself line-editing for our first self-published anthology (plug alert: Where the Wild Winds Blow by the Whittlesey Wordsmiths).
Since I’d forgotten most of what I learned (it’s an age thing…) from a proofreading course I took in early retirement, my editing required research, which I shared with the group as blog posts.
To my surprise, I enjoyed writing these, and interacting with other bloggers.
2. What is your favorite blog post you’ve written and why?
That’s a difficult one. I’m enjoying the current Novice Self-publishing posts, partly because it’s helping me organise my thoughts before I get to grips with the next writing group anthology (A Following Wind, in case you’re interested). I’m also helping a member of the group to prepare a manuscript for publication, and this seems a good way to reprise what we’ve covered.
The post that affected me most was Leaving Us. I wrote it after our youngest dog died suddenly. There’s nothing in it to enlighten or entertain the reader, but writing it was cathartic. I later changed the whole thing into present tense (it was written in narrative), which was something of an experiment for me. I was never a fan of present tense in fiction, but it seemed to fit this post. I’m now more likely to consider this as an option when writing, so the post turned out to be instructive as well as therapeutic – if only to me.
3. How long do you edit or agonize over a post before you press “publish”?
I’m getting better about this, but however many times I re-read it, I’ll find more to change in the Preview screen, and maybe again after I’ve published. The worst case was when I published my post on apostrophes and found a grocer’s apostrophe in the emailed post – which had gone out to my followers.
Since then I put a break in my posts – when I remember – so the emails only contain the first paragraph or so .
4. Writers’ personalities are often different than their writing portrays. How would you describe your personality?
I hope that, as my confidence improves, I’m coming across as more like me, but I’m not sure I know who “me” is.
5. What is your favorite social media platform and why ?
I only use Facebook. It’s less foreign to me as I’ve used it to keep in touch with my family. Messenger is an instant way to communicate without phoning at inconvenient times, and it seems to get their attention quicker than text messages.
I finally got around to putting up a Facebook Page recently, but I keep posting on my normal account by mistake. Since my Followers are currently people I know anyway this is not yet a problem (note to self: must interact with more writers).
I did sign up to Twitter but life’s too short. Why spend all that effort thinking up bon mots for something that will disappear later today (and nobody will see anyway unless I build up an audience).
I signed up to Instagram and Pinterest but I rarely go there. WordPress takes as much time as I can spare. When would I find time to write?
6. If you are willing to share your social media links/handles, what are they?
https://fb.me/cathycade.wordsmith. That’s it really.
I also post on Commaful at https://commaful.com/play/cathycade/. I enjoy playing with the pictures.
7. What tools do you use to “beef up” your blog?
All suggestions gratefully received.
I use free pics from Pexels, Pixabay, Unsplash and still have some credit left on Shutterstock from when I self-published The Year Before Christmas last year. (Free pics aren’t high enough resolution for a print publication). I downloaded Gimp around then (a free open source image editor). One day I will read the manual and learn how to use it properly for more than resizing.
I’m just getting into Canva, and there’s one video that I made on Flexclip, which was fun. I may try more of those.
8. What is the most valuable thing you’ve learned from blogging?
To stop prevaricating and get on with it. The world doesn’t end when I get it wrong. It’s been heartening to find how supportive the blogosphere is in general.
9. What advice would you give to a prospective/new blogger?
Visit other blogs and add your comments (it took me too long to start doing this). It builds your confidence and supports your fellow-blogger..
The blogging gurus will tell you to post frequently, but I have unsubscribed from several blogs because I got fed up with finding their posts in my inbox several times a day. If you are posting often, make sure it’s something people want to read.
Have patience. Building readership can be a slow process but, hey… who’s counting?.
10. Have you ever been nominated for and/or won other blogging awards?
No – this has been a lovely surprise. It’s validation that someone’s reading my ramblings. It doesn’t feel as if I’ve been blogging for long. (When I look at my list of posts there seem more than I remember writing.)
11. Are you satisfied with your blog’s progress?
Is anyone ever satisfied? I’m not in a hurry though; I’m not selling anything (yet). It’s all a learning curve.
And there is still a life to be lived offline, when I can find the time.
Cathy published a book late last year and it would make a great gift for the younger members of the family – never too early to buy books for Christmas (there.. I have mentioned the C word!).
About The Year Before Christmas
Emmie the Elf, works hard, running errands and sweeping out reindeer stalls, but Santa’s newest helper still finds herself grounded on Christmas Eve. Can Emmie prove she’s capable of higher things in time for next Christmas
A review for the book
A lovely story, well written and illustrated.
An ideal read book to read with young children.
Available in print: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Year-Before-Christmas-Cathy-Cade/dp/1916481728
About Cathy Cade
After a career in libraries, I began writing in retirement and have had stories published by Scribble and Flash Fiction Magazine, and in the anthologies To Hull and Back Short Stories 2018 and Where the Wild Winds Blow from the Whittlesey Wordsmiths. My verse The Year Before Christmas, recounting the story of Emmie the elf, is available from Amazon and Smashwords.
I hope to publish a collection of my short stories later in 2019. Watch this space.
I live in the Cambridgeshire Fens most of the time, surrounded by flat but ever-changing fields. At other times I live across a garden fence from London’s historic Epping Forest.
Connect to Cathy
Thanks to Cathy for permitting me to share posts from her archives and I hope you will head over there to discover more for yourselves.. thanks Sally.