I first met Nic through our #DreamTeam linky. She has a knack of injecting such warmth into her writing and I’ve always felt inspired by how she manages to weave a story through her blog posts and make you feel really connected. Fast forward to date, and now we are thick as thieves working together on the #HappyLittleButtons Instagram community. Nic is also a guest host for the #DreamTeam.
Quick fire questions are so much fun but can also tell us so much about how someone thinks. Let’s see how Nic got on.
I agree with Nic that Twitter seems to come much more easily. What do you think?
1. How long have you been blogging for and what inspired you to give it a go?
Technically, I started blogging about 5 years ago when I started my travel blog, An Answer on a Postcard. However, I never really took it seriously, didn’t really know how to promote it let alone know about the likes of linkys. To be honest, it never even really occurred to me that I could make something of it. But then when I had Baby Lighty, I wanted a way to record memories for him as well as see how far I’d come as an anxious new Mummy, and a blog was the perfect option. Before I’d started An Answer on a Postcard, I’d toyed with the idea of writing a newlyweds’ blog, and so I’d already registered my All Things Spliced address with WordPress years before. I therefore resurrected this when Baby Lighty was 7 weeks old. This is also why my blog’s full name is “Sugar and Spice and All Things Spliced” even though Baby Lighty is a boy (technically, “Sugar and Spice and all things Nice, that’s what little girls are made of”…oops!).
2. Think back to when you first started blogging, what if anything has changed the most?
For me, this started out as a hobby, as a way to record my memories, and whilst in the most part it is still a hobby, it’s also become a way of promoting my freelance copywriting, of working with brands, of meeting friends, and as pretentious as it may sound, reaching out to people. I never thought I’d be given the opportunities that I have been given simply through blogging. A recent example having been being approached by the WI to appear live on Sky News to promote their Support Overdue campaign. That’s what’s changed for me, I guess: what started as a hobby has become so much bigger than that!
3. Are you a pen and paper or straight to the screen type of writer?
Straight to screen, and normally straight into WordPress too, although I do have a blogging notebook and journal which was made specially for me by my friend Becky at Retro from Scratch, which is perfect for those blog post ideas that pop up at 4am!
4. Where and when do you do most of your writing?
Mostly of an evening, occasionally during naptime, and mostly sat on the sofa in front of the telly! I have also been known to blog on the bus, on the train and in bed via the WordPress phone app! I should probably have a more formal workspace, but at the moment this works for me.
5. How often do you write and what type of things inspire your blog posts?
I write most days. More often than not, I’m copywriting, but a very rare day goes by when I don’t tinker with the blog too. Often I write whole chunks of blog posts and then go back and add bits and pieces as they come to me. All Things Spliced is pretty much wholly inspired by our lives! They say write about what you know, and that’s what I do. Occasionally I get riled up and inspired by things in the media or conversations I’ve had with people, but everything links back to our own lives in one way or another.
6. Have you ever had a major case of writers block, if so, how did you overcome it?
I often suffer from writer’s block!! I suppose it mostly comes down to what is happening (or not happening) in my life at any given time. I usually try to just write anyway; sometimes blog posts that you try to draft during dry spells might not be right at that exact moment in time, but you can go back to them at some point later and fashion some publishable posts out of the bare bones of what you wrote weeks, or even months, before. Similarly, if I haven’t got an idea for a blog post to schedule in the next few weeks, but do have ideas for months ahead, I’ll get those written while they’re fresh in my mind, and schedule them way in advance. You may as well save yourself time later if you’re not writing anything current now!
7. Complete one or both of the following sentences. A) Bloggers rock because… B) I am a super blogger because…
Bloggers rock because we work super hard, and often for little reward. We rock because there is more to blogging than writing; there’s taking and editing photos, promotion, joining in with blog linkys, running communities, interacting on social media and replying to blog comments. We rock because we put our thoughts out there. We rock because we are not afraid to challenge thoughts, or make others feel more human. We rock because sometimes – just sometimes – someone will say to us, “I’m so glad I’m not the only one going through this!” And we rock because this is why we do it, this labour of love that’s known as blogging.
8. Name 3 bloggers who inspire you?
It would be easy for me to be totally cliché and name my blogging besties, Annette from 3 Little Buttons, Dawn from Rhyming with Wine, Bridget from Bridie by the Sea and Abi from Something About Baby. But they all know that they inspire me in different ways, from giving me words of encouragement, to nudging me to write that difficult post, and through to sharing my content for me. So as much as I love all four of you, I’m going to choose 3 other bloggers too if I may:
Louise from Pink Pear Bear
Lou rocks. She has pink hair (what’s not to love?!) and is genuinely one of the nicest people I’ve come across in this blogging malarkey. We don’t chat all the time, but when we do, I always come away feeling like we’d get on really well in ‘real life’ (she may not think the same about me, and if so, I apologise in advance Lou!!). I love her blogging style, and have especially enjoyed her Travels in Wilma series. There’s something so heartfelt in her posts!
Fi from Beauty Baby and Me
Again, Fi is just lovely! I really like how honest her blog is (and I’m also very jealous of how pretty it is, too!). All of her photos and posts have a raw quality to them which is both beautiful and makes me think “thank goodness it’s not just me that does this / is going through this / wants to reach for the Prosecco right now”. I love her Monday Motivation series in particular!
Hayley from Sparkles and Stretchmarks
I think I was pretty late coming to the Sparkles and Stretchmarks party, but I’ve found myself nodding along to all of Hayley’s posts that I’ve read so far. They are so relatable. If they pop up in my Twitter feed, I find that I can’t help but read them!
9. What is the best piece of blogging advice that you have been given?
Don’t compare yourself; just do your thing. For me, that thing was recording my memories for Baby Lighty to look back on, and for me to see how far I’d come from that extremely anxious woman that was handed a newborn 2.5 years ago and was suddenly expected to know what she was doing. And I like to think that I’ve achieved that. If something were to happen to me tomorrow (God forbid!), I’d rather Baby Lighty looked back at All Things Spliced and think “Wow, Mummy really loved me!”; not “Wow Mummy got to work with lots of brands!”. And that’s why I’ve got to stop comparing myself to others!!
10. Share your own top blogging tip, advice or quote.
Honestly? If you’re thinking about setting up a blog, just do it! I set up All Things Spliced at a time when the market was completely and utterly saturated with mummy bloggers. I never thought for a second that someone would read it, let alone that 18 months later I’d have my own hashtag on Instagram (or at least a third of a hashtag, #HappyLittleButtons, shared with Annette and Dawn!) and would have appeared live on TV on the back of my blogging! So just go for it! You never know what you might achieve!
The Inspire Me guest series is back! It will be featuring some of my favourite bloggers. From the queen bee’s themselves, to the much newer bloggers on the scene. All have that elusive something that you can’t quite put your finger on that makes them stand out from the crowd, as well as being key inspirers.