Blogger Interviews is Authored by : Rahul Miglani , Follow him @

Thursday, 15 August 2013

Interview with Titli

1.     Can you tell us a little about yourself? your blog , and your aspirations and your hobbies !!

The first thing you’d notice about me is how much I talk! I hate being alone with no one to talk to (though my mom says I have this innate ability to make walls talk too if I’m ever left alone!!)
After a successful 12 yr long career in the Pharmaceutical and Banking sector, I am a full time home maker, and mother to two amazing boys.

I blog at “The little princess” (www.titli15081977.blogspot.in). Someday I hope to see books authored by me flying off bookshelves (and hopefully the reason isn’t an impending earthquake or Tsunami!) 

Reading, listening to music, and gardening are my hobbies. Nothing pleases me more than lounging in my hammock, amidst my plants, with a book in my hands and Kishore da crooning in the background. Ah! Divine!


             2. How you first got involved in with blogging , are you an imaginative person?

I have been writing ever since I was 14 or 15, and I had been diligently filling up every conceivable corner of every diary, book or journal that came my way. Finally the stack assumed gigantic proportions enough to replace all our clothes in the cupboard, cockroaches and termites not withstanding…So my friend suggested that I try my hand at blogging. That’s when my family heaved a sigh of relief too, as my books would no longer eat into the space meant for their clothes!! Unfortunately the roaches have been complaining of malnutrition ever since.
             3. What do you find most challenging about blogging about your topic?

I don’t see blogging as a challenge. The only thing I find challenging is my inability to type as I sleep. Sometimes there is this compulsive need to write in the middle of the night, even as my body wants to retire to bed, but my brain wants to write. On such days, I wish I could type lying down without denying both of them their individual pleasures.
              4. Tell me about some of the people you have met while working on your blog?
How does one work on the blog? If you meant, guys I met while blogging or outside of blogging, I haven’t met anyone of my blogger friends. Our interaction is all in the virtual world.

5. How would (someone) describe your blogging style?

I’m not a niche blogger, I write everything from fiction to family, poetry to parenting, humour to horror! Whatever comes to mind, basically! If I had to choose a favourite, I enjoy writing crime fiction above everything else.

6. What do you do when you are not working on your blog?

When I’m not writing I love to read, cook and make creative designs out of Kundan stones, Rangolis and Mehendi. I have a dedicated blog for each of them! I am self proclaimed, die-hard fan of Kishore Kumar, and as much as I would love to sing his songs, my vocal chords went on strike the day I was born, never to return again, and in their place left behind a poor cousin , who at best makes me sound like I’ve swallowed a hundred frogs!!

Other than that, going off on a trip with our friends is something I enjoy. We are a gang of 6 couples and 12 kids, and all of us share this love of travelling, so we often get away for the weekends, vacationing.

Tending to my plants and kids take away a chunk of my time too!


7 .Where do you see yourself blogging wise in the next 6 months, and 5 years down the road?

There’s a popular saying that goes, “If you want to make god laugh, tell him your future plans.”
So blogging wise, there are no plans. I have no intention of humoring God!! He already is guffawing away at us.
 When I started blogging two years ago, I did not think I would write 150 posts in two years or have 40000 visitors on my page. But that did happen.

8. What networking do you do that you feel helps your blogging business?

If you look at my blog, you would see that it is completely a personal blog, with no business running through it. And I intend to keep it that way!
My initial post did not have a single reader for quite some time (read that as 6 months!!). And while I sat scratching my head how to go about the whole thing, a solitary reader came by. I was thrilled and then I ventured into his blog out of sheer curiosity. There I saw a lot of blogs in the comment section, and I visited all of them leaving behind comments on posts I liked. And viola!  Most of them came back visiting my blog! So it was a self taught lesson basically. Read other blogs, comment on the posts I had something to say or contribute.
Then I found the Indiblogger link on some blogger’s page and it led me to IB. I think I got many of my readers from there.
But over a period of time I realized there was a lot of irrelevant traffic on the blog, some just promoting their blogs, some of them were the ‘you scratch my back I scratch your back’ types, and some leaving comments without even bothering to read the post (we can always spot these kinds from their comments, can’t we?) and it wasn’t exactly what I wanted. But one gets to learn this with their own experiences, and I’ve come to a point now, where I just visit those blogs which I actually love to read and most of these guys read my blog. Most of them have also become good acquaintances over a period of time.


9. How do you keep coming up with material/content for your blog? Many people struggle with coming up with different articles/posts and they only have one blog.

With a person who can talk nineteen to a dozen, there is usually no dearth of topics! The people around me are more cheerful now that I have stopped bothering them a little with my incessant chatter. It’s the blog that gets a huge portion of thoughts that my head churns out!
The other blogs are about my experiments in the kitchen, my experiments with my camera and the creative side of me (rangolis, kundan et al). Everything is an extension of me, so there’s so real effort, because there’s no pressure to perform.

10. What’s your strategy with your blog in general?

There’s no strategy. I write because my head is too small to hold the million thoughts that swarm it. Besides that there’s nothing I strategize.

11. Any specific tips you have for newbie bloggers who want to make it in the blogosphere?

If there’s one thing that puts me off, it’s the bad grammar and spelling mistakes in a post. MS word is generous enough to point that out to you, so it beats me, why anyone would want to showcase a poorly edited post to the world? So I’d say, take the pain to edit your post because if you do not think it’s important enough to be read again and corrected by you, why should anyone else bother to read it in the first place?
 Secondly, write from the heart, and write what you want to write, not what you think others want to read. People visit you for your uniqueness, for the content you churn out, and not for being someone else.
And lastly, when you visit someone else’s blog treat it with the same respect you would like them to accord to your blog, be it while commenting sensibly or not spamming their space.


12. What would you prioritize? Content? SEO? Traffic? Readers?

To me, Content is of utmost importance as are the Readers. If someone is investing their time reading my blog, I better learn to value their time by writing good content. And a great blog would still be worth nothing if there are no readers to appreciate it.
Traffic, like I said before in question 8 above, is mostly irrelevant.  I would rather have dedicated readers than heavy traffic comprising of people, who hardly spend a couple of minutes of my blog.
Since I’m not a niche blogger, my blog might hardly ever get picked up by search engines.

13. What’s the best thing a blogger can give to his readers?

 Entertainment…. Entertainment…. Entertainment!! i.e If it’s a personal blog.

14. A lot of people are interested in blogging for the money earning potential. What are some tips for people interesting in making money from blogging? What are some realistic expectations in regards to what can be made?

Like I said before, I intend to keep my blog free of being a business venture. I don’t look at my blog as a business. I did not start it to make money out of it. My blog is my space, and would like it to remain that way.
 I don’t think there’s anything wrong with guys who want to make money from their blogs, but let the money making not eat into your creativity and the love of writing. If the main intention of the blog is money making, well, then I can hardly contribute with my non-existent expertise here!

15. What motivates you most in life?

The dream to author a book one day keeps me motivated enough to keep writing and keep improving my skills.

16. What has been your strategy for creating visibility to yourself and your blog?

I don’t know if it qualifies to be called a strategy, but I’d say, visiting other blogs, commenting on their posts, posting a link to Facebook, Indiblogger and twitter occasionally. I don’t frequently take part in contests, because writing for a prompt is my nemesis. I’d rather be free to write what I want to write. But yes, I have taken part in some of them and it does increase your blog visibility tremendously.

17 What was the most challenging moment in your blog content development process and why?

I do not have an IT background. So though blogger is usually quite friendly, I still have to struggle if I encounter something new. Luckily, some of my blogger friends bail me out each time. You will see that my blog is as simple as it can get!

18. Everyone has a favorite/least favorite post. Name yours and why?

My favourite post is “The heart break” (http://titli15081977.blogspot.in/2013/05/heart-break.html) This was for a contest and it won me the first place, but that’s not the only reason why it’s my favorite. I was shopping with my mom when I came up with the idea for this post, and I remember running home immediately afterwards and writing it in one sitting. It was almost like the post wrote itself! I remember feeling quite smug after I wrote this. The prize was the cherry on the cake.
I don’t have a least favourite. Those are the ones that are still in draft stage on my PC. If I am not satisfied they don’t reach the blog.

19. Name some of the bloggers whom you look up to and why?

Sriramana Muliya, who blogs at “Malignant Humour in my Head” under the pen name “phatichar”, Suresh, who blogs at “Life is like this”, Shilpa, who blogs at “A rose is a rose is a rose”, Panchali, who blogs at “Panchalibolchi”.  There is a lot of honesty in each of their writings.
Sriramana helped me polish my writing skills. If you look at my earliest posts, the presentation was very amateurish. He helped me hone my skills. I regard him my mentor.
Suresh on the other hand is a total genius when it comes to humour. (Psst…I have been secretly tutoring at his blog, learning to write humour. )
Shilpa and Panchali are so good with the written word, prose and poetry respectively, that it inspires me to write better.

20. What is the story behind the name of the blog.

I wrote random stuff and could not call myself a niche writer. And since I had intended it to be a personal blog, I didn’t have to bother about giving it a fancy or appropriate name. So when it came to naming the blog, I decided on naming it - "The Little Princess". That's what dad calls me.....his little princess and being daddy's little girl, it sounded perfect to me. That my stories are more female oriented happens to be a coincidence!! And yes, that they sound like a fairy tale, is even more!! 



21. your connection with any Blogger Network Like Indiblogger or Writeupcafe or any other and the experience ?

I stumbled upon IB at a fellow bloggers page, and it gave me a perfect medium to showcase my blogs. I have not been too active participating in the contests, but again writing for a prompt is not my cup of tea at all! But I do hope to be part of an indiblogger meet someday and meet some of these lovely bloggers.

I got on board Writeup café as a part of the ongoing IBL( Indian bloggers league) and as part of Team Central India. We were a team of 25 members and coordinating with the team, cruising along the contest and reaching the finals, has been one unforgettable experience. To top it, my entries at the quarter final and semifinal rounds garnered maximum votes by the judges. The results of the final are awaited.

22. Which genre do you feel gets the raw deal?

As such, I think, people don’t read long posts, whichever genre they might belong to, maybe except humour. The time spent on someone’s blog is hardly 2-4 minutes. So after writing reams of fiction, it is difficult to get readership for it.   And for someone like me who thrives on writing fiction, my stories usually run into a few thousand words. I find it difficult to write in brief. But all said and done, I continue to write my mammoth posts because I want to write them any which way!

23.Which one plugin would you suggest all bloggers to have?

I wouldn’t know if an elephant ran amok into my blog!

24.Five adjectives that describe you.

Emotional- That side of me reflects in my writing too!!
Talkative
Optimistic
Friendly
Fun loving (read that as prankster!)





25. What book would you say has made the biggest impact good or bad on you?

Just like I want a blog to provide entertainment, entertainment and entertainment, I read a book for the same reason too. I read books till I enjoy reading them. I don’t carry back messages. I read mainly fiction, so the only impact it has is, on my style of writing.

26.Do you get easily provoked by positive/negative comments ??

Provoked? No.  While positive comments excite me, negative comments make me ruminate. On hindsight, I don’t remember reading a negative comment on my posts so far… But like I told you my mentor has always pointed out what can be bettered in my stories. I have learnt so many things, like how not to rush an ending, just because the story is getting too long, how not to crowd a story with italics… and as a newbie writer, it always helps to take suggestions in the positive way. And if it is coming from a master story teller and accomplished writer, and helps to improve your writing, doesn’t it make sense to learn the nuances than think yourself to be invincible or know-all?

27.Do you plan to write a book, as every bloggers dream it is ?

Yes, I do. That’s something that would satisfy me no ends. To see my name in print.

28.Are you a judgmental person , Do you prefer to take sides instead of standing neutral ?

I was like that before. But now as a mother to two boys, I have learnt not to be judgmental. I cannot afford to take sides, because you know how it is with kids!! They will make you listen to their point of view and you are forced to take a neutral stand on the issue!!!
That part of me has also extended to all other spheres and I find myself increasing tolerant, neutral and non-judgmental of most people around me.

29. Your collaboration with other bloggers , are you much into social networking , tell us everything about it ?

I did an Ulimate Blog Challenge in the month of July. We wrote a post for every day of the month. That brought me in touch with a lot of bloggers. The IBL at Write Up café too was one such opportunity. As co-captain for the Central India Team, coordinating between the team members, getting consensus on posts, etc was a huge challenge!

30.What genre attracts you the most and which genre you avoid ?

Fiction, mainly crime thrillers and romance and humour is what I love to read and write. IT and pre dominantly educative ones, like pertaining to specific subjects, I avoid.

31.Your Views on Contests and increasing plagiarism ?
Contests are an excellent platform to know other bloggers and to let them know you and your blog. It also helps you stretch your creativity and fosters competitive spirit. But for some strange reason, I have this typical anti-contest mindset, because I think I just cannot write on a given prompt!!! At least not before the deadline! Once someone gives me a topic and a deadline, I find that I can no longer write on it!!

Plagiarism is cowardly. If you cannot write, and you have picked it up from somewhere, at least mention the source and give the rightful author his due credit. People reading you are not fools, they would know it is plagiarized. Why would you knowingly demean yourself and lose respect in your community?

32. Words for me and my blog .?

I came to your blog quite late, in fact only after we got in touch. However I have read a few of your writings, and liked the poem “Ah I wish!” , the hindi one- “kya sabko..” and “The final goodbye”.  There’s certain honesty in your writings, and that’s the first thing I notice when I read a blog. Keep doing the good work. All the best! 

18 comments:

  1. Thanks a million Titli - 'total genius when it comes to humor'? Wow! How I wish that were so!

    I would love to take the credit for the humor you write - attributing it to your secret tutoring at my blog - but I think it is more innate talent than any take-away from my blog.

    Great knowing more about you thanks to Rahul.

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    1. my life's always been a learning curve and i have never tired of learning what i don't know or bettering what i already know. and that's why the attribute to u and the learning from you. ur a wonderfully humble person and ur words of encouragement for me has always kept me going. thank you so much.

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  2. Wow, a full blown interview! Now, you'll go places. All the best. I'm sure we'll see your name in print soon. :)

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    1. with your wishes sirjee, I'm hopeful it'll happen one day! you have been the first person to actually hold my hand and mentor me and i'll be eternally grateful to you for that! thanks a ton!

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  3. Awesome Titli way to go girl .. Wonderful Interview and you must know I read all the long entries fully as I read this :) You will have your book out soon enough I am sure of it. All the Best.

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    1. thanks Vikas. You are one of those awesome friends I have made along this journey and i'm sure we'll stay put this way. thanks for ur wishes buddy!

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  4. nice interview .. some questions don't have answers did you missed it or it is left intentionally ?

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    1. oh..what did i miss? *scratching my head*

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    2. rookie mistake ! sorry for all the scratch in your head :D

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    3. hiccup with questn 4.. missed one pronoun and everything else seemed like a question .. please ask the owner to make it easier for visitors to read .. make the question asked bold and then answer in italic .. differentiate each question with proper gaping in between.. it would definitely help fast readers and i'm not suggesting cause i made mistake .. just from the artistic point of view !

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  5. Replies
    1. sorry it was a reading mistake .. but have some suggestion please read the above comment and please don't take it personally .. it was just suggestions .. !

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  6. What a wonderful interview...!!! Thank you, Princess, for your beautifully shared answers. You shared how you got started writing... the loneliness resonates with me. In my younger years, friends and I shared long letters that took a long time to get written and delivered...I also feel they were a form of journaling.

    Now we have the blogosphere as our creative outlet, with immediate response time possible, we have so many readers to read and enjoy and learn from.... I loved this little window into your life, Titli. You are an incredible writer. So, you truly deserved Blog-a-ton and IBL awards!! Kudos ...and here's wishing you many more wonderful years of blogging here. Keep writing, keep enthralling us, sweetheart.♥

    Thanks for the mention...Honestly, you touched me, gal. People like you make this virtual world beautiful. :)))Thanks again. xoxo

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    1. Like i said u have been a huge huge inspiration. ur words are magical and the web they weave even more. and for me who is an eternal learner, i really look up to wonderful writers like you who not just impact the way i look at the written word but also impact my heart.
      Thank you for all the kind words and encouragement. :)

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  7. Wow! That's a fabulous interview. Liked your witty and insightful answers. Good to know a bit more about you! Wishing you the very best and amen to your wish of seeing books authored by you flying off bookshelves!! :)
    Thanks for the mention... truly honored and touched! :)

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    1. Thank U Shilpa! you have touched my life in more ways than one..and thanks to ur never say die spirit..it has inspired me to be so too.

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  8. wow its quite an interview.. thoughtful, witty.. well, a lovely potpourri. good set of questions prepared and your answers made it easy to know more about you. its really a nice read. kudos to both.. keep writing and enthrall us with your imagination, Titli.. congratulations. and way to go.. :)

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