In The Early Bird Catches the Worm’s first profile, I interview Wordsmith Lane creator Sarah Ayoub about blogging, brides and books.
How long have you been blogging at Wordsmith Lane and what made you decide to start a blog?
The idea came to me in June 2009, and the blog officially launched (if you will) in July 2010. I decided to start a blog because I wanted to do something when I was not writing, especially because I was no longer working full-time and I sort of wanted to chronicle my writing journey.
What has been your proudest writing-related achievement to date?
It’s hard to say. Getting published in madison was a high for me, because it is what I consider a high-brow women’s publication. I guess being asked to be a host/panellist at events held by organisations like the Walkley Foundation and The Emerging Writer’s festivals was also a massive achievement for me.
And your proudest non-writing achievement?
This is going to sound silly, but getting engaged! I tend to worry about commitment.
How are preparations going for your wedding?
They are, I must say, proceeding very well considering the timing. I am indebted to my sisters though. My advice to everyone is to send out invites via email, or at least don’t go the DIY option. It’s a pain in the butt. I really wanted to have a big Lebanese wedding, but this one seems to be going along more to my parents’ agenda than my own. Serves me right for being their first born!
I basically pitched the idea to them and they bought it. It was as simple as that, which is why I try to be encouraging to my blog readers. Anything can happen if you try.
Your name has popped up on some other blogs (namely Musings of an Inappropriate Woman) in relation to workaholism and the work/life balance. How do you balance all your commitments?
I don’t. Something always gives out, like nights in front of the TV or deadlines for my thesis. I don’t have the time management thing down pat yet, and considering the size of my family, I don’t have a lot of time to myself either. I am hoping things will settle down a little after the wedding.
What is your favourite way to unwind?
Reading. Watching movies in my PJs and eating copious amounts of food works wonders.
Because most bloggers blog about things they’re passionate about, as I know both you and I do, do you find sometimes it’s a chore to churn out articles, book reviews and the like, as previously you would do those things for pleasure? Because that’s definitely something I struggle with from time to time.
I guess my readers can tell when I do something for pleasure because I gush about it, whether it’s a book or make-up and I do think I come across as fairly honest. If it’s not something I am interested in, it doesn’t get a review. Just a mention that it’s out and what it’s supposed to be about. I definitely think I should perhaps cut down to blogging about quality though. I really need to prioritise, as the blog doesn’t really provide a return investment for me at this stage, and there are some more pressing things to worry about, like my thesis, my freelancing and definitely my novel.
What are some of your favourite blogs?
I read Girl with a Satchel religiously, and follow Rachel Hills because she makes me feel smart. Once or twice a week, I read The Blog Stylist, Sarah Wilson and Holly J Curtis’ Am I There Yet? I’ve just got onto Nicole Haddow’s blog after a reader recommended it to me and I read Megan Burke’s Literary Life (she is my intern and she blogs about the creative writing industry which is good for me, as I’d like to get into it soon). And I love the way Liv Hambrett writes at A Big Life. I think I am her biggest fan, and I doubt that she knows how talented she is. She literally makes me see the world through different coloured glasses.
What advice do you have for other bloggers?
Write, network and comment on other blogs. Shamelessly promote on Twitter. And do it for love not money, at least in the beginning. It’s a lot of hard work.
And finally, where do you see yourself, writing-wise, in the future?
My dream job would be able to live off freelancing as a full-time features writer, while working on my novels in between and maybe doing something once a week on TV or radio. That’s not necessarily where I see myself, as opposed to where I would like to see myself.