Yes Friends. I find it hard to believe but Muse n’ Motivation completes one full year today. I started off hesitatingly but once the blogging bug hit me, there was no stopping. And what a beautiful experience it turned out to be! Writing, Sharing, Understanding the View Points of Others and More than anything else, making new friends from all over the globe. I am grateful to all the persons who thought my blogs worthy enough to comment on. Thanks a lot friends. This doesn’t mean I am going to go ‘Full Stop!’ Muse will continue to motivate as usual with your good wishes.
I couldn’t think of anything better to post than this interview of mine taken in the midst of my blogging year which represents my writing world online.
I am sure you will enjoy reading this interview. Maybe you have read it already. All the same, this is my way of expressing my heartfelt thanks to all…..Shail has been featured because she is an example of a woman who by striking the right balance between career and Home, shows that one can be flexible and successful ….and satisfied !A journalist for the past 15 years, Shail has worked with the likes of The Indian Express, Femina, All India Radio and has had her articles published in The Hindu, Woman’s Era, The Sun etc.
I’ve worked fulltime while at ‘Indian Express’ in the editing department, then, at a private magazine ‘The Folks’ being involved with the conception, lining up of articles and editing followed by work at a television channel, ‘Plus Channel’ as a cultural correspondent. I had already started working freelance during my college days as I also wrote articles, poetry and stories for reputed magazines like Femina, Woman’s Era, The Sun, etc and also scripted and presented programmes on All India Radio for the Youth section.
But, perceptions and priorities change over time. I have not been unduly ambitious. I knew that reaching the top without anyone to share it would be dreadful, so I took the conscious decision of working freelance (not something new to me). And it has really helped. Maybe, I don’t earn as much as I would have done if I had continued working full time. But, I earn enough and write lots to keep me happy and satisfied!
Are you a Mother? Do you balance a career + Home? How do you do it ?
Yes, I am a mother with God’s grace, of a bubbly 11 year old boy. His arrival in my life changed a lot of things for me by way of perspective. Things that I had begun to take for granted now made a U-turn and I got to realize how very blessed I was.
Yes, I do balance career + home. Since I work freelance it gives me a lot of flexibility to plan each day. I make my deadlines although I still need to meet the deadlines of my clients! Basically, I try and spend about a few hours every morning at work, at my computer – writing, editing, etc. I write best when I am left alone. So, when everyone has left for their respective day-out at work and school I cuddle up with my coffee and computer/laptop. I know that when my family is at home, we all would be happy (me included) if we shared time together . So, unless it is an emergency I try not to work in the evenings.
What do you feel about women in the workplace today?
Women are going great strides in the workplace today. They are donning the caps that were reserved for men earlier. They are able to balance all aspects of life with ease. Unfortunately, success at the workplace comes not just with its perks but also with compromises. And many a modern working woman has had to compromise something valuable in her life (relationships, values, etc) in order to be successful in her profession. I am not generalizing but it is true of most working women. The case is not the same for men. So, the gender inequality still exists sadly. No wonder, we have many lovely hard working and skilled women turning into FCs (female chauvinists) which is a real pity because they are making the same mistakes which they despised in their men!
Have your articles/ideas ever created discontent among certain sections of people? What has the blog brought to you?
You bet they do! Having always been a person who stood out in the crowd (!!) my articles too tend to sometimes raise questions that are not that rosy and easy to answer. Like I have mentioned in the About Me section in my blog Muse n’ Motivation:
Sometimes, I do raise queries that have difficult answers.
I don’t like to sit on the fence you see! Again, black or white is fine. But grey too is okay as long as it comes from the heart and mind and is not a victim of the stereotype situational circumstance.
But, generally, I am not a very controversial person. I like things to be in harmony. So, if I mention something and it is difficult to digest and someone mentions, I am like, “Thank you for expressing your view. Could you tell me why you think so? I am glad we could have this lovely discussion.”
If the person is interested he/she will continue reading the stuff that I write. If not then I will anyway not see him/her again!
Why did you start this blog?
Writing a blog first figured in my agenda after a decade of writing for the written media and also for various websites. I had the good fortune of having had the experience in all kinds of media – the written media (magazines and newspapers), the audio media (All India Radio) and the audio-visual (television) media. I had also begun to write content material for various websites when I thought why not write some great content for my own site or blog with my own rules and deadlines!
That’s how I started blogging and Muse n’ Motivation came up. This was followed by Muse, Verse n’ You. I figured that I had a lot of poems already published in magazines and also posted on sites so, I thought that the best way of putting them together would be a poetry blog. This would inspire me to write some new stuff too! I have also recently started another blog called Write Space roping in some of my writer friends. We used to write for a website and suddenly the website wound up without warning. We all live in different places yet, we had formed a kind of rapport so, we have got around writing here for this blog as and when we want to and it’s great fun, writing, reading and commenting on anything and everything under the sun! This blog comes out every fortnight by the way.
What has blogging given you?
The blog has brought to me self satisfaction, the ability to be more flexible with what I write when I write. It has aided me in reaching across to a completely new section of society which though unseen, impersonal at times, helps in connecting unbiased, across all barriers. Blogging helps me to read, acknowledge, appreciate, criticize and bond with the opinions of others. The blogging experience is quite humbling in the sense that you realize that you are not the only one out there who writes the way you do, who thinks the way you do. In short, you learn to not overestimate yourself when you blog. At least, that is what I feel. This helps me in keep higher standards for myself without getting overconfident.
What is your say about the general viewership of your site?
Blogging is one area where people will read you if you are good or cater to their tastes. Although the joy of seeing your name and article in a newspaper or magazine is entirely different when compared to blogging, it feels really good when an unknown reader reads your piece and is gracious enough to drop in a line (acknowledgement, appreciation or criticism) for your piece. It makes you realize how small the world indeed is.As far as readership for my blog is concerned, I would say that I do have my regulars who have been kind enough to read my blogs. Some read and comment. Some just read. The numbers don’t count although I do admit that they do boost your enthusiasm if there are many hits or comments to your site/blog! I am glad that I am able to share my views and perspectives with so many people across the world.