Michelle D’costa On Her Blogging Journey
I had created a blog around 10 years ago on WordPress because a friend had suggested that all my published works had to appear in one place. I followed my friend’s advice and created a blog. I was surprised by the user-friendliness of WordPress. I’m not a tech-savvy person so when I say it’s easy, it is. I started the blog with the intention of getting more readership for my published pieces.
By then I had a few stories and poems published online and a blog was that one place where readers could find all my work together. Having a blog then tempted me to post other things like interesting tidbits about my writing journey, my growing book collection and more. The blog felt like my safe space that I could return to whenever I wanted. In some ways, it felt like a journal. I played around with the look of the blog, I changed the look several times. I deleted posts and pages at intervals and came up with new content. It allowed me the flexibility as I decided what stayed and what went.
I have always been a curious person and whenever I read books I come up with hundreds of questions about the book.
I have always been a curious person and whenever I read books I come up with hundreds of questions about the book. The first interview that I posted on my blog was of African writer Tendai Huchu. I got to know of Tendai Huchu’s work from The Bombay Literary Magazine. I had read his book ‘The Maestro, the Magistrate and the Mathematician’ and I had so many questions swimming in my head. I thought of reaching out and asking for an interview. I’m glad I did. He was kind enough to reply to all of my questions. I felt on top of the world that day when I posted the first interview on my blog. It was very empowering as I didn’t need an editor’s validation. And it was available for anyone to read for free. Many bookworms showed their support and that gave me the confidence to continue interviewing writers. I tried pitching my interviews to magazines after that, while some accepted them, some didn’t, for various reasons. I always knew that no matter what my blog was always there. If it didn’t get published in a magazine, I would post it on my blog. (I have also written about dealing with rejection on my blog.) Either way, it was always available for readers.
I wanted readers to see the pieces from my lens and the author’s lens too.
I kept posting other things on my blogs like my views on films that I have watched or literary news that I have come across but my interviews were that one constant and I felt that my blog had found its voice. I have interviewed writers across all genres, from different parts of the world and even for an individual piece of work that has been published online, like a short story. I wanted readers to see the pieces from my lens and the author’s lens too.
The day I received an email from Bound, was one of the most memorable days of my life. The email mentioned that they liked my interviews and asked if I would submit something. Since then, Bound has been a constant support. We are also coming out with a book of interviews with Indian writers soon. I would have never been noticed by Bound had I not posted my interviews on my blog.
I always recommend that you first write for yourself, then decide to go public.
The journey has been incredible. I still post interviews on my blog among other things. Many writers want to express their thoughts, improve their writing and engage with readers. A blog is the best way to do that. I always recommend that you first write for yourself, then decide to go public. In my Blogging and Journaling class, we focus on how to write for yourself and then for the world. We have had participants who want to write about their work-life, about their travels, about their adventures with art and whatnot. And a blog is the best space to spread your wings. You won’t know what opportunities may come your way unless you put yourself out there.
If you would like to get started on your own blogging journey, join Michelle’s Start Your Blog Now class here.
About Michelle D’costa:
Michelle D’costa is a Mangalorean from Mumbai. She was born and raised in Bahrain. Her poetry and prose has been published in over 50 literary journals like Eclectica, Litro UK, Queen Mob’s Teahouse, Coldnoon and more. She loves to interview writers. Her debut full-length short story and poetry collections are complete. She edits Kaani, an ezine for fiction. She talks about books on YouTube and blogs on WordPress.