I’ve only found Punam’s blog recently but her poems and her comments have really impressed me as I am sure they will you! She blogs about life, family and her reality from a frank and philosophical viewpoint. All parents need to read and all poets can learn … enjoy.
Please give a brief personal background and talk about your hobbies/interests?
I was raised in Bokaro, Jharkhand, India and studied in an amazing school run by Jesuits. Australian volunteers would often come to teach us and influenced us greatly. My happiest memories are of my school days.
At present my family, comprising of my husband and two kids, are based in Delhi, India.
Reading is my first love (mostly fiction). I am not very fond of self-help books. I find baking therapeutic and love cooking for family and friends. I also do tatting and embroidery in my free time. Though these days most of my free time is spent in reading blogs!
When, where and why did you start blogging?
I started blogging on 28th Feb 2016, my childhood best friend’s birthday. In school Navneet (the friend whose poem I had shared on my blog) and I started writing poems to ward off boredom and as a means to stay awake during boring classes. After all those years, I started writing again on the school friends’ Whatsapp group because they were all so encouraging.
I was reluctant to start a blog because initially my poems were mainly school reminiscences and on friendship. Friends would often suggest that I start a blog. But one friend was more insistent than the others. So the blog was a birthday gift to her and more like a digital diary to store my poems. As I type my poems on my phone, I felt a blog would be a fine place to store them.
What blogging tips or advice would you give someone just starting?
I don’t think I am qualified to advice anyone but I would suggest, blog only if you are passionate and honest about it, be it writing, travelling, cooking or photography. Don’t start a blog just so that you can boast about your presence on all social media platforms. Keep posting regularly.
Secondly, please don’t follow to get followers. For me it is not about numbers but about engagement with fellow bloggers.
What do you most enjoy about blogging and what have you learnt?
The most exciting part of blogging has been engaging with bloggers from all over the world, from varied fields and different age groups and backgrounds. It is so enriching and fascinating. Blogging has become a great platform for me to learn new things.
I have learnt to be more accepting and grateful. It is heartening to receive encouragement from strangers and the whole wordpress community is like an extended family.
Has your blog or writing led to opportunities for you?
It has. Everyday I learn new things, come across people I would never have interacted with.
But if you talk about being published, then none. Honestly, I am not really keen on getting published right now. I feel I still have to improve a lot before I can put out my poems for others to spend money on. Moreover, I am too lazy to submit my poems to various publications. A few genuine readers and their comments are good enough for me.
Though I must confess, I have contributed and written a textbook for fifth graders for a friend who is into school books publication. [wow that’s impressive!]
What methods do you use to expand your readership?
Oops! None actually. I am not on twitter, facebook, instagram etc. Nor do I visit blogs to seek follows. I visit blogs I haven’t visited before in my quest to read a varied content. I just make sure that I am true to myself in my posts.
In fact I think I will be a very bad role model for bloggers who want to expand their readership.
Time management can be a challenge: how do you stay disciplined and organised?
Yes, time management is a problem. As I stay at home, the urge to spend time on browsing blogs is very strong and I have to discipline myself to finish my chores and then catch up with blogging.
I have to admit I am not very organised…no to-do lists, no fixed hours for writing. I just go with the flow.
Which is your favourite post and why?
Hmmm! That is so difficult. If I have to pick favourites then it would be my daughter series, for obvious reasons.
What has been your most popular post and did you expect it to be the most popular?
My most popular post is Solitude. I did not really expect it to be so popular. Since I stuck it on the homepage, it has received maximum views and perhaps resonates with many.
Share something funky about yourself, or something that most don’t know?
I am a very ordinary, average person leading a fulfilling, contented life. I had never imagined I would ever be interviewed. Perhaps that makes me funky!