Friday, March 27, 2009

The Powers and Pitfalls of Blogging: An Interview

Let's shed a little light on blogging and how it helps (and hurts?) us as writers. To do this I thought it might be fun to interview a guest. 

Michelle Argyle (better known as Lady Glamis in blogging circles) is a blogger extraordinaire (check her out at
The Innocent Flower), writer (She was a finalist in Nathan Bransford's first paragraph contest.), photographer, and all around punctuation expert (Oy, my commas!). She is willing to share her expertise and has one of the most informative blogs I've read. Her blog grows in popularity every day. She is currently polishing up her two complete novels.

me: Welcome Michelle!
Lady GlamisThank you for having me! I'm so excited to participate in an interview. I've never been interviewed before. So thank you for the chance!

me: How long have you been blogging and what got you started?
LGI have been blogging since May of 2008. I started blogging when one of my best friends told me that her computer-geek husband was making her start a blog. She sent me the address and I was hooked! 

Comments? People follow you? I can write anything I want every day? And people might read it and comment? How cool is that!? So I started one, too, and now I can't stop!

me: I can totally understand not being able to stop. Is that one of the pitfalls of blogging for you?
LG: Yes, I think one of the pitfalls of blogging is the time restraint it puts on my writing. I am often so excited about meeting new people and reading all the great posts out there that I sometimes don't even get around to writing for the day!

me: With your blogging, what benefits do you see currently and what benefits do you hope to see in the future?
LG I recently read a blog post on the benefits of blogging for published authors. Some of the authors said in the post that they started blogging and building a fanbase long before they even had an agent. That was encouraging! 

So, currently, I see the benefits of blogging as (1) making great friends and building lasting relationships with other writers, (2) having the opportunity to continually write posts about writing and reading, (3) learning invaluable information from other writer and agent blogs. 

One of the benefits I hope to see in the future is to build a loyal fanbase where we can help promote our work together.

me: What do you like to see in blogs that you follow? 
LG: I like to see blogs focused on the craft of writing. But I also like to get a feel for a writer's voice and personality, so it's great when writers share elements of their personal lives and interests besides writing. I love short, to-the-point posts, but if a post is well written and engaging, I don't mind if it's long. I think there is a lot that goes into effective blogging. Most of the blogs I follow are effective, which is why I have such a hard time getting back to my writing!

me: You know I love photography and pictures. I'm very visual. What role do you think pictures play? 
LG: A reader recently commented on my blog that my pictures always pull her into reading my posts. I think that's the case for me, too. If a post has a pretty picture, I'm a sucker for reading it! Visual art can really enhance what you're trying to say. Like the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words! Especially a good one.

me:  How do you make your pictures so amazing? 
LG: That's a broad question, but to answer it in a nutshell, I do photography as a side hobby. I'm serious about it and spend a lot of time in Photoshop - my dark room for the digital age. I have always loved art and had an eye for what works and what doesn't.

me: Would you be willing to come back another time and tell us more about photography and photoshop?
LG: Absolutely!

me: How can the rest of us increase our following like you have? 
LG: That's a hard question to answer. I think it's important to have focus in your blog. I'm sure the writers who follow my blog are interested to know that I have a two-year-old daughter, but I doubt they want to hear about her poopy diaper incident from three days ago, you know? (Unless it relates to writing somehow.) I try to stay focused and offer helpful advice that I've learned about writing. I always respond to comments, as well. Interracting with your followers is really important.

me: Thank you for doing this! I really appreciate your patience with me in my first interview! 
LGThank you for this opportunity! One of the greatest things I have done through blogging is make great friends like you! All in all, it has been an invaluable experience and I hope I can keep up my pace in the future.


Justus M. Bowman said...


Lady Glamis said...

This looks great, Lois! Thank you so much for the interview. :)

PJ Hoover said...

Great interview, Michelle and Lois!
But wait! Michelle you use Photoshop all the time yet tell me not to use it for my photo project!!! Funny!

Lady Glamis said...

That's because I use Photoshop to enhance pictures more than merge things together (unless it's a design). I just thought for your entry a natural picture would work well. I'm sure they wouldn't be against you enhancing it in Photoshop. :)

Windsong said...

Wonderful post, LG and LG! ;) Good stuff to know.

*takes notes and watches geniuses at work*

Solvang Sherrie said...

Great post!
I'm one of Glam's followers (bowing low to the leader ;^) Her posts are always fun and insightful.

And just for the record, because she has become my cyber friend, I will absolutely buy her books when they come out!

giddymomof6 said...

Lois! This was an awesome interview! I've only just now got to know Michelle, but how fun that you guys have met and now this. It's great! Jenni

Litgirl01 said...

Hey!!!! I know that girl!! :-D

Great interview ladies. I am now forming blogaholics anonymous if ya wanna stop by sometime. :-)

T. Anne said...

I loved that interview! How fun was that? And you know what? I'm the reader that gets sucked into your pictures! (If it wasn't me, I'm still one of them). What a nice treat! I didn't realize you were a finalist in Nathan's contest. When I have a second i'll go back and look that up. Thanks Lois that was a lot of fun.

lotusgirl said...

Thanks everyone! I'm so glad you enjoyed this. It's been a crazy day, and there's still a boat load I have to get done. Life has really interfered with my blogging today. How appropriate for this post.

Lori Tiron-Pandit said...

Wonderful interview. It looks like we have so much to learn from one another. Thanks.

Alexa said...

Excellent interview, I loved it. I hope Lady G returns to tell us about photoshop - it mystifies me :)

Jessica said...

Awesome interview! I'd read about your daughter, since I have an almost three year old and an almost two year old. LOL Poopy diapers abound!
Also, I'd love to see a post about Photoshop. My husband got it and plays with it, but we don't really know how to use it to its best ability.
Very cool! You have a great blog too. :-)

Davin Malasarn said...

Very nice interview! It's interesting to hear more about Lady Glamis' photography side too. :)

Rena said...

Great interview -- :)

Crimogenic said...

Great interview with Lady Glamis. Thanks to both of you. :)

Windsong said...

I have a question. If one is not, per se, very artistic when it comes to creating pictures of one's own, how would one go about finding pictures one could use?

Pictures that would be okay to use without having to e-mail the artist for permission.

lotusgirl said...

More thanks checking in from my vacay. I was supposed to have a new post up this morning automatically. Oh well! I'll post it in a minute.

Windsong, I know a lot of people use pictures from Flickr. I'm not sure what the rules are, but it is a picture sharing website. Part of the reason I use my own pictures is so I don't have to worry about copyrights, etc.

Windsong said...

Thank you! I'm paranoid about accidentally breaking copyright. I'll have to check it out. :)