Sunshine Blogger Award – Interview and Nominees
Thank you, Samuel Ali, for nominating Grief Probate Journey and our Anniversaries and Grief topic for the Sunshine Blogger Award. We are honoured and very pleased to have been nominated. We question our purpose fairly frequently and so something like this validates that we were right to start our blog, and that we should continue. This nomination has given us the opportunity to engage with our followers and those we follow within the WordPress community which is brilliant. We appreciate and value our followers throughout all our social media platforms. Being part of these communities truly brings us joy.
What is the Sunshine Blogger Award?
The Sunshine Blogger Award is a peer-recognition award, where bloggers can nominate the bloggers who are super creative, inspire them to grow, and bring positivity to the blogging community.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
“Once nominated for the award, in order to accept you need to write a post where you:
- Thank the person(s) who nominated you in a blog post and link back to their blog
- Answer the 11 questions sent by the person who nominated you
- Nominate 11 new blogs to receive the award and write them 11 new questions
- List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo on your post and/or on your blog”
A note to our nominees – there is no obligation to reply to this nomination because we appreciate, you may be busy, or it might not fit your blogging schedule or subject matter.
- What caused you to start your blog/artistic project?
My sister and I published our Blog nine months ago (June 2019), and write about various different topics from Inheritance tax, medical conditions to thoughts and feelings around grief and bereavement. We decided to start this to try our best to help others who might be going through something similar or know someone going through something similar. We wanted to try and make our devasting situation positive in some sort of way. When going through the unknowns we faced, this seemed like the only right thing to do. Share our experience publicly, as knowledge is powerful.
2. Where do you see your blog or writing in two years’ time?
That is a long road, but in two years we would hope that we will be fully established. Our aim is to be providing a service of some kind to help and support people through what we continue to learn on our journey. We have only been going for nine months, and so are still finding our way. We are not sure which avenue we want to take things to grow further, but we know that we want to keep going. In some ways, we feel this is a way of honouring our Dad, he was all about the rights of people and communities. He was very helpful, a member of many committees, co-founder of his local Tenants Association, just to list a few things. This blog has been created to help people and spread/share awareness of things that might not necessarily be known or, not enough information readily available. We are passionate about trying to help people and try to make a difference. We are looking forward to the future with faith, hope and positivity that we will continue to grow, and fulfil our aim and ambition.
3. Do you have any upcoming projects, blog ideas or events that you are particularly hopeful about?
We are considering writing a book about our story which will have a different aspect to our blog topics. We are excited about this as it will be a way of sharing our story in a different format and a different aspect. We are learning so much not just from our experience whilst our Dad was in the hospital, him passing away and dealing with probate, we are learning about life without our Dad and how that makes us feel in our daily life along with everything else we have to get on with. A book will allow us to express these things in a different way.
In honesty, the idea for this came up through a friend. When the blog was in draft mode, we asked friends to read posts to see what they thought. We got positive feedback, many of our friends saying that what they were reading was very authentic. One friend said, would we consider writing a book. At that time, we were thinking, wow, is that something we could be capable of doing?. However, nine months into the blog, and thinking of new things we could do, this feels right, and we do feel this is something that we can achieve. We started thinking about this more towards the end of last year, we then decided this will be something to focus on for 2020 and the new year.
4. Is there a book you have read recently which you particularly enjoyed or found useful?
It’s been quite a while since I’ve read a book, but a book that I had read and had an impact in a positive way would be The Secret by Rhonda Byrne.
5. Is there a website, not necessarily a blog, which you have found particularly useful or interesting?
I had to think about this one, as of late, aside from additional research for blog topics, I do not really go on the internet too much these days. However, what I do find useful is in moments of trying times or feeling low, and not knowing what to do, I search the internet for inspirational quotes that relate to how I’m feeling and then post them on my social media platforms. This helps to uplift my spirits and helps me to be more positive. It’s also like my therapy to get through how I’m feeling in that moment in trying to push that vibe away. I also do the same in happy moments, to celebrate how I am feeling.
6. What challenges do you face with writing/blogging?
We question fairly often whether or not what we are doing is a good idea, are we serving our intended purpose. The main reason we question what we are doing is that the topics we are speaking about are not very common and can be seen as conversation stoppers. This was another reason why we created the blog, have a space where the information is there, and we can direct people to it, rather than possibly talking about matters of the blog in a social situation that might not be appropriate.
A worry we sometimes have is what if we run out of ideas, what will we do then, thankfully the ideas keep on flowing and coming to us. Our topics are inspired by feedback and comments, follow-ups if a topic is particularly popular, or simply an idea can stem from watching something on tv, or a conversation had. It triggers a memory and a new topic is born.
Quite the same as this nomination we are so happy to have been given, had this not happened, it would not have been a topic. We did not plan for it to be a topic, but as we are grateful for it, we would like to share this, and so, as an example of what we have been saying, we have a new topic that had not been anticipated or planned for.
A challenge that we do come up against, or maybe we make ourselves feel that way is, situations happening elsewhere around the world, or even locally. By continuing to share our topics and post every week, are we being insensitive to these things that are happening? For example, a devastating natural disaster, Brexit, a prominent member of the public (or someone we know) passing away, and of late the coronavirus. (This is a hyperlink to NHS information regarding coronavirus should you wish to read it).
We are aware these are major issues, that are deeply concerning and very important and affect many people. We have to try and remind ourselves that unfortunately if we postponed publishing topics for such reasons we wouldn’t have a blog. So many things occur on a daily basis, things that we might not always be aware about. However, the purpose of our blog is to create awareness of our situation to try and help and make a difference in the things we are experiencing, therefore if we postponed publishing topics for these reasons, we would in effect be defeating the purpose of our aim. Where possible, even if not directly related, we share stories that we feel can help with spreading further awareness.
I would say our main challenge is ourselves because we so often have self-doubt due to our experiences, that doubt leads into this blog. What we are forever thankful for are the signs we get that tell us, you are making a difference, it is worthwhile, there is a purpose. Again, this nomination is a testament to that fact.
7. Is there anything that has surprised you about writing/blogging that you had not anticipated?
We didn’t really know what to expect or anticipate once we decided to publish the blog. What has been surprising but in a great way is the positive way in which our topics have been received within our social media platforms, and the way in which we have been welcomed within them. It truly is a great feeling, we are amongst many inspirational people who like us, are sharing stories of their experiences in the hope of uplifting and helping others. Being a part of that is a feeling that is hard to describe.
We have been overwhelmed with the comments we have had expressing how our blog has helped people to understand things, has helped people to get through difficult times in their lives, comments thanking us for the support we are giving.
What has been surprising in a shocking way is the trolls that leave inappropriate comments or click laugh on our topics. The first time this happened we were in disbelief, but then I remembered a blog I had read which was speaking about trolls and not giving them time and advised ways to deal with it. The way we now deal with this is to delete and block them and then move on from that moment.
8. What do you do when you have writers’ block?
Since starting the blog, we think about it and focus on this fairly frequently. So far thankfully writer’s block hasn’t set in, as previously mentioned above for various: reasons, situations, scenarios, new topics are born. We do worry about what happens if we can no longer think of something to write, as it hasn’t happened as yet, I’m not sure what we would do. I think take a step back from things, try to relax and have some time out, and then come back fresh-minded and focused.
9. What helps you relax?
- Taking time out from daily tasks
- Shutting down from to-do lists, and forward planning.
- Taking time out to have a moment
10. What makes you laugh?
For my sister and I the following make us laugh:
- Listening to music, reminiscing on old times
- Comedians that post on social media, i.e. Instagram. On down days, sketches from them really make me laugh and can brighten my mood in an instant
- My nephews, (my sisters children)
- Quiet precious moments spent with family and friends
- Enjoying the company of the moment of time we are in
11. What makes you cry?
- Frustration from feeling overwhelmed
- Frustration from not knowing where to turn
- Anxiety and worry if we are making right decisions
- Anxiety/ frustration that we being given the run around and not being taken seriously
All the above relates to since our Dad was hospitalised (Sept 2016) to date. Although these are things that would make us want to cry, it doesn’t necessarily happen. So we would feel this way, but deal with it without crying. Which isn’t necessarily the best way to deal with things.
A note to our nominees – there is no obligation to reply to this nomination because, we appreciate, you may be busy or it might not fit your blogging schedule or subject matter.
- Dr Juri Sharma. A professionally qualified doctor with masters in health management. Worked for many years in different sectors relating to health and has been very passionate to share ever-evolving knowledge and research in the health field.
2. Louis. A PhD student in Food and Nutritional Sciences; journaling their progress through a Ph.D.
3. bereavedandbeingasingleparent. A Dad trying to cope with the loss of his partner and becoming a single parent.
4. DoRee MelNic: Grief Out Loud. Art And Life. Doree posts writings about their dealings with death, grief, and life on their home page. Each Talking to you post is a little bit of themself. A bread crumb of their existence. An insight into why they write what they write, and where it comes from.
5. PoojaG: Lifesfinewhine: Beauty Blogger + Lifestyle Blogger+ Food Blogger+ Travel Blogger+ Recipe Blogger. PoojaG has recently reached 14k WordPress followers. What an excellent achievement.
6. Brandon Knoll: Chaotic Shapes – Art and Lifestyle by Brandon Knoll. This blog features shared videos/photos, portfolio of his works, quotes and more.
7. JoelSolomonTekenate: Inspiring the Reader -Joel Solomon Tekenate is a recording music artiste, a songwriter, a poet, a novelist, a health coach and a motivational speaker. His current inspirations come from what he calls “Deep Heart Diving”. He believes that the answers have always been within. Thus, everyday he dives the deep of his heart to bring out answers for those who are ready to hear them. He is a prolific writer, who has written several books and he is committed to the job of inspiring the Reader.
8. Geri Dreiling Eclectic content for curious minds The good. The bad. The struggling. My urban gardening adventures Geri loves to write, read, and travel. Geri is always working on a book, reading a book, gardening.
9. RTW Roxy: Roxy is a girl travelling around the world on a motorcycle. Roxy blogs about her adventures around the globe on her motorbike.
10. The Wellness Warrior – Finding balance: Kelly created her blog to serve as a space to document and record her personal growth. This insightful blog covers categories from lifestyle hacks, emotional health, fitness, and more.
11. H.J. TANNER: widow. mum. professional juggler. A blog about a widowed parent to two children. This blog covers topics from widowed parenting, death, widowed life and more.
- What is the biggest difference in your life post-blogging?
- How do you attract new readers?
- Would you encourage other people to make their blog?
- How do you motivate yourself to keep the blog up
- What do you find the most frustrating aspect of blogging?
- Have you met anyone interesting/famous on your blogging journey?
- What has been your most successful post? Why do you think it was appealing?
- What accomplishment are you most proud of?
- When you’re having a bad day, what do you do to make yourself feel better?
- What’s the most beautiful place you’ve ever been?
- If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be?
Again, thank you so much Samuel Ali for the nomination, we truly are honoured.