With all the negativity swirling around us lately (election, I’m looking at you!), coupled with the fact that it’s Thanksgiving week, I thought now would be the perfect time to inject some much-needed positivity into the world.
Last month, while my blog was being migrated to its own domain, I had the opportunity to talk with several female writers about their life and career. These women were not only articulate, but they reinforced my belief in the power of the written word — its power to inspire, to transform, to comfort. In their story, I saw my story. I have a feeling you’ll see your story too.
I’ll be sharing interviews with women writers throughout the week, starting with Sheri Silver, a writer who fell in love with blogging following the birth of her son. I asked her about everything from her hobbies to surprises about blogging, and I love what she had to say!
Name: Sheri Silver
From: Brooklyn, New York
3 words to describe me: mom, perfectionist, tenacious
Website/blog: Donuts, Dresses and Dirt
When did you start your blog: February 2011
1. Tell me a bit about yourself…what do you do, what are your hobbies, etc.?
I write for my own blog as well as creating food content for mom.me and Babble. I also do some ghost writing as well as the occasional freelance gig for other online websites and publications. My hobbies are roaming around Brooklyn and NYC, either alone or with my family, searching for the next great pastry, re-watching Weeds and spending time with my husband and my 3 amazing kids.
2. What inspired you to start a blog?
I had a surprise baby in 2008 and had been considering giving up my landscape design business. I put it all on-hold when Noah was born but then revisited the idea of a “next step” when he turned 2 and I started to come up for air. I am a passionate baker and love exploring the city, and wanted an outlet for my interests beyond gardening. A blog seemed like an easy way to give a voice to those interests and would be a fun, “no-pressure” venture. I became hooked almost immediately, shut down my business and am now invested in writing full-time.
3. If you had to describe your blog in one sentence, what would you say?
”Living a well-tended life — at any age” (alternate title: “Leaving no pastry unturned”).
4. What has blogging taught you?
That — at almost 53 — I’ve been able to have a “chapter 2” professionally, find my true calling even very late in life and discover passions and talents that even I didn’t know I possessed.
5. What advice do you have for new bloggers?
Other than the obvious (“don’t compare”/”content is king”/”be authentic”), the best advice I ever received — and advice I deploy before I start any post — is this: What is this post providing for my readers? Am I offering something that is worth asking for the time they will spend here? There are a million chocolate cakes — yours should be “the perfect chocolate cake for a midnight fridge raid.” I take a moment every time I begin a new post to ask myself what the “value” is going to be — and I go from there.
6. Where do you see yourself and your blog in 5 years?
It took me a long time to figure out what I wanted for my blog (advertising? Sponsored content?), but I’m right where I want to be and hope to stay there going forward. By doing content creation on other sites, I’m freed up to make my blog “my space,” to explore, experiment and (hopefully) provide fun and interesting recipes, advice and cool finds.
7. What has surprised you the most about blogging?
I’ve had many careers in my life and there has not been a single one that has provided the level of support and community — especially one so female-centric — as blogging. I’ve made amazing friends and felt such inspiration, guidance and encouragement. Though I’ve done many things, I would have NEVER categorized myself as a writer OR photographer. Yet I’m now both of those things. And I’m surprised to discover that “success” can be defined in terms other than money or title.
Thank you, Sheri, for such inspiring words! Sheri also featured So About What I Said on her blog recently! You can read that post here, and be sure to follow Sheri on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest! xoxo