Mumbai On A High

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A delightful guest # WTFOW#Writing Bravely

There are lots of bloggers I admire and often ask them for guest posts. This time I’m happy to feature Dahlia Ghosal who is represented by this most glorious, fuschia pink Dahlia.

I was intrigued by the picture and captivated by her style. I also found that she is not an active member of our tribe so I thought I’d feature her.

Over to you Dahlia

How long have you been blogging for? What inspired you to take it up? 

I have been blogging for just under two years now and I ventured into the realm of fiction writing five years ago quite unexpectedly.

Here I had been slogging steadily at my full time job, toodling along life’s well marked path making no detours except for an occasional movie, a book or two. Out fo the blue my baby sister, nagged me into watching a tele-serial. I did what I had always done – I refused. I screamed and put my foot down. But she knows how to get her way.

I caved in and instantly got sucked in. I binge watched previous episodes, current episodes and agonized ad nauseam over the coming tracks, twists and turns with a bunch of similarly afflicted community of obsessed fans.

During this time, I wasn’t keeping well, there was no diagnoses forthcoming and I was getting worse and the obsession couldn’t have come at a better time. I submerged myself in alternate magical world which spun crazily dragging me along.

Everything was perfect, the story, the tragedy, the comedy, the acting, the chemistry until one fine day – the hero got himself kidnapped (because he wanted to join films). Stop gap arrangements for the serial’s continuity were made but it was a shoddy job. Deprived of my daily dose of  pure magic I went a little crazy – Dahlia was born. She penned a spoof on the serial, some short stories and then once the show shut down abrupty – overwhelming curiosity about their future drove her to pen 500 chapters.

Not writing was no longer an option. Blogging seemed to be the next logical step.

Even though you are a prolific blogger you don’t particularly like participating in challenges. Any reason for this?

Oh but I do participate in challenges! I find them very inspiring and have taught me a lot and helped me grow and gain confidence. I took the A to Z challenge in 2016 before moving on to flash fiction and photo challenges. I would love to participate in more challenges but time is in short supply.

Why does a Dahlia represent you? How closely do you identify with it?

When I was a child, Dad clicked a photo of me beside a dahlia that was as big as my face. It sort of stuck in my head. When I began writing I felt it was someone else doing the writing. Given my background of scientific training, logic and reason, I couldn’t quite accept this new avatar of mine – obsessed by a show on the idiot box. I shuddered in horror at myself. It was easier to detach myself and blame it on Dahlia. Why Dahlia? That’s because my mother used to say if she had another daughter she would have named her Dahlia to rhyme with mine and my sister’s names.

How much time in a day do you spend on blogging? How much time would you advise a newbie to spend? 

In the first year of blogging, I was on a sabbatical and I almost spent the entire day blogging! There was so much to do and so much to learn. But when rejoined my job my blogging time all but vanished. So I get up an hour or two earlier to get my daily fix.

Since I consider myself a newbie I don’t think I am in a position to hand out advice. But I do feel, the time one spends blogging should probably be determined by other commitments and priorities.

Do you actively promote your blog on social media? Does social media actually increase your traffic?

Social media is an unchartered and unfamilar territory. I am further hampered by my need for annonymity. By now all friends and family know I write and have been lured to read a post or two, but most of my professional colleagues are unaware and I would like to keep it that way. Hence I keep my posts away from facebook. I am just getting the hang of Twitter but Pinterest remains a mystery. I am sure social media would increase traffic but I am not sure it would sustain that increase. I once left a link on my school whatsapp group – that day still remains my highest views in a day. But I don’t think any of them came back to visit again.

Which was your most popular post? How many likes and comments did it generate?

Ironically for a blog on stories, the post which got most likes was on art – An Art-Y Post (https://mysilverstreaks.com/2017/02/11/an-art-y-post/). It got over a 100 likes. It remains a mystery to me as to how it garnered so much attention. Perhaps it was shared by someone somewhere? Or perhaps there are more art lovers than readers on the blog world? Or simply because the paintings (not mine!) are beautiful and more engaging than my other posts.

A most sobering thought!

Any advice to other bloggers?

Don’t make your posts as long as this one! 😀

Cheers

Do visit Dahlia at My Silver Streaks for an entertaining mix encompassing riveting fiction, stunning photographs and a huge dose of good humour.

Image for BellyBytes

Image for #WTFOW 6 ‘I am taking part in The Write Tribe Festival of Words #6‘  responding to today’s prompt

Day 6 (10 Aug/ Thu) – Feature a guest – a guest post / an interview

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