Ann started her blog, ann's rants, in October 2008 as a way to distract her ovaries from demanding that she once again conceive something. Now, having recently celebrated her one-year bloggerversary, she has attracted 243 loyal followers and succeeded in keeping her womb fetus-free. Today we welcome her to injaynesworld for a brief chat...
IJW: Good morning, Ann. May I offer you a latte? A Chai tea maybe? It does seem a little early for wine, but what the hell. I won’t tell if you won’t.
Ann: I do love chai tea, and now wonder how it would taste with a splash of Meyer’s spiced rum…
IJW: I was excited to get your name for this interview because you have quite a collection of tiny heads who follow you, and I’m proud to be among them, and because you really are a damn good writer. So let the games begin, shall we?
Ann: Yes, but first thank you and second, you are a damn good writer. Proceed.
- When did you first begin writing and what inspired you to do so? I chronicled most of my childhood and young adulthood in journals. Sadly, I cannot locate the journal that spanned age 9 through 17. When I do, I have big plans to share it with the blogosphere ala Cringe
- The blogging world seems saturated with “mommybloggers,” and after a while many of them sound pretty much the same. How have you managed to differentiate yourself from the pack as you have? Everyone blogs for different reasons. Blogs can be an easy, convenient way to update loved ones about your family, share photos and recipes, show your boobs etc… I began blogging with the specific intent of organizing my writing practice and in hopes of finding a wider audience than my two friends who used to read my rants via email, and my Mom who still actually reads my blog. Intermitantly. My two friends? They still love me, but a year later they have better things to do with their very busy lives.
- Can you talk a little about your writing process? For example, how much editing do you do from first draft to published post? How I wish I could say I ramble off a post in fifteen minutes without much thought. Sadly, I’m a perfectionist. Not the kind that produces typo-free posts, but the kind that has to stop myself from analyzing and editing ad nauseum. In theory, every time I have an idea, I stick it in a word document. Then days or months later, I go back and use all or part or none of it in a post. In practice, I tell myself I don’t have to put the idea in a word doc—that I’ll remember it, at which point the idea disappears forever into the nether region of my brain that responds “Vinnie Barbarino!” when asked what day it is.
- You recently celebrated your first blogging anniversary and wrote an excellent piece about what other bloggers can expect at that milestone. What were your goals for your blog when you first started? My first goal was to showcase my boobs, but then I realized I no longer had any. My second goal was to write a humor blog—to make every post funny so people knew what they were getting when they came to annsrants. I made a conscious decision to keep my personal struggles personal, unless I used them in a humorous context (which often happens)
- I notice you don’t have any ads on your blog. Any comment? I am an anti-ad activist. (Kidding, I was actually in TV ad sales for 4 years) I think I’m on the waiting list for BlogHer ads, but I’m honestly not sure. I’m not focused on the business of blogging, and how to make money on my blog. My goal is to focus on writing. Many people do both successfully. If I start focusing on making money, I will obsess even more about how many people are reading, and how many are clicking and how depressing it is to get a check for 31 cents.
- I’m a new blogger, having just started in August of this year. What advice would you give newbies, like myself, for growing an audience? Unless your blog is hugely popular, blogging involves reciprocity. To get an audience you have to read and comment on a lot of blogs, so they will read and comment on yours. My advice is to keep searching until you find blogs you love, to make this reading/commenting process feel more like you’re building a relationship, and less like you are on a never-ending cold calling bender in hell “Hi there! Nice Header! Dude, I have those EXACT same TWEEZERS! Loveyoumeanit”
- You’ve written some charming interviews with yourself as a teenager. If you could interview 80-year-old Ann, what would you like to say to her? I am praying she does all the talking and hoping to God that she has some wisdom to share with me, but what I’m hearing 80-year-old Ann say to 35-year-old Ann is “SHHHHHHHHHHHHHHhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh”
IJW: Thanks for stopping by, Ann.
Ann: Thank you, Jayne. And I love the funky way you spell Jane. Or your Mom spelled Jayne. Now I really sound like a cold-caller, Jayne. Sorry, Jayne. Super fun. Thanks!