So many brilliant bloggers are authors, journalists, aspiring novelists or poets. Some can consider themselves "just" bloggers and don't acknowledge what stars they are. Others wouldn't want to work for a 'dead tree' publication in a million years.
But do any of these writers reflect on the influence their words have had often enough? No, I'm not sure that they do.
So, in a bid to celebrate the achievements of blogging writers - however major or minor they consider them - I have put together a meme, which I am imaginatively naming the "Call Yourself a Writer?" meme.
This is how it goes, with my answers included, to get the ball rolling:
Which words do you use too much in your writing?
Which words do you consider overused in stuff you read?
Every parent's nightmare. Every girl's dream.
What's your favourite piece of writing by you?
What blog post do you wish you'd written?
Also - mostly anything by Keris.
Regrets, do you have a few? Is there anything you wish you hadn't written?
Plenty. A piece about a woman feeding her husband a cat food pie springs to mind. This was considered a great tabloid story at the time, as it filled most of a front-of-the-book page of a redtop, but I know it caused hurt and I can't bear that.
How has your writing made a difference? What do you consider your most important piece of writing?
I consider myself a very average person, with average concerns, so have been bowled over by the response when I have spoken up about issues which have affected my life, as other people tell me what I have written has touched them and helped them in some way.
When I worked for regional papers, I worked on various campaigns and the most notable was with the parents of a girl who died after being hit by a stolen car.
They campaigned for justice and a change in the law. It went to Parliament and they were as satisfied as they could be with the result. I worked closely with them and my reports helped swell their petition.
Years ago, I also remember interviewing one of the Birmingham Six, Paddy Hill and it was at a time when they were starting to say a lot more publicly than had been said before and I took a great deal of professional pride in seeing my story picked up so widely. More recently I reported on online memorials for The Guardian, this was by no means a major piece, but as a result of it being written calls were made for a code of conduct and awareness was raised on the ethics of dealing with bereaved people.
Also more recently, my blog about twins and multiple births, here at You've Got Your Hands Full, has been very rewarding as I have seen parents seek information they haven't been able to find elsewhere and that's also thanks to Becky.
Name three favourite words
I love you/You are beautiful
...And three words you're not so keen on
Gah, meh, eep.
Do you have a writing mentor, role model or inspiration?
Going back 20 years, my journalism course tutor, Brian Mason. I can still hear his voice in my head sometimes now when I start to write something. He's usually asking if it has to be that crap. More recently bloggers/authors/journalists Alice Castle and Jane Alexander have shown me unstinting support and encouragement when I have dared to show them stuff previously hidden away and I will be forever grateful for the confidence they have given me when it comes to more creative writing endeavours. In between, I should namecheck Mark, Gyppo, Nick Daws and others at My Writers Circle who have offered valuable constructive criticism on various bits and bobs over a couple of years.I'm inspired in real life by the very talented writer behind Fourdownmumtogo. A piece she wrote about a close family member's illness should have been showered with awards, in my humble opinion.
What's your writing ambition?
At work - to keep on in these tough times. Outside of work, rather predictably, I'd love to find time (sorry make that, make time) to work on a novel.
Plug alert! List any work you would like to tell your readers about:
My oh-so-modestly titled book - The Greatest Freelance Writing Tips in The World.
TwitterTitters - a charity collection of new comedy writing. It was pulled together and published in under a month (and it shows) but we wanted to try something new and boost Comic Relief. It includes an expletive-filled short story from me, plus other works by some excellent and exciting new talent.
While I'm at it - please visit www.havealovelytime.com - for holiday and activity reports by parents for parents.
So now I'm tagging some of the people who have inspired this meme. Here's hoping they don't all ignore me.
(I've done double as I consider this a 'first round' like the one in Deal or No Deal where they get to open twice as many boxes.)
I'd also like to throw it open to all the members of the British Mummy Bloggers' Writing group in the hope we can get to know each other better.
If you have time to do this meme, then please link to my original, then link to three to five other bloggers and pass it on, asking them to answer your questions and link to you. You can add, remove or change one question as you go. You absolutely do not have to be what you may think of as a "published" or "successful" writer to respond to this meme, I hope people can take the time to reflect on what their blogging has brought them and how it has been useful to others.
I've been tagged by Dulwich Divorcee, Nixdminx and Parentdish on a couple of memes already doing the rounds. But I have rather pathetically opted to do a new one instead for now. I hope I can still do the others but every time I have tried to pass them on in the past, I've ended up asking people who have already done it or largely been ignored. Gah, meh and eep.