The first of the standard questions. Why do you blog?
Blogging started for me with lurking. Although I can talk the hind leg off a donkey, the other side of me is quite shy and sensitive. So for a loooonng time I lurked. I didn't know much about blogging then and just read one or two blogs. Occasionally. Sometimes dad would mention to me to start a blog, but I always felt I didn't have much to say that the world would be interested in. Then for the umpteenth time, I fell ill. Ill for me has varying degrees but this degree was the lying on the couch unable to do anything but toilet and feed myself. At least I could do that. I couldn't concentrate to read (I love reading) so I read blogs more avidly. Occasionally I would comment.
In February (2008), I was well enough to sit with a laptop on my knee and type. So I started a blog to fill the long hours of the day when I couldn't sleep and when waking hours were filled with anxiety. I started to blog to write about all the stuff that kept churning inside or the good stuff I wanted to share with the world. I started to blog to prove to myself that I was still alive and would remain so for as long as I could. If I couldn't keep up the living bit, the blogging bit would be a bit of me left behind for others. I am glad to say that the living bit is as strong as it ever was now, as is the blogging bit. There is no danger (currently) of either of these ceasing! ;0)
What's the story behind your blog name?
I love the English language and how you can make patterns with it. I love alliteration. I use it to gently chastise my children - 'You Silly Sausage!' 'You daft duck!' etc. My name is Cath and very definitely with a C. It is the only bit of my name I am precious about. It is NOT a K! I get Cath, Cathy, Catherine (my full name) in various spellings. As long as it is a C, I don't correct. I don't know why - I'm just crazy like that. I also was until recently a psychiatric nurse. I have been all my life. That's working with the emotionally disturbed, unbalanced, mad or simply - crazies. (I don't really think that about my patients - honest. It is the labels they get stuck with.)
Anyway, some of that rubs off a bit and to get through a day sometimes you have to be a bit crazy yourself. So there I am. CrazyCath. The 'Reflections' bit speaks for itself. I am reflective naturally and I knew I wouldn't be able to write without reflecting a bit. Reflections give an image of what is looking at the reflector - and that is what the blog is. It reflects a bit of me. It is not a true picture of me of course, like all mirrors, it only shows a part of me. But it is still me. It is just a reflection. So the blog was named: CrazyCath's Reflections. That is what my blog is.
What is the best thing about being a blogger?
Without a doubt, the best thing about being a blogger is the friends you meet. This was not something I thought I would get out of blogging. I hadn't read many blogs and hadn't considered that friendships could develop. I have met the most genuine, caring souls out there in BlogLand, or the blogosphere as some call it, and I would not be without these friends now. Some I keep in touch with through email, one or two through 'instant message' on another application and still more through their and my comments box. Such support, such care, genuine care and advice.
Sometimes I want to quit for a while, because I am tired, or stressed, but then I need to give back a bit of what I have taken too and I can't be that selfish. I would miss the feedback on my reflections, the attempts at making some prose or at photographing, etc. It's the communication with others that is the best thing. And unless you are a blogger, with real blogger friends who have helped you through some really tough times, (which is how it is for me) then you won't understand. But to feel that wave of love, encouragement, support and understanding come galloping through your screen, totally disregarding the miles.... That is what is the best thing about being a blogger.
What key advice would you give to a newbie blogger?
Whaddya mean a newbie blogger? I am a newbie blogger compared to many here! I'll have to take that label off my blog now. That was one thing I did - I made it clear on my blog that I was new to this, so any blogging faux pas would be unintentional and accidental. Secondly, when people would visit me, I would return the visit. It is just common courtesy and how I was raised. I treated it as though some one had placed a note through my letterbox complimenting me on an article in the local magazine. I would write and thank them, or at the very least do a blanket thank you in my next article or write a letter to the editor! So that is one piece of advice.
The other is to be yourself. If you try to be anything else, it is false. So just be natural on your blog. Also don't get too stressed about joining memes and things. They are good and lead you to a lot of friends with common interests, but if you are like me, you start to worry about deadlines and returning visits etc. When you get to the stage that it is stressing you, you need to take a step back. I did. I do my memes and I enjoy them but I try not to let myself get stressed because it takes all the fun out of it. So be yourself. That's the best bit of advice I could give. Blogging is to be enjoyed not endured. That is my baseline.
What is the most significant blog post you've ever read?
That is the most difficult question to answer. There are a number of posts out there have touched my heart. Still others have made me laugh till I cry. There is an extraordinary amount of talent there, in writing, in photography, in art - all types of art. I seriously trawled through my emails and some posts to try and pinpoint a selection of significant posts, (I simply could not name only one post) but I just can't pin it down. So I will save you the job of listening to me going on and on and on and on and.... you get the picture. Posts touch people for different reasons. Are significant for different reasons.
For me, it is those posts that show emotion, like your recent one and others about your mum David, Suldog's post about his dad '14 years on', those who have dealt with illness, and still deal with it daily. And not just the sad ones. There are those that make me laugh so much, and photographers - there are some great ones out there.
The photographer who impacted me most at the start of my blogging was John in Norway with his 'Fotoblogg'. Since then I have found so many good photographers in BlogLand, there are too many to mention. It is quality writing I enjoy too, be it emotional or funny. I can honestly say I meet at least one post each week that is significant to me. Mostly because of Post of the Day because that shows me such a variety of blogs, I end up on a roller coaster of emotion on some of the days I get to all the posts. 'Basically, what I want to say is this: Take a look at the blogroll and bloglist on both sidebars of my blog.' There you will find where I have read the most significant posts. In each and every blog and more besides I haven't got around to
putting on my sidebar yet.
What is the most significant blog post you've ever written?
There are a few, believe it or not, even after only a few months of blogging. But at least this is easier than the last question! Probably the most significant of all is one I wrote early on, to my mum. Who did read it in the end. That one got POTD if I remember correctly and it is significant because I never told my mum often enough or how much I loved her and appreciated her. That post rectified that. Our relationship is far more solid even if we do clash.
I think we are actually very alike. Not to forget him, the post to my dad is significant too, because it is the first time I think I blogged a bit about my childhood memories. As they are to all of us for one reason or another, childhood memories are special windows on those magic moments. Unforgettable. And now blogged. There are two others. The most significant one of all time I think is the tribute to my eldest son. You all know him as #1 son and more recently, as the Firstborn. I do not often name my children on my own blog so as to give them some protection.
But occasionally I have and here I am happy to tell my friends that the Firstborn is Liam. And along with my husband, he is an absolute rock. My Firstborn, My Son is without a doubt, for me, the most significant post I have written. Along with Losing Me. Which was all about.... losing me. In depression. The DS-Kid (formerly known as #2 son) is called John and will probably want to know why I have not mentioned him so I have to say that it is the things he does for me which are significant, not necessarily the things I have written. So that is my Sunday Roast. Which, incidentally, I have every Sunday. On the blog and literally. If you have read through that lot, thank you (and well done! you deserve a 'I survived Cath's chattering' medal!) and thank you to all of you who have ever visited me because your encouragement and comments are often the main thing that keeps me going.
I treasure the friendships I have found as much as any friendships I have in 'real' life. I started off thinking this was a fad that would die out in a bit. Especially if I was writing to myself all the time. Hmph. How wrong can I get....? (I now insist on getting an internet connection wherever I can if away. The first thing I do is turn on the pc and check the blog and my email inbox. My life is now a double life - the real world, and the blog.)
Today's Sunday Roast with Crazy Cath is the 37th in a weekly series of interviews with bloggers from around the world.