This week's interview is with Jeri,
who writes the blog In The Gutter.
Here's the first of the standard questions. Why do you blog?
Why do I blog? To stay sane. You think I'm kidding! I really was at that proverbial wit's end when I stumbled upon a blog that made laugh and feel that there were others going through similar experiences. They just wrote what was happening around them and I thought, "I can do that". I discovered this whole new community and built friendships that have sustained me through some tough times. It's amazing how small the world becomes and how connected you feel when you begin blogging.
What's the story behind your blog name?
BBC radio has this morning show that has different religious leaders that give thought-provoking messages. One day while I was driving, there was a woman and I found myself crying at her message because it hit so close to where I was at the time. She ended her talk with an Oscar Wilde quote, and that quote became my title. "We are all in the Gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars".
I keep the quote in my blog description just in case there's any confusion for the people who may have been Googling for something else. My blog is 100% G-rated, but I get some wild search links.
What is the best thing about being a blogger?
Friendships - hands down. I have met some wonderful people who I hope to never lose contact with. I think if everybody blogged, there'd be less misunderstandings in the world. John Lennon could've written some great songs about blogging.
What key advice would you give to a newbie blogger?
Read. Read. Read. It's important to blog about what you're passionate about, but sometimes you really don't know where you fit in. I think reading blogs and seeing different styles helps you define who or what you're blogging for. Oh, and know that one day you will unearth a mean, little troll (unsolicited criticism) - no matter how non-threatening you are. Don't take it personally. Chances are it was someone who was scrolling through blogs and left a nasty comment without ever having read anything else you've written.
What is the most significant blog post you've ever read?
I've read LOADS of posts, wow, my head is swimming. There's people who write about taking time to enjoy life. I love those because they remind me what's important.
I've read posts that remind me to be a good human being, citizen of my country, or a wife or a mom. I've read blogs that documented the last months of someone's life - honest, heart-wrenching posts.
Two seem to stand out to me at this moment. One was Kat's sweet birthday post, called Happy Birthday, Dad about her Dad and his fight with Alzheimer's while her mother struggled with cancer.
The other one was Punk Rock Mommy. I found the blog after her death and I read the whole blog, beginning to end in one night. She lived a short life, but through her blog, she touched people, especially this one person, thousands of miles away.
What is the most significant blog post you've ever written?
In the terms I've just mentioned for what I've read, I have nothing that can compare. I've had a few of those moments where I finally "get it" and I have spit a few words onto my blog. I think the thing that I keep coming back to is how none of us can really see the big picture. Terrible things happen to us, things that might makes us cry out in anger, "Why?!" But years later we can see the blessings that came from that experience. I think the post My Dad Is Missing, from about a year ago was when I was just beginning to understand that.
Thanks for inviting me David, you're one of those treasures that I give thanks for!
Today's Sunday Roast with Jeri is the 67th in a weekly series of interviews with bloggers from around the world.