Here is an interview with Billie Zahir: writer, blogger and Twitter-friend of mine.
As a blogger, are you finding it hard to post every week?
Honestly, I don’t consider myself a blogger despite starting a blog on WordPress last year. I hoped, by creating it, I would be able to have discussions with others about the subject matter of the poems I wrote and posted. It did not take me long to discover, through observing other blogs and discussions with bloggers, discussions are not something which comes easy.
There is a whole technical skill set which has to be learned to create a blog so readers can find and follow your blog. For a while I tried to learn how. I got hung up on the whole concept if Branding myself as writer.
Eventually, I lost my drive and walked away to regain my focus. When I took the time to step back, I realized I lost interest because I was feeling forced to write to cater to the wants and needs of readers to be noticed as a writer. Which would be acceptable if I was wanting to be a professional writer.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying I would turn down opportunity to be paid for writing my life stories and personal views. I’m saying I won’t allow what I write about be determined by others. I will not allow myself be denied ability to write about any and all aspects of myself. I’m a complicated person who does not have all the answers in life. I love that about me.
Saying all that, I do blog-like posts on Facebook and Instagram and get the discussion I wanted from starting my blog. Additionally, I’m excited about using Medium.com which seems to have addressed a lot of the issues I had with my WordPress blog.
Do you find it difficult to think of things to blog about?
I never find it hard to find things to write about. How can anyone who reads blogs find it hard? I believe if a person finds it hard they either are trying too hard to write to please others or not reading other people’s writing enough.
How important do you think Search Optimization is for bloggers?
I believe very important, being able to write with Search Optimization is why I don’t consider myself a blogger.
As a Twitter user, have you noticed any significant changes in your connections to other writers?
I have made very few connections with other writers. I don’t think it’s because they are bad people, but the online personas of writers are not very pleasant. It seems to me they are always talking at people and never talking to people. On the bright side, the few connections I’ve made are wonderful. I find talking to them to be a genuine joy because the motivation for them conversing with me is not only for sake of promotion of his/her book. Which ironically makes me want to read his/her book even more. Hmmm…maybe that was his/her plan all along meaning they are delightful and uber smart.
Are you planning any novels/short stories/ poetry collections that you can tell us a bit about?
I’m currently working on a project to change the current norms being followed by many using Social Media. I believe right now it’s like the Wild West and there is a need for change.
I also have a desire to collaborate on a book with other Poets who have and write about his/her mental illness. My vision is all Poets going to Mental Health institutions and sharing our own poetry and stories with individuals then helping them write his/her own poetry as a way of coping. I am also working on a memoir.
Can you explain “The Eye”?
As a child, my Dad used to find my writing and get mad. The same eyes which saw the truth I tried to tell over and over and documented in writing again and again watched those words be destroyed time after time. The destruction of truth hurt. Took me years to accept I had a right to tell the truth I see with my eyes. That is why I like thinking of myself as Billie Zahir aka The Eye.
Thank you for sharing your story with us, Billie.
To check out Billie’s social media and blogs, click the links below