Wednesday, October 8, 2014

4 out of 100 // 1, Megan Graham

Do you guys remember how we all went to The Hundred and I came home musing hard about how in the world to even be a blogger, in real life and all?

I fully admit that I still don't know what I am doing, or who is reading, or even why. But I decided that maybe the best way to point my rambles in an *actually* productive direction was just to ask someone. Or someones. And who better than the lovely and really (really, in real life) wonderful women that put the whole thing together. 

So, somehow I conned them all into doing a little interview piece with me, for us, so we can learn a thing or 87 from these ladies. Isn't that so awesome? Let's buy them all kinds of wine and mixed drinks. Except for preggie Megan... let's buy her kimonos!! (She looooves a good kimono...)

SHHH! Listen...



How long have you been blogging? What inspired you to start?

I have been blogging for 4 years now, which is crazy. I was inspired to start after seeing that a friend of mine had a blog. It was just a personal blog for friends and family, and I thought, hey, that looks cool! I created one but never really posted until I moved abroad to England and thought it would be a great way to keep my friends and family back home updated on my life. 


You have experienced a number of big changes in real life. How have you integrated those changes as a blogger? Has that been difficult to do?

What do you mean by big changes? Like moving abroad, getting divorced, getting engaged, canceling a wedding, eloping, moving back to LA and getting pregnant? I mean, I guess those are big changes. ;)

For me it's all about balance and boundaries. You can't expect to have a public blog and share your life with people and then just skip the big moments because they might be too hard or dramatic, especially when they affect your life in such an obvious way. So with that, I am open and honest without over-sharing. The hardest change to write about was my divorce, because it wasn't just about me, but about another person as well. I had to respect their privacy and feelings but still had to be like, hey, this is happening in my life right now, it's hard, but it's okay. I refrain from sharing the really personal details but still let my readers know that a big change has occurred in my life and cross my fingers that people are nice and respectful. In the best case scenario maybe it helps others in a similar situation feel less alone. A similar situation happened with the canceling of my big wedding to my current husband in Northern Ireland. There was a lot of personal drama surrounding that situation that involved a lot of people. I shared what was happening but left a lot out. If someone has a question that involves more explaining I am always happy to answer private e-mails... I just keep it off the blog if you know what I mean. 

If I have a personal story that doesn't involve anyone else, I always ask myself before I post if this will help anyone else by sharing. If the answer is no, then I don't share it. I try to be very intentional with the things I post on my blog. 


You're pregnant!! How do you feel when you consider life with a baby and a blog? Do you ever get nervous about how to balance it? If you do, what advice do you give yourself?

This is a question I have asked myself many times, long before I even fell pregnant. There are two issues (for lack of a better word) that I am trying to navigate and those are: how to not completely lose myself to mommy blogging, and how much is too much when it comes to posting about your children.

I look to bloggers like Lauren, who I think do a wonderful job of balancing posts about her daughter, and other content like travel. It's easier for her because she travels the world for work so there is just naturally other content there, so I am not sure how my life will be able to accommodate such varied content but my hope though is to have a healthy balance. Who knows though? I might just let myself succumb to the wonderful world of mommy blogging... after all, those are some of my favorite blogs even before becoming pregnant. 

Then there is the much heated debate about posting pictures of your child online and over exposing them on the internet. I think there is a line, and what the line is for me is TBD. 


What do you love most about the blogging community? If there was one thing you could tell the whole world about it- what would it be?

The support. Hands down. Gosh, it can be such a wonderful, encouraging, and uplifting place. I have found so much solace and camaraderie in this community. If you feel alone, or are struggling with some specific, you can definitely find a place here. There is always someone going through it too and wanting to be there to help you. Some of my nearest and dearest friends were made through blogging and I am so grateful. It's what keeps me here


Tell me about The Hundred. What inspired you to do it and what was the most important part of what happened that weekend, in your opinion?

Well the whole idea was spearheaded by Lauren. She was really the driving force, although she didn't have to do much convincing for me. It wasn't about the monetary compensation (because there was none for us) it was about paying it forward. I do not know what I would have done those three years abroad without blogging, seriously, and so any opportunity to bring people together and help them thrive and find friendship in this space is a go for me. Not only did blogging give me an outlet to express myself, a community, connect me with other expats, but it also enabled me to bring in a little bit of money and help Stephen out when I wasn't legally able to work, or couldn't get work because I was an expat. I just want to provide others the same opportunities. That was what The Hundred was for me, and seeing people connect and learn about something that helped me so much was the best part of the weekend for me...and finally meeting girls I've talked to for so long in real life! 


Do you ever struggle with blog upkeep? If so, how do you handle days when you don't feel like posting? I get these weird mini panic attacks like I no longer have anything to say and my blogging days are over- do you relate?? How do you handle those emotions?

This was the biggest struggle, and hardest lesson for me to learn. There was a lot of trial and error. The thing is, when you take on sponsors, and people are paying you to provide content, you become responsible to those people and therefore need to be posting at least a few times a week if not more. That's a lot of pressure. I did that for a long time, and it was fine for awhile, but then it got to the point where I felt as though I was forcing content and was losing some of my integrity. I never wanted blogging to become a chore, and I especially never wanted to sell out. This can be a hard choice to make when you start making money, especially when you desperately need it like I did. But when I moved back to the US I made a choice to stop with a lot of my sponsored content (specifically sidebar) and get back to the basics again.


I still take on some sponsored content, but I pick and choose and I don't let it define my blog or how and when I post. I post when I have something to say. If that means I post once a month, or four times a week, then so be it. When I got pregnant I was extremely sick for the first trimester up until 15 weeks (aka forever). I didn't post to my blog or social media for over a month. And you know what? It was okay! My readers were there when I came back, and so was my blog. Who would have thought? 

If you feel like you need a break, take a break. It will be there when you get back and you will be a better blogger. 

What do you think is the most valuable tool for maintaining the integrity of your own voice in a world with a million opinions? What advice would you give to a newer blogger about handling these issues?

Welcome opinions to a certain point. Everyone has an opinion and a viewpoint. I try to avoid the hard topics that are particularly controversial, but some bloggers really like to dive into them and that's okay too. That is just not for me because I am pretty sensitive and also keep certain things closer to my chest. I think it is important though to allow people to express their opinions. While people make the choice to read your blog, you also make the choice to make it public. I try and welcome differences of opinion and never ever respond right away. I give myself a few hours and really think about what it is people are saying and why they are saying it, then I come back and respond. If people express themselves in just a mean and hateful way then I just ignore that ish because aint nobody got time for that. I consider myself a pretty open minded person and will allow my opinion to be changed if I think someone is making a valid point, but if I think people are way off base, then I respectfully disagree. 


(Yeah, girl. Tell it.)

Meghan blogs about life, food, fashion and travel over at www.megankgraham.com. She is expecting her first baby in early 2015. 

5 comments:

  1. What a fun interview AND a neat way of getting to know a new blogger. Thanks!
    xox
    giedre

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  2. You're so awesome! What a great way to get to know a blogger!

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