Dear A&L Reader, Can I Ask You Something?

Whenever someone asks me how long I’ve been blogging for, I always have to pause and count. Well, this year marks eight years of this dear blog of mine, and seven of those are official since it was initially private. In the world of blogging, it’s quite awhile. Why am I still here? Because I still have a lot to share. I like to think that life gives me an endless supply of source material, so unless my brain is creatively exhausted, I’m going to write. Funny enough I’ve never accepted or embraced the title of ‘writer’…until now.

I spent the first few years of my childhood telling my family and whoever cared to ask that I wanted to be a writer and drawer when I grew up. I know, ‘drawer’ isn’t an actual word, but that’s what I thought someone who draws and creates is called. In the beginning, I was met with polite smiles and nods, but as I grew older they were replaced with side eyes, eyebrow furrows and dismissive chuckles. Until eventually, I was told that I can’t really be a writer because writers don’t make money. Oh, and it’s not a real job. It was immediately crossed off my list as things I could be when I was grown up.  I still wrote, but only in my spare time and English class assignments of course. Fast forward twenty years and even though my job description as an art director didn’t expect it of me, I would often secretly do the role of my copywriter and write for or with them on campaigns.

You see, I’ve learned that the world likes to dictate how certain people should look, speak and write to officially be called something. I was always happier being called a blogger, well, because I had a blog. But, a writer – nah, that’s for people who actually earn a living off of their words. And yet here I am, blogging, writing and creating content for a living. Yes, in case you missed it in one of my latest videos I’m now fully self-employed and A&L is more than just a passion. I left my family-approved career path and I’m now travelling on a road of discovery. It’s more re-discovery because to be honest, I always told them I wanted to be a writer.

Speaking of videos, it’s been a little while since I shared my videos on here. I normally share a blog post when I’ve published a video, but the past couple of weeks I haven’t done so. To be honest, I’ve missed writing. I’ve been focusing a lot on other projects and creating different content and I hate to say it, there’s only so much time in a day. Yet, as much as I enjoy the other content, nothing quite beats hearing the clicking of the keyboard keys and my fingers moving to transcribe and keep up with my thoughts.

So, I want to try make this space here less about sharing my videos and back to the written pieces that you read. Having said that, a writer requires a reader to make the journey complete. I write, but I share my words with you here so you can read them. Hopefully, they move you to think differently, feel better, more informed on something, or make you laugh. So I’d like to take this time to ask you dear A&L reader for your thoughts. Any would be great, but if you need more guidance:

  • Do you prefer reading my blog posts or watching my videos?
  • What do you enjoy most about my blog?
  • Do you prefer catching up with me on social media? If so, which one?

They say that blogging is dead, but I disagree. I know you’re there (the numbers tell me!) so I’d love to actually hear – or rather, read – from you too. I normally end my blog posts with a question, and that’s to start a conversation with you. Of course, please don’t feel obliged to only answer that question. If you’d like to say something else, share your own experience or just say hi, I welcome that too. In fact, it’s what keeps me going. As much as it’s human nature to want to share a negative experience or opinion more than a positive one, it’s always re-affirming to get feedback from those who actually enjoy my content. What I’m saying is, and this is especially for those ‘silent appreciators’ (as one follower so eloquently put it), please don’t stay quiet.

And if my writing resonates with you, please do me a solid and vote for my work. Two of my pieces; The Right to Conceive and 5 Ways to Be a Good Friend to a New Mom have been nominated for an award over on Baby Yum Yum’s site. While awards aren’t the be all or end-all, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t care to win. I’d really appreciate your support.

There’s something powerful about connecting with others, especially in this increasingly connected, yet disconnected world.

If I don’t win, I’ll still be here.

Let me know either way that you’re here too.

Photography by Robyn Davie Photography

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10 Comments

  1. Noni
    June 25, 2019 / 12:38 pm

    I truly enjoyed reading this and I think you are in fact a brilliant writer . Please do share tips on how to get started with writing a for a blog and in general like writing attention grabbing content like yours.

    • Aisha O'Reilly
      Author
      July 2, 2019 / 10:40 am

      Hey Noni, thanks so much for your comment and feedback. I appreciate it. I’m actually hosting a blogging workshop next month. Tickets will be on sale tomorrow, so please look out for the announcement and details. I’d love to see you there 😉

  2. Makoti
    June 22, 2019 / 1:46 pm

    I’m a reader through and through and I enjoy your content. I prefer the blog more than the other channels. Maybe that’s because I only use YouTube when I want to learn how to do something, other than that I don’t follow anything on YouTube.

    I also appreciate that you have sort of stayed away from blogging about products. Most blogs these days are about marketing products and that’s not the reason why we follow blogs.

  3. June 21, 2019 / 1:48 am

    Hey Aisha. Personally I’m a reader and enjoy your written pieces so much. Yes it works with YouTube but reading is just my thing

    • Aisha O'Reilly
      Author
      June 22, 2019 / 5:47 am

      Thanks so much for weighing in Palesa!

  4. Ilsé
    June 16, 2019 / 8:17 am

    Ahi Aisha❤️
    I prefer you on all platforms really. However I appreciate your writing so much. It’s more personal and it helps me,your supporter/follower to see the more vulnerable part of you.
    Thank you for always delivering excellent and real content. Thank you for being transparent on all platforms, but never compromising yourself. I respect that .

  5. June 11, 2019 / 11:32 pm

    Hey Aisha, you know I’m a big fan! I don’t think that blogging is dead, but there are more avenues for content creation these days, and a lot of new bloggers as well. I enjoy reading blog posts, as it’s easier for me to follow along while at work (Shh, don’t tell my boss). While I also enjoy videos on Youtube, it just takes a lot of time to watch videos from the different channels I’m subscribed to (I like yours though, because they are shorter).

    I enjoy your content, written and video, but can easily breeze through a blog post and leave a comment. I don’t always watch Youtube on my phone, so it takes more effort to comment on videos, so…

    Best wishes on going full-time!!!

    • Aisha O'Reilly
      Author
      June 14, 2019 / 12:18 pm

      Hey Berry, it’s always so good to hear from you. I totally agree on the other avenues for content creation, the list is almost endless! As such, a lot of people’s attention is split. I do feel it’s always a little different with fellow content creators, almost as though we make the extra effort to leave a comment/engage because we know how important it is. Thanks so much for your love and support. Always appreciate the feedback x

  6. June 11, 2019 / 11:28 pm

    Oh too late. I already voted for you. There’s something about writing that let’s you express your thoughts in a pace you choose. You can stop typing and cry or laugh and go back again. As a reader, I also enjoy reading at my pace. Sometimes I read fast. Sometimes I take my time. I try to imagine the softness of your voice or the seriousness of it on topics like : hair shaming and the likes.

    I’ve been here since 2014 and I’m not ashamed to say it’s not every piece you write I resonate with. I read all of them with pleasure. It’s one out of 20 that truly touches something in me. That is a fact EVERY writer should be ok with: ‘not everything you write is hot cakes’. That is the only way you keep the authenticity and keep improving. It takes a mature reader to appreciate that.

    Art is alive. Writing is alive. It’s like buying an orange. The amount of sugar can never be the same. Sometimes you find a really sweet orange. Sometimes not as sweet. The truth is if you love oranges, you’ll enjoy it nonetheless.

    Many of us feel like that about your writing (I was chosen as the spokesperson at the last meeting hahahaa) We love your shared thoughts anyway.

    The was a time I was not feeling your blog at all. I was tired from my own personal life. And boom .. your husband wrote a few pieces. It was so refreshing. Just the right amount of his thoughts got me going again. I realized even though I am a woman, I was tired of women voices. I was missing a brotherly voice. He was just that. Things are back to normal.

    Thank you for that. Introducing new voices in the blog (not so loud that they shut yours down).

    You’re an amazing writer Aisha. You don’t need me to tell you that. You know this already. Keep going even if we get moody as your readers, we’ll always come back.

    I realize now it could have been better to send you an email. My comment went longer than I intended.

    • Aisha O'Reilly
      Author
      June 14, 2019 / 12:21 pm

      Thanks for such detailed feedback. I love that ‘art is alive’ bit. It’s SO true. Just like the people who create it, it goes through ups, downs, moods and all sorts. I appreciate your honesty, I can’t expect this space to only be safe for me to share my truth so I welcome it all. It’s constructive and noted. So, thank you. And thank you for coming back 😉

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