Carol, you are a sweet positive minded soul that I’ve been fortunate to connect with in this place. I would like to thank you for all your support, for your beautiful posts infused with wisdom and love. It’s been a pleasure relating with you.
A Bit About Me
My name is Carol and I am the eldest of seven children. My parents came from the West Indies but I am a UK citizen. Now I’m grateful to God that I live in a democratic country with a stable economy. I appreciate the blessing of being able to worship Him freely, without fear of persecution. I do however wish I lived somewhere more exciting, somewhere exotic, with palm trees, blue skies, balmy seas, and some sunshine. Lots of sunshine! Alas, I must settle instead for the boring gray skies of London.
Now if you saw me with my family and loved ones, particularly at celebrations, you’d probably find me at my most bubbly and jocular. My default nature, however, is quite shy and introverted. I do love to play practical jokes. Many times, I’ve left a non-food item in a biscuit packet, to be discovered by my peckish husband. I smile as I write this because there was a recent incident when I went to help myself to what I thought was the last piece of cake, only to discover that the box held a small onion. Yep! He played me at my own game!
I suppose I’m really a loner and enjoy solitary pastimes such as reading, writing, gardening and brain-training. I also love to travel (sunny climes only) and have enjoyed some wonderful holidays abroad.
Looking back at my life, the achievements of which I’m most proud are:
- Attending university as a mature student and obtaining my Honours degree in English (literature).
- Spending approximately 5-6 years as a volunteer editor for a Christian Women’s magazine and overseeing the production of some rather wonderful issues. In fact, the very first one I’d produced as lead editor was said to have been one of the very best in the magazine’s history!
- Faithfully serving my dearly beloved mother before she passed away in September last year.
Now, this last achievement would perhaps not be meaningful to anyone else but I am proud to have been there for my mother. I loved Mum to bits and miss her so much (Father God, give her a hug for me please).
I am quite handy with a sewing machine, having been taught dressmaking (exceedingly well), by my mother. When I became unemployed, I started making clothes to order, as well as a few bridesmaids and wedding dresses. This was fine when I lived at home but when I moved out, I couldn’t survive on the income (or lack of it!). And this reminds me of yet another achievement I’m very proud of—I made my own wedding dress.
I work for a Human Rights charity that provides support and holistic services to victims of torture. I am an administrator within a team that produces forensic reports for lawyers. These reports assist the victims with their asylum claims.
The statements of torture survivors and the medico-legal reports our doctors prepare, documenting evidence of torture, make for distressing reading. I’ve never really had the stomach for boxing, wrestling, and gratuitously violent films but since working for this charity, I absolutely cannot bear watching these types of entertainment.
After a day at the office, I usually need a dose of comedy to end my evenings. My DVD box set of Friends (a present from my dear hubby), supplies this fix. I have to admit that I’ve become hopelessly addicted!
Would you believe, I had absolutely no intention of becoming a blogger, or jumping on the social media bandwagon? Negative media coverage about trolls etc convinced me to stay away from all that jazz. Besides, the idea of making virtual friends seemed laughable to me. The only nod I’d made to this was to sign up at LinkedIn. After all, it was a professional site, so that’s ok, right? I set up my profile but that was basically it. I didn’t join any groups. Didn’t really try to grow my network. Boy, was I foolish!
And if anyone had told me approx 15 months ago that I’d become a blogger, I’d never have believed. And yet here I am. The owner of not just one blog but two!
So what caused this change of heart? It was a need to do something for myself. For years and years and years, I’d cherished a dream of becoming a writer. I loved to write and felt I had a gift. And for quite some time, I’d begun to feel like the character in the Bible, who instead of using his talent had buried it.
As already mentioned, I was a part-time carer for my mother and a full-time employee. I felt my life was slipping by, my time being largely taken up with meeting the needs or demands of others. I was desperate to do something for myself. The only slightly redeeming factor in this scenario, was that over many years I’d been working little by little on a writing project and was close to completing it.
I’d always had a desire to reach out to and encourage women, and believed God’s purpose for my life lay in this direction. Yet I’d done practically nothing about this. A series of incidents made me realize I had to begin doing something now, or else I could find myself standing before my Maker feeling thoroughly ashamed for wasting the gift I’d been given, for failing to pursue my purpose. I couldn’t afford to waste any more time waiting for circumstances to be ideal.
So, having finally completed my draft manuscript and researched how to self-publish, I discovered that I needed a market. The horror of horrors, experts advised blogging and social media—the very things at which I’d turned up my nose!
I began thinking. How many times have I agonized over the fact that I wasn’t writing regularly? And how many times was I beating myself up for not moving in the direction of my purpose? Instead of waiting for opportunities to come to me, why not make my own opportunities? Why not start blogging and use this medium as a way to address my two issues of concern? Why not sow this small seed and see how the Lord uses it and watch where it takes me? So here I am!
Now if you are interested in reading how I came to choose the names for my two blogs, you may do so here: https://apurposedrivenachiever.wordpress.com/2016/12/21/whats-in-a-name/.
Blogging – takes hard work and commitment!
What motivates me to continue with blogging? Several things. A desire to improve as a writer. Not wanting to let down my followers and visitors. My need to build a platform. Then of course, there are my reasons for starting to blog in the first place.
Would I recommend blogging? Absolutely! However, make sure your motive for starting one is not just about numbers and popularity, else you may not last. Make sure you have a passion that drives you otherwise you will not only run out of ideas but also out of steam. And pace yourself. Work out what schedule you can comfortably maintain and don’t feel you need to copy the posting frequency of others. Try to strike a balance between your blogging duties and your personal life. Blogging is addictive and if you let it, can take over your entire life.
Because of my perfectionist leanings and because life sometimes gets in the way, I don’t post as regularly, as I would like. That’s why I appreciate all readers who honour me with their visits. I particularly appreciate those who leave their comments and likes, since I do work hard and spend a lot of time preparing my posts and these are the only form of feedback I receive.
As previously mentioned, I have two blogs: A Purpose-driven achiever and Women of Warfare! It’s difficult to pick out my favourite posts. The two which I feel will appeal most to creative writers/readers of Jacqueline’s blog are: https://apurposedrivenachiever.wordpress.com/2016/08/25/quit-comparing/
For encouragement during difficult times try reading this inspirational post: https://womenofwarfare.wordpress.com/2015/10/11/im-still-standing/.
Or, if you are looking for motivation to pursue your dreams then the following post may be of interest: https://apurposedrivenachiever.wordpress.com/2015/10/29/unlock-your-potential/
I hope you have enjoyed reading this interview and trust the above posts will whet your appetite to explore my blogs further.
Thank you for honouring me with your precious time and thank you dear Jacqueline, for including me amongst your blogger associates and for granting me the opportunity of this guest interview. My first one! Yay!