This week's interview is with Ken
who writes the blog Grumpy Old Ken .
Thank you Ken and a warm welcome to you and your followers.
(You were one of the first people I 'met' in blogland
and I just love your monthly 'alternative news' feature)
Here's the first of the standard questions. Why do you blog?
No single reason. I always wanted to be a journalist when I left school so I suppose blogging is the nearest I will ever go to that youthful ambition. Plus it’s a creative pastime that tests the old grey cells, always a good thing, especially for geriatrics! There is no pressure unless self inflicted. But the skies the limit, so to speak. How far you go is up to you. You can ‘dabble’, dawdle along at your own pace, or you can learn the technical intricacies and become an expert in the field. But no one will mind either way, it’s up to you. But one thing is certain. You will make new friends and have your horizons widened in a way you never thought possible. Other people’s blogs are often a joy to behold. Yours also will be one day if you persevere!
What’s the Story behind Your Blog Name?
An obvious play on the TV programme entitled ‘Grumpy Old Men’. And it works, everyone seems to remember the moniker Grumpy Old Ken. It is also an excuse to be grumpy on occasion, though I would argue I’m normally ‘of a sunny disposition’. Others close to me might disagree!
What is the best thing about being a blogger?
There are so many reasons. The challenge of something new; something 21st century; the friendships made; the knowledge learnt. All excellent reasons to get out of bed in the morning! A habit never to be underrated as the years roll by!
What key advice would you give to a newbie blogger?
Blogging is an exciting world, full of surprises. It can be very frustrating at times but capable of giving much pleasure. However difficult you find it at times, persevere, enjoy it, be confident that you will improve and you most surely will. Read other people’s blogs and learn from them. Comment regularly on other blogs but always positively.
Resist the temptation to show others how clever you are. (Unless giving help or advice.) Nobody likes a ‘clever dick.’ And never write comments ‘under the influence’. It might seem a good idea at the time but believe me, comments are there ’for life’ so to speak. Who was it who said, ‘I will speak ill of no man and all the good I know of everyone’. Sound advice!
Be sincere and be truthful in both your comments and your blog content.
Probably the most difficult decision for newcomers to blogging is trying to judge how much to blog, what on and how often. A common error initially is to blog on every conceivable subject during every waking hour. Basically we write best on what we know best. Obvious when you think about it. (That is not to say we cannot write about the big wide world but do so with care.) We all find our level and what suits us. I personally blog roughly every five days. I love blogging but it is only part of my life. Don’t let blogging take over, so to speak. The world is full of bloggers, now ex-bloggers who ran out of ‘puff.’ You must enjoy your blogging. It has to be a pleasure; NOT a chore. In time you will learn what suits YOU, both content wise and frequency of blogging. ‘Rome wasn’t built in a day’ is a cliché but also a truism. Don’t worry too much as to your own personal blogging style. It will come, believe me. You do not need to imitate any of the brilliant bloggers there are out there and there are many. (That is not to say we cannot learn from others.) Be confident in your ability without being arrogant. Be proud of your efforts but never, ever get carried away by your own importance. Don’t be jealous or envious of others. Take pleasure from other people’s blogs. You will find that the majority of bloggers appreciate the efforts of others, particularly probationers who find the whole thing far from easy. Incidentally, if, like me you find the technical side particularly difficult, ASK. (What is obvious to the experienced blogger is not necessarily so to the rather green newcomer.) The majority out there love to share their expertise. For even the greatest were once beginners.
I have been blogging around eighteen months so I am a mere novice, something I never forget. (I have all the books, including Blogging for Dummies and I can understand virtually nothing of what they are trying to teach me!) And if, after a while you become, in your eyes at least the best blogger in the universe, remember the days when you were a keen but ignorant apprentice on the blogging scene. For when YOU are giving advice to newcomers, young and old and getting pleasure from sharing your newfound expertise you will have truly arrived!
What is the most significant blog post you’ve ever read?
There are several bloggers whose sheer professionalism and expertise encouraged me to persevere. For instance,
A Woman of No Importance,
Fat, Frumpy and Fifty
and VioletSky ,to name but three.
But I have probably been most influenced by Akelamalu, author of the blog Everything and Nothing. This lady put together the story of her paternal grandmother, entitled Kit’s Story. I have been involved with an autobiographical work seemingly forever. In times of doubt Kit’s story has encouraged me to persevere, one day I promise it will be finished!
(How interesting that all four bloggers are ladies. The emancipation of the female sex has definitely arrived!)
What is the most significant blog post you have ever written?
None of my blog posts could be considered of world shattering importance.
I was pleased with a very early blog entitled 'An OAP let loose in the 21st century' (27th April 2008.) Remember, 'Pride comes before a fall.' It elicited no comments whatsoever!
'Health and Safety Rules OK' (18th Dec 2008) amused me if no-one else.
Similarly, 'Silly Old Granddad’s Night in the local' (26th July 2009) stretched my brain, providing me with a chance to air the oldest jokes in the kingdom!
Three not very serious blog posts probably soon forgotten.
But two blog posts that might possibly stay in the memory longer, a more serious side to Grumpy Old Ken.
'A City Shamed' (4th Oct 2008) in my first choice. The story is of a young boy’s suicide, which incidentally again drew no comments, plus, my second choice, 'Ted Arthur Roberts' (16th April 2009). These represent opposite ends of the spectrum; life ends and life begins.
If you were to suggest two blogs for roasting who would you pick and why?
Any of the three blogs of the ladies referred to above would make excellent choices.
Akelamalu's blog, Everything and Nothing, was the subject of the Sunday Roast number 10 dated April 6th 2008.)
Thanks, Eddie for the chance to ‘pontificate’, my apologies for stretching the rules. A geriatric privilege perhaps!
Note from Eddie: Some great advice here Ken and as you say, Akelamalu has been roasted. To see her roast press HERE - she is well worth another read.
Also, Saz of Fat, Frumpy and Fifty was roasted on 12 April 2009 and this too is well worth reading again - to see her roast press HERE
Today's Sunday Roast with Ken is the 93rd in a weekly
series of interviews with bloggers from around the world. _________________________________________________
This interview will feature in The Roll of Honour
for all published Roasts. To view press HERE
And finally, as from next week I am introducing five new questions to the column, requiring short answers. These will feature at the end of the formal section of the interview. These questions are light hearted and designed to introduce additional humour to the occasion.
I hope you like them.
And . . . . if all five questions are answered you get to ask me a question and put me on the spot.
Aren't I brave?
The first new style roast is ready and is a hoot, I promise!
And I have just recieved the additional answers for the week after that - very funny too!