Last week, we introduced you to Holly of HAF Creative. Today we would love to introduce you to another member of the Voices: Write To Be Heard team. Meet Tiffany, the blogger behind Mrs. Pate Writes!
Tell me a bit about yourself and your family.
Chris and I meet at church six years ago, while I was on vacation. After going to Seacoast the first time, I couldn’t leave this place. Although I think if you asked Chris he would say I stayed for him, I’m not sure if I could disagree. Chris is a full blown Texan and I’m a Charlotte girl by way of Pittsburgh, so needless to say we’re quite an opposite pair! We have been married for almost four years, we have two boys. Holden is 2 and Guy is 4 months, so yes my hands are very full. I have a blog named Mrs. Pate Writes and I do blog and print design.
How long have you been blogging? What are your favorite subjects to blog about?
I have been blogging on my current blog, Mrs. Pate Writes for just over a month but in all I’ve been blogging since 2003. I blog about different things, my kids, what God is teaching me in this season, random thoughts, and causes I love. I try to keep the poop post to a minimum.
You have several years of experience in the blog world. What types of changes have you seen with regards to blogging over the years?
There are so many changes. Now blogs have ads, giveaways, bloggers have shops, are writing books, doing tv interviews, and being “sponsored” by companies and non-profits. Blogging is a totally different world than it used to be. The good thing about all these changes is bloggers are really starting to see that their little piece of internet can be impactful. Many bloggers are starting to really grab onto that and make a difference.
As the writer behind "Mrs. Pate Writes", how do you feel that your writing can influence others? In what ways do you think that having a blog can make an impact in the community?
I try very hard to keep two things in mind as I blog - would my boys be proud of what their mom did and am I adding to the negativity of the world or fighting against it. I think if something ever happened to me and I was gone would my boys be able to read my blog and know who I was. Know what I stood up for. Know how much I loved them, their dad, and wanted to make a difference. I write to influence my babies, there is a very good chance that they will be able to one day read everything I ever wrote. That is a powerful motivator.
Having a blog is having a voice online. It might not seem like that important, but it is still your voice. Recently I really have been digging into wanting my voice to be impactful. I want to do something good is this world so why not use my blog? That is a big reason why I started Mrs Pate’s Blogger Bra Drive. There are ladies all over the USA and Canada holding bra drives to collect gentle used bras for Free the Girls. Free the Girls is a nonprofit that provides these bras as a means to give women rescued out of sex trafficking a way to make a living by selling them. Every day, there are women all over tweeting about the bras they collected, emailing me wanting to know more info, or telling me what their running bra totals are. I have sat and cried that so many women jumped into some because I asked. You can influence others with your voice, especially if you are passionate about what you’re saying.
Share a little with us about what being a part of Voices: Write To Be Heard means for you.
Being a part of Voices is huge for me. With this group you have women in your corner wanting you to be better, to succeed, and to push yourself in your writing. Having a group that wants you to get better at what you love, and love what you love is a huge benefit. I’ve always wrote and wanted to be a writer, but like many writers I have that little voice in the back of my head telling me I’m not good enough. Having a community of women that are able to call themselves writers not only gives me the guts to call myself a writer, but makes me want to write better. I really am truly blessed to be in this group.
There are all types of blogs out there - faith based, DIY, parenting, cooking, and so on. Regardless of the "niche", behind every blog is a writer. In the years you have been blogging, what have you seen in other blogs that you would regard as a writing "pet peeve"? How do you think writers could avoid falling into these habits?
My writing “pet peeve”, oh goodness. My biggest pet peeves are actually something that I find myself doing all the time. One is a “writing” issue and one is a “blog” issue. The first would be starting every sentence with “I”. I did this. I did that. I went here. It drives me crazy, but it is a problem for me too. When you write in the first person it becomes so easy to use “I” over and over.
My “blog” pet peeve is another issue for me, it is when bloggers lose their voice. I’m totally guilty of this. When a person reads your blog, they get connected to you; they come back wanting to read more about you, more of your writing. Stick with your voice. A sweet blogger lady friend of mine gave me the wisest advice “just because everyone else is doing it doesn’t mean you have to.” Really take time to figure out what you want your little piece of the internet to be like. You are not always going to be consistent with it, no one is, just know where you are going and try stick to it. Whatever your voice is, stay strong in it. Just because the blog trend is to do giveaways, ads, and run a shop does not mean you have to. Do not blog for follower, blog for yourself.
If you had to give one bit of advice to someone who was an aspiring writer, what would it be?
It would go back to taking time to find your voice. Your voice is going to change as your grow and that’s okay, but be true to yourself, whoever that is. Grammar and sentence structure can be changed and the heart of your writing can still be there. Also, write. As simple as it sounds it is hard. For me it can be exhausting to write, or I can be too exhausted to even think about writing. What helps me is to keep a list in my phone of those little “great” sentences that randomly pop in my head.
Thank you so much, Tiffany, for sharing with us here today! You can learn more about Tiffany over at her blog, Mrs. Pate Writes!