Hello everyone, back by popular demand, it’s Featured Writer Friday!! I have some great stuff planned for FWF, at first, we’ll start with the written version, but I’ll have an audio version coming in the near future… So keep checking back!!

Hi. I’m Ashley and I am a Freelance Graphic Designer and Etsy Shop owner who also happens to have a blog (aFierceMind.com). I live in the outskirts of Portland, Oregon in a small town where I was born and raised. I’ve always been an odd combination of creative and athletic. While my soul desperately needs to create, I also have always loved sports and physical activity. I am also a wife. My husband and I have one little girl who is six years old. She has been my greatest inspiration in starting my blog which features my life story in short story form as well as letters I’ve written to her since the day she was born. It’s raw, personal, and every entry is shared with hopes of helping others feel less alone and more comfortable speaking about things we tend to keep hushed within today’s society.

#FeaturedWriterFriday is back. This week's guest is @GGraphicsinc. Be sure to check it out!! Click To Tweet

1. How long have you been blogging?

My blog will turn one year old this November. Last November I turned 30 and it’s been a lifelong dream of mine to be a published author. When I was a little girl I would write in journals. It was my way of dealing with my feelings and traumatic experiences. I would also write poetry. But, it was always something I mostly kept private. I was never confident in my writing and never confident enough in myself to share those feelings. But, now, as a woman, as a mother, I found my courage, and so, I decided a blog was the best place to start. I hope to turn my short stories into chapters someday as well as possibly make a book out of the Letters to Siena.

2. Are you a full-time blogger or do you also have another job/career?

I do not blog full-time. I have a Graphic Design business and Etsy Shop I run. Unfortunately, I only manage to find time about once per week to write something for my blog.

3. What got you started into blogging?

I think turning 30 was really pivotal for me. I’ve been dreaming of sharing my writing with the world for many, many years, but something about turning 30 gave me that final feeling of confidence I needed to take a leap of faith in myself. I just feel like I really came into my own and suddenly felt so confident and comfortable in my own skin that any worries I had of other’s judgment was just washed from me. And when I wrote my first entry I felt the greatest sense of liberation I’ve ever really felt in my life and that’s when I knew this was something I just had to do.

4. What is your blog about and how does it help others?

aFierceMind.com is a compilation of short stories about different life experiences of mine. Anything and everything from the most beautiful moments of my life to the ugliest, most traumatizing instances. Each story is broken up into two parts. The first part tells a story from my perspective at that moment. The second part is how I currently feel about it and how I feel the experience has helped in shaping me today. I also include poems and, as I mentioned, letters to my daughter. The Letters to Siena are messages I’ve written to her since she was born. Things I want her to know and have when she gets older. Something she can hold on to and not only learn from but also have as a piece of me forever no matter where each of us are.

5. What is working for you and your blog? Why?

Twitter has proven to be the best Social Media to drive traffic to my blog. I think the ease of clicking on a link and the audience being there with the intention to read something others have to say is why it’s been such a successful source of traffic. I’ve also found a ton of very supportive bloggers on Twitter who are always boosting me up and sharing my stuff on their own feeds.

6. What did not work out so well for your blog? Why?

I think my biggest challenge is having too much on my plate to focus as much as I’d like to on writing. Being a stay-at-home/work-from-home mom as well as someone who enjoys spending as much time with my husband as possible, while running a business and battling some chronic health issues all make it challenging to find time to sit down and focus on writing. That being said, I am proud of what I’ve accomplished, and I try to focus on that more than what it “could be” if I had the time. I’m okay with taking it a little slower and know that as my daughter grows I’ll have more time on my hands. In the meantime, I’m not going to wish her away =)

7. What tools, programs, apps do you use to create your blog/website (tools that you can’t live without)?

Grammarly and Twitter are my two biggest crutches. And then WordPress hosts my site and is super user-friendly and has a lot of useful apps.

8. What piece of advice would you give to someone who is interested in starting a blog?

I guess my biggest advice is to just go for it! No matter how much you “prepare” beforehand, it’s always going to be a learning curve, but, in my opinion, there’s no better time than now to start learning. I’d also encourage you to really put time and effort into building your social media and following. Be supportive of others and you will be amazed at how supportive they will be of you in return.

9. What do you have planned for the future of your website?

Short-term, I would like to open a section of my blog to give others a platform to share their own personal life experiences. I think so many people want to share their stories and so many people would benefit from sharing and hearing other’s experiences, but don’t have the platform to do so. I’d love for my blog to become big enough to reach the masses and help as many people as possible. Long-term, I would like to make my blog into two books; my life story and letters to Siena.

10. Where can everyone find you?

Twitter: @GGraphicsinc
Instagram: @GarrettGraphicsinc
Pinterest: @garrettgraphics
Etsy: GarrettGraphics

I hope you enjoyed this post. If so, please leave a comment below. Your comments really help and I read and respond to each one. If you are a little shy, email me at dan@danswords.com. Just like the comments, I respond to every email..

I hope you all like the revamp of my website. If you’ve ever changed themes you know what a pain it can be!! I’m not sure if you’ve noticed, but I added another feature along with FWF and my normal Sunday post. It’s called Monday Motivation. You can find the first post here or the second one here. I hope you enjoy them.

Be sure to follow me on YouTubeTwitter, Instagram or Pinterest for members only content and some behind the scenes stuff…

To your success.