Welcome to Just Write, a blog for newbies and fun bloggers, writers and photographers, where you do not have to be Patrick Problogger to have a great blog.

Carol before losing 32 pounds.

Carol before losing 32 pounds.

Carol after losing 32 pounds

Carol after losing 32 pounds

Hi everyone, Marsha Ingrao here. Today I’d like to introduce Carol Cormier from Toronto, Canada, one of my new blogging friends and a fellow teacher and administrator.

Carol, you lost thirty-two pounds blogging. WOW!

Maybe you can transfer that success  over to  Just Write and anyone who needs to can just plug in their computers and let the pounds come rolling off!

Welcome, Carol, first, let’s talk about your blogging experiences.

  1. What is the ONE thing that you do, that you feel has been the biggest contributor to your blogging successes, so far?

When I started blogging I was hoping to use it as an incentive to lose weight. I thought if I put it out there in the blogging world I would be more likely to succeed. I also wanted a platform to share stories  with my  family about my life.

I soon discovered that more people were interested in my weight loss journey than my past.

I lost 32 pounds and found the support from other bloggers very helpful.

I can identify with that, Carol. My goal is to lose 30 pounds by December. When I started it was only going to be 3 pounds a month, but I think I need to lose 9 pounds by June 30 to be on target. 

I’m not sure how successful I’ve been at blogging, Marsha, since it’s taken me four years to attract 1000 followers.

I think my success is due to a number of factors:

  • visiting other blogs and leaving a comment
  • replying to comments left by other bloggers on my posts
  • participating in a number of challenges
  • trying new things – I do mostly photo challenges now but I have tried writing challenges
  • posting regularly – I try to post daily but sometimes life gets in the way
  • not getting too political or writing about religious issues

I think 1,000 followers is great, Carol, but the important thing is that you are out in the blogging world comfortably and successfully without selling anything.  I find that it is really hard for me to post every day, so I think that’s awesome!

This next question is kind of a weird one when we talk about success.

2. Can you walk us through how to be wrong?

If you’re going to be wrong you have to admit to yourself and the world that you made a mistake. If you can’t do that you’ll quickly lose respect from your readers. I have the same philosophy in my personal life.

I’ve always apologized to my children, my students, my husband, my colleagues, and close friends when I’ve said something inappropriate or behaved badly.

Sometimes it’s difficult to do but in the end, it is worth it.

Admitting when we are wrong takes the wind out of our opponent’s sails for the most part. It’s hard for them to argue with the statement, “You’re right, I’m wrong.” hehehe

Changing the subject back to your successes, your background is much like mine. You have been a teacher and administrator and not a professional writer. Tell us a bit about that, Carol.

3. What concerns or obstacles have you overcome in your career?

Later in my teaching career, I decided that I wanted to take on more of a leadership role and become a vice-principal. I took numerous leadership classes and applied for positions that would help me further my career plans. Sometimes I felt that I waited too long to make these changes and that my age would be a deterrent to reaching my goal.

I decided to forge ahead anyway and took some risks that I probably would never have attempted at a younger age.

I discovered that I was very capable and I quickly found a confidence that I never knew I had.

I successfully became a chairperson, with added responsibilities, and loved the position. I’m still a chairperson today and decided several years ago not to pursue the position of vice-principal. The job had changed in many ways and you are no longer able to be a teacher and a VP. Since I loved teaching as much as I did, I never regretted the decision to remain a teacher with some additional responsibilities.

I’m also very much a person who likes change and a challenge.

Five years ago I took an online course so that I could earn the qualifications needed to become a teacher/librarian. It was probably the most difficult thing I’ve ever had to do but I learned so much and today my role has gone from being a grade 5 teacher to being the librarian for the school and having contact with all the students from Kindergarten to grade 5.

What an inspiration, Carol, to take on this challenge toward the end of your career. It’s good for younger people to see that they don’t have to stop learning when they are done with high school or college. They can start something new and exciting even at the end of their career. It makes living so much more interesting to keep learning. For those of you who might want to learn how to make a very simple gorgeous art journal out of one sheet of watercolor paper, click the link to her blog post which includes video instructions.

Evan does not want you to read his journal!

Evah does not want you to read her journal!

4. Tell us about something that you are not good at. Is there ANYTHING you can’t do?

I’m not good at diving. It’s something I’ve regretted not learning. It’s possible that it has something to do with my fear of heights. You will never see me standing in line to bungee jump off a bridge or sign up for sky diving.

LOL, you really had to scroll to the bottom of the list of personal successes to find that handicap, didn’t you? Back to ground level, then…

You're humor is starting to bug me, Marsha!

Your humor is starting to bug me, Marsha! (One of Carol’s macro photographs)

5. How do you balance your time between your personal and career/blogging life?

My blogging life is my entertainment.

Just to be clear, not bungee jumping, correct?

Right, I watch very little television since I started blogging. My family comes first, my career second and my blog is third.

Something has to go when you start blogging. For me, it was my full-time job as an administrator.

Your tip may be more doable for most readers.

We all have bumps and bruises when we start blogging. Not everything works as smoothly as the instructions say they will.

6. What one person or resource helped you the most as a new blogger?

I found the courses on WordPress were very helpful. Also, reading a lot of other blogs helped me decide what I liked and didn’t like in a blog.

That’s exactly what Steve Woods says as one most important aspect of blogging success – read, read, read! Good for you.

One last question, Carol,

7. If your blog or career ended today, what would be the legacy that you left behind?

I’ve never thought about leaving a legacy.

I know that I’ve inspired some people to take out their cameras and start using them again. I’ve also encouraged some very talented people to pursue their art when they didn’t think they could paint.

I guess my blog could be considered a personal journal of my life and perhaps my grandchildren will get to know me a bit better when I’m no longer here to share my stories.

Carol, thank you again, so much for sharing your story with us. It’s been a pleasure to get to know you better. I wish you continued success in your blogging journey and thanks for being part of my life.

If you enjoyed this interview,  you can connect with Carol on her blog, Mama Cormier, …. my journey to a healthy life, making new memories and so much more.

You will find some beautiful photographs and if you’ve every wanted to paint, she has some instructional painting videos, too.  Here’s a sample of acrylic painting.

A apinting Carol auctioned

A painting Carol auctioned

Your Turn

If you enjoyed this post, please forward it to your friends, especially teachers and parents or grandparents with elementary-aged children.

Carol's cup of Irish coffee

Carol’s cup of Irish coffee

Thanks again for joining us here at Just Write for a cup of coffee and a great interview with our guest blogger, Carol Cormier. Don’t forget to give her blog a peek! 🙂