I met Sadje when she started participating in my challenge, Writer’s Quotes Wednesday Writing Challenge #3 published two years ago almost to the day. She linked a beautiful poem and combined my challenge with two others, Write Photo, which Sue Vincent hosted before she passed, and now is hosted by another blogging friend, K.L. Caley at New2Writing, and Rag Tag Daily Prompt (RDP), hosted by Brian at Bushboy’s World.
I think you taught me to double dip, Sadje, and all my readers know how I love to include several challenges in each post. One thing, I noticed is that you had a ton of visitors before I ever saw the post. As a new challenge hostess, I felt kind of bad that I was so late to visit your post until I found out that you posted it for other challenges too.
As time went on, I started to read more and more of what you posted, not just the one post per week that I hosted. I fell in love with your writing, and how similar our lives seemed even though we didn’t live close by. When I found out that your daughter lived in Seattle, Washington, I perked up even more.
But, I digress. We are here to learn about your challenges.
What challenges do you host?
I host one challenge What Do You See (WDYS).
WDYS was a challenge originally hosted by Hellene Viviant, who sadly passed away and the challenge was missed by the community. So, I started it on a trial basis. The response was very heartening, so I continued with it. I’m on to # 163 currently. This challenge is an image-based prompt. I post an image every Monday at 12:00 am, PST ( Pakistan standard time) and people write their responses to it in a post on their blog. The premise is that when we look at an image, we all see something different in it.
I also ask a question every Sunday in a prompt challenge called Sunday Poser.
Do you have cohosts?
No, I host it by myself. Since I’m the only one hosting it, I feel that proper acknowledgment is due to all those who participate/contribute to this prompt. So, I make a list of all the contributors as they post their responses with their links and post a roundup post on Sunday evening.
I do that with my challenge as well. To me, it’s an easy way to say thanks and to make sure that I haven’t missed anybody’s post. I also hope that the other participants will take a few minutes and visit their colleagues.
Sunday Poser # 109
Here is a recent example of your response to your own Sunday Poser. I like that it is concise and well-thought-out. It made me think about how I look as I’m writing this post.
“Looking good; Is it vanity or a requirement?
Man or woman, I think most of us want to look our best, especially on special occasions. Some are more concerned with their looks and presentation than others.
For me personally, looking presentable increases my self-confidence. I am more comfortable in my skin and feel better. Spending time on my self-care, selecting proper clothes, and making an effort to improve my appearance has a manifold purpose in my mind;
1 It keeps my morale high. I’m more interested in life and people around me. An occasional compliment raises my spirits, and I am more motivated.
2 Bothering about my own appearance can have a beneficial effect on both my physical and mental health. If I am motivated to reduce weight, I will improve my physical and mental health both. It may result in reducing weight related illnesses and give the boost that a person in good health gets.
3 Looking good also gives us joy and increases our vitality.
I should explain that by looking good I mean wearing appropriate clothes, grooming myself, and doing what will be beneficial for me. It doesn’t mean that I’m gearing up to participate in a beauty contest.“Sadje’s thoughts about her Sunday Poser
I’m glad that you can’t see me right now, Sadje. My clothes are appropriate, but I definitely need to see a hairdresser. Cold weather adds static to my baby-fine locks, and it is sticking up in inappropriate places! Vince came by my desk and tried to fix it, then ruffled it out of place again.
What are your favorite challenges to participate in and why?
I am fond of doing challenges that make me think. Reena’s RXC ( Reena’s Exploration Challenge) is my favorite. Though I participate in many challenges every week. The easiest challenges are the question-and-answer challenges. You just have to be creative in answering.
Do you prefer participating in writing or photo challenges and why?
I like both, but a few just provide instant inspiration. I like Go Dog Go Café Tuesday Writing Prompts and they provide a few keywords to write a post or a poem.
“I get ideas for my posts from all around me. Sometimes I write in response to a direct question asked by another blogger to their readers. Here are some examples of blogs I enjoy. Fandango’s Provocative Question (FPQ), Di from Pensitivity 101 Share Your World or Rory at Earthly Comforts Question Time Over Coffee. In this case, I’d obviously base my post in response to these questions and mention the blogger who asked these questions.”Sunday Poser #105 Do You Give Credit to the Blogger Who Inspired Your Post?
In one recent post I read, you talked about why you started blogging. Tell us a little about your blogging journey and how challenges have shaped it.
In early 2018, a very good friend of mine, Dr. Tanya started her blog on WordPress, Salted Caramel. She used to send me links to her posts, but I couldn’t comment on them as I wasn’t logged in or had an account on WordPress. So, I created an account. But whenever I logged in to read Tanya’s posts, WP urged me to write my own post. So, on a whim, on 6th September 2018, I wrote my first post.
A few weeks into my blogging journey, I discovered the prompts, daily and weekly prompts.
When I started writing in response to these prompts, I started to experiment with my writing. I had not written poetry since I was in school and suddenly I found myself writing poems in response to different challenges. The same was with fiction. Many bloggers encouraged me to write short stories by nominating me to a chain of writers, together we would create a story whose parts were written by different people.
I also discovered your prompt, Writer’s Quotes Wednesday (WQW) where we find quotes in response to a topic and write our posts. This is a unique concept and it broadened my knowledge of how others thought about a topic/subject.
I’m glad you like it, Sadje. You and your blog have come a long way in a very short time, Sadje.
I remember when I wrote my first blog post in April 2012. I had no idea what to write, but I didn’t really launch my blog as an entity right away as you did. I love how you titled your first post, “The Journey Begins”. I also like that it was a short announcement piece only. Then your second post, written the same day was an insight into your thinking about blogging. That gave your blog a great introduction.
When the blank screen stared at my face, I treated it like a term paper and wrote my first blog post to no one about the difference between Google Docs and Dropbox. I received 11 comments, half of which were mine, and one friend’s. The rest were probably spam and there were no likes.
Yet somehow, like you, I was hooked! I was in the dark, and my blog was without form as your picture suggests. I had a lot to learn. At times, I used my blog to chart my learning curve and to gripe about the snags I hit along the way. But soon I met people and started participating in challenges, and my life changed.
In your about me page you share that Sadje is not your real name and that you don’t share private details about yourself. How did you come up with that name? Tell us what it means to you and why you chose it.
Fate played a role in my name selection. I was going to type Sadie, a common name in both eastern and western cultures. But I typed Sadje instead. I didn’t notice my mistake till I had finished making my account. I later looked it up. Sadje is pronounced the same as Sadie because the ‘J’ is pronounced as an ‘I’ and it’s a name used in western countries. So I went along with it.
That affects how I think about you now that I know the story behind your name. Sadie is more common in the United States and much easier to pronounce. Besides Grammarly would be much happier with Sadie. But SAD GEE, which is how I was pronouncing Sadje has an exotic appeal to it. It is uniquely you.
I notice that it is now Sadie on your About Page. This is what you wrote as your brief bio that publishes on each post. I think it’s inspiring.
“I am writing to express my opinion, share my experiences and to maybe provide some insight. My blog is addressing women at 50 (but men are welcome to read my posts), their issues and the questions that come up at this stage in life. I don’t aim to teach, but to learn together. “Sadje/Sadie biography
How has having a nom de plume affected you personally? Do you feel more like Sadje or your real self or is there a difference?
When I started my blog, I was not very confident. I had also heard stories of people being harassed because of what they wrote so I thought of not using my real name. Using an alias/ nom de plum had a very liberating effect on me. I could write my opinions and views freely without any fear of repercussions. Gradually I’ve opened up more on my blog and shared a lot of details about myself, even my photos on my blog. I guess I needed to feel safe before I could open up more about myself on my blog.
Sadje the Poet
An iconic bridge The background A dramatic sky I feel insignificant Among all this grandeur Yet what is the scene’s significance Without the spectator to admire it © Sadje December 12, 2022
At this point, I feel that Sadje is the same as the real me. Sadje is a blogger who likes to write poetry, while I in real life seldom do that. Sadje is friends with people from all over the world. She is quite confident chatting with them or sharing her views with them. While I’m not that confident around new people.
Your poetry has depth to it. The last two lines make me think about life in general. We are often humbled by the greatness of something or someone. In this case, as you suggest, what is the scene’s significance without the admirer?
Are there any challenge themes that you have considered hosting, and haven’t developed?
I think that I am doing as much as I can, by hosting two challenges/prompts and writing at least 2 posts daily. There is a saying, “Don’t bite off more than you can chew,” so right now I am content with what’s on my plate.
That’s great advice, Sadje. That is why I have pared down my blogging a little.
Are there any other bloggers besides those you have mentioned that you would like to give a shout-out to, and why?
In the last four years, I’ve made friends with lots of bloggers. I consider them my friends, much more than acquaintances. I appreciate all of them, some for their kindness, some for always finding time to read and comment on my post. Some for always being there with a prompt to give our imagination a gentle push and others for writing thought-provoking posts that make me think and respond in kind.
You have made lots of friends, and that takes a lot of time. It has been a hobby for you. Hobbies can be time-consuming and many times hobbyists become experts in new fields because they devote so much time to them. Some people don’t like the term hobby blogging, but to me, blogging is a worthy hobby and I am happy I started doing it. The value of meeting so many people with expertise in so many fields makes it a fulfilling hobby.
“Blogging for me is a hobby, but also a way to express my feelings and thoughts. I like to keep my blogging stress free and yet I’d also like to have a meaningful real life. Meeting family and friends, have time with my grandchildren, all is a part of my day.”Ideal Writing Conditions Sadje
In one of your posts, you mentioned that you keep blogging under control by writing your blogs a day ahead of time at night when your life had settled down. That’s a great idea.
You said in one post that you live in a third-world country, I think, yet your English is impeccable. Do you speak other languages? If so, which is your heart language?
I grew up speaking Urdu. Our regional language is Punjabi, but I learned to speak it when I went to med school as the locals didn’t understand Urdu.
English was our medium of instruction. Every subject we were taught was in English except Urdu and religious studies. We often spoke English among ourselves too. The dilemma of an underdeveloped country is that speaking English is a sign of being educated. So in my kids’ schools, they used to fine them if they spoke in Urdu. That was the reason that we sort of started speaking more in English than in Urdu. When my daughter moved to Seattle, my English changed from British to American English. I do make errors in spelling and grammar but I’ve installed Grammarly and tried to check before posting.
I feel both at home in English and Urdu but for certain expressions, there is no parallel to my mother tongue!
What else would you like to say to my readers?
I am extremely happy that I’ve found my second family here in the blogosphere. Every day, I excitedly open my site to read your lovely posts and comments. This decision to start a blog has enriched my life, broadened my mind, and made me a better person. You all are like family to me, and I am grateful for you all. I remembered in the beginning, I used to make grammatical errors and spelling mistakes. Many kind people gently corrected me without making me feel like a klutz. Thank you all for being my inspiration and my support.
I’ve never stopped making mistakes, Sadje, and I see mistakes in posts written by people with many degrees behind their names. Mistakes happen. I correct mine, no matter how old the post is when Grammarly or a reader points them out.
Didn’t you love getting better acquainted with Sadje and her two challenges/prompts? I did. I’ve been an admirer of hers for two years now, only half the time she’s been blogging.
Please leave her a comment and if you have a few spare minutes click on one of the links to her blog or to the folks who have inspired her. You might meet up with a friend who is doing something you didn’t even know they knew about!
Thanks for visiting today.