We have discovered that there are actually two Juliet Wilsons in Edinburgh and both of them blog. So don’t get confused! We talked to this Juliet Wilson…the one who is interested in education and poetry!
Who are you and what do you do?
I’m Juliet Wilson. I’m an adult education tutor – I teach Environmental Writing; an Introduction to the Water of Leith and (new this summer, hopefully!) Creative Writing Inspired by Nature for the Office of Lifelong Learning at University of Edinburgh and lead nature walks for the Centre for Continuing Education for City of Edinburgh Council. I’m a poet and short story writer and performer and enjoy collaborating with artists from other art-forms; I’ve recently worked with a film-maker and a musician on two different collaborative projects. I’m a conservation volunteer with the Water of Leith Conservation Trust. I also usually have a job in charity communications but am between jobs there at the moment.
What made you start writing a blog?
I started blogging about six years ago because I thought it would be a great way of developing an audience for my poetry and of also exploring interesting ways of communicating about environmental issues.
What purpose is your blog serving?
I have three blogs. Crafty Green Poet is my original blog, where I share ideas about environmental issues, poetry about nature and environmental themes, ideas for making crafts from reused materials and my observations from nature. The idea is to use a variety of different approaches to engage people on environmental issues. Over Forty Shades was originally set up for an art project that I started taking part in but gave up on, so now it is a blog of poetry, photographs and reviews on non-environmental topics. I also edit the poetry blogzine Bolts of Silk which I set up as an experiment in poetry publishing and which posts poetry from across the world generally twice a week.
Why did you choose WordPress/Blogger or other platform?
I chose Blogger originally because it was the platform I first heard about. However, having used both WordPress and LiveJournal since, I can say that I find Blogger the best fit for the way I blog.
Do your visitor numbers matter to you? Would you tell us what they are?
I’m more motivated by the number of comments than the number of visits, though I find the statistics fascinating for finding out which posts are popular and which archive posts still get a lot of visitors. Crafty Green Poet generally gets 120 visits a day (and up to 25 comments per post), Bolts of Silk 80 visits a day (and up to 10 comments per poem) and Over Forty Shades gets very few visits or comments because I haven’t really invested time and effort in it. I enjoy visiting other blogs and try to develop relationships with other bloggers, which I think is a vital part of ensuring that people visit me back as well as being fun in itself.
What do you think you could do to improve your blog?
I could do a lot to improve Over Forty Shades, for a start I could make it more focussed and I could post more often. I’m taking part in a number of blog-based reading challenges on Over Forty Shades this year and I’m also doing a series of photos of interesting buildings round Edinburgh to try and get more people to read it.
What plans do you have for the future of your blog?
I want Crafty Green Poet to continue to offer a variety of environmental themes in ways that engage a wide audience.
I’ve been editing Bolts of Silk for five years now and part of me feels that it may be time to hand over to a new editor. However I still really enjoy the editing and hope to continue for a while longer – posting ‘beautiful poetry with something to say’ from brilliant poets from across the world.
I have to admit I may give up Over Forty Shades at the end of this year to concentrate on Crafty Green Poet and Bolts of Silk. Unless of course the reading challenges and photos really capture people’s imaginations!