SPEAKER INTERVIEW: Maya Ganesan
Maya Ganesan has been writing poetry since she was four years old. In 2009, at age 11, she published Apologies to an Apple, her first full-length collection of poems. She has since been featured in several online and print journals and anthologies, such as Crab Creek Review, Hobble Creek Review, and Fire on Her Tongue (Two Sylvias Press, 2011). Maya has spoken at a number of local events, including TEDxRedmond, which she has also co-organized since its inception in 2010. Maya lives in Washington State, where she continues to write and publish poetry.
How did you get involved with blogging?
In 2006, a friend showed me her blog, introducing me to this new medium I’d never seen before. I was instantly captivated and, at her encouragement, started a blog of my own. My posts were rather insignificant in the first few years, and I barely blogged. Then, in late 2008, as I was entering the final stages of putting together my manuscript for my poetry collection, I noticed that some writers (who were sending me endorsements and blurbs) had put their blog URLs in their email signatures. I started exploring the blogging world once more and decided to restart and revamp my blog. I visited others’ blogs, left comments, and slowly began to gain an audience; and the rest is history.
What’s your favorite technology to help you blog/write/tweet/edit?
I’m not too fancy when it comes to creating and publishing content online. I use Blogger for writing and publishing blog posts simply because its interface is simpler to use, and it doesn’t provide me with as many options as WordPress does (I’m incredibly indecisive, so the fewer options, the better!). Also, I’e been using Blogger for 6 years and I’m happy with it: if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!
If you could travel back in time and send yourself a message, what would it be?
High school is not as scary and nerve-wracking as it seems. It’s not a breeze by any means, but it’s also a lot of fun. Also, make sure you keep in touch with people you meet online. Friends can come and go quickly, so stay in frequent contact with online contacts and acquaintances.
Any advice for young bloggers?
The best way to get up and running is to find blogs you love and find out what you love about them. Why do you love reading the sites you read? Write the kind of blog that you would want to read, not the blog that you think others want to read. You‚Äôll not only enjoy blogging more, but others will, too, because your posts will be much more genuine.
What do you think is the greatest opportunity for digital teens today?
The digital sphere is an amazing medium to use in pursuing your dreams. It’s so helpful in putting yourself out there and perhaps even discovering a new passion. For example, being an active blogger allowed me not only to share my poetry with hundreds of people, it also led to friendships with local writers and opportunities like a virtual book tour, interviews, and more. The Internet is such a great place to turn your interests into something more than just a hobby.
What are you going to talk about at the conference?
Growing up in Redmond, Washington (which is widely considered a technology hub), with parents who were both software engineers, it was natural that I grew up with the influence of technology and still can’t imagine my life without it today. At the Digital Family Summit, I’ll be speaking about how growing up in such a technology-infused world has affected my childhood and upbringing, and the unique opportunities it has brought me that I would not have had otherwise.
What’s next for you after the Digital Family Summit?
I am working on my second book! I’m excited to buckle down and hopefully put most of it together this summer.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Adam Gertsacov is the co-founder and co-organizer of Digital Family Summit. He wears many hats, including those of a professional clown, an author and publisher, an artist/educator, a non-profit administrator, a P.T. Barnum impersonator, a flea circus impresario, and the esteemed hat of the Clown Laureate of Greenbelt, Maryland.