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An Interview with Dave Donahue blogger and author.

Author: Carl Heaton
He is our senior instructor and originally from Manchester UK. Carl teaches our Web Design and Online Marketing Courses.
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Dave Donahue blogger and author took some time out of his busy schedule to answer some questions regarding blogging challenges and using services like Fiverr. 

Dave Donahue on amazon

Dave Donahue blogger and author took some time out of his busy schedule to answer some questions regarding blogging challenges and using services like Fiverr.

1. How did you get into writing?

E How website on macbook pro

First of all, thanks for the opportunity to share my story with you! The reason I began writing happened out of happen chance. In 2005 I came close to meeting my maker when I fell ill with meningitis.  My doctor suggested I begin writing to adapt to the cognitive challenges I was facing.  I began to write a journal but at the same time began to write articles for people on a website called Ehow.   Eventually my writing improved as did my memory and cognitive skills. I have to admit, it was difficult and I still face many challenges. I was never a writer in fact I always worked manual jobs my whole life. I felt that writing may be the only thing that would save my life and my sanity. With all the problems we see in the United States these days it’s so easy to get distracted.  In the past ten years we have seen a shift of work ethic as well as how many people view their place in life.  I found I was despite my illness getting sucked into the traditional thinking of life is tough and just deal with it.  The problem is it that type of thinking creates barriers to healing. Writing turned into my own cognitive therapy.

2. You have several books on Amazon? What challenges did you face in the adaption between book writing and blogging?

love me tomorrow on amazon

Dave Donahue’s books are available to purchase on amazon

Writing a book is entirely different from writing blogs in some definite aspects.  Writing a novel takes creating your own characters and finding a way to create a story. Initially I thought I wouldn’t be able to accomplish this and had a lot of ongoing issues with self esteem and wondering if I should even bother. I also had family issues, living in unpredictable environments, etc.  I kept at it, talked with different authors and joined some writing groups. Once I became a bit more comfortable with writing my blogs, writing a book seemed like the natural thing to do.  To date I’ve written two fiction books, “The Sunshine Murders and Love Me Till Tomorrow.”  While I haven’t seen the books fare too well on the market it was a personal achievement I am proud of.

3. What is the strangest article you have ever been asked to write?

Open bronze casket

The strangest article I’ve ever been asked to write is probably a blog I wrote for a funeral company promoting caskets. I have had some pretty bizarre requests, I have to admit. From writing about tractors to what are the best sexual positions. All in all I don’t think there are many general topics I haven’t written about.  I have met some pretty interesting people on Fiverr and after meeting some of them online, I can’t say I am surprised by some of the weird requests I have received.

4. Out of the many articles you have written which was your favourite?

surfer in wave

My favourite article has to be one on surfing in the ocean. I grew up surfing in San Diego California which is where I am from originally. I am a beach guy at heart and love the ocean. My dad starting me surfing when I was eight years old  and ever since then I have been hooked on the sport.  I went surfing last year in San Diego and had a blast.  While I don’t get to surf as much as I would like anymore, I really like to read about the sport and stay abreast of what’s going on in the surfing world.  I went in the Marines at 17 so my surfing had to take backstage.  Now, Im finding that family and responsibilities pretty much saps my energy as well as trying to recover from my hospitalization.  I feel there is a lot of stigma out there against people who find themselves disabled.  In a country where we are considered developed there are a lot of people who feel entitled and this can be disheartening.  I see too much of it so I choose to write instead of getting caught up with the gossip and trivials of others.  I see myself as a survivor and surfing has always been a great outlet.  So, writing about surfing always makes me smile.

5. What made you start using Fiverr? I started using Fiverr on the advice of a friend.

fiver banner

They said my articles could get more exposure if I started using Fiverr. Once I started on Fiverr at first I received minimal gigs but as I learned and became better at my skill I started getting more gigs.  To date Iv’e written over 300 articles for people on Fiverr. While Fiverr was a great start, it is only a small part of my writing endeavors. I like focusing on writing books, Fiverr is too commercial and it’s hard to communicate with buyers.  Makes things way too stressful.  Now, I try to steer clear of writing solely for Fiverr but it’s a great place to start.

6. Fiver offers services including “Critically review your college app essay in 24hrs” is using a service like that ethical in terms of it not actually being an application in your wordings?

typing college essay on laptop

I don’t think it’s unethical if the review is done honestly and not designed to just give a positive review. I think a lot of college students look to Fiverr to get people to do the work they just don’t want to do.  I can usually spot them and I always decline.  I think that’s taking it too far for a buck.

7. Overall would you say there is an acceptance of lazy grammar across blog posting?

woman turned off by bad grammar

In general I think people who may be decent bloggers may find themselves becoming lazy or bored writing the same type of content over and over.  I think it’s important to take breaks and not get overwhelmed and to certainly not look at the bottom line on writing.  I find writing to be a great way to express yourself and learn at the same time. For those who write and find themselves burning out, it’s best to hang it up for a while or reevaluate why they are doing what they are doing. Writing a blog with no direction or reason is a waste of time.

8. What is your process for planning, researching and writing articles?

My fave ideas for planning your blog posts

I usually research or read the whole article pertaining to the blog I am asked to write. I also try and focus on one task at a time.  I never work on two articles at once.  I try to write and research the best I can but also realize I am not without faults. I also try and go easy on myself so I don’t get overwhelmed and focus on the positive aspects of what I am doing.  The end result usually shows up as a well written article that is usually great content for beginning website blogs. I also check other people’s blogs and get ideas from them on writing style.  My writing is fairly straightforward, not a lot of variation. So, my research is the same, simple yet effective.

9. How do you deal with writers block?

stressed writer with head on laptop

I take a break.  I also workout at a local gym when I feel stressed from it all and come back when I feel clearer headed. I also watch movies, read a book or go to the store or take a walk. Writer’s block is very real and frustrating. It’s important at that time to take a step back maybe  distract yourself with something else.  Above all it’s important to write when you feel up to it and not when you feel you have to.  I hate using “have to’ and “should” in my vocabulary.

10. What would your advice be for our students at Web Courses Bangkok looking to break into blog writing?

wcb what we do

First of all, it doesn’t happen overnight.  I think that’s the most important thing to realize.  Nothing in life happens overnight unless you win the lottery.  Practice and ask questions.  Get critiques about your blogs and articles and use them in a positive light.  Writing is one of those things that takes a lot of self control and patience especially if nobody is over your shoulder watching.  The best advice I would give for anyone wanting to become a blogger is to keep writing, learn from your mistakes, take a writing class and practice!

If you would like to know more about Dave Donahue why not follow his author blog.

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