Vera Ezimora is a storyteller who shares her tales through various means, including her blog and her Youtube channel. Her style of writing is candid, witty, engaging and filled with original content and her take on current issues. You can’t say the same for most blogs. Also, having a decade of blogging under her belt is no easy feat. There’s always something new to learn on Verastic. We had the privilege to chat with her and she told us how she began blogging and how the journey has been since then.
For Creative Girls: Please tell us about yourself and your blog.
Vera Ezimora: Talking about myself is harder than it seems. My name is Vera Ezimora, and I am a Nigerian living in America. I wear a lot of hats in my daily life; I am a writer, an aspiring author, a blogger, a baby vlogger, and an entrepreneur. I am also a daughter and a wife, and in October of 2015, I was blessed to become a mommy to the most beautiful girl I have ever set my eyes on. She even fine pass me!
My blog, Verastic is where I share my life and opinions on issues that I am passionate about: hot issues, marriage, motherhood, culture, and gender [in]equality. It also serves as a gateway to the bigger things I want to do with my life.
How and when did you get started blogging?
I started blogging in 2006. I started blogging because I was an aspiring author and I loved writing, and I was so happy to know that I could have my own space and write whatever I wanted. At the time I started blogging, however, it was a low point in my life because I didn’t have a job, and I was not in school. Blogging kind of saved my mind.
You worked in Health Care until recently. How were you able to do all this and run your blog as well?
One of my favourite proverbs says, “Send a boy where he wants to go, and you will see his best speed.” I have always loved writing, so I always found a way to do it, no matter what else was on my plate.
In 2016, you quit your job to face your blogging career. What made you decide to do that?
Focusing on my calling has always been my dream. But it’s something that’s easier to dream of than to actually do. I got tired of getting older and still not living my dream, and I got scared that one day, I’d wake up and be eighty years old and still planning on living my dream. Having Ada Verastic gingered me in a way that I cannot explain. And I have been blessed to have the most supportive husband, Igwe, who has been standing gidi gbam behind me and urging me to go on, even when I start doubting myself (which is every other day).
At the time I started blogging, however, it was a low point in my life because I didn’t have a job, and I was not in school. Blogging kind of saved my mind.
Can you tell us what your creative process is like?
Process. Hmm. I love telling stories, and my mind has a way of finding a way to tell a story about everything. That said, I do have an app on my phone that I love (called ColorNote). I use it to create all kinds of lists, including things I’d like to write about or do a video about. Most of my writing happens in my head before it makes it on virtual paper. I talk to myself A LOT. I create a lot of dialogue in my head, and you can catch me laughing at my own jokes several times a day.
Do you have times when you’re out of ideas? What do you do? How do you keep your ideas engine churning?
Do I?! Yesss! Sometimes, I go on the blog and literally put up a post about not having anything to blog about. Other times, I do nothing and continue fishing. There’s inspiration everywhere, but sometimes, as much as I like the topic, it just does not flow when it’s time to do the actual writing.
What were the challenges you’ve faced since you started; especially now you’re your own boss?
There are lots of challenges. Firstly, I work alone. I don’t have someone who pitches ideas to me, or helps me respond to emails, or helps me create graphics, or helps me with accounting, etc. For now, I do it all alone. I love being in total control of Verastic, but I realise that this is not sustainable, especially considering the plans I have for the future. Now that I’m my own boss, the challenges have only gotten bigger. I now have to think about the legal aspect. My expenses have drastically increased, and my time has become even tighter because of Ada Verastic, but I’m working on getting help. The first step is to increase my revenue, then everything else will (and should) fall into place.
What benefits have you gained since the inception of Verastic.com?
Hmmm. A lot. I have gotten to do things like go to the White House (although Obama wasn’t there *sniff, sniff*); I have been paid by brands to attend blog conferences that I would have attended anyway; I have made some great blogger friends (although a lot of them have since stopped blogging, but we still keep in touch); I have – surprisingly – made money from blogging; I have been blessed to establish myself as a voice of authority and as a brand; I have gotten to share my life and opinions on several issues, and most of all, I have gotten to connect with amazing people like you.
As a wife and mum, how are you able to do that and run your blog efficiently?
To be completely honest, sometimes the blog suffers because I just cannot come and die. But Igwe has been a tremendous support system because he’s very understanding and not demanding. He’s not one of those people who would say that their wife has to cook fresh soup for them every day, although if he was that type of man, we wouldn’t even be married. Ada Verastic is currently 8 months old and she wants what she wants when she wants it, so I have to stop whatever I’m doing to attend to her unless Igwe is home at the time. Sometimes, I just have to sacrifice sleep, food, rest and even a bath, so that I can write.
You used to run a program called The Verastic Show. How did you get started doing that? Also, it’s hiatus, when is The Verastic Show coming back?
I started The Verastic Show during my busiest semester in school. I don’t know what I was thinking, but it was so much fun. I love talking and I love sharing my opinions and having The Verastic Show – just like the blog – afforded me the opportunity to do both on my own terms. The show used to air on Gidilounge FM, and then, my schedule really changed, and I could no longer do the show at the time I used to do it. But by the time I was ready to restart the show, Gidilounge had changed its method of operation to a way that was not convenient for me. But I am actively working on bringing it back. I miss the people. I had the craziest listeners and cohosts.
To someone who’s interested blogging or running a radio show or is planning to quit (maybe because things aren’t working out), what advice do you have for them?
If you are interested in blogging or doing a show, I’d say do it already! Don’t sit on it. Stop waiting for the perfect time to start because that time will never come. Don’t wait to know everything there is to know because you’ll never know everything, and you’ll learn a lot from actually doing. What you can and should do, though, is decide what kind of blog/radio show you want to have, and take it from there.
If you are thinking about quitting your blog or radio show, then do it only if you know that you know that you know that you have given it everything you have to give AND it’s no longer something that you like or want to do. Otherwise, you have to FIGHT, FIGHT, FIGHT. Remember that Walt freaking Disney was fired for lacking imagination and good ideas, and Oprah was fired from her first television job.
Stop waiting for the perfect time to start because that time will never come. Don’t wait to know everything there is to know because you’ll never know everything, and you’ll learn a lot from actually doing.
Read Vera’s blog at Verastic.com, like her Facebook page and follow her on Instagram and Twitter. She’s also a blog, brand and social media consultant. Contact her HERE for all your consulting needs. Check out the other hats she wears as well.
Read the rest of the interview on That Igbo Girl.
Featured image via Paosin Photography.