We are delighted to bring you another amazing and talented writer on the #WriterSporlight series. Her name is Ruth Zubairu and she is totally phenomenal. We love the way she has invested in herself instead of simply relying on her writing gift to become a successful freelance writer and blogger. Sparkle Writers, you have a lot to learn from her.
Enjoy our interview with Ruth.
Hello, please introduce yourself.
My name is Ruth Zubairu. I’m first a daughter of the King. I am a wife to the most amazing man, and mum to my two energetic toddler boys.
I am a Blog Consultant and Writer. I am also a contributor for the Huffington Post. I coach young aspiring writers/bloggers to become highly visible, celebrated brands and earn a living from their skills. I am also the founder of SheisComplete which is a community designed to empower women to live the best versions of themselves especially with regards to issues around self-esteem/ confidence.
Wow. Can you tell us how you have been able to combine all these abilities so graciously?’
Hmmmm. There’s really no perfect balance especially in the beginning when you have to be everything. From research to writing, to editing, to graphic designs, to stalking influencers and building relationships with them, etc.
I think of it like juggling balls. I try my best. But if for any reason, any ball should be dropped, I ensure that it’s not my relationship with God or my family that suffers. They come first, that’s my order of priority. For work, it depends on what’s urgent and important at the moment. Also, not having unrealistic expectations also help me to ease off some pressure because I’m always tempted to do more and be more. I focus more on quality than quantity especially with my blog.
What would you say is the biggest challenge facing the writing industry?
That would be the public perception. People think writers are people who can’t do other things. It’s not seen as a viable profession. Also, there’s the abundance of substandard articles/books which make the industry seem unserious.
Did you always know you wanted to be a writer?
Funny enough, I’ve always had a flair for the arts. I loved devouring books, fiction and biographies growing up. Writing was something I did in journals or church bulletins. Nothing on this scale. But I am a graduate of Human Anatomy. I had dreams of being a doctor. Hahaha
You write for Huffington post; how did you feel when your first work was published?
The feeling wasn’t even when it was first published. When I received the email that my post was accepted and will be published soon, I literally jumped around in my house, picked my son and did a happy dance. It still remains one of the best moments of my life.
How rewarding has writing been for you?
The rewards have been numerous. First, is the reach of my message. Getting emails from total strangers who visit my blog telling me how they were either uplifted or inspired thrills and humbles me at the same time.
Also, it has helped me identify what I was called to do, what my purpose on earth is, and that is priceless.
Finally, monetary rewards have also come. It has opened up avenues for wealth creation that before now, I never would have thought of.
The exposure also is amazing. Writing for the web has brought me to see things differently. And so, I operate from a global point of view. New mindset, new friends, new opportunities everywhere.
What’s the worst thing anyone has said about your article?
Hmmmm. I really can’t remember. I don’t really put those things to mind because if I try to please people in my writing, I’d lose the essence of who I am. Not everyone will like me and I’m fine with that.
Has there been any time you wanted to quit writing?
Yes o. More times than I can count or remember. The first time happened just before my first international post was published last year. If I hadn’t bought a self-hosted domain and invested in courses, I would have quit. I also had to prove to my husband that it wasn’t a wasted venture.
I wanted to quit because there was so much I needed to learn. And to have a personal blogging coach was very expensive. So I had to do trial and error. Also, I was as non-techy as anyone and found the html codes thing confusing. Thirdly, I was frustrated about making money through freelance writing on job boards. I later found another way to monetize my skill. Lastly, the time factor. I didn’t have all the time I needed to invest in my writing as I should because of my young children.
You are passionate about women and personal development what is the one thing that hinders women from fulfilling purpose?
One thing that hinders women (and also men) from fulfilling purpose is the thought that they must be all things to all men. So they are quick to fall in place, read the course Daddy suggested or do the business husband set up, etc without looking inwards to know, what have I been built for? What are my gifts, skills and talents? Neglecting this would lead to an unfulfilled life.
What do you do in your leisure time?
Leisure time is bonding with family. So it’s either watching cartoons with the boys, or spending time with my husband. By myself, I’d rather settle down with a good book.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Try new stuff. Take a risk on greatness. Reject the status quo. Look within and be true to yourself.
What would you say is your ultimate dream as a writer?
My ultimate dream as a writer would be to shape the ideals of young people all over the world through my books, products and posts. Leaving them with a reason to fulfill their potential. I want someone to say, “I am a better person because of Ruth”.
Do you consider writing as work or pleasure and why?
I think it’s both. When I’m writing, it is work but later when I go back to read my posts/articles, it becomes more like pleasure.
Any last words for upcoming writers especially those who want to become freelancers?
For those who desire to make money from their writing skills, I’d like them to spend time to develop themselves. When you invest in yourself, get courses free and paid, your quality of work will be placed above others and that is what determines success as a freelancer. Ensure that your work is error-free and always carry a touch of excellence.
Build great networks. Invest in relationships. Most of the jobs I’ve gotten were either on referrals or those who I had related with. You could even offer your skills at the beginning, so that people experience your awesomeness.
Patience is also vital. Understand that quick money is not synonymous with long term wealth. It won’t be overnight. Unless, the overnight success is a 20-year one. Hahaha.