Elizabeth of BeezusKiddo

Tell us a little about you (the person behind the blog).

Although I’m a California native, I’ve lived in Pittsburgh almost as long as I lived outside it. I love that in Pittsburgh, you never have to work hard to be entertained. Year round there are constant art, music, foodie and social events bringing all kinds of people together with all kinds of interests, and I love to blog about all the interesting places, people, and things I’ve discovered in this wonderful city. I’m a commercial/corporate attorney which means that I focus most of my time working with businesses to resolve just about any kind of dispute or disagreement you could imagine. I also have a niche practice in social media law, mostly dealing with defamation, evidentiary and workplace issues that arise in the use of social media.

Tell us about your blog.

My blog is best described as a “burgh blog.” I spend a lot of time talking about fun things my family and I do around the city, whether it’s dancing around at a concert, sampling a new restaurant, or learning about a new fun place. I’m an amateur foodie on an impossible mission to visit every single restaurant in Pittsburgh (not joking when I say that’s impossible!), so there are plenty of restaurant posts to get your stomach rumbling. I’m also a bookworm and a movie fiend, so my thoughts on books and movies appear from time to time.

My blog is named BeezusKiddo as a reference to my daughter. Her middle name is “Beatrix,” in honor of Beezus (from Beezus and Ramona), and Beatrix Kiddo from the Kill Bill movies. My daughter is only 2, so it’s going to be a LONG time before she understands the second reference.

What inspired you to first start writing your blog?

I first began blogging in 2004, waaay back when people actually used LiveJournal. At that time, I was in college, and like so many other college kids I was posting all kinds of foolishness on my blog. I posted it just for fun. My blogging friends and I all thought we were a bunch of comedians, but sometimes we would also post serious things and get support for one another. During law school, everyone started to hop on the blogging bandwagon. Then came a wave of professors discovering the blogs of a bunch of law students. There was nothing scandalous posted, but the real public nature of blogging really hit me then. I quieted down my blogging for a bit then. The writing bug never left me, though, (after all, my day job is mostly writing, just in a legal context), and about a year ago I decided to make a go at harnessing blogging’s public quality, and use blogging to develop my “public face” to the world. I then started BeezusKiddo.com with the goal of publishing a blog that I, my clients, my boss and my mom could all be proud of!

How has blogging affected your life?

First, I’ve met amazing people. I’ve developed friendships that have lasted for years, and we’ve shared laughs and heartbreak, and supported one another through tough times. Second, I’ve become a better writer. I’ve learned a lot about what works, what doesn’t work, and how the content and style of my writing reflects on me as a person.

What has been the biggest challenge you have faced with your blog?

Getting the proper tone. My blog is my public face, and I am very conscious of how it comes across. I strive to come across as intelligent, polished and professional. That means that on my blog, I’m not necessarily as jokey and informal as I am with my friends. I stay positive and upbeat– but I strive to not sound saccharine. It’s a fine
balance to constantly stay positive, but not appear artificial. This becomes tricky in writing reviews, because not every reviewed experience is 110% positive (and if they all were, the blog will sound fake anyway), so I strive to make constructive criticism. There is no need to insult or shame just because I did not completely enjoy a particular restaurant, book, movie, etc., but there is always room to give productive pointers for improvement.

What advice would you give to new bloggers?

Be prolific. In Malcom Gladwell’s book “Outliers,” he explores how it takes at least 10,000 hours of practice to become an expert in any field. When I played tennis in high school, I remember my coach responding to a great hit by saying “Great job! Now let’s do that 10,000 more times!” Writing is the same thing. You will only get better at writing if you write and write and write. Write about anything in the world you want, but just WRITE!

Also, be receptive to constructive criticism. If you want to improve the quality of your writing, don’t be afraid to print out some of what you have written and ask your friends to attack it with red pens. Do not fear the red pens! Editing is how you get better! Pay attention to patterns in your prose, and be willing to work on your style!

Which three posts (links) on your blog you like to share?

Hunger Action Month: Greater Pittsburgh Food Bank Blogmob

Dear Marissia Mayer, You Don’t Get a Gold Star for Skipping Maternity Leave

Pittsburgh Restaurant Week: Blogger Dinner, The Porch at Schenley Park

That you Elizabeth for taking the time to share your experiences and words of advice with us. Please let us all show some love to Elizabeth by visiting:
Website: BeezusKiddo
Twitter: @beezuskiddo

I also want to share that Elizabeth is part of a month long special Blogger Spotlight campaign here on Queen in Heels . . . bloggers from my hometown of Pittsburgh, PA.

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