Meet Ritu Bhathal from But I Smile Anyway
Thank you so much for having me on your blog Esme! I am always indebted to bloggers like you who take the time out to share the work of others, mine included!
All about your BLOG: Tell us about your lovely BLOG.
- What is the name of your blog and how did you decide on your blog name?
My blog is called But I Smile Anyway. I chose the name on a bit of a whim, and it stuck, but it has a deep enough meaning to me. I have learned in life that everything feels better if you have a smile on your face. I am also known for my smile; that recognizable point has been picked up all through my life, from school through college and in workplaces, and now, even in the Blogosphere, I think a smile is synonymous with Ritu!
- What prompted you to start on this blogging journey?
Literally, a prompt from WordPress, to start a blog led me to where I am now! Around three and a half years ago, a dear friend started a blog to help with her depression. I was reading her first post and wanted to comment to show my support, and WordPress required me to set up an account to comment. As I went to leave the page, it popped up a question: Why not start your own blog? And so I did, not knowing what a blog was. And yet here I am, still active 3.5 years later!
- To date, what blogging achievement/s are you most proud of?
Well, it’s got to be the fact that I won Best Overall Blogger 2017 at the Annual Bloggers Bash Awards, or the ABBA’s! What an amazing feeling! It humbled me to think that all these people actually voted for my blog, considering who I was up against! And I’ve been nominated for the same again this year, alongside being asked to speak at the Bash too. That is nerve-wracking, but I feel honored to have been considered someone that others may want to listen to!
- How would you describe your own blogging style?
I’d say I write lightheartedly, but with an underlying message in most posts.
- What excites you most about blogging?
In the beginning, it was the numbers. I became stats obsessed. Then slowly, I built my Blogily up, and now the reason I love what I do is because of them, and the interaction I have with both my followers and those bloggers I follow. I really have found a whole new set of family and friends here in the Blogosphere!
- What platform do you use and why?
I use WordPress, as I mentioned earlier. And this is pure because it was started on a whim! I pay for the premium site and love everything I am able to do on it.
- What genre/topic/theme do you blog about? Do you ever deviate from that theme?
Eclectic at best! I have no niche. I write whatever comes to mind. Be it poetry or prose inspired by prompts, or anecdotes from my family, or teaching life to book and film reviews and recipes, you’ll find it there. There is also a healthy dose of positivity on there too.
- How often do you blog per week or month?
Oh my! I clocked over 1000 posts in my first year! I’d say I actually tend to post daily, as I have specific creative prompts I like to take part in. My only regular slot is Spidey’s Serene Sunday, which started when I found my son’s Spiderman toy in a rather meditative position one morning. I took a photo and he’s been there every Sunday since then, giving me some sort of motivational or inspirational quote to ponder upon! Other than that, my musing posts come when there is something I feel the urge to write about. My post count is just under 3000 published but there are over a hundred in my draft folder that was posted at one time, and I took it out for various reasons.
- Do you have any wisdom or tip/s regarding blogging to share with us?
Don’t just write and expect to be read and lauded straight away. That kind of blog ‘fame’ happens to very few. Take time to read, follow and interact with other bloggers too. It is key to your own blog’s success to have that interaction with others.
- Do you participate in linkup parties? How do you feel about it?
I think link up parties are great, but I just find that what with being a wife, mother, and teacher on top of writing and blogging, I can’t always take part fully. If I leave a link somewhere, I want to be able to appreciate everyone else linking up too, and if I know I don’t have that luxury available to me, I won’t leave a link.
All about YOU: Tell us something about you, the real YOU.
- What do you like to do other than blogging?
I love to read, sing, cook, and spend quality time with family and friends.
- Where do you reside?
I was born in Birmingham, UK to Kenyan born parents, of Indian descent! After marriage, I moved to Kent, the Garden of England, and have been here the past sixteen years.
- Are you an indoor or outdoor person?
If it’s warm, I’m happy to be outdoors. I am not a hiking or active person as such, but I do enjoy walks. On the whole though, I love being indoors, snuggled on the sofa with a hot drink, and a good book, film, or my laptop so I can blog surf!
- Do you still work, and if so, what is your trade/profession?
I think I mentioned this before, but I am an Early Years teacher. Right now I am split between two classes, one 3-4 year olds and one 4-5 year olds. It is a very rewarding profession, but exhausting too, both physically and mentally.
- Or are you retired? If so, what do you do besides blogging?
I have a few years until then! When that time comes, I’d love to travel more, and spend copious time writing!
- Do you wish to be 20-something or the age you are now and why?
There are so many things I would do differently if I was 20-something again, but then I might not be sat where I am now, in my perfectly happy life! I think I’d say I’d rather stay where I am now. I’ve learned a lot of life lessons and I am content with what I have.
- What makes your day a good and happy one?
A morning kiss from my Hubby Dearest, the sun being out, my kids getting up without arguing, a smooth day of classes, and some fantastic interaction on my blog!
- Describe yourself in 3 words.
Positive. Bubbly. Crazy!
- Share with us 3 interesting facts about yourself.
– I have just finished writing the first draft of my novel… it’s only taken me eighteen years! Now I’m onto the rereading, rewriting, and editing… hope it won’t take another eighteen years!
– My poetry book was #1 in the Amazon Poetry charts at one time last year!
– When I was born, my Pops distributed sweets, something was only done at the birth of boys at that time. He truly started my life showing me I was of value to him and all around me!
- Do you have any other tidbits to share with us about yourself?
I don’t know what there is to tell you! Oh yes. I love to sing. Whether Western or Eastern music, I love to listen and then sing along. In fact, I was so concerned about our traditional Punjabi songs being forgotten and replaced by the bass-heavy bhangra tunes everyone listens to now that my cousin and I sat with our elders and learned the old songs, painstakingly writing the lyrics in Romanised Punjabi (as I can’t read or write the Gurmukhi script) so we had something to use to sing from at weddings. This little booklet I made has circulated the world, thanks to my family members taking it around, and it has been printed in several forms over the years to accompany various wedding functions!
Last but not least:
- Please share with us your social media links, in order for our readers to follow you!
And the plus one question – Social media profiles!
And by clicking the following link, you get to my author profile on Amazon, where you can find the link to my poetry book, Poetic RITUals.
I know you want to do the 20 + 1 Interview Questions so I look forward to hearing from you!
120 thoughts on “Interview with Ritu Bhathal from “But I Smile Anyway””
It was wonderful knowing Ritu. Thanks Esme.
♥ you’re very sweet
So r you.
Learned more about Ritu today! Lovely post Esme x
Thank you so much. May we have the honor to learn about you ??
I would love that Esme!
Please drop me an email via my about and contact page and then we can discuss it via email. I look forward hearing from you.
A great interview. Ritu is a ray of sunshine in the blogging world <3
Thank you Diana. I just love this series as its an awesome way to get to know our fellow bloggers. How about you also patticipating and sharing here with us an interview ?
Would love to Esme. 😊
Diana, that will be beyond awesome. Please pop over to my About and then Contact EsmeSalon page, drop me an email to say you’re interested and we can then go from there via email. Looking forward to your email
That is so sweet! Thank you!
Beautiful post, and lovely to get to know more about you Ritu. 🙂
Thanks Debby 😊
What a lovely post, Ritu and Esme. The more I hear about your father, Ritu, the more amazing I think he is.
Thanks Robbie! Pops is truly and inspiration to me 😍
Super interview, Esme. Ritu is the best!
Awesone yes for sure. Jennie, now may I ask if you would be interested to also participate and do the interview. I look forward hearing from you.
Thank you so much, Esme. That would be wonderful, and I’d be honored.
Whoop whoop. As my blog will be under construction/migration for the rest of the day, so please send me an email Cookandenjoy @ shaw dot ca
and I will send you the relevant information.
I totally agree Jennie
A lovely interview ladies enjoy the Bash Ritu and good luck with your nomination 🙂
You’re also nominated – good luck to all.
Thank you Carol! 😀
Welcome Ritu 🙂 x
That’s my inspiring and lovely sister 💖
❤️❤️ well how about you share with us some info via the interview about yourself? What do you think Erika?
With the greatest pleasure 😊That is a very lovely offer, Esmé! Of course, I would love to!
Wonderful new, I am so happy. As my blog will be under construction/migration for the rest of the day, so please send me an email Cookandenjoy @ shaw dot ca
and I will send you the relevant information.
I will do that asap 😉
Thanks so much Erika
Perfect no rush Erika
Thank you sweet sis 😍💜
You all rock
It is so nice to learn more about you Ritu. You are a very interesting person.
Thanks for popping in Thelma. What about you also doing snd interview here?
So sweet! Thank you Thelma!
Wonderful interview, Ritu and Esme. It was fun learning about the sideways way that you started blogging and now look where you are! Overall Best Blogger and 3000+ posts. That’s a lot of posts! Keep it up and Happy Blogging. 😀
Yup we have a super duper 🌟 here. You all rock
Thank you Diana! I guess we land where we are meant to eh! 💜
😊 ♥ 😊 ♥
Woooah Ritu! 1000 posts in your first year!? That is amazing! You really are a blogging superstar!!
Lol… mad, more likely! Thanks Josy 😍
Ritu – never ever
Esme, it’s what my pupils think of me too!
Wish I could have heard your talk at the Bash, you will have to put it in a post for us to read.
I think there may be a video!!!!
I will have to check it out, Thanks Ritu
I love both of your blogs. It’s great to get to know Ritu better and kudos to her for “Best Overall…” As a newer blogger I am hungrily reading all of your tips—thanks.
Awesome and glad you popped in. How about you let us know you better. Please let me know if you would be interested to also partcipate.
Thank you so much 😊
Ritu is so much fun!
Aw thanks sis! 😍
It’s always lovely to read more about bloggers that one admires and Ritu is certainly high on my admiration scale. Thank you Esmé for giving us the opportunity to discover a little of the real Ritu!
Thanks do much. How about you tell us by way of also participating a bit then we can also get to know you better??
Do you mean answer the same questions? I would be happy to – I have just moved back to the US for the foreseeable future (maybe forever) so I am a bit up in the air but I would be very happy to contribute an interview. I am also fully on board with contributing to the Senior Salon now that I am settled again and would like to contribute to your lovely website again as I did in Grenoble from time to time.
Oh this is awesome news to start off my weekend. As far as I know you may still have my email address. Yes you will answer the same questions, email me it together with your profile pic and all social media links. I will put it together and then provide you with the next opening for publication.
The Senior Salon always opens on a Monday at 2am PDT and closes that Friday at 8pm PDT, and its running weekly, so you can contribute every week. On a Friday evening at 9pm PDT I publish a roundup posts of all links with a pingback
I am looking forward to your email and SS contributions.
Thank YOU for reading xxx
A lovely interview Esme. Good luck with your new book Ritu and enjoy the Bloggers Bash.
Do I see another Interview? What do you think?
No problem Esme 🌼
Let me know if you would be interested to do the interview, that will be awesome. 🤞
Yes. I would be very happy to Esme. 🌼
Awesome, this will ve fantastic. Drop me an email via about the recipe hunter contact form then we cqn go from there.
My blog will be under construction for the rest of the day, so hopefully you can still access the form and then we can chat via email.
Will be in touch on Monday. 🌼
I will send you the email shortly.
Thank you 😊
I’d not come across Ritu before but she sounds an interesting lady. She gets brownie points from me for moving to my home county too!
Clive, she’s a very interesting and awesome lady. Love her and her blog
I’ll give it a try. Thanks for the tip 😊
Aw thanks Clive!
I have learnt so much about the lovely Ritu thanks to this blog post!
Awesome, so glad we can use this avenue to learn more about our blogging friends. Rachael, may I ask if you would like to also share and participate here on this form and interview program?
I would love to! Let me know what you need from me 🙂
Rachel, please go to my About the Recipe Hunter page, drop me an email there and we can then work via email. Thanks sooooooooo much and I am looking forward to chatting and setting this up. ♥
I will do thank you 🙂
Perfect looking forward to your email contact.
Hi Rachael! Thank you for reading!
So nice to know more about Ritu. Hugs to you both!
Thanks Teagan for visiting and commenting. How about you, would love to read an Interview from you, would you be interested?? Please let me know
That’s generous of you Esme. I’m hoping to publish book-2 in my Atonement series within the next 2 months (hopefully just one month). Could we do something around that time?
Most certainly. You just drop me an email and consider it done
Hi Teagan ! Thanks for reading 😍
Thanks for sharing this Mr M.
Ritu, this was a fun interview to read. I knew you lived in the U.K. and taught school there but not much else. I particularly enjoy reading your Spidey Sunday posts. Have a great Royal Wedding Weekend.
Thank you for your comment, and visits here Bernadette. Please let me know if you would like to also participate in this ‘interview’ I would love to have you featured on my blog. I look forward hearing from you
Esme, I have been so lax in following up on your invitation. I will go to your site and take a look at the questions and hopefully get started.
All good Bernadette. I have your email address so I will send you the info as my blog will be under construction for most of the weekend and you may not be able to access it.
Thank you so much for reading Bernadette!
Thank you for having me!!!
I am so happy that you participated. This way my friends and all of us can learn more about one another and connect in a different way.
It’s a great way to learn about one another 💜
Thanks for sharing it on your blog Ritu and all the best with the BASH this weekend!!
Have fun at the Bash