The original interview sent to the Pakistani Spectator.
Would you please tell us something about you and your site?
My name is Raafay Awan and I’m a Pakistani living in the United States. My blog is named Finding Neverland and its tagline is ‘In search of all the good things in life ‘, it aims to enhance the softer image of Pakistan and there are currently more than 100 writers from all over the world writing for it.
I’m wondering what some of your memorable experiences are with blogging?
My most memorable experience has to be the day when my blog was added in the list of World’s top 100 blogs by young bloggers. It has to be the most fruitful thing ever in my life as a blogger. Also whenever people appreciate your hard work and want to be a part of what we are trying to achieve, it feels good.
If you had to describe life as a blogger in a Twitter message (140 characters) what would you say?
Something that has made me learn a lot of new stuff by exploring, researching and studying. Making me more responsible knowing that I have to convey the right stuff in the correct way to the people who read and have expectations.
What do you think sets your site apart from others?
The main thing about the blog is that it is not restricted to just one topic or person, there are variety of topics ranging from Pakistan, Cricket and Sports in general, Science, History, Poetry, People, Events and even politics. Also anyone who wants to be a part of it, whatever they write we make sure that their work is published.
If you could choose one characteristic you have that brought you success in life, what would it be?
That characteristic has to be noticing the positive and good things about people more than the negative things. My life has been tough on me so I try taking the positives in life forward and leave all the negatives behind.
What was the happiest and gloomiest moment of your life?
Thankfully there have been many happy moments but if I had to choose one it will be when I took the responsibility of educating a child recently it has always been my aim, the gloomiest moment for sure has to be the Peshawar Incident which has changed me a lot as a person.
If you could pick a travel destination, anywhere in the world, with no worries about how it’s paid for – what would your top 3 choices be?
That’s an interesting question because I get to travel a lot due to different reasons, if I had to pick three places they will be Barcelona, Rome and London for sure.
What is your favorite book and why?
Honestly speaking all the books written by Dan Brown are my favorite because of the mixture of history and suspense. Otherwise there are several books by several writers that I like and I read everything and anything.
How bloggers can benefit from blogs financially?
Although I’m not a big fan of earning from a blog, but it’s not a problem in the modern days. There are many companies and websites who are always in search of content writers and freelance writers; you also have the advertisements option, and google Addwords facility has made things even simpler.
What role can bloggers of the world play to make this world more friendlier and less hostile?
Bloggers of the world can play an important role just because of the social media and also because people are spending more time online. Reading content online has become one of the most done thing in the whole world. A message given in a good way is always helpful especially the condition through which our country is going through it’s the duty of us bloggers to enhance the softer image of everything and be careful in what message they are trying to convey.
Who are your top five favourite bloggers?
I don’t really have any favorite bloggers. For me everything written by anyone is good if it has a message in it and there are many bloggers out there who are good enough and trying their best to bring a change.
Is there one observation or column or post that has gotten the most powerful reaction from people?
My one of the most viewed post was about Imran Khan’s book. As we the youth of Pakistan are strongly supporting him so it was a pleasant surprise to see thousands of views for that post in just a couple of months. One other was a column on Cricket for Express Tribune which opened a lot for opportunities for me to convey my message and got really good views about it.
Have you ever become stunned by the uniqueness of any blogger?
I’m still looking for that one exceptional blogger. But there are many good ones out there as I said so taking the name of just one will not be a good idea.
What is the future of blogging?
The future of blogging is very bright. Most of, if not all the people on social networks write something in some form and have a blog or page anything of their own. Gone are the days of keeping a diary so people like conveying message and telling about themselves to wider range of people on the internet so blogging will always prosper.
You have also got a blogging life, how has it directly affected both your personal and professional life?
As I said earlier it has provided me the opportunity to learn and explore more which has helped me to be a better person. I always keep in mind if I’m conveying a message or preaching something good, I must have that characteristic in myself first only then will I be able to feel good at heart. My professional life has become more interesting.
What are your future plans?
Future plans are to achieve all the goals that I have set for myself as a person and a blogger as well. I am currently working with 6-7 organizations in Pakistan, but one day I would want to come up with something of my own and contribute towards education in Pakistan.
Any Message you want to give to the readers of The Pakistani Spectator?
My message to the readers is simple. Try noticing the good things in people more than the bad things, we have become extremely negative as a nation, there are so many good and positive things that we can do which will make us and the people around us, happy.