We continue to get to know the members of our network in our “5 Minutes” series with Ellen Gerstein, Ellen is the owner of Confessions of an IT Girl, where she writes about all her passions, including travel, marketing, social media, special needs parenting, and the glamorous life of a soccer mom. She is Director of Marketing at Wiley, the global publisher headquartered in Hoboken NJ. She and her husband reside north of NYC and are the proud parents of 2 children. Here’s what we found out:
MamaDrama: Tell us about your blog. When did you start writing and what do you write about?
Ellen: I started writing in 2006 when we were trying to woo some authors to bring their “game changing” book about blogging to my publishing house. I didn’t take the blog public until 2007 when I had returned from my maternity leave and thought it would be a good way to keep friends and family up to date with what was going on with my family. Back then, it was just about my kids, but I soon found I wanted a place to talk about all the things that I am passionate about, not just my family. That’s how Confessions of an IT Girl came about.
MamaDrama: How has being a mother changed your life? Growing up in an unconventional household and having been raised on a diet of single career woman television (Mary Tyler Moore, Rhoda, etc.) I never imagined that my life would take a conventional turn to a husband and 2.3 kids. However, that’s where I stand now and I couldn’t be happier. Well, only 2 kids. Never did figure out how you could have a .3 kid. My kids are amazing and they’ve enriched my life in ways I could never imagine.
MamaDrama: What is your vision of motherhood?
Ellen: I think I am living my vision of motherhood. I’m a working mom who stays involved in my kids’ lives as much as possible. I wouldn’t say I helicopter or tiger them, but I support them in every way that I can.
MamaDrama: What have you learned about yourself through your writing?
Ellen: When I was young, a teacher told me to keep a diary. Write in it every day. Because the you of the moment is going to be a different person days, weeks, months and years after you have written those words, and it’s the only way to put yourself back in that mindset. I admired the idea, but never stuck to it. Now, in my blog, I’m able to look back and see exactly what the me of the moment was like and have more appreciation for the decisions that led me to the present.
MamaDrama: How important has your blog been for you? So important to my sanity and well-being, above all else.
Ellen: It has given me access to people in the blogging community who have become my friends and supporters. It
certainly has helped my career. It’s one thing to talk about social media, it’s another thing totally to be entrenched in it. What I do in my personal time certainly impacts how we at Wiley try and engage with our customers and support the efforts of our authors to reach their audiences.
MamaDrama: What are some of the topics or causes you champion?
Ellen: I’m a special needs parent, so I feel a strong obligation to speak up for our kids who may not have found their voices. My son is an amazing person and he has taught me so much about patience and tolerance. My daughter is
so kind and compassionate and has made me want to be more like her. I’m blessed to be their mom.
MamaDrama: What’s in store for you and your blog in the upcoming year?
Ellen: I really want to focus on my tagline which is “A Place For All My Passions.” If something doesn’t move me, I don’t want to write about it. I want to talk about what I love and love to do – for me, that’s family, travel, social media, and my next meal. I’m in marketing, so it’s always about my next meal.
MamaDrama: Lastly, your favorite theater memory.
Ellen: How could I not talk about the time when I went to the theater for the first time? Money was not plentiful in my household, but my grandmother knew someone who was an usher at the theater where “The Wiz” was playing. She was able to get us tickets and she took me into the city to see the show. It was pure magic! Back then, everyone dressed up for the theater and was on their best behavior. No jeans to be seen! I just kept thinking how lucky I was to be a part of such a magic moment. Even now, whenever I hear the orchestra warming up and getting ready to start the show, I flash back to that young girl caked in anticipation getting ready for the wonder to come.