17 January 2014

I speak to celebrity blogger Naomi Neo about school life, privacy, and ambitions.

Naomi Neo poses with a fan.
Welcome to the second installment of my interview with celebrity blogger, Naomi Neo. Check out the first installment where chat about fame, haters, and her motivations here.

One of Naomi's several public engagements.

School life

Crystal: How did you cope with your studies and blogging?

Naomi: During my 'O' levels I couldn't manage well... I was afraid that if I put too much attention on one thing, I would neglect another thing... it was quite hard, but I learnt to balance.

Crystal: What did your teachers think?

Naomi: I guess all my teachers know about my blogging because the juniors talk about me and the teachers talk among themselves... and my form teacher told me some of the teachers read my blog in the staff room! It is quite awkward.

Crystal: How did you feel?

Naomi: I knew there were some things I could not talk about, stuff not to say to not get into trouble... so I just watched myself a bit more.

Crystal: Are you apprehensive about being in a new school? Do you think you would try to keep low key?

Naomi: When i was in secondary four I felt very distant from my classmates and it affected me. I didn't want to go to school and I was left out. People say, 'How can you be left out? You're Naomi Neo!' but it's never the case. I try to be 'normal' in school, I want to be treated like everyone else, having fun with group discussions... once I sat alone and cried in class and one classmate told me sometimes people don't speak to me because they think they are not good enough for me. It made me really sad that people thought of me that way.

Crystal: With your new school?

Naomi: I would be very happy if there was no one in my new school who knows me. But I had a meeting with my new course mates and there were a few of them Tweeting to me that we were in the same course. I thought starting a new school would make me feel like everything is different but I'm not sure now.

Seeing through Naomi's phone.


Crystal: To protect your privacy are there things you don't write about?

Naomi: I honestly feel that I talk about everything and anything. Of course my parents are like, 'You better don't post too many things online!', and you don't want people to know everything about your private life. But in blogging you need to be very honest and consistent, because people will pick on the contradictions. I need to be open with my readers.

Crystal: Are there things you don't talk about or keep private?

Naomi: Maybe my relationship issues? I'm not really sure if I want to publicise them. Even if I post pictures of me and my date, I won't mention his name or take pictures that are too intimate so we may still look like 'just friends'. And sometimes you want to keep it mysterious so people will want to find out more. There will be a thrill to it!

Crystal: How about your parents? You started blogging really young and you are still pretty young in the industry. What do they think of it?

Naomi: They are actually quite supportive about it. My dad is also in advertising so he understands me. Initially he was really against it, and he said he knew how I would suffer given his experience... all the drama in this circle. But after realising that I'm changing to become more independent and using this work in a good way, he became very supportive.

Crystal: Do they give you caution warnings or accompany you to events?

Naomi: Strangely, they used to be stricter with me! But after I started blogging they are more relaxed with me. So weird right? They are less protective... they trust me more... I did a lot of things to prove that I need their trust... if you want trust you have to earn it.

Crystal: Do they read your blog?

Naomi: They don't. My dad has no interest! Hmph.


Crystal: You have a prominent blog career and you're earning a comfortable amount, but you're still going for tertiary education. Why?

Naomi: At the end of the day, I’m not going to take blogging so seriously to the extent that it’s gonna be my career. The only reason why I had so many views was because of hype, and this kind of thing dies down if you don't have material. I know that I am not consistent with my updates although I try, and there are a lot of bloggers who are trying very hard and working ten times harder than me. And I'm also not someone who blogs because everyone is blogging. I just want to stick to my roots. I would commit to blogging as a career if I had the potential. It is important to have something to fall back on in case any thing happens so I need to finish my education first. Anyway, I think I am too young for this right now, that's what everyone is telling me!

Crystal: Too young?

Naomi: People tell me all this is a great accomplish for my age, but I know it's not something that will stay forever.

Crystal: Where do you see yourself in the next five years?

Naomi: Hopefully I will have a degree by then, and then I will take blogging seriously as a career. But I'm quite fickle minded! So I'm not really sure if 5 years down the road, I would still be interested in blogging.

Crystal: What advice do you have for people who want to be bloggers?

Naomi: No matter how popular you are, always remember to stick to your roots. You have to always remember how you started off and never lose track of that. A lot of bloggers whom I met actually changed. They started doing it out of passion, then they get popular, and then they force themselves to blog because they need to keep up for readers. At the end of the day always go back to how you started out.

Crystal: What do people like about your blog?

Naomi: I guess people read my blog because I always relate to them. No matter how much I talk about myself, I make sure they can relate to me. When I blogged about my grandma's birthday, I expressed how I feel towards her, then I talked about how we need to appreciate people who are growing old. So at the end of the day, it's not all about myself.

Check out Naomi Neo's blog here.
Check back soon for more interviews with celebrity bloggers in Singapore.
All pictures are the property of Crystal Abidin, the owner and author of this blog.


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