I have been looking forward to sharing this post for a little while – after all, it’s great to celebrate each other’s blogs!!
I was nominated for this award on the 6th of March by the lovely Larissa over at Book Bosomed Blonde; I have followed her blog for some time! She writes fantastic reviews and hosts other lovely book-related content. My favourite thing about her blog is that she is fair and isn’t afraid to express her opinion! If you don’t follow her already of haven’t checked out her blog yet, please do!
1.Generate a post about the award.
2.Thank the blogger who nominated you, and provide a link to their blog.
3.Write a brief story about how your blog began.
4.Provide two pieces of advice to newbie bloggers.
5.Select 10 blogs to nominate.
6.Comment on each nominee’s blog and provide a link to the post that you created for the award.
How it all began…
Before I get on to how I came about setting up my blog, I think I should explain how I got into the reading habit required, so that is where my story will start.
Are you sitting comfortably? Good. Then let us begin.
I’ll begin as clichéd as it comes; I was an avid reader from a very young age. Encouraged by mum and dad, I grew up with books. Reading was my chance to escape the confines of everyday life – the only limit is your imagination!
During secondary school I chose to spend my free time in the library. I would help out in any way I could. It was a place I felt at peace. The older I got, the more I read. How glorious it was to live and experience life through book characters, all the while I sat in my sheltered life, between rows of books otherwise collecting dust.
After I left school, my reading slumped. I still read, but it was intermittent.
The circumstances in which I took up reading again in earnest came at one of the most difficult times for my family. A close family member fell seriously ill – with little warning. I had to go to work as normal and visit afterwards. I would be out at 7:15am and not get home until past 9pm every weeknight. I would rise early at weekends to catch up on jobs I wasn’t doing in the week before visiting began at 12pm. This routine continued for three weeks, until thankfully my relative had recovered enough to come home.
It was a busy and difficult time – I had very little free time at all. There were days I couldn’t commit to an hour to watch TV – I was too tired. It was January, so I came back to a cold flat more often than not. My compromise was to sit in bed, warm and comfortable, and read. I could read as much or little as I wanted and it was an effective way of winding down. In the second and third week I would wake myself in the small hours, stiff-necked, still sat in bed with the light on and a book open in front of me.
After my relative recovered, I stayed in the habit of reading, and by the end of April last year, I reached my reading goal of 20 books. It is at this point, ladies and gentlemen, that I began my blog. I wanted to share my love of books. I wanted to keep reading and stay in the habit. It was also a motivator to read other blogs, discover new books and broaden my horizons. There have been many projects in my life that I have let fall to the wayside, but I am proud of myself that this is not one of them.
So that, folks, is my story – and in the time I have spent on this blogging journey, I have learned many things.
I have had a long, hard think about some advice to give to newbie bloggers. I don’t think it is particularly original, but I would say it is important:-
It is your blog after all! The best selling point of a blog is the voice and personality behind it. We could all like the same things – or write the same way, but then your blog just wouldn’t stand out at all from the rest. Don’t be afraid to say how you really feel. On the other side of this computer screen, I have had my blogging hobby laughed at. Sure, it hurt at first, but I don’t do it for the acceptance of others. I blog because it is what I enjoy. It doesn’t matter what those people think. I don’t really care for their opinion if that is what it is.
Be honest! (with others and yourself)
Again, not an original piece of advice. Sure, it’s exciting having a blog and I am sure you would love to post all day, every day and have everyone love you for it. Frankly, that isn’t possible for an individual blogger who works 35 hours a week, like I do. Blogging is a hobby so it has always had to work around my free time. I have really active weeks and others less so, but that’s okay. Think ahead, know what you can commit to and stick to it (unlike I did when I said I was going to post this earlier this week. Do as I say and not as I do folks!)
If you are starting a blog that involves reviewing books, or expressing your opinion, then honesty is important in other ways. I really believe integrity and trust is acquired from your followers as a result of expressing honest opinions. To lie (or be perceived as lying) breaks down trust and isn’t going to do you any favours. Don’t do it.
So, there we are! That’s me in a nutshell!
I’ve come to the decision that I am not going to tag anyone in this – I don’t want to single out blogs. All bloggers and their stories are valid, interesting and should be recognised, so if you want to take part in it, please do!!!
I would love to hear your story, so please tag me!