The lovely Rosy from Review Diaries has tagged me to do the Secret Life of a Book Blogger Tag! I don’t know if I’ve ever done a tag on here before, but I’m always a little aware that I rarely post much personal stuff on here – though I have improved! So read on…
|Posted to my Instagram to celebrate Harry and JK |
Though I can’t quite believe it myself, I’ve been a blogger for over 6 ½ years… I started in January 2009 when there weren’t many UK book bloggers around; the only ones I can remember are Jenny from Wondrous Reads who started the same week I did and the now sadly defunct Chicklish which was run by authors Keris Stainton and Luisa Plaja.
I had reached the point where I was seeing the same things over and over again in book shops and my library and I'd read all that jumped out at me. I went in search of more YA online and stumbled across book blogs from the US – Tales of a Ravenous Reader, The Book Mucher, The Story Siren, Reading Keeps You Sane and Em’s Bookshelf – and decided that the UK needed some representation too.
2. AT WHAT POINT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL STOP BLOGGING?
I really don’t know. There have been lots of points this year when I've considered giving it up. It’s surprisingly stressful and I often feel like my love for reading has warped from the pressure and responsibility of reading review books and meeting schedules. But I always get over it. I can’t imagine not blogging – it’s such an intrinsic part of me now and I don’t know what I'd do without out, to be honest.
3. WHAT IS THE BEST THING ABOUT BLOGGING?
Hands down, the community. I have made the most wonderful friends – bloggers, authors, publishers alike – with this. Those that I started with and those that I’ve made on the way. I know that I can go to nearly any book event and find a friend there. I have so many people who’ll jump to help me out or listen to me ramble or even just chat! The UKYA community is a wonderful one and it only continues to grow and get better.
|From left: George (George Lester Reads), |
Debbie (Snuggling on the Sofa), Me
As I mentioned before, the pressure and change in my attitude to reading are the worst bits about blogging. I really hate the way that reading sometimes feels like a chore now; something I have to do in order to get a review up. The intimidation of my TBR pile, built up over six years of review copies – solicited and unsolicited – and those I’ve bought and been gifted as well.
Making it okay is kind of an on-going mission and there isn’t really a one-size-fits-all solution as it can tie in with other areas of my life. Sometimes I need to have a blogging break, sometimes I have to go off schedule and binge read whatever I want to, sometimes a re-read of a favourite does the trick and sometimes I just need to keep trudging through until I feel that spark again. And something that always makes me feel better? Talking to my bookish friends on Twitter; they get it.
5. HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO CREATE/FIND PICTURES TO USE?
Generally, about two minutes! For reviews I just grab the cover image from Goodreads, and that’s usually the same for recommendation posts. When it comes to discussion posts and monthly favourites I sometimes use photos I've taken or put on Instagram which takes a little longer. Instagram pictures usually involve taking apart my bookcases to find what I want and arranging them in a way that hopefully looks nice, doesn’t show a rogue sock on the floor etc and attempting to not put them in exactly the same shape as the previous post. Then I just have to email them to myself and grab them from there. I’ve fallen in love with Instagram lately and I’m hoping to start getting a little better with my book photography and feature it a bit more on the blog.
Wait, crush? As in one? Nope. Can’t. Jace Herondale (The Mortal Instruments). Will Herondale (The Infernal Devices). Dimitri Belikov (Vampire Academy). Wes (The Truth About Forever). Dylan (Diary of a Crush). Alex Fuentes (Perfect Chemistry). I could go on…
7. WHAT AUTHOR WOULD YOU LIKE TO HAVE ON YOUR BLOG?
In June 2013 my bloggy dream came true and I was asked to be on the blog tour for The Moon and More by Sarah Dessen and offered the chance to interview her. I remember squealing repeatedly and legging it up the stairs to my bff/housemate’s room to attempt to tell her. It took a few tries to get the words out properly. One of my biggest dreams is to meet Sarah so this was a moment for me and I’d love to have her back on the blog. Every week. For the rest of time.
8. WHAT DO YOU WEAR WHEN YOU WRITE YOUR BLOG POSTS?
Usually, pyjama bottoms. I tend to write in the evenings or at the weekend and when I don’t plan on leaving the house that day or when I get in, I swap my jeans for PJ bottoms or shorts. From the waist up I’m properly dressed and look like an adult (kinda. I am wearing a Hufflepuff t-shirt…) and them COMFORT. For example, I’m currently wearing bright blue socks with watermelons on them and blue M&Ms World pyjama shorts (which are technically men’s boxer shorts…). If you get the opportunity to get PJs from M&Ms World, DO IT. The comfiest things I’ve ever put on my body. I have two pairs of full-length and two pairs of shorts.
This completely varies. When it comes to reviews, I write notes about the book as I read so when I come and sit down to write it up, all I do is read over the notes and set up the document (pages, publisher, release date, edition, synopsis, author’s previous titles) and go for it! The actual review can take anywhere from 40 minutes to 2 hours – it just depends on the book. And how much I procrastinate.
When it comes to discussion posts, they can take up to two weeks of thinking it over, jotting down notes, maybe doing a little research, writing down sentences or paragraphs here and there and taking pictures.
10. HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT THE BOOK BLOGGER COMMUNITY?
Full-on love. Love and friendship and support and camaraderie. The UKYA community is the best and I’m honoured to be a part of it.
11. WHAT DO YOU THINK ONE SHOULD DO TO GET A SUCCESSFUL BLOG?
Work hard. Focus on the content. Don’t get caught up in the want for review copies. Tweet. Comment. Interact. Find your voice. Write, read and discuss what speaks to YOU.
Thanks for tagging me, Rosy! This was fun. I tag everyone who wants to do it!