Real Neat Blog Award

I’m not usually nominated for awards, but a couple weeks ago The Pine-Scented Chronicles Blog nominated me. I really enjoy reading this particular blog, so you should definitely check it out! I’m not going to do the entire thing (like I’m not going to nominate other people), but I thought at least I’d answer the questions.

Here are the quick rules of the award:

  • Put the award logo on your blog.
  • Answer the 7 questions asked by the person who nominated you.
  • Thank the person who nominated you and add a link to their blog.
  • Nominate any number of people linking to their blogs and let them know you nominated them by commenting on their blogs.
  • Come up with 7 questions for the people you nominated.

Like I said, I won’t do the last two rules (I’m a rule breaker), but I’ll jump into the questions now.

1. Tell us more about your blog. What motivated you into starting your own blog?

I started my blog way back at the end of 2016. I started it more dedicated to writing, but it slowly changed to focusing on reading more. I’ve talked about my motivations for starting it before, but not for a long time. I had several reasons.

First, to become disciplined and stick with a schedule. I wanted to force myself to write a certain amount every week, and knowing my followers would want to see posts was a great motivator. I started with posting once a week and gradually moved up to three times a week (though this year I’m back to two and really enjoying my upload schedule).

Second, I wanted more practice writing. Writing a blog is totally different than writing a book, which is mostly what I wrote before starting my blog. But with writing a blog I can kind of puke my thoughts on a document without worrying about an overall narrative. In blogging, it’s all about wording and writing practice.

Third, I did have the hopes of growing my blog big enough that if I ever did publish a book, I could not only send my readers to my blog but have all my amazing followers talk about my book and get the word out. I actually don’t have plans to publish anytime soon, so this goal sounds a little foreign to me now.

2. What inspires you to keep on blogging or writing?

Mainly my love of reading, but also the community. I love hearing your guys’ thoughts about a certain book, even if it disagrees with my own perception. I love getting ideas for new books to read.

Blogging also gives me an outlet from life. I can sit down on my laptop and share my genuine thoughts about stuff I enjoy (which mostly happens to be books).

It doesn’t hurt that at the beginning of this year my blog passed 1,000 followers, and I’ve been getting a few thousand views every month. It’s a great motivator to see that people are enjoying reading my blog as much as I enjoy writing it.

3. Of the blog pieces you’ve written, what do you like or love the most? 

That’s really hard. My most popular blog post that I wrote simply because I love the topic is My Top 11 Chinese Dramas. I had no idea it would get so popular, because I mostly wrote it for me, but I still love going back to that post to see how different my choices would be now. My pet favorite post might be my sharing of “Christmas Bells” by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow on my Merry Christmas! post. I still go back and read that poem a lot. It’s so beautiful!

4. What movie or book best depicts your life story?

Ha! I don’t think any movie or book could best depict my life but I’ll pick two anyway. For movie, and this might sound sappy, but possibly It’s a Wonderful Life released in 1946. Possibly because I know my life has had ups and downs, but I have always tried to look at what happiness I do have and not fixate on things I don’t.

For book, I might go a completely different route with Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll. Simply because I often feel like I am traveling through some mad world trying to make sense of it all.

5. How did you cope/how are you coping with the lockdowns and the restrictions?

I’m an introvert, so I naturally like to be alone. However, I found myself spending more time with my family because I wasn’t always out of the house. I also had the opportunity to clean and organize my living space, and I was able to read and rest more. The beginning of the lockdown was tough because all seven of my classes in university went online, so most of my time was spent on them, but after classes ended in early May I took some time to recover.

I find it helps to keep busy. I have sewn more, played video games I haven’t played in over a year, and done more cooking. I’m doing a deep cleaning on our entire house. My point is that if I just sit around doing nothing I start to feel a bit depressed.

6. What are three things you’ve learned while in quarantine?

I don’t know if I’ve learned that much…but I’ll give some random things.

One, I thrive on silence. I like living a quiet life at home most of the time. I kind of already knew this, but I knew it even more when I was forced to spend like two months inside my house and loved it.

Second, I need to have purpose in my life. That may be writing for this blog (writing has really helped me not get bored stuck in the house) or helping my mother more. Whatever it is, I feel happy and contented when I feel useful.

Third, I can never read too many books, but I also don’t have to force myself to keep to a reading quota. Before quarantine, I found myself finishing about the same amount of books every week. But during, I would go for two weeks reading like one book and then in one week read like seven books. And I was perfectly happy both binge-reading and taking a step back from reading.

7. Give one advise you can give to those who want to start their own blogs.

Be yourself? No…that sounds stupid, but I guess it’s true.

I guess the first question you should ask yourself is why you want to blog. If you simply want followers, try to give readers what they want. If you are blogging as an outlet to your stressful life, don’t worry what people think and write about anything you want. Experiment with your blog and don’t worry about being perfect.

Sorry…I’m horrible at giving advice.

Anyway, I had a surprising amount of fun doing this post, even if I wrote way longer answers than I thought I would. What were your reasons for start your own blog and what is your favorite blogging advice you have given or received? How have you been handling quarantine? Let me know your thoughts down in the comments, follow my blog for more musings and, as always,

Best wishes in your life full of adventure,

Madame Writer

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