The Secret Life of A Book Blogger | Tag

I was just looking back in my blog archives, and I haven't done a tag since August. AUGUST.

That's an awful long time for someone with a mild blog addiction and a serious affinity for tagging, so ... well, I'm rectifying the situation. I stole* this Secret Life of a Book Blogger Tag from Lizzy @ MyLittleBookBlog, but after what seems like hours of googling, I can't for the life of me work out who created it originally. If it was you, give me a shout!

*(Yes. I have been stealing to fuel my addiction. This may be a problem.)

How long have you been a blogger?

Photo by Mohammed Fkriy
Since ... *squints* ... *brief pause as I urgently scroll through my post archive* ... April last year. I'm only an eighteen month old blogger baby, and I'm already having toddler tantrums. BRACE YOURSELVES FOR THE TERRIBLE TWOS, PEOPLE.

Anyway - it's not that long in the grand scheme of blogging, I suppose, but I already feel like I've been doing this forever. It's kind of second nature by now, to the point where I get really twitchy - as in "you make a twitchy little ferret" levels of twitchy - if I haven't blogged for a while. And I really do think that I talk to bloggy folks online more than my real life friends some days.

So yeah. Eighteen months.

At what point do you think you’ll stop blogging?

Photo by Bethany Legg
In an ideal world? Never. NEVER NEVER NEVER. Did you miss the part where I got twitchy without it? Blogging has opened me up to so many new opportunities and possibilities - I honestly feel like if I lost it, it would be like losing a part of myself.

However, lately I've been not having as much time to blog - school happens to be getting crazy just about now; apparently just because the teachers constantly encourage you to take as many extra-curricular activities that come your way doesn't mean they're willing to let up on homework - and at times like that trying to keep up a regular posting schedule ends up as unnecessary pressure. I can imagine that, if I ever stopped, it would literally just be because I had no time and trying to blog was stressing me out more than anything.

What is the best thing about blogging?

Photo by Helloquence
Oh, the people, without any question whatsoever. I LOVE YOU GUYS SO MUCH, OKAY? I can log on to Twitter at pretty much any time of day I want and have a conversation about Harry Potter, or diverse representation in YA, or scary crime shows with someone halfway around the world. It's amazing how, when you start a book blog, your reading isn't just about you and a book anymore. It's about this brilliant community who will accept you and look after you and cry with you about people you only know in your imaginations. And ... that was something I could never fully imagine before I started blogging, but now it's something I can't fully imagine being without.
It's a sparkly spiderweb network of unicorns and things that smell like books, and I love it more than anything.

What is the worst thing? What do you do to make it OK?

Photo by Rayi Christian Wicaksono
Like I said above, probably the whole thing about being stressed and never having the time I really want to dedicate to this lovely little corner of the internet. This site's kind of like my baby; I want to look after it the best I possibly can, and when I don't have the time or skills to do that, it's frustrating. 

To make sure I do as much as possible with the time I've got, I do try to schedule posts and spend my extra time doing other maintenance. That said, most of what I do to make the  whole thing ok is just letting go of perfection, I guess.

How long does it take you to make/find pictures to use?

Photo by Mario Calvo
Oh, it used to take absolutely forever. I'd trawl around the internet for probably more time than I spent writing the post to find some images to use, locate the perfect ones ... then remember that they aren't royalty free, and have to spend twice that amount of time again trying to take my own photos and edit them enough that they look like I know how to hold a camera.

Then I discovered Unsplash. Unsplash is a blogger's best friend.

All the pictures on there are donated by professional photographers, and licensed under Creative Commons Zero, which pretty much means you can do whatever you fancy with them with or without crediting the artist (although most photographers would prefer you credit them if possible). They might not have as much variety as some other CC0 sites, like Pixabay, but the quality is ridiculously brilliant. I use their photos whenever I possibly can just because they're so beautiful.

Who is your book crush?

Photo by Mayur Gala
Um ... I ... don't tend to get crushes on book characters? Very much? Am I going to be ostracised from the book community for that?

*backs off slowly, hoping no-one cares*

What author would you like to have on your blog?

Photo by Álvaro Serrano
All of them? Authors are magically brilliant people and I would pretty much want any of them to visit my blog. I mean, obviously, J.K. Rowling would be ideal, but she's probably busy being the Queen of all Literature, so Alison Cherry would be an amazing guest. She was the person that gave me the confidence to talk to authors on Twitter when I first started blogging, has a brilliant sense of humour and shares hilarious stories about living in NYC.
She's probably too busy being awesome as well, but a girl can dream, right?

What do you wear when you write your blog post?

Photo by Jeff Sheldon
Pyjamas. School uniform. My funny t-shirt that says "well behaved women rarely make history". Leggings. Sweatpants. A party frock.
Basically, whatever I happen to be wearing whenever I have both the time and inspiration to blog.

How long does it take you to prepare?

Photo by Veri Ivanova
Um ... preparation? Are we supposed to do that? *looks sideways in panic*
I don't think I'd ever get many posts written if I tried to plan them too hard - it takes up way too much time and energy for me. Of course, I do have endless admiration for people who draw up proper schedules and brainstorm posts and stuff like that, but personally? I just come up with a post idea (which can take hours if my brain's being particularly uncooperative), start typing, and hope for the best.

As you can probably see from the sheer messiness that is my stream of consciousness in some posts, the best doesn't always happen.

How do you feel about the book blogger community?

Photo by William White
I'm reasonably sure I covered this with my assertion that "it's a sparkly spiderweb of unicorns" earlier, but the book blogger community can be incredible. It can be beautiful. It can be my favourite thing about blogging.
But - and I mean ever so occasionally - it can have a dark side. I've never experienced this myself, but I've heard stories of bullying, of plagiarists being defended, and of other generally upsetting things, and it makes me so sad. The book blog community is, for the most part, absolutely awesome, and it has the power to support so many people. It's horrible to think that those incidents - which might not be small, but in my experience are few and far between - can put people off participating in the community, and stop them getting that support.

What do you think one should do to get a successful blog?

Photo by Josh Felise
Enjoy yourself. I wrote this whole post a year or so ago about how I don't think a successful blog has to be a popular one, but basically I believe you're being a successful blogger as long as you're having fun with it. 

So ... why don't you just go have fun?

Ely @ Tea and Titles (because I always want to hear what you want to say, Ely)

Trisha @ That Slytherin Writer (because I'm a nosy person who wants to know all the Slytherin secrets)

Mia @ Mia in Narnia (because the secrets of Narnia just have to be interesting, right?)

I'm going to let you guys know on Twitter, and I'd love to see your version of this tag, but no pressure! I promise not be cross if you decide to ignore me ;-) And if you fancy doing this and I haven't named you, consider yourself tagged! It's not like I got it through completely legitimate means ...

In the comments: Do you agree with my answers to these questions? Or are you going to ostracise me for not having book crushes? Don't forget to link me to any versions of this tag you make!
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  1. Look at how dedicated you are in less than two years of blogging! I've gone on so many ups and downs until just in the past few years when I really committed to blogging regularly. You're already way more organized than I was.

    It might sound terrifying, but generally there's some kind of e-mail address or contact info of some kind on every author's website you can use to talk to them and say hey, fangirl about their books, and ask if they'd like to be a guest on your blog. Sometimes you get polite nos, sometimes radio silence, but more than once I've had authors respond with an enthusiastic, "Yes, please!" I've had people like Stephanie Morrill and Jill Williamson, Marissa Meyer, A.S. King, and Em Garner on my blog.

    1. Aww, thanks Kate! I feel like you're a proud blogging mama with that comment - or at least a cool blogging aunt? The mentor that knows all? You've certainly got the experience for it ...

      Oooh, really? I'd never thought of that *immediately goes to google all favourite authors*. You'll have to send me a link to your Stephanie Morill post - I love her, and I was looking round on your blog but can't find it for the life of me.

      As always, thanks for the comment, Kate!

    2. Hey, I'm down with a cool blogging aunt. xD That way I can be proud and a little kooky.

      Like 85% of the time, they're really sweet either way. It's always worth a shot! Here's the link to the interview: I was thirteen at the time of the interview, so I probably used an overabundance of exclamation points and emoticons . . .

    3. *agressively bookmarks page*

  2. I don't quite remember how I got to your blog, I think from a guest post? Maybe? I have so many tabs open and have been jumping all around that I don't even know what's going on on my computer right now lol. But I am about the same age blogger as you! I think I might be more like 16 months? I really don't feel like checking my archives right now, so close enough. But anyway, I completely agree that the thing that amazes me most is how reading went from this solitary thing of just me and my book to now being this great big social thing. I can't imagine it any other way now. I'd feel so lonely lol. Of course I do get *less* reading done because of all the socializing, but, you know, pros and cons. It's worth it! The community is definitely amazing.

    Oh, and I do have a few favorite characters I'm kind of in love with :-P but I've never been into the whole book boyfriend either, so you're not alone!

    1. Um, it's probably from my guest post at Chasing Faerytales? I know what you mean when it comes to crazy tabs ... it gets a bit ridiculous on my laptop tbh.


      That thing is just amazing. I honestly think it's at least half of why I blog - and hey, life is pros and cons. For me, the community is well worth it.

      (And of course I'm glad to know I'm not alone)


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