I got nominated for an award a couple of weeks ago by two new bloggers I hadn’t known yet, Charlotte and Anna @ReadsRainbow, who blog about sapphic lit (AMAZING BEAUTIFUL SHOWSTOPPING) and are amazing and super talented (so go check them out!) This tag involves giving an origin story and then some blogging advice! I love both oversharing and giving advice, so this is fun.
Here are the rules:
- Thank the blogger that nominated you.
- Give a brief story of how your blog started.
- Give two pieces of advice to new bloggers.
- Select 15 other bloggers you want to give this award to.
The Origin Story
I started my Goodreads account in February of 2016, meaning I was… fourteen years old, about to turn fifteen, and oh my god that’s horrifying. At that point, I was staring the account partially to focus on a goal: getting back into reading by reading two books a week. (I mean, that goal certainly was achieved.)
Needless to say, I got super into Goodreads after a while! And added a bunch of people as friends, including my og best friends Amy and Prag.
In May of 2017, I went back through every single book I’d read in the last couple of years and gave it a brief review. These reviews ranged vastly in quality, and in time put into them; I frankly didn’t remember all of my books that well. Some of my new reviews, however, were honestly getting quite good. (I was reading Daughter of Smoke and Bone the week I did a bunch of those reviews so here’s that review, as an example.) This gave me… so much reviewing practice.
Honestly, wow, I feel like I’ve changed so so much since my beginning posts, but the main thing is that I’ve learned to be super confident in my own writing. The reason I’ve gotten better and better at reviewing over time is because I’m more and more confident in my own ability to review; to work through the different aspects of a book. Now, obviously, it takes time to gain that confidence. It’s taken me two years! But the point is the more comfortable you are with being weird, with being amusing, and most importantly, with hating what others love and loving what others hate, the better you will be at conveying that.
Advice to Bloggers
Ah, here we go, the really fun part.
I wrote a really long post on blogging advice a while ago: it’s called How To Be a Better Book Blogger, and I am honestly quite proud of it. That post talked a lot about the mechanics of blogging, and how to make a nice aesthetic, etc etc etc. (Although I have changed my post title cards to make them prettier, and changed my theme to a theme called Gateway, which I’m a huge fan of! I hope you all like it as much as I do.) But I figured today I’d talk more in depth about actual blog content: specifically, super good reviews and long discussions.
Blog discussions and super overly detailed reviews are consistently my favorite posts to write, and they often tend to be my most popular posts. It’s really important to remember here: your first few discussions probably won’t be your best and that’s fine. Just write your feelings and see where it goes.
I would always, always always recommend doing research when you write discussions and seeing what other bloggers have to say, or if other bloggers have discussed your topic. A lot of my discussions, actually, are inspired by my disagreement with discussions I see on Twitter or in Goodreads reviews: an example of this would be The Myth of the Not-Like-Other Girls Trope. More are inspired by thoughts I have while reading: an example of this would be Ten Books That Describe Me.
I think 99% of my blogging advice comes down to recognizing that the trouble with writing an essay almost always comes down to one core issue: wanting to be understood. We all have thoughts and opinions and feelings about media; it’s just about learning to 1) figure out what, exactly, we’re thinking or feeling and 2) figuring out how exactly to clarify our feelings. It’s about clarity of understanding, both to yourself and others.
here are a few posts I felt did this well:
- Another Essay on Queerness from Me: Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe
- An Essay On Loneliness and Grief: We Are Okay by Nina LaCour
- Love Me For Who I Am: An Essay on William Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night
That’s why blogging and writing teach us so much about ourselves: because we have to learn to understand our own thoughts, and convey them in a way that feels emotionally real.
Who Am I Nominating?
Em @RunawayWithDreamThieves | Melanie @MeltotheAny | May @ForeverandEverly | Marija @InsideMyLibraryMind | Silvia @SilviaReadsBooks | Emma @EmmaReadsTooMuch | Amber @AmbsReads | Jami @JamiShelves | Hadeer @CaireneLibrarian | Acqua @AcquaDimore | Fadwa @WordWonders | and honestly anyone who wants to do this!!