blogging

Celebrating 2 years of blogging // Answering your questions about blogging, writing & life!

Hey everyone!

We’ll be wrapping up the 2-year blogiversary celebration with the second half of my Q&A answers! Thank you to everyone who had sent in your questions- I definitely had a lot of fun coming up with answers haha. (There were some toughies in there too!)

For those of you who haven’t entered my giveaway yet, there is still time!! Scroll to the bottom of this post for the link πŸ™‚

Are you finding it harder to come up with ideas for new content? How do you keep things fresh? (Blake Leftly @ Feed the Crime)

Actually, not really, even though I’ve been doing this for a while. I only post twice weekly, and typically one of these posts is a review. For my other post I write about whatever I feel like! If I have an opinion about a topic that I am itching to get out, I’ll write a discussion post. If I just finished a DIY project or if I have recent travel pictures that I want to show off to the world, I’ll make a post about that. If I am really stuck on post ideas, I’ll dig up a tag that I’ve been meaning to do for a while :’)

That being said, I do definitely want to do some more creative and different things on this blog in the upcoming year (will talk about this later!!)

What do you find most challenging and most rewarding about book-blogging? (Reese) What is your favourite thing about blogging? (Febie) What would you say is the most challenging part in keeping an active blog? (Steph @ Steph’s Story Space)

Most challenging aspects:

  • Finding the time to write posts, replying to comments and blog-hopping. I love doing this but sometimes time is the limiting factor!
  • Dealing with fluctuating stats! I know I shouldn’t care about stats too much but when they aren’t doing as great, I get worried hahaha…

Most rewarding aspects/ Favourite things:

  • Having an endless list of books to read! It’s a bottomless pit!
  • Being inspired to read!
  • Meeting lots of cool people through the blogging & book-blogging community!

Do you have a favourite blog post you’ve written? (Marie @ Drizzle & Hurricane Books)

Wow this is really hard!!! I feel like all my blog posts are my children and choosing a favourite is like picking a favourite child hahahaha :’) One of my favourite posts is this reflection about turning 28:

Photo byΒ Alexandru TudoracheΒ onΒ Unsplash

Do you have any goals for this new blogging year? (Marie @ Drizzle & Hurricane Books)

Yes!!! I had a chance to think about where I want to go with my blog over the past few weeks. Here are some goals that I’ve set and changes that I might implement coming up:

  • Improve (& maintain) the organization of my blog. I’ve already started to do this but there are still some pages that will need some touch-up!
  • More involvement on other platforms such as Goodreads, Twitter, and Instagram! I am starting to get a bit addicted to Twitter, but Goodreads and Instagram are still works in progress πŸ™‚
  • Maybe… more collaboration in this upcoming year? I’m thinking guest posts, blog tours, and other fun stuff. More info coming up!? πŸ˜€

What was the best piece of blogging advice you’ve received? (Beth @ Reading Every Night)

The best practical blogging advice I received was to develop a schedule for making posts (and sticking to it!) In the past, I’ve had several blogs that never really kicked off, because I started off posting very regularly but my energy and enthusiasm petered off over time. However, this time around, I made a commitment to posting regularly over the long term, which allowed me to become acquainted and involved with the blogging community πŸ™‚

Why the nautical theme? (Nicholas)

Hahahahaha that is a funny question! I guess I like whales πŸ™‚

Do you think becoming a book blogger has made you read more? (Sophie @ Me & Ink)

Absolutely! Being surrounded by other bloggers who love reading and talk about their favourite books all the time, I can’t help but want to pick up these books myself. Also, part of my struggle before was that, although I liked reading, I never knew how to find books that I would enjoy. Now I don’t have any problem with that πŸ™‚

Do you review books when authors contact you requesting it? (Jasmine @ How Useful It Is)

To be honest, I’ve been terrible when it comes to replying to these requests. Unfortunately, I don’t have the time anymore to read these works, on top of other books that I want to read. I will soon update my About page to say that I am no longer accepting reviews.

Do you only review fiction or nonfiction too? (Jasmine @ How Useful It Is)

I mostly read fiction, so probably 99% of my reviews are for fiction. However if I read a nonfiction book I would likely review it as well. I would probably find it easier to review an instructional book (for example, a book about writing techniques) rather than a memoir/autobiography (because that will be like judging someone’s life, which is kind of mean I guess?)

What are some of your favourite genres to write in? (Marie @ Drizzle & Hurricane Books)

My current WIP and my previous novel are sci-fi. I’m really loving this genre so far since some of it was inspired by what I studied in school. It feels great to be able to use the knowledge in a creative way!

What was the best piece of writing advice you’ve received? (Beth @ Reading Every Night)

“Write the first draft with the door closed and the second draft with the door open,” was a piece of advice that will always stick with me. The idea is that we should write the first draft without sharing parts of the manuscript with others, so that we won’t let the trajectory of our plot or the essence of our story be influenced by others’ opinions. However when it comes to editing the novel when it is finished, it is important to share it with others so that they can point out flaws in the plot that we could not find ourselves. Usually I find it pretty easy to stick to the first part, but it is always a step outside my comfort zone to share my writing with others :’)

What are the places you’d dream of visiting someday? (Marie @ Drizzle & Hurricane Books) If you had to pack up your whole life and move to a new country, where would you go? (Beth @ Reading Every Night)

There are so many places I want to visit! These days I am in love with nature and outdoorsy activities, so I want to go to Vancouver Island and Interior British Columbia, which are places that are close to where I live with lots of hiking and parks. In terms of other countries, I want to go to Japan, Eastern Europe, Alaska, everywhere!

In terms of where I would move to, hm, I’ve lived in a handful of different countries so far (China, Switzerland, Canada)……. and I kind of like Canada so far (multiculturalism! universal health care! lots of wide open spaces and trees!) so I think I will stay πŸ™‚

How does it feel getting married? (Michael)

The wedding planning process has been stressful (though rewarding!!) It’s been amazing to see how ambitious ideas taking shape (like the DIY wedding dress project haha & my fiancΓ©’s DIY origami wedding bouquet.)

Wedding planning aside… My fiancΓ© and I have been together for a while (I think 6 years now? 7?) so it’s exciting that we are moving onto the next stage of life. Overall I am happy to be marrying to my best friend πŸ™‚

What is the least common thing you are a fan of? (Esther @ We’ve Got Pockets)

I love mason jars and I use them for EVERYTHING. Craft supplies, spices, even as a mug to hold my tea haha.

What was the best piece of life advice you’ve received? (Beth @ Reading Every Night)

I was in Switzerland for a pharmacy school rotation before. One of the hardworking and knowledgeable ladies that I’ve met told me to “Do what you love and become good at it.” Although I loved Switzerland I actually ended up hating the rotation (it was administrative and boring and so NOT me,) but I’ll always take that piece of advice with me.

Along the same lines, I recently read in StrengthsFinder 2.0 (through a workplace book club): A large part of what we learn in school and at work is to improve on our weaknesses, but it is more effective to build on our existing strengths! The idea is that everyone is naturally talented at some things (whether it is being creative, disciplined, relational, etc,) and they will make exponential gains in these areas compared to an area where they have average skills. Einstein likely didn’t spend his spare time trying to improve his calligraphy, and Beethoven was probably not concerned about his inability to dribble a basketball. This changed my perspective on things a bit: There are some things that I know I am naturally bad at (like team sports & going to late-night parties!!) and…….. that is TOTALLY okay for me to NOT work on these things and instead be the nerd that I am :’)

How would you answer some of these questions? Let me know in the comments!

Psst!!! My 2-year blogiversary giveaway is still happening!! You guys have until June 15, 2019 at 24:00 (midnight) Pacific Time. I will choose the two winners randomly from the Rafflecopter entries (see below!) Winners will be announced on June 17. Click here (or the happy fishy below) to check out the giveaway post.

20 thoughts on “Celebrating 2 years of blogging // Answering your questions about blogging, writing & life!

  1. Yay! Congratulations on 2 years of blogging!

    It was great getting to learn more about you. πŸ™‚ I feel you on being challenged by finding the time to do everything blog-related and reciprocate likes and comments – AND trying to balance reading and reviewing books at the same time. It is a constant struggle. I feel like if each day was 48 hours long rather than 24 I might be able to master it completely haha.

    I think having a schedule for posting definitely helped me too. I tend to post 5 times during the week (one for each day of the week, taking the weekends off entirely). It really allows me to plan my content ahead of time and work on it at my own pace. I like to get posts scheduled in advance on the weekend in particular.

    I’m also terrible at replying to review requests by authors. I’m considering taking that down from my blog entirely as well. I’d like to do it, but because I have to also work full-time, I just can’t find the time to read every indie author’s book.

    I really need to get back into writing. Hearing you be so passionate about your WIP makes me want to dive back in wholeheartedly.

    Awww I’m so excited to hear that your wedding planning is going well.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey Bentley!
      Yeah, definitely! If only I had all the time in the world to devote to blogging, reading, and writing, or if I don’t have to sleep haha, that would be the best!
      That’s great that you have a posting schedule as well and that you like to write posts in advance. It helps a lot for me, especially since weekdays tend to be more busy with work.
      Yes, same here about review requests. I feel terrible telling people “no”, so I’ve just been letting them pile up unfortunately.
      That’s awesome that you want to go back to writing again!! I took a break from writing for many years but I am so glad that I came back to it. Writing always makes my day. Hope that you’ll pick up writing again πŸ™‚
      Thank you for your thoughtful comment and have a wonderful week!! πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I love your answers and all of these questions, Sophie, this was such a great post so read! I’m with you on the time that blogging takes, as well as the fluctuating stats we can’t help but get a little too focused on, at times ahah. And ahhhh I’m so glad you picked your 28 lessons post, it’s one of my favorite of yours ever ❀
    and I LOVE that writing advice, thank you so much for sharing this!! ❀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hahaha yes the stats are as unpredictable as the weather sometimes! :’) Alas, we should let go of what we can’t control right?!
      Glad that you liked the 28 lessons post! I enjoyed writing that one πŸ™‚ Thank you for your sweet comment Marie ❀

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Sophie, about enhancing strengths vs improving weaknesses, I thought you meant this in terms of developing our writing skills (or skills in our area of specialty). So for writing, I’m best at characterization as well as the psychological stuff, but I’m worst at setting descriptions. Thus, I would disagree because I DO want to really improve my setting descriptions, lol. I don’t have to become the best in the world at it, but I do want to get better at this weak area.

    Yet, now that you’ve clarified that it’s about getting into a field you’re good at vs a field you’re not as good at, that makes more sense. Plus, if you are not good at something, you’ll probably not be that interested or happy in that field anyway. As you know, I don’t believe in talent, but regardless of my beliefs, if we are currently not great at something, it’s reasonable to not want to pursue that as a career. I’m quite bad at music (though I’m not the worst), so I wouldn’t aim to become a musician, lol. It’s notable that I’ve spent far more time writing than I ever did practicing my musical instruments, though, so of course my writing skills would be far superior to my musical abilities.

    But back to strengths and weaknesses within the field that you’re good at, e.g. writing, it’s ultimately up to the person what balance of abilities they want to have. I don’t have to be equally good at every skill, not that it would be possible anyway, but I do want to be at least decent in every aspect. What is “decent” is subjective, of course, but my two main weaknesses: setting description and my overly long dialogue scenes, have been bothering me for too long, so I’m going to work hard to strengthen these areas.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha I remember that we had a discussion about talent before! I don’t believe in talent per se, as in, I don’t believe that a person is born being great at something. However, I do believe that genetics do play a role (however small or large of an extent this is); for example, height is strongly influenced by genetics, and people who are taller are better at certain sports (ie. basketball) while not as good at other sports (ie. gymnastics.) Culture and early childhood upbringing definitely play a role as well. So because of this, at age 18, a person can be more suited for certain skills; some skills may come easy to this person, while other skills may be more difficult to obtain.

      In terms of writing, yes you’re right that as a writer, we want to be good at all aspects of writing! However I do believe that writers do specialize- we pick genres that we enjoy writing, that we are good at. I do think that genres require different skills, ie. contemporary novels perhaps require more focus on character development, while thrillers require more deductive reasoning, problem solving, and/or action scenes.

      Like

  4. I really enjoyed reading your answers!! And thank you so much for answering mine!!
    Yes finding time to ‘blog’ can be really hard and I’m really struggling to balance that at the minute– blogging involves many different things and keeping on top of it can be really hard.
    And I’m excited to see some collaboration posts if you decide to do them– I would love to read them.
    And I definitely think being part of the book blogging community makes you more aware of different books and encourages you to read more too. It is a great place for recommendations and I don’t know what I did before tbh haha.
    I really liked the writing advice about keeping your first draft to yourself so you can all your thoughts untainted by anyone else’s and then hear other opinions to build up your second draft– that’s interesting and useful!!
    And I really liked your life advice too!!
    Yay to whales– I love them too and I love your new blog theme!!
    Great post and well done for 2 years blogging. I can’t wait to see what the next year holds!! ❀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your sweet comment Sophie ❀ Haha yeah I really rely on the book blogging for probably 90% of my book choices. It was only after joining the blogging community when I grew more confident in being able to choose books that I enjoy πŸ™‚
      When I start a new novel, I am super excited about it and part of me wants to share my idea, plot struggles, etc, with others! However I think when we do this too much, we let others influence where our story will go, maybe we will change some plot points, characters, ending, etc, based on others' feedback… and not always for the better!
      Yay!! So glad that you like this blog theme πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re very welcome– it was a great post!! ❀ Yes same– I agree I think being part of the book community has made me choose books that I am sure I am going to like!! 😊
        Yes I definitely want to share my excitement of new ideas too but like you said their thoughts can influence your ideas so can change the story from what you wanted so for the first draft I think that is a good idea!! πŸ’›

        Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s