Er…yeah, it’s me again (I’m trying to be modest here, guys).
Really, though, my sweet friend, Gill of Realweegiemidget Reviews nominated me for the Blogger Recognition Award, which I had never heard of but I think is a cool concept. Thanks, Gill, you’re awesome!
Like any good blogging award, there are certain niceties to be observed, to wit:
- Thank the blogger who nominated you and include a link to their blog.
- Post the award banner on your blog.
- Share the reason you started your blog.
- Share two pieces of advice for new bloggers.
- Nominate a maximum of 15 other bloggers.
- Tell your nominees about your award post, so they can participate.
Check and check on the first two. And now for the third.
My blog started because…
I’ve always loved to write. I’ve been doing it since I was six years old. Diaries, essays for school, stories, whatever. My husband thought I should start a blog, but my response was always “Meh,” because I had no idea what I would write about.
Fast-forward to December of 2015. I had been the book critic for my docent guild’s newsletter for the past seven years, and we’d just changed editors. Well, I had a review all ready to go per the usual deadline, and I waited and waited for this new editor to contact me. Nothing. As far as I knew she didn’t get in touch with any of the other regular contributors either, so none of us knew anything about what would happen with the upcoming issue. We didn’t even have an e-mail address. I finally sent my piece to the former editor and asked him to forward it to the new one. Still nothing. The review never got published.
So I did what any self-respecting writer would do when they’ve had enough of publishers and their shenanigans: I started a blog and published the review myself. The rest, as is often said, is history (Read the piece here).
Oh, and I didn’t hear from that editor for six months. She finally begged me to write for the newsletter again, which I politely declined. We’re cool and all that, but after that much time I was over the whole newsletter thing.
My advice for new bloggers
First of all, be yourself. Learn from other bloggers, sure, but don’t feel like your blog has to resemble anyone else’s. It’s tempting, especially at the beginning, to work certain elements or a particular writing style into your blog because it feels expected. And if a blog you like has hundreds or even thousands of followers, you may find yourself wanting to recreate that magic.
Resist. Resist. Resist.
While you might write hoping to please other people, maybe a lot of people, the first person you need to cater to is you. Maybe you’d like your posts to be detailed deep dives into whetever your topic is. Maybe you want them to be quickie digest-type stuff. Or a combo, depending on the day. Whatever. The bottom line is that enthusiasm is catching. If your readers see you having a ball, they’re going to want to be in on it. And you will have readers. It’s the Internet. There will always be someone listening or watching, which isn’t as creepy as it sounds. Theoretically, anyway.
Secondly, and this might seem like a weird thing to tell bloggers, but don’t feel like you have to broadcast your opinion about everything. This is tricky, especially for a film or book blogger. If you don’t blog about something you recently took in, did you really take it in? It’s the proverbial tree falling in the woods.
The reason I say this is because next to life and paid work getting in the way of writing, burnout is a huge factor in why blogs end. I’ve seen bloggers literally say, “I’m tired of having opinions,” and the next thing you know, they don’t blog anymore. This happens a lot.
That’s why, almost five years into my site’s existence, I’m seeing the value in keeping some things under wraps. I don’t have to give my opinion of, say, Tall Girl or my favorite episodes of Home Improvement. I can watch or read something, enjoy it or not, and then move on. Will that prevent or delay my burnout? Who knows. However, a little secrecy definitely feels liberating.
And now for the next item on the agenda…
The envelope please…
My nominees are:
- Phyl at Phyllis Loves Classic Movies
- John at The JLH Collective
- Chris at Blog of the Darned
- Charity at Charity’s Place
- Gabriela at Pale Writer
- Michaela at Love Letters To Old Hollywood
- The Classic Movie Muse
- Crystal at In the Good Old Days of Classic Hollywood
- Ernie at Bloody Whisper
- Beth Ann Gallagher of Spellbound By Movies
- Zoe from Hollywood Genes
- Maddy from Maddy Loves Her Classic Films
- J-Dub of Dubsism
- Virginie from The Wonderful World of Cinema
- Paddy Lee at Caftan Woman
Congratulations, everyone! Thanks for reading, all, and hope to see you tomorrow with my entry for the first of two Hitchcock blogathons happening this month. Have a good one…