I was surprised and delighted to be nominated for a Sunshine Blogger Award. Many thanks to Lily Pierce of Retrospective Lily, which was one of the first blogs I discovered on my blogging journey. I never fail to be inspired by her positive attitude. The blogging tips are helpful too for us beginners.
The Sunshine Blogger Award is peer recognition for bloggers who inspire with positive, creative and motivational content.
Each nominee answers the interview-type questions set by their nominator and passes on the compliment to eleven of their favourite bloggers, setting eleven new questions for them to answer.
My answers to Lily’s questions…
1. Why did you start blogging?
Writing gurus recommend that wannabe writers build up a web presence before publishing anything. I prevaricated, having nothing to publish as yet. The catalyst for me was joining a local writing group, where I found myself line-editing for our first self-published anthology (plug alert: Where the Wild Winds Blow by the Whittlesey Wordsmiths).
Since I’d forgotten most of what I learned (it’s an age thing…) from a proofreading course I took in early retirement, my editing required research, which I shared with the group as blog posts.
To my surprise, I enjoyed writing these, and interacting with other bloggers.
2. What is your favorite blog post you’ve written and why?
That’s a difficult one. I’m enjoying the current Novice Self-publishing posts, partly because it’s helping me organise my thoughts before I get to grips with the next writing group anthology (A Following Wind, in case you’re interested). I’m also helping a member of the group to prepare a manuscript for publication, and this seems a good way to reprise what we’ve covered.
The post that affected me most was Leaving Us. I wrote it after our youngest dog died suddenly. There’s nothing in it to enlighten or entertain the reader, but writing it was cathartic. I later changed the whole thing into present tense (it was written in narrative), which was something of an experiment for me. I was never a fan of present tense in fiction, but it seemed to fit this post. I’m now more likely to consider this as an option when writing, so the post turned out to be instructive as well as therapeutic – if only to me.
3. How long do you edit or agonize over a post before you press “publish”?
I’m getting better about this, but however many times I re-read it, I’ll find more to change in the Preview screen, and maybe again after I’ve published. The worst case was when I published my post on apostrophes and found a grocer’s apostrophe in the emailed post – which had gone out to my followers.
Since then I put a break in my posts – when I remember – so the emails only contain the first paragraph or so .
4. Writers’ personalities are often different than their writing portrays. How would you describe your personality?
I hope that, as my confidence improves, I’m coming across as more like me, but I’m not sure I know who “me” is.
5. What is your favorite social media platform and why ?
I only use Facebook. It’s less foreign to me as I’ve used it to keep in touch with my family. Messenger is an instant way to communicate without phoning at inconvenient times, and it seems to get their attention quicker than text messages.
I finally got around to putting up a Facebook Page recently, but I keep posting on my normal account by mistake. Since my Followers are currently people I know anyway this is not yet a problem (note to self: must interact with more writers).
I did sign up to Twitter but life’s too short. Why spend all that effort thinking up bon mots for something that will disappear later today (and nobody will see anyway unless I build up an audience).
I signed up to Instagram and Pinterest but I rarely go there. WordPress takes as much time as I can spare. When would I find time to write?
6. If you are willing to share your social media links/handles, what are they?
https://fb.me/cathycade.wordsmith. That’s it really.
I also post on Commaful at https://commaful.com/play/cathycade/. I enjoy playing with the pictures.
7. What tools do you use to “beef up” your blog?
All suggestions gratefully received.
I use free pics from Pexels, Pixabay, Unsplash and still have some credit left on Shutterstock from when I self-published The Year Before Christmas last year. (Free pics aren’t high enough resolution for a print publication). I downloaded Gimp around then (a free open source image editor). One day I will read the manual and learn how to use it properly for more than resizing.
8. What is the most valuable thing you’ve learned from blogging?
To stop prevaricating and get on with it. The world doesn’t end when I get it wrong. It’s been heartening to find how supportive the blogosphere is in general.
9. What advice would you give to a prospective/new blogger?
Visit other blogs and add your comments (it took me too long to start doing this). It builds your confidence and supports your fellow-blogger..
The blogging gurus will tell you to post frequently, but I have unsubscribed from several blogs because I got fed up with finding their posts in my inbox several times a day. If you are posting often, make sure it’s something people want to read.
Have patience. Building readership can be a slow process but, hey… who’s counting?.
10. Have you ever been nominated for and/or won other blogging awards?
No – this has been a lovely surprise. It’s validation that someone’s reading my ramblings. It doesn’t feel as if I’ve been blogging for long. (When I look at my list of posts there seem more than I remember writing.)
11. Are you satisfied with your blog’s progress?
Is anyone ever satisfied? I’m not in a hurry though; I’m not selling anything (yet). It’s all a learning curve.
And there is still a life to be lived offline, when I can find the time.
My eleven nominees are…
- Jenny (mycancerand.me)
- Dad4Gracie (My Life With Gracie)
- Stephen & Fionnuala Black (Fractured Faith)
- Invisibly Me
- Elizabeth (Saved By Words)
- Nicholas Rossis (https://nicholasrossis.me)
- Whittlesey Wordsmiths
- Phil (Fenland Phil’s Blog)
- Tessa Thomson (Tessa’s Poems)
- Eva Jordan ( evajordanwriter.com )
- Amy Westphal (amy-westphal.com)
- Thank the blogger who nominated you in a blog post and link back to their blog.
- Answer the 11 questions the blogger asked you.
- Nominate (at least) 11 new blogs to receive the award and write them 11 new questions.
- List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo in your post and/or on your blog.
(NB: I have yet to find an “approved” logo, but have taken one from someone else’s blog.)
And now… my questions.
- What do your nearest and dearest think of your blogging? (Spouse, offspring? Dog?)
- What was the worst advice you were ever given?
- Karaoke time: which singer do you want to sound like?
- What are you reading at the moment?
- Which author do you wish you could write like?
- What other skills do you dream of mastering?
- What makes you laugh?
- Why do you blog? (You knew it had to feature somewhere in this list.)
- What is number one on your bucket list?
- What is your dream job
- What childhood influence still inspires (or haunts) you?