Blogging Advice I Don’t Follow

I know I spew a lot of advice on this blog. But I don’t always follow my own preaching. So how do you expect me to follow someone else’s blogging tips?

Below I share what some bloggers say you should do, why I don’t do so, and how I justify being such a rebel.

Have an email list.

I don’t care to build one.

First, if I don’t care to do something, I won’t do it, much less to the extent I should. Second, selling or promoting something isn’t my goal as a blogger. Third, no one deserves to be spammed with useless emails from yours truly.

Have approximately 15 tags per post.

I can’t count. 

For the record, I’m a dancer. I only need to count to 8. Also, I swear I saw someone, somewhere say to include around 15 tags per post. Not 1. Not 50. About 15 give or take. Surprise: I’ve published posts with only 3 tags and some with way too many. I put very little thought into tagging like I do with many things.

Have an introduction and conclusion.

I’m lazy.

Sometimes I’m too lazy to come up with an introduction. And those rare times I’m not, my willpower to write a conclusion is non-existent at the end of my blogging session. This post is no exception.

How To Be A Better Writer

You want to be a better writer, don’t you?

Blog. 

I can’t say enough about blogging and what’s it’s done for my writing. I wouldn’t be half the writer I am today if it wasn’t for this blog.

Read everything. 

The good, the bad, and the ugly. That way you can implement what works into your own writing. Equally, if not more important, you’ll learn what doesn’t work.

Write often. 

You’re not going to get better at writing if you don’t practice.  

Live your life. 

Go out and do things. Then come home and write about it.

Take a class. 

Hopefully it teaches you something. If nothing else, you’ll probably have your patience tested.

Why I Write

I write for fun because writing is fun. It’s enjoyable and exciting.

I write to express myself. To speak my mind. To share my thoughts.

I write because I can talk uninterrupted for as long as I want. I don’t have to filter or edit.

I write because I want to create. Characters. Worlds. Anything and everything.

I write to escape. The real world gives me plenty of reason to.

I write because I want to. Because I love to. Because I’m happy when I’m writing.

Home | A Short Story

Tyson reached for her arm and gripped it gently. “Where are you going?”

Hilary paused for a brief second. “Home.”

Tyson glanced at his friends, Allen and Jamie. They both shrugged at him.

“Don’t go.” Tyson said even as her dark eyes narrowed. “What’s wrong? What did I do?”

She pulled her lips back, exposing her teeth into a snarl. “The world doesn’t revolve around you, Ty.”

At that, he felt himself flinch.

Allen tried to step between Tyson and Hilary. “He was just worried he did something to hurt you.” A second passed. “Isn’t that right, Ty?”

Allen shot a look at his friend. His wide blue eyes were a shade darker than the afternoon sky.

A warm wind shuffled the autumn leaves at their feet, a swirl of red, oranges, and yellows.

“Yeah,” Ty hesitated, taking a tiny step forward. “I didn’t mean—”

Jamie uncrossed his long but thick arms and walked over to Hilary’s side with his lean legs. “Go home.”

Tyson narrowed his dark eyes, opening his mouth to say something but thought better of it.

Hilary had to tilt her head up in order to meet Jamie’s kind eyes. She nodded, making a move to turn around.

When Tyson tried to grab her arm again, Jamie stepped in front of him. Jamie stuck out his arm. He shook his head.

Tyson closed his eyes, not wanting to watch Hilary walk away. His heart sank to his stomach when he could no longer hear her receding footsteps.

Allen placed a cool hand on Tyson’s back. He could feel the coolness even through the fabric of his cotton T-shirt.

“She’ll be okay. Just give her a day or two.” The corners of Allen’s mouth turned upwards into a smile.

“But why is she mad? What did I do?” Tyson sat down on the grass, crossing his legs beneath him.

Jamie lowered his eyes to look at Tyson. “I wouldn’t worry.”

“But—”

“I wouldn’t worry,” Jamie repeated, cutting him off.

“I’m not you and you aren’t me.” Tyson picked at a strand of grass on the ground and pulled it out.

A sigh escaped from Jamie’s lips. “Stop being difficult, Ty.”

“Maybe she’s just having a bad day,” Allen offered, bending his knees to squat down to Tyson’s level.

“We’re her friends. She’s supposed to feel better when she’s spending time with us, not worse.” He ran his hand down his face, wicking away some of the moisture and transferring it to his palm. Tyson wiped his hand on his denim jeans.

The three boys fell silent.

“I don’t get it. I don’t get her.” Tyson leapt up, which made Allen scramble to his feet.

“What are you doing?” Jamie asked when Tyson started in the direction Hilary walked away.

“Getting an answer,” he called out over his shoulder.

Jamie shook his head but followed with Allen running to catch up to Tyson.

They arrived at her house a few moments later.

Hilary’s dad opened the door.

“Uh, hi Mr. Chang.” Tyson chewed on his bottom lip. “Is Hilary home?”

Mr. Chang had dark hair and a light complexion, just like her. He was a thin but tall man, looming over the boys in the doorway. “No.” He went to shut the door, but Tyson stuck a foot out.

“Wait, she isn’t?”

Mr. Chang shook his head. “She hasn’t come home in three days.”

Glass Dreams | A Poem

I can’t decide

I can’t commit

I don’t know why

I can’t do it

A lot to lose

Too much at stake

Dreams made of glass

Steal glances in the back

Have to look straight soon

Up and out the windshield

So maybe I’ll have no choice but to…

A Writerly Would You Rather

Would you rather spend the next few minutes of your precious life writing a story or reading this blog post? Don’t answer that.

Would you rather write one bestseller or ten mediocre books?

While I would want to write a bestseller, I’d probably end up writing mediocre stuff that no one in their right mind should spend their hard-earned money on. I’m in a self-depreciating mood. Let me be.

Would you rather always have to outline or never outline your stories?

Never outline anything. Ever. Never ever. Having to outline everything would make me lose what’s left of my sanity.

Would you rather write all your novels in chronological order or in random fashion?

Random would be fun, but I tend to write my stories chronologically.

Would you rather write only with black/blue ink or have to write with other colours?

Black or blue, the latter preferably. I don’t have to read tiny words written in neon yellow to know my eyesight is bad. 

Would you rather have nice handwriting but write slowly or messy handwriting but write quickly?

Messy and quickly. My hand can’t keep up with my brain as it stands, so I’ll sacrifice neatness for speed any day of the week.

Would you rather have to use your real name or a pen name beside every piece you publish?

If my real name is going to appear beside something, you can be sure I’m proud of that something.

Would you rather write to music or write to silence all the time?

When I’m handwriting, I prefer silence. When I’m typing on the computer, I like listening to music. I guess I’d write to very soft music then.

Would you rather be a rich writer or a famous one?

Pretending I could and had to pick one, I’d go with being rich because I don’t think I could handle fame. I doubt I’d handle fortune very well either. But with the money, I could hire someone to manage my finances. Maybe even my life as well.

You could’ve written a lot of words in the time it took you to read this post. Thanks for reading. 

Feel free to answer the above questions in your head, on paper, or somewhere else entirely.

A Q&A About Blogging

I answer questions about my personal blogging process. Feel free to do the same.

What do you blog about?

I get asked this all the time, and I never have a good answer ready. I blog about writing and blogging and reading. How meta of me.

When do you blog?

I make blog graphics in the morning, and I usually write and edit posts in the evening or at night. I don’t stray too far from my routine unless I have a good reason too. Aren’t we all creatures of habit?

Where do you blog?

Most often in my bedroom or in the living room. But I’ve worked on my blogs in many places. Buses, classrooms, restaurants, etc. You name a location, I’ve probably worked on a blog post there.

How do you blog?

I blog on my phone a lot more than I used to. But I’ve done plenty of blogging on my computer as well. Occasionally I’ll write drafts of my posts out by hand and type them up later.

Why do you blog?

This is the million dollar question. I blog for a lot of reasons. I love blogging. I enjoy the process very much. I want to get better and improve as a blogger. Four years later, I’m still learning so much every single day. Blogging helps me discover more about myself. It’s fun and challenging. I like interacting with other bloggers. I could keep going.

Happy blogging!

Why I Love Reading

Why do I love to read? Where do I begin?

I love stories. It’s fun to read and experience them.

I like not knowing what to expect, especially when I’m reading a new book from an author I’m unfamiliar with.

I enjoy being surprised along the way. I get such a kick out of thinking through possible scenarios in my head and seeing if they play out in the book.

I love escaping a world that isn’t always pleasant and exploring a new one.

It’s fun to meet characters I can relate to. I love some and hate others. The ones I remember, for one reason or another, are special. They become a part of me.

I love learning. Through books I can learn about anything and everything. History and science. Animals and sports. New words and old ones. The English language. French. German. Latin. 

I have learned about the world I live in currently and the world I want to live in. 

And I’ve discovered a great deal about myself. Who I am, who I want to be. What I value, what I believe in. 

Thanks to reading, I have a better understanding of different kinds of people. 

Books have taught me to see that regardless of a person’s skin colour or sexual orientation, human beings are human.

I hope I always love books, stories, words.

I hope you do too.

Why do you love reading?

How To Be A Happy Blogger

Honestly, I have had my share of ups and downs as a blogger. But I like to think in the past few years I was happy more often than not. At least happier than I would’ve been otherwise.

Here’s what I try to do in order to be a happy blogger.

Blog.

The days I blog are good. The days I publish a post are better. But the few and far between days I don’t do any blogging are beyond frustrating. I feel bad for not being productive. And since now I’m so used to getting a blog post up, I feel weird when I don’t.

Don’t compare.

We’re all at different places on our own unique journeys. It’s not fair to compare yourself to someone on a different path in life than yours. 

Connect with bloggers.

Blogging can get lonely at times. So it’s nice to be able to interact with others going through similar things. That said, you don’t have to be on and connected all the time.

Stay true to myself.

Easier said than done. Still whatever you do, don’t force yourself to be someone you aren’t. Don’t change who you are to fit in. Don’t do it.

Stop sweating the small stuff.

I used to stress over every little thing when it came to blogging. Everything had to be flawless or perfect. Now I’m a bit more laid-back. It’s done wonders for my mood.

Go forth and be a happy blogger!

The Gathering | A Book Review

Title: The Gathering

Author: Kelley Armstrong

Genre: Paranormal fiction; Urban fantasy

About the book: It’s the first in the Darkness Rising trilogy.

First impressions: I felt as though the beginning read more like a contemporary novel with the main character attending her local high school where everyone knows everyone. Not much happened early on.

Summary: A normal girl in a normal town realizes she isn’t all that normal and her town isn’t either.

Characters: I wanted more character development overall, so I could get to know everyone a bit better. Maya, the protagonist, is flawed but likeable. I could not for the life of me picture how anyone looked like.

Quote:

“But I don’t want to see you beating yourself up every time you make a mistake.”

Conflict: Maya is trying to figure out her own background and history while dealing with the weird things happening in the present moment.

Writing: Armstrong really loves the word “though”. The writing is simple, easy to read. I do wish the author described people and places in greater detail, however.

Final thoughts: I hoped to have more answers by the end. Instead I just have a ton of unanswered questions. But I think this book probably sets the stage for the sequel. I’d recommend it if you’re looking for a realistic story with relatable characters and elements of the paranormal.

This post contains an affiliate link to Book Depository.