So, today is one year since I made a blog and started posting. Time sure flies – I never thought I’d be able to keep it up for more than a couple months, but here we are. I was a bit at a loss regarding what to post – top 5? Discussion? Giveaway? What does one do? But this seemed perfect.
Thanks to Sam @ Fictionally Sam for tagging me!
1. How long have you been blogging?
Today it’s exactly a year! 🥳
I technically started planning making a review blog in 2016 – that’s also when I picked the name To Other Worlds and made the black and white circle thing, but it took a long, long time before I felt ready to take the plunge and do it. It turned out to be surprisingly easier than I expected.
2. At what point do you think you’ll stop blogging?
Not for a while! I haven’t expected to last a few months but even after a year I feel like I have only just started and have so much ahead of me still. I do expect it’ll eventually stop being fun, but hopefully not for many, many years.
3. What is the best thing about blogging?
Absolutely the community. It’s funny because the community came before the blog for me (shoutout to Sharade @ The Fantasy Inn for providing the final push) – making a blog seemed like a natural conclusion to being an involved fantasy fan. What better way to give back to those who helped me find many of my favourites than yelling about books in return? And it’s been invaluable. To my crazy little Discord family in particular: Couldn’t do it without y’all.
4. What is the worst thing? What do you do to make it okay?
The pressure to post on a regular basis. I know what pauses do to stats, but I can barely write one or two things a week when I’m not busy – mid-semester it’s just hopeless. Nothing I can do about it, though. I try not to worry about posting at a slower pace.
5. How long does it take you to make/find pictures to use?
I don’t do anything complicated for my regular review posts – covers of an appropriate size take less than a minute to find. For tags and other kinds of posts like this one I made a template in Photoshop that I only insert the appropriate text and background image into (usually from pexels, unsplash, pixabay or any other free stock image site). Though finding a good background image can take quite a while…
6. Who is your book crush?
Hmm, this is always my least favourite question in those kinds of posts 😅 I don’t really get crushes? But one character I really admire is Cazaril from The Curse of Chalion. To go through as much shit as he does and not only keep going but remain kind and honourable…I hate to use the word, but it’s quite inspiring.
And generally, my favourite character types are either cinnamon rolls who go through hell and struggle to remain true to themselves, lovable tricksters, and (if they are well done, which is rare) also characters who have been broken so many times they kind of go off the deep end.
7. What author would you like to have on your blog?
I don’t really do interviews or guest posts – I wouldn’t know what to ask – but if I have to choose one for the sake of the question, Mariam Petrosyan because The Gray House is my favourite and there’s sooo many things one could ask.
8. What do you wear when you write your blog posts?
Same as I do usually? 😅 Odd question.
9. How long does it take you to prepare?
Depends! Some reviews practically slide out of me and only take an hour or so, with others I struggle for weeks. Out of my recent posts, the one for City of Stairs for example took ages, while The Ten Thousand Doors of January was done near instantly when I started writing it. And there’s another review that’s been sitting in drafts half-finished for about half a year…😳
10. How do you feel about the blogging community?
I noticed there really isn’t one unified blogging community, more like several smaller or larger bubbles on different platforms that sometimes overlap. So I feel like I can’t say anything about “the blogging community” across the board. The communities I’m directly involved in currently are excellent and I wouldn’t swap them for anything – but I also saw a couple bookish communities fall apart in a fairly nasty fashion in the last year or so. It happens. If assholes are not dealt with, sane people will leave.
Generally though, the community is my favourite part by far.
11. What do you think one should do to create a successful blog?
Aim for sustainability instead of trying to max out followers and views. I know it’s nice to see the stats go up, but chasing the numbers is useless if you’ll burn out and stop blogging entirely afterwards. Take care of yourself. Blogging is supposed to be fun, not stressful!
I know I would burn myself out if I was chasing the numbers. Find a method that works for you. I review every book I read because otherwise I’m afraid I’d stop, but don’t keep to a posting schedule and don’t aim for much more than a post a week – and I know there are others who’d find reviewing every book they read tiring, but are motivated by schedules (post a certain kind of post every Tuesday, etc). Others have co-bloggers to take the load off, or go on hiatus every once in a while. Everyone is different, but finding a method that minimises the stress is worth it.
If this seems like a fun tag to you, consider yourself tagged! Doubly so if you have an anniversary approaching.