Tag Archives: Liebster Award

The Liebster Award and the craft of blogging (4) … Why do it?

Some time ago Norah Colvin nominated Bookword (among other blogs) for the Liebster Award. Many thanks Norah. But I have delayed in meeting the obligations of the Liebster Award: answering some questions and then nominating others and asking them questions in turn. It’s like a chain letter, and it promotes less well-known blogs.

88 liebster2I have decided to delay no longer, and to flunk the Liebster test. Instead of the normal nominations I am identifying a few blogs that I enjoy and inviting them to answer the question of this post: why blog?

Please visit these blogs and see what you think:

  1. Jon Stein – a writer and musician and fellow member of a writing group. Jon wrote a guest post for me on being a writer in Andalucía. He also makes interesting comments on my posts.
  2. Norah Colvin – already recipient of Liebster Award. Such a lively blog about life, education, writing with added antipodean perspective.
  3. Annethology – for a great mixture of reflection, comment, and original writing. Anne is also the recipient of the Liebster Award, also nominated by Norah. Both Norah and Anne are frequent visitors to Bookword. I feel as if I know them, like members of a reading group!
  4. Anna Lodge Consulting – this is my daughter’s blog. She encouraged me to start with social media, being experienced through her consulting business. I like her human approach to setting up her own business. I wish she would post more on her own blog! Go Anna!
  5. And finally two for all booklovers, although they are probably too big to qualify for a Liebster Award I am sure – Vulpes Libris.
  6. Shiny New Books – a new blog subtitled what to read next and why.

 

Why blog? My answer

Citizens’ publishing, that’s what blogging is. Micropublishing, that’s another phrase I have heard used. It’s so hard for writers to get anything published in the traditional way these days, so doing it yourself is an obvious response. But also because the internet makes this democratic behaviour possible. There is an associated challenge in that there are few quality controls (unlike traditional publishing), so we have to hone our discriminating faculties. So the first answer to my question, why blog? is: I can publish my writing, so I do.

But this is far from the full answer to my question, why blog? I began because I planned to pitch for a blog to promote our book* (see below). The submission required familiarity with WordPress. At that time I had rarely read a blog, and so started it to gain the necessary experience. Another part of the answer is: to learn something new.

But as I have gained experience I have learned some of the additional pleasures that keep me posting every 5 or 6 days.

Connections

25 Stone AngelI love having connections with people who share my passion for books and read the blog. The most read of all the posts on Bookword is my review of The Stone Angel by Margaret Laurence. I read it because I had asked for ideas read older women in fiction. Litlove, from Tales from the Reading Room suggested it. I hope I have encouraged a few other people to read it as well. I’m glad I didn’t miss that one!

 

Improved writing

A number of people, including my two writing collaborators say that my writing has improved since I began the blog. They should know. I think revising the book* with my co-author and with the guidance of editors, has helped. You can argue that in reverse, so I guess that I can conclude that writing helps writing. Or, as many people have said (according to Google searches), all writing is rewriting.

Persistence and achievement

I have recently posted for the 100th time. I began about 18 months ago, and I have kept going at a regular pace. (Guidance on blogging always says you should be consistent. I don’t know if readers respond to consistency, but I am pleased to have achieved this.)

The number of visitors has risen steadily, along with the number of subscribers and those who add comments.

I’ve got a schedule with 20 ideas pencilled in, and a file filled with further ideas. And people keep publishing books. And I keep reading them. Why stop?

So finally: I blog

  • above all because I can share my love of reading and writing, and
  • to publish my writing
  • to learn new things
  • to improve my writing
  • and because it’s an achievement.

*And the book I refer to will be published on 24th July: Retiring with Attitude, by Caroline Lodge and Eileen Carnell. Published by GuardianBooks. (See also previous blogpost.) Much more in subsequent blogs about this book and the process!

101 RWA fan

So I’ve said why I write my blog. Why do you read it? Comments please!

 

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Filed under Books, Publishing our book, The Craft of Blogging

The Liebster Award – paying forward

Thanks to Norah Colvin for the nomination for the Liebster Award. I’ve been very slow to complete my responses, partly because I have been busy with things but also because I haven’t yet found the nominees that I want to promote. But I’ll do a separate post rather than delay any longer.

88 liebster2

The purpose of the Liebster Award is to:

  • provide encouragement for new bloggers with a following of fewer than 200
  • promote communication between bloggers,
  • recommend blogs to others.

Nominating others for the award is like paying a compliment forward.

Norah’s blog – live, love, laugh, learn – is one I visit frequently and I leave comments there sometimes. I am enjoying her flash fiction, for example, at the moment. She asked me some questions, and since Bookwood is a book blog I shall try to answer bookishly. Despite everything being transparent on-line, I prefer to keep quite a bit of my life private. I have adapted Norah’s questions somewhat as she allowed. Here are my responses:

  1. What do you value most in life?

No question – my daughter. Since her childhood we have shared books and responses to books. And now I am reading with her children, and the older one is at the point of reading for himself. Exciting. He has been enjoying Roald Dahl. The younger one enjoys ‘reading’ the Aybeeceedee book with me.

88 ABC

  1. What activities do you enjoy and why?

Reading and writing, and talking about both with other enthusiasts. Not only do I belong to a reading group and a poetry group (but do not intend to write any) but also at least two writing groups. My published writing tends to be collaborative, and that too is a joy. Writing with someone else means I go deeper than I would on my own. Plus we laugh a lot.

  1. What is something you wish you had more time for?

Reading and writing fiction and non-fiction. Actually it’s not so much time as ability to fit all the things I love in my life. I can’t spend all day reading and writing. Well I can, but I have other things I like doing as well.

  1. What is one change you would like to make in the world?

World peace. Seriously. Or in bookish terms, access to books for everyone. I blog about how books and writing change lives. Access to books, not just to the internet would make so much difference to people in less developed countries, as well as to those in poverty and depressed area in this country. We must save our libraries. World peace and libraries. One of the delays to this post was the need to draw attention to a new policy making books conditional on good behaviour in prisons in the UK. I did this through twitter and on my previous post. Books, I know, are a force for good in the world.

  1. What surprises you most about your life – something good in your life that you hadn’t expected, dreamed of or thought possible?

That it goes on getting better, that I go on learning, that there are so many amazing people in the world and I know some of them. There are so many books to read. I can read and write about this, I can talk and tweet and blog about this, and other people will respond. And make recommendations.

  1. What “big” question do you often ponder?

How can articulate and intelligent people inflict direct and indirect suffering upon others?

  1. What sorts of things amuse you?

Unintentional meanings in things like the sign “uncontrolled pedestrian crossing” in London.

  1. What sorts of things irritate you?

There are lots of things, and one of them is the pervasive idea of favourite books and writers in tweets and blogs. It’s such a simplistic, reductionist concept that I try to avoid it. I added this question, just so I could indulge in a favourite whinge.

  1. What is something you can’t do without?

See answer to question 1.

  1. What is your earliest memory?

Someone threatened to steal my little sister. It was an early experience of a quandary: if I went to get adult help she might get taken, but could I make sure she was safe on my own. I was scarcely 3 and she was newborn.

44 diarey

I can’t remember my earliest book. I can’t remember the earliest book I wrote, although it might have been the ‘diarey’ I found when I moved last summer and featured on a blogpost She’s leaving home. Books and writing have been in my life as long as I can remember, thanks to my parents.

I don’t know what anyone will have got from these answers, but I have enjoyed writing them. Thanks Norah. And my own nominations for the award will follow shortly.

 

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Filed under Books, Reading, The Craft of Blogging