Recently I had a lovely surprise: Claire of Once Upon a Yarn nominated me for a Blogger Recognition Award! Thank you very much, Claire! Once Upon a Yarn is a lovely mix of crochet and amigurumis, crafty stories (check out her current book project, Unraveled!), and fandom-related posts. Please do head over to Once Upon a Yarn and give Claire some love!
- Thank the blogger who nominated you and provide a link to their blog
- Make a post about the award
- Give a brief recap of how your blog began
- Give two pieces of advice for new bloggers
- Select 15 other bloggers you wish to give the award to
- Comment on each blog, letting them know of their nomination and providing a link to the post.
In the winter of 2010, Strike A Spark was born when I began writing and publishing reviews of what I was reading, watching, and playing. Since then, the focus of this blog changed quite a bit: I began sharing the stories I was writing rather than the ones I was reading, and then started sharing my artwork too.
There are a lot of stories I’d like to share with the world, and I hope to be able to do so through my writing and art. I’ll chase that dream ’til the end, and Strike A Spark is my way to document that journey!
If I’d Known Then What I Know Now
It’s a little difficult for me to give advice. I’d like to think that any advice I give will be helpful, but it’s hard to say when you know nothing about the situation. However, this award demands two pieces of advice, so even though I can only speak from my own experience, I’ll share some of what I’ve learned here. This is the stuff I wish I could tell myself seven years ago, when Strike A Spark began!
Point #1: Blog What You Love
Do what you love and success will follow.
First, and probably the most important lesson I’ve learned so far, is to blog what you love. If you love what you’re writing about, you’ll be excited to come back to it day after day and week after week and continue building something amazing. It’s akin to when people say, “Follow your passion:” Do what you love and success will follow.
Having said that, I can think of a couple reasons why you might blog (or write or draw. . . ) something you aren’t that interested in. For example:
- Because someone else asked you to, like a request from a reader or even a school assignment
- Because you think it will garner a lot of views and discussion
- Because money
- Because it’s what you’ve always done
Excluding the last example, they’re all good reasons and they all have advantages. Requests help you connect to your audience, so are a marketing tactic; views and comments are a great indicator of how well you’re connecting to and engaging your audience; and making a living via blogging is awesome and something I hope to achieve one day. Still, they are just tactics. You control them. Don’t let them control you.
The last one, though, that’s the one I’ve had trouble with. Strike A Spark started with book reviews, and I tried to sustain that even after my enthusiasm drained away. I somehow managed to keep posting week after week, but then it got harder. . . and then I took a blogging break, and it was hard to get back into it, so I kept putting it off. If this sounds all too familiar, remember that it’s okay to step back and re-evaluate your blog’s theme or style or whatever! Change it up until it feels comfortable and exciting again – or start a new blog about whatever new subject lights you up now. Blog about what makes you happy!
Point #2: Popularity Isn’t Everything
The second thing I’ve learned is that popularity isn’t everything. It’s easy to fall into that trap that views and follows = success, especially when you’re just starting out. The first year of Strike A Spark, I was ecstatic with each new view and follower, but when the number didn’t go up exponentially, I became depressed and stopped writing for a while because, after all, why post anything if nobody is reading? That wasn’t a healthy way to blog!
These days, though I still celebrate every time I have a boost in views and every time someone new likes my work enough to hit the “Follow” button, I try not to think of it as the most important thing. Now I’m able to relax and work on the things I want to, rather than worrying about what will garner the most views. . . because while that’s important, Point #1: Blog What You Love still trumps it. 😛
Here are the other bloggers who inspire me and whom I’d like to pass the award onto. Please do check out their blogs!
- Cloud of Cloud’s World Of: The blog of my little sister and partner-in-crime! Cloud posts cute artwork (including our collaborations!), short stories and poems, and ramblings. Unfortunately, she’s been really busy and hasn’t had much time to post recently, but I happen to have insider information that she might be picking things back up again soon~! :3 Look forward to it!
- Dragonsashes of The Dragon’s Cave: Dragon makes absolutely adorable amigurumi! Each design is so cute – I especially love Galaxy, a beautiful dragon made out of hand-spun yarn.
- NanaM of Dreamcatcher-BJD and **I’m Sew Blessed**: NanaM and I connected over our mutual love of ball-jointed dolls (BJDs). At Dreamcatcher-BJD, she posts about her adventures within the BJD hobby. I always enjoy her project posts – the love and care Nana puts into each outfit, wig, and faceup is inspiring. She’s also recently started a second blog, **I’m Sew Blessed**, where she posts about her human-sized sewing projects.
- Millie of Millie On Her World: Millie makes adorable designs come to life in crochet! From amigurumi food to cute dolls, her work has been another inspiration to me for years.
- Yami Usagi of Never Outgrew Toys: Yami Usagi is a figure collector and skilled photographer. Each time she posts new photos, I just stare in amazement. Also, the photo stories are hilarious!
- Dreamparticle of Of Dreams and Particles: Another fellow BJD hobbyist, this blog is a delight to follow. I especially like how Dreamparticle is able to tell a story with each photoset!
- Veronica of Owl Wonder: Veronica is a picture-book author and her current Shapes Adventure Challenge looks like a lot of fun!
- amylu7 of Shiawase Days: The tagline reads, “a photo blog of charming desserts, delightful eats & lovely encounters,” which sums it up perfectly. Each post is a feast for the eyes, and I really must make some time to try some of her recipes!
- Sissh of Sissh Art: Sissh works in calligraphy, watercolor, hand-lettering, and digital, and each piece is beautiful.