Busting the Newbie Blues 2012

I’m participating in a blogger event called “Busting the Newbie Blues.”  If you would like to participate too, check out Small Review’s site.
This event is designed to:
Put new YA book bloggers on the map
Increase blogger interaction
Start a discussion blogging experiences
Learn from established bloggers
Below is a questionnaire about my blogging experiences as a new blogger:
When did you start your blog?
I began my blog in June of 2010 as a way to share with family and friends what I was doing in my graduate program.  I am getting my Masters in Children’s Literature and the program encompasses picture books all the way up to YA.  I’ve expanded my blog beyond just my graduate studies to also encompass book reviews and writing.

Why did you start your blog?
Being that I would be a five hour drive from everyone who loved me while away at graduate school, a blog seemed like an easier way to share what I was doing than lots of hours of phone time.  I grew to enjoy posting, and am now striving to maintain the blog year round.

What has been the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far?
I’m also a middle school teacher, so balancing hobbies (reading, writing, blogging) with my work (planning, grading, etc.) has always been a difficult for me.  It is challenging to post regularly and also post comments on fellow blogs, but I’d really like to become a more solid part of the blogging community.

What do you find most discouraging about being a new blogger?
Breaking into the network of established bloggers and learning the lingo was intimidating at first.  But I’ve never been shy of learning something new!

What do you find most encouraging?
Established bloggers are welcoming and encouraging to newbies.  Writers make themselves accessible through blogs.  And I love the support that bloggers give to debut authors.

What do you like best about the blogs you read? Have you tried to replicate this in your blog?
I tend to like blogs that offer a mix of book reviews and writing advice.  As I mentioned earlier, that is what my blog has become: book reviews and writing pursuits.  Author Maggie Stiefvater’s blog is one of my favorites that I follow.  I like my book reviews honest.  If you gush about every single book you read… then I’m going to doubt your sincerity.  

What do you dislike about blogs you’ve read? Do you try to avoid this?
My biggest turn-off is blogs that are too flashy or cluttered.  I prefer a streamlined look, no white text on a dark background, no moving/flashing graphics, no ads all over the place.  I’m always careful to pick a background that is somewhat cute but neutral.  But most importantly–the text is clear and easy to read.  If you can’t read my text, then what’s the point in posting?

Any advice for other new bloggers?
Read other established blogs!  Best way to learn!

Any questions you’d like to ask newbie or established bloggers?
Are there any blogs that you recommend as essential reading?

Here’s a few of my favorite posts:

10 comments on “Busting the Newbie Blues 2012

  1. Aylee says:

    I also found it challenging to make time for blogging and commenting with real life… actually, I still do. I think I just had to come to terms with the fact that I can't neglect real life in order the post and comment a million times every day. People won't unfollow you if you aren't posting everyday, and if they do then so what? I am much less stressed and much more happy now.

  2. I'll third the fact that finding time is the most challenging thing about blogging. I wish I had thought of it myself. 😀

  3. Small Review says:

    Thank you for joining in! I hope you’re enjoying the event. I love your blog name, btw—cute! :)I’m with everyone on the having trouble balancing blogging and life front. It’s difficult to do everything I want to do, but lately I’ve been trying to do what I CAN do instead of worrying about what I WANT to do. It’s a lot less stressful that way. I like that you post about your writing progress. It’s fun and exciting following someone as they work toward their goals. You have such a great attitude about it, too.

  4. LHughes says:

    Aylee- Thanks for following, and I'm glad you've found a happy balance between real life and blogging :)Karen- I wish I could buy more hours in the day!Small Review- I'm glad you like that I post about my personal writing goals. It's one of the things that I enjoy most about the author blogs that I follow. I love great books, but I also love to read about how the stories were created and what goes into creating them. 🙂

  5. Essential reading? Excellent question. Parajunkee does this Blogging 101 that is definitely a must read.

  6. LHughes says:

    Thanks for the recommendation! I'll check it out!

  7. Im a new follower and have also completed a Certificate in Childrens and Young Person's Literature and Services. I work as a Childrens and Teens Librarian.www.thephantomparagrapher.blogspot.com

  8. LHughes says:

    Being a librarian would be a dream job for me! Especially for teens and children! Thanks for following 🙂

  9. andreamantis says:

    Thanks for visiting my site! I love the look of your blog, too! It's very pretty and very easy to read! I'm with you – the flashy blogs are really off-putting. I like how your blog is a mix of reviews and posts on writing and I'm looking forward to reading more!And I'm glad that my review helped you come to the decision to try The Fault in Our Stars! I'm not a fan of Catcher in the Rye, either, and I know that John Green loves that book, so Looking for Alaska was kind of an homage I think. But LfA was probably my least favorite of his books. You should enter my TFiOS giveaway if you haven't already!Okay, I'll stop writing a novel comment now… ;)Andrea (New Follower)The Overstuffed Bookcase

  10. LHughes says:

    I'll never complain over a long comment! They're the best! :)It helps to know that you're not a fan of Catcher too, but I can definitely respect an author who pays homage to their inspirations.Thanks for popping by!

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