Wednesday, 16 April 2014

My Liebster Award

Anne Goodwin (run right now and read her Annecdotal blog) put a lovely surprise in my message box this week – a nomination for the Liebster Award in blogging.  It's a wonderful pay-it-forward exercise for those of us immune to going viral, a declaration from another blogger that your own words aren’t in vain, PLUS an imperative to connect with other bloggers.

My first task as a Liebster is to answer Anne's probing questions:

What surprised you most about your blogging experience?

How difficult it is to write honestly.  There's always an element of feeling exposed with a new blog post.  The second most surprising thing is that I've not been flamed, considering some of my content and that trolls are easily activated.  I've been well treated by my readers, which perhaps means there's safety in a lack of numbers (having fewer followers).

To what extent do you blog for your own entertainment versus for the benefit and/or entertainment of your readers?

Honestly?  Yes, Lora, honestly.  The phrase, 'for the benefit and/or entertainment of' doesn't resonate with me in this context, any more than it would apply to stopping by a neighbour's house to chat.  Having said that, the core of social interactions is to connect for our benefit/entertainment and/or the benefit/entertainment of others.  So it's there for me, but in what proportion, I'm unable to say.

I started blogging because an asshole agent said he didn't read submissions from anyone he couldn't Google, thus all writers should blog.  For my first year (2013), I committed to a weekly post, even when sick.  Even when disgusted with my lack of literary progress.  Even when other bloggers/writers who'd started around the time I had, were flying past me.  As mentioned, it was emotionally challenging, so after the New Year, I've let myself write when it happens, in order to explore the reason for ME to blog, keeping in mind the goal of slotting myself into a regular posting schedule once I get my land legs again.

If your blog were to come to life, what form would it take?

A garden with all the wonderful plants, trees, animals and insects that I love the most, plus a few that have never been seen outside the confines of my own skull.

How does your blogging voice differ from how you present yourself in "real life"?

It's edited!

Which words or phrases do you most overuse on your blog?

I probably swear too feckin much.

Which famous person would you most like to visit your blog, which of your posts would you most like them to read, and why?

Margaret Atwood, but she'd have to read them all.  Not letting her off the hook by giving her a choice sample.  Why Atwood?  She'd be honest without pussy footing or brutality, which is the only type of feedback that I understand.

If you could invite a fictional character to write one of your posts, who would you choose and why?

My initial reaction was, I'd choose the poodle in The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time, because I wanted to know the whole story, but then decided it would be too horrible to read, so bring on Liesel from The Book Thief.  Wouldn't you love to hear what she has to say about what her life taught her?  I would.

If time and money were no object, where in the world would you like to go to research your next post?

Paris.  No question about it.  Send me there today.

As a consumer of blogs, what are the main factors that entice you to read on?

The first paragraph gives an idea of where the post is going, even if the post starts with a story.  The blogger's voice sounds like a real person, makes that virtual connection with the reader. Content is also important, probably the reason I decided to read the blog in the first place, but I'll read a post that's outside my sphere of interest if the writer has grabbed me with the first paragraph and voice.

What else do you wish I'd asked you and how would you respond?

Come over for cake, Lora!  I'd be there in a flash (and is it chocolate?).

After this Q&A, I'm meant to post the rules, but they seem to evolve as the Award makes its travels.  Check out Lorraine Reguly's take on the rules and decide for yourself what they are.  

I'm also meant to nominate other bloggers and supply them with my own questions, all of which would make this post ungainly.  Anne broke her Liebster duties into two posts and I'm following her lead, saving the rest of my assignment for next week.

While I'm looking for likely victims worthy bloggersmind yourself.  You could be next!