I’d like to thank the academy…
Not really. What academy? But all the same, I have been tagged for an award! The wonderful Meeghan @ Meeghan Reads has graced me with the Blogger Recognition Award, and due to the mysterious workings of the WordPress pingback system, I only found out four months late. 😑
But it’s better late than never, right? So here we go!
- Thank the blogger who nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
- Write a post to show your award.
- Give a brief story of how your blog started.
- Give two pieces of advice to new bloggers.
- Select 15 other bloggers you want to give this award to.
- Comment (or pingback) on each blog and let them know you have nominated them and provide the link to the post you created.
How Hail & Well Read Started
A lot of you actually know this tale, because it’s a new one! Hail & Well Read is new as of January 2020, the product of my pun-obsessed brain and the outstanding artistic talent of my dear friend, Caroline Schlegel. I wanted to rebrand my blog in a way that nodded to my love of fantasy, but also gave off cozy NPC energy, and somehow, this is where we landed.
(Very briefly, we were also Snail & Well Read. Sometimes, I think we should be Snail & Well Read all the time.)
But the blog overall is from March 2018, when I launched it as The Words Gremlin! I began it on a whim, encouraged by a friend who used to book blog, and unlike a lot of my ideas that strike out of nowhere, this one stuck. I didn’t have many bookish friends before blogging, so The Words Gremlin gave me an outlet for one of my oldest passions, not to mention a schedule to stick to beyond the same old classes day in and day out.
The rest feels like history. I started reviewing books, and I started participating in Top 5 Tuesday. I made a Twitter, made my first and only Instagram (folks, I am very hesitant to pick up new social media platforms, so starting Insta was wild), and learned how to request ARCs. Since March 2018, I have been thriving, blogging about what I love, and talking to so many people who feel the same. Life is really truly better for it. 💛
My Advice to New Bloggers
First thing’s first: pace yourself. I have a tendency to bite off more than I can chew, and it showed in the early days. I tried to request too many ARCs, write too many new posts, try too many new ways to promote my blog. It could be more stressful than fun, especially with college classes on top of it all. Learning to pull back when I’d started at 110% was really tough.
But it was worth it. Now, I know how to manage my time and energy better. Granted, I’ve also graduated, and don’t have schoolwork hanging over my head anymore. But the specifics don’t matter here so much as my point: learn the pace you can sustain, and stick to it. A little push to your limits now again is okay, too! Have fun! Get adventurous! But you don’t have to exist in turbo overdrive every second of every day. You’re a human being, not a machine.
My other biggest piece of advice is to make your blog you. I think where I struggled with The Words Gremlin was a conflicting aesthetic. I liked the colors. And florals. And paper textures in graphics. The trouble was that I actually liked too many things and tried to put them all in the same place. It looked messy, and it didn’t feel like me, even though it was all stuff I liked.
Transitioning to Hail & Well Read cleared the air, though. I love the welcoming NPC energy Caroline captured in my graphics, and the warm, bright colors. Does the blog display every single thing I love? No, it doesn’t (if it did, you’d see graphics for bunnies and sharks and flowers and everything under the freaking sun). But it does display a lot of what I love and who I feel like without being too busy.
I’m not saying you have to go out and hire a graphic designer or labor for a thousand years over perfect graphics (in my case, I’m incredibly lucky to have Caroline as a friend, and she worked out an affordable deal with me while also knowing me well enough to get my personality in every inch of the redesign). I’m simply saying that your blog is yours. And while you can do whatever you like with it, I recommend making it you. When people see it, they know it’s yours. There’s no confusion, no mishmash of everything to send people off track. There’s you and your love for your blog, standing front and center. 💛
Bloggers Who Have Earned the Blogger Recognition Award
I always struggle when a tag says to pick more than five people. More than three, really. My brain short-circuits and all my organization goes out the window.
That said, these ten folks (a happy numerical compromise with the rules and my brain!) are some of my favorite bloggers, worthy of this award for sure. Go show them some love!
Kal @ Reader Voracious || Kat @ Novels and Waffles || Kate @ Your Tita Kate || Sahi @ My World of Books || Anniek @ Anniek’s Library || Destiny @ Howling Libraries || Isabelle @ Nine Tale Vixen || Lauren @ Twenty-Seven Letters || Jess @ Crowing About Books || Kait @ Kaitlyn’s Cozy Reading Corner