Why is My Blog Like This? // my aversion to niches & stats

I am a very jealous person. It’s my least favourite trait of mine. It comes on fairly randomly and can stop me reading a blog or being in a fandom for months. (I’m trying to get better at that. I think I am, a little. It’s disgusting.) I hate that it can make me feel so awful; so that I feel awful for feeling awful. If you know what I mean.

I try not to look too much at views and followers and likes… I do look at the topics that are most popular. And of course I love to go and read the blogs of people who follow me. But I don’t really promote my blog that much. (First of all, I’m quite embarrassed by my own self-promotion.) I tend to just use my social media as — well, social media. I’m not a big Twitter person anyway, but it’s not like my Tumblr is actually that blog-oriented either. Instead it’s full of all my fandom and writing and visual edits stuff. I talk to people not necessarily about books and blog things. I might talk about Hamilton and social justice and my displeasure at the English syllabus instead. (Not that I don’t necessarily talk about these on the blog instead. Because I absolutely do.)

It’s weird to see how assuming a different writing style feels like slipping on another identity. The more I feel talking to you, the more I’ll abandon spelling and grammar to the depths of my brain. There is blog-me, blog-comments-me, lower-caps-with-capitalised-I-me, all-lower-caps-internet-slang-me. It’s just like how I speak to people! (I totally speak in different ways to different people. Irritating acquaintances get monotone sarcasm, for instance.)

I’m sure many of use read the ‘you need to find a niche’ tip for new bloggers. I went through an INSANE period of blogging research where I found all these useless things. To be honest, I think it’s just easier to practice rather than all of that. I always say that, though, and I’m still a crazy researcher.

I should probably make myself more of a niche. I don’t feel like my writing style is individual enough for that to be a connecting theme? It changes all the time; recently I have caught myself using a ridiculous amount of ellipses. I just want to write ANYTHING and EVERYTHING, because I am an indecisive person and also I am a person with changing interests. Objectively, I do realise it would be more efficient to focus on one thing and then another. But I have so many directions I want to spread myself in. And I am just disorganised. I want to blog AND write books AND write poetry AND record podfic AND play the clarinet AND sing AND make cosplays AND learn languages. (Phew. That was a lot of ands.) I’m not very good at any of those things — but I still enjoy them enormously, and hopefully that counts at least for a little bit. I’m still building them up slowly.

I can’t be completely sure how my blog comes across. I do write some sensible and structured posts. But very often I will just sit down and randomly wail about things. There are super blogs with all kinds of styles! But I know I could never completely rely on spontaneous blogging about my life. I would be TERRIBLE. My life just isn’t very interesting. I know I could never be a completely writing or books blog, because a) I am quite frankly a terribly inconsistent writer and b) I have an intense dislike of writing book reviews. I just…I CAN’T. I have too many things I want to talk about.

Yes. I suppose what I am trying to say is: I AM DIVERGENT. I cannot be contained. My blog has changed and will probably change and that is absolutely okay. I have a lot of different interests that are all fighting for my time, which is both silly and exhilarating. Also, I am a jealous little special snowflake who needs to not spend all her time thinking about success. hi

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My Year in Blogging // time passes too quickly

2016 recap

My favourite  of recap-y posts is getting to look at your old goals. OH GOSH. I was so young and innocent then. *shakes head* (I wanted to figure out the school system in the US. And Carry On was still a distant dot on the horizon.) I do feel like I’ve grown a lot this year — and I’ll probably look back at this post and laugh at my clichés, but it’s true. SO MUCH HAS HAPPENED IN JUST A YEAR.

Looking back at 2015

  • (Damn. I still think it’s basically 2012. I have no idea how I’ll get used to writing the new date.)
  • Both of my top posts were somehow Rainbow Rowell posts? (The one where I talked about the Eleanor & Park movie, and the one where I talked about Carry On). Obviously the people searching Rainbow Rowell books have come to the right place: WELCOME, FRIENDS. I am here to flail with you.
  • Some other posts I’m proud of are my 7 British words that aren’t ‘bloody’ — which ironically I now say a lot! — and my discussion of parallels between Harry Potter and real world issues. You can see the WordPress report of my year in blogging here!
  • I changed my blog theme. I mean, I do need a new photo after my haircut. 😉 But I’m really happy with the design itself, and I hope you guys are liking it!
  • Well. The UK General Election happened. I don’t talk about current affairs very much on here, but…eh. I wasn’t that impressed with a lot of the new actions. So that was all a bit of a downer.
  • Last year I said I wanted to complete a writing project, which I didn’t, despite doing NaNoWriMo twice. (Don’t worry, you didn’t miss a second November. I speak of Camp NaNo!) Completing that would have been nice, but…hopefully in 2016? I also do feel like I spent time growing my poetry, so. My excuse. 😉
  • I joined SO many fandoms. I fell in love with Les Mis in April and…yeah. Now I talk a lot about dead French revolutionaries. And through that I discovered other great musicals like Hamilton and Rent! Plus, I got super into Alice Oseman’s Solitaire, and I’m really excited for the release of Radio Silence early next year.
  • THE SIMON SNOW FANDOM HAS EXPLODED. I think the release of Carry On totally deserves its own bullet point, right? The fandom has basically gone from a few familiar faces where everyone reblogged everything in the tag to a lovely community of people excited by Simon and Baz and Agatha and Penny and Ebb.
  • I did complete my Goodreads challenge, but I feel like I’ve read a lot less this year. You can see my year in books here. 🙂 I’ve been reading so slowly since the start of school in September… I’m kind of considering the possibility that I read the same amount of fanfiction as books? I have read a lot of fanfic. *coughs*
  • I went to my first ever convention, as well as two more! I’M SO HAPPY I DID. I’ve enjoyed all my cons massively, and I’m hoping to go to as many in the future as possible! Although sadly I’m missing YALC — I chose to go on my Girlguiding trip instead, which should still be fabulous. 🙂

Looking forward to 2016

  • I want to improve my cosplays! And generally do all the fandom things. But I’d really like to learn more about the sewing aspect of cosplay, and maybe cosplay a character with a more complicated costume. (In May I’m hoping to cosplay Jehan from Les Mis! Right now I’m attempting to make a pattern for the waistcoat oh gosh. XD)
  • MOOOORE WRITING. Always. I have so many ideas that I’d like to write. And I really haven’t been doing much poetry recently so…I want to get back into that.
  • I want to continue learning Japanese — so far I’ve basically just learnt a few basic phrases and the hiragana characters. Um. Yeah. I’d love to get a little more decent at that.
  • I want to watch all the things I’ve been itching to watch. Old Doctor Who episodes. Once Upon a Time. Star Wars. Mr Robot. SO MANY MUSICALS.
  • I’d love to attend more bookish events, hehe. Seeing authors speak is amazing.

Thank you to all the lovely people who’ve read my posts, commented, talked to me —  Evi, Michelle, Alyssa, Nirvana, Elly, An Overthinking TeenagerBridget, Elm, and so many more — I APPRECIATE YOU SO MUCH. Thank you for all the fabulous blogs I’ve been reading over the past year. (I might have to do a whole list. There’s a lot.) ❤ I hope that 2016 will be a good year for all of us.

A Long-Overdue Blog Survey

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ALERT, ALERT, CONINUE FOR ANNOUNCEMENTS!

Sorryyy if the photos mess up! Phew. The new WordPress reader is seriously stressing me out. It’s like a new computer but way too irreversible for comfort.

Today’s post is rather boring, I’m afraid, but MAKING MY BLOG MORE AWESOME can’t be that bad, right? Anyway, if you lovely people could fill out this blog survey then I will be eternally grateful and send you boxes of chocolates over the internet. I don’t think I’ve done an actual blog survey…ever? Congratulations! You’ll be making history! *shoos in the direction of the form*

I also wanted to let you guys know that I’m off to YALC at the weekend – are any of you going? I’m afraid that my excitement has rather wreaked havoc on my blogging schedule, but hopefully it’ll be good fun, haha. I’m not cosplaying this time round, but I am wearing my Carry On Simon shirt. Ahem. I live in the hope that this will initiate my bookish conversations for me. 😉

The Start of a New Year

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I can’t believe we’re almost coming to the end of this year! I know it sounds clichéd, but it really does seem like only yesterday that I was writing the same kind of post last year. I don’t want you to bombard you guys with stats, since you’ve probably been getting a ton of these posts coming into your inbox, but ‘ve noted down a few achievments for the past year and stuff I’m excited about for the future.

Looking Back at 2014

Click here for a wonderful infographic of my stats produced by WordPress!

    • This year, I rekindled my love of words.. The library came into excellent stock, and I came across excellent books. This was the year I discovered Rainbow Rowell, The Mortal Instruments, The Grisha…the list goes on.
    • Not only did I fall back in love with reading – I also fell back in love with writing. I wrote and read stories far more frequently, and I even started a project during NaNoWriMo. My love of poetry was rekindled by the wonderful Topaz Winters (no, I’m not going to stop mentioning this!) and from there I’ve been bewitched by other beautiful poems. I’ve written a few of my own, too!
    • I read my first comic…ever? After much bugging. I was finally convinced by my friend to read the webcomic Nimona, and I am SO GLAD I DID. I binge-read all the available pages on a Wednesday afternoon and then had to suffer the next few months on just two pages a week. TORTURE. Anyway, I’m feeling a bit bereft now that it has ended, so if you guys have any recommendations then those would be great to hear.
    • I’m the same height as my mum. FINALLY. I don’t think I’m going to be a tall person exactly, but my one goal is to be taller than my mum. And we’re the same height!
    • I discovered the fandom. It’s a really fun community, but sometimes it bugs me that people tend to forget the flaws in books/movies.

Looking Ahead to 2015

    • I want to learn how the American school system works. It is just SO DARN CONFUSING. Even after reading all these books about kids in high school (?) I still do not understand which age corresponds with which year. (And honors classes?? What are they?)
    • I want to do a Goodreads reading challenge. I only just got my GR account, but I’m going to start at 60 books for 2015 and see how I go.
    • I want to finish a writing project. Preferably the one I started during NaNo, but you never know! I don’t want to block myself in 😛 To be honest, I just want to keep writing – as long as I keep practicing and improving and enjoying, I don’t want to stop
    • I want to watch some of the older episodes of Doctor Who on Netflix. I came onto the bandwagon way too late, and now I’m suffering.

And of course, there’s a whole load of books and movies like:

    • Nimona! In paperback!
    • Frozen Hearts, by the aforementioned blogger and teen writer Topaz Winters
    • ACOTAR and Throne of Glass #4
    • Fairest and Winter
    • CARRY ON SIMON GUYS IT’S HAPPENING OH MY GOSH
    • Insurgent, Mockingjay Part II, Big Hero Six, The Scorch Trials
    • News of Paper Towns and Eleanor & Park movies?

And, finally, I want to keep blogging and I want to keep happy. 🙂

Happy New Year! How was 2014 for you? Do you have any goals for the coming year?

A New Look for my Blog!

As you might have noticed, I’ve changed the look of my blog! I’ve chosen a new theme, Hexa, to replace my last one, San Kloud. Like it? Love it? Hate it? Any niggling things about it? Let me know. Please be honest, although saying that probably won’t change your mind (though I hope it will).

New avatar

Also, I’ve got a new avatar-thing. It’s not that detailed or anything but…yeah. It’s more related than my last one, and I think it’s an improvement. You?

I hope you guys are good. I’ve just started my summer holidays, and I’m having a busy social life (which is very unlike me). I just went to my best friend’s birthday party and it was AWESOME. We jumped into her swimming pool (I know, she has a swimming pool) and swam with the ducks/ducklings that have nested in her garden. In our clothes. I came home sopping wet, and my mum was not pleased.

On Reaching 100 Followers!

In January, I wrote a post very similar to this telling you all that I had reached fifty followers. Today I tell you that I HAVE REACHED 100 FOLLOWERS! Yay!

I actually achieved this a couple of days ago but I didn’t realise at the time so I bring you all this post today, the first of May. I’ve been blogging for about six and a half months at this moment in time. It seems so weird – almost like I’ve just started.

Anyway, I know 100 followers in six months probably isn’t that great but I feel good about it. I feel excited. Who knows where I could be in six month’s time, what I could be doing on those dreary autumn days? I mean, it’ll probably just be homework but you never know.

In the fashion of my last celebratory post, I’ll do a month by month round up.

February represents the days of little posting and rants written in my phone. Possibly not my finest hour…

March was the month that I changed what I’d like to be blogging about. I started off this intending to be a beauty blog but it’s evolved into something more like my rambling a and thoughts. I have more to say about rambling and thoughts than I have about beauty.

April was a fun month. I did some fun posts with my buddy and I wrote some fun posts by myself. It was a month of laughter, even though fun is a very different thing from being funny.

And May? Well, May has only just started but I have a LOT planned for you guys! And I just want to say thank you to anyone that actually reads this stuff, crazy as it is. You are my life, except not really because I have school and family and friends and Throne of Glass and Totoro. So yeah.

In other news, here is a song that I am going to show you even though it’s all over the radio so you’ve probably already heard it.  This song sums up the atmosphere of this post.

Bye!

 

Is Makeup Vain?

Considering that I blog most of the time about ‘beauty’ (of the face/skin/makeup kind) I thought I’d share my thoughts on something that has been crossing my mind recently…

Is makeup, the thing I blog about, vain?

If you look up the single word ‘vain’ up on Google, then you’ll get this:

having or showing an excessively high opinion of one’s appearance, abilities, or worth.’

Well, to get this straight, I don’t think that about myself. Still, makeup is in effect a thing that only changes what people see on the outside. Isn’t that a bit stupid? And old fashioned?

Basically, yes.

Then why do I blog about it?

Although there is a part of makeup that is like art and you can express your emotions, I don’t have the experience or money to do that kind if stuff. All in all, I share tips for cheap and easy makeup.

I don’t really feel like I should  have good reasons. We’re not supposed to judge books by their covers and take appearances to seriously etc. etc, which I definitely agree with, but somehow, against everything, I enjoy writing about beauty.

That is my reason for blogging about beauty: I love it. What about you? What do you think? Is that reason enough?

If you have any opinions about this topic then I’d love it if you commented below (I’m sometimes too scared so don’t be) or emailed me at j.applesmail@gmail.com

I’ll be seeing you all again soon,

Apple xx

Note to my Friend

It’s probably going to seem really weird, that I’m writing a letter to my friend on my blog. Let me explain: today, I became a not-so-anonymous blogger! I improved on my honesty! I did something miraculous and life changing (okay, maybe not that last one so much)! And the this is how it happened:

Me: Hey. So, um, can I tell you something?
Friend: Sure.
Me: Well, I set up this blog like three months ago.
Friend: Ok. Have you been in it much?
Me: Uh, yeah. I have 50 followers.

That is the life changing conversation, condensed slightly because we were walking to the changing rooms. I was going to write ‘BF’ for best friend, but then I realised you might think that was boyfriend so that would have been misleading. Anyway. Moving on, this is basically where I tell unnamed as yet friend to not freak out and where not to look, etc. etc.

Totally unrelated hot chocolate. I needed a picture.
Totally unrelated hot chocolate. I needed a picture.

So. Hey, A (can I call you that? Friend isn’t exactly a common first name). Firstly, don’t freak out. I don’t have an later ego or anything, and I’m not going to turn into a ‘popular’-y person. Trust me, I’m still me.

Secondly, some of the earlier posts are no longer true and I may not has told the entire truth. Do not trust all of those. Also, preferably don’t tell the world i.e. class. I’m slightly embarrassed and I’m also used to keeping a secret. I kept CS a secret for ages, remember? I might go weird if you try and talk to me. It’s easiest for me to write it down here. Remember that.

If you wanted to do some guest blogging or something, that would be awesome. This applies to everyone (shameless advertising, I know…).

Hope you guys are all having a still-great January. I’m going on camp this weekend so might not post, but I’ll try and make up for it next week. See you soon (metaphorically)! Okay. Bad joke. You know what I mean.

Apple xx