An unexpected award and a little pick-me-up is always a lovely surprise, so I was delighted when the Author Design Studio blog received the Liebster Award last week! The Liebster Award is a fantastic online award given by bloggers to other blogs. Sometimes the nicest awards are those you haven’t had to enter and are just bestowed on you by those who value your input into the online world. The lovely lady who nominated me was Ellie Holmes. Thank you Ellie! Over on her blog, And Then What, Ellie talks openly about her work as a new author, the emotions of writing and the process of publishing. A bit like chatting with a friend over a cup of tea, Ellie’s writing is clear, easy to read and a real pleasure to enjoy. I’d highly recommend her blog as well as her book, The Flower Seller, which I also recently read and had me thoroughly gripped.
For those that don’t know, The Liebster Award is a nice blogging award where you shout out to some blogs you enjoy. You get some questions to answer from the person who nominated you, then you pass on some of your own questions to other bloggers you nominate, which creates a nice chain of support and gratitude!
As part of the rules for the Liebster Award, here are ten random facts about myself:
- I have a Border Collie / Dalmatian cross called Tinker – my nutty but ultra affectionate dog who keeps me company when I work at home.
- I love an open fire (even in summer).
- I enjoy getting lost on country walks – it helps me clear my mind.
- I have an goal to work or experience working in nearly every aspect of the publishing industry.
- I am a major foodie, and love creating ‘chefy’ dishes for my family.
- One day I would love to have a small kitchen garden.
- I have three unpublished manuscripts that one day I may decide to publish(!)
- I’ve learnt more about myself in the last few years than I have in my entire lifetime and I am very proud to now be where I am.
- I studied Politics and was told by my lecturer that I would make a great MP. I was never sure if that was a compliment or not(!)
- I collect vintage and antique books and love their musky smell.
I also have to answer the questions of my nominator, Ellie Holmes:
1. Why did you decide to start your blog? I wanted to reach out to writers. After working with a vast mix of authors for so many years, I felt that someone needed to start a small blog answering all the questions that I hear on a regular basis. A niche knowledge base for those looking for a quick answer to a question that can sometimes be quite simple.
2. What is the hardest thing about maintaining a blog? Time! I work full time, and maintaining a blog as well as my design work can be challenging. I certainly wish I had more time to devote to my blog, but as a one woman business it sometimes proves difficult! Fresh content is also difficult to think of, as the online world is so vast and constantly moving, it’s sometimes difficult to provide your readers with new ideas or viewpoints.
3. What’s the best thing about blogging? Helping people. I love to hear from writers and authors that they have found an article useful or that it inspired them to try something that they’ve never considered before. I love to provide authors with knowledge that they can then use to better their online presence or design/branding. As with other social media, I also love the interaction. As many writer’s will understand, it can be quite isolating, so having conversations with others is great!
4. What are your top tips for someone just starting a blog?
I always advise authors to spend time writing a few blog posts in advance of starting. That way if they are finding it hard to devote the time needed each week/month, you can have a back-up post ready to use. This could apply to anyone looking to blog on a regular basis. I would also recommend branding it – good design is good business!
5. What’s the best piece of advice you have ever been given and did you follow it?
Someone once told me that I should walk before I run. That may be a good piece of advise for some, but not me. I didn’t follow it and I am glad. I never did like anyone holding me back. I wouldn’t be where I am today without my crazy ambitions and bravery, both in business and my private life. I think everyone should have dreams.
6. What are you passionate about?
Oh so many things! Firstly, having built up my own business, I am very proud and passionate about my work. I love what I do and helping authors achieve their dreams. I also get to work with an amazing group of freelancers who all share my dream to make our small businesses heard. Secondly, food(!) – as I mentioned, I am a big foodie and enjoy cooking for my family and creating new dishes. My husband is a very willing taste tester! Finally, I would say family and love. I’m a hopeless romantic, and I think it’s hugely important to show our loved ones every day how much they are valued and loved.
7. How would you spend a ‘perfect’ day?
A perfect day for me would be spending a day with my husband. We love exploring new places and finding hidden gems. We both work very hard and our days together really are treasured.In an ideal day, the hours would be long enough to also include writing, reading, painting, cooking and a glass of something nice!
8. Do you ever suffer with writer’s block and if you do, how do you get over it?
Whether it’s for my blog, or ‘designer’s block’ with my work, I always try to take a walk and clear my mind. If it continues, I tend to leave the project alone for a few days and open my mind to new inspiration. Allowing myself this time is something I should do more often!
9. Who is/are your favourite author(s)?
Since I started reviewing books on my blog, I have been lucky enough to read some amazing authors that I probably wouldn’t have otherwise come across – perks of the business! It’s nearly impossible for me to choose a favourite as I enjoy such a variety of work and appreciate so many author’s talents, so I always come back to my old favourite, Jane Austen, who really introduced me to the world of books.
10. Where do you hope to be in five years’ time?
Now there’s a question! I am working with another couple of freelancers who both have the same business dreams that I do, and we are collaborating to create something very exciting in the publishing services industry, so watch this space! The success of that and the happiness and health for my family would be perfect.
11. What’s your favourite waste of time?
I am one of those people who rarely relaxes, as I love to be doing or learning something, however when I do sit down, I enjoy watching films or box-sets and have ‘binge’ watched many with my husband over the weekends (in the name of research!). He hates that I can predict what will happen before he’s even cottoned on to where the plot is heading! Perhaps that’s my writer’s mind!
The official rules of The Liebster Award 2016, if your blog has been nominated and you have chosen to accept it, are below:
- Thank the person who nominated you, and post a link to their blog on your blog. Try to include a little promotion for the person who nominated you.
- Display the award on your blog — by including it in your post and/or displaying it using a “widget” or a “gadget”. Images you can use for your 2016 Liebster Award can be found at http://theglobalaussie.com/the-official-rules-of-the-liebster-award-2016/ .
- List these rules in your post.
- Answer your nominator’s questions.
- Give 10 random facts about yourself.
- Nominate 5 – 11 small blogs (preferably below 200 followers) that you feel deserve the award.
- Create 11 questions for your own nominees to answer.
- Once you have written and published it, you then have to: Inform the people/blogs that you nominated that they have been nominated for the Liebster award and provide a link for them to your post so that they can learn about it.
My nominations to accept the award are:
Carol E Wyer: https://facing50withhumour.com/
Jane Odiwe: http://janeaustensequels.blogspot.co.uk/
Marie Anne Cope: http://scaryramblings.blogspot.co.uk/
Jean Muir: http://albaliving.com/
Beryl Kingston: https://berylkingstonblog.wordpress.com/
My Questions for you are:
- Did you blog before your writing career?
- Does your blog help with your writing career at all?
- When you started, did your blog have a theme, and did you stick to it?
- What’s your favourite thing about blogging?
- How often do you blog and how do you stick to your schedule?
- What are you passionate about?
- What’s your idea of a perfect book?
- If you could change your career, what would you do?
- What has inspired your writing and why?
- If you began your publishing process again, would you do anything different?
- What are the top books you’ve read this year?
It’s been great fun to answer these questions and pass on the blogging love!