Showing posts with label blogging. Show all posts
Showing posts with label blogging. Show all posts

Sunday, 6 September 2020

Nerd Church - I Scaled Back on Blogging In August. Have I Learned Anything?

I don’t know why I need to keep learning the same lessons in order to actually, y’know, learn them, but…

I do? I guess?

Good habits are much easier to break than bad habits, dearest nerdlets! 

'I Scaled Back on Blogging in August. Have I Learned Anything?' displayed on a laptop screen

So anyway, let’s back up and rewind and all that jazz -

In August, I decided to scale back to about one post a week, instead of my regular 3 or 4 per week. I also took a break from my regular series – Comics Wrap-Up, Friday Fics Fix, Nerd Church.

This was so that I could have chance to do some goddamn blog admin for once, and try to get a handle on my socials, make something that at least vaguely resembles an actual posting schedule, make a plan for updating old posts, etc. etc. 

Thursday, 31 October 2019

The Five Year Blog Anniversary Post! (Ft. My Wisdomous Blog Advice)

It’s Halloween! And that means it’s my blog-anniversary-thingummy! Woo!

5 Years of Blogging! graphic with bada** purple star background

So let’s have an awesome-sauce post with the following awesome features:

  • me giving what is most probably contradictory and confusing blogging-advice

  • me ruminating on my 5 years (5 years!!!!) of blogging

  • me generally over-using both exclamation points and brackets

(There was probably too much caffeine and/or YouTube consumed in the making of this post. #JustSaying.)

Sunday, 7 April 2019

Nerd Church - 4 Tips For Blogging When Busy

I've been super-busy lately, and I've just about managed to keep up with the blogging.

I haven't got everything done that I wanted to do, but I've kept it ticking over with my average of 3 posts a week, plus answering comments, blog-hopping, Twitter-ing, and all the hidden blog tasks like SEO and finding images for posts.

graphic with 'blog' written/stencilled repeatedly with artsy globe
Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Phew! When I put it that way, I wonder how I've been doing all this plus running my own business and dealing with regular life-stuff, but I have! (No wonder I've been so tired!)

Also there has been literal blood, sweat, and tears over the past month - I've come to the conclusion that I don't need to add to that with stress over blogging!

Wednesday, 31 October 2018

Four Years of Blogging, Dearest Nerdlets, and Many More To Come (+ FREE Printable Bookmarks PDF)

It's Halloween, and you know what that means:

Dora Reads is four years old!

And yes, I'm gonna gush like hell. Cos y'know I looooove all of youuuuuuu!!!!!!!!!!!!

And I don't mean that in an 'OMG, I'd like to thank my fans, the little people' kind of way.

balloons and a masquerade mask against a pink background


Even if you've never interacted with me, never let me know that you're out there reading my words, I still love you.

Because you care enough to read what I'm writing.

And that earns you a v. special place in my heart.

A special shout-out to everyone who's commented, shared, chatted on social media, and generally supported me!

I've met some awesome-sauce friends over the years, and I wish I lived closer to some of you so I could give you a hug IRL.

Sunday, 2 September 2018

Nerd Church - Work/Life/Blog/Whatever-Balance Is Hard! (Especially When You Have Cats)

Do you ever feel like there's just too much sh** going on?

Like, you got your work or school stuff, then you got your life/personal stuff, then you might have some other stuff to do with hobbies or passion projects or... welp, blogging!

illustrated business dude in suit juggling

Friday, 1 June 2018

Friday Fics Fix - Johnlock Blogging

'(Don’t worry, if you were, which you weren’t. He’s fine; some poor kid found him in a ditch, pretending to be a dead body in the name of science.)'

fics fix title image with purple background and white lightning bolt shape

You can't be a blogger without being at least a little bit obsessed with blogging.

You can deny it if you like, but it's true.

We all have a serious fascination with the slightly weird processes which combine to make this thoroughly modern medium. (...and that was a weird sentence! *shrugs*)

Sunday, 13 May 2018

Nerd Church - IRL?

We're living in a world where the lines between online and offline have become more wibbly than ever before.

So I've been thinking a lot lately about the difference between online and offline life.

(Yes, this post is probably going to meander quite a lot - you've been warned! 😉)

emoji plushies in an emoji box

Tuesday, 27 February 2018

Anxiety vs Blogger

(Warning: This post is about depression and Anxiety, and the demonstration of a negative thought spiral.)

First off: I'm OK. I've had a rough-ish few days (not too bad, but bad enough,) but I'm OK.

There is no need to worry about me.

artsy pic with heart connected to wires

Sometimes, much as blogging has saved my life, it can contribute negatively to my mental health.

I don't need to take an extended break - honestly, I'm fine. I love blogging just as much as I ever have, and, overall, it's good for me.

And the problem wasn't really blogging - it was the Anxiety.

But I did need to 'write it out.' This is the result of that.

Tuesday, 31 October 2017

3 Lessons From 3 Years of Blogging

Happy Halloween!

Halloween dogs in sheets 123 picture

31st October is uber-special here on Dora Reads, because it's blog anniversary time!

Yup, 3 years ago today I started this blog - which was then called Diary of a Reading Addict - and started myself on this slightly bizarre (but awesomely fun!) path.

And since the long-off days of 2014, I've learnt a thing or two.

Some of those things are more weird than practical - but there's also come good blog/life lessons  along the way.

Monday, 19 June 2017

12 Things They Don't Tell You When You Become a Book Blogger

There's stuff no-one warns you about when you become a book blogger.

So I thought I'd do you all a favour and write a 100%* accurate post on the struggles of book-blogging!

*Well - somewhere between 70% & 95% anyway!

Sunday, 30 October 2016

Nerd Church (SPECIAL EDITION!) - Lessons From 2 Years of Book Blogging

It's my blog anniversary tomorrow! :) Yes, on Halloween, 2 years ago, a little depressed bookish rebel took her first steps into book-blogging.

That's Jango 'helping' me blog (climbing over my shoulder and onto the keyboard, he likes doing that) - he's the pretty/fluffy one ;)

So, you want me to dish the dirt, yeah? Of course you do ;)

I didn't blog much 'til October/November last year.

Yes, I've had a blog for two years, no I did not have a bl**dy clue what I was doing with it 'til last autumn, when I decided to really give this thing a go.

Don't look at my early posts, they're terrible. In fact, I look back at posts I wrote a few months ago and am hugely surprised at how much I've progressed since then.

The way to produce half-way decent blogposts is to produce a lot of not-so-great ones along the way.

If you're a blogger, don't be afraid to be honest.

I decided from the start that I was going to be brutally honest.

That doesn't mean being abrasive or aggressive - it just means that you're going to be open and honest about you, your feelings, your life.

Granted, the fact that I use a blogging name is a huge safety net for that. When I started this blog, I was majorly depressed, and I still struggle with depression and anxiety now.

I don't think I would have felt comfortable talking so openly and frankly about my mental health problems if it'd been my real name that I was using.

Ditto, there are approximately three people offline who I've come out as sexually fluid to.

Online? I'm free to be me.

Also, my real name is actually Welsh, and after nearly a quarter of a century of having it mangled by people who are, themselves, Welsh, I figured that expecting people outside Wales to do anything but butcher it was probably a little much ;)

Blogging almost every day has helped a lot.

Don't get me wrong: I know not many people want to/have time to do that. And it's uber-important to take breaks when you need them. Self Care first guys!

But I found that, actually, blogging almost every day helps with the depression: I have awesome online friends, the satisfaction of completing a post, and the ability to get my thoughts out of my head and into the world, where they might even do some good.

Plus, the amount of blogging/writing practice I get in is huge.

BUT: Do what suits you. No-one else. Blogging is such a personal thing that you have to do things your way, or you're going to end up hating something you should love.

I'm still socially awkward as all hell.

I'm so awkward. And I'm not just saying that. Everything that I could say goes directly out my earhole the moment someone talks to me.

Also, every time I talk to (awesome graphic novelist) Linda Sejic, I manage to become the living personification of a socially interactive train-wreck.

Luckily, Linda is amazing and doesn't seem to mind that I a) link to reviews of her husband's books instead of hers b) tag a random person whose @ was similar to Linda's handle and c) forget how to word and end up sticking random smiley faces in instead :)

General Warning:
If I'm acting weird, it's not you. It's def not you. *sigh*

But I'm not (that) afraid of controversy.

I'm not afraid of standing up for what I believe in. I think if you have a voice, you use it.

That said, I find it exceptionally difficult sometimes to disagree with people, in case I accidentally offend them.

The thought of offending someone is my #1 anxiety trigger, so you'll rarely find me insulting people - even those who deserve it - because it's not worth the shaking and racing-heart that comes with it.

This is not a way to gain instant fame and fortune.

I don't want to put you off - but to be even semi-successful in the blogging world, you need to put in some damned hard work.

If you're not willing to do that, then you won't see the results. Simple as that.

Basically, the way to blog, in my humble 2-year opinion, dearest nerdlets, is:
  • try your best
  • be you
  • don't write posts you wouldn't read
  • show people your passion

And, of course, Cee's Golden Rule for life:

Don't act like a jerk!

I know this is kind of a long and blathering post, but I also have to give a special shout-out to just a few of the people who continue to inspire me:

Emily @ The Paperback Princess; Emma-Jane @ The Book Crunch; Sierra @ The Nerdgirl Review; Olivia-Savannah @ Olivia's Catastrophe; Tina @ As Told By Tina; Charlotte @ Bookmarks and Blogging; Naz @ Read Diverse Books; Ely (and Michelle) @ Tea & Titles; Imogen @ Wandered Souls

(and thanks to @arbind_paonam, @LindaSejic, and @misses_pancake for making Twitter a nicer place to be)

Sorry if I haven't thanked you: I love all of you, but dude, listing you all would take more than a blogpost, and this is already entering Oscar-speech territory. I've met so many amazing people through blogging!

Please be assured that I appreciate each and every one of you, and am always pleasantly surprised when you like, comment, RT, and generally support yours truly.

There have been times when your niceness has actually made me cry. And I'm kind of a hard-a*s, so that's actually an excellent achievement on your part - keep up the good work guys! :)

So what's next for Diary of a Reading Addict (which I only realised a few weeks ago I can shorten to DORA - I'm so oblivious)?

Well, firstly, tomorrow I have a special review of a book called Star-Shot, from a Welsh publisher called Seren (which means Star) and an actual real-life giveaway on Twitter!

And yes, this is the first giveaway I will ever have done. They stress me out. See how much I love you guys?

So drop by tomorrow to check that out!

After that? Well, I'm going to keep shooting for the stars (I really couldn't resist that pun!) and I hope you'll want to join me ;)

Monday, 6 June 2016

The 6 P's of Blogging

Now, I'm far from a blogging master - but over the past year-and-a-half of blogging, I've picked up a few things.

(Hopefully. Maybe. Kind of.)

6 of these things start with the letter P.

So, here are my 6 P's of blogging - handy little words I keep in mind when throwing my brain onto the page (screen? Still trying to figure that out,) for your amusement, enjoyment, education, and possible traumatisation.

I hope they help with your own bloggy-ness, or at the very least, provide light entertainment for your coffee-break.


(Not that type - gutter-brains!)

This one is a bit of a no-brainer. If you're not interested in what you're writing about - it's going to show.

So if you blog, blog from the heart (cheesy grin and thumbs up.)

Blog about something you honestly care about - and just give it your best shot.


Very few blogs grow quickly.

Yes, you may see all these success stories on the interwebs, but those are the minority.

Your blog? It's going to take some time.

It's going to grow so slowly that sometimes you feel like you're going backwards with it.

Unfortunately, I'm not a patient person. So this is one I kind of have to work on. A lot. (Grow blog, GROW!)


This is kind of tied-in to patience - you have to ride things out, you have to keep going.

Blogs fail. A lot.

The internet is littered with the abandoned half-formed blogs of dreamers and bored dabblers alike.

The key? Keep going.

Keep posting. Keep social media-ing. Keep sharing your posts.

Perseverance is half the battle; you have to give yourself the time to succeed. (And I mean years, not weeks.)


This is your little corner of the Internet. Own it, and be yourself.

You don't have to be all-out and in-your-face to blog. Some of the best bloggers are actually the quiet ones (you always have to watch out for the quiet ones...)

So let the bit that's you shine through - it's what'll keep people coming back (hopefully!)


Be nice. Don't be a jerk.

Respect other people. Don't be a jerk.

Basically, don't be a jerk - I don't think I can say this enough. Nice will win out in the end.

(Oh, and other bloggers will appreciate it and support you in return if you comment, retweet, share, etc. other people's blogs.)


Keep making progress - writing new things, trying new formats and images, etc.

And celebrate the small victories - progress is progress, and should be appreciated for being a step forward, no matter how small. :)

So there you have it - 6 handy little P's to keep in mind when blogging. Enjoy :)

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Tuesday, 22 March 2016

The 10 Stages of Writing A Blogpost

Just a short list-post about my 10 stages of writing a blogpost - these are the main stages, I'm sure there's stuff in between/stuff I skip out/stuff I do in a different order.

coffee and laptop

But I figured I'd give you all a glimpse of my blogging processes ;)

  1. The light-bulb - ooh! I could do this! Now I have something to write about! (This is less of a problem when it comes to reviews, because I already know what I'm supposed to be writing about.)
  2. The blank page - why won't you have writing on you: why?!
  3. The writing stuff - normally I just throw my brains onto the page and hope for the best. Sometimes I'll write out the main points I want to make - because otherwise I have a tendency to forget them. Usually though, it's straight from brain to keyboard.
  4. The re-reading - when did I write that?! That doesn't even make sense! (Bashes head against laptop.)
  5. The formatting - any pictures, links, font styles, etc., which I haven't included as I was going along need to be chucked in here.
  6. More re-reading, more formatting - I normally tweak little things for a while: things I'm not happy with, things I forgot to put in, etc. And getting the images to line up right with the text is the bane of my existence.
  7. The scheduling - I always schedule my posts, because then even if I'm busy I know they've gone out when I wanted them to. I also add labels/tags. Sometimes I'll go in again and edit something before the post goes live.
  8. The posting and linking - the post has gone up! Now it's time to link to it on social media so that people can find it. I do this quite a bit because otherwise I don't think anyone would ever read my posts.
  9. The paranoia - I'm always convinced I'll have written something that annoys, offends, and/or bores people. In short, I always worry that people won't like my posts, and by extension won't like me (depression/anxiety, you gotta love the way it f**ks with your head.) Even when people say they like the post, I assume they must be humouring me.
  10. The relief - eventually, I accept that the post is OK/might even be good. And then I start all over again with another post.

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Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Blogging Insecurities

A couple of days ago I came across Chasing Faerytales' post on the 'Insecurities of a Book Blogger.'

It's a fab post and you should check it out if you can.

So, anywho, it got me thinking about my own blogging insecurities, and, well - I can't be letting you guys have all the fun/crippling anxiety, can I?

computer keyboard

Here they are then, my own blogging insecurities:

  • No-one will care what I have to say: who am I after all? Just some random Welsh chick with a laptop. Who would care about my opinion?

  • I'm socially awkward: have you noticed my comments are a little... stilted sometimes? I have no idea what to say, or even whether I need to say anything. I resort to short answers and smiley faces in an attempt to let you know that I do appreciate you taking the time to talk to me - I just have no idea what to say to you.

  • The quality of my writing is no good: I know that this isn't true - but sometimes, I can't help wondering... do people like reading my blogposts? Are my reviews any good?

  • ARCs - specifically, getting round to reading everything I said I would: I have a habit of underestimating myself, and stressing the small stuff unnecessarily - it's all linked in with my depression and anxiety issues. So if I request a lot of ARCs, and somehow manage time and again to get approved, I have a small freak-out about how quickly I'm supposed to read them. I keep forgetting that there's no supposed to about it. After all, I purposefully avoid blog tours so that I don't have to deal with deadlines.

  • Being overly-unique: this makes no sense. I know this makes no sense. But I've noticed that the majority of book bloggers either have kids, a job, a spouse, etc., or are teenagers. I'm neither of these things. And while I know that that gives me a unique spin on life, the universe, and everything, sometimes it feels like you won't be able to relate to me and my opinions because you're just at a completely different place in your life to where I am in mine. Plus, I'm weird - you know this, I know this, we all know this ;)

  • Not making money/being judged for trying to make money: I know this is a touchy subject blogging-wise, but I need income. I'm self-employed, and it's important to me that I get income wherever I can so that eventually I can be financially separate from my parents, just for a start. So, yeah, I have Amazon associate links for the UK and US - not because I'm a sell-out, but because I damn-well need the small amount of commission they provide if people buy things.

So, there you have it. Hopefully I didn't sound overly-neurotic, and you all still like me ;) You know I try to be truthful and open wherever possible (it's even one of my New Year's resolutions,) so, y'know, all that jazz...

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Wednesday, 16 December 2015

The Writer Diaries (or, Blogging is a Fickle Mistress)

You may have noticed... I tend to blog. Quite a bit more recently, in fact.

notebook and laptop
NaBloPoMo 2015 kind of sparked a dormant blogging demon that I didn't notice I had. I suppose it's not that big a surprise, a blogging demon is just a type of writing demon, and I have plenty of those.

But blogging can be fickle. I have absolutely no bl**dy clue whether a post is going to be popular before it's out there, in the big wide world, for everyone to see (and for quite a few people not to see I suspect.)

I can spend ages planning out and writing a post, for it to get a handful of views. But my most popular post to date, The Bookish Rebel, is a post that I wrote all-at-once in the space of about quarter of an hour, basically just about me being me.

Don't get me wrong - I'm mightily proud of that post! Neither will I let myself get sloppy and just throw posts up willy-nilly (pride comes before a fall and all that jazz.)

I guess this post is just me having a think about blogging in general - and writing - and all of that. I may be rambling, it wouldn't be the first time! :)

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

The Writer Diaries (Or, I Blog From the Heart, How 'Bout You?)

There are a lot of blogs out there. So very many blogs are out there. Some like to wow with the flashy-flash, some like to use gifs until your eyes bleed, some feel very club-y and exclusive, some very welcoming.

I try to blog from the heart - as random-a** and batty as my heart is. I also try not to worry about chasing followers and views - you chase them, and they'll run away. Wait for them to come to you, grasshopper (man, I haven't watched Kung-Fu in ages...) Anywho, believe me or disbelieve me if you wish, but I try to just be really open and genuine with what I blog, and my reviews. If I enjoy it, and I really think it's worthy of praise, then praise is what it will get. If I dislike it, then I will say so.

I also have to admit that I'm not particularly good at being a part of either the Blogsphere or the Booksphere - you know, the social stuff, and what it's 'cool' to blog about at any particular time. And I'm OK with that. I'm a bit older than a lot of the girls out there blogging (granted, I'm also younger than many other book bloggers,) I have different interests, different life experience, and different tastes (I am nerd girl, hear me Squee!) I don't read things if they don't interest me, no matter how much buzz there is about them. I have my own, sometimes quirky, opinions, about a variety of subjects - and hopefully the people who actually do read this blog appreciate that.

So, I have no idea what spurred this post - something that was brewing in my fangirling heart, clearly. I will write what I mean though guys - always and forever (sorry, I've been watching too much of The Originals,) so I promise that I will do my best (honestly, you can tell I was a Guide,) to be an honest, quirky, and non-bandwagon-jumping blogger. Hope that's ok with all of you :)