The Blogger Recognition Award.

The totally excellent Jess recently mentioned me in a tag post that I didn't know was a thing! Oh dear, that was terribly worded wasn't it? Apologies. And thank you, Jess! 

So, I hardly ever do tags on here, and that's not a deliberate thing, it's just because more often than not, they totally pass me by! But I'm making it a mid-year resolution to do more, as they can be really fun! 

This is my Blogger Recognition Award post. The rules are:
  • 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 on each blog and let them know you have nominated them & provide the link to the post you created.

How my blog started.

I was 16, and full of feelings. I made up stories in my head, I had awkward crushes, and I didn't feel like I fit in anywhere. I needed a safe place that was just mine to get these things out; I didn't necessarily want to share my thoughts with the world, I just wanted to write them down and set them free. It wasn't until I got to uni that I realised other people could find my blog and read it. So I stopped just writing about my ridiculous feelings (I still do that a fair bit today, though) and started including my Creative Writing assignment pieces, thoughts I had on films and memes and......books. I also voiced my opinions and addressed some taboos, which was hard at times but it always felt good when clicking publish. And now, 7 years on from the very first post, here I am. A freelance writer with mad stats, a decent reputation and a shit ton of friends that I wouldn't have were it not for my blog.

Advice for new bloggers.

Be different. Set yourself apart from others – let them inspire you, but bang your own drum. Have your own voice, and make sure it's yours. Y'know? Create your own regular features, settle on a name/URL and stick to it, take time perfecting your layout and picking font sizes, make it all yours...and don't copy anyone. 

You don't ask, you don't get. That's like an ancient proverb in blogging, I swear. If you're an aspiring book blogger and you are desperate for your fave author's next novel – find out who the publisher is, and email the publicist when proofs are being sent out. If you want to share your gift for make up application and flawless selfies, get in touch with brands and strike some friendly deals – freebies for promo posts. Are you reviewing films like a boss but want to get a little further from your DVD collection? Look into getting tickets for early screenings and even premieres – best ask some YouTubers how to do that, they're always off to Leicester Square...

These are just the more common blog themes. There are many more! And some that haven't been tried yet, probably.
I recently lectured some third years (casual brag dropped in right there, soz) and asked them to come up with ideas for a niche blog, and my favourite was the two young women who wanted to review sweet treats and compare brands of chocolate – now there's definitely a gap in the market there...

Then I wrote reviews for The Royal Shakespeare Company in their winter season 2016, and yes I went to every show they offered me, but then when another came into town before Christmas that I hadn't been invited to – that just so happened to be my favourite Shakespeare EVER – I emailed shamelessly and requested tickets to press night. And because the RSC are babes, they gave them to me.

This old expression even works in terms of asking fellow bloggers for help, tips and inspo. Making friends in the blogging world is shockingly easy, and what's bloody lovely is we're all always willing to help each other out. Whether that's sending links to the best web layout stores, arranging IRL meet-ups, proof-reading posts for one another, or even creating tags and lists of ideas for posts that others can use! 

Now, time to nominate fellow bloggers to do this little tag - if they wish to, that is...

Creators of The Olive Fox, Beth & Suzy
(Wow, I know a few Laurens/Lauras...and you're all awesome)
And of course the aforementioned Whatsapp babes: 

But of course, don't let my few nominations stop you joining in if you wanna! Spread the blogging love, guys. I am thrilled to be part of such a fab community - sure, it's not without its turbulence at times, but hey, all families are a little dysfunctional aren't they? Yes, yes they are. 


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