Today's topic is Beyond the Blog: has your book blog opened up any opportunities to you beyond your blog? Maybe writing for real publications? How about monetizing off your blog? Or pushed you further somehow in writing or pursuing what you love to do? Share some tips or your story about extending your blog and bookish life past it! And if this DOESN'T apply to you, it's a free topic: share an aspect of your life that's completely separate from books/blogging!
I'm going to cheat and do both, since I don't have much to say for the first one. I haven't monetized off the blog; maybe one day I'll set up an Affiliate program through Amazon or TBD, but right now I don't have any intention of doing so. And I don't expect to try and monetize with ads or going "professional." While it'd be nice for a publication to pay me and print a review, it would change the way I write; I'm a trained journalist, but I keep a lot of that learned craft out of blog reviews. It's purposeful to keep reviews very casual, with a lot of personal thoughts mixed in (and yes, I do curse on my blog - I do in real life, so I choose to put it on the blog*) because that's how I approach books and reading: with very personal views and connections. But I have done reviews for publications in my pre-blogging days, and it's entirely different in voice and technique. For now, I'm happy doing what I do the way I'm doing.
The one way blogging has influenced my bookish life though is that it got me back into writing. I've always been a writer, since before I could properly pick up a pencil. For varying reasons, some very personal and others just trivial, I stopped in the last few years. I still kind of kept it up, did NaNo every year, but never took it seriously or really figured out a plot/outline. But that changed when I read Nina LaCour's The Disenchantments (review here!) - her writing style and subtle meaning reminded me exactly what I love about writing and reignited that passion. Shortly after, one of those lingering plot lines that'd been swimming around my head came back and practically shouted a direction at me. I'm quite happy to say that I'm back to writing, with an idea that I quite like :)
So, my blog doesn't extend much past itself - but I like it that way! I do look forward to reading others' posts about it though, maybe there are other aspects I had no idea about!
And since that wasn't much, I thought I'd tack on some random facts about me completely unrelated to books! It was surprisingly tough - pretty much everything I do leads back to books somehow - but I managed to scrape up some Fun Ashley Facts :)
- I am an awesome person to know for 6 degrees of separation. Somehow it always works out that I know someone who knows someone and can lead you to who you want to get to. And yes, I can get you to Kevin Bacon. In 4 degrees.
- I speak English, French and Italian. I can understand Spanish.
- I'm a nail polish-aholic. I own 120+ bottles, a whole rainbow of colours, and insist on changing my nail colour at least 3 times a week. I love how it's such a small part of you that can speak loudly.
- I bake. A lot. I started in college because it relaxed me, and I've loved it ever since. I make a mean peanut butter cookie.
- Related: I don't like peanut butter! Hate it. Can't stand the smell, taste, texture, all of it. So I've never actually tasted my own peanut butter cookies! People just request them all the time.
- I love the NFL. Give me a good football game any night and I'm a happy girl.
- Music is big in my life. I sang in every school choir, my family and I play several instruments, and I'm usually listening to something at any time of the day. Not a moment goes by without some sort of tune in my head.
What are your tips to go beyond the blog?
Leave your link in my comments!
(and if you're not doing Armchair BEA, tell me a random non-bookish fact about you!)
*Gayle Forman's awesome response/opinion on cussing in YA.