Fellow blogger Hannah gave me this award for my blog. Hannah, thank you! It will look ab fab on my mantel!
The rules of this particular award were as follows:
1. Thank and link to the person who nominated you.
2. Share seven random facts about yourself.
3. Pass the award along to 15 deserving blog buddies.
4. Contact those buddies to congratulate them.
Writing a list of seven things I haven’t already revealed about myself is too hard so instead, I’ll tell you seven things I’ve learned about writing blogs:
1. Readers prefer short blogs. (I know I don’t follow this advice, but I probably suffer the consequences. When possible, I break a long post into two smaller posts.)
2. At the end of each post, include a question inviting further discussion and remind readers to subscribe or include links to other relevant posts (yours or others’). This extends and expands the experience.
3. Get good pictures. Like it or not, the image can make all the difference. (I find the perfect image on flickr.com, then ask the artist for permission to use it.) (Note: Stealing stuff is bad karma. I don’t want anyone stealing my work, do you?)
4. Always respond to comments. If someone took the time to write and you want to engage in a dialogue, then here’s an opportunity.
5. Don’t just sit there waiting to be noticed—go out and notice others, and they may return the favor. Even if they don’t, you’ll still learn something by reading other blogs. (And when you find a blogger who writes content similar to yours, ask them if they want to exchange blogroll citations. This is a great way to share the love, find new readers, and I think it also brings you higher up on a Google search.)
6. There is no such thing as pure autobiography. You take on a persona when you write, so spend time thinking about what you want your blog-face to look like, and consistently follow through on that vision. Anna Fonté the person is a very private, quiet person, while Anna Fonte the writer is the girl who wears hats. She is shameless and fearless and has a lot of friends. The more I get to know her, the more I like this writer chick, but it would be confusing if she suddenly switched to tiaras or started speaking Danish or converted to Shintoism or admitted she was actually a he, now wouldn’t it?
7. The people in your real life may not care about your writing. Get over it. My man still hasn’t finished any of my novels and my friends don’t read my blog. That doesn’t mean they don’t love me. Most of the people you befriended on FB or follow on Twitter don’t care. Go ahead and leave it lying around for others to stumble across but don’t pester anyone to read.
8. Because I can’t follow rule number 1, I have to add one more: Don’t be afraid. When I avoid certain topics or try hard to make my writing sound cuter, hipper, smarter, or more successful, I always fail. When I’m real, it’s always more interesting for everyone involved. The only two places you can do anything you want are in writing and in dreams (despite what the ads say about Las Vegas), so go for it.
In order to come up with 15 blogs I really enjoy reading, I’ll have to change the award because although the things I like might occasionally be sweet, sweetness is not a requisite. Also, I didn’t include bloggers who already have a gigantic reader base since they might not care to receive this award (so I can’t mention Betsy Lerner or my cousin Emily or my former student Chinaka or that woman who got famous for her post about her gay son). So henceforth, this award shall be called the YES! I LIKE THIS! Blog Award, and I pass it along with the caveat that you are not (NOT) required to follow any of the rules. Free love! No strings attached!
1. Liz (Poopoomama), who writes movingly about her family.
2. My friend the cow (The Kindle Project), who always makes me think.
3. David Halliday (The Power of H), an amazing writer and artist. He has two blogs: one for art and one for writing.
4. Christine Lee Zilka (80,000 words).
12. Jude Mooney, photographer.
13. Artist Lindsay Lewis
14. Kari Fay (The Best Place By the Fire).
15. ______________________________ (insert blog here). (If I forgot to mention you or if you know of any other blogs I might like, include the link in the comments section below; I’m always looking for good things to read!)
Thanks again to Hannah!