Keeping Up With the Blogosphere features posts from around the blogosphere, from whatever month just passed. Instead of sharing every single post that I discovered during the month, I only share the best of the best! The ones that gave me chills, that made me return several times to follow up on the discussion that was happening, and the ones that maybe I’ve already shared in some way but that I think deserve even more attention.
I’m a sucker for a good distraction. In fact, I’m working on this post instead of reading because I’m too distracted to focus on the words on the pages. So I really appreciated Jodi’s post on Publishing Crawl about focusing.
I’m a firm believer in needing to be able to write wherever, whenever. When writing professionally, there’s no waiting for the mood to strike. Deadlines don’t care about moods. No, for me, it’s about forcing myself to focus. Once I’m focused on writing, it’s suddenly a lot more appealing to continue.
I’m not a professional writer. But I can relate to feeling like I have to get something written on a deadline. It’s usually a self-imposed deadline, but that still counts, right?
As someone who used to be quick to say something like, “I’ve got a touch of OCD about…”, Tessa from Crazy for YA’s post about quirks really hit home.
Many books nowadays are trying to pass off quirks and “cute” abnormalities as diversity. They take a complicated, complex, and meaningful topic like depression or suicide, and then trivialize the meaning by making it a “quirk” instead of a real issue…
This reversal of bad habits and, sometimes even serious conditions, is a roadblock on the quest for diversity in YA. As long as OCD, depression, and other serious problems are seen as cute quirks, then diversity will be barred from the genre.
And CW from Read, Think, Ponder checked my privilege with her discussion on characters with “difficult” names.
Characters are not real people. But, people, especially children who are starting to socialize with others, relate with names that are similar to their own – especially children of colour. Any child who has ever had a unique name or one that is difficult for others to pronounce will learn very, very early in their youth that their name is different to other, more English-sounding names…
Readers should endeavour to look beyond the name. Some names, especially if it belongs to characters of colour, have beauty and history in them, and it is important to their identity. As good readers, we should endeavour to find and appreciate that beauty and meaning.
For the first time that I can recall, I considered that “difficult” names aren’t “difficult” for the sake of being “difficult”. That an author might not have chosen a “difficult” name to make their character a special snowflake. That the “difficult” name might be really common if I were to look beyond my Westernized lens.
Kristen’s post on Metaphors and Moonlight about Realism in Books left me thoughtful. How many times have I paused while reading to ask myself questions about some of the basic necessities in life?
Food. Water. Shelter. Bathrooms. There are a few basic things that we humans need in order to survive, and a few other things that might not be entirely necessary but that we’d definitely notice if they weren’t available.
Generally in contemporary books, these things are common and available and not an issue. But what about books set in the past? Dystopian books? Post-apocalyptic books? Books in which characters are stranded on an island or in the wilderness? These things do become a problem in those situations, and I don’t know about you, but I tend to notice if they’re just completely overlooked by the author.
Cait from Paper Fury’s post drew me in with the title alone: How to Think Up Discussion Post Ideas for Your Book Blog that Will Thrill Humans and Dragons Alike. And while her tips for coming up with new blog post ideas were all great, what I really appreciated were her reasons for why all of our posts matter:
BECAUSE YOUR PERSPECTIVE IS IMPORTANT…You don’t need permission to use your voice, just go get ’em, Adam.
BLOGGING IS A CONSTANTLY TURNING AUDIENCE…There are ALWAYS new people coming and going who haven’t read the old discussions before! Your discussion will be new to someone. Even if it’s just that stray speckled alien reading your post in their lunch break.
PRACTISE MAKES PERFECT. The most annoying line ever, but unfortunately a true one.
Molly from Molly’s Book Nook has helped revolutionize how I do a few things with her 5 Tips & Tricks That Help Me ‘Bookworm’ Better. My favourite is probably her Instagram hashtag hack:
This one is for all of my Instagram friends. You use hashtags on your photos right? More than 2? Probably closer to 10? Maybe even 15! If so, then you know how annoying it can be to type in the hashtags every single time. That’s why I don’t do that. Here’s my trick – I save my hashtags as a keyword on my phone.
My mind is legit blown.
- I really appreciated Jodi’s post on Publishing Crawl about focusing.
- Tessa from Crazy for YA’s post about quirks really hit home.
- CW from Read, Think, Ponder, checked my priviledge with her discussion on characters with “difficult” names.
- Kristen’s post on Metaphors and Moonlight about Realism in Books left me reflecting on the basic necessities in life.
- Cait from Paper Fury’s post How to Think Up Discussion Post Ideas for Your Book Blog that Will Thrill Humans and Dragons Alike touched me with the reasons for why all of our posts matter.
- Molly from Molly’s Book Nook has helped revolutionize how I do a few things with her 5 Tips & Tricks That Help Me ‘Bookworm’ Better.
What were some of your favourite posts from the month? Any you think I need to know about?