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Thank you to Sheree from View from the Back for nominating me!  I admire Sheree greatly for the following words: ‘We’re accustomed to spending Christmas with just the two of us, doing exactly what we want.’  Not many are brave enough to do what they want, either at Christmas or in life.

My last tagalong post came just prior to a long and unscheduled wait at an airport and was very timely; I enjoy being given a task at the best of times and with an extra three hours to use it was especially handy.  This came just before another airport wait, and then a transit wait, so again, very timely, thank you!

My answers to the questions I was asked:

  1. How long have you been blogging and what prompted you to start?

I started this blog in 2014, I was writing a book at the time which felt like a slog, but creating blog posts felt so easy.  So I suppose you could say it was writer’s procrastination, although of course the blog posts are writing too.

2.  What do you write about on your blog and why?

I suppose I write about anything and everything, subject wise.  Whatever has resonated with me or seemed important, or that I’ve  noticed.  My primary aim is increasing my awareness and learning about myself.  I share my experiences, observations and reflections honestly in the hope that this resonates with others.

3.  Typically, how much time do you spend each week on your blog?

Maybe five-ten hours a week.  I am writing a book at the same time so sometimes the blog has to be a bit lighter, or sometimes I ‘cheat’ and post extracts from the book up instead of writing something separate for the blog.  I also spend time reading other people’s blogs and engaging with bloggers and readers in the comments sections.

4.  What prompts you to follow certain blogs?

Original content, well written.   Recently I searched for new blogs to follow using the search terms minimalism, voluntary simplicity, alternative living.  We will return to the UK to live on a narrowboat so I want to have a community around me to support me on the path.

5.  Do your family and friends read your blog? And, if so, what feedback (if any) do they give you?

No family, I would be inhibited if that were the case.  Friends do read it.  Some friends really like it and let me know that it has resonated with them, which I really appreciate.

6.  It’s The Sunshine Blogger Award so how do you spread rays of sunshine on your blog?

I don’t intentionally do this all the time; some of my posts are possibly quite sad.  But I do notice and report on beauty and personal growth.  I also believe that by being honest here it might help others feel less ashamed, or less alone, if they have any of the same issues, or can just relate to some of the ideas or feelings I express.  And I cherish the connections I have made on this blog.

7.  If you could change one thing about blogging, what would it be?

Why do I have to approve pingbacks I have made to myself?  When I  link to one of my own posts I have to approve it, so presumably the link won’t work until I do??  Which  means I have to catch WordPress as soon as the blog is posted, which is not always possible.

8.  If you were to impart one pearl of wisdom about blogging, what would it be?

Write what you want to write in the way you want to write it.  That way we will all get more original content to read, yay!

9.  Who or what, if anything, has influenced your blog?

For the first few years I just wrote what came out without much reference to readers.  Now I am more aware that people are reading and so I am aware of handling things like reporting on episodes of low mood sensitively.  I did go through a phase of putting really long book chapter excerpts up, there are people who will read long pieces (thank you dear readers), but I do now generally try to not go too far over 1,000 words.  Although I break that all the time.  In terms of blogging etiquette, I aspire to be like Sam.  Sam has over 4,000 followers but responds kindly and personally to every comment.  Sam is not a full time blogger either, blogging duties fit around travelling and working.

10. What’s the best bit about blogging?

Total freedom to write about ANYTHING.  But of course with freedom comes responsibility.  ‘You are free to choose but not free from the consequences of those decisions.’  Hence my care re writing about low mood, and my avoidance of politics.  Actually I avoid politics in day to day life too, and that helps my mood…  The connections I have made.  Like travel, it’s been a way of finding my people.  ‘Let your weird light shine so brightly that other weirdos will be able to find you.’

11.  What’s your idea of “A Perfect Day”?

Wake up when I want, do a few stretches, get ready in a leisurely fashion, eat breakfast and have a walk, come back and write for a couple of hours.  Then…  go and see something nice, a walk with my husband, eat again… and again, watch something on Netflix, go to bed.  We are travelling so just a walk around the local area and going to eat something is plenty pleasure enough for me.  Sometimes we are actually travelling somewhere new and on those days I get nervous but excited as well.

My 11 Nominees are:  (I know these kinds of things are not for everyone so of course feel free to ignore/alter/cannibalize as you wish!)

Adie– I thought you could use any questions you like for your web interview thingy instead maybe?

Adie is one of the bloggers I have been following the longest.  Adie writes flawlessly about everything!

Ann Coleman-

The person you’d most like to have in your real life family or circle of friends; such a kind person who shares daily life observations in a warm and honest way.

Bereaved and being a single parent-

Totally original, because it is about a person’s life.  Often highly amusing but sometimes sad.

Des-

Big life stuff, everyday stuff, all life may be covered here in an engaging  and approachable way.

Minimal-Lol

One of the minimalist bloggers I found recently

Msteequeology

Pure positivity and sunny support

The Mustard Yellow House

Lives in a sunny house- a tiny house.  I found via searching alternative living.  Wrote a really lovely post about creating a garden, Christmas, and switching off the tech.

Seoul Sister

Asian American culture and personal memoir.  Totally original, informative and inspiring, and emotional.

Unexpected in common hours

Beautiful photographs to brighten your day.

Weeping Pines-

Beautiful writings to brighten your day.

What you blog about-

Words and music

My 11 Questions for you are:

1. How do you decide which blogs to follow?

2. Do you follow people who have different backgrounds, cultures and politics to you?

3. Can someone have different politics to you but still be a good person in your eyes?

4. Do you connect with other bloggers on a personal level?

5. Do you read all the blogs you follow?

6. What is your opinion on blogging every day?

7. Do you like getting a post from the same blogger each day, or do you find you can’t keep up?

8. Do you sometimes think what’s the point (in blogging)?

9. And do you sometimes soar with happiness when posting a good blog post, reading a good blog, or making a connection in the comments sections and think, ‘Yes, this is everything!’?

10. Therefore is blogging a metaphor for life in general?

11. When was the last time you felt really happy?

‘The official rules,’ if you choose to participate, are as follows:

  • Thank the person who nominated you and provide a link back to their blog so others can find them.
  • Answer the 11 questions asked by the blogger who nominated you.
  • Nominate 11 other bloggers and ask them 11 new questions.
  • Notify the nominees about it on one of their own posts.
  • List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo on your post and/or your blog site.
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