Posts Tagged: blogging

There’s No Place Like Home…

October 2, 2017 Blogging 4

So as you’ve probably noticed I’ve been kinda MIA for the past month, and well I’ve been a lot quieter this whole year than I have in previous years. I’ve been blogging for 4 years and my blog has seen me through a lot… graduating, being unemployed, depression, new relationships, new jobs, starting my MA, ending a relationship, loosing my grandad…no matter whats been going on in my life my blog has been here and I’ve always had it to fall back on.

This time last year I had a lot going on. I was working full time, just started a Masters part time and my Grandad was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer and moved in with us. For 2 months I tried to juggle work, study, caring for my Grandad, being a girlfriend, blogging and just general life and it was such a massive struggle. By the time it got to the new year I was mentally exhausted.

Although I have been blogging this year it hasn’t been to the quality or quantity that it has been in previous years and it took 8 months before I finally sat down and thought about if I still wanted to do this. I had 2 months off from studying and the blog and just enjoyed my summer and my reading without having to worry about silly things like highlighting the best quotes or marking pages that I would need to write my review. I took all the pressure away and just read for the fun of it, and it was the best decision I could have made.

The past 2 weeks I’ve found myself starting to jot down notes for reviews again, and I have a whole page full of ideas for posts. I still feel passionate about blogging, and although I definitely needed the break I am not ready to stop yet.

So here I am!

I’m back with a clearer head but the same amount of passion and hopefully I can get Broc’s Bookcase back to where it was this time last year. So thanks to all those who have stuck with me whilst I stumbled through the last year, and to all those who left … you’ll be back soon!

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Currently…

July 31, 2017 Blogging 2

So this past weekend was YALC and it was amazing and chilled out and full of books, but I also came back feeling totally knackered (probably from all the books I had to carry!). I had plans to write a post about YALC today but then decided that I couldn’t be bothered, because I’m lazy like that, and so decided to do something a bit more fun instead.

I stole the below from Jamie @ Perpetual Page Turner. If you don’t already know her blog then check it out (it’s awesome), and she’s just had a totally gorgeous baby girl so go gooey eyes over her too!

Currently reading: Trust by Kylie Scott. I’ve got so many fantasy series to catch up on but was absolutely knackered after YALC so wanted something less fantastical and more normal world. Currently at 15% and loving it.

Currently listening to: Helium by Sia. I’m currently working on a pretty emotional scene in my WIP and this song is the only thing that gets me in the right head space for it. Literally listening to it on repeat for hours on end at the moment.

Read more »

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I’m still here.

November 10, 2016 Me 3

As you’ve probably noticed I haven’t been around much lately. I was determined to not let my personal situation affect my blogging but it’s gotten to the point where I am embarrassed about the fact that I am hardly posting and I wanted to let you know why.

In September my Grandad was diagnosed with Stage Four Lung Cancer. Multiple tumors were found on his lungs and had also grown further and affected his heart. We were given a timeline of 2-3 months.

As you can probably imagine, 2 months into our timeline, things have changed a lot in my life. My Grandad is now living with me and my parents and the three of us have become his full time carers. I have tried to keep up with my blogging because it’s something that I enjoy so much but working a full time job whilst also studying my Masters part time is about as much as I can handle at the moment.

I will still be around on social media, plus I have some half written posts which I may get around to finishing and posting over the next few weeks. But if you don’t hear from me for a while don’t worry I haven’t abandoned you all, and I will be back again soon with so much more bookish fun!

Thanks

Hannah x

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I’m on holiday…and kinda forgot to blog!

March 30, 2016 Blogging 6

So I had this great plan before I came on my holiday to Vancouver that I would write a load of blog posts and schedule them for whilst I was away. Which worked for the first week I was here, and then I forgot to do the second week worth of posts!

So I just wanted to say a quick halloooo, and let you know that I am still around and apologise for the lack of posts this week!

I am totally still reading though and in fact literally just finished The Winner’s Kiss, which was incredible. Tried to write a quick review for it just now before I go out for the day, but it’s not really a book that you can just write a quick review for, the book deserves so much more!

But there will be a review soon, a very fan-girly one because this book was incredible!

For now, I am off to explore Vancouver a little more with the few days here I’ve got left.

Sadly I will be back in England on Sunday and back in work on Monday (booooooo!) so everything should return to normal for next week!

I hope you all had amazing Easter weekends, can’t wait to tell you all about mine!

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Things I have learnt in my 2 years of blogging (and some things I still suck at!)

November 20, 2015 Blogging 1

This week I have been trying to be good and write & schedule my blog posts for 2 weeks time when I am on holiday. I was very proud of myself, I’d finally learned and I was being organised!

Then it only occurred to me that I hadn’t actually scheduled any posts for this week! So whilst it was great that I am totally prepared for when I got on holiday in 2 weeks, I’ve been rather quiet this week!

I guess I actually don’t learn!

Anyways, to my post… so I recently had my two year blogiversary and wanted to post about all the things I have learnt. So drafted up this post and then totally forgot about it (yet again showing how amazingly organised a blogger that I am) so I thought now would be the perfect time to actually post it!

Now I know I’m not the most experienced of bloggers and it’s not like I’ve got lots of wisdom, but I thought I would share my thoughts anyway…

  1. Get involved!
    Don’t worry, I’m not expecting you to enter a fight to the death match, but there is always something going on within the community that you can get involved in (that doesn’t involve strenuous exercise!).
    Challenges, giveaways, read-alongs, blog tours, cover reveals… there’s so much! There are tons of book clubs and challenge pages/groups on goodreads for starters! Taking part in things is a great way to make new friends and discover new books and authors. I’ve met loads of new friends through doing The Broke and the Bookish’s Top Ten Tuesday feature, plus it’s always so much fun to take part in.
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  2. If you want your blog to get more traffic then look at what is already getting traffic and do more of that!
    I have found that some of my more popular posts are when I chat about all the amazing bookish stuff that I want to buy around the internet, jewellery and clothes etc. So I tend to do these types of posts at least once a month.
    I also learnt which of my reviewing styles people tend to prefer and now write all my review like that.
    Although you shouldn’t be ruled by stats it’s important to keep an eye on them to see what is and isn’t working on your blog.
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  3. Shake it up!
    Change your picture, start a new bookish feature, start doing video reviews…these are just a few ideas of things you can do to shake things up on my blog.
    I’m not saying that you should change your entire theme and layout every year, that would get very confusing and probably expensive if you are paying for new designs. But some new additions to your blog could bring in a whole new audience, and also stop you from getting bored posting about the same things all the time!
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  4. It’s Ok that you don’t have the prettiest format.
    Every one has blog envy at some point! You can work on your blog design for hours and hours and love it, then go onto another blog and suddenly you wish yours was more like theirs. My advice would be to make your blog as accessible as possible so it is easy for people to find stuff on it, I hate going to visit blogs and not being able to find their reviews.
    I would also say put as much of your personality into it as possible! It’s your blog so make it something that you want and like. No point in giving your blog a pink theme if you hate pink because you’re the one who’s got to look at it every day!
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  5. Sometimes you will enjoy a book you have had for years over that ARC you really wanted but didn’t get accepted for.
    Every one loves free books, and even better everyone loves a free book that hasn’t been released yet. I remember when I started my blog I was constantly seeing ARC reviews all over the blogosphere. So once I started getting emails from authors about reviewing their books I said yes to everything I could. This resulted in me totally under pressure to read tons of books which I actually wasn’t enjoying that much! If you write good reviews then people will still want to read them whether you have reviewed the book a month before it was released or 2 years after!
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  6. Ask! If you want something then get out there and ask for it. Publishers are not going to know that you are there unless you tell them!
    Much of the time if you see a blog that has received an ARC, or done an interview with an author, or taken part in a blog tour it is because they have asked the author/publisher/blog tour organisers etc.
    Yes, there are the very popular blogs out there who get contacted by these people and are asked to take part, but the majority of us have to source these things ourselves. So what if your blog is only small and you only have 100 twitter followers, you will never know if you don’ ask and what have you got to loose?!
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  7. Don’t leave meaningless comments, people don’t like them!
    There is nothing that annoys bloggers more than a meaningless comment. When we have spent time writing a review or a post and we get that wonderful little notification that someone has commented on it and tapping our fingers on the desk for 10 minutes whilst the stone age computer (I do a lot of my blogging in work!) loads it up and then our heart drops as we see that comment: “Great review, check mine out at …”
    There is nothing more disappointing and frustrating than a meaningless comment! Bloggers don’t expect mile long comments, but it’s nice if you leave a comment that actually talks about something we mentioned in our post so it actually looks like you have read it!
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  8. Be social on social media!
    That’s what it is there for! It’s the perfect place to connect with authors and other bloggers and to share links to your own posts! It’s so simple to like or share a status, or if you are feeling extremely brave you could leave a comment or tweet! The worst part is trying to fit everything you want to say into just 140 characters!
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  9. You forgot to post or you haven’t posted on your blog for a few days – it doesn’t matter!
    It’s ok, no need to freak out! As I said above, I haven’t posted since Tuesday and now I am finishing this post last minute during my lunch hour!
    Life happens and sometimes you forget or can’t post for a few days, we all understand that. So don’t worry if you miss a few days, we will all still be here when you get back!
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  10. If all else fails add a GIF!
    Everyone loves a good GIF! They make us chuckle and are a great addition to any blog post (especially those that are a bit longer, kinda like this one!) Just make sure you don’t go overboard! You don’t want your post to look too crazy, plus it will take forever for the page to load!
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  11. There is no point in blogging if you are not enjoying it!
    Yes, there are times when blogging can get a bit stressful. Stuff is happening in the real world that you have to deal with, or you are struggling to cope with the blogging/personal life/work life balance. Trust me this stuff happens to me a lot!
    But if you find yourself struggling to find the motivation to blog or the whole thing just feels like a big pressure and you are not enjoying it anymore then maybe it’s time to stop.
    Blogging takes work, but it is also meant to be fun. I’ve known of a few bloggers that have decided to take some time out or to stop blogging because they just weren’t enjoying it anymore/needed a break. At the end of the day its your blog and it’s up to you. But as long as (the majority of the time, in amongst the last minute posts and the balancing everything struggle!) you are enjoying it then keep going!

Are you a blogger? How long have you been blogging for?

What have you learnt in your years of blogging?

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Bookish Posts/Things I Found Online That I Felt Like Sharing…

October 19, 2015 Blogging 6

So as part of my monthly review I usually point out some of the Bookish things I have found online and loved. But recently there have been so many things that I couldn’t put them all on my monthly review, so I thought I would share them here instead…

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When Shanelle @ The Art of Escapism announced that she and a group of other bloggers would be hosting a blogging event called Hogwarts School of Blogcraft and Bookistry. It is just as amazing as amazing as it sounds!

When a fan of Becca & Krista Ritchie’s Addicted series made these totally cute bookmarks based on the characters. Unfortunately they are not for sale, but we can still swoon over them and get total bookmark envy!

When Cait @ Paper Fury wrote this post about How To Be Kind To Book Bloggers. I love her blog and it always makes me laugh, but I really loved this post and it made me think of even more things to do to be nice to my fellow bloggers (I also ended up with “Make it Pink! Make it Blue!” stuck in my head ALL DAY!)

When the Shadowhunters TV Trailer was released and I danced around my house like a 5 year old on Christmas Day, and then continued to watch the trailer over and over again for about an hour so I could make sure I saw EVERYTHING!

When Rick Riordan announced he will be writing more books set in Camp Half Blood! I haven’t even finished the last series, but I want this one like NOW! It’s called: Trials of Apollo and it sounds AWESOME!

When Beks @ Novel Dreams gave us some great advice on How to Combat Blogging Burnout which came at the perfect time for me as everything was all just getting a little too much and things with my blog were starting to slip.

When Penguin Random House and Melville House had an awesome Twitter spat (full article here)

Penguin Malville Tweet War

When Jessica @ Bookish Serendipity talked about The Same Rating for Unequal Books and the different ways that people will rate and the benefits and difficulties of each one. I really liked this post because ratings are something that I really struggle with and so it was nice to know that I wasn’t alone.

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So there it is, my favuorite bookish things I have favourited over the past few weeks.

Check them out and let me know what you have starred/bookmarked/favourited recently!

 

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When the Work Life, Real Life and Blogger Life refused to work together!

September 11, 2015 Blogging 4

I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it before but my current job is as an administrator at a university. The last few months have been absolute bliss in work because there are no students around during summer. I was able to take my time doing my (minimal) tasks, and so spent rather a lot of time (secretively) catching up with my blogging.

It was great, I totally rediscovered my love for blogging again, I was organised and even had posts ready the day before they were due (crazy I know!) and I also had a lot of time to stroll around our little piece of the internet and find some kick ass new blogs to follow.

It was all going perfectly… and then September happened.

The last two weeks in work have been absolute HELL. I’m not going to go into the whole ‘woe is me’ moan-athon, but lets just say that there are some people who think of administrators as their own personal slaves and have absolutely no respect for what we do. That coupled with the sudden massive workload that had appeared on my desk and everything has gotten a little crazy.

It probably doesn’t help either that my parents have been away on holiday for the past 10 days, which has meant being left responsible for the dog, house and my family’s bar and brewery. Even when I’m not at work I am working and it’s making me go a little nutso.

Suffice to say there hasn’t been a lot of time for blogging … which really sucks.

I just don’t seem to be able to get the balance right, especially times like these when everything is extremely busy and it’s not easy to fit time in for blogging. I get home from work and I either have to go out and be social or I am doing my proofreading course, or I am simply too tired to do anything but lie on the couch!

So I wanted to ask you what you do about your blog when life gets a little crazy? How do you cope?

Are you one of those super organised people who have their posts done in advance so busy times make no difference to your blog, or does you blog suffer slightly when things get a little crazy?

Please let me know that I am not the only one in the world that this happens to!

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Broc’s Bookcase is 2 years old! (So let’s have a Giveaway!)

August 28, 2015 Blogging 4

brocs bookcase birthday

2 years = 24 months = 104 weeks = 730 days = 17531.6 hours = 1,051,200 minutes

2 years ago today I started Broc’s Bookcase and it was by far one of the best things I’ve ever done. I had tried blogging a few times before but never got much further then a few weeks into it before I gave up. I suck at commitment, I get bored, I change my mind often so blogging was something that really just never worked out for me.

But then I finished university and I was back home and had nothing to do. I was already following a number of book blogs and so I decided to give blogging another go. I didn’t have any great expectations, I guessed it would be something else that I would start and then get bored of and just toss aside, like a five year old and their favourite toy.

But here we are 2 years later and I’m still here!

I’m kind of in awe of the fact that I am still doing this because I’m such a lazy person! I have forgotten about my Sunday Funday posts so many times, I go for days without even logging into twitter because I can’t be bothered and I am forever writing my posts last minute! I go through those green eyed monster moments where I feel like my blog rubbish compared to all the others, and that I’m irrelavent and that ‘what is the point’ because probably no one reads this anyway! And life gets a little busy and my blog just gets abandoned for a week and I feel really guilty but then at the same time I want to life my life and I suck at the whole blog/real life balance thing!

And some days I just feel like quitting.

But then: I get a really nice comment that makes me smile; I meet someone new and have epic book chats with them; I read a book that just changes my life and I have to chat about it; I spend ages on a post and get an amazing response from it; I get a lovely email from a reader thanking me for a recommendation I put on my blog; I get approved for that ARC I really desperately wanted; I get an opportunity that I wouldn’t have if I didn’t blog.

And then I remember why I do this and why I love it so much.

Starting Broc’s Bookcase has changed my life so much, and no matter how many times I feel like it’s all too much and I want to quit I never have. Because I love knowing that my blog is here and (even if no one reads it) I can geek out over books and rant about love triangles and insta love. And the bookish community, I love being a part of it and knowing there is always someone there to nerd out with over your favourite bookish couple or just to get a great recommendation from.

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My first year of Broc’s Bookcase was, for me, my probation period. I never thought that I would even get to one year, but I did and it changed everything. In this past year I feel that I have really settled into blogger life. I figured out the type of blog I want to have, I have a whole lot less green eyed monster because I love my blog just the way it is and because of that I feel a lot more confident in the things I post.

So I want to say THANK YOU!

Thank you to everyone who has ever read anything on my blog, who has commented, entered a giveaway, retweeted, favourited, followed, shared or liked.

Thank you for for your friendship, for all the bookish chats, for the recommendations, for putting up with my rants, for accepting me and my flaws, for sticking with me when I get lazy and forget to post for a few days, for your advice and for welcoming me into the bookish community and making me feel like one of the family.

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My bookish highlights of this year:

  • Going to YALC for the 2nd year
  • Taking part in my 8th Tillie Cole blog tour (I really love that woman!)
  • Finally meeting Kelly from Have Book Will Read

My personal highlights of this year:

  • After a whole year of unemployment and all the dark times and struggles that some with it, I finally got a job
  • I met my boyfriend (and we are still going strong 6 months later!)
  • My cousin gave birth to the cutest little guy ever
  • My other cousin got married!
  • I actually got a bookshelf!

My Top 10 Books of this year:

And now for a Giveaway!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

**Giveaway is only open to countries that The Book Depository will deliver to**

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