Monday, 2 March 2015

Blogger Recognition Award

Hamlette has awarded me with the Blogger Recognition Award! Salutations and thanks to you, Hamlette – I hope you already know how much I appreciate and admire your dedication to your blogs, those fun blog events you have hosted, and all those vastly intelligent comments you have made while visiting here. You probably also know how eagerly I'll jump at any kind of blog challenge or tag that is thrown my way, so here I go!

Rules and Regulations:

  • Attach the award.
  • Thank the person who nominated you.
  • Provide a link to the original post at Edge of Night
  • Give a brief story of how your blog got started and a piece or two of advice for new bloggers.
  • Select 15 blogs to nominate.
  • Comment on each nominee's blog and let them know that you've nominated them.

How it began

Somewhere around the spring of 2013 I started having the feeling that I had quite a lot to say about the way I experienced literature, music and drama. At the time I hardly had any people in my life who shared those interests with the same enthusiasm and critical eye as I did, so because of the lack of arts-related face-to-face communication, I had the idea of putting up a blog. I remembered my favourite literature course in (the Finnish equivalent of) high school where our assignments included reading a controversial classic novel and writing a review on it. Even though I read Gustave Flaubert's Madame Bovary for that assignment and I didn't appreciate it much, that course was among the best of my high school experiences because the teacher was the best ever and I discovered that writing reviews was something that really resonated with me. 

The best decisions I've made in my life have always been spur-of-the-moment. Once the idea of starting a culture blog had settled nicely in my head, I spent the next day or two setting up an account on Blogger, and on April 15th, 2013 I wrote my first blog post

Many different bloggers served as inspiration and role models for Music & My Mind, but there was a person with the online-name Frankie Savage who deserves a special mention. She was my friend in the Blogiverse as well as in real life, and she was the one who answered my silly questions when I first couldn't figure out how Blogger worked. The reason why I have to refer to Frankie in past tense is that she sadly passed away just before Christmas in 2014, due to a long and serious illness. She was just 24 years old and one of the wisest, strongest, simply the best people I have ever known. All the comments on this blog made by Frankie Savage or Kristallikettu are hers, and though I'm over the worst shock of her passing, it still makes me terribly sad to think that I'll never get to talk to her again. Still, I'm glad I'm able to at least show her a bit of gratitude in this blog post.

Advice for new bloggers
  • First and foremost, write about the things that interest you, in a style that feels natural to you!
  • Using labels and tags on your blog posts makes it loads, and I mean it, loads easier for your readers to browse around your blog and target the posts that would most interest them, and to get a general overview on the topics that you write about.
  • Experiment with different forms of writing. For example, if you have review blog like me, you don't always have to write the regular kinds of reviews. You could do Top Ten lists, comparison posts, open letters... Just use your imagination! It will make your blog so much more interesting.
  • Be cautious with your blog's layout. Most people find neon-green text on a bright red background a little irritating to read.
  • Even if your blog is not intended as a diary of your personal life and you should always be very careful about sharing personal details online, I would still suggest that you give your blog a little touch of your personality. I like to feel like what I'm reading comes from a real person, rather than a fact-sprouting machine. Make your blog sound like you, write an introduction page that makes readers feel welcome, and demonstrate how the things you write about stem from your real-life experiences.
  • This is something I should really work on myself: visit other blogs as often as you can, and look out for new blogs to add on your reading list. You want people to comment on your blog, right? The best way to achieve this is commenting on other people's blogs. Also, participate in any interesting blogging events that you can find. They are always loads of fun (if they are hosted well) and it's one of the best ways to find bloggers who share your interests and expand your social blogging circles.

Now, nominating 15 other blogs is the tricky part. Like I said, I haven't been very actively working on my blog circles, so I'll just see how many nominees I can come up with.
Happy blogging and blog-surfing to you all!


  1. I heartily agree with your advice. Especially about tags/labels and an archive -- I almost never follow a blog based on one or two posts. If the first one interests me, I'll see what they have to say on something that interests me. Without labels or an archive, i can't find yjose other posts.

    My condolences for the loss of your friend :-(

  2. This was a very interesting challenge indeed! I had never really given deeper thought to what sparked my interest in blogging, It just felt like such a natural, self-evident course of action at the time. Making up words of advice was very enlightening as well because it made me think about how I choose the blogs I follow.

    Thank you for your kind condolences. Among all the other good things this blog has brought into my life, it has been a great help in dealing with all that empty feeling of loss, even if I haven't made it show in my blogging content till now.

  3. I haven't read this post until now. Your advice is great and I'm so sorry about your friend! :( *hugs*

  4. I am so sorry for your loss. :(

    But thank you for the award, and for your points of view about blogging! I shall share mine soon.