Blogger Recognition Award

Kacha from Food.for.Thoughts nominated me for a Blogger Recognition Award! I’d like to thank her, both for the nomination and for being an awesome blogger and blogging friend. Reading her posts has taught me so much about depression and burnout, and about psychology in general. I hope that her record of her journey gives hope to those who are still struggling with their mental health. Thanks, Kacha!

    1. Thank the blogger(s) who nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
    2. Write a post to show your award.
    3. Give a brief story of how your blog started.
    4. Give two pieces of advice to new bloggers.
    5. Select up to fifteen bloggers you want to give this award to.
    6. Comment (or pingback) on each blog to let them know that you’ve nominated them, and provide a link to the post you’ve created.

My Blog Story

I feel like the story of how my blog began is so much simpler than the journey I’ve been on since then, but I’ll share it all the same. I’d say it began in college. I have a complicated relationship with academics, as I genuinely love to learn but I hated the pressures of grades and deadlines. I majored in English, which today means looking at literature and sometimes media through various social commentary lenses. I enjoyed that. I enjoyed learning how to apply academic standards to research. Yet I also felt restless. What I wanted more than anything was the freedom to choose my own topics, to talk about stories both old and new and the connections between them.

When I graduated, I was sick of writing papers, but I knew I still wanted to explore the world of ideas out there. There was so much more to think and say! I thought several times about starting a blog to share my ideas so that they would reach the people who found them interesting rather than just weighing down the ears of whoever I found to chat at. Yet I worried it would be too much and I’d end up abandoning the blog after a few posts. Then, as I began to pursue my main dream of publishing my creative writing, I noticed that most would-be authors are encouraged to maintain blogs. I didn’t want to just blog about writing before I had even published anything, however. If I wrote a blog, I wanted it to be about topics that truly interested me. So I decided to go back to my dream of writing about myth and media.

The next step was choosing a name. That’s its own separate journey that you can read more fully about it here, but the short version is that searching for a phrase that connected myth and media led me to come up with “Fool’s Mirror.” There’s a book and a tarot spread that both use that name, so I added “Illuminating” to make it unique, and my blog had a name. I still hesitated. I would work through almost all the steps to create a WordPress account and then backspace it out of existence again. Finally, though, I drew a deep breath and basically booted myself through the last step. Since then I’ve been working my way through post by post while discovering the incredibly supportive and friendly WordPress community. It’s been an amazing journey, and I thank all of you who have made that possible by encouraging me with likes and comments along the way. Illuminating the Fool’s Mirror will reach its first anniversary at the end of this month, and I’m so grateful to still be here exploring!

Advice for New Bloggers

This first one is super nuts and bolts, but it’s something I wish someone had told me earlier: test your theme before you start posting. I chose my current theme, Lyretail, based on overall appearance. I like the clean look with lots of white space around the text and a simple banner on top. However, as I tried to develop my site more, I realized that the way this theme does menus is really confusing. If you didn’t realize my site has menus, don’t feel bad. The only way to access them is to click a little arrow at the top right. I would have preferred sidebar menus that are easily visible, but now I’m stuck until I upgrade to a full-fledged WordPress.org download. So yeah, test out all your potential dreams for your site before you start writing content that could be lost.

Second piece of advice: Follow other blogs because you enjoy them, not because you want them to follow you. This is a common tip, but it’s important enough that I’m saying it yet again. It’s easy to think that a high number of followers equals blogging success. But most people won’t follow back automatically, so using that strategy yourself will gain you little but a clogged inbox. Some of those bloggers might have amazing content, which you won’t notice if you’re wading through a bunch of posts you don’t bother to read. So take the time to read and comment on the blogs you follow. Yes, it takes more time, but the time will be more rewarding if you find people whose ideas inspire you or make you think. You’ll have an easier time writing those comments and you just might make some awesome blogger friends in the process.

My Nominees

Geeky Mythology

Den of Dreams

Fun with Philosophy

MiddleMe

Lotus Laura

Average Nicole

The Little Dreamland

29 thoughts on “Blogger Recognition Award

  1. Thanks for accepting the award and your nice words! I guess I’ve been lucky with my theme because I didn’t test it out beforehand.
    I’m glad you pushed through and kept your blog alive as I like to read about myths, mythical figures and where to find them.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Congratulations and wow, you’ve only been here a year?! Hard to believe because I always felt like you got the blogging down pat and your posts are always well-written. Also, those are some damn good advice. Cheers to more blogging years! 🎊

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Thanks so much for the nomination! 🙂 I completely relate to how you feel about academics. Deadlines and grades are so stressful, and not having the freedom to choose what you learn is frustrating. And I appreciate your advice, especially regarding quality verses quantity of blogs you follow. When I first started I used to simply follow anybody, hoping to increase my following, but ended up attracting a lot of spam. Now I focus on blogs with substance like yours! Congrats on your award and keep up the wonderful work!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My pleasure! And thank you for your kind words. 😊

      Oh, I never thought about spam as a hazard of the automatic follow-back approach! 😮 I had a hard time figuring out what was and wasn’t spam when I first started, especially since a couple people who I knew were legitimate bloggers got their comments sorted into the spam folder on early posts. I actually let a few real spam posts out of the folder and had to delete them later. 😬

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I did get a bunch of nominations earlier this year. 😅 I’ve been trying to catch up since I’ve been a bit crunched for research time and now I’m wrestling with the new block editor. Thanks for stopping by!

      Like

  4. Nope! I’m a Classic editor person. I like being able to copy all my text into a draft and then add images wherever I see a need. This whole block thing just confuses me. 😞 But I’m trying to work with it.

    Like

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