The Blogger Recognition Award

I don’t normally do tags or awards, but I quite liked this one, especially since I think it might also be a good way to celebrate this blog’s existence for the past 11 years this month. So, a huge thank you to My Bookish Bliss! She reads quite a wide range of books so there’s always something for everyone and I love reading her reviews, so do check out her blog.

The Rules

  • Thank the blogger/s who nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
  • Write a post to show your award.
  • Give a brief story of how your blog started.
  • Give two pieces of advice to new bloggers.
  • Select up to 15 other bloggers you want to give this award to.
  • Comment (or pingback) on each blog and let them know you have nominated them and provide the link to the post you created.

How My Blog Started

Can I tell you a story? Because, really, that’s how this blog started.

In 2007, I stumbled on something called National Novel Writing Month one frigid October day when I was studying abroad in Denmark. And wrote a novel. Then my computer crashed. And I lost my novel. Forever. It’s gone. Poof. Disappeared. I didn’t really write anything for a while after that.

In 2010, I was feeling the pressure of applying to grad school, studying for the GRE, and planning my wedding. Writing was always my safe spot, but, after losing the novel I loved more than any other, I was a little scared to open up a Word document and start writing. I went online and looked for places to store my writings. I stumbled on WordPress, not knowing what a blog was. It looked useful, so I created an account. My blog name, The Lily Cafe, was created (no clue why I picked that name, but I think it might have been the name of a cafe in one of my stories). I thought I had to hit publish in order to save what I wrote, and accidentally published a handful of snippets. A few days later, I logged in to write some more, discovered this thing called notifications, and realized, to my growing horror, perfect strangers had been liking and reading my snippets. I unpublished all of it and logged off for the next few years.

And that’s how The Lily Cafe started. I came back in 2013 with a better idea of what a blog is and turned it into a real writing blog. But having a baby and moving across the country made things difficult, so I went on an unplanned, extended hiatus for almost 3 years. I’ve been back since 2018 and will hopefully stick around.

Two Pieces of Advice

1. Have fun. Really, this should be the only piece of advice I have. If you’re not having fun, you’re likely not going to stick around. It’s really hard to get noticed and even harder to shoot for the top. If you’re lucky, you’ll make some really good friends who make all the work worthwhile, but, if you’re not having fun and loving what you’re doing, you’ll burn out fast. So, have fun and don’t worry about a meandering journey. From everything I’ve read, it took many of the big bloggers that everyone knows today about 5 years and a big break to get to where they are.

2. Your blog is your space. Too often I see bloggers leave because they’ve run out of steam with what they were writing about. It’s one reason why I dislike niche blogging. It’s so restrictive. So many have written about how they’re just not motivated, but I think all they need is permission, whether from someone else or from themselves, to do what they want with their space. Branch out, try something new, take a completely different direction. Yes, it’s scary. Yes, you’ll probably lose readers and followers. But you’ll also gain new followers and a community that you really match with, and I think you’ll also be happier. I certainly am! My long time readers (thank you so much for sticking with me!) know I love, love, love changing things up and am not afraid of doing what I want here. I’ve taken a slow evolution from eclectic to book blogger and have made so many lovely friends with so many different interests and backgrounds that I would do it all over again.

Nominate

I really hate this part because, if I could and had the time, I would list everyone I read, but that would take too long. Fifteen is a good number, but I always find myself frozen with indecision and can’t stand leaving anyone out. I want to just say everyone is tagged, but I think that kind of defeats the purpose of a Blogger Recognition Award. After all, I’m supposed to recognize bloggers. So, here goes, some old favorites and some new favorites, but all wonderful bloggers I’m thrilled to have the chance to recognize.

Jana@Degrees of Maternity
Etta@Chonky Books
Megan@Megan’s Book Stacks
Jenny@Book Coffee Happy
Alexis@The Reading Addict
Leslie@Books Are The New Black
Becky@Becky’s Book Blog
Chel@Chel Owens
Bits and Dragons
Nicole@Thoughts Stained With Ink
Autumn@By Autumn Rain
Aaliyazoya@Aaliyas Nook
Jennifer@Jennifer M. Zeiger
Lisa@Boondock Ramblings
Deanna@Discover with Deanna

17 thoughts

  1. I completely understand why loosing an entire novel turned you off from writing for a while! But I’m glad you came back to it. Thanks for nominating me, Kat =)

    1. So am I. I’ve gone back and forth for years, but it’s been such a good distraction lately. Always happy to!

  2. I think I read about your “accident” before. Very good advices, thanks a lot for them! If I feel like I run out of steam I will remember your post ❤️❤️. And thank you for the nomination… my post will come soon, I hope…

    1. Glad to see your post and read more about your blogging story! I’ve probably mentioned losing my story before. Still kind of traumatizing, but it’s led to this space and so many wonderful people and leaps of imagination.

  3. Kat – you are awesome! And, sooooooooo deserving of the Blogger Recognition Award. I loved hearing how blogging began for you and your advice is on point. I also wanted you to know how honored I am that you nominated me. It really means a lot coming from someone so gifted and giving. As you can see, people recognize how great your efforts are. So, keep up the inspiring work that you do.

    1. You totally deserve it! I love all the care and work you put into every post. They’re so thoughtful, insightful, and have so much good meat to them. I always learn something new or am given some food for thought, and appreciate all of it so much.

      1. Oh, thank you for being such an encouragement. Your kind words always touch the heart strings. I have so much to learn about being successful in the blogging realm. Good thing I have excellent role models like yourself to help give me direction and to remind me to love what I do and be real while I’m doing it.

  4. Thanks so much for the nomination Kat! You’re advice is spot one, especially the ‘have fun’ part, I see so many bloggers having to take breaks etc because they feel they need to post every day/ do too much.

  5. Wow, thanks! And here I’ve been off in my own world, so I’m late to the party.

    I have some old writing that I wish the hard drive would crash and destroy, but it’s still around to haunt me, lol.

    1. Considering your world has offered some really fun things to read (I love the letters!), there’s no such thing as being late. I also, oops, don’t think I even liked the award post on My Bookish Bliss.

      Haha, I have such bad luck with technology that most of what I don’t mind being gone forever is gone, along with things I wish I still had. One day I’ll figure out this computer thing.

      1. I would find it difficult to argue with them. Or I actually don’t have the organizational skills I think I do and misplaced them.

  6. Thank you for the nomination, Kat! I forgot to thank you for this the other day and then my week got busy and I forogt again. I don’t even think I have 15 bloggers I could tag, but I may try to see if I can in a post next week.

    1. Always happy to, and I certainly understand being busy. It’s so easy for time to get away. No pressure to do the award or tag anyone, just wanted to recognize your for everything you do on your blog and how much I enjoy it.

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