Mutual admiration is one of my favourite human traits. It makes me strive to improve upon myself, that I may lead as well as be recognized. Such is the nature of the Liebster Award. Bloggers nominate other bloggers for this “in-house” internet award. Specifically, the Liebster Award is given to bloggers with a smaller following.
The rules of the Liebster Aware are as much of an urban myth, as are the qualifying statistics. The number of followers for nominees range from under 200 to under 3000 people. Some bloggers suggest Liebster Award recipients post an FAQ, others don’t. Everyone who receives the award needs to post the badge. The Liebster Award is a voluntary and reciprocal acknowledgement award. In turn, I nominate other bloggers with a small audience for the Liebster Award. It’s a chain-letter of love and the number of nominees for each recipient also changes (5 or more is the average).
Often, it’s newer Bloggers who receive nominations for the Liebster Award. Since I’ve been online as Real Women Drive Stick (and before that as Creative Nurse with a Travel Bug on the now non-operating Backwash.com), I’m not a new blogger, per se. However I am “newer” to the community behind blogging and the industry it has created: social media management, SEO, affiliate marketing and social influence blogging. I’ve enjoyed a smaller dedicated audience, mostly of people who know me in person.
I’m touched that Jennifer of Get Lean Queen nominated Real Women Drive Stick on her blog. I’m hijacking that nomination for my author blog (do self-nominations count? The rules are vague.) I met Jennifer through Blissdom Canada. Jennifer’s latest blog follows her as she tackles her morbid obesity – for everyone to see!
I’ll answer the same questions Jennifer posted, in the spirit of the Liebster Award.
1. Why and How Did You Start Blogging?
“Lesley Donaldson, born-again writer” is the evolution of myself as a brand. Some of my future readers will enjoy knowing about the process of becoming an independent author-publisher. I know that my urban fantasy audience won’t necessarily cross over with my non-fiction audience for Growing A Rainbow. So, in the spring of 2014, I created a separate virtual presence for the author Lesley Donaldson and Aquhorthies Publishing.
2. What One Word Sums Up the Heart of Your Blog, and Why?
Transformation. I’m engaged in a dynamic process as I find the balance between my writing, my family and my current paid income. This blog represents the biggest shift in my life since I married my husband, and following the events of my son’s birth.
3. Is there something you learned late in your Blogging journey that you wished you’d learned before?
Several items come to mind! Two biggies are self-promotion and search engine optimization. I’ve been blogging since 2007 but I never sought an audience. I didn’t start tagging blog posts until after I’d returned back to work from maternity leave.
4. What is your favourite pastime, other than blogging?
I no longer consider writing a pastime. It’s my second job. Blogging is part of my business platform. Travel in our household is an obsession. Both my hubby and I go stir crazy if we sit still for too long. My other hobby is re-creating medieval history. It offers so much opportunity: creative expression, military arts, culinary arts and more!
5. How many hours a week do you dedicate to your blog?
That depends on where I am in my manuscript! Or, if I’m traveling. It might be 2-4 hours a day for writing, editing, podcasting or promoting, or I might leave it alone completely. What’d I’d prefer to see is consistency in my future blogging. I spend most of my spare time outside of writing on taking my social media and blogging up a notch or two.
6. What category of blog posts do you enjoy the most?
I read most types of blogs, even dipping into the business or technological ones from time to time. Sports is probably lowest on my list.
7. From where do you get your inspiration?
I’m so passionate about this change that I wanted to share it with like-minded or interested individuals. Everything new has the potential to be a blog post.
8. Which post makes you the most proud?
On this blog, it’s my most recent post, Pain into Purpose. I am amazed and humbled by the people featured on the blog, and the many more who didn’t make an appearance. I’ve had feedback that my post moved some readers to tears. It’s also my first podcast!
9. I there any post that you’ve been planning to write but postponing?
Postponing, no. Organizing myself successfully, yes. I’ve wanted to conduct more interview blogs and haven’t made it happen yet.
10. What is your favourite aspect of blogging?
Letting someone else do the back end coding! Seriously, though, I am a storyteller. Crafting a blog post which draws people in and feels compelling is my favourite part.
11. Which recipe, project or idea would you like to try yourself?
I’d like to cosplay (costume play) Hiccup’s mother, Valka, from How to Train Your Dragon 2.
My nominations for the Liebster Award are:
1. David (Daffyd) of Leather Goods for the Discerning Kraken
2. Lilo of Lilo Illuminates
3. Tima of Tima Maria Lacoba
4. Kayti of KNR Writes
5. K. K. of K. K. Allen
6. Desiree of Greyscale Studios
(Different nominees from the Real Women Drive Stick nominees. And yes, in part, this is also to give some of these nominees a wee nudge for upping the ante on their platforms!)