Blog of the Year Award

Thanks Vikki from The View Outside

What a neat award. Thank you, Vikki, for thinking of me.

Update as of 1/11/13…I was given another one from Cayman Thorn.

 

Now I have two! Thanks, Cayman

Now I have two! Thanks, Cayman

 

When I think about blog awards, I always find myself reevaluating the purpose of why I’m here. The other day I was talking to a friend, and she told me she was quitting her blog. She was tired of constantly juggling her blog with her 3 children, a full-time job, and house/husband. She said she had no time for herself anymore.

I asked her why she started a blog in the first place. She said she needed that outlet. She lives in a remote town and doesn’t get out much. She thought her blog would be a great way to network and find a community of people with similar interests, common ground.

I tried to show her that the blog was her treat to herself. That without the blog her time would be sucked up by Things. Children. Housework. Life. That there would be no other way she could engage in adult conversation or air her frustrations, tension, joy.

Why is it that we put ourselves last? Not all of us, certainly, but damn enough. When I started my blog it was initially because I was informed that ‘Writers have blogs.’ It was the smart thing to do if you wanted your name out there. I did it out of necessity.

Funny thing is I started enjoying myself. I don’t usually talk about ‘Me’ with people. Even in family gatherings, I’m the one listening to everyone one else talking. So, the fact I am out in blogosphere, chatting, is strange. I feel like Sleeping Beauty waking up in Never Land.

I’m not a numbers person. I mean, I could rattle off my stats (once I actually hunt them down) and give you an overview of the impact of my blog. But I don’t think that info tells me or anyone else how much my blog really means.

The point is, for me, no matter what my stats might be, blogging has helped me grow as a writer as well as a person. Even if my numbers don’t go anywhere fast, I am getting a lot more out of blogging than simply introducing people to my writing. This is my playground, my workspace, my barstool, my comfy couch. This is where I take care of myself.

Thanks for blogging with me.

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Now on to sharing the award. Check out The Blog Of The Year Award Page for rules and info on how it all works. I always have a hard time picking and choosing award recipients because I follow blogs equally and for various reasons. Some I follow for the poetry and prose; some I follow for the savvy advice; some I follow for the camaraderie. So, I did what I usually do and made my choices based on a theme.

The theme for this award is:

4 blogs that make me laugh

Robin Coyle

Susie Lindau

Anne Woodman

Vanessa Chapman

I’m a Lazy Daisy

I have been sitting on a couple of awards. It’s not that I dislike the award ceremony; in fact, I love the tradition of exchanging awards among fellow bloggers. But because I take it seriously, I tend to overwhelm myself with all of the details and the rules and tracking where each award has come and gone. I find them more difficult than regular posts.

But I despise feeling lazy and inconsiderate, so I figured I better announce at least one of the awards…

Isn’t it darling? This was a double-shot as two bloggers awarded me with it.  Vicky from Victoria Writes and Amy from Maisymak.

The rules for this award are:

1.) Thank the person who nominated you. Thanks Vicky and Amy!

2.) Tell your readers 7 unusual things about yourself.

3.) Nominate some worthy bloggers.

Okay, I know that I have listed ’7 unusual things about yourself’ in other award ceremonies. I apologize if I am redundant, but there aren’t that many unusual qualities about me. At least, I don’t think there are…

1.) I collect bird feathers

2.) I brush my feet off before I slip into bed (so I don’t get grit and dirt in my bed, of course!)

3.) Brushing my teeth relaxes me

4.) I talk to myself. Not just talk–I have full conversations with myself.

5.) I know all of the US presidents in order, by heart

6.) I have rescued numerous wild animals from my ferocious English setters. (They’re not really ferocious, but they do like to toy with wee bunny wabbits and helpless bats and such.)

7.) I buy my favorite food and hide it so I don’t have to share.

Okay, so here are the bloggers I wish to pass the Daisy Award on to …

Loony Literature

Alarna Rose Gray

Penny Coho

Write21

Vanessa Chapman

Sunday Spin-My Twilight Zone

This is what my blog feels like lately:

Image courtesy of Wikimedia

Within the past couple of months I have noticed a strange ripple in blogosphere, and specifically within the teeny-tiny space that my blog occupies.

First, I’ve encountered Ghost Bloggers. These “people” have a username but no site. That’s right, no site at all.

Second, are Frenemies. These are bloggers who have followed my blog, giving me that warm fuzzy feeling that I’ve made a new friend. So, I went to their site and found that, wow, this is not a person who posts about writing or life (pretty much all I post), so why are they following me? Regardless, I followed back because my mother taught me manners. I even thanked them for following and told them how pretty their blog looks on them. But I have never seen or heard from them again.

Next up are The Reader Stalkers. These are the bloggers who scroll through the reader every day and hit the “Like” button for every single post they see. They do not read these posts. Oh no, not The Reader Stalkers. They can’t actually read a post. They can only ‘like’ a post.

Probably the worst group are the MeMeMeMe Bloggers. These people only follow my blog because they have just self-pubbed and they want my attention on their new book. Okay, fine, I’ll check you out. I’ll follow back. I’ll read your posts and your “About Me” pages. I’ll comment once or twice a week. But I don’t get the same treatment in return. I can probably name 20 blogs right now who are supposed “followers” of mine who have never never made a single comment on my blog, even though I have left dozens of comments on their blogs.

Last, but not least, are the Pseudo Bloggers. They aren’t really bloggers at all, but use a WordPress blog to sell a product, and I don’t mean books. I mean sunscreen. Theatrical costumes. Music CDs. Are these spammers? I have no idea, but they’re getting through Akismet and following my blog. Damnable creatures.

Anyway, all of this is more of a nuisance than a legitimate problem–at least, for now. I am still able to find the humor. But I do sense a shift in blogosphere and I wonder where all of this is really headed.

How about you? What has been your strangest encounter in blogosphere?

Building my writing platform

I have been thinking a lot about brand-building. As I put aside my WIP to give it a good think, I wonder if I am successfully carving out my niche.  I need to communicate my core identity, and I need to communicate it well. I’m not just a writer.  I am a…

A what?

That’s the part of the core identity I need to establish in the writing community.  I need to define who I am as a writer.

As writers looking to brand ourselves, we have to ask and answer some questions so that when people hear our names, they know immediately who we are, what we’re all about.

For starters, I need to understand that the writer Kathryn Johnston and the human Kathryn Johnston are two separate personalities that work together. How would I describe myself as a writer? How would I describe myself as a person?

Now, because I will be a published author soon :) I will be out there, in public, meeting people, talking about myself and my writing. How do I want the public to view me?

All of these questions should lead me to a common group of descriptors that I would use to describe myself as a writer, a human, and how I’m perceived by others.

Once I’m out there, people naturally dig deeper. They want to know more about me, so I need to be prepared to talk about my achievements, what I’ve been working on. Now, I don’t have a long list of writing projects, but this is okay because I can’t forget the other part to my brand—the person Kathryn Johnston. I need to include those achievements, too.

Many people like a person with a plan. They don’t want to hear that I’m mucking about on FB or Twitter just because it looks like fun or because everyone else is doing it.  What are my goals for the short-term (short-term will be defined differently by everyone)? What are my long-term goals (again, defined differently by different people)?

Here it gets interesting. Already, I can see how my goals will directly correlate to the kind of person and writer that I am.  Additionally, it would make sense that my goals should spin off from my accomplishments. In other words, if I completed a novel (accomplishment), then my goal should be to get it published.

Below, I tried answering the questions. Hopefully there will be something that can help me in branding myself.

  1. Who am I as a person? I am a mother. I am a wife. I am a friend. I am reliable. I am kind. I am strong-minded. I am helpful. I am resolute.
  2. Who am I as a writer? I am dedicated. I am motivated. I am strong. I want to learn and grow. I share knowledge. I persevere. I get up at 4am to write.
  3. How do I want to be viewed by the public? I am not a quitter.  I am enthusiastic. I build relationships. I am supportive. I am hard-working.
  4. What are my accomplishments? I have a short story published. I completed a novel, mainstream fiction. I wrote the framework of the sequel. I survived two NaNoWriMos. I won a writing contest in my local community. I teach creative writing to children. I am a freelance writing coach and editor.
  5. What are my short-term goals? Fight for my WIP and get it published. Expand my writing coach business. Continue building and enhancing relationships with others in the writing community.
  6. What are my long-term goals? Write and publish more books. Make a living as a writer. Own a writing studio where I can teach creative writing workshops and hold seminars. Found a writing competition for writers looking to break into the field. Remain available to all writers from all walks of life.

I will continue to tweak and sculpt these tidbits until I am fully comfortable with my identity, both now and ongoing. Then I need to put it all into action. This is who I am, who I want to be, and I have to be ready to back it up.

How about you? Have you figured out your brand?

Thank You Limebird Writers!

Let Your Creativity Fly

I have been hatched as a Limebird! That’s right! I am now part of the wonderfully creative, generous team at Limebird Writers. http://limebirduk.wordpress.com/

We are a group of writers who offer advice, review books, and muse on anything writing-related. We take our duties very seriously, even as we fly around cyberspace as limebirdkate (that’s me), or limebirdmike, or limebirdcharlotte…well, you get the idea.

I feel honored to be involved with such a positive, supportive group of writers. Limebirdbeth, the founder, is great to work with—as are all the team members.  I feel like we’ve got a good groove going with a wide range of writing experiences, goals, and views. We are steadily reaching a broad spectrum of followers through blog posts, Twitter (@limebirdwriters), and a writing forum.

You’ll find posts on superheroes, great books, poor books, NaNoWriMo, writing groups, and more—all written by a variety of people who contribute their ideas with a fun, energetic attitude. We love it when followers comment on our posts–we’re quick to engage in a conversation. For some of us, it’s hard to stop…!

So, when you get a chance pop on over to Limebird Writers and say hi!