A Letter to My Past Self

Dear me,

I’m sorry. I’m sorry about what I did to you. I’m sorry I took away your smiles and your laughter. I’m sorry I took away the joy you felt in so many things. I’m sorry that I made us into this person who’s just a faint shadow of who you were. I don’t know if the person I was is still in me, or maybe you’re gone forever, not even bothering to read this letter I wrote for you. I know I got us into this mess. You know I had no choice. Or maybe you did, maybe you screamed at me not to take us down the path we are on now into this sad existence. Or maybe you were the one who took my hand and showed me the way. After all, you are my past and I am your future. It is your decisions that led us to this, not mine. I am simply an aftermath, the wreckage after a hurricane.

But no, I don’t believe you did this to us. Why would you? After all, I know you better than anyone else. You would never do that. Not to me, not to us, not to yourself. Then who do I blame for all this? Life? No. I sometimes wonder whether it has been unnaturally cruel to me. But then I realize, no it hasn’t. Life is just the way it is. It is not cruel on purpose nor kind. You might roll your eyes at me for what I am about to say next: life goes on. However cliched it might feel, you know that’s exactly what has happened and that is exactly what will happen again.

Did you know that this is the first time I have written like this is years? My hand shakes as I write this, my words indecipherable even to myself. The pen no longer feels like an extension of my hand as it used to be, it is no longer peace. But of course you know that. It was your words that I drowned, muffled, pushed away, until you gave up. And now, here I am, desperately trying get them back again. Desperately? No, I wouldn’t call this desperate. This is merely me revisiting my past. You.

I don’t blame you for what has become of us today. You only ever wanted good things for us. Even in the state we are today, I do not want to go back to you either. No. We have walked a treacherous path and I have learned you would not have survived one night on that journey. You have given up everything you are for me to be here today. And yet you are selfish, holding back the best parts to yourself. But I guess that’s only natural. After all, you are my past and I am your future. I may be your aftermath but I shall not remain one forever more. I am the means for what is to come. It’s on me to take us forward.

I think its time to let you go now. I forgive you for all that you have done to me, I thank you for everything that you have given me and I apologize once again for all that I’ve done to you, everything I put you through. And now its time to say goodbye. But never think for a moment that I will forget you. Never. After all, you are my past and I am your future.
You are me and I am you.
How can I ever forget myself?

Yours,
You

~S⭐

Advertisements

I’m back?

Hello everyone!

Yes I realize this is a clickbaity title but I swear this post is the furthest it will get from clickbait. I’m not sure how many of you will read this but here goes… So! I’ve been gone for a VERY long time. A year and a month to be precise. Well that’s just when my last post was. I had really stopped blogging on a regular basis maybe 2 years back. It wasn’t because I didn’t like blogging anymore or because I stopped writing. I kept saying I would come back to blogging, I would post regularly again but it just didn’t happen. I did want to be a regular blogger because it was something I enjoyed very much when I did it on a regular basis.

Frankly I would say the real reason I stopped blogging was because I just turned lazy and started procrastinating too much and kept putting off writing by stating lame excuses like ‘Oh I don’t like typing’ (well that is a fact, I hate typing but that isn’t a reasonable excuse to stop blogging). But laziness isn’t the only reason I stopped blogging (something which I loved doing) and abandoning the blog that was my pride for two years. If it were just laziness I wouldn’t be sitting here typing this out now because procrastination is still one of my best talents. (Yes. Sarcasm.) I think what happened was that I started putting out posts and content purely on the basis of what will get more views. I stopped writing for the love of writing and thought more and more about what post would get me more likes and followers. I lost creativity and lost my confidence when a post didn’t do as well as I expected. Yes, getting readers and likes for posts are important too but I gave it all of the importance and none to writing what I wanted to write. So there I was, stuck in a rut with no inspiration and lacking self confidence in myself as a writer which just slowly spiraled into fewer and fewer posts which well… stopped completely after a point of time.

And then there are the changes that happened in my life in the one (or more accurately two years) I was gone. I started college and that was the time when I stopped really caring about my blog. I’ve finished two years in college now. The first year I was pretty much excited about being in college and was lost too much in enjoying it I guess. The second year was filled more with not-so-nice experiences. There were times when I lost motivation for anything and all I did was read my books day and night. I turned 18 in 2018 and now I’ve turned 19 a few weeks back and in that one year since official adulthood (not that there was any significance to that) I’ve experienced a lot of things, good and bad and I’ve learnt a lot of things from it too. I’ve made bad decisions, regretted them and then learned to deal with the repercussions. I’ve put my faith in the wrong people and then learned to move on when that faith broke. And I’ve learned how not to let things affect me too much. But the absolute best thing that I learned in the past two years is that love and kindness sometimes comes from the most unexpected people and it is one of the most beautiful things in the world.

So now what? I’m sitting here writing out this post wanting to come back to blogging and I really hope I will rediscover my love for blogging and become a regular blogger again. ‘Blogger’ is no longer a title I can give myself and I hope to earn it back. As for my blog and what I’ll be posting and when I’ll be posting it well… I hope I will post at least once every two weeks and this time it’s going to be what I want to write and what I want to share with my readers.

I have truly truly missed being a part of the WordPress blogoshpere and the wonderful people in this community. During the time when I did blog consistently. I made a lot of good friends here and I regret losing them so much. I miss reading posts from my favorite bloggers and I miss the excitement of binge reading posts when I find a new blog that I like.

A huge thank you to all my wonderful readers who have been there for me since 2016, and thank you to the wonderful people who supported me these past two years when I just made occasional visits to the blogosphere. And thank you to one of my friends without whom I would still be putting off writing this post.

If there’s anything at all you’d like to tell me please don’t hesitate to let me know in the comments. Maybe a ‘Who are you and why are you in my feed’ or maybe ‘Hey I think I remember you!’ or maybe even a welcome back. I would love to hear from anyone who reads this post. I honestly am excited to be back in the blogosphere and interact with all the amazing people here. So hopefully I’ll see you in my next post.

As always thank you for reading.

~Sithara⭐

Booky Sundays || The Boy Who Loved (Review)

Hello everyone!

How are y’all today? Hope you had a fun Sunday. I don’t even know where the weekend went! I’ve already read more than 15 books in 2018! Talk about a good start for my book goals *pointedly ignores towering pile of  TBR*. How are your book goals for this year coming along? And are there any Marvel fans out here? I just saw Black Panther today and ooooh it was amazing!! I know a bookish post might not be the best place to discuss a film… But BLACK PANTHER!! I absolutely cannot wait for Infinity War!

Moving on… This is the first ever Booky Sunday post even though I announced it a long time ago (oopsie) in this post. I finally managed to suppress my procrastinating tendancies for a bit just long enough to get this post out so yayy! Anyway, my post is gonna be a book review!! The book is called The Boy Who Loved (which is a title I love!) and I really loved this book… Maybe not the best I read this year but definitely in the top 5. So without further ado here it is!

Heartbreaking, dark and twisted, The Boy Who Loved is the first part of the duo-logy written by the famous Indian author Durjoy Datta. With The Boy Who Loved, Durjoy Datta, best known as an Indian novelist, screenwriter and entrepreneur, has foraged into a bit more darker kind of romance novels. Published by Penguin Books India it came out in May 2017.

At first glance the cover is absolutely gorgeous and really suits the story’s theme. Reading the blurb, I found it to be instantly intriguing. The story describes the life of Raghu, a 16 year old boy living in the depths of New Delhi. But his life is not that of an ordinary teenager. He harbors a dark secret – the death of his best friend which he witnessed and did nothing to stop. He pushes away everyone in his life and he doesn’t trust himself to have another friend again. But when Brahmi, a girl just like him, comes into his life unexpectedly he finds himself starting to wish for a friendship again.

The Plot

Although the main plot of the book is Raghu’s story it also has many subplots that come together with the main story beautifully. And the fact that it wasn’t all too much and wasn’t too confusing is also a great thing. The story didn’t really lag much. Some parts were a bit predictable but it made the overall dark theme of the book richer. Like all books which will have a sequel it does end on a cliffhanger which makes sure that you HAVE to read the next book The Boy With The Broken Heart. 

The Characters 

I read in a Goodreads review that all the characters were a different shade of grey. I almost agree with this except for Raghu’s brother. He was the bright radiant colour among the shades of grey. (And NO this has no connection AT ALL to Fifty Shades of Grey). Raghu himself was a dark shade with Brahmi a good match for him. Broken people were the most common in this book. There were actually quite a few characters in the book but they were all memorable. Each of them have their own flaws which is what makes the story much more better. 

The Writing

What I loved most was that the perspective of Raghu was so well written that we forget we’re reading a book and this is just something the author wrote. This story is written as Raghu’s journal and it really does feel like we’re reading this boy’s journal, his words, his emotions. The story does have a way of addressing a deep rooted problem in India about the hate between Hindus and Muslims through this book which makes the reader think about it. All things considered it was a pretty good book. 

So what did you think about that? Would you read this book? I definitely would recommend it to you. What book are you currently reading and would you have any suggestions about what I should post next? Let me know in the comments!

~Sithara⭐

The Best of 2017.

Hello everyone!

Happy 2018! (I realize I might be – quite possibly – a bit late in saying so). I hope you’ve had an amazing year so far. How was your 2017? Mine was… Well I think it was one of the best years of my life. Sure it hasn’t all been fun and games but a lot of good things did happen too, far more than the negative things I’d say. A lot of things happened in my life, the biggest being me finishing school and starting college. I met a lot of new people, made a lot of memories, traveled to new places and had many new experiences in 2017. I’d say travelling to Singapore with my parents was one of the best things that happened in 2017. I finished my book goal of 60 books (with exactly 60 books – whew that was close), I performed a few times onstage getting a bit more confidence to face my stage fear and I got great grades in my last year of school (which is like a REALLY huge thing here, more so than other places), so yeah I’ve done a few things to make myself proud (finally!). Now, I think I’ll leave it at that and not go into all the negative things that happened, right?

Moving on… I’ve been thinking of writing this post since December but due to my excessive amounts of procrastination, I have successfully managed to drag it into practically the middle of February. Anyway, 2017 has given us some great music, films, books etc and here are some of them which I think are the best of 2017.

The Best Books of 2017

Now, these are the best books that I read in 2017 and not only ones that have been published in 2017. I read a lot of books last year (60 to be precise) but only a few of them managed to leave a mark in my mind. And here are the 5 books that I most loved from what I read in 2017.

  1. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
  2. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
  3. Carve the Mark by Veronica Roth
  4. How to Fall in Love by Cecelia Ahern
  5. The Monstrous Child by Francesca Simon
The Best Music of 2017

2017 has seen the wild popularity of songs like Despacito and Shape of You in the music industry and yes they are included in my list because I did like those songs a lot. So here are the 10 songs that I loved the most from 2017 (there are 10 because I just couldn’t stop at 5).

  1. Despacito by Luis Fonsi ft. Daddy Yankee
  2. Shape of You by Ed Sheeran
  3. Havana by Camila Cabello ft. Young Thug
  4. Look What You Made Me Do by Taylor Swift
  5. What Lovers Do by Maroon 5
  6. Dusk Till Dawn by ZAYN ft, Sia
  7. Attention by Charlie Puth
  8. i hate u, i love u by Gnash ft. Olivia O’Brien
  9. Naked by James Arthur
  10. Paris by The Chainsmokers
The Best Movies of 2017

So being a Marvel fan, I literally dragged my father along to watch 3 Marvel movies last year (as my parents won’t let me go alone to watch movies), and those 3 were definitely amazing. Apart from those, the movies I watched from the theatre were Malayalam movies (Malayalam is my mother tongue). So like I did with the books, I think I’ll just list the best movies I watched in 2017 and not just ones that were released in 2017.

  1. La La Land(2016)
  2. Thor: Ragnarok(2017)
  3. Aanandam(2016) (That’s a Malayalam movie)
  4. Spiderman: Homecoming(2017)
  5. Captain America: Civil War(2017)

(Which shows that I’m not a Marvel fan. Nope definitely not a fan)

    The Best Trends of 2017

    Like all years, 2017 too had it’s fair share of trends and things that went viral. And so here are 5 of them that I thought were most interesting.

    1. Fidget spinners (This one was obvious)
    2. Slime (This too)
    3. Bitcoin (I still have no clue)
    4. 13 Reasons Why (The TV show that managed to create the same amount of hype Game of Thrones did)
    5. Donald Trump (Yes this is a person but he did manage to become a trend in 2017)

    And so that’s it! I sincerely hope I will post more this year. I love to write but I just HATE typing so much… Is that weird? And are the endings of my posts really awkward?

    Anyway what do you think of my lists? Which were your favorite songs and books and movies? Did you follow these trends too? Is there anything you think I missed? What was the best part of your 2017? Let me know what you think in the comments!

    Until next time!

    ~Sithara ⭐

       

      Foodie Fridays || Trying out Singaporean food 

      Hello everyone!

      Welcome to the first ever Foodie Friday on my blog! As the name suggests I’ll be posting something food related on Fridays (once a month). It could be recipes, details about a specific cuisine, new food I tried (like this post) and anything about food really. This is a new feature I decided to try out on my blog along with Music Mondays and Booky Sundays. (Check out more details in my other post.) 

      So for the first post I thought I’d share my experience of trying out Singaporean food! A month back I went along on trip with my parents to Singapore. It was such an amazing experience in a beautiful country. Shoutout to any Singaporean bloggers reading this! I haven’t really tried out many different cuisines in my life so I was very excited to try out Singapore’s local food. 

      So moving on, what I ate:-

      I had a few different meals of Singaporean food in the time I stayed there and I thought I’d describe two of the dishes (because those are the two I managed to get pictures of… Oops!). The first dish is Roasted Duck Noodle.

      Basically what it was, was strips of roasted duck with noodles and gravy. The duck I liked. It was tender and juicy. But the noodles were actually a bit chewy and the gravy was too watery. It wasn’t flavored enough for my taste because I’m accustomed to the heavy flavors of Indian cuisine. 

      Here’s a recipie I found for Roasted Duck Noodle. 

      The second dish is Char Siew Rice. It was Chinese barbecue roast pork with rice and a thick gravy. The pork was a bit too undercooked for my taste and so a bit difficult to chew. But the rice was good. It was seasoned well and was not that bland.

      And here’s a recipe for the barbecued pork. 

      So both dishes for me were ok… Not among my favorites though. That might probably be due to the heavy flavors I’m accustomed to. Spices are used a lot in our cuisine and I definitely missed that taste. But it was a great experience trying out new food. I’d love to try out another cuisine of another country some day. Its definitely something I look forward to.

      Anyway that’s it for this post. Have you tried Singaporean food? Did you like it? Which is your favorite cuisine and which would you try next? Let me know in the comments below!

      Until next time!

      ~Sithara⭐

      The Death That Caused An Awakening

      What is murder? Murder can be defined as “the unlawful premeditated killing of one human being by another”. But is that all it is? Murder is a word very commonly used today. We read it in newspapers and hear it on the news almost everyday. We have been using it so carelessly that we have forgotten it’s true meaning. Of what it means beneath the mere obliteration of life.

      Recently we Indians have all come to know about the savage murder of the acclaimed journalist Gauri Lankesh which managed to shock the country itself. It evoked widespread protests and outrage but also turned into a feast for the bloodthirsty news media.

      Why was Gauri Lankesh killed? Just because she dared to voice her opinions? Because she had the guts to stand for what was right and to point out the faults and injustices of the society? Is this what our country has come to these days? Murder for daring to speak the truth, for pointing out what was glaringly obvious.

      Her murder does not simply signify the death of a person. It shows the extent to which our country has ‘progressed’ in the recent years. It shows us how we will be treated if we dare to stand for what is right.

      What was the crime that Gauri had done? That she raised her voice and stood for what she believed in? That she protested against injustice and corrupt politics? The right to express our opinions is one of the most basic human rights. And today our country has reached a stage where people are being killed for exercising their rights.

      The murder also points out the heavy hand that religion has in politics and how we have arrived at a stage where we have to fear our rulers. Gauri compared our current political climate to Nazi Germany and the killers who are said to be Hindu Extremists have managed to prove her right with her death. But that is the state we have come to. Her point which was so accurate could only be proved with her death

      Gauri Lankesh’s murder has managed to capture our attention but for how long? Hasn’t it turned into just another ‘sensational news’ that will soon fade from the interests of the news media and eventually from our minds too? There has been a news story doing the rounds for quite a few months which we Keralites have been following meticulously, the Dileep case. The news story of an actor who is charged with planning and executing a molestation attack against a fellow actress.  That story is considered as one of the top news these days by the media and the people alike. But doesn’t the Gauri Lankesh murder have the same graveness, if not more, that the other case has?

      We have come to the point where it is not news that the media broadcasts. It is simply a story that can be sold. The story of the murder of an innocent woman which will soon enough be replaced by the next story that can be sold to greater extents.

      But even amongst all the controversies and conspiracy theories, Gauri Lankesh’s murder has indeed managed to rouse the  people from their stupor. Her death has rekindled the fire that was long dead in our society. The death of the woman who stood for the common folk has prised the people from their shells. We can see widespread protests in various parts of the country. In educational institutions, in workplaces, in public venues, among the young and old alike.

      It is indeed a sad fact that only such a gruesome murder could unite the people of India. But let us be heartened by the fact that the masses have awakened and we, the country as a whole, has started to realize its true potential and and what we are truly capable of.

      ~Sithara ⭐

       

      From My Life To My Blog… (I need your opinion!!!)

      Hello everyone!

      Soooo I had gone on an unannounced hiatus for almost 3 months because I had writer’s block (and I’ve been lazy… Oops..). And now I am proud to say that I am back!

      A lot has happened in my life in the past few months and I think it’s a new chapter in my life and hopefully for my blog too…

      I started college a month back (A month??? When did that happen?) and so far it’s been absolutely amazing! I got into the college I wanted and for the course I loved (Bachelor of Arts, Functional English), and I have great friends there so I’m really happy about it all. My course is actually really fun to study (we even have a creative writing paper in our 5th semester and I am already so excited!) and the teachers are great so hopefully it’ll be easy. 

      It was the election last week at college so all the students were really hyped up about it and the students from the political parties did campaigning and stuff and the party I supported won! So yayy!! Meanwhile we first years are getting accustomed to ‘college life’. The great thing is that my classmates, with one month of studying together act like all of us have know each other for a year so there has never been any awkwardness… 

      That’s the bag that I bought for college… #FriendsFanForLife

      I’ve always been really introverted and I think in the past few months I’m starting to become a bit more outgoing? Maybe almost to the level of an ambivert? I’ve anchored at my cousin’s wedding… Entered a singing competion, started talking more to people I don’t know that well and generally became a bit more interested to engage in various activites rather than just sitting holed up at home with my books (I’ve read SO MUCH)… So yeah that’s what’s been going on in my life…

      Now… About my blog… I haven’t really posted for a long while now except for the micro story I wrote a few weeks back… But now I fully intend to post regularly. But I haven’t been completely out of touch with the blogosphere these past months. I participated in The Typwriter Project the amazing Ilsa hosted and I’m also participating in The Scribbler’s Challenge held by May!

      About the things you can expect on my blog well… There’s gonna be a part 2 to my positivity post which is gonna be sort of an opposite to what I wrote earlier… Not giving away too much on it… 

      I’m also thinking of doing some posts on specific days… Like Music Mondays and Foodie Fridays… And maybe Booky Sundays too.. (I know, not very creative names… Maybe you guys could suggest something?) I’ve been thinking about doing these for a while now but what made me decide is reading Sasha‘s Wacky Wednesday post. 

      So basically what they are… For Music Mondays I’m gonna write about maybe a specific artist or about a song I heard that I liked… It could even be about a movie soundtrack… 

      Foodie Fridays are gonna be about something new I tried, something I tried to make or a recipe…

      Booky Sundays… Well anything related to books really… And I’ll of course be continuing my Micro Story series…

      Obviously I’m not gonna be doing this every Monday, Friday and Sunday… Once a month maybe? And do you guys want me to do more posts like these where I can give you updates on my life and generally get to know me better? I haven’t been doing that much on my blog so would you guys like to read that?

      Anyway that’s about it! 

      So what do you think? Have I been away too much? What kind of posts do you guys want me to write? What do you think about the special day posts? Do you want updatey posts? Is there any of your posts you want me to read? Let me know in the comments!

      Untill next time!

      ~Sithara⭐

      P.s: The pictures in my featured image is my college (the images were not taken by me).

      Micro Story 6

      It was Christmas day. The sunlight hit her face and she woke up with a start. Her children would come to visit her today. She jumped out of bed and rushed about the house making sure everything was perfect. The house was decorated, the Christmas tree and the presents under it were ready for her darlings to find.

      She heard a noise and rushed to the front door. Finally her precious children were here! She went to the door eagerly only to be met with disappointment. It was only her housekeeper, Anne. 

      “Oh Anne, it’s only you. I thought it would be John and Mary.”

      “John and Mary?” Anne looked confused. 

      “Yes, John and Mary. My children. They’ll visit today. I’m sure they won’t let me be alone on Christmas Day.”

      “Mrs.Hudson… I’m sorry but they won’t come today.” Anne said.

      “What do you mean? Of course they’re coming. I know they will.”

      “But Mrs.Hudson… Your children…” Anne hesitated. “They… They died Mrs.Hudson…. 4 years back, in an accident… I’m sorry… I’m so sorry that you don’t remember… ”

      ~Sithara⭐

      5 Ways to Find Inspiration to Blog

      Hello everyone!

      First of all I would like to mention some amazing blogging achievements I had over the past month. I hit 200 followers!! Yayy!!! So thank you to my amazing followers for that!! I also reached 100 posts! Thank you to my readers for inspiring me to write so much! And Mahriya guest posted on my blog!!! Thank you Mahriya! (Read her post on how to grow readers HERE!)

      Moving on, most of us have experienced that feeling when we have absolutely nothing to write about and we sit looking at the blank screen in desperation. No ideas, no inspiration, not even a tiny bit of insight on what to write… Well, here are 5 ways to help you find inspiration for blog posts!

      1. Use your surroundings / situations

      If you traveled to a great place then describe your experience. If you met a friend after a long time then describe your feelings – maybe someone else can relate. If a holiday is coming up then write a post related to that. For example you can write about what to dress up as on Halloween or some great Christmas cake recipes. Or you can get inspired from books, movies, songs etc. You can write about a concept or idea you liked in them or you can even write reviews about them.

      2. Write about current topics

      Write about what’s currently trending or about social issues because that will keep your post fresh and relevant. You can use google alerts or trending topics from different social media to help you. Another thing to try is writing about controversies. Write from a different point of view than what everyone has. Put your own twist on mundane everyday things and make them more interesting.

      3. Read other posts

      Read other blog posts or scour the web for posts that you like. If you read something that you like then try to work with a similar idea. But DO NOT copy the original  post. Work with the idea, put your own spin on it and turn it into something new.

      4. Ask other people

      If you are in need of inspiration ask other bloggers about how they get their ideas. Or even better, ask your readers about what they want to read. If you have an idea about what content your readers are looking for then you can write accordingly.

      5. Use the eureka moment

      All of us have moments when we go “wow THAT would make a great blog post!” But these ideas may come at the most inconvenient times. Maybe we’re taking a test, or doing a presentation for work, or maybe we wake up in the dead of the night with a great idea. Usually these ideas are the best ones but they come at the random-est times and we have to learn to use them. Write it down, make a note on your phone or make a funny sentence which contains your idea so you can remember it. However tiny the idea may be you can develop these into great blog posts.

      So, do you use these ways to find ideas to blog about? How else do you find blogging ideas? Was this post helpful? Let me know in the comments!

      Until next time!

      ~Sithara⭐

       

       

      3 Tips On How To Grow Your Readers – A Detailed Guide | Guest Post by Mahriya

      Hi, everybody! Words cannot describe HOW EXCITED I AM to be here! I am absolutely honoured to have this opportunity to guest post on one my favourite blogger’s site so excuse my massive smile right now.

      Sithara asked me to do some sort of blogging advice and I jumped at the idea. I haven’t done a blogging tips post in a while and I think this would be great to refresh my memory of giving readers something to help them out!

      Today, I will be talking about THREE things that YOU CAN DO to pull readers in.

      1.INTERACTION

      Let me just stress on HOW important interaction is. When I first started out blogging, I never even bothered to socialise with other bloggers and this took its toll. I got the occasional like but NO-ONE was actually reading my blog and I was pretty sad about that.
      You’ve got to follow other bloggers in your niche. So, if you have a writing blog, follow blogs with the same topic. If you have an ‘all over the place’ blog follow other random blogs. I’m not telling you WHO to follow, but that’s definitely a suggestion to get people coming to your site.Follow more blogs, get out of your comfort zone! I have a book blog but I also follow lifestyle blogs – it doesn’t always matter. Be sure you’re interacting and becoming MORE part of the blogosphere. 

      Don’t just settle with 20 blogs to follow, find new ONES EVERDAY – unfollow blogs you aren’t interested in or aren’t active. Don’t be stubborn when following, GO WILD!

      Interaction also helps make bonds between bloggers. Believe it or not, I have SO many blogging friends now. Sithara being one of them. If I hadn’t commented on Sithara’s blog and broken out of my shell, then we wouldn’t be talking and this guest post wouldn’t exist.  I talk to bloggers on a regular basis and it’s AMAZING, I’ll tell you that.

      Commenting on other people’s blogs is beneficial because

      • People get to know you
      • Bloggers will check out your site
      • You get to make blogger friends
      • You’re more involved in the blogosphere
      • Your name is more familiar to people

      But DON’T comment pointless things like – ‘Great Post — *insert blog link*. I for one, hate these types of comments which consist of JUST self-promotion and prove that the commenter has not even read your post. Make sure your comment is –>

      • a decent length
      • related to the post
      • friendly, clean and polite
      • easy to reply to and start a conversation
      • addressing the author of the post
      • not spam or promotion

       

      These are just a few guidelines to help you along the way.

       

      2.GOOD CONTENT

      Good content is KEY and believe me, it took A VERY LONG time to master this. In fact, I’m not even sure I HAVE mastered because it’s very tricky. There are so many factors that contribute to good content, it’s hard to get it right. Here are some points you might want to jot down for your next post.

      A Decent Length

      Unless it’s an occasional update, then make your you posts aren’t too long but aren’t too short. I’m always seeing REALLY short posts being posted every day and my thoughts are 1)why is there only 1 sentence? and 2) why don’t you combine all the updates into one post? Long posts  I don’t seem to mind too much but I don’t want to use too much of my time reading a blog post. People have short attention spans!

      Interesting

      No-one REALLY wants to read about you eating sausages for dinner, and then going to sleep and how you made your bed in the morning. Whatever you write about has to be either –>

      • entertaining
      • beneficial
      • relatable
      • thought provoking

      This post is beneficial and some posts are entertaining! I post lots of discussion posts which I hope are entertaining and thought provoking. Sometimes I post book reviews which I hope are beneficial to authors and bookworms. People have to WANT to read your posts so make them interesting. Write properly, explore ideas and make your post WORTH the read so more people follow and comment.

      Suitable For All Readers

      I don’t just mean making it appropriate, but making your post ‘well rounded’ is definitely helpful. My posts aren’t ALL well-rounded, like my book reviews, because not all people have read that book or want to. However, a discussion would be suitable for a wide range of readers because everyone has their own opinions.

      Unique Posts

      People don’t want to be reading the same stuff over and over again. Make your posts UNIQUE! Don’t follow the crowds, MAKE up your own ideas. Sometimes you can take inspiration but your blog’s selling point is YOU and so be YOU! I, personally, don’t like a blog that JUST posts weekly blog hops or memes. One a week is fine but if every day is either Memory Monday, or Sunday Sum Up, Or Tuesday Talks and WWW Wednesdays, then I unfollow. I used to be guilty of always posting awards and tags BUT THEY GET BORING after a while, you know? People want new, so give them fresh and shiny posts.  It can be hard but writing down ideas and thoughts in the day can develop into unique content.

      3.BLOG DESIGN

      I view many blogs from my reader but when I first check out a blog, I go on their actual site and I DON’T WANT TO BE bombarded with 5 billion colours,40 widgets and just a wild jumble of words. No, I want to come to a clean, site where I know where to go and get stuck in. A simple title, a page for blog posts, and a pretty sidebar that helps me with my experience. I don’t want to bombard you with too much stuff, but here’s some help below.

      Software to design on

      I use Canva And Picmonkey which are great sites!

      Alternatives:

      Design Bold (free)

      -Gimp

      Adobe Photoshop (paid)

      – BeFunky (free)

      -Ribbet

      Free Graphic Sites

      -Angie Makes – http://angiemakes.com/free-girly-graphics/

      Designs By Miss Mandee – http://www.designsbymissmandee.com/downloads/graphics/

      -Free Pretty Things For You –http://angiemakes.com/free-girly-graphics/

      – We Lived Happily Ever After –http://www.welivedhappilyeverafter.com/p/photo-editing.html

      The above sites give LOADS of free graphics and normally spark off my inspiration. However, MAKE SURE you read the conditions. If it says it’s allowed for ‘personal’ use, you can use it for things like blog headers, your own designs etc… If it says you are allowed to use the graphics for commercial use, it means you are allowed to make money from the designs (Sell them). Most designs are for  ‘personal’ and normally. you have to PAY for a commercial licence so be careful HOW you use designs.

      One mistake a lot of designers make is good graphics = good design. I made this mistake too. I thought that If I had the prettiest resources and fonts, my designs would be PRETTY as well. But that’s really not the case.

      It’s all about matching, and laying it out. You could include all the nicest graphics, but your design could look cluttered, give off the wrong message, or just look plain ugly. You’ve got to play around with designs and set out things nicely. I find simple looks the best. Don’t go overboard with graphics.

      Advice on making a header image

        -A Wonder Forest article

      -An Angie Makes article 

      -A DYOB article — 

      Pinterest IS A LIFE SAVER for graphic designers. Need a watercolour wash for your design, search it on Pinterest and you’ll find lots of pins websites which take you to some wonderful links. be careful with what you download, though! I use Pinterest for

      a) Inspiration
      b)finding graphics

      Graphic Design Pinterest boards:

      https://uk.pinterest.com/carmiacronje/fonts/

      https://uk.pinterest.com/miagrphx/design-patterns/

      https://uk.pinterest.com/lisaglanzdesign/free-design-resources/

      https://uk.pinterest.com/AngieMakes/graphic-freebies/

      Colour Palette

      Another thing to keep in mind is colour palettes. You really shouldn’t have too many colours. My colour palette is green, black and white. It doesn’t have to be as simple. A Light blue, pink, and black used to be my colour palette. But to make sure it’s consistent use the same shade of a colour.

      You can also check out some more tips here –> https://mybookylife.wordpress.com/2016/11/11/how-designed-blog/ And if you would like me to design YOUR blog for free—>http://designermall.weebly.com/custom-design.html

      Was that long or what? I’d just like to thank Sithara for letting me guest post on her site! It was so exciting and wonderful.

      ABOUT ME –>

      Mahriya @ My Bookish Life

      Mahriya.jpg

      I’m an OFFICIAL book addict, potato lover and addicted to stationery. If you want to have a conversation, then follow the chocolate wrappers or the smell of books. My all time favourite TV show is BBC Sherlock and for a book…probably, The Kite Runner, or Six Of Crows – if you must know. I’m so indecisive, I can’t even settle on a handwriting style. I’m also a proud geek (but an undercover writer) who claims that having marshmallows or white chocolate IS LIFE – which it obviously is. To get more marshmallows head over to My Bookish Life 

      See you over at my blog and stay awesome,

      Sign Off