Hello, my friends!
Last week, I sent out a form to all of my wonderful email subscribers asking them if they had any questions for me about life, writing, photography, and blogging. So many of you submitted such lovely questions – I can’t wait to answer them in this post, along with sharing some recent photography!
So, if you’d like to get to know me better, read on!
What is your #1 tip for when you don’t feel like writing?
Just doing it and self-motivation. Ever since I started writing seriously, I’ve always been able to make myself sit and write. In general, I’m a very motivated person, if I want something done, I’m doing it, haha. When I don’t want to write, that’s when I make myself write the hardest. I sit down at my desk, turn off wifi, open Scrivener, and just write. Sometimes I’ll spend 10 minutes just staring at the page until I yell at myself (my docs are scary, watch out. XD) to actually write and once I get going, the words just flow. So just do it. Write one word, and then another.
How long have you been writing for?
I’ve been writing seriously for two years now but I’ve been creating stories ever since I was a four-year-old. The first story I remember writing was four pages long where these four kids went on a raft trip and by the end, they all had nearly died in some way or another. (I promise, I’m less violent now. 😅)
What motivates you to continue writing so consistently?
Mainly having goals that I’ve set for myself and like I said above, just doing it. Things like NaNoWriMo, Crazy Writing Week, and the 100-for-100 challenges are challenges that have given me a lot of motivation to do it. But in the end, it all narrows down to my own motivation and drive.
What traits do you have that you include in your characters?
Hmm. . . in every story I’ve written, at least one of my characters has a love for beauty and seeing things others miss, which is one of my favorite things.
Why do you write in your genre?
I love the middle-grade genre for so many reasons – mainly because it’s my favorite genre to read. As for why I write historical fiction, I find history fascinating, and researching and learning new things is one of my favorite parts of the writing process.
How do you come up with character names?
In my current writing project, I’m writing about a real family hence I just went with the names they had when they were living, but I keep a list of names I like and if I’m in the midst of writing and I’m like ‘WAIT, SHE NEEDS A NAME!’ I usually use Scrivener’s name generator.
What do you want to do when you grow up?
I’d love to be able to an author and either have a photography business, graphic design business, or another type of a creative business.
What’s your favorite old hymn?
Oooh, I love so many hymns. As The Deer, Shine Jesus Shine, or They’ll Know We Are Christians are all my favorites.
What’s your all-time favorite Bible verse?
“That I may publish with the voice of thanksgiving, and tell of all thy wondrous works” — Psalm 26:7 and “He hath made every thing beautiful in his time: also he hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end.” — Ecclesiastes 3:11 are both my favorite verses.
What’s your favorite drink?
Water? I know that’s lame, but, I don’t drink much besides water. xD But other than water, tea (hot or cold) is what I love and lemonade-tea is also amazing!
What’s the best way to start the day?
I usually start my mornings by waking up (the best way to start your day – highly recommend) and doing some Scripture study to start off, after that, it varies. Sometimes I run but often, I wait for the afternoon to do that. Usually after my scripture study, I get ready for my day, eat breakfast, check my bullet journal, and start school around 8:00. On this topic though, would any of you like to see a day in the life post soon? 😀
What city would you most like to live in?
None? I don’t love cities, so living in one would not be my preference. How about a quiet house in the country instead? 😂
How cute is your new baby sis?
She is the most adorable child you have ever seen, despite the fact that I usually don’t think babies in the first few months are cute at all. 😅😂 (Also, for those of you who I haven’t told, there is another sibling and she is the sweetest baby ever who I’m sure you’ll be hearing more about later. 🥰)
What is special about the place you grew up?
We used to live on the top of a huge hill, so looking down on the town was always special. And since the house we used to live in used water for heat there were radiators in every room and on cold mornings, my siblings and I would sit on those to do our school work.
What is the most annoying question that people ask you regularly?
Probably ‘why do you have so many siblings?’ that one drives me insane. 😂 Or, ‘what grade are you in?’ because I’m already a year ahead already, plus working ahead even more so I can graduate earlier – so explaining to people what grade I’m in is so complicated.
How do you stay organized?
Lots of to-do lists, my bullet journal, calendars, and keeping things tidy are the main ways I stay organized. Also, sticky notes are one of my favorite things for making short to-do lists!
What’s your favorite thing about blogging?
Definitely meeting new people and the way it’s given me new opportunities! Without blogging, I wouldn’t have gotten into photography (or at least, not as much as I am) or pen-palling and those are two of my favorite things! Plus, it’s grown my writing and communication skills. But overall, this community! I love having you guys read my posts, responding to your comments and emails, and getting to know all of you and hear your stories! 🥰
I actually wrote a whole post on this. 😀 Click here for the link!
What is the best advice that you can give to new bloggers?
Firstly, don’t beg for followers and over-promote. I get that it’s exciting and I know I did it once or twice when I first started out and now regret it. 😅 But constantly being like “Go follow my blog now” and “if I get to ___ many subscribers, I’ll do this amazing thing, so subscribe now” are things that drive me crazy. 😛 Plus, making sure you have a good blog design, your posts are high quality, and being authentic while professional are all super important!
What 3 blogs are your favorite?
How do you find time to write, blog regularly, and still maintain a healthy and organized lifestyle?
Finding my specific process and having theme days are the two things that I’ve found most helpful! My process varies depending on the type of post I’m doing (e.g. if I’m writing a baking post then I have to bake & get photos before I start the post but with this post I just started writing) but the general idea is I’ll check my calendar to see what post I’m writing for the week – I try to have my posts planned out for at least a month and a half in advance – and begin writing the post. Once it’s finished, I’ll edit and upload my pictures, create a featured image, add tags and categories, and then edit the post. Once I do that, I prep the email for my email list, and schedule the post. All in less than two hours!
Going off my second tip, I’ve found doing theme days to be the most helpful! Instead of trying to work on my fiction writing and my email list/blog on the same day, I work on blogging on Monday and Fridays, fiction writing on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, learning and writing craft on Saturdays, and doing nothing on Sundays. It’s helped me be much more productive and focused!
Would you recommend starting a blog if you don’t feel like you have enough time to keep up with it?
Probably not, but it depends on your perspective. I’d probably recommend starting an email list over a blog because they are less time-consuming, and easier to do, but also a great way to start building a platform!
How long does it usually take you to write blog posts?
I *kind of* answered this question above, but it averagely takes me 2 and a half hours to complete a publishable blog post!
What’s the hardest thing about blogging?
Hmm. . .this is a hard question because I LOVE blogging and so I usually try to block out the bad parts, haha. But I’d say growing my blog/email list has been the thing I’ve struggled with the most and reaching more people.
What’s one piece of advice you would give to a first-time photographer?
First – shoot, shoot, and shoot more. The only way to get better is to keep trying. So don’t be afraid to take picture after picture, try different angles, and see what works. Second -look for inspiration from others. If I’ve seen a photo on Pinterest or a blog I was reading that I loved, I’m often to go and try to get a similar picture. Not copying it, but adding my own twist to it. I wrote more photography tips in this guest post, but I’m planning on doing a longer photography tips post in the future!
What’s your favorite thing to photograph?
Nature, all the way. I love capturing sunsets, flowers, animals, and so many other things.
What’s the hardest thing to photograph?
Trying to shoot at night. 😛 I’m working on learning and researching astrophotography because it’s something I’d love to do, but it’s hard, especially when it’s freezing at night, haha.
Do you have a guilty pleasure book?
Who doesn’t? xD So yes, I have more than one: Holly’s Heart by Beverly Lewis, From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankwhiler by E.L. Kongisburg, and Once Upon A Summer by Janette Oke.
What’s a book that you thought you wouldn’t like but it surprised you?
The View From Saturday by E.L. Kongisburg was one book that I read for school and didn’t think I’d enjoy, but ended up loving!
Room decorating tips/ideas?
I’d say my main tips are to use a limited color palette and have white walls. That last tip may seem boring, but it really does help brighten a room and makes it seem light and airy. Click here for my spring cleaning list and here for the tour of my own bedroom where I included some more tips!
All right, I’m finally done rambling! I had a lovely time answering all of your questions and I hope you enjoyed reading my answers!
Favorite question/answer? Answer one of the questions from this post in the comments!
Thank you so much for reading, and have a lovely day!