So, I don’t usually do a lot of tags, BUT this one is all about me, so… obviously I had to do it. Also, I meant to post about some of these questions eventually anyway – now it’s all handydandy (I never use this word in real life, I promise) in one place.
1. Why did you start blogging?
As proven by various whiny teenage blogs (no, they do not exist anymore …I hope.), I have a need to express myself, but I’m not disciplined enough to write a book, so… blogging yay. No seriously though, I just like talking about myself. Let’s be real, this is basically like a diary but better. With people reading it. And more organized. And with less embarrassing topics. All right, it’s not like a diary at all.
Okay okay the actual honest answer: it’s all for the ARCs. That I never get. Darn it, guess I’ll have to stop blogging now.
2. What’s the story behind your blog’s name?
Heh. I SUCK at coming up with usernames or website names or anything names. I’m probably one of those people who would panic and name their child Apple, sentencing it to a life of bullying and fruit jokes (seriously, why).
It took me ages to come up with a name for this blog. I got on all my friends’ nerves tossing ideas around and discarding them again (NONE of them were being particularly helpful). Everything I was halfway satisfied with was already taken, so eventually I remembered two things. First, Richelle Mead has a café called Cakes’n’More (or something along those lines) in a book of hers and I read a blog post in which she explained where the name came from, so it stuck in my head and I think around the same time, I read somewhere unusual combinations are more memorable, so Reviews and Cake it was. Plus cake is delicious.
Reviews is there because I figured I should have some sort of “profile” (for lack of a better word) and it basically means I can rave about everything I’ve read or watched and call it a review. Cake for the above reasons and because I thought I can make it like Reviews = well, reviews and Cake = anything not reviews that I want to ramble about. As in sitting down for a piece of cake and talking. I haven’t really ever explained the latter part, so now it’s just an empty promise of cake that probably makes people go “I’VE BEEN PROMISED CAKE WHERE IS IT ARRRGH”
discarded options I can actually remember:
ReviewCastle/ReviewIsland/ReviewUniverse …you get the idea
PaperPerspectives (I liked this one at first but then my friend said it sounds kind of boring and like a company who sells office supplies, so I couldn’t get that out of my head anymore and abandoned it)
3. How many designs have you been through since you started blogging? (Pictures! We demand pictures!)
So I just created this blog in August and I’m already wincing at the previous designs. I knew I wanted a custom banner, but I didn’t know shit about designing. I looked up images of cupcakes, but I didn’t want to break any copyright laws, so I drew my own. I think I mostly did it in Pixlr, but to be honest I could have happily gotten the same result just with Paint. I’m still using the same cupcake (I at least wanted to have a cake-y theme and all my other ideas were too difficult to accomplish with my basically non-existent web designing skills), but I tried out several (horrible) banners before I figured maybe the words are enough. Yes, I’m going to show you one.
For the background, I went through a couple of options. At first I had this dashing picture in multiplied versions (you can imagine it was a fabulous color scheme combined with the banner above …not):
As you might be able to imagine, it didn’t look too hot. I then quickly switched to this one right here because I finally figured out patterns look better, but I didn’t actually figure out how to make it a seamless pattern. Also it basically screams noob.
I then had the glorious idea of just Googling patterns (it took me a while to get that idea, I know) and went for this one that I downloaded along with a couple of others at Pattern Cooler before they started charging (their prices are okay though, check it out if you need patterns you can customize):
I adjusted all my other elements (that’s why my follow me section still has background color), but it finally became too much pink and I just changed to the one I have now.
I had a bit of trouble finding something free I liked and I wasn’t sure about it at first, but I think I’m gonna stick with it for a while. I like my design for now, but I’d love to have a custom design at some point, but I don’t want to pay for it because I’m cheap like that and because I figure, if I refuse to pay, I’ll force myself to learn how to do it eventually.
4. Have you ever switched blog platforms? What made you move? If you haven’t ever changed…why?
Yes! For my very first attempts (the REALLY embarrassing ones when I was like twelve – seriously there should be age restrictions or automated self-deletes for blogs created under the age of 18), I used blog.de or something like that. I had another blog I can’t remember the name of and only posted in once or twice, and a livejournal for fandom things (no, it doesn’t exist anymore). I only realized when I started this blog that I actually already know some HTML and stuff from livejournal.
I used wordpress.com for some shitty poetry later on (yes, that one still exists and no, I’m not going to link it), and then I made a travel blog when I went to Colombia (also won’t link it because it won’t exist for much longer), but – as is almost always the case – I abandoned it when I wasn’t traveling anymore. I figured with this one I’d make a blog that wasn’t dependent on me travelling thousands of miles. I started noticing blog designs more consciously before I made the travel blog and saw most of the ones I really liked were based on wordpress. Unfortunately, I didn’t do my research because it was all very last minute, so I registered for wordpress.com instead of going for the self-hosted version.
I finally went self-hosted with this one (after a lot of internal struggle about the costs, but no regrets – at least not until I’ll have to renew my payment), and I’ve really enjoyed figuring things out so far. I was already used to the interface because of wordpress.com and I knew some basic HTML, so it wasn’t too hard after the first couple of days.
I’ve had a lot of blogs over the years, but this is definitely the one I’m most happy with for various reasons, including I have more of a say in the design. It’s taking way too much time to hunt all of the old ones down and delete them (especially the ones I don’t remember the name of), so I’ll just hope no one makes the connection (sometimes it really sucks that you can’t fully delete things when they’re online). I might transfer some of my travel blog posts to this blog because it won’t be accessible in a couple of months anymore as I won’t renew the domain, so maybe you’ll see some of that.
5. How long does it take you to write a post? What’s your postly process like?
Really really depends. Things like this tag or the end of year survey take me ages and ages to write, whereas reviews usually don’t take as long because I already have an opinion of the book/movie when I’m writing them. Sometimes I even take notes while reading so I won’t forget anything. I sometimes think about putting in more time to edit, structure and proofread, but them I’m like naaaaah.
6. Have you ever been super nervous about a post? Why?! What was it?
Hmmm. Sometimes I’m a little nervous about discussion posts if I feel like my opinion is unpopular or I might offend someone, like the one on giveaways. I also worry about hurting an author’s feelings when I post a review of a book I didn’t really like. My solution to that was to stop @ing authors on twitter when I post reviews. :D
7. Do you have a blogging schedule?
8. Do you tell people In-Real-Life about your blog? Their reactions?
This is actually one of the questions I’ve been meaning to write a post about anyway. I find this topic very interesting because it’s so different for everyone and because of my own past experiences.
I NEVER told anyone I knew personally about my previous blogs, but I don’t keep this one a secret. I completely understand why someone would though: expressing yourself in writing can get more personal than when you usually talk to people and it’s terrifying to show that to someone when you’re afraid they might react negatively and make fun of you. Since I decided I don’t effing care about people’s opinions if they make fun of me, and I can only connect to people I do like if I’m fully myself, I’m not keeping this blog a secret. But then this is reviews and rambling, not NC-17 fanfiction, so… yep, no judging if other people keep their blogs to themselves.
I don’t really advertize my blog though, so there aren’t actually a lot of people I know reading it. Plus, most who I’ve mentioned it to aren’t interested enough in the subject to read it regularly (I completely agree, they’re missing out). The ones who’ve looked at it have all reacted positively, but then they’d kind of be sucky friends if they said oh, well that looks like the worst example of a blog I’ve ever seen!
9. Top ten blogs you read/comment on the most! Go! Go!
Lalala I’m new so I get away with only naming four, right? Right.
Nose Graze//Bookshelf Reflections\\Novel Heartbeat//The Loony Teen Writer
I do read and comment on more, but those are the ones I follow more or less regularly.
10. If you could change/improve things about your blog, what would they be?
A custom theme! Umm… a more regular posting schedule, but that would require me to actually have a plan and plans + me = catastrophe (hey, that rhymes when you say it out loud). Better quality posts! Just kidding with the last one, they’re already great. Obviously you agree since you read to the end of this post. What do you mean you skipped ahead? I don’t understand what you’re saying, please leave now. No, I was kidding come back! You’re already gone aren’t you? Aaaaand I’m talking to myself. This is where I stop, enough is enough.