Saturday, February 28, 2015

What Kinds of Blogs Do You Read?

 I write a book blog (and I use that term loosely), so naturally I read other book blogs. And for a long time I only ever read other blogs like mine. But slowly -I don't even really know when it happened- my feed became a mixture of blog genres.

In between the posts on book reviews, there are outfit of the day posts, inspirational life anecdotes, posts about weddings, posts about studio photography, fashion photography, lifestyle posts, decorating posts and graphic design posts.

Personally, I feel that my blogging life has been enriched since I have started to read blogs outside of my niche. I've been doing some thinking and here's why I think variety really is the spice of my blogging life.

I read blogs outside of my niche because I want to read them. I read blogs outside of my niche because it's fun.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

A Splash of Ink: Four Years in Review

Today is A Splash of Ink's fourth birthday! I cannot believe this blog has lasted so long. I'm amazed and so grateful for all your support. This year was a big year for A Splash of Ink. I thought about letting this day pass by with just a mention on Twitter, so I could let my previous post on posterity breath a bit. But I decided that I needed to document the growth that A Splash of Ink has experienced this year.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Does Posterity Matter in Blogging?

Here's a question that I've been struggling with lately. Should I go into the archive of A Splash of Ink and take down some of my earlier posts?

I have been writing on A Splash of Ink for almost four years. I started blogging seriously when I was 14 and in grade nine. Since the beginning of this blog I have read hundreds of books, studied English in a higher academic setting, started working at the library, learned to drive, graduated high school and figured out my core values and beliefs. Now, I'm nineteen and after taking time off to work, I made it to my first year of university.

I think it goes without saying that I have matured (I hope, haha). With maturity comes new insights and new ideas. Sometimes these new ideas conflict with old ideas. When I look at my archives, I see old ideas woven throughout my blog posts. I want my blog to be a reflection of me, and those old posts aren't my opinions anymore.

And sometimes when I look at my archive, I just want to give my younger self a good kick in the rear end, and tell myself to smarten up. Frankly, I find 2011 me annoying -sometimes. Maybe, I'm being self-critical, but some posts are written with a tone that is, well, immature and a bit cocky.

On coming to this realization, my first instinct was to go through A Splash of Ink and purge the archives of those particularly annoying posts. However, I didn't, and I don't think I will.

Those posts don't reflect my opinions today, but they reflect a part of me. Those posts reflect who I was four years ago, and who I was three years ago, and who I was two years ago, and who I was last year, even who I was last week. They show the slow change in how I've thought about literature and life. There's something beautiful about being able to see that kind of growth and longevity.

I could enjoy reviewing that growth in private, but I want to be able to share that with other people. I want my sub-par archives to be an encouragement to other bloggers who are just beginning. It is true what they say, to be a better writer you must write. Even if the writing is a little bit shaky to begin with.

I will no longer feel embarrassed about those early days of blogging. I will keep those posts for the sake of posterity. I want the "future generations" of me to be able to see where I started.

What about you? Are you embarrassed about your blog archives or old writing? Have you deleted posts before? Let me know all your thoughts in the comments!

Reading: Gone by Michael Grant
Listening: Sleeping at Last
Watching: Gilmore Girls

Monday, February 2, 2015

How to Take Good Photos for Your Blog: The Header Picture

I love working on the graphic elements of my blog. And I've learned a few things about taking pictures for my blog over the years, and I wanted to share them. I'm certainly not an expert, so you'll have to let me know in the comments what your pro-tips are. In this post we're going to talk about a few elements that will improve your header pictures. This is the picture that appears at the top of your post and more importantly, in your readers' feeds. It's important to make it count.

The best tip I can give you on taking a better picture, no matter what camera you're using, is to use natural light to light your pictures. Never, ever use the on camera flash. It never looks good. I know the temptation is there when it's midnight, the sun is gone and you want to get that post up with a picture. But don't do it! Your photos will instantly improve if you make use of natural light (especially a diffused sunlight without harsh shadows).
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