One Year Blog Anniversary! + Answering Your Questions

I can’t believe it’s been an entire year since I started this blog! I still remember staying up late to put on the finishing touches, having the greatest headache with Convertkit and connecting my newsletter, the nerves with actually launching it, and so much more. But then, what I remember more than anything else, is how much everyone loved it. All the comments, likes, and shares. People saying how much my words had helped them. It all meant so very much to me—so much that I still remember them a year later.

So while this post is a celebration, it’s also a huge thank you to each and everyone of you for encouraging me to keep going. Every time you comment on a post reminds me why I keep writing them. Every time I see all the likes coming in I’m reminded how blessed I am. So thank you. To each and every one of you—thank you.

Answering Your Questions

Now, without further ado, let’s get onto the amazing questions you all gave me! I’m honestly amazed by how many came in. Thank you all so much! I can’t wait to answer them all!

Two things you’ve learned in your first year of blogging

I love that this question starts us out!

#1: Be prepared! Blogging will not be successful if you don’t stay ahead of yourself. I post three times a week and I thought I would be burned out by doing that a long time ago. But as I’ve given it a try I’ve realized that the only time I get tired of the schedule is when I’m not prepared and find myself writing posts in a hurry the day before it needs to be published. I usually have the next week planned out in advance, if not the entire month! Believe me, this makes a difference.

#2: Have fun! I decided from the start that I didn’t want to do this if I didn’t enjoy it. Writing is supposed to be fun, and I never want it to become a drudgery. So whenever I’m tempted to get overwhelmed by my blog or what not, I force myself to take a step back and breathe. Let it be fun!

Favorite coffee/Starbucks drink?

I’ve actually only been to Starbucks once because I won a gift card on Instagram. And I hate coffee. So I got a peppermint hot chocolate and LOVED it! It was amazing!

Favorite place you’ve been?

This is a hard question! I’ve loved a lot of places and can’t easily pick. I do love Tennessee. It’s such a beautiful state!

Favorite thing to do in your free time?

This varies depending on my mood. XD What usually remains the same is either reading or writing. I also love playing the piano though!

Who or what inspired you to start this blog?

Abbie Emmons was actually a huge inspiration while starting my blog. Not her personally, but her own blog along with all the great tips she has on starting a blog. I have a problem when I get on a blog that has a lot of images, pretty fonts, different buttons, or what not. I think it looks pretty and all but for whatever reason, my brain shuts down and I can’t focus on anything. But Abbie Emmon’s blog is so pretty, clean, and orderly. She gave me hope that I can create a blog like that too! So that was a bit lengthy of a response, lol, but that was a large part of my inspiration.

What genres do you NOT like to write, and why?

The only genres I can think of that I don’t write in is horror and fantasy. I don’t write horror because, well, while I can appreciate a good spooky or slightly creepy mystery, I’m not going to write something simply for the pleasure of scaring people. And I don’t write fantasy because, for whatever reason, I have never liked it. I have read some good fantasy (shout-out to The Wonderland Trials!), but overall it’s not my favorite.

Have you ever had squid before?

Lol! Nope, and I never will! XD

Do you like to write what you know, write what you don’t know, or both?

Both! I think it’s fun to write something I don’t know because then I can do a lot of research on it and learn something new! Sometimes, if I can, I’ll even do the thing so I can have hands on experience. For a current WIP my characters go crabbing and so I watched YouTube videos and read stuff on it to accurately describe it. That was so fun! I learned that it’s better to go crabbing at night because that’s apparently when the crabs are most active. That was a great thing to learn because it was so much more fun to have my characters do it at night!

What’s your least favorite color?

Pink. Hands down. XD I really cannot stand this color.

What is your favorite tea? (Mine is Earl Grey. 😋)

My favorite is peppermint! It stimulates my brain and helps when I’m writing or anything else. I love it! And in Sara Ella’s book, The Wonderland Trials, I learned to mix peppermint with Yerba Mate to create “Focus Fix” and it really does help you focus! And it tastes so good!

I’ve been wanting to try Earl Grey though! Last time I tried it I thought it tasted like dish water but I’m hoping it won’t this time. XD The main character in the book that I’m editing loves Earl Grey so I need to know what it takes like. -_- The things you do in the name of research. XD

Do you like coffee as well or not really?

Nope. I’ve tried it many ways, and still don’t like it, lol. My family is convinced I will one day but I’m quite positive that I won’t.

What is your biggest fear concerning your writing? (For example: You fear it won’t be helpful, people won’t like it, etc.)

Hmm. I think my biggest fear is that people won’t connect with my stories like I want them to. I want to write stories that are impactful to the readers and will give them something to take away from the story long after they finish the book.

Is there something you learned the hard way (through experience) that you wish somebody would’ve told you how to avoid or how to respond better to before it happened?

*laughs painfully* Yes. I wish someone would have told me before I ever started blogging that it’s HARD. Younger me, circa a few years ago, started a blog not a lot of people know about… for a reason. Honestly, it really was a great learning period for me and I learned a lot of do’s and don’ts when it comes to blogging. For one thing, be prepared. You can’t jump into blogging expecting to write every blog post the day before it comes out. Well, okay, maybe some people can. I CAN’T! XD I need a stockpile of posts that I can pull from whenever I’m having a bad day or feeling burnt out or just don’t feel like thinking up a blog post. I didn’t have that stockpile when I started my first blog and… it showed. I hardly posted, was never consistent, and as a result never got a lot of traffic. But I don’t regret that first blog at all because it was the stepping stone to starting this blog!

What is your favorite kind of engagement from your readers? Comments, shares, somebody sending you a message, etc? Is there a kind of engagement you wish you received more of?

I love it when people message me through my contact page. I’ve been surprised how much that page has actually been used and so blessed by everyone who’s reached out! I also love comments though. It’s always so encouraging to see the comments coming in on a post and knowing that people actually liked it, lol. But really, I love all the forms of engagement! Because when I’ve had other bloggers share my posts that made me so happy! It’s really hard to say which I wish I received more of because I feel like I’ve gotten a well rounded mixture of them all. Probably comments? But I am blessed by all the comments my posts receive. I’m always so grateful for all the engagement my blog receives! 🤗

What are some of your favorite names?

Oliver, Samantha, Rebecca, Phillip. I could probably provide quite a thorough list if I really thought about it… *Thinks of about a hundred more* Yeah, I should probably stop there. XD

(Fun fact: out of all those names, I’ve only used one of them for a character so far. Emphasis on so far.)

How many siblings do you have?

Four! Three sisters and a brother.

Where do you fall in the birth order?

I’m the youngest! (Don’t hold it against me…)

What’s the latest you’ve ever stayed up reading?

So… this is a complicated answer. I stayed up till eleven one time reading and then went to bed. Another time I believe it was eleven or maybe a little after (?) that I stayed up and then went to bed. I laid there for a solid hour or two and was still wide awake. So I turned my phone back on and listened to music for a while, it still didn’t help. So I turned my audio book back on and listened to it for an hour. So at that point it was either two or three before I decided I should really try to sleep. XD But I didn’t stay up reading that entire time, so that’s why it’s complicated.

What is your favorite snack? (Including drinks!)

If drinks are included then definitely tea, though that’s not very filling. Toast is always amazing. Hmm. This shouldn’t be such a difficult question. XD Really, if I’m hungry, anything will do so long as it’s filling. I’ve been compared many times to a teenage boy when it comes to my appetite. So, yeah. When I need food, I need FOOD!

Pie or cake? Why?

Why is ice cream not included in this question?? It trumps all other desserts in my opinion (and that’s coming from someone with a dairy allergy/sensitivity). Beyond that, pie and cake are pretty equal in my mind. I really don’t think I could pick.

What’s something random you wish books had more of?

Ooh! I actually have a whole list of random things I wish were in more books! (You have no idea what you signed up for mwahaha)

Number one: fish. Like, seriously. How many books can you think of that someone had a pet fish?? Fish are awesome. They deserve to be a part of more literature.

On a more serious note, friendships. I know, there’s a lot of friendships in books. What I mean by this is that there are so many books that concentrate on romance between two characters, but I would love to see more books concentrate on a friendship between two characters. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a huge sucker for romance. But sometimes it feels so overdone and I love simple friendships.

Current favorite song?

Too many. XD My sister and I are trying to pick some worship songs to play when we lead worship at a friend’s house later this week so I’ve had entirely too many songs stuck in my head, lol. It’s mainly been a mixture of My Jesus by Anne Wilson and The God Who Stays by Matthew West probably.

What advice would you give your younger blogger self?

Don’t worry so much about “getting it right”. There’s always room for growth but you can’t get there all in one day. Be patient with yourself and allow yourself to make mistakes.

What are a few of your favorite post you’ve ever written?

So… I had no idea I liked so many of my posts. Exactly how many is a “few”?…

Get to Know My Character Blog Tag. This one was so much fun! It’s probably the most I’ve ever shared about my current WIP so that was nerve-wracking. But I think a lot of people liked it so that made me very happy.

Demystifying Writer’s Block (+ Curing it Once and For All). This post had been on my heart for a while, and when I finally wrote it I felt it turned out really nice. This is a post that I think a lot of people need to hear.

“Write What You Know” Debunked. This piece of writing advice has always bugged me. In this post I’m debunking it once and for all, as well as talking about a topic that is always dear to my heart: themes.

What If You Gave Up? This was my first post on this blog to really blow up. Truly, I was amazed by how much everyone loved it. Looking back, it’s definitely one of my favorite posts. Again, it has stuff that writers really need to read.

Using Side Characters to Add Depth in Your Story. Okay. I had to add this one. I have a weak spot in my writerly heart for side characters. I love them! So read this blog post and then create some amazing side characters for your own book.

Defining Success and Your Identity as a Writer are similar in a way. I love both of them for the hard truth poured into them. Reminders that every writer needs to hear!

How do you combat self-doubt as a writer?

This is a daily battle for me. But I just remind myself that those voices in my head that say I’m not good enough or I’ll never be in the place I want to be are not true. They don’t fully go away though until I replace them with truths. I am a good writer, I will reach my dreams, I am capable of doing what I set out to do. Having a family member or friend around to offer encouragement as well is really helpful. I sprint with my best friend a lot and she’s always having to remind me that I am a good writer. I mean, I never fully believe her but it’s helpful to hear. XD

Any tea recommendations for a fellow tea addict?

Ooh, you should try peppermint! And then do the mixture that I mentioned above from The Wonderland Trials where you mix peppermint with Yerba Mate to create Focus Fix. It’s amazing! Also chai tea. It’s my comfort tea. <33

What is your opinion on jelly beans?

That they shouldn’t taste as good as they do. XD Like, really. WHY?!

Favorite writing project?

This is literally always whatever project I’m currently working on. And right now I’m alternating between editing a novel and writing a novel, so my heart is quite torn, lol. It’s hard.

Do you have any advice for writing banter/sarcasm between characters?

You’re asking someone who dishes out sarcasm like it’s ice cream. XD If it comes naturally, then my advice is to just act natural! Think of what you would say in the situation and then maybe tweak it to sound like something your character would say. But if it doesn’t come naturally, I’d say to study other people who banter or are naturally more sarcastic. You can even study fictional characters! What I really can’t stress enough though is to make it sound natural. Do not make it sound forced or it will fall flat. Get yourself immersed in the scene and simply allow yourself to let the words flow. This is what helps me so many times.

If you could give one sentence of the most successful writing advice to give a person, what would it be?

No pressure, right? XD Hmm. How’s this:

Don’t feel you have to “measure up” or “compare” to any other author, you are your own person and no one is more qualified to be that person than you.

That’s also the major theme of this blog. But it’s so true! Be the writer God made you to be. Form your own path! Don’t try to replicate any other “successful” path, because it’s not yours.

What is THE BEST quote you have ever heard?

I don’t know if it’s the best I’ve ever heard, but it’s definitely one that’s stuck with me over the years.

“Write, write, and write some more. Think of writing as a muscle that needs lots of exercise.”

~ Jane Yolen

What has been your favorite part about starting a blog and what are you looking forward to about it in the future?

Hmm. Maybe seeing people actually enjoy what I write? And to have my words be helpful to other writers like me. I’m looking forward to being able to bless more and more people with my words, especially with future novels. *slips sunglasses on* Yeah, that’s happening one day.

What are your plans for the future?

So I’m kind of a “fly by the seat of my pants” kind of person where spontaneity is my middle name. XD Plan? What’s that? I do know that it’s my biggest dream to publish fiction one day, and I can’t wait to see that come true. I’m also hoping to see my blog grow and reach an even larger group of writers. Yup. That’s my plan. (Sorry, I should really have a better answer to this question, lol!)

Why are you a Christian? A writer?

I am a Christian because life makes no sense to me apart from Christ. He is my saving grace and only through Him will I have eternal life. I want my entire life to reflect Him and be honoring to Him, and Him only.

I’m a writer because it’s the only way I can make sense of the world around me. Without it, I would be a mess of jumbled emotions and thoughts. Writing helps me understand life.

Would you rather die via strangling or drowning?

Wow. Only a writer would come up with this question, lol. That’s a very tough question. Probably strangling I guess because I kind of have a semi fear of water.

If you could have lunch with five people (real, fictional, alive, or currently-dead (you’d have to time-travel XD)), who would they be?

Ooh! One person would definitely be Sage from The False Prince! (If you haven’t read that book, you NEED to!) Anne Shirley would probably be another one. She’s such an inspiration to me. Jo March would be fun! Oh the wild schemes we could cook up… And Elias Roch from Dearest Josephine! Make that Oliver too, also from Dearest Josephine. *heart melt* Well, that’s five people. Let’s just say that would be one interesting meal, one where I don’t think anyone would eat much. But it would be so fun!

What is your favorite superpower?

I always thought it would be cool to turn invisible! I know I’ve sure wanted to many times. XD

What made you decide to start a writing blog?

Well I knew I wanted to grow a platform for my writing career, but I also wanted to encourage other writers. I know how tough it is to be in a spot where you love what you do but have no idea how to get where you want to be. There’s still so much that I have to learn when it comes to writing and publishing, but I feel I’ve come so far. I want to share that information with others! I want to encourage others that you’re not alone and that it’s not hopeless. You can totally accomplish your dreams if you keep going and work hard at it. Never give up.

What is one of the best writing tips you’ve been given?

This sounds cliche, but show don’t tell. I’m realizing more and more just how important this principle is… and how hard it is to do it. It’s an area I’ve been working on getting better at but it’s still a work in progress.

What do you most hope readers take away from your writing?

I want readers to walk away feeling encouraged and given a new sense of hope in their life. That’s my goal whether blogging or fictional. Everyone needs hope!

Phew. That was forty questions, y’all! Wow. I had no idea you all had so much you wanted to know about me. And somehow you all got together and planned it so that every single question was unique and couldn’t be combined with any other. Nice job. I congratulate you. XD

Thank you all so much for these amazing questions! They were all so much fun to answer! Really, I had a blast with them. And again, thank you all so much for the support you’ve shown me and my blog over this past year. I hope that this blog continues to be an encouragement to everyone! I plan to be sharing even more quality content over this next year. I can’t wait!

Here’s to another year!

Your turn!

Do you have a blog? What made you want to start it? What’s something you love about it? Feel free to pick any of the questions above and answer them in the comments!

Blessings, Allyson


18 thoughts on “One Year Blog Anniversary! + Answering Your Questions

  1. YOU DON’T LIKE PINK?? 😱😂 And I’m wracking my brain trying to think of a book with a pet fish in it…you’re so right. Fish deserve to be in literature more often.

    Ahhhh, I LOVE the song “The God Who Stays” *sobs* I once cried to it.

    (Lol, invisibility would be my superpower of choice too, I think! It would come so in handy, especially in embarrassing situations XD)

    I LOVED this post!! 😊 Thank you for answering our (sometimes crazy) questions, and congratulations again on your year of blogging!! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lol!! XD I take it you do like pink? I’m not sure why, but I’ve never liked it! Haha!! I know, it’s really sad! By the time we’re famous authors, fish will be the new phenomenon. 😎

      Same!! I think I’ve cried over it before too. It’s such an amazing song!

      (Totally!!! XD I’ve had more than enough embarrassing moments that I would have loved to turn invisible.)

      I’m so glad!! 😄 Haha! You’re welcome!! XD Thanks for coming up with so many fun ones! (By the way, you earned the prize for asking the most 😜) Thanks! I’m so excited for this next year with blogging!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. You don’t like pink?!?!??!?!?! I’m appalled! Kidding…. sort of XD
    In light of that, congratulations! And turning invisible would be AMAZING. My brother asked me that question recently and I’m like…. *pauses to think*
    *Jeopardy music plays*
    I have no idea.
    Maybe Spiderman powers? But I AM kinda afraid of heights, so maybe NOT. XD

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha!! XD I know, it’s weird. I’m not sure why I can’t stand the color, lol. XD
      Thanks!! Yeah, it really would! When I first read the question I was like, I have no idea… But then I thought of invisible and knew that would totally be it!! Haha! Spiderman powers may be my second choice. That would be so cool! Though I have the same problem as you… XD

      Liked by 1 person

  3. *raises hand* If you still don’t like Earl Grey after trying it again, PLEASE reach out to me. I would happily help you where I can. I might be addicted. 😅

    My biggest tips:
    1. If you don’t like one brand, try another one. They actually taste quite a bit different from each other. My favorite is Twinings because I can taste the bergamot more. It’s not as bitter.

    2. It tastes completely different with sugar. If you add sugar to your tea, try it without sugar first. If you don’t like the flavor, take the time to measure out your sugar. The more sugar you add, the bigger the taste is going to change. If you want your character to add sugar, as the author, it might be helpful to know how much sugar he adds, so you replicate it in case you need more details of its flavor.

    I loved this post! Thank you for doing this. It was so nice to get to know you better! ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha!! That’s great! Thanks so much! I will definitely keep that in mind. 😃

      Those tips are really, really great advice that I hadn’t thought of! Thank you so much for that! I have the Bigelow brand but I don’t remember if that was the brand I tried before or not. It was quite a while ago when I tried Earl Grey. And that sugar tip is definitely something to keep in mind! I always put stevia in my tea but I know Oliver would never do that, lol. XD So when I try it I should put sugar in it. Then again, I could almost see him not putting any… I’ll have to try it both ways!! Thanks so much, Autumn!!

      I’m so glad! You’re welcome! Thank you for the awesome questions, they were so much fun to answer!! 💙


      1. Ah, okay!! I’ll keep that in mind! I might find myself quite the Earl Grey tea fanatic by the time I finish this novel. XD


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