Thoughts on Change: No More Guest Bloggers and Tags

I’ve said a while back about how I want this blog to go in a new direction. Ever since I set up The Life of a Thinker in August 2012 I wanted to use it to develop my writing, and for a long time, the content I was creating didn’t really challenge me or reflect my personality that well (at this point I should ask everyone not to look at my first blog post on here – it is truly awful).

So for a while now I’ve been trying to find a balance between personality and professionalism. Of course, I want these posts to be fun, entertaining and thought-provoking, but for a while this involved me jumping on every possible bandwagon. I’ve finally grown out of it, but for a long time, I was obsessed with ‘blog awards’ and tags, ignorant of the fact that they’re basically blogger chain mail.

It’s because of this, and the simple reason that I’m struggling to think of seven more ‘random facts about me’, that I’ll no longer be accepting blog award nominations. However, this doesn’t mean that I’m not grateful for any future mentions I receive – I really appreciate them, thank you.

Then there are guest bloggers. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a wonderful idea – collaboration is good, right? I’ve had a lot of guest posts on this blog before and I really do think that both parties benefit.

However, in keeping with the theme that I want to move my blog towards a more professional and portfolio-like style, I will no longer be accepting requests to write a guest blog for The Life of a Thinker. Since I now mention this blog during job interviews and applications, it feels bad to have guest written articles on my blog when potential employers etc. are here to read my work.

I know that guest blogs are usually a two-way thing, but I’m still happy to write a post for your blog. I appreciate this all might sound rather selfish – and I’m sorry if it does – but as I look ahead, I want to make some big changes in my writing and the content I produce. For example, I’ve absolutely loved writing my opinion pieces/political articles as they’ve probably had the biggest reactions online.

Some changes are happening to The Life of a Thinker, and I hope you stick around to see them.

Liam

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Blog Awards #21: The Liebster Award

To be honest, I’ve slowly started to lose interest in blog awards. As the title states, this is my 21st blog award and when they all ask for the same thing (to nominate other bloggers and list some more facts about you) it does get repetitive and starts to become blogging chain mail.

liebster-award-large

However, that does not mean that I am not grateful for my latest nomination. Thanks must go to Chris over at HIS Lifestyle Blog for nominating me for the Liebster Award. Although, to make this a bit different to the other awards I have written about, I thought I would only answer the questions Chris has asked me.

  1. What is your name? Do you have any nicknames? My name is Liam O’Dell. For a long time I gave myself terrible, terrible nicknames. Two examples of me trying to be cool include nicknames such as ‘Specs’ and ‘Loddyman’. Yes, I was that child.
  2. How often do you post on your blog? I post every other day (Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays).
  3. What made you want to create your blog? A teacher at school told me that having a blog is a good thing for an aspiring journalist to have. I was also keen on writing and sharing ideas so I decided to set one up.
  4. What are your top 3 goals for 2016? I set myself two resolutions in a recent blog post, but for the final goal I hope to boost my following on my Instagram, YouTube and Facebook pages.
  5. Do you remember the first blog you read? I’m not sure – I think it might have been one of my good friend, Chelsea‘s.
  6. What is the biggest challenge for you when blogging? Interesting question. I think it would have to be coming up with ideas, or trying not to get caught up in the numbers. At the moment, I don’t think either are too much of a problem, but they can become a challenge from time to time.
  7. Do you have a favourite TV show? For someone who is a massive TV fan, this is a very tough question indeed! I would say that it is a tie between Gotham, Sherlock and Utopia. In terms of the last two, they are the only two DVD box sets which I have bought (although I do plan on buying Series 1 of Gotham very soon). As an aspiring crime writer, I find all three TV shows fascinating, inspiring and creative.
  8. What are your hobbies? I love reading, writing, listening to music and playing the drums.
  9. How did you come up with your blog name? I don’t really know, to be honest. When I look back, I think it is a rather pretentious name (I don’t mean it to be), but I knew that it would be a lifestyle blog where I mainly write about my life. I decided to call it ‘The Life of…’ and then it just clicked, I guess.
  10. What is your biggest achievement to date? Is this a blogging achievement or in life in general? In terms of blogging, it would have to be reaching 1,000 followers on Twitter. Granted, it isn’t about the numbers, but the level of interaction I now have online is definitely something to be proud of. In terms of everyday life, I’m not sure. I think it would be going to the Conservative Party Conference last year to interview MPs about deaf issues. I learnt so much whilst I was there!
  11. Do you have a favourite blog? I’m never one for favouritism, but Maeve (from Thrift O’Clock) has been a really good blogger friend of mine for a year now. I even met her last week and she is awesome! (But everyone I interact with is great too, of course!)

So those were my answers to his questions! Thanks again to Chris for nominating me – do check out his blog!

Liam

Blog Awards #18: The Liebster Award

Earlier this week I received a nomination for the Libester Award from Jonelle over at Tyranny of Pink. Thanks so much for the nomination, Jonelle! Please do stop by her blog, everyone – it’s such a colourful blog with some great pictures!

The Rules:

  1. Thank and link the person who nominated you.
  2. Answer the nominator’s 11 questions.
  3. Nominate 11 small blogs who have less than 200 followers. You should believe that they deserve this award and include their link in your post.
  4. Create 11 new questions for your nominees to answer. Notify these nominees via social media/blog.

Looking at these rules, I technically have more than 200 followers. But the questions looked fun so why not? Speaking of questions, here are the ones Jonelle asked me…


1. What is the best thing about your city?

I don’t really live in a city so I’m going to cheat and talk about the city of London which I explore quite often. The best thing about London is its apparent mystery. Everyone fears getting lost in London (understandably, too – getting lost can be scary), but the opportunity to explore is a great thing about London.

2. Complete the sentence; I am happiest when….

I’m listening or playing to music.

3. Why did you start blogging?

I’ve always loved writing and when I heard that it’s a useful thing for an aspiring journalist to have, I thought I would give it a try.

4. What is your all time favourite song?

Wow, for someone that loves music so much, this changed regularly and is almost impossible for me to decide. However, I think it has to be Pay No Mind by Madeon featuring Passion Pit, as it’s going to take a lot to knock that song off the top-spot.

5. If you could play any character in a series, who would that be?

I have absolutely no idea for this one, sorry! My taste in TV dramas is quite limited so I wouldn’t know…

6. What achievement in your life are you most proud of?

I’d say it’s being a Grade 7 Drummer.

7. If you could wake up anywhere tomorrow, where would that be?

If it’s somewhere I’ve never been to before then I’d wake up in Paris – I’ve always wanted to go there. Otherwise, it would be Padstow in Cornwall. 

8. What is one of the things on your 2015 wish list?

Not really on my wish-list for this year (more on my wish list for life), I want to finish writing a book. In fact, it is one of my New Year’s Resolutions.

9. What do you love most about yourself?

My creativity and curiosity.

10. What’s your most embarrassing moment?

Dressing up as a snail for a primary school play. Yes, that’s right, a snail.

11. What is your go-to drink order (can be alcoholic or not)?

I don’t drink anyway, so I always like a Sprite or 7UP.


Now I get to nominate 11 bloggers with less than 200 (Bloglovin) followers who I think are worthy of the award:

  1. Voyageur Kalee
  2. Paperback Planes
  3. Life as Amazzable
  4. The Salty Sea Blog
  5. Charlie, Cake and Coffee
  6. Lilliputian Rose
  7. Hattie Hards
  8. Meganbug
  9. Loving Life in Wellies
  10. Just Write About It
  11. Jasminwbu

Now here are my questions for you!

  1. What is your favourite quote?
  2. Where is your favourite beach/coastal location?
  3. If you could only listen to one song forever, what song would it be?
  4. What is your favourite meal?
  5. Do you prefer a cold night by the fire reading, or a summer’s day sunbathing?
  6. When do you get your ideas? Just as you wake up, or just as you’re about to go to sleep?
  7. What is your most treasured book on your bookshelf?
  8. Where is the one place you wish you could visit?
  9. If you could suddenly become fluent at another language, which language would it be?
  10. What does your notebook look like?
  11. What would you love to blog more about this year?

So those are my questions! Congratulations to those nominated and thanks again to Jonelle for nominating me!

Liam

Blog Award Fifteen: The Liebster Award

I have been nominated for another blog award! This time it was the Liebster award by The Welsh Librarian. So, the rules:

1. Thank and link to the blogger that nominated you (DONE).

2. Write 11 random facts about yourself.

3. Answer the 11 questions the blogger that nominated you has asked you.

4. Nominate 11 bloggers with under 200 followers to complete the award. Then ask them 11 questions!

Firstly, since this will be my fifteenth award, I ‘m running out of facts to say! Therefore, sorry but I’ll give that section a miss – I can’t think of anything to say!

However, I will answer the 11 questions!

1. What are your obsessions apart from books?
Writing, music and social media.

2. List your top 5 authors.
In order…
1. Stieg Larsson
2. Mark Haddon
3. Derek Landy
4. Robert Muchamore
5. Mitch Albom

3. A book that didn’t live up to the hype.
The Divergent series.

4. A book that exceeded the hype.
Hmm… Perhaps Gone Girl

5. A book you would love to see as a film.
I think a film adaptation of Skulduggery Pleasant would be awesome.

6. Something about you that no one else knows.
I can’t think of anything!

7. Favourite holiday read.
I haven’t read many books on holiday, but maybe Before I Go To Sleep?

8. Bookbridgr, Netgalley or Edelweiss?
I didn’t know what these were until I did a quick Google search. The answer is none, but if this is about review sites, I use GoodReads.

9. Would you write a book? If so what would it be about?
I already am (well, trying to)! It will be a crime fiction novel.

10. Favourite book cover/jacket?
It will have to be a series. The designs by Tom Percival for the Skulduggery Pleasant series are brilliant. The One Hundred Year Old Man… is a close second for it’s brilliant simplicity of a design.

11. Favourite translated novel?
I have only read two: The Millenium Trilogy by Stieg Larsson (my favourite), but so far I am reading The Onr Hundred Year Old Man…, which is good.

So now I’ll nominate the 11! It appears as though searching for 11 bloggers I know have less than 200 followers may be difficult for me, so I’m going to scrap that part, and nominate 8 (sorry) bloggers regardless! These are:

1. Loving Life in Wellies
2. Time to See the Stars
3. Lolly Loves
4. Oh Leona
5. To Breathe is to Write
6. Jasmin Charlotte
7. Into the Bookcase
8. Not Wed or Dead

Congratulations on being nominated! My questions for you are:

1. Tea or coffee?
2. The one item you treasure the most?
3. A book that reminds you of somewhere, or someone?
4. Do you like reading in public, or completely private?
5. Favourite song to listen to?
6. Do you own any notebooks, or write it all on computer?
7. Where’s your favourite place in the world?
8. What’s a moment in your life that you’ll happily relive?
9. What is your favourite dish?
10. Name something you did recently that surprised you (not really a question, but oh well).
11. Do you have any pets?

Thanks again to The Welsh Librarian for nominating me, and congrats to all nominated!

Liam