The Outstanding Blog Award!
I recently picked up The Outstanding Blog Award thanks to a nomination from Ann-Kathrin at The Wandering Explorer Travel Blog. This is my second WordPress award and hey, it feels nice, especially coming from a talented blogger like Ann-Kathrin.
As the tradition goes, I have to answer her seven questions and then nominate seven other well-deserving blogs. I’ll start with Ann-Kathrin’s questions:
1. How long have you been blogging?
I’ve been scribbling on these pages of mine since 2015 when I first created my WordPress account in a Beijing cafe. At the time, I had no idea this would become a travel blog, nor indeed that it would lead me to finding my true calling.
2. What made you want to start a blog?
I had loads of free time and, fresh out of a divorce, I was in a period of suffering. I knew I needed an outlet to express myself, so when a friend told me about WordPress, I thought what the heck.
All I had then was a patchy collection of short stories called Incidents in India. They definitely needed some work, hence that became my first blog project. Back then my site was called Leighton Literature. An artist friend of mine, Johnny Paintbox, made the logo and homepage cover out of Papier-mâché.
3. How do you decide what to blog about?
It took years for me to figure out a proper system for my blogging. In the beginning, I put out a few collections of short stories and some album reviews. I used to interview singers and rock bands for a living, so that seemed to make sense.
The turning point was when I came up with the idea of cataloguing every single location I’ve ever visited. Thus My Travel Reports was born, a project that’s kept me more than busy these past years. I have written over five hundred so far, with hundreds more still unpublished. So the what to write about thing kinda takes care of itself, plus there are more short story collections I’d like to do at some point.
4. What has been a topic that you considered blogging about but haven’t (yet)?
I have several ideas for a different kind of travel series up my sleeve, but really no idea if and when I’ll get round to it. If I ever get on top of the travel side of things, I’d also like to do some movie reviews.
5. How much time do you usually spend writing and editing a blog post?
It’s getting longer and longer! Last year I settled on a new template for my travel reports. Basically, longer, more detailed, better photos. It all takes so much time. For a short travel report, let’s say under 800 words, I can knock one out in 3-4 hours.
For my longer pieces (typically 1400-2000) I need two days, chipping away at it on and off. As I have now settled on a posting routine of every 48 hours, this works out pretty well.
6. What is your favourite post on your blog so far?
This was a question recently posed to me in an interview I did with Andy’s World Journeys. It’s tough, as I often change my mind depending on my mood. Today I would settle on the following six, three travel reports and three short stories. Forgive me this luxury.
7. What have you learned along your blogging journey?
So, so much. First and foremost, I’ve learned how to string a sentence together ha ha. I’ve also learned a lot about photo editing, SEO and blog design.
Moreover, I think the blog has done heaps for my personal growth. Writing up these reports and stories often feels incredibly therapeutic. Processing those old experiences and framing them within the context of whatever was going on in my life at the time, good and bad.
As the rules dictate, it’s time for my nominations! Let it be said right away that I don’t want anyone to feel obliged to do this. Maybe you’ve already done too many of these or perhaps you’re snowed under with work, blogs, life etc. I just decided to go with seven blogs that a) are among my favourites and b) I didn’t nominate the last time around.
For those who are up for participating, here are the Rules:
- Provide a link to the creator’s original award post.
- Answer the questions provided.
- Create 7 unique questions.
- Nominate up to 10 bloggers.
- Ensure that they are aware of their nomination.
1: What’s the best accommodation you’ve ever stayed in? Did you have to pay an arm and a leg for it?
2: What’s the worst joint you’ve ever stayed in? All the grimy details please.
3: Which of your articles holds the most special place in your heart? Why?
4: If you could share a secluded desert island beach with just one person, dead or alive, who would it be? And why?
5: If you won the lottery tomorrow and could build your dream house anywhere in the world, where would you go?
6: What does the WordPress blogging community mean to you?
7: What are your personal hopes and plans for 2021? Any blogging goals?
Thanks to everyone who continues to support Leighton Travels! Your readership, likes, comments and shares mean a great deal to me.