Hiatus Announcement: I’m going away for a little while

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Hello friends!

I really truly hate that I’m writing this post right now but I have been pushing the inevitable for a little while now. I’m going on a hiatus from now until June 11th. Around a week after I take my last exam. It’s two months. It’s a long time. The longest I have ever been away from this blog. PLEASE DON’T FORGET ABOUT ME. I still have a couple guest posts going up but aside from that, I won’t be posting anything. And for a few reasons.

If you read my march wrap-up, you know that March was a very sucky month for me health wise, I was in pain for most of it and that left me bed bound, which means that I fell behind on school. Like, a lot. And that is stressing me out of my mind, I’m always anxious and on edge because I just have too many thing to do, blogging included and with how much studying I have to catch up on, I can’t do it all, I need to spend most my days studying if I don’t want studying for my exam to be an anxiety hell pit (which it always is, but I’m trying to minimize the damage). So Something had to go to keep my sanity. And blogging is that something.

In addition to that, all the built up stress and pressure made blogging not fun for me anymore. I started thinking of it as “have to” instead of “want to” and we all know that’s not good. At all. Where I’m at right now, I dread writing up posts, I do have ideas, and inspiration but it’s the will to sit in front of my computer spending two hours (I don’t have) on each post that stresses me out. Because I always have that little voice at the back of my head saying “this is time you’re wasting you could be spending on your neurology notes, or working on that genetics graph” and yikes. That voice is right and I must follow it.

The fact that I’m now dreading blogging is also affecting my reading, I’m always wanting to finish books faster, to write reviews and then thinking about what book to review next and read that one instead of reading the books I really want to read. And the books I really want to read right now are all favourites. So rereads. So books I’ve already reviewed. I’m going to take advantage of this hiatus to read books for myself, depending on my mood to try and find that pleasure in reading again. Which I’m sure will be back as soon as the pressure is gone.

I’m going to stop rambling here. I think I’m going to reply to comments and keep blog-hopping when I have down time while I’m gone because the only thing I have an issue with a the moment is the actual act of writing posts. And if you’re interested in seeing more of me, follow me on Instagram @wordwoonders because I’ll still be active on there.

Love y’all! And hope you all still be around when I’m back ❤

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How I -barely- manage to not drown under blogging and reading

Keeping track of reading and blogging

Hello friends !

A while back (a very long while back, yes… i’m very on top of things shhhh) I had asked on Twitter if people would be interested in seeing how I organise my reading and blogging because I have a few tips and tricks, but mostly a ridiculous amount of spreadsheets, and quite a few people said yes so here I am, an eternity later finally getting around to talking about it all.

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Author/Reviewer Interaction Etiquette

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Hello friends!

This post has been a long time coming, hasn’t it? Through all the years that reviewers and authors have been interacting, there have been slip-ups, hurtful and even maybe dangerous behaviours happening. So I decided to give my two cents and set some records straight, giving myself and everyone some guidelines that *I think* are important to respect. This is going to be a two parts thing but I don’t know just yet when the second part will be going up. For now I will focus on authors, but will adress reviewers in the next one.

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A peak into my brain: How I review the books I read.

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Hello guys !

A while ago, I got a few comments on one of my posts asking how I review my books because I mentioned that I take a lot of notes and as much as I could direct them to this post, I wrote it almost two years ago and the way I approach books has changed drastically. So that post doesn’t stand anymore and quite frankly, going back and reading it, I thought “WHO IS THAT?” not because it was necessarily bad but because it’s not me anymore and I can almost read a certain naivety to the post. Continue reading

How to Approach reviewers? (Dos and Don’ts)

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Hello guys !

I’ve “officially” been reviewing books for almost two years and in that time I got my fair share of review requests, some that were good, great even, and some… not so much. The latter are what sparked this particular discussion post, especially one I got recently that was just plain bad. Objectively. It was condescending and borderline rude, and it also didn’t contain any useful information. I debated posting a screenshot (that leaves out the book/author info out) but ended up not doing it. That being said, if you follow me on Twitter, you probably saw it, because I was really annoyed when I first got the email.

I thought I’d help out because sometimes new writers do not know how to go about this so I hope these few guidelines help.

Approach 1

I can’t say this enough, but this is not only the first step but the most important one, and I noticed that a lot of people do not do this before contacting me. If you spot a reviewer that you think about emailing for a review, read their review policy first (and reviewers -especially bloggers- have a review policy somewhere, it’ll make things easier for both you and the author). There are a lot of reasons for this. First of all, it saves you time and work because if the reviewer doesn’t accept the kind of books you write, emailing them is useless. Make sure your book fits the age category and genres the reviewer reads.

Review policies are also helpful in knowing what to expect once you email the reviewer, in which cases the reviewer emails back (because there are some, like myself, who do not email back unless it is to accept the review request, it’s just because of lack of time really), maybe even what time frame to expect an answer in.

Approach 3

Okay, we all agree that greetings like “Hello Blogger”, “Dear reviewer”, “Hi wordwoonders” and the like need to go. Unless the reviewer doesn’t state their name anywhere, please use it, it’s the least you can do when adressing someone. This irks me and is a sure way for me to not give the email the attention it could’ve gotten if the author had taken the time to look my name up (which is literally all over my blog). Also, MAKE SURE YOU SPELL THE NAME CORRECTLY!! That doesn’t take too much effort either.

Another thing that guarantees rejection is when authors approach reviewers like they’re doing them a favor… I. No. I know that being able to read arcs I’m excited for ahead of time and for free (in exchange of an honest unbiased review of course) is a privilege but it’s also work, a butt load of work. And when the author is the one requesting, they’re asking for us to work… for free. So, condescending isn’t the way to go about it. Think about it as a transaction, the benefit goes both ways. And like, it’s generally a bad look to be rude or condescending.

Approach 2

Name of the book, synopsis, author site, time frame, retail links, goodreads link, anything that might be useful to the reviewer needs to be in the email. If you are requesting a review, I shouldn’t be the one to do all the work to find out what the book is about etc… The least you can do, it you don’t email the synopsis, is a goodreads link, that should ALWAYS be in the email if it exists.

The email that sparked this post didn’t have any of the things mentioned, barely the name of the book and author, no synopsis, no links. I had to go look for the book myself, which if I was busy, I wouldn’t have done and I realistically cannot do that for every book I get emailed about, it’s just too much. So, please, for the love of all that is blue (my favorite color), put that info in your email or make it easy to find. Preferably, in the email though.

Approach 4

If you get a rejection (in the form of an actual email or not getting a response) do not take it as an attack on your person, there are various reasons the reviewer could refuse and none of them have anything to do with the author, some of which are:

  • The time frame doesn’t work with their schedule or they’re all around busy.
  • The book doesn’t fit their reading preferences. (this is why review policies are important)
  • It might fit, but the premise itself doesn’t sound like something they’d personally enjoy.
  • The email was lacking in one of the ways stated above.

So, please do not turn passive aggressive or insist on them taking on your book if this happens, it won’t change your mind, it only makes matters worse. Things like “you don’t know what you’re missing out on”, “you are missing the point” or anything that is rude are not recommended as a follow up email to a rejection. I know rejections are hard but it’s only one reviewer and you’ll find other that are a better fit for you.

Well, folks, this is all I have for today’s discussion. I know it’s a bit different from what you’re used to seeing from me, as my posts are normally targeted at readers and other bloggers but this is something that has been bugging me -and others- and I thought I should address it.

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That’s it until next time.

If you’re a reviewer, have you ever gotten any emails like these?

What are some extra tips you’d give authors who want to email you?

Hope you enjoyed, write to you soon.

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1000 Followers: Q&A + A GIVEAWAY !!!

Q&A and Giveway

Hello guys!

Are you excited? Beause I’m excited!!! Anywho, this post is already going to be lengthy because of all the amazing questions I got (thank you everyone <3) but here I am, celebrating an incredible milestone with a Q&A which… I do everytime haha. But this time around I’m adding a giveaway to make it a bit more special. If you’re here for the giveaway, SHAME ON YOU. No, I’m just kidding, I don’t blame you, I ramble a lot. Continue reading

1000 Followers Celebration: Q&A Announcement

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HOLY CRAP I CANNOT BELIEVE I’M WRITING THIS POST RIGHT NOW !!!

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Friends, we did it !!! My blog reached 1000 followers a few days ago and I still can’t wrap my head around that number, it’s just surreal. How can it be that so many people want to read my ramblings? When I started this journey a year and a half ago, this number seemed like a foreign concept, I didn’t think I’d attain it in years, let alone less than 2 years. Anyway, I don’t even have words anymore. Have you ever seen rambly me not ramble? NO. Well, hi, I don’t have enough words in my vocabulary right now to ramble, they’re all excited screams.

All of this to say how incredibly grateful I am for every follower, the old ones who stuck with me through highs and lows, all my experiments and not so great posts. And the new ones who are making everything I can dream of as a blogger possible or at least more attainable. Endless and special thanks to all the friends I’ve made, some of which are closer to me than most people IRL, some I go to with everything, my happiness and sorrows. Thank you, I love and appreciate you.

ANYWAY. This is not what you’re here for, what you ARE here for is my Q&A Announcement, SO, during the next week I will be taking any and all questions, reading, blogging, professional, personal, ANYTHING… And I’ll be answering everything next saturday, August 19th. And I may or may not have a surprise for you in that post, so ask away and keep an eye out for that one. But first, ASK AWAY.

So that is it for this quick post. Again, thank you for 1000 followers, it means the world to me ❤


That’s it until next time.

Hope you enjoyed, write to you soon.

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Navigating Discussion Posts

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Hello guys !

A little over a month ago, I made a post about What Makes People Come Back to a Blog and I promised back then that I’ll start doing helpful 101 posts for new bloggers or just bloggers who want the extra little help. So here I am today with a post about discussions, to hopefully break them down and give you a tip or two that I gathered from my own experience as someone who has been writing them almost weekly for a year, which doesn’t make me a professional, it just gives me one more excuse to ramble. Also, this is in no way me saying that you *need* to write discussion posts to be a good blogger or some nonsense of the sort, this is just me sharing my personal thoughts that I hope will be helpful to someone. Continue reading

The Dreaded Blogging Burn-out

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Hello guys !

Back in April & May, I had taken a step away from my blog, not posting anything but reviews, not blog-hopping, not answering comments, no nothing. I was never really present on here because all the posts that went up were pre-schedule. And I had said that it was because my exams are coming up and I needed to study and although that was true and this semester was hell, it wasn’t *just* that. It was a bit of everything. Stress, bad mental place, personal things, AND blogging burn-out. Yes I said it, I went more than a year of blogging consistently without it happening but it finally did, and it hit me hard *sobs*.

This introduction to say that those two months are what inspired this post because I know that most, if not all of us, are bound to go by a phase where blogging sounds like the least appealing thing in the world. No matter how much we love it. I love it a lot, it’s been one of my proudest decisions ever, but that doesn’t mean it’s always sunshine, rainbows and unicorns. Sometimes it’s so damn hard. Which we don’t expect when starting. I never thought it would be as big of a committment, but this blog is my pride and joy, so I’m happy to commit.

Anyway, ramblings aside. What I want to talk about today are the signs that a it’s maybe time to taking a step back from blogging as well as how to do that.

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What Makes People Come Back to a Blog ?

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Hello guys !

So this post was supposed to go up last week but… if you read last week’s tag post, you know why I went -forcefully- off the grid for a few days. That being said, I’m back and trying to speed schedule posts because Eid is at the end of the week and I’m traveling in a couple of days to my aunt’s house.

Anyway, way to get off topic, Fadwa. When I came back from hiatus I found a few comments from new bloggers asking for advice on how to do the whole blogging thing. Flash news: we’re all winging it. Okay no, more seriously, in my year and a half of blogging, I’ve picked up some tips and tricks that I think could be useful to someone out there. This won’t be the only post of this kind but I don’t know at what rate I will be posting them, it will all depend on inspiration (see, winging it!). But I already have a couple up that I think are somewhat useful:

So, now that that’s said, let’s get on with the post at hand. I want to talk about the things that make us not only follow a blog but also stick to it and keep coming back to read the posts that are put out. This won’t be an all inclusive list and some of these might not work for some people (some of them don’t work for me), but all in all, this is what I’ve seen around. So let’s do it !

Back Blog 1

It doesn’t have to be something fancy or complicated, it just needs to be at your image and not too crowded so that people feel comfortable reading your blog (says the girl with the bright pink blog. Le sigh). You can make it as simple or as elaborate as you like but I’d advise starting simple if you’re new to it, just so that you can pick up some skills (which you’re bound to do) and see what you like and don’t like and THEN you can work on making it into what you want it to be. Speaking from experience, wanting to master it all from the first try get VERY frustrating.

Also, don’t be afraid to experiment, switch things around, see what works best for you. Blog designing isn’t an exact science and no one is going to shun you for wanting to play around with your own blog. I know it sounds daunting and that you want to get everything perfect from first try but none of us have, it took me quite a few tries before getting it the way it is now and really loving it and even then, I still make some small changes from time to time.

Back Blog 2

I don’t do memes anymore because most of them don’t fit my posting schedule and I’m not interested in the ones that do. That being said I’m very very grateful for them because they jump started my blog quite a bit, they were the best way to meet other bloggers and interact with them as well as to fill in my blog with post while I was still trying to figure out who I wanted to be as a blogger. You can find a few meme directories in the first post linked above.

As for tags, they serve the same purpose, tho I still do them from time to time, not nearly as often as I used to (again, I started losing interest) but they’re still fun to do from time to time and have saved my butt from not posting more times than one, so they’re definitely a nice tool to have.

I must admit that this is a double edged sword because they tend to get boring and repetitive so if that’s all that’s on the blog, people may get tired of it and… not come back, which is counter-productive.

Back Blog 3

Don’t be afraid to be yourself, “looks” (read: blog design) can only get you so far and if there’s nothing to back them up, so be as loud as you want to be, as sarcastic as you want to be (believe me, I know) or as quiet, as flowery, as intellectual, as *add adjective that fits you* as you want. Most important is that you. be. yourself. Fangirl all you want, rant all you want, scream all you want, all you need to do is show your likes, dislikes and some traites of your personality, you don’t need to overexpose yourself if you don’t feel comfortable doing so.

I find that my favorite blogs are those that give me a sense of the person writing the posts, and when I read them I can feel that there’s someone behind the screen. This is not as hard as it sounds, most of us do it without realizing it.

Back Blog 4

I know that we’re mostly here as reviewers but we all know (and if you’re a newbie, now you will know) they’re the kinds of posts that get the least engagement out of all types and here’s where I give me two cents about it. So try switching it up with other types that make it easier for people to talk to you, maybe some discussions which can range from serious to hilarious, take your pick, or other original content like character interviews that a couple friends of mine do (Ceillie & Sinead) or branching out of books a bit (the Follow Me Through Morocco series I did a while back, which I might pick back up… someday) or other content that I can’t think of right now because I just had a brain fart.

I know that coming up with these kinds of posts at first seems impossible but as you grow more confident in your blog, the ideas just start popping in your brain? I think? Or you can get inspired from other bloggers but definitely don’t copy. That’s a big no no in the community. And just common sense.

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There’s nothing better than that, because it builds a trust with the reader and they know whatever your post that it *is* your opinion, no one else’s and it wasn’t influenced by anyone or anything. And at the end of the day, if people trust you, they’ll keep coming back to you. Simple math. Also, showing genuine interest in what they think and have to say is important, especially when they comment, I know it’s hard when comments pile up (Lord knows I’ve sucked at it lately) BUT it’s essential that when people take the time to leave a thoughtful comment to answer and show equal interest. This also goes for when they voice concerns about your content (which you can read a more detailed post about here).


That’s it until next time.

What are things that make *you* come back to blogs?What are your favorite kinds of posts?

Hope you enjoyed, write to you soon.

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