Spring Cleaning My Blog

I always feel like I should be making the most of spring break by spring cleaning, like, my whole life — and since it’s been a while (hi, hello) my blog could definitely use some time dedicated to dusting off the virtual cobwebs and refreshing some outdated information.

Shoutout to my past self for the handy Blog Maintenance Checklist I’ll be relying on!

Honestly I don’t know if this will be interesting/helpful/etc. to anyone but me, but I like the accountability of sharing this publicly; it was also easier and less awkward to write than a(nother) “Hey I’m back from hiatus … hopefully for real this time” post. Gotta start somewhere, y’know?

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Getting Back Into Blogging Routines

Based on posts I’ve read and chats I’ve had with friends, clearly I’m not the only one suffering from a lack of motivation lately. And these past few weeks have been particularly rough — loneliness hit hard, teaming up with the stress of finishing up my semester online to make me an unproductive lump hiding from the world.

To be clear: it is absolutely okay to not be Doing All The Things (reading, blogging, whatever hobby you wanted to pick up). Life is hard right now.

However, I always feel better when I have some semblance of routines to fall back on and can check at least one or two things off my daily to-do list. So this is me, freshly freed from classes, holding myself accountable to get out of bed and Do A Thing a few times a week.

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[Bookending Spring] Begin Again

Hello and welcome back to Bookending Spring on the Nine Tale Vixen blog! If you’re new to Bookending Events, they’re quarterly (seasonal) events aiming to bring the book blogging community closer together; this spring, the optional theme is organization and cleaning. If you’re new to my blog — hi, I’m Isabelle and it’s nice to meet you! If you’re a returner — welcome back, friend!

The past couple of days have been lots of fun for me, and I hope you’ve gotten some inspiration from my prompts and from Bookending Spring as a whole!

For my last day as your host, in the spirit of spring and new life, I’d like to take you back to the beginning … of your own blogging journey.

If you were to restart your blog / bookstagram / other media account knowing what you know now, what (if anything) would you change? What tips would you give to newbie bloggers?

This post is part of Bookending Spring 2020, which is organized by Sam & Clo!
Today’s prompt, “Begin Again,” is hosted by yours truly — if you do this prompt, don’t forget to link back to this post!

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[Bookending Spring] Blog Maintenance Checklist

If productivity YouTube has given me one major takeaway, it’s to set up automated reminders and systems because you will inevitably forget. Plus, even if I know my GYST list somewhat by heart, it’s still fun and motivating to check things off lists!

Over the year or so I’ve been blogging, I’ve gradually developed my own routine of recurring blog maintenance tasks. Because let’s face it, I need Todoist and my planner to scream at me to do these things and not just let my blog slowly succumb to entropy.

I definitely didn’t come up with all of these items on my own, though I’ve made adjustments for my personal preferences and blogging situation; especial thanks are due to Becky @ Uptown Oracle, Clo @ Cuppa Clo, and Soph @ Bookwyrming Thoughts for providing so much blogging advice and emotional support.

This post is part of Bookending Spring 2020, which is organized by Sam & Clo!
It is not based on a prompt, but hopefully you’ll find it helpful in your spring tidying and for general organization going forward.

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Catching Up On My Review Backlog

[or, How I Write Reviews When I Barely Remember the Book]

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I’ve learned the hard way that if I don’t write a review as soon as possible after I finish reading, it’ll take me forever to get around to it. At which point I’ll have forgotten everything I wanted to cover in said review, as well as the plot, the tone, the main character’s name, et cetera. Oh, who am I kidding; I forget the main character’s name while I’m reading the book.

Yet I keep telling myself I’ll write the review eventually, start another book, let too many waking hours go by … and before I knew it, I had 24 pending reviews. (Though in my defense, the majority of them are left over from Asian Lit Bingo / Readathon since I was focused on filling as many squares as possible.) 

There’s nothing like a bit of deadline pressure to make me finally get stuff done, which is why I’m writing this post! 😅 It’s partly accountability, and partly sharing some tricks I’ve used to jog my memory and get unstuck in case they might help y’all out too.

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Guide: Formatting Posts Using Templates, Classic + Reusable Blocks

Depending on how you go about it, formatting posts can be as much of a struggle undertaking as actually writing them: not just in terms of time, but the energy it takes to make sure they’re nice and readable, consistent with your previous posts (if that’s something you care about; I know I do), et cetera. After months of experimenting I’ve developed [what I think is] a fairly efficient process, so today I figured I’d share in case anyone else might find it helpful.

[Obligatory disclaimers: I’m not an expert and some of the information in this guide may become outdated and/or look different on your operating system or because I use the editor through /wp-admin, and also I may use the wrong jargon at times. This is just based on my experience of what’s worked well for me.

Also, this is a fairly long post, so feel free to skim as you like!]

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Prescheduling, Blog Organization & Mood Blogging

Hello and welcome to Bookending Spring on the BookwyrmBites blog! There are so many awesome prompts for the month and I won’t be able to get to them all; I really had to pick and choose the ones that I felt like I had the most to contribute to. But make sure to hop over to the announcement post and make sure you’re giving the organizers and all the hosts lots of love for their hard work!

I strongly believe that every month can be a fresh start — because life’s too short to always be waiting for New Year to make a change — as well as an opportunity to check in with your routines and processes to see if everything’s working out and whether it could be improved. So today, let’s pop the hood and see if any of the circuits need to be rerouted or replaced. There are circuits in cars, right? I don’t drive, I wouldn’t know.

(Oh and ICYMI, I am not the author of the previous post on this blog … but I did write a post that went up yesterday on another blog, if you can find it! 🔍)

This post is part of Bookending Spring 2019, which is organized by Sam & Clo! Today’s (yesterday’s) prompt, “Pre-scheduling and organizing your blog ft. mood blogging,” is hosted by Jayati @ It’s Just a Coffee Addicted Bibliophile.

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