Time to get personal today on Oriental Spice and some Chocolate! In the blog world there are a lot of blogtags where bloggers nominate each other to answer a few questions. A few weeks ago ,I was nominated with the Liebster award by Melike from Melikebeauty. It’s basically a digital award which is given by bloggers to other blog colleagues who’ve just started a blog. Now I am not really a starter in the blog world and I probably should’ve done this a few years ago, but to quote Clark Gable in Gone with the Wind: Quite frankly, I don’t give a damn ;-). More importantly, it’s a nice way to get to know the person behind the blog with that vintage fascination and the questions of this Liebster Award tag were in fact interesting questions that literally stimulated me to think about my future (as blogger).
Let’s hit it off!
How did you start your blog?
Well, first a little prologue. At the end of the ’90s and early ’00’s, before all the social media, there was: The forum. I spend so much times on forums on high school and in my college years. It was such a nice distraction when you actually had to study. It also led to my first “editing job” in 2004. My fellow forum colleagues at that time liked my writing skills so I became moderator for a sub-forum and news editor. At a certain point, I thought about starting the study Journalism. However, I only liked the writing part, so I stuck to my study in the field of Information & Media. Which still proves to be a study that’s nowadays indispensable. I finally felt it was time to do that other thing that I loved: storytelling and what instrument was perfect for that? Exactly: a blog.
It was the beginning of January 2009. On one hand, I was still in my Christmas and New Year’s Eve spirit (yes, a whole month). On the other hand, I was totally in the job search mode. Everyone who has been in the job search mode knows that job searching is a job in itself. Anyway, to take a break from all that, I felt the need to do something creative. Writing has always been my passion. It all started with my awesome poems and stories back in the day of course. I wrote the most fascinating (and especially weird) stories in primary school. Writing stories was something I hadn’t done for a long time, but the passion for writing stayed. Writing “real” poems was more difficult than I thought when I tried it again in 2009, but storytelling came naturally to me.
Master level of poetry, when I was 6/7 (readable for Dutchies only!)
How long does your blog exist?
Seven years already. Although I have to say that between 2009 and 2011, I took long breaks off the blog-o-sphere. I wasn’t so serious about it back then. In late 2011, I picked up the serious blogging game again and I started professionalizing my blog. I started blogging on Blogger/Blogspot, but I was getting more and more annoyed with the not-so-user-friendliness of Blogger. It took me hours by the way to migrate all my content from Blogger to WordPress. But of course, blogging is not just writing and fun. Now I am happier than ever that I choose to migrate at that moment. WordPress is a nice tool to maintain your blog. On the other hand you become an expert when it comes fo functional maintenance and I was able to apply that knowledge in my (search) for another job back then!
What do you do, next to blogging? Do you work or study?
I’ve been working full time for some years now. Currently I work as a Business Process & Systems Analyst at a company in the Oil & Gas industry. Something totally different! I also work with a Content Management System there, but for the creativity and marketing fun I return to my blogging world. I have to say that I also see my blog as “business”. You are busy with so many aspects like editing, writing, marketing, analytics, interacting with other blog colleagues etc. That’s also what I like about the (current) bloggers world.
What camera do you use to make your pictures?
Well, it depends how much time I have. Which is usually not a lot. I still make most of my pictures with my iPhone, because for me it takes more time to make pictures with a professional camera. I take all pictures by myself. When I do have time, I use a system camera. I often read about bloggers who work together to make pictures for each other’s blog. This is something I might consider in the near future with other bloggers who might be interested. (If you are a blogger and you’re interested, feel free to contact me). However, it’s amazing how your selfie and picture making game improves when you have to be creative by yourself. I usually like to make selfies that don’t look like a selfie. If you know what I mean. 90% of my pictures on instagram are selfies or they are created with the self-timer, although it often doesn’t look like that.
How do you get your inspiration?
From everyday things. From a song, to an image. From something that someone says to me to a quote in a magazine. It can be anything. I often get my blog post ideas in the shower or right before I have to go to sleep. You know that moment when the words start coming in your head and you can not write anywhere? I always hope I remember everything until I get out of the shower ;-). If I get an idea before I go to sleep I always write it down somewhere or else it keeps buzzing in my head the whole night.
About what kind of subjects do you like to read?
It depends on my mood and it’s a mix of everything. Just like on my own blog. I like to read about life inspiration & history in the broadest sence of the words. From a piece about Marilyn Monroe to Women rights in 1919. Of course, I always like to read about (vintage & retro) fashion & beauty. Next to that, I love to read about Classic Hollywood, not so much the “current” Hollywood world – although I did stay up two years ago to see the Oscars live on tv. Besides that, I like the developments in the marketing social media department so I always like to discover new developments in these areas.
What is your favorite country to go on holiday?
Well, I still have to discover that one. I still want to make some long journeys. Next to that, I love to go to New York some time, but I would also love to make some other vintage-lover pitstops like go to Elvis Presley’s legacy Graceland. On the other hand, Europe also has lovely destinations. I actually have to make a long-term holiday planning when I think about it!
What do you want to accomplish with your blog in the coming year?
I want to write more often. I always have so many ideas and concepts, but there are not enough hours in the week to make final products. So I want to speed up my blog rhythm. I really respect all those women (and especially mommy bloggers), who have the time to blog (almost) every day next to work, social life, housekeeping and of course kids. Next to that, I also want to do more collaborations with for example other bloggers. Last but not least: spreading the vintage meets Present love is always a goal.
Where do you see yourself and your blog in 5 years?
Hmm, that’s a very good question. I am also very curious how the blog world will develop in 5 years! I think growing as a blogger and writer is something that’s always on my focus list. Next to that, professional wise I have a lot of marketing communication “tingles”, so I love to do more with that in the coming years.
Last but not least, here are five random facts about me:
-> I haven’t slept before 11 PM since I was 14. Living the latergram life! I always get my creativity at night…
-> When it comes to music I can name the year of certain songs that were brought out. But when it comes to names: “Sorry what’s your name again?”
-> I see my hairdresser usually 2-3 times a year (#longhairdontcare, totally…)
-> Of all the women beauty stuff in the world, I sincerely dislike putting on nail polish. I can go on for a month without nail polish, because I don’t feel like doing my nails…
-> If you take my blog name literally, it won’t be a surprise that I love chocolate. After all these years, I am still addicted to Kinder Chocolate. Exactly, one of the most popular (Dutch)chocolate mini-bars for kids.
Are you a Dutchie and do you want to know more about me? I did a Spot On interview on Dejlig, last year!
So a traditional blog post Liebster Award ends with nominating other blogs. But guess what: Everyone who I would like to nominate has already written a Liebster Award blog post. This did however, give me food for thought. I might just create my own tag. To be continued…