Hello book dragons and otaku shinobi! Hope you’re all doing swell. 😊
I am so bloody excited for today’s post! Today I will be partaking in the collaboration tag called The Blog Evolution tag, that the brilliant Michel and Karandi created (if you’re not following them, get off your arses and go do that ASAP). One of my favourite anibloggers—Arthifis—asked me to be his partner for it. It blew my mind, I’m not going to lie. It has been such a pleasure working with him on this tag, and very enlightening too! A highlight of my blogging shenanigans thus far. He’s also someone y’all should be following if you’re not.
So, the rules for this thing are pretty straightforward. I have listed them below! The whole point of the tag is to recognise the positive traits of yourself as a blogger when you first began and to acknowledge and appreciate the growth you’ve made since then. We take one olden-golden post and one newbie post and kind of compare and contrast them, then make predictions for whatever the future may hold. My favourite part about this tag is that is specifically forces us to look at good and positive traits thus eliminating that nifty desire to be super self-critical, which I so terribly am, but I’m working on being better and more self-loving.
Anyhoo, that’s the gist of it. Enough prattling from me; let’s rock!
- Pick a partner with whom you want to do the tag. (Yes! It’s a collaboration tag.)
- Select a post from the early days of your blog (preferably the first post you wrote).
- Select a post from the current days.
- Send the selections to your partner & ask him/her/them the three questions listed below & answer them yourself:
- What did you like about each post?
- What do you think has changed the most?
- What do you think may change in the future?
- Both partners will then write a post for your respective old/new posts on your own blog but include the answers your partner gave you.
- Link back to the original post of the creators of the tag: Karandi & Raistlin.
- Try to publish your tag post around the same time that your partner does & include the Blog Evolution logo.
- Select three people to get tagged (only select one person to do the tag, not their partners).
What did you like?
Neko: I like that I began the post with a quote. I was inspired to do that via a favourite book reviewer of mine. It works well to sort of highlight the content of the book I’m talking about, as well as set the tone of the review to come. Then I dive right into the review by talking about the type of story it is and how that resonated with me the most and continued the trend of building/expanding the review around that. I also like that I tried to chat a bit about the writing style, even though back then I didn’t know how to distinguish between prose styles very well. The review is also very short and straight to the point, for the most part.
Arthis: Are you kidding… This is one of your first posts ever? The writing is even better than the ones I’m putting now! LOL
For this post, what I liked the most was that although you gave us an overall overview about the book, you also went and got more into detail in the romance part. The one that seemed to speak more to you.
I also like that you added a quote from the book in the beginning of the post.
What did you like?
Neko: Oh man, so many things! I love that this review has structure. I have an introduction, a brief synopsis in my own words, then I briefly highlight the main things I will be discussing in the review overall. As someone who is OCD as all hell, noticing this change made me smile and feel a tiny bit proud. I also found it neat that my comfort level with talking about books is a lot more natural in the newer post. My cursing is what makes it feel more like me, but I don’t curse just to be gratuitous, I do it to illustrate my genuine reactions and responses to whatever I am reviewing, and I still maintained a bit of professionalism where I could. It’s like I have found a balance between being professional and being myself. Another thing I found pretty cool is that my review is long, over 1,000 words, which is atypical in most of the book reviewing community; I’m not afraid to take my time and discuss parts of the book that I loved/hated/felt indifferent about. That was something I struggled with so much when I first began reviewing books: long reviews. I also include the different variations of the book’s covers.
Arthis: Here we go again… The post is brilliantly written and never in my life I would be able to write something like this.
This time around I can clearly see the evolution in the writing, but I’ll go there in the next question.
Here, I will say that I liked how was the post written. It’s just so freaking good! But, there is more to that. I love how you made the review more personal and I got the vibe that you were speaking directly to me.
The thing I liked the most was when you explained how you were physically responding to the book! It really seemed like we just were in a coffee shop somewhere just talking about the book and you were explaining me how it was. Of course, in a really distinguish and well-constructed English XD
What do you think has changed the most?
Neko: Definitely the structure of book reviews. Initially, I dived in and went wherever the review led me, which came off as slightly awkward and repetitive at certain points. But now I undeniably have a system that works the best for me. For example, there’s a brief intro, snippet in my own words, and essentially a thesis statement of what to expect in the review. I do seem to like to chat about themes, but the newer ones go into far more details than my newbie review ever did. The beginning review barely touched on one or two. Additionally, the length of the review has significantly changed. I feel like I have much more confidence and a contented rhythm with the newer review, which allows me to talk about stuff in far more depth. I also use British English, which is the English I’m far more comfortable with (it’s also the one I speak) versus American English, which may have contributed to the whole awkwardness of the first review.
Arthis: Hmm, for me what changed the most was the last post is way more personal. For example, I was able to completely picture you out reading the book and feeling your little hairs on the back of your neck standing on.
You can also clearly see that you are more relaxed in writing for the Internet. You use words at the moment that I think you would never do in the beginning. For me, Frankenstein review is great, but it’s more of an essay kind of vibe. Essays do not have words as bloody brilliant or fucking xD
And yes, I will say that what changed was for the best. I liked to read more the last post versus the first one. Just because you show more of your awesome personality and it just seemed I was talking with a friend 😀
What do you think might change in the future?
Neko: If I had to take a gander at anything, it would be the structure. I think that will continue to be honed a tiny bit. The biggest change I can see is my reviews either getting longer or my focus shifting from a few things to just one aspect that I loved the most (or hated the most) and focusing the review to create a discussion about it. Aside from that, I’m not sure to be honest. I like how things currently are, and I don’t usually make changes unless I need to. “Don’t fix something that isn’t broken,” as the saying goes (I think). Quotes are something I definitely want to implement more of. That is a facet of reviewing that I don’t participate in nearly as much as I used to. I also need to get better at providing content warnings.
Arthis: That’s actually a hard one… I look into the latest post and I just can’t see anything I would change. So, I would say that in the future you are going to continue mastering the feat of being able to do an objective review while at the same time maintain a personal perspective.
Please make sure to go visit Arthis for his half of the tag!! It was an amazing honour to be able to do this tag with one of my favourite bloggers, and his kind feedback made me feel special and positive as a blogger. If you love anime, video games, and advice on how to improve your blogging, then his blog is the hot spot for you for sure!
I also want to take a moment and say THANK YOU SO MUCH to Karandi and Michel for creating this tag. I think it is a really phenomenal one that forces us to put aside how self-critical we can be with our own work to really appreciate the foundations of where we began, as well as all of the growth made and evolution of our work as we continue to do what we love. I know that I suck at taking a step back and looking at my stuff from on objective point-of-view. All I normally see are the mistakes or errors I made. Yet, by doing this tag, I came to appreciate the beauty in a some self-positive promotion to myself. So, thank you guys so much. You both are brilliant and we’re lucky to have you in the community! 🖤🖤