Category Archives: Discussion

Guide to Juggling School & Your Blog | Chat with JBelkBooks

bi-weekly-wrap-up-16

Random Quote of the Day: “1. Never tell everything at once.” – Ken Venturi

Hello sunshines! 🔆 With my last year of high school right around the corner I thought this would be a great time for me to post this discussion! I’ve actually been slowing planning out this post so it’s cool that I’m able to finally share it with you all!

typewriter-fonts

That time in the beginning, middle, or even the end of the school/uni year where you ran out of ALL steam possible to blog. No inspiration, no time, no will-power to get up and type that post. You tell yourself that you’ll do it over the weekend but then you end up laying in your bed watching Netflix — I know, relatable.

There is no shame in this act, however, because WE’VE ALL BEEN THERE. But we are not here to dwell on the past. In fact, I’m here to help you get a kickstart to the school year and share…

✨ A GUIDE TO JUGGLING SCHOOL & YOUR BLOG ✨

Continue reading

12 Comments

Filed under Discussion

Happy Blogiversary To Me! + GIVEAWAY | Two Years and Counting

HAPPY BLOGIVERSAY, JBELKBOOKS (1).png

Random Quote of the Day: “CELEBRATE WITH ME!” – JBelkBooks

Image result for balloon flying gifHello sunshines! 🔆 Two years ago JBelkBooks was featured on the internet so all could see and I am so excited to say that it has been an amazing experience. It simply does not feel that I’ve been blogging and interacting with all of you for over 365 days — time has flown by so fast!

brush-fonts

Screenshot (4)

Last year, I told myself I was planning to self-host, visit Book-Expo America, and expand my knowledge. As you can tell, I did not self-host yet simply because I haven’t gotten around to actually planning out a new layout. This task probably won’t be complete until next year or the new year if I’m being honest. As for BEA, that one was a stretch since it’s not located near me and it would be pretty expensive. I don’t know when I’ll get the chance to go to BEA, but I’m hoping for the near future. The only task that I did somewhat complete is expanding my knowledge. I’ve become more active in promoting Diverse reads and doing my research before I purchased/read novels. It has been a journey for myself as I am beginning to read more #OwnVoices novels and really investing my time and money into indie authors, bookstores, and authors of color. Of course, I am still learning but I know that it’ll be an interesting and worthwhile educational opportunity.

brush-fonts

While I do have other favorite posts for the year, these are the two that I have poured my heart and soul into. I hope you had the chance to visit and comment on these posts when they were Live, but if not, let that be my Blogiversary gift! Feel free to visit these posts and let me know that you’ve done so!

💬A SMALL GUIDE TO DIVERSITY

Screenshot (5).pngThis has to be one of my favorite discussion posts as it’s the first time I’ve actually expressed my thoughts surrounding Diversity in our novels. Posts like these are always risky in our society and community as not everyone will agree with your thoughts, but with the interactions I gained with the post, I can say that it was successful. Everyone in our community is continuously educating each other positively and it is an honor to be surrounded by such people. YOU have helped my blog and I grow and I am forever thankful.

💬HOW/WHY TO COMMENT LIKE YOU CARE

Screenshot (6).png

This is another post near and dear to my heart. This is one of my first discussion posts that had phenomenal feedback and comments. I truthfully typed from the heart with that post and it made me extremely happy to know that you guys actually read the post. I definitely recommend that you visit that post and read what I had to say because I’m sure some of you will agree with my thoughts!
brush-fonts

Now to what most of you are here for — yeah, I know, lol. But it’s okay because I love you guys! Today (August 1st, 2017) until September 1st, 2017 12:00 AM PST I will be giving away a $10 USD Amazon gift card! Giveaway is INT’L. You must be comfortable sending me your email address. Winner will be contacted following the end date — an additional winner will be chosen if initial winner is unresponsive for 48 hours.

✨ ALSO. If I reach 600 WP Blog Followers AND 950 Twitter Followers, I will be picking ANOTHER winner!! However, the second winner will be receiving a 5 USD Amazon gift card.✨ The more you share the giveaway, the better your chances!! ✨

A RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY

I recommend that you use the giftcard for a Diverse novel, but it is not required. The book of choice can be #OwnVoices, feature mental illness, represent a culture or ethnicity, etc. If you need help in findings Diverse reads, here are a few of my favorites/anticipated:

lineThank you ALL for sticking by my blog and I! I can’t wait to see what the future holds for JBelkBooks! ❤

If you missed LAST YEAR’S Blogiversary Post, feel free to check it out HERE.

JBelkBooks is a blog for the lonely, the lovers, the readers, & anyone else willing to read what I have to say.

Thanks for reading & I’ll see you next time…

FIND ME ELSEWHERE:

si86578

24 Comments

Filed under Discussion

2017 Challenges Recap #2

bi-weekly-wrap-up-16

Random Quote of the Day: “Follow the grain in your own wood.” – Howard Thurman

Hello sunshines! 🔆 This post actually brings me a variety of amount of emotions and I have no idea why. Is it because it’s more than halfway through the year? Or is it because I know I have SO much reading to catch up on? Who knows! Anyways, here is my second 2017 Blog & Reading Challenges Recap post! If you missed my first Recap, you can check it out HERE!

🗯 Comment more! This is always a goal of mine, and because of this I will be taking part in the seasonal 2017 Commenting Challenge hosted by . I was too late in signing up for the January Challenge, but I will be signing up for February. Details here.

marchSo, I did end up completing this challenge for the Winter session. I had two partners and I was challenged to comment 10+ times on a random blogger’s blog. This was actually way more manageable than the 365 Commenting Challenge I attempted to complete last year just because it was less pressure. I definitely recommend that you guys check out Alicia’s Challenge if you are interested in finding new bloggers while receiving comments!

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Discussion, Yearly Goals & Challenges

My Etsy Shop is Live!!

bi-weekly-wrap-up-16

Random Quote of the Day: “That is the saving grace of humor, if you fail no one is laughing at you.” – A. Whitney Brown

Hello sunshines! 🔆 I have an exciting announcement for you all!! It’s only taken me a few months and a TON of research, but my ETSY SHOP IS NOW LIVE!!

If you don’t know what ETSY is, it is an online marketplace for individuals to express their creativity by putting their products on sale for others to see.

“An Etsy Economy empowers artists, designers and curators to start and grow businesses on their own terms. It’s an ecosystem that connects buyers around the world to the communities where Etsy shop owners live, work and create.”

Etsy LogoA SKETCH OF JESS is a place for anyone of any age to shop for some awesome paintings! Products include paintings of all sizes and styles, and I am extremely happy to be sharing them within my community AND internationally!

Right now, shipping costs are all their all time LOW starting at $4.67 USD. These rates will increase/decrease for those that are international, but Etsy allows you calculate the cost when you click on the item you want. Of course, I am always here to offer ANY information or concerns you may have for all I want is customer satisfaction!

If you can’t purchase anything for yourself, that is always okay! It would mean the world to me if you would still visit my shop and give it a “Like” for it still shows that you like what you see!

Thank you SO much for your endless support, and again, CHECK OUT MY SHOP!! ❤

P.S. I’m running this poll right now on Twitter and I’d love YOUR input as well. If you don’t have Twitter, feel free to comment your response below. Here’s the question I proposed:

Screenshot1

line

Thanks for reading & I’ll see you next time…

FIND ME ELSEWHERE:

si86578

13 Comments

Filed under Discussion

Is Social Media Necessary For A Blogger? | Chat with JBelkBooks

bi-weekly-wrap-up-16

Random Quote of the Day: “That which costs little is less valued.” – Miguel de Cervantes

Hello sunshines!🔆 Lately on social media (specifically Twitter) I’ve been seeing a common theme — the blogger community is supportive and somewhat enjoying themselves one day, and then the next there is some issue about an author, a misrepresentation, etc.. And this leads to some big triumph that in the end influences individuals to leave our community or feel that they no longer belong.

Image result for social media

Now this isn’t to give the blogger/reading Twitter community a bad name. In fact, there hasn’t been a time for me where I felt like I didn’t belong, despite my mini-hiatuses involving social media in general. But I have witnessed and read some tweets of fellow bloggers that they felt disconnected due to the drama, misunderstandings, and overall communications.

This instance does bring great discomfort to me as when I first started blogging and involving myself within the social media realm I felt we were all united in some form, especially within my mutuals — I was able to reach out to bloggers to get advice, I didn’t see much controversy between replies…Now this might be due to the fact that I am following new people now than I was earlier, but there is definitely a new “feel” going on within our community.

Image result for 3 dots

Now to the main question…

IS SOCIAL MEDIA NECESSARY FOR A BLOGGER?

Image result for communication

In my opinion, there is no right or wrong answer to this question and I think it depends on the blogger themselves. Are you able to receive an audience without using other sources, such as social media, to spread awareness about your blog? Do you feel that it is beneficial to have other platforms to connect with a wider audience or your followers via your blog? These are questions that I think you should ask yourself before you decide to involve yourself into social media.

Personally, those two questions were the main reasons WHY I decided to join Twitter, Instagram, Goodreads, etc. I wanted a way to expand my blog and my audience, but also to find another way to reach different audiences and understand new perspectives about my favorite books, authors, and other interests. When I first started blogging and reading tips, one of the most consistent tips was to have social media outlets. But does having social media do more harm than anything?

Image result for 3 dots

When I mentioned that there is a new “feel” within our community, I sat back to think about that for a second. WHY does it seem that we are different? And the main reason that arose in my head was that NOW we have differences. NOW we have people reading #OwnVoices, new people SPEAKING UP about the LGBTQIA+ community, MORE people expressing their minds. And because of this we now have this newfound sense of controversy due to our difference of opinions.

Image result for rise up hamilton wallpaperI LOVE that individuals are beginning to speak their minds, especially when it’s for the greater good. I LOVE that I am able to find #OwnVoices trending or on my timeline. And I think it’s time to realize just how much our community has changed for the better. I’m not saying that we need to DISREGARD the ignorant individuals and those who hold different viewpoints, but we should continue to express what we believe in order to form a stronger community. There are millions of individuals on Twitter, Instagram, etc. that believe that representation of POC is important, millions that believe that we need more awareness involving #OwnVoices, the LGBTQIA+, the expansion of ARCs going around to those that take advantage of that opportunity…There are so many aspects of our community that are able to grow because WE speak up. Now, this can turn into a whole new conversation involving when is it right to speak your mind, when are you being disrespectful, and why this can turn into a negative, and I think that’s the main reason why our community is so different now. Because more individuals are willing to speak their minds, others are then responding (hopefully) positively, but also negatively; this is what sparks that fire that influences bloggers to feel that they don’t belong, that they don’t have others to coincide with…

Image result for 3 dots

Image result for communications clipart

I held a short poll thread via Twitter that will hopefully put everything I just said into a better perspective. I asked my following a series of questions that I presented within this post and asked if they could Retweet so I could have a wider audience. HERE ARE THE RESULTS:

90% responded YES to “Do you think social media is necessary for a blogger?”

94% responded YES to “Has social media benefited your blog in any way?”

72% responded YES to “Have you ever felt like you did not belong within the blogging/reading community?”

56% responded YES to “Do you think the blogging/reading community has changed negatively?”

To the question, “Why do you think social media is necessary for a blogger”, 10% said MORE STATS FOR BLOG, 15% said NEW FRIENDS/PERSPECTIVE, 71% said A COMBINATION OF FIRST TWO OPTIONS, and 4% said OTHER

Image result for 3 dots

Now that you’ve seen the stats, what do you think? Has social media benefited you more than harm? Do you think the blogging/reading has changed? If so, why? Chat with me in the comments! (After all, this is a DISCUSSION post!!) (:

Thanks for reading & I’ll see you next time…

FIND ME ELSEWHERE:

si86578

11 Comments

Filed under Discussion

My Top Art Supplies! | Chat with JBelkBooks

bi-weekly-wrap-up-16

Random Quote of the Day: “Nature made him, and then broke the mold.” – Ludovico Ariosto

Hello sunshines! 🔆 I know I rarely talk about anything art-related on my blog, but I’ve been asked a few times in the comments what my all time favorite art supplies are. So today I am sharing MY TOP 5 FAVORITE ART SUPPLIES!

✏️ PRISMACOLOR PREMIER: SET OF 79 ✏️

These were my most expensive investment early in my artist hobby and I do not regret it! I love these Prismacolors — they are really easy to use, suitable for any sketchbook, and there are such a variety of colors! I’m really happy that it came with other supplies besides Prismacolors; they included a few watercolor pencils, artist chalk pastels, & Verithin Colored Pencils! I don’t use them too often because I am primarily a painter, but here are a few works that I’ve created using the Prismacolors.

Continue reading

6 Comments

Filed under Discussion

2017 Challenges Recap #1

bi-weekly-wrap-up-16

Random Quote of the Day: “A wise man should have money in his head, but not in his heart.”-  Jonathan Swift 

Hello sunshines! ☀ Since it is the 3rd month of the year, I am here with a recap of my progress for my 2017 Blog & Reading Challenges! I’ll be posting these every 3 months or so, or whenever I feel necessary. Let’s get into the post:

🗯 Comment more! This is always a goal of mine, and because of this I will be taking part in the seasonal 2017 Commenting Challenge hosted by . I was too late in signing up for the January Challenge, but I will be signing up for February. Details here.

marchSo, I did stay true to my word for this Commenting Challenge, and I am currently taking part in the 3rd and final month of Alicia’s Winter Commenting Challenge! This Challenge was much more easy to keep track of, rather than the 365 Commenting Challenge I took part in last year. I definitely enjoyed my blogger partner last month, so here’s to another amazing month of commenting! (I just said “commenting” maybe 10,000x’s, lol)

Continue reading

6 Comments

Filed under Discussion, Yearly Goals & Challenges