4 Year Blogivesary Q&A Part 2!

Hello… I’m back :D

I think there’s some kind of weird, accidental tradition I have to disappear around the time I have my blogiversary Q&A, because last year I posted part 2 of my Q&A like 2 months after my actual blogiversary day. But sorry for disappearing on everyone for a bit—I just have zero motivation (and time) to post.

I’m not going to make this a long intro, as I’ve already done the sappiness in part 1 of this Q&A and this is a lengthy post, but thank you all again for being always so patient and supportive of me! It means the world.

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berry 2 what’s your reader origin story?

I’ve loved reading from the moment I learned how to do it, which was when I was around four. Some of my childhood favorite books were Junie B Jones, Cam Jansen, and the Rainbow Magic Fairy books!! The Percy Jackson series was the first one where I was truly obsessed with the books—essentially, I guess, it got me into “fandom.” I read my first YA when I was like… 10? Which was WAY too early for some of the ones I read (like Divergent).

berry 2 a book that showed you how much you enjoy reading

Not to have Graceling brainrot on my blog but… I’ve been struggling to read full prose books recently but I flew through Winterkeep, the fourth book of the Graceling series! It’s 500 pages long and I just devoured it in two days. I’m always just so immersed in the Graceling world and its characters, and I LOVE Kristin Cashore’s writing. Also, it reminded me of when I first started reading more YA with Graceling!!

berry 2 do you have any recent fictional crushes? (books/movies/series)

I don’t think I get any fictional crushes often! I tend to get attached to specific characters but I wouldn’t necessarily call it a crush.

berry 2 is there anything that frustrates you about YA?

Hm, I’m not quite sure what this question is asking? I guess sometimes it frustrates me when authors don’t seem like they’re writing actual teenage characters or writing for actual teens. But I feel like any other thing that might frustrate me is something that can be applied to any age category or is just my own personal opinion that I don’t think is an actual issue with the genre itself.

berry 2 will you ever stop setting your Goodreads goal as 100 books and then cram like 15 books in the last second of the year?!

:( So mean :( But THIS YEAR I plan to be more on top of my Goodreads challenge okay!! Ignoring the fact that I’m already 3 books behind!!

berry 2 what are the books that mean the most to you?

The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #1)  Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe (Aristotle and Dante, #1)  Starfish  Girls of Paper and Fire (Girls of Paper and Fire #1)  A Wish in the Dark  Darius the Great Is Not Okay (Darius The Great, #1)

  • Percy Jackson, for being the first series I truly “obsessed” over
  • Simon Vs & Aristotle and Dante, for being the first books to kickstart my questioning process
  • Starfish, for its Asian American representation that resonated with me in a way I’ll never forget
  • Girls of Paper and Fire, for being the first book I read with sapphic Southeast Asian representation
  • A Wish in the Dark, for being the first book I’ve ever felt represented in as a Thai
  • Darius the Great is Not Okay, for its depression and diaspora representation

berry 2 any tv shows you watched lately?

Honestly, I’m kind of bad at watching shows! Some I’ve watched in the last few months are Haikyuu!!, Criminal Minds, and a bit of Chihayafuru, so… not that many shows. I just started Jujutsu Kaisen this weekend though!

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berry 2 what’s the best advice you ever received about blogging?

Anything along the lines of “be yourself” or “be meaningful.” Finding satisfaction in the content I post is what’s most important to me now, and it allows me to not obsess over stats in an unhealthy way. And also, genuinity truly is important and shines through not only what you write but also how you interact with people—and being intentional with what I say and do is valuable no matter where I’m applying that mindset!

berry 2 how has your blog changed in the past four years?

I think the biggest things I’d say have changed are appearance and my blogging voice! My blog used to be SO ugly and I’m ashamed that I put it out into the world looking like that and thinking it was a work of art. I was also trying too hard to be funny when I first started out (I still try now but… just not as hard), and I feel much more comfortable in my own voice now!

berry 2 how do you edit your Instagram photos?

I actually edit on the default photos iphone app for the most part! I have specific numbers memorized and adjust all but four of the settings, though some adjustments are minuscule. I won’t say exactly what I change, but I do turn up warmth and turn down contrast a lot! I also use a bit of a b&w filter.

Sometimes I’ll use the app Snapseed, which is really helpful for adjusting settings in a specific area of the photo! I think the last time I tried to use it, though, it had updated and the feature I mainly used (Brush) was slightly different :(

berry 2 what was the most challenging thing you had to face?

A constant battle is dealing with the underappreciation and lack of support from the wider online book community, but it gets numbing after a while of no change—it doesn’t feel like that big of a deal anymore, though it is. But an always challenging thing to face is knowing that I love blogging and want to continue it, but going through phases of burnout and feeling no motivation to actually blog. (Like right now.)

berry 2 has blogging helped you in real life? if yes, how?

Probably not much, if we’re talking about abilities and skills? I guess it’s helped with writing and content creation/promotion in general, but those aren’t really a part of my life that’s not online. But I feel like it’s helped me solidify what I want to study/where I want to work in the future. Publishing is full of so many flaws, but I really do think I can see myself working in the industry! Or at least doing something related to writing and/or content and/or books.

berry 2 what was your favorite review you wrote?

Image result for the burning godI don’t have a lot of reviews I’m incredibly proud of writing, to be honest. But I am pretty happy with my review of The Burning God!! The Poppy War series just offers so much to discuss, and I feel like I picked out the important parts to highlight in my review. I also have a LOT of feelings about the book and I think I managed to articulate them well!

berry 2 what is one of your most memorable memories of blogging?

Getting ARCs for the first time—the ones I got were An Enchantment of Ravens, Starfish, and The Nowhere Girls! It was a really big moment for me, both because I thought it was the Ultimate Book Blogger Success (not true), and also because the concept of being sent early copies of books by publishers was very wild to me and my little pea brain back then.

berry 2 I’ve GOT to hear more about these American Girl doll bloggers lmao

No you don’t… escape now while you can…

Honestly, I don’t really know what there is to say about them? They wrote blog posts about their American Girl dolls, with the occasional life/writing/God content. I’ve blocked out most of my memories of them, but I know some made stopmotion videos with the dolls? I’d say it was creative but unfortunately I don’t think any creation of homophobes is cool so :p

But yeah, I have no idea why I was interested in their content/being friends with them. (To be fair, I didn’t know they were homophobic until it was too late! Kind of sad because at the time I was following them, I was starting to figure out I wasn’t straight.) They were also… very into God and kind of pushing it on to non-Christians like me, so that was fun!!

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berry 2 what are some places you’d like to travel to?

Image result for chiang mai  Image result for tokyo

Not to sound like Every Person Out There, but… I really wish I could travel the whole world and see every country!! But for specifics: I’ve already been, but I want to visit Thailand and Japan again! (And in Thailand, I want to visit places other than Bangkok, Pak Chong, Pattaya, and Phuket, which I’ve been to.) I also want to travel to China, Peru, and Southeast Asian countries.

berry 2 where do you see yourself in 10 years?

Maybe part of this is a bit of an idealistic hope, but I think I’ll be living in an apartment with someone I love (not necessarily romantically), perhaps in the city. Hopefully I’ll be doing a job I at least semi-enjoy that has something to do with words! I’ll have a (hypoallergenic) dog!!!!, I’ll still be reading and writing as always, and I’ll be fluent in many languages.

berry 2 do you have a favorite word/words?

I’m not sure if I have any favorite words, but some I like are: hiraeth (this is both pretty and also very resonant with any diaspora people, I think), liminal, tenderness, and reverence!

berry 2 what are your favorite subjects in school?

I love English because I love analyzing literature! And I enjoy both creative and academic writing (when it comes to stories I like reading), as well as editing, so it’s… really the perfect class for me. I’d say my top favorite is band, because vibing and playing music all class is the best thing ever, but I unfortunately had to drop the class this year.

berry 2 I’m shy and want to be friends with you but I don’t have any social media so how do we chat?

You can email me! Check out my contact page.

berry 2 how do you manage your time / manage to read, review, and study?

I DON’T! I am struggling very much!

In seriousness, though: Prioritizing is really important (for me, studying first, blogging last). I also use Notion to plan out my week and delegate tasks to different days, making sure the work is spread out. I like to have certain set routines too, to help with fatigue! For example: I’m a night reader, and I also blog/study Thai more at night as well, so I try to get my schoolwork done before 10-ish to allow myself time to do that other stuff before sleeping.

Also, something that helps me stay on task is using my phone camera to film a time lapse of myself doing schoolwork, writing, reading, etc! It keeps me off my phone and somehow forces me to focus more, so I get my work done quicker.

(Also, the anon person who sent this question had a little note that was very kind!! Don’t be shy to talk to me, I really am not scary <33)

berry 2 what are your pronouns? I feel like they’re she/they – but I’m confused on what that means? is they supposed to mean that you’re trans, or bi?

My pronouns are she/her! Though I will quietly say that they pronouns are… welcome too :)

Pronouns aren’t indicative of any gender, so using they pronouns doesn’t necessarily mean that you are trans—it depends on each person. But being bisexual is not a gender so it has even less of a connection to any pronouns I use!

berry 2 is your real name may??

It is not! It’s an alias, but like I said in my previous post, I wouldn’t mind going by my real name. I’m just holding back right now because of paranoia about irls finding my blog!

(If anyone’s wondering about the reasoning behind May as a name—there is absolutely none. I literally just thought it sounded nice…)

berry 2 something you’ve been proud of recently?

I’ve been feeling surprisingly good about my writing lately…? That rarely happens, so I’m allowing myself to climb out of my humble, modest shell for this one (1) moment. I’m still hit with the same thoughts of what sounds wrong and what I can edit when I read my work, but recently there’s been more hope sown in—the recognition that there’s something at least somewhat decent at its core.

Here’s a bit of a prose piece I worked on last month!

shall we chat

what tv shows have you been watching (and would recommend to me)? what are your tips for burnout because I am STRUGGLING. sending love to you all—happy late Valentine’s!

also no biggie but if you’d like to leave any feedback on my blog, you can fill out my survey here!! I really appreciate it <3

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26 thoughts on “4 Year Blogivesary Q&A Part 2!

  1. OH I USED TO READ AMERICAN GIRL BLOGS TOO, I THINK THAT WAS ACTUALLY WHAT INTRODUCED ME TO THE IDEA OF HAVING A BLOG. I loved those blogs and some of them were really creative, but I have no idea why the community was so…fundamentalist?? I saw some girls grow out of that as they got older, though, but I also read some preeetty homophobic things from members of that community, and I didn’t know I was queer back then but it still did weird things to my blood pressure. Don’t say hurtful things, people!

    I’m happy you’re feeling good about your writing! I love the snippet! I’ve got to read some of the books you recommended, they sound really good

    Liked by 1 person

    1. yeah, some of them were definitely creative! i have no idea why i cared so much for them though because i’ve never been interested in american girl dolls (i liked some of the books lmao but dolls were never my thing!). i’m sorry we both had bad experiences witnessing their homophobia though :(

      thank you so much!! <3 and yess, i hope you enjoy the books, they're all amazing!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Aaaah May I’m always so happy to see your posts appear in my reader! It’s been a while since your last post and I hope that you’ve gotten at least some of the rest you deserve…I’ve been thinking about you a lot and I hope you’re doing a little better (okay I literally did not know how to phrase that without sounding creepy so I’ll just have to tell you that that was not meant to sound creepy haha)
    I don’t really think I’ve ever dealt with burnout, I have only been blogging for about 5 1/2 months so I don’t know if this suggestion is very good but I think the one time that i MIGHT have experienced burnout I just blogged what I wanted to. I mean, I always blog what I want to but like I just went completely somewhere else and published my Blog Compare: How I’ve Improved post (https://yabookswithwings.wordpress.com/2020/12/06/blog-compare-how-ive-improved/) (Yes, I’d only been blogging for like 3 months at the time but whatever haha). Also, I mean this doesn’t correspond exactly to burnout but when I was in my reading slump I just tried a different genre. I read a lot of fantasy and some sci fi but I literally could not get through the sci fi book I was reading (the first time I’ve dnf’d a book in a very long time) and I picked up some realistic fiction which I rarely read and that really helped. I really don’t have much experience with mental health but one thing that helped me when I wasn’t feeling the best mental-health wise was that I started doing video chats with my friends a lot more…they’ve started to get me to watch shows with them through teleparty and that’s been pretty fun (I rarely watch shows and when I do, I usually watch animated shows…I’m currently trudging through ATLA with my sister (seriously, we’ve been watching it since like September, we’re so slow haha) and my friends are showing me some other shows so that might help? I really don’t know, sorry…
    Er, well, talking about shows, haha I asked that question because I had a show to recommend to you and…I don’t know why I didn’t just recommend it? But anyways. The show I would recommend would be Julie and the Phantoms I’m sorta obsessed with it right now…I mean I don’t know if you like musical shows but the music is super good in JATP and the characters are good and the plot is good so…it’s a win-win-win I guess? I don’t know, it’s just not some people’s type of show but I REALLY like it.
    Haha how old were these people blogging about american girl dolls????
    Okay anyways, sorry for this super long comment and if these suggestions don’t help…just take some time off. And I’ll be thinking of you :) (again, that sounds creepy and it was not meant to be).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. aw, thank you so much, phoenix! i’m so honored that i/my content can have such a positive impact on you 💕💕 and taking a bit of a break from blogging makes me sad but it’s treating me well!

      thank you so much for all the tips!! i’m definitely trying to do different genres/age groups/formats with reading and i think it’s working. and video chats with friends sounds like a wonderful thing for mental health! i’ve done some with my friends and they’ve definitely helped, i’ll have to organize some more. and ahh i’ve been meaning to (re)watch a show with my friend, so your advice is a sign for me to get on it haha!

      i’ve heard lots of good things about JATP ahh. i’m not sure if it’s something i’d watch but i don’t have netflix anymore so i guess it doesn’t really matter 😭😭 but thanks for the rec!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Aw, yeah I’m glad that it’s treating you well! Hope you’ve been doing better these days.

        Ooh, I’m glad the tips are working out! Ooh, what sorts of books are you reading? Haha I hope that you enjoy the show!

        Yeah, I’ve heard a lot of people say that JATP isn’t the type of thing they’d watch…that’s okay! Honestly, I didn’t think it would be something I would watch either (before then, I’d literally NEVER finished watching a show that was not animated) but I (obviously) enjoyed it. Aww, that’s too bad.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Burnout is such a drag – I can go from being super excited about blogging (like recently around the New Year) and create endless posts, and then a week later I can’t be bothered to even keep a wrap up draft going… It’s sad, I wish we could somehow hang on to that enthusiasm!
    Also – I second Julie and the Phantoms – I thought it was going to be not-for-me but it has such good songs, unexpectedly charming despite being aimed at younger folk than me :)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. omg that’s literally me right now!! i love end of year/new year content, but then right afterwards i have zero motivation/inspiration 😭😭

      and thank you for the rec! i’m not really sure if it’s something i’d watch but i’ve heard great things (though i don’t have netflix anymore so i guess it wouldn’t really matter rip)


  4. Ooh I love this post May!! (And now I’m wondering what your real name is 😂) You’re not alone in the “I Started Reading YA Kind Of Early” group haha. Now that I think of it, I can probably also name my top 5 or so books (which is supposed to be the ultimate challenge question, and for good reason)? Your choices look amazing, I can’t wait to read them (especially A Wish in the Dark, Starfish, and Aristotle and Dante!!)!! Also, how do you make such gorgeous Notion templates?! I looked through them, and you are so queen for taking the time to show us!! (And I’m going to go reread that Notion post you made, I need to know how to make my set up look better and have more functions haha) The words hiraeth and reverence are beautiful too!! I also love the words family, ethereal, and universe, to name a few. Hope school, dance, and everything is going well!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. i’m glad you enjoyed it!! <3 and oh, i didn't name those as my top 5 books, just the ones that have the most meaning to me — though to be fair, many of them would still be in my top 5 😭 but i hope you enjoy them whenever you get around to reading them, i love them all! and aahh thank you so much, my notion took me WAY too long to set up haha. but i'm glad it could be useful! <3 ooh i love the word ethereal too, though i'm pretty sure i pronounce it wrong half the time. thank you so much, hope you're doing well too!!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Congrats on four whole years of blogging, May! I also loved the Rainbow Magic books growing up (I remember being so excited to see a fairy that was named Ruby, it blew my mind that I could share a name with a book character). I also loved the PJO books, but I feel like my appreciation of them has grown a lot since I’ve gotten older. I also was that kid who read many YA books when they were probably too young (I think I was about 11 when I read Divergent).

    I’d love to work in publishing too, even though it has many flaws, like you said. I feel that blogging has really helped me understand just how much words and stories mean to me, and I never want to do something that doesn’t involve storytelling.

    Again, congratulations! Wishing you all the best as you continue your blog! I hope you get the chance to travel to everywhere you want to go (when it’s safe to, of course!)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. thank you so much, ruby!! the rainbow magic fairy books were so much fun, i devoured like 3 of them every night haha. and omg i love that we both read divergent when we were definitely too young lmao (allegiant was actually my first introduction to sex 😭😭)

      yes, same! i can’t imagine what kind of future i’d see for myself if i hadn’t started blogging, but now i truly can’t imagine anything without storytelling or words in general. and thank you so much <3

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I loved your answers, May! ❤ (or not May as I’ve just found out!! 😂) Good luck with your Goodreads challenge, there is still plenty of time to catch up! Your advice for new bloggers is exactly right, it’s so important to be yourself as our blogs are a reflection of who we are and should always take pride in that. Congratulations again on four years of blogging! ✨

    Liked by 1 person

    1. haha, thank you so much stephen! i’m slowly catching up on my goodreads challenge, but every day it taunts me 😭 and yes, exactly! there’s no better way to set yourself apart and grow than being yourself and letting your content reflect that. thank you again!! <3

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I just finished your survey! And i wish I had tips for burnout rn out my only tip is take a nap lol. I try to plan out my day for a specific group of tasks and try not to obsess over them. Im really bad at managing my time with productivity and also end up stressed and burntout 😭

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Congratulations again on 4 years, the community is so, so lucky to have you <3 <3 I sadly can relate to the feeling numb about book bloggers and them being a little bit of the black sheep of the community now. it's sad, but I guess it's true ahah. And yes, ahh I hope you'll get to accomplish this little dream of working in publishing or with words someday. you're such a talented writer, I wouldn't be surprised you'd get an agent and multiple book deals a couple years from now <3


  9. Ahhh May, love love love reading all of your answers!! Happy blogiversary, love having you here and the blogosphere wouldn’t be the same without you here <3<3<3 Also omg I must have missed it but didn't know that May was an alias omg. THE SHOCK hahaha. Love your writing snippet so much omg. Lots of love to you xoxoxo


  10. loved reading this post and your answers so much, May! congrats again on 4 years of blogging, that’s such an incredible accomplishment and i’m so proud of you 💓 seriously so glad you’re a part of this community, you and your posts always brighten my day 😊 love your blogging advice, as well as all of the books that mean the most to you – PJO was also the first series i truly obsessed over, and Starfish meant so much to me in terms of Asian + social anxiety rep 🥺 also, your writing snippet gave me feelz, and i can’t wait to read more of your writing. wonderful post as always! hope your March is going well <3


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