Thursday, January 18, 2018

Reflections of a Doll Blogger

New Post Series?

Maybe. I've been reading quite a few book blogs lately. One had a great post about the Expectations vs. Reality for Book Bloggers (Entirely True and Not at All Hyperbolic). It got me thinking how some of these are true for doll bloggers too.

Books and Dolls Similar

Expectation 1/Reality 1

Organized with scheduled posts of awesomeness./
Writing a post on the fly.
I really like the idea of scheduling and having everything together to write a wonderful post. Sometimes I do have it together and can say, I'm going to post this on Monday, this Tuesday, etc. Post series titles help with this. Other times, well...

Expectation 2/Reality 2

I've been blogging for 3+ years so I know exactly
what I'm doing./Nope. Still learning!
Tea Time with Melody Q turned 5 this January. I love working on this blog. It's awesome. I love the followers, the comments, etc. However...

  1. I have no idea why some posts get lots of comments
    and others do not. 
  2. How to work ahead and actually have the scheduled post appear using the blogger schedule tool has eluded me.
  3. I recently learned I should have things like "terms of use" and "copyright reminders" and "privacy policy" and the like to be legal. (I will see about adding these this year.)

Expectation 3/Reality 3

I will take breaks when I need them and not feel bad./
If I take a break I will be forgotten and my blog will die.
Yep, "Fear of Missing Out" syndrome abounds here! There are other contributing factors to my trying for daily posts or at least posting 5 of 7 days. The reality of this reality is impending burn out from the self-imposed pressure to provide content. So post about your upcoming break and don't apologize for it. When you return, post about missing your readers instead.

Expectation 4/Reality 4

My blog will be very niche./Well, maybe not.
When I started Tea Time with Melody Q I thought pairing my dolls with tea would be super unique. It is on one level, but there are others out there who are doing similar things. Then reading other blogs...their influence creeps into my own. When I look back at some of my older posts I really love them and would like to reboot that initial energy and style, but can't seem to grasp it anymore.

Expectation 5/Reality 5

I will sit down to write a post and work ahead./
Why is the screen blank? OR
 I have to finish these chores, then I can write.
Rarely ever do I work ahead on a post. Writing this one is unique. Sometimes the pieces fall into place for working ahead, usually with a continuation post. Most days I login, have the photos open in slideshow form, and flip back and forth. Many times I compose as I view the photos. Sometimes I have an outline in my head and realize a photo won't support that outline...{crumbles thought like paper and starts over}.

Expectation 6/Reality 6

I will not add every doll outfit or accessory to my collection
because I'm wise and sensible and smart./
Watch that collection explode.
Doll finds and product reviews are HUGE in the doll blogging world. You see an outfit or accessory with a good review or used in a really cute photo story and inevitably the "I have to have it" voice starts calling. I admit my collection grew a lot between the day I started blogging relying solely on my four dolls and their existing wardrobe to today. Then the wardrobe was amassed in two Thirty-One large utility totes and one small chest. (I do keep the clothes in their boxes.) Now I have it organized in the equivalent of 7 or eight large utility totes plus that small chest. Sometimes it is overwhelming, but my wish lists are growing smaller due to thinking about what I/we really need.

Expectation 7/Reality 7

Everyone will send me things to review because I am
a fan and will promote like a boss./Very few if any
free additions to my collection.
Over the past four years I've received one ARC from an author to read and review (Blinded by the Light by Joe Kipling) and one or maybe it should be two teas, dark and light blends (Lost Pines Yaupon Tea). I am still ever so grateful for those samples. It is very special and exciting to receive this kind of help with your blog. In reality, the dolls and accessories and clothes I've added to my collection have been from my own pocket or as gifts from family and friends.

Specific to Dolls

Expectation 1/Reality 1

Every page of my blog will be up to date./
Posting takes priority over maintenance.
So why does it take so long for me to update the "blogs we visit" page? Well, some blogs come into my inbox every time there is new content others do not. The ones that come in regularly are easy to highlight in my notes. Then I visit each link I have bookmarked. If there is new content I've missed, I sit and read all those awesome posts and leave comments. If there is no new content, I think about the blogger and what they may be doing now and send them some positive energy. {On further consideration, this one ties in with the first under "similar." The contributing factors are not quite the same; that's why this is separate.}

And that button! A friend designed a great button for me (thank you, Mary), but due to some strange PC issue I can't access that part of the layout to make adjustments. 
I can't even access the gadget section to remove the old one. 😞 I will keep working on it!

Expectation 2/Reality 2

My photos will be awesome and my photo shoots or stories
will be fabulous./Where did the good light go?
My favorite camera breaks. I can't get the pose
in my head to translate to the real world.
I am learning. I am trying. I am working hard to get shots that are well lit and not yellow. Not an easy task in my house. Plus all those great photos take time and patience to frame just right. Patience is key. And no breeze. I can't tell you how many times I have a scene set just so and lean back to take the photo only to have a breeze come through and blow someone over. ARGH!

Other photo opportunity gaffes

  • Looks great on the screen, but blurry when downloaded
  • Photo bombs by furry friends
  • Flimsy or ill made shoes throwing the model off balance
  • Sudden rain drops
  • How did I miss the shirt ruching?
  • Flyaway hair
  • Sunsets faster than I thought it would

The key to all these realities is that my blog is my blog and I love working on it and enjoy sharing it with you; it's fun. Also my style is my style. I know others who are very much more organized than I. :-)

Did anything strike a chord with you? What expectations and realities have you experienced with your blog? Please share in a comment, I'd love to learn more.

Best wishes,


  1. Love this. (I can help with your first #2 if you want too)

  2. I just stumbled on your blog and sounds like you have a great game plan. I've created a dozen blogs or websites but due to health issue can no longer maintain them.

    If you have questions or need help with anything I am more than happy to help you. It looks great but I think a banner would be a nice addition. I can help you fix the coding that is not letting your new button show and their coding showing in one of the widgets.


    1. Thank you. I've found the problem with viewing the layout building section has something to do with my monitor display settings. My laptop gives me full access, while my PC's older monitor does not.

      I'll email about the codes and banner. The Tutorials I've seen mention saving photos on the media portion, but I haven't fond that in blogger yet.


  3. Excellent post!!! I can relate to all of it as well, especially right now as I am trying to get other things balanced in my life. It's a constant struggle.

    1. Thank you. :-) Hoping your struggles ease as 2018 progresses. :-)

  4. Haha! This is so relatable. :) I've been trying to get back into the groove of blogging since school started. :( I loved this post haha

    1. I'm glad you liked the post and hope you find your groove again.