Google+ YA Romantics: Bloggiesta Mini-Challenge: Step Out Of Your Comfort Zone

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Bloggiesta Mini-Challenge: Step Out Of Your Comfort Zone

I'm participating in Bloggiesta! If you're not, never fear. I'll have a regular review post later this morning...



Welcome to my Bloggiesta Mini-Challenge: Step Outside Your Blogging Comfort Zone!

Routine is what keeps me sane.

If you're like me, you probably have some sort of flexible blog schedule of meme days and review days so that you don't have those panic-stricken "what am I posting tomorrow" moments. If you do have those moments regularly, then go check out the Bloggiesta organizational challenge hosted by Trini at Love, Laughter and a Touch of Insanity.

So while I need my routine, it can also start to feel a little ho-hum...

My challenge to you: try something out of your blogging comfort zone. 

Here are three suggestions, but feel free to come up with your own ideas!

1. Read something outside your preferred genre. 

I blog about YA. But even within YA, I have my preferred genres (contemporary and paranormal) and things that are not exactly my go-to reads (mermaid books, zombie books, and fantasy.) 

That said, some of my most fun reviews came when I tried a book outside my zone. I tried a fae book. I even tried a zombie book. You know how excited you are when you meet someone who's discovering a book or a genre for the first time? That's how your blog readers feel when they get to watch you try something new. It's fun for them, fun for you. If you hate the book, maybe you can get a spirited discussion going in comments...

2. Take something that you're passionate about and incorporate it into your blog.

You'll have fun and your readers will respond to your enthusiasm. Here are some ideas that some of my blogger friends have tried with great success! Click on the highlighted text to check them out. If you borrow someone's idea, don't forget to ask permission and/or give credit!

Total fashionista? Use Polyvore to  create an outfit inspired by a book. 


Travel buff? Do a photo gallery that shows some of the settings of your favorite book. 

DIY manicurist? Design some  book-inspired nail art!

Do you have kids or nieces and nephews? Sara @ Forever 17 does the most adorable feature where she asks her five year-old to interpret different YA covers with hilarious results. 

3. Resolve to do some blog-related thing that you've been avoiding because it's scary!

For me, that's author interviews. I don't know why they are so terrifying to me. But I've resolved to do more of them.

Maybe you're scared to ask a publisher for a review copy. Or convinced that if you change the look of your blog, you'll make a huge mess you can't fix. Bloggiesta is the perfect time be brave -- we're all here, ready to offer support. You can do it!
For this challenge, make yourself a Step Out Of Your Comfort Zone blogging goal. 

The winner, as picked by Rafflecopter, will receive a $15 Amazon gift card that they can use to help carry out their goal. If winner lives outside the US or Canada, they will receive a book of their choice (up to $15 value) ordered from the Book Depository.

To enter, you can either make a post on your own blog about this challenge and leave a link to it in comments OR you can leave a comment below describing what you're going to try.

NOTE: Anyone is welcome to make goals or post a comment and I hope you will -- but please only fill out the Rafflecopter if you are a registered Bloggiesta participant. Thanks!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

65 comments:

  1. This is such a great mini-challenge. I totally wish I was doing bloggiesta now! And thanks for linking to me. I love looks from books and I've been trying to find some time to do more of them. :) I'm going to try to do cover recreations so I can embrace my love of make up, dress up, and pictures. HAHAHAHA. Actually, I'm not joking.

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    1. OMG -- I hope you are not joking -- I totally love that idea!

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  2. I love how the books outside of your comfort zone are the exact same as mine. LOL I have never read a mermaid book, and usually steer clear of zombies and faeries too. I would like to maybe try one or two though, just to see. Fathomless sounds really good so I might make that my first mermaid read.

    Author interviews freak me out. I have a few blog tours coming up with interviews and I struggle so hard with coming up with questions because of course I don't want to ask all the same questions as everyone else. I'm working on it though!

    I really wanted to do bloggiesta but I got myself swamped with books all at once (expiring books from netgalley and one lent on my nook) so I won't have time. :( *sigh* Hopefully next time I can!

    Thank you for mentioning my A Kid's Perspective: Judging a Book By Its Cover feature! <3

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    1. Ha ha -- we're eerily similar!!

      And I love your Kids' Perspective feature -- it's one of my favorites!

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  3. This is such a great challenge! I need to be more social. It is so easy for me to just go through my emails, read my books and put up a blog post (well ok some days that isn't even too easy) but I have noticed that twitter and commenting seems to slack and that makes me so sad. I want to make deeper connections in the blogging community.

    I would also love to learn blog design so I could tweak my blog every now and again.

    (both of these are on my goals list :))

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    1. Being social is a great goal -- blogging is a lot of work and it's easy to just focus on the posts and the reading and forget that part of it.

      Blog design is waaaay out of my skill set!

      Thanks for joining my challenge :)

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  4. This is a great Bloggiesta challenge! I am going to give myself TWO "out of the comfort zone" to-dos, based on this post. One, I am going to try a steampunk novel (have always avoided despite hearing good things). Two, I am going to ask a publisher for a review copy (other than via NetGalley). Thanks for the inspiration!
    Kelly
    http://thewellreadredhead.blogspot.com

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    1. LOVE that you're doing two goals.

      I have also not read much steampunk AND I've just requested my first ARC. I have to face my fear of rejection someday! I mean, I do get rejected from NetGalley sometimes, so I think I can take it :)

      Good luck -- and I'd love it if you can email or stop back and let me know how things turned out :)

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  5. Good luck on your goals! I'm working on author interviews as well. We talked about how those make me nervous too. I have trouble coming up with good questions. I have a few planned though! I'm excited! I'm horrible with change but I have changed the design on my blog and I'm working on tweaking it more.

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    1. I can't wait to read them! And you know that I love your new blog design!

      I think most people are nervous about change. I feel that way, and then every time I force myself be brave, I feel so much better.

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  6. This is a great topic! I am awful about getting out of my comfort zone, though I just did with Cinder and that worked out well, which I know in my head means I should read more outside my comfort zone, but I'm stubborn like that.

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    1. I was very proud of you for trying Cinder. It's a great book!!!
      Hmmm... what shall we get you to read next?

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  7. I'm not doing Bloggiesta this time around but I am definitely going to think about what I can do to push myself out of my comfort zone and improve my blog!

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    1. Yay -- it's hard for me to do things that scare me, especially, but afterwards I'm always happy!

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  8. I think this is such an amazing post! It's definitely hard to do something outside our comfort zones. I've kinda been doing that by incorporating a "Reading & Eating" feature on my blog - and just last week posting a recipe inspired by a book (TCinnamon Raisin Quick Bread {Recipe} Inspired By The Hunger Games {Book}).

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    1. LOVE the recipe idea. I'm going to go check out your recipe!!

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  9. Okay.. I did something super scary... I just wrote and scheduled a challenge post. I wanted to for so long but I am afraid that people won't sign up for it. Anyway, it is scheduled for tomorrow on my food blog.

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    1. Hosting a challenge IS scary. It's like when you give a party and are afraid that no one will show up!

      I'll come check it out :)

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    2. Thanks! Because it is online now - here is the link: http://shelikesbento.blogspot.nl/2012/09/weekend-cooking-announcing-cookbook.html

      I am still scared that no one will join, haha. But at least I got out there and posted something I wanted to do for a long time :)

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  10. I'm actually doing all these things! I love to read books I normally would not read and since I blog, I've discovered SO many titles; and I already loved a lot of them :D

    I also incorporate my love for Disney & fairytales by using descriptions and pictures from them. And I always try to show my obsession for The Tudors :p My blog titles is based on my addiction for Harry Potter.

    And author interviews scare me too!

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    1. Well, you are an inspiration to me!
      So all you need to work on is doing interviews :)

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  11. Great mini-challenge! I like to try and step out of the box once in a while. I did that with my "Rick the Zombie" post ... I felt so silly writing it, but was so happy with the results. I also like to try and read something different. Even if I don't like it, at least I tried!

    Love your idea of creating a menu for a book, or an outfit for a certain character. Very fun! I really need to try some more fun things to do on the blog!

    I've done some author interviews, but not too many. I don't think it's the actual interview part that's scary, but asking the author! But then I have to remember that the author is just another person and I shouldn't be so scared.

    Thanks for sharing, Jen!

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    1. Your Rick the Zombie post was hysterical -- you have a great future as a comedy writer. Definitely do more funny posts :)

      I feel better that I'm not the only one scared to do interviews!

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  12. Gosh you have so many ideas rolling around in my head now! I am going to incorporate my passions (football, crafts, pets & family) outside of books into my new once a month personal post.

    I have also gotten to start branching into new genres thanks to authors sending me review request (one of my favorites was Josh Atkins The First Zombies - http://easternsunset-reads.blogspot.com/2012/06/review-of-first-zombies-by-josh-atkins.html).

    I think some new things I am going to try that scare the begeezes out of me are more author interviews (I am so intimidated by them) and giveaways specifically using rafflecopter (new technology scares me).

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    1. I would LOVE a craft-themed post. I love to make things, but I'm so busy and I don't ever have time to come up with new ideas!

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  13. Great post and great suggestions! Well you know how my own goal has been to start branching out to publishers to request reviews, so that is definitely something I plan to engage in more in the coming months!

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  14. I love the Kid's Perspective idea, how cute is that?? I'll have to check out Forever 17. That has inspired me to ask my daughter to do a guest post on my blog, yay! She's always reading something interesting and we homeschool so we can do that for school work as well. 2 birds, 1 stone! Thanks for the idea and the push!

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    1. Love that idea. And Sara's blog is great, right?
      I hope you and your daughter have a lot of fun with it -- let me know when her post is up!

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  15. I love the book-inspired nail art and outfit idea! They sound like a lot of fun!

    Here is my blog post that talks about this mini-challenge:
    http://www.littlebookowl.com/2012/09/bloggiesta-mini-challenges.html

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    1. Those are some of my favorite posts -- I'm so nail-challenged :)
      Coming to check your post out. I should have given extra credit to anyone who made a post!

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  16. Okay, here's what I'm going to do: I love pinterest and finding things to make, but while I'm creative, I'm not crafty. But I have an idea to make my own lip gloss. I have all the supplies. All I need to do is suck it up and make it! Stepping outside my comfort zone completely, I'll be making my own lip gloss for a Halloween Giveaway (maybe I'll call it Midnight Kisses or something). Wish me luck!

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    1. LOVE the idea of making your own Midnight Kisses lip gloss. Can you share the recipe????

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  17. This is such a fabulous mini-challenge, thank you for sharing Jen!

    I'm trying to step out of my comfort zone a little more, and do some more personal stuff, because I think my blog is really lacking that lately!

    I love the idea of doing an outfit to go along with a book, along with a recipe! You've given me this fabulous idea that I seriously can not wait to try out. I'm trying to come up with a name as I type this. =) So thank you so much for inspiring me!!

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    1. Yay -- well, those other bloggers came up with those great ideas, so I can't take credit for that, but I do think that incorporating some of your non-book passions into your blog is a lot of fun.

      Can't wait to see what you come up with!

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  18. I love the idea to step out of your comfort zone. I am definitely going to read more books outside my genre. Maybe try some horror that won't make me vomit?? :)

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    1. I'm also a little squeamish on the horror. Ten by Gretchen McNeil was not too gory and gross....

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    2. Jessica (and Jen too!) Have you tried any Dan Wells books? I bet you can handle them just fine...

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    3. I have not. He wrote Partials, right? I'll see what I think!

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  19. I love this challenge!! I read a book outside of my genre yesterday for this! (Down to You by M. Leighton!) It's "Adult" Romance - and I'm notmally into the sweet romance books, but I was definitely impressed!

    -Jac @ For Love and Books

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    1. That's great -- sometimes a sweet romance book is the perfect feel-good read!

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  20. I love this challenge idea! I'm going to step out of my comfort zone more by using Pinterest for more blogging related stuff. I pin lots of recipes and clothes and what not, but I'm always really hesitant to post my own blog stuff stuff on it. So I'm going to start doing it!

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    1. I love Pinterest but am never sure what to do on there. I have some boards, mostly devoted to book cover lookalikes. I'm here:

      http://pinterest.com/jenryland/

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  21. This post was what I needed to nudge me to do some emails I've been putting off to reach out to some authors for my blog-related book club!

    I've been putting it for awhile, because I didn't want to "bug" them.

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    1. Great -- send those emails! I think most authors are thrilled to hear from their readers!

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  22. I really like the "incorporate something you love" into the blog posts idea.

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    1. It's so genius -- it's a way to let your readers know more about you and it's fun and creative!

      I cannot take credit for the idea, of course. Just trying to spread the word on others' genius.

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  23. This is awesome! I'm totally going to put something together to do this challenge! Haha Thanks for putting it up! :D

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  24. I want to do a Markus Zusak week (full of guest posts on my blog) and it scares me to death! To DEATH I tell you!

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    1. Why??? That is a fantastic idea and you should do it!

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  25. great post! I've started the 50 shades series, Ive never been into erotica!

    http://fictionstateofmind.blogspot.com/2012/09/bloggiesata-starting-line-challenge.html?spref=tw

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    1. Great -- maybe you'll discover a new genre to read. And if you don't like the book, at least you'll know what everyone else is talking about.

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  26. Great post! I'm going to try to use Twitter more. I know that sounds weird, but I really haven't used twitter except to tweet about giveaways. But I think it might be a good way to connect with other readers! I also think Twitter might be addicting so I was hesitant to add another social networking platform to my list of things to keep up with. But here goes!

    Thanks so much for the giveaway!

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    1. It doesn't sound weird. Twitter is a great way to keep in touch with blogger friends.

      I need to use it more to promote blog posts. That is one of my bloggiesta goals....

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  27. Great article! I'm not a book-blogger but rather a 'personal life' blogger, and I'm a member of Goodreads. I'm going for challenges 1 & 3. I've started reading more YA Fiction, which I haven't read since.. well, since I was part of the YA group. And as for blogging comforts, I've had it on my to-do list forever but I've been wanting to get my photography on its own blog, and I'm thinking of tackling making a Wordpress multi-site network. I still have to read into the pros/cons of it, and whether its better to do this or do a completely separate installation of Wordpress, but I'm definitely more motivated to start work on it this week!

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    1. Yay! If you need book suggestions, just tell us what kind of books you like, and we can recommend some.

      And uh -- you need to explain to most of us (or just me?) what a multi-site network is. Sounds cool-- I'm impressed!

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    2. I'm on Goodreads as mmmfruit :) I'm open to any and all suggestions! Though lately I've been trying to fill the hole that the end of The Hunger Games trilogy left..

      Here's some info about the multi-site networks. I came across this a few days ago and am going to research it a bit more this week to see what's better, this vs. a full installation of a separate blog:
      http://codex.wordpress.org/Create_A_Network

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    3. Well, you can't go wrong with the Divergent trilogy by Veronica Roth. The third book isn't out yet, but it's the perfect time to start reading.

      Anyone else have suggestions?

      And I'm going to go check your codex site thingy out and hope my head does not explode!

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    4. Yup, I found Divergent through Goodreads and just started it the other day. So far, so good! Thanks!

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  28. I read a lot of genres but I'm picky about the subgenres. While I read fantasy I've only dabbled in High Fantasy once in high school. I read the Hobbit but couldn't get into it. My challenge is to read a High Fantasy series. I'm thinking either Game of Thrones or Lord of the Rings (seeing as I've never finished the movies for that)

    Also I'm debating on whether I want to do a drinks/book pairing post. I really like wine, and someone liked a drinks blog during one of the twitter parties and I want to try my hand at making them. I'm thinking about doing a post either every week or biweekly where I pick a drink based off the synopsis of the book. It'll help me figure out my drink tastes and how to pair them with things. :)

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    1. I hear you -- high fantasy is the one genre that I have a very hard time with. I consider Tolkien a genius, but that kind of story is just not for me.

      LOVE the idea of books and drinks. Please let me know if you get a post up and I'll link to it and come visit!

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  29. I love idea #2, to incorporate something you're passionate about into the review. I'm an author (with a small publisher) and authors love being interviewed by bloggers! I'm impressed by all the time you take to read, review, and blog. You're doing authors a great service to spread the word!

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Thanks so much for stopping by today. I hope you'll leave me a comment. I read and appreciate each and every one and try my best to reply. Leave me a link to your blog or website!

 
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