Hey, guys! Welcome to Blogger Spotlight. This feature is going to contain interviews, guest post, and other fun stuff! So stay tuned for more fun in the future.
For this month’s edition, I bring you an awesome Q&A by Summer @ Xingsings. Don’t forget to check out her blog!
1. Tell us a little about your blog and how you first got into blogging?
Hi, everyone! My name is Summer and I’m a book blogger at a site called Xingsings. Xingsings stands for “Yixing sings.” Yixing (better known as his stage name, Lay) is a Chinese member of the popular Korean boy band called Exo. He’s the main dancer of the group but I’ve always admired his beautiful singing voice, hence the unusual blog name.
As for the origins of Xingsings… I started my blog in January 2015 after my love for reading was rekindled in college and my non-bookish friends were sick of listening to my book-induced rants. Despite instinctively beginning out as a book blog, I think I’ve always sensed that it’d grow into something more someday when I created the tagline “a blog about books AND other obsessions.” Therefore, aside from books, I also talk about Asian dramas, music, and basically anything that is worthy of me gushing over. Over the years, Xingsings became a space where I could fangirl freely and meet others that shared similar interests and passions as I hold.
2. What was the most challenging moment in your blogging journey so far?
Thougeh bloggiondg iss ann outlet I use to relieve stress, it’d be a lie to say it’s a 100% stress-free hobby. Sometimes I feel overwhelmed with having to publish posts frequently and staying active in the blogosphere. There’s also that looming pressure as a book blogger to read a lot in order to actually have content to share. Finding a balance between all these things all the while making sure to maintain a life away from the internet can be a challenge at times. Blogger burnout happens; recognizing the signs when I’m in such a state and assuring myself it’s okay to take a step back to recharge is something I’ve recently learned to do.
3. How much time do you spend blogging?
I designate about 5 hours a week to blog. Perhaps if I’m catching up on comments and blog hopping. But it, honestly, just varies. Like with reading, I’m quite the mood blogger. I prefer only logging onto WordPress and working on draft posts when I feel inspired.
4. What genre is your favourite and why?
Hands down, fantasy is my all time favorite genre. Like many other readers, I owe the Harry Potter series for getting me into reading. Then Twilight (yes, I know…) and The Mortal Instruments were the ones that got me reading more young adult literature, which is what I mostly read now. All three happen to be fantasy, so I naturally gravitate towards books from that particular genre even to this day. I love how lush and creative the worlds can be. I get attached to characters easily so it helps that with fantasy I can anticipate the security of reading a series. Although, fantasy standalones are refreshing, too, since they’re so rare.
5. Have you read a book that you would like to rewrite the ending of?
Yes, there have been plenty! I’m kind of a picky reader. (As a reference my current Goodreads average for books I’ve read is a 3.20.) The ending is pretty influential in determining how much I like a story.
6. What do you do when you aren’t working on your blog?
For the most part, school and work pretty much take over my life. But when I’m not preoccupied by either of those, I mostly enjoy reading (of course!). I spend a lot of my free time watching K-pop music videos, Asian dramas, and the occasional anime. Growing up, I also played the piano and was in choir, so music has always been a major part of my life as well.
7. As you are a big fan of K-dramas, can you recommend us your top 3-5 favourites?
Indeed, I am!
My top 5 Korean dramas are:
- It’s Okay, That’s Love(2014 series) – romance, melodrama, medical
- Always(2011 movie) – romance, melodrama, tragedy
- Secret Garden(2010 series) – fantasy, comedy, romance
- Empress Ki(2014 series) – historical, romance
- Sungkyunkwan Scandal(2010 series) – historical, comedy, romance
If you’d like to see all the Asian dramas (not limited to Korean ones) that I’ve seen and what I thought of them, feel free to take a look at this master-list I created: https://xingsings.wordpress.com/asian-dramas-master-list/
8. Tell us the one bookish destination you would absolutely love to visit.
I’ve never been outside of the States before but I would totally love to visit Ireland. The scenery there just seems so beautiful and the people friendly. It also gives me a lot of comfort to know that English is used there. I know you only asked for one, but I thought I’d also mention that Vietnam, where my parents are from, and Korea are on my on the top of my list as well. The latter because I must see Exo perform live at least once in my life. :’) (Plus, all three of my close childhood best friends are part/full Korean and we’ve decided we want to make a girls’ trip there.)
9. What is your greatest achievement outside of blogging?
Honestly, I feel like I haven’t achieved that much in my life yet since I’m only in my early 20s. But if I had to choose… getting into pharmacy school has probably been one of the bigger accomplishments I’ve achieved so far. I’ve known that I wanted to become a pharmacist since I was in the fourth grade, so it feels a little surreal to be on the path to reaching that end goal. I have three more years of school left (if I decide to opt out on postgraduate education/work, a residency essentially), which feels both long and short at the same time.
10. If someone was interested in blogging, what would be a few things you would suggest?
Always remember that there’s no right or wrong way to blog.
You make your schedule and you can blog however little or often as you’d like.
Write/post what YOU want or are interested in.
Don’t feel discouraged when you first begin; the number of views and followers come with time. Besides, ultimately, those aren’t the most important things. I’ve always believed that a successful blogger doesn’t have to be something that is measured by stats. A successful one can be a fulfilled one.
Interaction is key! Don’t hesitate to build friendships and make friends.
If you’d like to read more tips, I have a discussion series called Summer Says: https://xingsings.wordpress.com/category/summer-says-2/ (Sorry! Last self-promo, I promise!)
Now, time for some quick questions. You ready? Let’s go!
YES! Let’s do this!
Coffee or tea?
Oh, tough! I brew/buy both nearly every day… Iced caramel macchiatos have been my latest obsession this summer. And, as a South Carolinian, sweet tea is a staple at our house. As is hot tea since I’m also Asian. I might have to cheat on this one and say both! (Lol, this is why these this or that questions are so hard for me!)
Fantasy or Contemporary?
Fantasy all the way!
Long hair or short hair?
Long. Fun fact: I actually cut 15 inches off last year! My hair is growing back already but it is currently shorter than how I typically wear it.
Chocolate or caramel?
(I somewhat answered this one earlier with the coffee/tea question.) Caramel. I get tired of chocolate rather easily.
Board games or video games?
Neither. I’m sort of weird in that I’ve never really liked games.
Hi! I’m a Viet-American book blogger residing in the southern US. I word vomit about a variety of things on my blog but mostly books. When I’m not gushing over fictional characters and K-pop stars, it’s very likely I’m studying drugs. (I’m a proud P2!) I also identify myself as an Asian drama & anime addict, vegetarian, ravenpuff, and Exo-L. (Yixing is my love, hence the unusual blog name.)
So guys hope you enjoyed this interview!