Happy Sunday! Hope you’ve all had a wonderful weekend so far in the sunshine? We had a lovely day out yesterday celebrating our 6 year first date anniversary and are now enjoying a lazy Sunday (complete with homemade pancakes this morning – ideal) so it’s been a pretty great weekend all round.
If you too are enjoying a lazy day then this is just the post for you as I’m taking this Sunday to introduce a new blog to you, In the Clouds, which was my top sponsor over the month of July. This sponsor is a little different from the others which have graced this blog in the past, as the writer behind In the Clouds, Bethany, is only 16! 16!! The fact that she reads my blog of course makes me feel terribly old but getting to know her and her online space has been really interesting, as even at such a young age, Bethany writes wonderfully and her blog is full of personal, witty and insightful posts straight from the heart of a teenager, with all the emotions that come with that.
I know you’ll want to pop along and say hello after hearing from Bethany herself as she’s answered my questions brilliantly, so without further ado, let’s find out a bit more about In The Clouds.
1. Hi Bethany, thanks for sponsoring Bumpkin Betty this month. Why don’t you start by telling us all a bit about your blog, In the Clouds?
I first start blogging in February 2014 when I was fifteen because I felt that there were way too many blogs out there that focused solely on fashion and beauty, which to me seemed so stereotypical and unnecessary. In The Clouds is a little blog showing the world what young people can achieve and demonstrating that we aren’t all mobile phone addicted and criminals. We may lack the experience and knowledge that older bloggers have but can still contribute massively to this community. If you pop over you will find masses of posts on a whole show of topics including books, films, day trips, nature walks and food.
2. At only 16, I think you’re my youngest ever blog sponsor! What made you decide to start a blog at such a young age?
Youngest ever sponsor eh? You best put me down in the record books then Jaclyn! The thing is ever since I can remember I have always loved writing, be it a story about an enchanted forest or simply jotting down how my day was in a diary. However, after a while of just writing purely for myself, I suddenly felt this overwhelming need to share my world with the big wide world out there. I started to discover blogs and this community of people I never knew existed. I wanted in basically!
3. I love this phrase in your ‘about’ section; “In The Clouds charts the ups and downs of being a teenager in a 21st century world full of pressure and negativity which surrounds us in the press. We really aren’t all that bad, honest!” – I often think that being a teenager nowadays with the advent of social media must be really tough. Do you see your blog as a little release from all of life’s pressures? And do you think it’s difficult growing up in such a digital age?
Having a blog is such a special thing because as you say it is a place for me to express myself and get all these thoughts out of my system. People should never underestimate the power of writing things down, especially for teenagers who are struggling with life. Without a doubt it definitely is a lot harder for young people growing up now than it was say 20 years ago because of the massive explosion of technology. Thanks to the power of the internet and social media, there is more pressure than ever before about how we should look and act. Trying to grow up and find your place in the world is so difficult when your every move is magnified and judged by society. It can really get to you sometimes.
4. You describe your blog as a “working progress, diary, photo album, stop off and chat kind of blog” (which I think is just lovely by the way). Do you have a favourite subject to blog about?
I class my blog under the umbrella term ‘lifestyle’ so there are literally a million and one things I could happily write about. However, as a personal thing, I really enjoy writing my ‘6 Things That Made Me Smile This Week’ posts because it is so lovely to look back on the things I did each week and appreciate all the little smiley moments. It’s also fun to just sit and write about topics I am passion about, like the recent post on aquariums such as Sea world that I did.
5. Are there any particular blogs that you really aspire to/ read regularly?
Well other than Bumpkin Betty of course, you will often find me reading Hannah’s blog as I just adore the casual and sometimes hilarious way she writes, Rosie’s blog for her beautiful photography of day trips and food she cooks, Jemma’s blog because she is one of the loveliest and most colourful bloggers around and Bee’s blog which inspire me to read more and be a creative human being.
6. I love reading your book reviews, can you tell us what you’re currently reading?
Reading is one of my best loves and not a day goes by where you won’t me find curled up somewhere with my nose in a good book. At the moment I am reading Go Set A Watchman by Harper Lee, the must-have follow up to my favourite book To Kill A Mocking Bird. I’ve only read a few pages and I already can’t put it down.
7. And do you have any summer book recommendations that you simply must pass on?
Every summer without fail I re-read the Harry Potter series and have just treated myself to a stunning new collection, because who doesn’t love a bit of magic in their life. Also I would recommend reading The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini as it is such an inspiring, tear jerker of a book and any Tom Cox books if you are an mad cat lady like myself.
8. Keeping up a blog alongside studying must be difficult, how do you manage to juggle the two?
Obviously my studies come first and foremost and I think if you can priorities like that you can balance blogging and school work very well. Yes it can be difficult and there are days when I just physically don’t have enough time to update my blog, but you have except that and realise that your readers aren’t going anywhere just because you didn’t finish writing a post that was scheduled for today. Bloggers who have full time jobs or who are bringing up a family have a similar struggle, but we do it because we love to blog and can’t imagine our life any other way.
9. Do you have ambitions to turn your blog into a career once you finish school or do you think it will remain a hobby?
I would be lying if I said I didn’t want my blog to be successful. Because I do. I’d love to be one of the big names out there but that will only happen with time. In the meantime blogging is the best hobby ever and if one day I could turn it into a career, I would be very chuffed with myself.
10. You are fairly new to the blogging world, what’s been your favourite aspect of blogging so far?
The blogging community is growing bigger and better each day. I never had a clue that this was going on right under my nose until I fell upon this blog one day. It’s been wonderful meeting people who have similar interests to me and through my blog I have also learnt some simple HTML coding and photography editing skills.
11. I love the personal nature of a lot of your posts, your – ‘14 thoughts when you’re on your period’ – made me chuckle a lot and your – ‘little letter to my little brother’ – was adorable. Do you think sharing personal aspects on a blog makes it more friendly and enjoyable for the readers?
Before I started blogging I saw lots of blogs that were soulless and consisted of pages and pages of boring articles. I didn’t want In The Clouds to be like that – a blog without a face – so I found that the best way to do that was to share things about myself and my life. There is an obvious limit to what I share with the world, but having a blog that screams my personality is better than one that is simply black and white.
12. What does the future hold for In the Clouds? Do you have any plans for the blog this year?
The start of this year was very much focused on my studies so I hope that the rest of 2015 will consist of more writing and more interaction with other bloggers, hence the reason why I currently have a lot of guest blogger appearances. It’s just onwards and upwards from here!
13. Finally, can you share your favourite post from the last month?
My favourite post to write this month was my open letter to people who call me skinny. One minute we are poking fun at people who are overweight and the next we are banging on that somebody is anorexic just because they are under 9 stone. This post caught a lot of people’s attention and was really good to get out of my system.
Jaclyn, thank you for this opportunity to share my little blog with the people who read Bumpkin Betty and I really hope that some of them will pop over to visit me one day.
How sweet! What a great interview from Bethany, wouldn’t you agree? I’ve no doubt that many of my readers will indeed pay her a visit and I’m certainly going to be visiting more regularly now and look forward to seeing how this blog (from such a bright young girl I might add) progresses.
If you’d like to feature in a spotlight post like this, then just take out an ad on my sponsor page. I’d be delighted to get to know you better!