Skip to main content

My Favorite Session at the 2013 AFCC


{Steph Su delivering her keynote speech at the 2013 AFCC}

Last month, I was in Singapore for the 2013 Asian Festival of Children's Content (AFCC). I hope to share more blog posts (and other social media posts) about my time there, but I would like to start with my favorite session: "Getting the Most Out of Blogging" by very popular blogger Steph Su.

This was the first year the AFCC had a day dedicated to AFCC Seminars, and there was a blogging track in it, which my fellow blogger Liyana Othman and I helped put together. "Getting the Most Out of Blogging" was Steph Su's keynote speech for the blogging track. She shared her blogging journey and the many insights she has picked up along the way, focusing on blogging and the self, blogging and friends, and blogging and professional success.

{me and fellow blogger Liyana Othman}


Maintaining my blogs isn't easy: One, it takes a lot of time and effort, especially because I try to produce quality posts. Two, I don't make any money from blogging, in fact I spend money on blogging. I don't have advertisements on my blogs and I am not interested in sponsored posts. I spend money on books so that I can give them away to my blog readers. I spend money to attend events (like conferences) so that I can blog about the events or so that I can learn more about children's and YA books to better blog about them. Three, I unfairly get pressured about what to blog and when to blog. Blogging is my hobby and yet some try to dictate the content of my blog or the schedule of my blogging.   

Steph's moving speech reminded me why I started blogging in the first place, and why I continue to blog: Blogging allows me to express my passion for children's and YA books, and connects me with others who have the same passion. It's a platform for me as a fangirl, me as a cheerleader. I shouldn't be afraid to blog about what I want to blog about, when I want to blog about it. I shouldn't be afraid or ashamed to take long breaks from blogging. And I can change the content and focus of my blog if I want to. If I force myself to blog about what I don't want to blog about, or if I force myself to blog when I don't want to blog, the quality of my blog posts will suffer or I will get tired of blogging altogether.

Steph taught me that, while the blogosphere is super saturated and highly competitive, blogging isn't about your number of followers, it's about the number of followers you can see yourself being friends with outside of blogging. I have to admit that I got teary-eyed during this part of her speech. I may not have high visitor stats, but I have made many beautiful and incredible friends from all over the world through my blogs.

 {Liyana moderated Steph's session}

Thank you, Steph, for accepting the invitation to be part of the 2013 AFCC and sharing your blogging wisdom. Thank you for inspiring me and helping me regain perspective. I have wanted to meet you in person for a long time and hearing your speech came at the right time in my own blogging journey.

Thank you to the 2013 AFCC team, especially Rama Ramachandran, Ken Quek, and Stephanie Tanizar, for recognizing the value of blogging in the children's and YA book industry and dedicating several AFCC sessions to it. Thank you to Liyana for her hard work as an organizer!!!

 {me, Steph, and fellow blogger Chachic Fernandez}

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Author Interview: Jack Cheng

I still haven't gotten over See You in the Cosmos by Jack Cheng(Dial Books for Young Readers, 2017). So after I reviewed the book here and cooked up some classroom and book club activities for it, I just had to grill Jack about his influences and creative process. Read our interview below! 


Hi, Jack! What motivates and inspires you to write for young readers?

Getting to meet kids (both in school and through my books) who are at a time in their life when they're really starting to form their values. It's a time when they're really starting to ask the big questions about life and the people around them—the same big questions that we keep asking, I think, even when we grow into adults.
I was excited when I saw that the main character of See You in the Cosmos, Alex Petroski, was Filipino American. Is there a particular reason you made Alex Filipino American?
To be honest, I thought about making Alex Chinese American but I felt like it would've been a different novel. I wou…

Ako'y Isang Mabuting Pilipino (I Am A Good Filipino) by Noel Cabangon and Jomike Tejido

This one is a real crowd pleaser: Ako'y Isang Mabuting Pilipino, Lampara Books' 2012 picture book adaptation of Noel Cabangon's song, with Cabangon's original Filipino lyrics, functional English translations by Becky Bravo, and illustrations by Jomike Tejido!

Cabangon's inspiring lyrics remind children of the ways they can be good Filipinos, such as doing their best in school and obeying their parents. There are plenty of reminders for adults too, such as following traffic rules and not selling their votes during elections. Tejido's illustrations are warm and wholesome, acrylic paintings on hand-woven mats that depict different ways to be good citizens.   


You just can't go wrong with Ako'y Isang Mabuting Pilipino! Children and adults will understand and appreciate the lyrics and paintings. The chords of the song are provided, so music lovers can play and sing along. There are notes and guide questions for educators. There is even a treat for book…

Fusion Story: The Year of the Rat by Grace Lin

This was originally posted at Into the Wardrobe on May 3, 2008.

May is Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. I want to honor it by celebrating all things Asian American and by reading Asian American children's and young adult literature - particularly Fusion Stories.

The Year of the Rat, a semi-autobiographical novel written and illustrated by Grace Lin, follows a year (one Chinese New Year to the next) in the life of Pacy, a young Taiwanese American. The Year of the Rat is the first year of the Chinese twelve-year cycle and therefore it symbolizes new beginnings. The Year of the Rat is the time to make a fresh start and to change things. And Pacy does experience important changes during the Year of the Rat: her best friend Melody moves away, there's a new boy who is the only other Asian in her elementary school (aside from her sister Ki-Ki), her favorite cousin Clifford gets married, and she starts doubting her dream to become a writer and illustrator. Pacy does not like mos…