Before I start this post, I wanted to announce the fact that I’m making progress towards no longer being anonymous.  I’ve changed my name to Joce, which is in fact my real name!!!! I will leave Isobel in the name for a little bit, to make it less confusing for everyone.  Thank you to everyone who has given me the confidence to do this, especially (what a coincidence…) Elm!

A few weeks ago, I had the privilege of being able to reach out to Elm and ask her if she wanted to do an interview.  Her blog, Just Elm, is incredible, and I was so excited when I heard back and she told me she would love to do it.  Plus, her responses were amazing; this interview was so fun to do, and I hope you guys have as much fun reading it!

Just Elm is a blog about Elm’s life, where she writes about all of her experiences and thoughts.  The way she writes is so unique, and she has a great sense of humor, which makes her posts relatable and fun!  To find out more about her, check out her about me page.

What made you decide to write a blog about your personal experiences?

Right from the start, I wanted to make my blog about me, as a person. Writing about my experiences is a way to get my emotions out, to help me, but to also give myself perspective when I look back on it. If a situation which upset me happened, writing about it helps to organise the details and feelings associated with it in my mind, and so I chose to write my blog as I do because it felt like something that would make my mind less cluttered.

Why do you use tree names for everyone in your blog?

Before, I’d had a blog where I named my friends after gemstones; I always liked having a theme on which to base names, as it made it easier to connect them together. Because my blogging name is a tree, I thought that my friends should have names relating to nature; originally, it was going to be just a few people with the rest having rather generic names, but the trend stuck and now the naming system is central to my blog. I’ve even started to accidentally call my friends their tree names in my head sometimes!

What happened to the gemstone blog?

I deleted it, sadly – one of my best friends had made an account on Wattpad under a different name, contacted me through it and made me think they were somebody else, until I found out who they are. In a fit of anger, I deleted the blog and was furious with my friend, something that quite ashames me. I think I was so angry because I understood the need for another identity, how you can feel more like yourself in a way because people do not judge you, and so because I knew she also knew that I felt incredibly betrayed. However, I moved past it and now she and I are closer than ever before, and she’s one of the best people I could ever know. I’m almost glad I deleted that blog, because although I would like to look back at that segment of my past, if I’d kept that blog I wouldn’t be the Elm I am today.

So that begs the question… do any of your real life friends know about Just Elm?

A fair few do – in the early days of my blog, I told my close friends that I had one as they knew about the Gemstone one. As I gained new friends, many of them were told by me about the blog: more people know that it exists than those who know the address. As much as I trust the people that know so much, it’s meant that I’ve had to censor myself more; because of this, I’ve decided not to tell any new real life people unless I have to, simply because I want to save this part of my identity.

What is your favorite part about blogging?

Without a doubt, my favourite part is the community. You’ll hear me say this over and over, but without readers and friends that I’ve made, my blog wouldn’t exist today. The people in the blogging world have kept me going when I needed it the most, writing beautifully supportive comments, and equally amazing posts to match. I can always rely on them to give me unbiased advice, and to always be there, whether that’s to share laughs Or to email each other about our lives. It’s not just a disconnected post – being surrounded by fellow bloggers is unbelievably comforting.

What’s your favorite post you’ve ever written?

Oh goodness, I don’t know! I often look over my posts to critique them in my mind’ but I’ve written so many that picking a favourite is difficult. I’d probably say this one: – it represents something utterly beautiful that happened in my life. Though it’s tinged with sadness now, that post serves as a reminder to me that missing people is okay, natural, but that life eventually goes on. It was a post written for me, to me, but also to any other person who finds it hard to say goodbye.

Do you have any book recommendations?

Absolutely – I adore books!

Only Ever Yours by Louise O’Neill, as it is incredibly thought-provoking and teaches you a lot about society, despite being set in a post-apocalyptic world. It follows the story of Freida and Isabel, two girls in a school where girls in that society are prepared for later life – to be Companions, Concubines or Chastities. It’s not an easy read, but it’s very much worthwhile.

The Worldwalker Trilogy by Josephine Angelini, which is unbelievably compelling and fascinating if you like the idea of dimension travelling, and even if you don’t. To date, it is the best series I have ever read in terms of how much it made me think, and how the characters developed’ including twisted morals and the idea of multiple versions of yourself.

The Next Together and the Last Beginning by Lauren James, which I’ve read three times; it explores the idea of a couple being born throughout history. Involving time-travel, ideas of different cultures and beautiful characters, it’s not like anything I’ve ever read before. The second book features the most adorable romance in the history of time.

You’re hosting the 2016 Blogger Awards this year! That’s so awesome! 

Yes I am, and it was a shock to be asked! Last year, it was my favourite part of blogging, and so to be hosting it is an amazing honour. I love the thought of bloggers being brought together through the mutual respect and love of each other; it makes me so happy.

What’s your favorite thing to do on a Winter day?

Definitely to sit writing, reading or blogging – doing something I enjoy in the security of warmth, that is. That can include singing, talking to people and laughing, and hot chocolate is pretty much a given because it is glorious.

If you could only get one thing for Christmas, what would it be?

Only one thing? A keyboard that I can connect to my computer, so that I can record songs. And then I’d use any money I got for my birthday to buy a good microphone so that I could record myself singing. What can I say – I love music! My parents would never get me those though, as I already have a keyboard and it’d be rather expensive.

How do you plan on celebrating the holidays?

Despite not being religious, I celebrate Christmas because it’s a family tradition. As with every year, I’m going to my Grandma’s on Christmas Eve to have a Swedish Christmas, where we open our presents. I’m staying the night there, and on Christmas day, I’m going to my mum’s. Apart from that, I won’t be doing much, except from relaxing and hopefully meeting up with friends.

Finally, what is one piece of advice you would want to give everyone?

You aren’t defined by the mistakes you make, or the things you dislike about yourself. Try to focus on all of the good things – and yes it’s hard, but if you think positively, you’re more likely to be happy. Hold on, and there are so many people supporting you that you can talk to. Neither you nor I are alone.

Thank you so much to Elm for answering all of my questions and sharing about her life and blog!  Like I said earlier, I had so much fun reading your answers to these questions!!  Make sure you take the time to visit Elm’s blog, or follow her on Twitter!

Are you a blogger who wants to be interviewed or do a guest post?  Contact me and let me know!

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