one million words

find your voice. tell your story.

Liebster Award: Q&A +meet 2 friends

Hi friends!

One of my readers Katharina nominated my blog for the Liebster Award which is a virtual award that recognizes and connects bloggers. “Liebster” is German and means “sweetheart”, “beloved” or “dearest”. Katharina is German girl who lives in New York and is passionate about art, God and people. She is an artist who creates beautiful handmade cards through her business heartfully done. Thanks for the nomination, Katherina. Below are her questions for me: 

  1. Why did you start blogging?

Because I enjoy writing as a way to process thoughts and connect with others. A few years ago a friend encouraged me to start a blog so I did. I have kept a journal for nearly 30 years but blogging adds intention, accountability and discipline to writing. It helps me see what resonates with readers and where I am not being clear. Writing allows me to notice and remember moments or themes I would otherwise miss. I have been inspired by other blogs or good books. Whenever I feel like quitting, (every other week or so:) someone will unexpectedly pop up and say:  “I love your blog, keep writing!” So I do. Starting is the easy part….I would like to finish well.

  1. What’s the story behind your blog’s name?

A couple years ago I listened to a podcast which said most authors need to write about a million words to find their true voice. Sounded arduous but also doable and strangely inspiring so I named my blog one million words. Last year I wrote about 36000 words. (And probably erased 20000:) I am still working on what this title may mean for my reader. I am open to changing it as my writing gains more clarity and focus.

  1. How can your blog change the world in a positive way?

Perhaps by inspiring people to persevere in finding their voice/ telling their story? I think we find pieces of our own story in the narrative of others. When I first read blogs about 8 years ago I was drawn to a couple writers who were processing a major loss very similar to my own. Reading their words helped me heal and move forward. I used to wrestle with this deep ambition to change the world, to make a profound and spectacular contribution to mankind or why even bother. Lately I’ve felt content just being faithful to what I know I’ve been asked to do.

  1. Which three hashtags best describe your blog?

Currently:  #childhood, #memoir and #story. Perhaps throw in #Germany.

  1. When was the last time that something embarrassing happened to you (something you could laugh about later on) and would you share this story with us?

Last week someone made a rude remark about my first name. This happens occasionally when I meet someone new and I have rehearsed a gracious response. Except last week I didn’t feel like being polite, opting for a snarky retort instead. It felt satisfying for a few seconds. When the person apologized I felt embarrassed thinking okay, probably my turn to own up to acting like a jerk. 

  1. Is there a blog post that is dear to your heart – and if so which one?

I really enjoyed writing: “What not to say to people who wait for their dream”

  1. What advice do you have for people who would like to start blogging, but are still feeling a bit scared to dare?

Just do it. 🙂 Any artistic pursuit will push your fears to the surface. You can learn to feel scared and brave all at the same time. You can even learn to move forward in that state.

  1. What (besides writing) is one of your gifts and is as well enjoyable for you?


  1. What helps you to calm down inwardly when your head seems too full?

Spending time alone in nature doing something active. I love to ski, mountain bike and hike but these days I mostly run in early mornings. Good books, hots baths, dark chocolate, short naps and good conversation with friends helps as well. Checking in with my heart.

  1. What is your life dream?

I used to dream big…but I am learning to be content with smaller dreams…(like being nice to people who annoy me or becoming less irritable myself) I am working on anger management, becoming a better listener and growing in patience and kindness. I want to live wholeheartedly, raise well adjusted kids, invest in my marriage, connect with others in meaningful ways. Love God and others well.

  1. What are you grateful for in your life?

A thousand little things. After I read Ann Voskamps book” A thousand gifts” I started paying closer attention to all those good moments and made my own list of gifts.  I’ve worked on it for a couple of years and am up to 950. The last few include sunset at Mt Hood Meadows ski resort, kids happily hiking through foggy forest, fresh flowers from husband.

I am nominating my friends Joellen and Crystal for the Liebster Award:

Joellen is a local friend I met through Classical Conversations which is a homeschool community we both attend. She writes at braving the blackboard about homeschooling, life, courage and beauty. She is also an artist who creates beautiful jewelry. It’s been really fun to connect and attend a local writers group together. 

Crystal is an online friend I met through a blog link up. I vote her the most encouraging person on the internet because any comment she will leave on your writing will make you feel like a rockstar and you will not want to quit writing. Crystal writes about embracing a perfectly imperfect life. She is passionate, creative & funny. You can also find fun DIY posts on her site

Both friends are also members of Compel which is a monthly membership community that equips and inspires writers.

Here are my questions for Joellen and Crystal:

  1. Why did you start blogging?
  2. Describe your writing voice using three hashtags.
  3. Name 2-3 books you read in the last couple of years that you remember best.
  4. Who inspires you to create?
  5. What are three things you currently love?
  6. What’s one of your favorite posts you have written?
  7. What feels the most stressful or overwhelming in this season in your life?
  8. What do you wish to be remembered for?
  9. How long have you been writing?
  10. What writing topics resonate the most with your audience?
  11. What’s the hardest part about being a writer?

The Official Rules Of The Liebster Award

If you have been nominated for The Liebster award AND YOU CHOOSE TO ACCEPT IT, write a blog post about theLiebster award in which you follow the rules below:

  • The Liebster award is intended to connect new bloggers with other bloggers. Someone nominates you, and when you accept the award, you have to answer 11 questions that were asked from the blogger that nominated you. Then you have to nominate other new bloggers and ask them 11 (new) questions. “Liebster” is German and means “sweetheart”, “beloved”, “dearest”.
  • Thank the person who nominated you, and post a link to their blog on your blog. If possible leave a comment underneath their blog post that you accept the award – so that it is visible for everybody.
  • Display the award on your blog — by including it in your post and displaying it using a “widget” or a “gadget”. (Note that the best way to do this is to save the image to your own computer and then upload it to your blog post. You will find plenty of Liebster award logos in the internet or if you feel like being creative you can just design your own Liebster award logo).
  • Answer 11 questions about yourself, which will be provided to you by the person who nominated you.
  • If you like to give 11 random facts of you, you can but it’s not a must.
  • Create a new list of 11 questions for the blogger to answer (or keep some of the old ones if you really like them).
  • Copy the rules and display them on your blog that your nominees know what they have to do.
  • You can nominate between two and eleven new bloggers that you like and recommend and who have less than 1000 followers. (Note that you can always ask the blog owner this since not all blogs display a widget that lets the readers know this information!)
  • List these rules in your post (You can copy and paste from here.) Once you have written and published it, you then have to:
  • Inform the people/blogs that you nominated that they have been nominated for the Liebster award and provide a link for them to your post so that they can learn about it (they might not have ever heard of it!). It is highly recommended to ask the people before you nominate them if they even want to be part of it and don’t feel overwhelmed. Have fun!

Liebster Award

9 Replies

  1. Debbie

    Dear Astrid, It’s always so refreshing to read how you express yourself in such wonderful, and creative ways. Keep going! You are encouraging others to cope better not only with the everyday hiccups, but also with the the bigger and more painful tragedies of life. Hugs to you Debbie

  2. Debbie

    Dear Astrid, It’s always so refreshing to read how you express yourself in such wonderful, and creative ways. Keep going! You are encouraging others to cope better not only with the everyday hiccups, but also with the bigger and more painful tragedies of life. Hugs to you Debbie

    1. Astrid Melton

      Thanks Debbie!

  3. Hi Astrid, Thank you so much for participating! Thank you for your answers and your open heart! Many greetings from NYC, Katharina

    1. Astrid Melton

      Thanks for nominating me!

  4. Astrid, you are the absolute SWEETEST!!!! I adore you and your words. You have a powerful story to tell, my friend, and it is an honor to be invited into your world through your written words. THANK YOU for this nomination, and for your sweet words! I am blessed by you. Oh, and by the way, I think your name is ROCKIN’!

    1. Astrid Melton

      And there it is…the rockstar comment. I love it!! Thanks, fantastically encouraging virtual friend!! I am stealing some of your exclamation marks.

  5. Rachel

    I love that your blog helps me to know you, as my friend, in a deeper, more meaningful way. You have such a unique upbringing and life story that is fanscinating to learn more about. Keep writing!

    1. Astrid Melton

      Thanks friend! I am grateful to know you in real life ❤️

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