Where did your blog name come from?

06/07/2018 Blogging, Discussions 43

Where did your blog name come from?

July is here, and therefore it’s officially my blogoversary month! Hooray!

On the 20th it’ll be four years since I started Boats Against The Current, and it’s got me feeling all nostalgic about my blogging journey so far! One of the things I’ve been thinking about in particular recently is my blog name, and how I struggled so much in the beginning with coming up with something I liked, and fitted what I wanted this blog to be.

I struggled so much that I find it pretty surprising that four years later I still love the name I finally settled on. Especially as it was something I essentially plucked out of thin air at last minute and just ran with…

Well, I say I plucked it out of thin air! I actually just read The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald and fell in love with the final lines:

‘Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgastic future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us then, but that’s no matter -tomorrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther… And one fine morning—

So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.’

After all my searching and thinking, there it was, my perfect blog name: Boats Against The Current.

The name seemed perfect for a number of reasons: firstly, it was a book quote, and what better name for a book blog than a book quote? Plus it’s such a beautiful quote, and I liked the meaning behind the words, both in context of the novel and out of context.

As the final lines of The Great Gatsby I’ve always read it as meaning that however much we look to the future and struggle to make progress, the past will keep pulling us in, and affecting our future. In the book, Gatsby tries to rewrite his own past, and his past with Daisy and create a future where he is with her, but the past, and everything that has gone before won’t let go.

I’ve found this myself, in that things that have happened to me in the past have effected my future: for example, I was bullied in high school, which led to me being painfully shy as an older teenager, which is something I’ve had to struggle to overcome. And whilst there may seem like little hope in Fitzgerald’s book, I feel like in real life, the struggle we have to overcome the past is actually a positive thing. Because if life was all easy and plain sailing (if we weren’t all travelling against the current), then life would be dull, and we would never learn anything, and become the people we are (sorry, this post seems to have randomly got really deep…!).

However, I also felt like the quote was also great for a blog name because of the meaning of the specific part of the quote I chose, out of context of the rest of the book. For me, the images of boats fighting against the current conjures up the idea of going against the norm, and just doing your own thing.

Now I’m not exactly a huge rebel or anything, but I’ve always been someone who hasn’t fitted in easily or followed the crowd, and I like to think I’ve brought some of my general oddness to this blog (my extremely garish colour scheme for example, probably isn’t to many people’s taste, and nor is my green hair…I just like bright colours!). Although to an extent I often feel like book bloggers in general buck blogging standards, simply because it’s a less popular niche than lifestyle or beauty, or fashion. There’s a lot of us out there, but in comparison to bigger niches, we’re comparatively very few!

However, all this isn’t to say that my blog name is entirely perfect: for starters, I couldn’t get the .com web address for it, which was disappointing, as .net just isn’t as memorable, or as professional looking in my opinion. Plus, if you aren’t familiar with the quote you could be forgiven for thinking I actually blog about boats…

But on the whole, four years later I still like the name, which is actually pretty impressive, as I’m infamous for changing my mind about things!

So I’d love to know, where did your blog name come from? Is there a story behind it, or did you just like it? Do you still like it now, or do you have any regrets?

43 Responses to “Where did your blog name come from?”

  1. Inge

    Aw man, now I really wish there was a story behind ours! There’s no story, just a brainstorming session. When Bookshelf Reflections ended, Aly and I decided to build a new blog on our own. I like alliterations, so I suggested things like Books & Brews. But Aly is a major fan of Alice of Wonderland, and this was around the time when a lot of YA books popped up with “Of” starting their title. So I came up with Of Wonderland. Now we like to pretend that we are, actually, in Wonderland.

    P.S. I happen to LOVE your green hair.

    • Laura

      There’s nothing wrong with a good brainstorming session to find a blog name! And it definitely paid off, because I love Of Wonderland as a name! It does always make me think of Alice and Wonderland, so it just seems quirky and magical! Plus it’s nice and short, so I never forget the name of your blog (I sometimes worry mine is kind of long-winded!) 🙂
      And thank you! 🙂

  2. Lory @ Emerald City Book Review

    I love your reasons! There is a lot packed into that little phrase.

    My blog name came from a print magazine I briefly brought out years ago when I was living and teaching in the Seattle area. I wanted to do a review of children’s books with essays and reviews by me and also by local children. Seattle is nicknamed the Emerald City, and I was deeply influenced as a child by the Oz books, so The Emerald City Book Review just sprang to mind as appropriate to the outer and inner intent of the publication.

    When I started the blog this name seemed natural to use again. I didn’t give it a lot of thought, but through my reading and blogging journey it’s come to symbolize for me the quest for something beyond the everyday, and also for the sifting of reality vs. appearance (the original Emerald City is, ironically, a fraud).

    I wonder what impression my blog name gives to others – for example, do they think I blog mostly about fantasy, or children’s books? Or live in Seattle? None of those are true. But the name still gives me personal satisfaction and has meaning for me, so that’s the most important thing.

    • Laura

      I love the story of your blog name! 🙂
      I think it definitely tells you the name is perfect when it just jumps out at you immediately and doesn’t take a lot of thought, and it’s great that it’s something that has so much meaning to you. And I love that it has come to symbolise even more for you as you’ve gone along your blogging journey.
      I do always think of the Wizard of Oz when I think of your blog name, but it’s never really implied to me that you mostly review fantasy or children’s books, but perhaps that’s just because I’ve been reading your blog for so long I know the kind’s of things you blog about? Your blog is also one that’s always stuck in my mind too because of how it looks: I’ve always thought your header and overall theme was amazing, and definitely fitting for your blog name! 🙂

  3. Aj @ Read All The Things!

    Happy blogiversary! I was familiar with the quote, so I knew right away that this was a book blog. My blog didn’t have a name for the first 2 (I think) years of its existence. It just had a blank blue (and later brown and red) header at the top. I finally decided that it needed a name and named it after a meme.

    • Laura

      I actually think that’s pretty cool that you originally just had a plain header and no name! I took so long deciding on a blog name that I didn’t end up starting blogging until ages after I decided to do it, so it’s great that you just got on with it. And I like that you named it after a meme in the end! 🙂

  4. Nina

    Happy blogiversary! I ADORE the great gatsby and I precisely adore the last lines of the book (it’s one of my favorites of all time) and i totally get why you chose it to be the name of your blog ♥

    Have a great day!

    • Laura

      Thank you! 🙂
      It really is such an incredible quote isn’t it? It’s my all time favourite too!

  5. Holly

    I love the story behind your blog name! I really wanted mine to stem from a quote from a book I loved but I really struggled to come up with something that seemed to fit the idea that I had in my head. To Kill a Mockingbird is my absolute favourite book of all time and I have been saying for a while now that I want a particular quote from my favourite character, Atticus Finch. Then it hit me – Atticus could be my inspo. And there we have it, a little over a month ago The Writing Finch was born. Hopefully it is something I stick to, but for now I absolutely love it!! It is exactly what I had in mind without even really knowing it myself.

    • Laura

      I love that you got your blog name from a book too! Your name is awesome! I like that it tells you what the blog is about with the writing bit, but then it also references a book character too. It’s a great moment though isn’t it, when the perfect name finally hits you?
      I hope you’re enjoying blogging so far 🙂

  6. Kristina

    Aww that’s such a good story !! Thank you for sharing.

    Mine’s more plain xD ahah I just took the same as the tumblr’s counterpart, but basically I was struggling for a name and just went “okay, it’s gonna be books and my wieners, so books-and-dachshunds!” sadly, I needed to removes the – for wordpress on the free one, but I like it nonetheless ! Though it’s not gonna be only books anymore as my boyfriend as joined it but, ahah I won’t bother changing it.

    • Laura

      I love your blog name! Any blog that announces in it’s name that there’s going to be books and cute dogs will definitely draw me in! 🙂
      And that’s so cool that your boyfriend has joined your blog now! 🙂

  7. Karla Strand

    I like the meaning behind your blog name; it’s great that it came to you from a book.

    In a previous life I have a travel blog and got burned out fast and just sick of the scene, so then I just switched to a personal website, Karla J. Strand. After I completed my doctorate, I missed writing and I write a lot of nonfiction book reviews for my day job, so began writing fiction reviews for my site. So my site really is still a personal site and not solely a book blog, so I haven’t changed the name. I dunno that I will; I think it works, at least for now.

    • Laura

      I think using your name is great for a blog name. It makes it easy for people to remember, and you can switch what you want to write about, or just write about a wide variety of things without having to worry about changing the name. I’m glad it’s working for you! 🙂

  8. Angela

    I love the story behind your blog name! That’s such a cool quote. And happy blogoversary!

    I just tried to come up with something that combined my love of reading and the outdoors, so “literary wanderer” came to mind for my blog name!

    • Laura

      Thank you! 🙂
      I like how you combined two things you love to make your blog name. I’ve always really loved your blog’s name because I like the idea of being a ‘literary wanderer’!

  9. Greg

    That’s actually a great inspiration for a blog name- how cool! I’ve always thought mine was kind of plain Jane but I wanted something simple, and the idea of a haven appealed to me. Probably from reading tons of fantasy lol.

    And happy four years coming up! I like your blog theme, BTW.

    • Laura

      Thanks! 🙂
      I’ve always really liked your blog name! I think it has the best of both worlds, because it tells you who you are and what you blog about, but also has the magical element of ‘haven’. It always makes me think of the Grey Havens in Lord of the Rings! 🙂

  10. Zeee @ I Heart Romance & YA

    Happu blogoversary, Laura! I love your blog name also the inspiration for it!

    I personally suck at naming things so on one desperate night, I came up with I Heart Romance, a play on I Heart Radio since at that time, I exclusively read romance. Then when I started reading and reviewing YA, I decided to add & YA to the name so I Heart Romance & YA was born! I would like to chance my blog name someday if I can think of something witty and cool to replace it, but for now, I’m happy the way it is! ?

    • Laura

      Thank you! 🙂
      I really like your blog name! It tells you exactly what you blog about, but I like the twist of it saying heart instead of love!

  11. Pamela

    So happy for you Laura! It’s such an accomplishment and I’m glad you keep doing the good work and giving us some awesome posts!

    I changed my blog name about a year or so ago, but never felt better. I hadn’t given much of a though to the name the first time around, and the name and the url didn’t match so when I redesigned, it was a new chance. I thought about a lot of words that called my attention, wrote them down and tried to mix and match them in order to find THE NAME. And that’s how I finally came about Reverie Society!

    • Laura

      Aww, thank you! 🙂
      I’m so glad you’re feeling so much better about your blog name! It can be so nice to have a change, and I’ve always really loved the name Reverie Society!

  12. Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight

    Oh I LOVE this post, and I don’t think I knew where your name came from- but I LOVE IT. The quote really is lovely, and also, fellow quote-blog-namer here 😀 Mine is (unshockingly) from Catching Fire- when Plutarch shows Katniss his Mockingjay watch and tells her “It starts at midnight” and she repeats it when she/Wiress figure out the whole clock thing. Because I am a huge night owl and basically ONLY blog late at night.. it just fit!

    Also- I LOVE your bright colors- both on your blog and in your hair! Though I suppose my blog could be called garish as well, so take that for what it’s worth, I adore yours!

    • Laura

      I hadn’t actually realised your blog name was a Catching Fire quote! That’s so awesome especially as it also had relevance to you blogging at night! I think I’d always just presumed it was because you did a lot of reading or blogging at night. I’ve always thought it was a great name anyway! 🙂
      And thanks, I’m so glad you like my theme! Yours is definitely bright too, and I absolutely love it! I’ve always really liked the patterned background, as I don’t think you see that on enough blogs 🙂

  13. Elley @ Elley the Book Otter

    First of all, HAPPY BLOGIVERSARY! Wow, 4 years – that’s awesome. 🙂
    I’ll admit, I couldn’t make myself plow through The Great Gatsby, but now I kind of want to try again. That’s such a beautiful quote, and it’s so cool to know where your blog name comes from!
    When I created my blog, Elley the Book Otter, I’m trying to remember my creative process, but I’m pretty sure I just went “Well, I love books, and I also love otters, and I go by Elley online sooooo…” Now I’m kind of wishing I’d chosen a bookish quote!

    • Laura

      Thank you! 🙂
      I love the thought process you had to choose your blog name! Sometimes keeping it simple and just choosing things you like is the best idea. Plus your blog name is really fun, but at the same time tells you that it’s a book blog, which is something mine doesn’t do. It’s a great name! 🙂

  14. Sam @ Sharing Inspired Kreations

    That’s a great blog name! I’m happy you still like it. Happy blogiversary!!

    I first started out with the name SIK Book Reviews, but then I started blogging about things other than books too, so I had to change it. It took me quite a while, but with a lot of brainstorming, I came up with Sharing Inspired Kreations. It was important to me to keep SIK in the name (those are my initials) and so I’m happy I was able to do that. I blog about several different things (mostly books, nails, and makeup right now). I wanted to keep my options open too in case I decided to change directions again in the future, which I kind of did – since having my daughter 2 years ago, I have incorporated some parenting posts in there. And I recently added makeup to my hobbies 🙂 I’ve had this name for about 3 years now (I think?) and I still like it. I’m happy with the name I came up with!

    • Laura

      Thanks! 🙂
      I love your blog name, and it’s great that it’s allowed you to change directions without too much upheaval and having to change the name. I think it’s natural for blogs to change as you go along (mine has definitely altered a little, as I’ve started to include more lifestyle stuff) particularly seen as you’ve gone through a huge life change with becoming a parent, so having a name that’s been able to grow with you is awesome! 🙂

  15. heather

    I started writing just as a personal blog writing about what happened in my life so I used Based on a True Story. My only regret is that because this was in the way olden days (2005)and I didn’t know what I was doing when I filled out the forms for the domain, my domain name and title don’t match.

    • Laura

      It’s a shame your domain name and title don’t match, but I still think the name is really cool! And that’s amazing that you’ve been blogging since 2005! 🙂

  16. Jennilyn V.

    I didn’t know that your blog name came from a book quote. Now that I know the story behind it, it just makes perfect sense. FWIW, I don’t find the colors of your blog nor your hair color garish. Bot are pretty neat and pretty, actually.

    My blog name, Rurouni Jenni Reads, was the result of watching the live-action movie version of an anime called Rurouni Kenshin back in 2015. Kenshin was an assassin turning a new leaf and gaining friends along the way. I was a prolific reader growing up but I committed the mortal sin of abandoning books when I became an adult. I’d like to think that book blogging is a way to make up for those times when I forgot to read and along my book blogging journey, I will gain bookish friends as well. 🙂

    • Laura

      Aww, thank you! 🙂
      And I love the idea behind your name! That’s so cool! And it’s great that you got back into reading. I think that happens to a lot of people where they read a lot as a kid and then less when they become adults, so it’s so great that you’ve rediscovered reading.
      And gaining bookish friends has definitely been the best thing about my book blogging journey! 🙂

  17. Malka @ Paper Procrastinators

    Happy Blogoversary! This is the benefit of getting to posts weeks later! ? It actually took quite a bit of time until my co-blogger and I settled on a name. I think that’s the thing that took us the longest in setting up our blog. But eventually we settled on Paper Procrastinators because we’re always procrastinating together, and we even plan on using blogging as a procrastination resource. It’s not very deep or complicated, but I rather like it.

    • Laura

      Thank you! 🙂
      I love the name Paper Procrastinators! I like how there is a story behind it, but at the same time it gives you a big clue as to the topic with the ‘paper’ bit. Plus I just like alliteration in titles! It sounds so much better! 🙂

  18. Wendy @ Falconer's Library

    This is such a fun discussion! I love hearing everyone’s stories. I have always liked you blog title, even though I’m not a Gatsby fan per se. It’s such a lovely quote and image.

    My blog name is my maiden name, which I still very much identify with. It also has a nice evocative sound to it. “Falcon Blog” and “Falconer’s Blog” sounded dumb, but since I’ve always loved the library, “Falconer’s Library” felt right.

    • Laura

      I love the name ‘Falconer’s Library’! It’s cool that it incorporates your maiden name, as that’s a nice personal connection, but it also tells you that your blog is about book because of the ‘library’ bit.

    • Laura

      Thanks! 🙂
      I’ve always loved your blog name too! I love the rhyme of ‘fiction addiction’, as it’s so easy to remember and it just sounds good! Not to mention it also tells you what your blog is about.

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