Thoughts On One Year Of Blogging
Saturday, August 27, 2016
I started this blog one year ago this week. I feel like this post should be headed by a photo of a big number one shaped balloon, possibly a bit of confetti, and maybe a cake. Instead you get a photo of a thistle. Take from that what you will.
So here I am, one year into blogging, This is what has and hasn't happened.
I haven't acquired hundreds and thousands of followers. It is much harder than I thought to get people to read my ramblings. I knew I wouldn't instantly have a huge number of followers but I did think by now I would have more than I do. I must admit, I get a little envious when I see other blogs the same age as mine that have many, many more followers. That can make me doubt what I am doing. I am being honest about that feeling because it is easy to feel like you are the only one whose blog is growing at a snail's pace.
I haven't discovered my niche. Everything on the internet says you need one. I am not good at sticking to one subject. Mainly I talk about books because I love books. They are my comfort, my escape, my education, and my safe place. However, I also talk about vacations, kids, and random thoughts spinning around in my head. Maybe I would be more successful if I stuck to one subject but I seem incapable of doing that. And I will probably continue to write the occasional post about being a parent even though those are the least read things I ever write. I am not sure why, but any parenting post seems to fall dead in the water.
I haven't gotten to grips with Twitter. I keep trying but I know I am not using it to the full. I still find it scary. It feels a bit like speaking into a void or maybe, even worse, sitting down at the lunch table with the popular kids. You don't know what reaction you are going to get, maybe everyone will be friendly but maybe you will be ignored. No, I wasn't one of the popular kids. Too shy and quiet.
I haven't told anyone in my real life about this blog. Well, my husband and kids know but that is it. Should I? Shouldn't I? I can't decide so I do nothing.
I haven't been offered any free books to read and review. There must be a way you can help that to happen but I don't know it. But free books? That would be living the dream.
I haven't convinced myself to write that many book reviews. I like books, I like to talk about books, I don't necessarily like to write formal reviews of books. I do it occasionally when I have something I particularly want to say or when I am doing a review for the Classics Club but I am just not motivated to review every book I read. I don't think I can really call myself a book blogger which brings me straight back to having not found my niche. Oh well.
But what has happened because I started blogging?
The biggest, and it sounds like a cliche, is that I have created something I am proud of. It took a lot of work and effort for me to figure out how blogging worked. I did it. I fixed my mistakes and I learned new skills in the process. There is still room for improvement but since I was a bit of a Luddite when it came to computers this is a huge step forward for me.
I found somewhere to use my desire to write. I have always wanted to write but after several abortive attempts at writing fiction I thought that maybe it just wasn't for me. Then I found blogging. It seems this is for me. I enjoy it and I love the sense of satisfaction I receive when I publish a post.
I have a place for all the random thoughts in my head to go. Not all of them get published but they have a home now and that gives me a clearer head and hopefully a less stressful life.
I discovered an interest in photography. I am still not very good at it but I am taking small steps forward and that would not have happened if I hadn't needed photos for my blog.
I have found so many new books to read. I have read book blogs for a long time but having my own has helped me to come across even more and that has introduced me to even more books. My old method of finding books was to wander around the library but since I live in a small Connecticut town with a rubbish library system that didn't work too well. Now I have an unending list of books I want to read.
Many kind and like-minded people have read my posts and commented on them. I truly, truly appreciate that. I still get a thrill every time I get a notification about a new comment. It just amazes me that people read what I write and then feel motivated to say something about it.
I wanted to write a witty and clever post to commemorate a year of this blog but somehow it didn't come. Instead I had a head full of random thoughts. But really, that is what my blog is all about, the random, frequently book based thoughts that swirl through my head.
Thank you for reading.
And now, here are a few of my favorite posts from the last year.
My Love Affair With England
How To Turn Your Child Into A Reader
What I Want For My Daughter
Mansfield Park by Jane Austen
Tips for a Happy Marriage