IT’S BEEN A YEAR!! How is this possible? I officially launched my blog last August, and here we still are, a year later. I’m just going to apologize now because this post is going to be rather rambly, but I can’t wrap my head around the fact that I’ve been blogging for that long, plus I have so many reflections about my experience so far that I want to touch on.
But even if you read none of that, thank you so much for being a part of my blog by reading, liking, and commenting on my posts! Being more active in the online bookish community was my number one objective in starting a blog, and doing so has more than lived up to my expectations.
For instance, I’ve made some great friends via blogging! Both in person and online, actually. I suspected I would meet friends online and hope we can meet up in person one day, but I’m really surprised that blogging connected me with people I already know, too. I personally try to avoid mentioning my blog to people I know because, while I’m proud of my blog, I’m also embarrassed for people I know to see what I read, how much I read, and how much thought I put into reading. But someone in my book club overheard me talking about my blog with another blogger at an event and demanded a business card, and now we talk nonstop books and go to book events together, which is awesome!
Seriously, meeting people who love reading just as much as I do has been the most wonderful part of blogging so far, and it’s really what drives me to keep going. For instance, I texted my husband today about how excited I was about an arc and didn’t get a response (to be fair, it was part of a flood of text messages and he tried to respond to it all, but I think that one slipped through the cracks). But I texted one of my friends and immediately got a text sharing in my excitement. It’s a much more satisfying response than the “great” I probably would have gotten from my husband because, while he’s excited that I’m excited, he’s not personally excited about romance novels.
Another great thing about blogging has been the writing itself, which actually kind of shocks me. I’ve never considered myself much of a writer and always insisted I didn’t like writing all that much, but apparently it’s a different story when it’s something I’m actually interested in writing about. As it turns out, it’s fun for me to write about books! Plus I really enjoy the challenge of coming up with topics for my blog and trying to keep it interesting. I didn’t know I needed a creative outlet, but apparently I do! And blogging has been a great way to satisfy that need.
Blogging has also been amazing at getting me to think more critically about my reading. For instance, I read primarily books by white authors before I started blogging, but now at least 35 to 40 percent of the books I pick up are by authors of color. There are other parts of my reading that I still need to work on diversifying, but I’ve learned so much from the community about representation in books and how important it is and how my previous behavior only supported the status quo, and I’m so incredibly grateful for that knowledge and am always trying to improve my reading.
Plus it’s cool to be more aware of what I’m reading. Like, I never stopped before and thought about what genres I was picking up, but now that I know I love romance so much, I’m doing a much better job of finding some amazing romances. And I knew I liked nonfiction, but paying attention to what I like in nonfiction has helped me realize that I really enjoy memoirs and enabled me to find some really interesting ones.
I’ve also gotten some amazing opportunities as a result of becoming a blogger. Like, the fact that I get advanced copies of books and am able to read them before publication still blows my mind. I get a bit of a thrill every time I open up an arc, and I don’t ever plan to lose that feeling or take it for granted.
Blogging has also let to me becoming an an Avon Addict, which means that I get sent boxes of romances novels every few months, including arcs of some of my most anticipated reads! Seriously, what is my life that I get sent boxes of books and am part of an online community that loves romance as much as I do?!
Then there’s the fact that I was able to attend Book Expo and the RWA Blogger Day. Those were such amazing experiences that I will always remember and appreciate, not least for all of the amazing people I got to meet as a result. Collecting arcs and meeting authors is awesome, but it’s seriously the people I got to meet at those events that really made them such standout memories for me.
So yeah. A year. Wow. I can’t believe it’s been that long and what a crazy ride it has been, but I’ve loved every moment of it. Thank you so much for supporting me on this journey; it really wouldn’t be anything without all of you!