How did this happen? One year of blogging already?
This week I got this little picture in my mailbox:
12 months of learning the ropes and knowing I still have much to learn.
12 months posting and hoping someone would read and like what I wrote.
12 months to get to know YOU.
12 months crazy busy as I posted 570 posts in 365 days!
12 months of highs but also lows when doubt had me in its clutches.
Today I want to thank you. You all wonderful bloggers. Without your passion, your kindness, your help, your comments I would never have had such a fantastic year!
What I thought blogging would be or “when Sophie had a plan set in stone… and got derailed”.
I did not know I would have to make noise
Naively I thought that I would post and everyone would like and comment. Imagine my surprise and unease when I posted my first post and …nothing happened! This seems obvious to many but I did not realize that you had to have people following you if you wanted some like and interaction. I had to work hard especially as for many and many months I did not appear on the WordPress Reader. I was INVISIBLE! It was a wake up call and a very humbling experience. I would have to work and earn my likes! Fortunately I love challenges and working hard 😉
But that’s something people don’t tell you when you begin blogging. If you don’t have a wide fan base on some social media or lots of friends you will have to grow your community.
I still recall the joy I felt when I read my first comment ever!!!
I did not know blogging about books was much more than writing reviews
It is a book blog so of course I would post reviews. Wait! What? You can also interview authors? They accept? Even for a small fish like me? Yepee!!!
And what is this strange beast that’s called a Meme? I know of mumus but memes? And a Tag? An award even! Well it seems like fun!
Oh and this blogger had a really interesting discussion about ebooks versus paperbooks or pet peeves or…
Suddenly book blogging seemed such an ocean of possibilities!
I did not know you could be personal and emotional. Rant, cheer, confess…
When I began I thought that I would be “professional” only. No need to really know I had a bad day or that commuting took many hours. This is serious stuff! Speak about books then retreat.
Then I stumbled on bloggers like Shanah @bionicbookworm or Jay @ThisIsMyTruthNow or Dani @TouchMySpine and they were talking about their lives (see all their links below)! And it was interesting because they allowed me to feel the person behind the pen. They could be my friends in real life!
I soon read with great interest these posts just to get to know them. Because what’s important is the blogger’s personality. These are the kind of blogs that I prefer.
Now I try to let people see the “real me”. The flawed one. The passionate and the one making mistakes when answering the sirens call of a shiny plugin LOL
I did not know blogging was addictive
I thought I would post once or twice a week. I have a job managing two teams and long commuting hours. Two kids, a dog… I would not post more. I began with one post then another then.. I was addicted to blogging. I never expected to have so much pleasure in WRITING. Not only writing reviews but discussion posts or interviews. Blogging is like a drug and when you can’t post something is missing. Yet it’s wise to have a breather sometimes. To get a new perspective and come back with more ideas and enthusiasm.
I did not know blogging came with mastering the art of making graphics or taking pictures
I thought: “OK Sophie you write the text of your review and you post it. Easy peasy and quick.” Ha! Little did I know that a post is so much better with some beautiful graphics or GIFs. Of course you can have blogs with text only. But I found it so much fun to create graphics, teasers, etc. To play with fonts and pictures. I’m a very visual person and used to draw and paint. Blogging was an open door to endless creativity. I have a BLAST creating graphics! Granted posting a simple review takes twice as much time as before…
I did not know a blog was like your home: you want to redecorate sometimes
My hubs the IT guy told me: “Choose a theme and stuck to it. It’s only a hobby so it will be enough.” But when you blog hop you get ideas! I had blog envy!!! I know that’s bad, really, really bad. But come on! Have you never drooled on this gorgeous blog? Or found that this idea to feature a book in a colorful square was genius? No? Well you are a Saint but I’m not. 😉
I had a choice: change my theme or improve with CSS
I tried to change my theme thanks to my husband who installed a test site. I could try everything without too much fright. Every time I chose another theme to improve some feature other features that I loved disappeared. I always missed something.
So I did the unthinkable: learn CSS coding and HTML coding. I’m still at a very basic stage but I learn at my own pace and now I’m happy with how my blog is looking.
I always admire white and pastel sleek blogs. But when I try it for my own blog it’s just not me.
I’m a passionate and vibrant personality. I love colors but I don’t like mess or an orgy of colors. So I chose bold colors for my icons and a striking girl for my header. I improved the font on the widgets making them more visible. I changed the fonts of my titles and menu. I also added fonts in my posts. I also wanted to feature my bookstagrams, something that I discovered while blogging and took like a rash!
Now I’m a happy blogger especially after Wendy @birdiesbookblog explained how to build that famous colorful square around my books synopsis.
I did not know it would be so hard to follow my feed
When I say follow my feed it’s not answering comments as that is quite easy. No it’s about liking and commenting all your very interesting posts! WordPress is a fantastic pool of creative and interesting people. I want to like and comment so much more than I do every day. Sadly life is extremely busy for me and I always feel frustrated and guilty for not commenting more. This for me is the hardest and most frustrating part about blogging.
I did not know bloggers were just fantastic and such a tight knit and supportive community!
This is the most wonderful of my discoveries this year. YOU! Your support, your friendship, your passion, your creativity amaze me every day! When I began blogging and made mistakes I barely asked a question on a forum that I got several bloggers answering my call and helping me. It’s been like that all along! You also answered when I asked if someone would be interested in posting collaborative posts. Wendy worked with me for some Mini Me posts. Talia @redhotink wrote with me our series about USA: The Good, The bad, The Quirky and we had a blast! Poulami @daydreamingbooks offered to host one of my posts and Melanie @MNBernardbooks invited me to take part at her Halloween event.(all links below)
It reminded me that our world is not mostly populated by hateful people but by caring and loving people. Blogging every day and witnessing the support this community gives is a fantastic boost!
So I’m ending this very long post with a shoutout for some bloggers that I got to know and appreciate. In no particular order:
1 Poulami @daydreamingbooks with her K-Drama reviews, book reviews and spot on insight of the bookish world
2 Mandy @bookprincessreview with her lovely blog, gushing personality and interesting reviews
3 Talia @redhotink my partner in crime and book mate
4. Raven @dreamyaddiction with her very interesting reviews and similar taste in book
5. Flavia @flaviathebibliophile for her incredibly beautiful blog and upbeat personality. She has an endless supply of energy and leads buddy reads.
6 Wendy @birdiebookwormblog for her original posts, her honest and insightful reviews and her generous help
7 Shanah @bionicbookworm for her kindness, her generosity, her interesting topics, her endless supply of ideas and her support
8 Kristin @kristincravesbooks for her graphics, her topics, her dynamic personality
9 Dani @touchmyspinebookreviews for her honesty, her vulnerability, her authenticity and her generosity
10 Trisy @bobosbookbank for her daily comments. She was among the firsts to give me some feedback and I love her to pieces
11 Jay @thisismytruthnow for his intersting daily posts, his brilliant prose, his kindness, his dog Ryder (love Ryder!)
12 Susan @susanlovesbooks for her engaging personality, weekly Netgalley book haul, First Line Friday and so many more
13 Adrienne @darquedreamerreads for her sass and her kindness. For her insight on all that is bookish and for her gorgeous blog!
14 Melanie @mnbernardbooks for her lead in many bookish discussion, her writing, her bite and kiss personality (Melanie you give it honestly but you also loves and praise all the same)
15 Last but far from least Kim @byhookorbybook for making us care! She is passionate about so many things happening into the world. This woman is just fantastic!
These are only a few.
Thanks to all of you for making this year so magical!
What did you not know blogging would be?
Thanks for reading!