Happy First Birthday!


Today is officially the day, one year ago, that I started blogging about books, writing, and other random things that I thought someone out there might care to hear me talk about. The idea started with the giant stack of books I brought home with me from the library to read over Spring Break, and I thought that they looked pretty stacked up with one another, so I took pictures, not exactly sure yet what I'd do with them.
That night, I started (and finished) my favorite book of all time, All The Bright Places  by Jennifer Niven. By the time I cleaned up the messy puddle to tears I'd cried at the end, I'd already droned on and on to my mom and best friend about the magic of this book and how they must read it. But I still wanted to say more. That was the start of my first blog post.
Ever since then, I've gone through reading spikes and slumps, varying numbers of posts, and long periods of self doubt punctuated by bursts of triumphs, and, a year later, the blog is better than its ever been on its slow march up to one thousand page views a month, a stat that is shockingly in reach now. I've also learned lots of things in this year that I thought I'd share with everyone who might be curious about starting a blog of their own.

Bookstagram Worthy Photos Are Harder Than They Look
While I've always had a bit of a love for photography, I didn't realize how much time and thought went into finding the perfect space that suits the book, catching the right light, and keeping shadows off the beautiful covers! I definitely think I've improved over the year. It's given me massive respect for all the stunning shots that come through my feed!

Some Days (or Weeks) You Just Don't Feel Like Reading
It's one of the sad realities of life, and it doesn't stop just because you have a blog post due. Lucky for me, I tend to read enough to save up posts for these moments, but I have bribed myself in the past for rewards for reading

Read What You Want To
If the book doesn't sound like something you'll like, don't read it. You've probably noticed that all the books I review on the blog are YA contemporary. Maybe one day I'll go back to the fantasy and fairytale retellings I loved when I was younger, but, for now, I know what I like and I'll stick to it. It's totally possible to read widely within a genre without picking up stories you know you won't like because they're popular at the moment. 

It's Totally Okay Not To Finish a Book
I do it rather notoriously. Sometimes, after a few chapters, I realize there are other books I'd rather read and vow to come back to it later. Other times, I just can't get past the style. There's no shame in shelving a book for good.

ARCs Are Pretty Awesome
While no one should blog for the ARCs, they do come as a definite bonus, especially when you score title you were planning to buy anyway (Puddin'!). They're also a great way for the publisher to get more publicity while you get a free book, something that definitely makes blogging more affordable. Speaking of...

The Library Will Be Your Best Friend
While the plastic films on the covers and ID tags on the spines call for creativity with the pictures, becoming involved with your library by requesting new releases on purchase suggestions and going for big stacks of books are a great way  to read tons (and stay motivated!) without taking up money or space you don't have.

Connecting With Other Authors and Bloggers Is The Best
This is something I experienced my first night as a blogger when Jennifer Niven replied back to my Tweet about my review to say how touching it was. Jennifer Niven had read something I'd written! That almost made me cry again. I love that this site has given me the chance to connect with my favorite bloggers and other people in the community like I never imagined! I've never felt more heard than when I check my stats and see how many people, globally, my words reached. 

All in all, this year has been pretty amazing, and, as you can probably tell, my new schedule has allowed me to put more time than ever into curating the best content possible for you guys! I don't see that changing any time soon. So until my next review, check out some of the updated links below (more ARCs have been added to the haul!) as well as the one review that started it all.

Links Of Interest:

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Comments

  1. Happy Birthday to your blog! I really enjoyed reading about your first year of blogging! Keep up the great work!!
    xo | www.sarahjuneblog.com

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