The blog’s official birthday was July 4th, but I wanted to stick to the theme of procrastination and post this blogiversary reflection a few days late! (It was actually just poor planning that led to this post being late. Don’t be fooled!) I actually reached out over on Instagram to see if there was anything specific people were interested in, but I didn’t receive many responses, so I figured that anything would go. So what you’re getting in the end is a bit of a chatty piece where I’m going to reflect on the past 4 years. As of writing this intro, I’m not sure what topics that will cover, so I guess we’ll both find out in the coming paragraphs!
If you asked me how long I’ve been blogging, and I answered with my gut and not facts, I’d say it’s been 2, maybe 2.5 years. Which is obviously strange, since I’ve been blogging for 4 years now. But I think there are 2 reasons I’d say this. Firstly, there were lots of hiatuses and months off. So I don’t feel as though I spent a full 4 years working on this blog. Secondly, as much as this blog has grown, and it has grown A LOT! (Pauses to thank everyone for helping me reach 900 followers just days after posting my June Wrap Up where I said that was what I was hoping for! This community is the best!) Even though this blog has grown, I still feel like it’s in its infancy. Part of that of course has to do with my inconsistency and hiatuses. But part of that feels like it has to do with how the blogging community has shifted and changed over the past 4 years. So let’s talk about that some more.
Over the years I’ve been so lucky to make friends and have blogs that I adore following. But what I’ve learned is that, for better or worse, things change. Bloggers get burnt out and take indefinite hiatuses or stop posting entirely. New bloggers try out blogging for a month or two, only to be disappointed when they don’t grow super fast, or when they realize how much work blogging can be, and they leave as well. And I have to admit, I get it. There have been months where I’ve considered leaving blogging. There have been times where I’ve been disappointed about the blog’s growth (or lack there of) or the stats on posts. But a lot of that is me playing the comparison game. A lot of that is me looking back to when I first started out on this blog and all the content I was posting seemed fresh and new and came easily, and COVID hadn’t happened, and I was better at blog hopping an interacting, and my stats reflected that. I think that it’s taken me too long to realize that I need to look at my current blogging situation and base what I’ll call a success or a disappointment on the given situation. I’m busier now, I’m a bit less inspired, I don’t have as much interaction. Those are all disappointing, yes, but they’re also reality. If I stop letting it get me so down, I can use this moment as my new starting point, and figure out ways to grow from the point I’m at now.
Thankfully, there’s still a lot of good that has come out of my blogging, so let’s take a moment to look back at that as well. It’s wild to me how many things I’ve done because of this blog that I never could have dreamed of. Let’s start with the fact that having there are bloggers I admire that share my posts in monthly wrap ups! It STILL never ceases to blow my mind. Someone thought what I wrote had value! Someone thought what I wrote was funny and worth sharing! (This is your daily reminder to share the content you love and make a blogger’s day/week/month!) I really never thought this would happen when I started out, but seeing blogs I love and blogs I wasn’t even aware knew I existed talk about my posts is still one of the best feelings.
Then there are all the publisher related things that were literal dreams of mine, that have become reality. I’m on some romance publishers’ influencer lists and can request ARCs from them, both via NetGalley and in physical form. I’ve been invited to a release day party! I’ve interviewed authors! I’m now a Bookshop.org affiliate and sometimes make money from that! These are things that took years to accomplish, but they’re most definitely worth celebrating! I don’t ever want to start taking for granted the fact that I sometimes get access to a favorite author’s new book several months early because of this platform that I’ve built. A platform which would be nothing without YOU reading it.
Which is why there’s obviously going to be a giveaway to celebrate these past 4 years. Because any reader, any follower, any friend of this blog has been what’s made this experience last. It’s why when I’ve burnt out, I’ve returned. It’s why I post content to begin with. So to thank you all for being here there are going to be not one, but TWO giveaways!
The way this will work is the following. One of the giveaways will be INTERNATIONAL ONLY! This giveaway will be open to anywhere outside the US and will be a book less than $20 from Book Depository, as long as they ship to your country. The other giveaway will be US ONLY! This giveaway will be any book less than $20 from Bookshop.org! I wanted to be sure that all my international readers not only had a chance, but were guaranteed that someone outside the US would get something, while obviously not excluding my US readers, so this was my solution! (I also required you to either confirm which country or state you’re from when you enter so that I’m sure you’re entering the right giveaway!)
Enter the International Giveaway!
Enter the US Giveaway!