Today marks SIX years of my blog existing in the world!
When I started ReadWriteLove28, I never expected it to last this long. Let me tell you all a secret. When I started this blog, I was in high school and faced a huge turning point in my life. After two years of playing a varsity sport, I decided to give it up. It might not seem like a big deal to some, but it was a decision I made after days upon days of ruminating whether it was the right decision or not. In the end, I decided that it was best for me to leave the sport and so I did. I decided to spend my extra time on something that I truly loved which was reading. I started this blog because I wanted to share my love of reading with the world.
Little did I know that instead of me changing the world with giving book recommendations, the book community would change my world. I started off as a newbie blogger, unsure where to start. I read lots of “How to Start a Book Blog” posts and even emailed a couple of bloggers to ask for their advice. I signed up for blog tours and wrote book reviews. I started participating in book memes like Top Ten Tuesday as I saw lots of other people doing it.
At that point, my eyes were wide open. I was eager to be in the book community and I wanted my blog to stand out. I was nervous that I would not be accepted in the book community, that my time would be wasted by blogging. I thought, what’s the point of a book blog if people don’t read the posts?
But slowly, my mindset changed.
Instead of putting popular bloggers on a pedestal and looking up at them, I started interacting with them on Twitter. I realized that they were fellow book lovers. Instead of seeing them as my goal, I started making friends. I started blogging and creating posts regardless of whether I thought they would be viewed or not. And slowly but surely, my follower count increased and the number of views on my posts also increased. I was proud of myself but more so than that, I was filled with happiness. I had a strong community of friends all over the world who all shared my passion for reading.
But then, I started college.
All of a sudden, I didn’t have much time for blogging. I tried my best in the beginning to keep writing posts whenever I could, but I barely had time to pick up a book. I was focused on succeeding while in college and so my blog slowly started to die. Let me say this: I do not regret putting my blog on the back burner for those four years. I did what I needed to do and I would make the same decision again if I needed to do that. However, I felt like there was a piece of my heart missing. I didn’t have time to read, to write blog posts, or even to go on Twitter and talk to my friends. I didn’t even write a post to celebrate my fifth blogoversary.
And then, I graduated college.
I first thought, YAY! I finally have time to read and blog! I started reading a bit again. I went on Twitter and even held a #RQWN chat. It was fun! I put up a couple of posts. I thought that everything would go back to how it used to be. But instead, the more I tweeted, the lower my Twitter follower count went. When I posted on my blog, I barely received any views. It seemed like many of my old friends weren’t active anymore and I lost confidence to gain new friends. What happened? Is it worth it for me to continue? These thoughts persisted in my mind.
Now, I’m one week away from starting my full time job.
It’s the start of a brand new chapter of my life. Should I close this old chapter known as ReadWriteLove28? I found the answer when I was cleaning up my room.
Recently, I found some cards that I received from members of the book community. I haven’t talked to some of these people in years, but seeing the messages in their cards brought a huge smile to my face. (In case you’re curious, the people are: Kelly / Melissa / Bayy / Sarah / Cassie / Jamie / Heather / Sabrina / Harlee ). These are just a small number of cards that I have received over the years. After looking through the cards, I remembered something important.
I do not blog based on the number of views on my posts.
I do not blog based on the number of people following me on Twitter.
I blog because I LOVE READING.
I blog because I LOVE MY FRIENDS IN THE BOOK COMMUNITY.
So, today I am making a vow to myself. I will continue this blog. I will continue to cherish the friendships that I have formed over the years. I will continue to read and promote the books that I love to the world. Even if I don’t have much time, I will make time, because this is important to me.
I’m also extremely thankful to the many friends in the book community who haven’t given up on me even when I’ve been on hiatus for so long. I want to give a special shoutout to Lauren / Ellie / Mishma / Anna / Jodi / Aila / Sarah / Sophia / CJ / Carrie / Sush / Chels.
This was a slightly heavy post, so thank you to everyone who made it this far. I appreciate each and every one of you. To celebrate this new chapter in my life, I will be hosting a giveaway.
For the bloggers out there, have you ever felt similarly to me? What did you do to move past the feeling of not being good enough? For everyone else, how do you manage to find time to read even with a busy schedule? Let me know your thoughts below!