Blogging has exposed me to so many books I would never have known of otherwise. Before I started blogging last year, I wasn’t active on Goodreads, and I had only very recently become aware of book blogs. Most books I read were adult books that came from the best-seller lists, with a sprinkling of books from Entertainment Weekly that sounded interesting.
Learning HOW to blog. I started my blog on a whim, and I had no idea of the amount of work that would be involved. I learned the bare basics of Blogger over a weekend, and then gradually picked up more. I moved to WordPress in July, and I felt like I was starting from square one. There is still so much I need to learn, and if I had known the extent of what I did NOT know before I started, I probably would have been too intimidated to start my blog. But I am still amazed at (and proud of) all that I have learned, considering I knew nothing when I started. There’s something to be said for diving right in!
Spouting off my opinion to anyone who cares to listen. There aren’t many (or any) people in my real life who enjoy reading as much as I do. So, when I wanted to discuss books, I was at a loss. Now, I’ve found a community who shares my passion.
BEA! I had NO idea BEA existed before last year, and as soon as I heard about it, I registered to go. It was an amazing experience, and I wish it was more accessible to every blogger and reader in the world who would like to go.
Getting free books/ARCs. Is that tacky to admit? ARCs are another thing I wasn’t aware of before I started blogging. I mean, I knew they existed for professional reviewers, but I had no idea the “regular folks” could get them, too. Like a lot of people, I went nuts right out of the gate, requesting books that sounded just slightly appealing. Yeah, that was a mistake. I’m much more discerning now, but I’m still thrilled to get my hands on an early copy of a book I’ve been anticipating.
Twitter-ing my butt off. I started my Twitter account last year to make a complaint to Time Warner. I had read that that was the most effective way to get a company’s attention. Just for the hell of of it, I followed a few of my favorite authors, and that lead me to discover the existence of book blogs, which lead me to think, “Hey, I can do that, too!” The vast majority of the people I follow are book-related: authors, publishers, and bloggers. But I also now use it to follow news and to rave (or rant) about the latest episodes of The Walking Dead or Game of Thrones. And yes, you’ll still see the occasional customer service rant.
The blogging community. Yes, I’ve seen some crazy, obnoxious stuff from our fellow bloggers, but we’re all here because we love books and because we love authors. And we love to talk about books and authors. And we’re passionate, and we don’t always agree, but that’s what makes it fun, isn’t it?
Blogging means more books which means more bookshelves! I love bookshelves, especially those that aren’t too traditional-looking. I bought a bunch of new ones over the past year, and just looking at them makes me happy. I would have included some pics here, but I need to get them better organized first. Stay tuned for that!
Meeting authors. Before I started blogging and tweeting, I had no idea that (most) authors were so accessible. From BEA to book signings, to chatting about random stuff about random stuff about Twitter, I love to see authors show another side of themselves beyond what we see in their books.
Doing something I love (even though I’m not getting paid.) I’ve told my friends and family that blogging is like a second job…that doesn’t pay anything. But I wouldn’t spend this much time on something if I wasn’t feeling rewarded in non-monetary ways. I’ve dialed back quite a bit since the beginning of 2014, since I was starting to feel burned out. I’m still trying to find that nice happy medium between putting so much pressure on myself that I stress when I don’t post daily, and not doing so little that people forget that I’m here. But I’m getting there!
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Don’t forget to check out my giveaway for a signed ARC of These Broken Stars!