Soooo my blog kind of hit the 5 year mark this week…yesterday actually (sadly…or not sadly…the first 2 months of my blog basically got deleted when I transferred from Blogger to WordPress many moons ago). I had all these wild and fun plans for the occasion for months prior to actually getting remotely near June….but then summertime, laziness and other things got in the way.
Last year I wrote a sentimental post about how this journey has changed my life and in 2013 I wrote about why I keep blogging and did some crazy math which you know math is hard for meee (you can just add some days, minutes and seconds to those crazy figures to make it even MORE impressive haha) and if you didn’t read those you SHOULD because it talks a lot about how this whole thing changed my life and my journey and all the crazy life things YOU GUYS have seen me through over the years (seriously, that list makes me get teary and omg I could add so much more). I echo those sentiments wholeheartedly.
I feel like I don’t have a lot to say for this one because I’ve kind of said it already? I mean, I can’t say THANK YOU enough (thank you for reading/commenting/supporting/being awesome/making me not feel so alone in this passion of mine/being my friends) but outside of that? I don’t have much to add.
Maybe I could talk about all the reasons I’m in awe of the fact I’m still doing this? 5 years is a long time especially in blogland where blogs croak just as quickly as they are made. Maybe that I’m in awe that I’m still doing this because sometimes I’m too lazy or that sometimes it’s too hard or frustrating or feels not worth it. Or some days I feel like I’m irrelevant or that nobody is reading or cares what I have to say anymore…especially after five years. Sometimes I don’t have words to say or feel like I’m repeating myself when I talk about books. Or how I feel like I’ve run out of all my good unique & creative ideas that made me live up to my “most creative blogger” award (no really I didn’t make that up haha) too early on in my blogging career and now I’m just boring and generic. Some days I just plain ol’ feel like I have no balance in my life and I want to run far away from books. Or some days I’m just TIRED of it (tired of writing, tired of everything, tired of dumb blogging politics that I typically ignore anyways, tired of social media, tired of expectations, etc.). Some days I’ve felt like quitting.
You get a comment that brightens your day.
You get an email that is so kind.
You chat with an author that you really love.
You make a new friend in this community.
You connect a person with a book that they end up loving.
You read a really great book that you KNOW you found because of blogging and it speaks to you and maybe even changes your life.
You find out someone started a blog because of you or started reading again because of you.
You do something really awesome that you are proud of and people respond well to it.
You get inspiration from somewhere out in left field.
You get an awesome opportunity because of your blog.
You get a book that inspires you to talk about it personally or passionately.
You have a great discussion about a book with someone.
(this list could go on)
AND THEN YOU REMEMBER WHY YOU DO THIS.
The bullshit kind of fades away. Even the non-bullshit reasons that made you feel like you wanted to quit gently subside. And you find yourself placing your I HEART BOOK BLOGGING t-shirt back on and getting back to work with the clearest of mind and heart, full of a renewed passion and perspective.
So, I mean, I guess what I’m trying to say is that if you are feeling discouraged as a blogger, it’s okay. It happens for many reasons and it will happen many times to come unfortunately. But sometimes you get what you need to keep going through the ups and downs. Even veteran bloggers get the blues.
I think what I’ve learned in 5 years is to remember the things that make THIS JOURNEY worth it — the most simple and pure reasons of why I started all this and what truly makes me tick behind the scenes.
Your comments and views and followers will fluctuate. You won’t always get that coveted ARC you wanted. A certain person may not be that nice or won’t give you the time of day. You won’t always be the best or even runner-up. You will always be able to compare yourself to others and it will make you feel inferior. You will mess up. WordPress or Blogger will eat a post you spent 3 hours writing. You might have a slump where you hate what you write or you hate what you read. A lot of things can suck on this journey but also a lot of those things might not be things that will matter after a day. A week. A month. A YEAR.
So on a day/week/month when you are feeling like that? Slow it down. TAKE A BREAK. Reevaluate. Remember what made you start this. Remember what makes you tick. Strip all the things away that you can’t control or the things that you know are unimportant in the grand scheme of life. Remember the things that are TRULY important TO YOU in all this. Change what you can. Work with the things you might not be able to change. Remember this ONE THING does not define everything in your life. REMEMBER WHAT MAKES YOU HAPPY ABOUT ALL THIS/THE GOOD THINGS THAT HAVE HAPPENED.
And really think about it. Sometimes it will be enough and give you a renewed sense of purpose. And sometimes you will realize it’s time to gracefully bow out. AND THAT IS OKAY. Sometimes we outgrow things, sometimes we change or life changes, sometimes it’s just time for a new chapter. I know one day that will happen and I will be okay with it. When I no longer have joy for it and when I slow it down and still can’t muster the enthusiasm for it? IT WILL BE OVER because I will not taint the good memories I’ve had with a bitter, less than excited attitude or just a lack of passion/sense of obligation.
So, if you still have that fiiiiire for it, keep at it. You can do it. (If I can, you can). On your own terms. Whether you blog every day or you blog once a week. It’s your blog, baby.
5 years might look super impressive (and I mean, I’m not downplaying how AWESOME it is) but it hasn’t always been a picnic (JUST KEEPIN IT REAL). There have been tears, days (okay a week sometimes) where I refuse to open my blog, threats to myself that I’m going to quit FOREVER, awful slumps. The road has been paved with ups and downs and hard work and perserverance. BUT I AM SO THANKFUL THAT I AM STILL HERE DOING THIS. In this moment and where I stand lately. And it’s been a HELL of a five years. I can’t even begin to recap the epicness and the fun and the shenanigans both online and off because of this blog.
So now for the giveaway in honor of all this awesomeness that has been the last 5 years
WHAT ONE LUCKY WINNER WILL GET:
A care package curated BY ME
An idea of what will be in it: a favorite book or two of mine (I will have a way to guarantee it’s not something you have already if you win), maybe a super anticipated ARC or 2, some fun bookish goodies and just other things I LOVE. Basically like a Secret Santa box but no secret…it’s from meeeee. Because I love you guys and I want to do something special for someone who has supported my blog in any way.
*US only for the care package, sorry. ALTHOUGH. If you are an international reader, I will offer a $25 Amazon gift card. *
(Haha remember that time at the beginning-ish of this post where I said I feel like I had nothing to say this time? HAH I LIED).