It’s really weird to think about how this will be my 9th year of blogging.
I started almost exactly 8 years ago today in 2015 and have been blogging on and off ever since. And considering that my last post was about three months ago, I thought it'd be a nice way to start the new year with some reflection and future planning.
The Start of This Blog
I’d been watching BookTube videos for awhile by then and decided that I wanted to start blogging before working my way into video content. My blog would be a place for book reviews and things I couldn’t talk about with friends who didn’t read. Admittedly, it was also because I was intrigued by the idea of ARCs and wanted to be someone who got them.
What started as only book reviews slowly grew into other things. I did a short-lived series (now deleted) called Popular Books I Didn’t Like and little wrap-ups of the readathons I did. Slowly, writing posts became part of my blogging content and then pop culture was introduced because I wanted to gush about my love of Taylor Swift.
Things have changed over the years - my platforms, my themes, my life. Believe it or not, this started in the good ol’ days of BlogSpot before moving over under Maggie’s encouragement. I’ve gone through three name changes (TeenBibliophile, Lost In My Own Library, then my name), switched themes several times, and even tried my hand at building my own website.
Which obviously was not a very good decision despite 17 months of trying. Hence this beautiful new theme that I bought because I realized I could never achieve what I wanted and it was smarter to pay someone else.
And of course, along the way I graduated from high school and college, moved countries and continents a few times, had my first and only real-life boyfriend, and got my first big girl job. Adult job? No, that sounds weird. We’ll stick with big girl job.
Looking back at my blogging life, while I wasn’t very consistent from fall 2016 to…now, I did record good parts of my life on here. While I kept things pretty private for the first two years, little things started to bleed over in my blogging. Looking back at some of my posts from sophomore year onwards, it reminds me of what I went through back then.
So what now? What do I do as my 9th year of blogging begins?
Well, not much is going to change.
I thought about niching down and trying to make this one of those big blogs that people went to for book reviews. Once upon a time, that was something I really wanted and didn’t know how to build. Now, I mostly want this to be a place to express myself - a wordier extension of my Bookstagram.
Most of my content will still revolve around books and writing and pop culture, but I’m keeping the pressure low. It’s a fun thing for me and I don’t want to stress myself out.
That’s the main change I want to make with blogging. It was something I stressed out so much about in the past, making myself write long posts (okay, we all know I ramble too) that required a lot of thought and effort. Which isn’t to say that I’m throwing things together without any quality control now, but I want this to be a bit more casual. Something that feels like a natural extension of me and what I’ve built over time on my Bookstagram.
Not really like a public diary because I will never do that, but think of this as a glimpse into my life. A small window into all the ways I’ve changed over time and who I grow into.
And being a writer, it feels most appropriate to have a blog where all of that is captured over time.
A few things will change because of time and priorities. Though I’d love to write a review for every book I’ve read and that was originally the intention, it’s not realistic or possible anymore.
Partly because I read a number of ARCs for work now and it doesn’t feel fair to write a review for work and then share some other version of it on my own platform. Pretty sure my bosses would have an issue with that, but also, it’s not really fair to the authors. I’d like to keep some level of separation between reading for work and reading for fun.
It’s inevitable that you’ll hear about me thoughts about the books I read for work, but they won’t get dedicated reviews here.
Along that same vein, I’ve been wrestling with the decision to cut negative reviews out of my content. The ones that have been up for years will remain available, but moving forward, I kind of want to limit it unless I think the book is inherently harmful and people should be warned about it.
Not only does it cut down on the reviews I have to write - we all know I’m constantly behind on them - but as an aspiring author, I don’t want part of my online legacy to be me publicly ragging on books as I write my own.
I’ve gone back through some old reviews and cleaned them up a bit, taking out things that feel too harsh now. Very few edits have been made in that department but there are a few things here and there that were too emotional and unfair.
That’s the main change coming to the blog. I’m still trying to decide what qualifies a book for a review. Right now, I’m thinking of only reviewing books that were 4 stars and above. In 2022, that made up the majority of my reading but I don’t think I’ll consistently be lucky enough to have that many high ratings every year.
Taking out the books I’m reading for work and I think it'll be manageable? Honestly, this could change.
What This Week
Coming up later this week will be the first post in a series called What This Week. It’s something I intend to continue as a really easy way to get content written and give me a chance to ramble more than I could in Instagram captions. The idea is to talk about things you’ve been doing throughout the week and what you’re looking forward to.
I’ve done it once on my Bookstagram but in typical me fashion, it was rambly. With blogging though, there’s room and expectations for more words.
Honestly, it’s a wonder that I ever considered leaving blogging behind with how much I like to ramble.
Truthfully, this recurring series is also my way of reassuring myself that I’ll always have content. These posts are easy to do and knowing that there are only four simple questions to fill out makes it low-pressure. No need to be super thoughtful and eloquent if I’m just talking about what’s coming up each week and what I’m looking forward to.
You can expect more gushing about Taylor Swift, posts about writing, some fun stuff I want to do in relation to Criminal Minds and SVU, and whatever else my brain comes up with.
Not giving myself strict confines means I kind of get to write about whatever I want outside of the bookish stuff, though that will undoubtedly be the bulk of what I talk about. Sometimes I marvel at how I make it through a conversation without bringing up books. Did you know that my love of books wasn’t something I shared with my church friends immediately? Even now, I’m not sure they realize the extent of how much books and reading are a part of my life.
There’s plenty in my Ideas note that I have to transfer into Scrivener so I can organize and start drafting more posts. Goodness knows I have to clean things up a bit there too and but that’s for another time.
You might find that not everything here is fully updated or functional. I’m working on that in between work and Bookstagram and my slim social life. Patience on both our ends because it will be done eventually.
Until then, it’s nice to be back. I certainly hope this time lasts long and leaves me feeling more fulfilled than stressed.