Dear readers and followers, thank you very much for being part of my blogging journey. I can’t say enough how much I’ve loved blogging and being part of the book community and it’s all because of you readers and followers.
At my six month anniversary, I had listed out various goals and critiques but I realise now that I was probably too ambitious (as I usually am) so at my one year mark, here is my new list:
- I originally started blogging to as a means to express myself creatively and just as a platform to dump my writing but the more involved I get, the more I want to enjoy the whole blogging experience so I’ll actually start focusing on the blogging side of it, like creating themes, changing up the layout, getting an avatar, joining book blog websites, that sort of jazz.
- I definitely want to get into writing short stories and more think pieces. I’ll also try to be timelier with responding to key events or commenting on other important issues.
- I know I sound like broken record, but I want to read as widely as I can, cover not only the latest releases, but learn as much as I can and enjoy my hobby as much as I can. So I promise to go into each book with an open mind but also to, as my English teacher would put it, critically think about the material.
I don’t want to get too sappy but I can’t tell you what reading and blogging has done for my outlook on life; just having a hobby to focus on and seeing that I can stick to something (that’s not academic or career related) for a significant period of time and see tangible improvements has really helped me to better understand myself and get over a lot of mental obstacles that I had.
For a significant part of my life, I had always studied and worked simultaneously, that’s just the way my degree worked since internships were built into the course. I have no regrets about this and I wouldn’t go back and change anything even if it meant I didn’t have the same social life as other university students. I’m a much stronger person because my degree has put me in situations I normally would not even dare to fathom I could even attempt and this has changed me for the better.
But after I finished my final qualification, I found I didn’t know what to do with all of my spare time. I was so used to balancing multiple projects that the thought of only focussing on one thing left me feeling very restless and bored.
Not only that, I found I didn’t have many goals outside of studying or working and that my identity was very much tied up to my job and my academic performance. Don’t get me wrong, I love my career and I take pride in the fact I can excel in what I put my mind to but I realised that I had never really pursued anything was purely for myself and wouldn’t receive any external validations. Even though I had a thousand interests and passions, I never had any properly developed hobbies since I was always putting my career first.
I’m not saying that blogging or reading is the cornerstone of my life but just the hobby of blogging about one of the things I’m passionate about (in this case, reading) has allowed me to build ambitions that exist beyond my career and show to me that life can be as varied as I want it to be. I’ve always liked reading but writing about it to a large audience has given me a different perspective about it and I absolutely love it.
Not only has that, the habits I’ve developed from blogging have transferred into other aspects of my life. I’ve made exercising a habit, I’m going out more, I’m travelling more. I don’t know if I’m expressing myself clearly in the written word but this spur of the moment decision has opened a new world for me because it’s kind of shown me what I’m capable of, even if it’s only as simple as sticking to something for an extended period of time.
The support I get from everyone has also made my self-esteem more robust. At the beginning, I told myself I didn’t care if I got any likes or follows because I was all in it for the writing (but I did care, I just said that to save myself from the disappointment of having zero response). But every time my phone pings me with a like or a new follow (dear God, the high from a new follow is unbelievable) or even someone sharing my post on their blog, it puts a new spring in my step.
I hope blogging has been as beneficial to you as it has been for me (please let me know how it’s helped you in the comments). I look forward to another year of sharing my thoughts and pushing my boundaries with everyone.