Tuesday, June 18, 2013

The Last Four Years

**I decided to take a break from blogging as soon as school let out so this is actually being posted today, on the 17th!**

This post is scheduled to be posted at 12 AM on Saturday, June 8, 2013 and at about 7:30, I'll be getting ready to graduate from high school. For some of you, it might not seem like a big deal and you're probably thinking that it's weird that I'm talking about it on here.

But the last four years have been very important for this blog. My graduation marks the official end to my high school days. The end of high school marks this weird time in my blogging career as well: I started this blog as a freshman in high school, about 17 days in to it actually, and now that high school is ending, it's ending this moment in my life and well, a moment in my blogging as well.

Honestly, I've changed drastically since freshman year and while it's not as evident unless you've known me for that long, I think the changes are evident in my posts.

Why I Blog

In the beginning, I told myself that my blog was for me. But as time went by, the blog turned out to be for everyone else. I became immersed in getting more followers and higher page views. My self esteem in real life wasn't the best and it seeped into blogging. Luckily, it was never about ARCs for me but being good enough. I saw blogs like The Story Siren and Good Books and Good Wine and their large leadership. I wanted to be just like them. So I didn't do what I wanted but what others were doing. 

If you look at my sidebar, I have my archives under my Followers tab. 2009 shows 27 posts. Only 27 posts from September to December. Frankly, I had many more posts (close to 100) but the majority of them were posts about contests and book releases and cover reveals. They were posts I thought would get the most people to visit my blog. 

As I've grown older, my blog has become mine. It's now June and there are only 60 posts. I'm no longer worried about blogging everyday because I had to. I don't participate in memes just to get the page views. Now if anyone asks why I blog, I can honestly say it's because of my love for books and writing and not feel bad about lying. It's finally become 100% true.

The Numbers Game

As I mentioned above, in the beginning it was all about the numbers. How many followers did I have? How many people visited my blog? Questions like that flooded my brain and I often lost touch with everything else. I'd read as many books as I could and posts as many reviews and possible and I'd watch to see the numbers go up.

This September, my blog will turn 5 and three years ago, only having 464 Google Friend Connect Followers would have broken my heart. I would have felt like the world's biggest failure but as time as gone by, my perspective has changed. Sure I have only 464 followers in the soon to be 5 years of blogging but in these years, so much has changed.

I've made friends through blogging and I get more comments now on my blog posts than ever before. It's not that I don't appreciate my followers, because I do; I've just shifted my way of thinking. I love seeing the numbers increase but I won't cry over it. I won't allow myself to compare my blog with another blog with 1000+ followers in only 1 year of existence.

In the end, blogging should (and as I said above) be about me and it has become about me. I love my readers dearly and any comments make my day but in the end, I don't want to please others. I want to be able to openly state my opinions and have discussions with people who have become such good friends.

Five Things I Did in the Past Four Years (Bookish) 

  1. Reached 100 (then 200 and soon 300) reviews! 
  2. Met some amazing bloggers who I've looked up to since I began blogging! I've also made friends with so many of them! 
  3. I met Stephanie Perkins and Beth Revis and David Levithan and Jenny Han and so many other amazing authors!  
  4. I attended YallFest in November 2012!

Five Things I Did in the Past Four Years (Personal) 

  1. Graduated high school with honors! All that hard work finally paid off! 
  2. Kept up this blog. I had never anticipated that I'd actually stick with it for this long! 
  3. I went to India for my youngest uncle's wedding. It seems weird for me to say this but it was a big deal for me. I don't remember India from my younger days so I loved going when I was older. I was able to see more of my family and it was amazing.  
  4. I was part of my Mock Trial team in high school for two years and it was one of the best decisions I've ever made. I've always wanted to be a lawyer so joining this club not only helped me realize what I wanted to do but I was also able to get out of my shell! 
  5. I got my driver's license. Er, yeah, this is not a big, huge sentimental thing but I was very happy when it finally happened! 

Ten Things I Want to Do In the Next Four Years

Five for blogging and five for personal! 
  1. I want to continue to run this blog! It's become a big part of who I am and I'd love to see it grow into something bigger and better. 
  2. I want to attend BEA! 
  3. I want to post 800 reviews by April 2017 since that's when I'm most likely going to graduate college! An attainable goal I think! 
  4. Convince myself to get a customized layout and move to WordPress. I don't mind putting in the money for the layout but I get bored easily with one look (hence the constant change) but I want something different! 
  5. I want to read 200 books in one year! 
  6. I want to study abroad during college! This has been a dream of mine since I was very young and I'm open to all sorts of places to visit! 
  7. I want to either backpack or simply tour Europe for one summer with friends. 
  8. I want to go on a road trip with friends! 
  9. Get into Law School. Yep. We'll see how that goes. 
  10. I want to spend a summer in India visiting all of the places I haven't seen, which is basically all of them! 
Come this August, I'm going to be a freshman once again but it won't be the terrible, can-I-please-not-admit-that-I'm-a-Frehsman kind. I'll be a freshman in college and it's going to be utterly amazing and utterly terrifying and I hope you'll come along for the ride ;) (Yes, that is a Sarah Dessen reference.)