Blogging Challenge

Why I Blog

*I originally wrote this post as part of the Blogging from A to Z 2017 Challenge. Unfortunately, I dropped off in the middle of the month-long challenge. So, against my perfectionist nature, I’ve decided to go ahead and publish the posts I did get drafted, as I am proud of them, out of alphabetical order.

I honestly can’t pinpoint exactly why I started blogging. I do know that I wanted a space on the Internet to decorate and play around with. At first, I blogged about random things and just tested the waters for a while. I even had a site dedicated to touting awesome links on the web – the well quickly dried up for that blog!

I also have had so much fun making up sweet blog names! Two of my favorite past blog titles were The Novel Orange and Joy is Yellow. I began writing mostly about books and bookish endeavors after creating The Novel Orange, which, I quickly figured out, sounded like a book blog.

I remember getting so very excited when the idea for a bookish blog dawned on me and squealed with delight when I discovered that there is an amazing blogging community. I adore playing on Twitter and following bookish feeds and, of course, I’m obsessed with Goodreads.

I’ve met some awesome fellow book bloggers through shared literary love, but that certainly doesn’t mean my blogging journey has been easy. I have definitely made blogging blunders, most of which were pointed out by others. Please don’t get me wrong – I appreciate constructive criticism, but my feelings do get hurt when perfect strangers call me out for mistakes in rude ways. But that’s beside the point.

The great thing is, that after wallowing for a bit in my hurt feelings, I have an uncanny ability to re-frame situations I’ve found myself in by looking at the bright side and learning from my experiences.

For instance, I unintentionally ripped off a super popular blogging event, about which word traveled fast and I ended up being confronted by the creators of the original program. I recall reading the email sent to me by an event originator and feeling a hot chill travel through my body. I pondered running away from the Internet altogether and never showing my face in the blogging world again.

However, I decided against hiding and confronted the situation head on, after freaking out a little. I replied to those I had copied, explained myself, and basically fell on my sword – taking full responsibility for what I had done. Luckily, I was able to mend fences with said bloggers and even got to participate in their amazing project.

I’m still so proud of myself for owning what I did and turning an embarrassing incident into a major learning opportunity. I now know to contact bloggers who host projects, etc. that are similar to an idea of mine and I know to do my research as opposed to diving in headfirst.

While I’ve been justly confronted by a handful of bloggers for blunders, I have also been what I consider bullied due to personal opinions and beliefs – politically. I felt so ostracized and blacklisted after the Presidential election, especially on Twitter, that I rashly shut down and lost my original book blog, The Novel Orange. I let myself be harassed out of doing something I love – blogging.

However, I decided to not let the haters win; I actually got a bunch of likes when I announced on Twitter that I had closed The Novel Orange, which was very upsetting. I couldn’t believe that what I had believed to be such a wonderful online community had turned on me.

I was inspired to step back into the book blogging arena through support I received from kind bloggers who empathized with me. Now, these people whose kindness I was showered with are from both sides of the aisle, politically speaking. Let’s just say that the experience showed me who the real awesome bloggers are – the ones who aren’t judgmental.

While I’ve been through a few rough patches while teaching myself about the blogging world – and learning online etiquette – I feel, cornily, like a phoenix risen from the ashes. I’m still here and I’m not leaving again.

I also co-blog with Lila and Claire at The Bookkeepers’ Secrets – let’s just say that co-blogging is a blast! Lila actually reached out to me during my own personal presidential scandal and totally encouraged me to rejoin the blogging universe. I will forever be grateful to that sweet girl, whom I have never personally met, but who is obviously amazing!

While I’ve seen both the many positive – and few negative – aspects of blogging, I’m so thrilled to still be part of the community. I look forward to continuing to evolve as a blogger, writer, and reader while sharing in my experiences with you, my readers. 🙂

Now that you know a bit about my blogging background, I’m going to briefly break down the reasons I adore blogging.

  • The blogging community as a whole is so very welcoming – I feel like I’ve found the missing part of my tribe – the appendage that shares in my loves of reading and writing. I have met some amazing people through opening up to the online world, and I’m so glad I took a flying leap and did so!
  • Through blogging, I am able to write, which is something I’ve loved to do as long as I can remember. I love sitting down and letting my creative juices flow either through my pen or keyboard.
  • Since branding myself as a book blogger, I’ve had the opportunity to read some amazing books, as I was introduced to the fabulous NetGalley and similar sites.
  • I’ve been introduced to some amazing people via blog swaps and some swaps I’ve discovered through Twitter. I seriously treasure the time, thought, and care that has been put into each surprise swap package I’ve received, although I worry whether boxes I’ve sent are perfect! LOL! However, I really enjoy gifting to others and I have such a blast connecting through swaps!
  • Bookish Twitter chats were a chance discovery and I adore them.
  • I love to spread the love as often as I can by visiting, reading, and commenting on blogs. Getting comments on my own blog is amazing, but I especially like spreading joy and encouragement.

Blogging involves essentially letting oneself go – to free fall into giving personal, sometimes not accepted, opinions. Blogging involves opening oneself up to both praise and criticism, which can be difficult. I’m not normally one to put myself out there, I was the kid in school avoiding eye contact with teachers so as to hopefully avoid being called on in class, which usually backfired.

As I get older, I uncover my voice more and more, freeing my thoughts and releasing them into the public forum. My grandfather always touted the importance of lifelong learning and I’m still taking his advice, seeking to learn as much as possible and hone my skills as well as harden my backbone.

Love, Maggie

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