I’ve been seeing so many thankful posts this week, and it’s made me think about the blogging things I’m thankful for. I can’t believe how different my life is today than it was three years ago, before I started blogging. It’s kind of mind boggling when I really think about it!
Before I started blogging, my life revolved pretty much solely around my family. I’m a homeschooling mom, so I spend pretty much all day, every day with two of my three kids (my youngest has some learning disabilities and attends the special ed program at our public school). And don’t get me wrong – I love my kids, and I think that homeschooling them has been the best decision I ever could have made for my two oldest. I don’t regret it at all. But I will say that, as the years have progressed, I’ve felt less and less like I had anything just for me.
That all changed when I started blogging. Honestly, when I started out, I just thought I was going to write some reviews and hope that someone might read them. Why not, right? I had no idea how HUGE of an impact this blog would have on my life – or how it would change me. Honestly, my life now, in many ways, revolves around Feed Your Fiction Addiction. (Of course, I still put my family first, but FYFA is a major part of my daily life.) It’s almost hard for me to even remember what life was like pre-blog.
Just a few of the things I’m thankful for when it comes to my blog:
- The people. I now interact daily with people around the world. Most of you I’ve never met face-to-face, and yet you lovely readers and bloggers have an enormous impact on my life. You make me a better person with the bookish (and sometimes non-bookish) discussions we have. You brighten my life in so many ways and give me a sense of community that I didn’t really have before.
- My perspective. I’ve really expanded my horizon when it comes to the books I read since I started blogging – mostly because I read reviews and you lovely people convince me that I need to read so many books. I feel like my perspectives on people and issues has grown exponentially since I’ve been blogging – books (and book blogs) are an incredible way to see the world through other people’s eyes. This has had a dramatic impact on me.
- The events. Bookish events? The best. Events. Ever. I had no idea how much I would love them. And I would attend them all the time, except that I do have a family who actually needs me for things. And I can’t spend all our money. Oh, and my husband likes to see me in the evenings sometimes, too (Anderson’s Bookshop is dangerous – if I lived a little bit closer to it, I would be there at least once a week!).
- Editing. This is actually the biggest impact that blogging has had on my life. I never imagined when I started out that blogging could lead to a career in books, but that’s exactly what it’s done. And editing has been incredibly fulfilling for me – it’s something that’s mine. And it also helps that it’s something I can do on my own schedule so it doesn’t impact my family all that much. (Right now, I edit very part-time – unless I’m rushing toward a deadline. But I love the fact that this has the possibility of being something I can do full-time in the long-term, once my kids don’t need me as much. They’re already getting more and more self-sufficient when it comes to schoolwork. Yay!)
- Sense of self-worth. This is really tied to both blogging and editing. I know that my self-worth isn’t based on what I do in life, but it sure doesn’t hurt to have something that I love and something that I excel at. I love editing, but even more than that, I feel like I’m really good at it – I love the feeling of helping an author shape their story, of helping them make improvements to the plot and tweak the characters. I even love the feeling of getting rid of all those little grammatical errors that would drive me crazy if I didn’t expunge them! There is nothing more satisfying than feeling like you’re good at what you do!
There are really a myriad of other ways that blogging has shaped my life as well, but you probably don’t want to read my twenty page essay on the subject. I am very thankful for this blog and for each and every one of you. You have impacted my life in ways you probably haven’t even realized and given me a sense of community and purpose I’ve lacked for a long time.
I thank God for the blessings he’s given me, and this blog is right near the top of that list!
This is a great post. I love my blog because it’s something that I do for myself. I spend so much time doing stuff for other people that it’s nice to do something for me.
Exactly. It’s not that I don’t enjoy doing stuff for my family, but sometimes you want something just for you.
I can so relate to your post. I think of blogging as me time. When I don’t have the time to do it, I miss it – and know that I’m not doing something I really enjoy doing – and I’ll always try to get back to it.
Yes – I never want to miss blogging because it’s such a great outlet for me!
This is a wonderful list! I’ve experienced so many benefits from blogging, it’s been such an amazing experience.
I have a feeling lots of us can relate to this!
Great post! Blogging really has changed me in a lot of ways. I met some wonderful people. I’ve gone to fantastic events. I’ve read books I probably never would have before…and in turn, discovered fantastic authors. I love getting comments from people all over the world and reading their reviews – it’s great to feel connected.
Yes, it’s amazing how we can feel so connected to people from all over the world!
Aww Nicole, I actually teared up reading this! Basically, ALL of this. I feel the same way you do. I was just so, so lost before blogging. I made my blog the day before I had Sam (my youngest), so talk about timing haha. I had just been sitting around with Lena (my oldest) all day, and at that point, I was just some big unhappy pregnant lady with a toddler and I was so down. And then I thought “why don’t I go for it?”, and like you, thought it would just be me sharing some thoughts about books. NOPE.
First of all, I did NOT know that I’d have the kid the next day, so the blog kind of got put on the back burner 😉 But in all seriousness, it has given me SO. MUCH. I mean, obviously my kids come first, but blogging and writing aren’t far behind.
I think the biggest thing that blogging has done for me is given me a sense of self again. Between meeting people who make me feel like an actual human instead of just a permanent baby-sitter, having something to feel proud of, and feeling passionate about something again, it has changed my life. I am so, so happy that it has done the same for you 😀
YES! We love our kids, but it’s easy to lose yourself when your whole life is all about them all the time. Blogging and editing are just for me. And that’s why they’re so important to me!
I can totally relate to all your points here, and I feel exactly the same about blogging. Mostly I feel like blogging has given me a massive amount of confidence in both my writing and myself. I’ve always been quite shy, but my blog is a place where I can really express myself, and where interacting with people is a really positive experience, and not just awkward. It’s also nice to actually be able to talk about my interests with people, because I don’t know many bookish/writerly people in real life. In fact, all my writing just used to stay hidden away on my computer, so it’s great now that other people actually read some of it, and seem to enjoy it and want to discuss it.
Yes, the internet is a great place to find your people!
I know I started my blog because I totally felt lost after stopping working and being home with the kids. I love being home with them but I wasn’t seeing adults, and a lot of things I wanted to do were too hard with two kids or too expensive. So I always read books and started reading blogs. I figured this was something I can do from home for little money (I was a wee bit off on that one though). It has given me something to myself into and be proud of- besides the kids. It is also something that is easy to do when they are up and actually behaving and playing together. And it just makes me happy. Such a great post!
I love your comment about money – yes, blogging is a bit more expensive than I thought it would be! Worth it, of course, but definitely true. I agree that us moms need an outlet that doesn’t involve little kids. 🙂
Great post Nicole! I’m so happy for you that you decided to do something FOR YOU! That’s so, so important, even with how busy real life can get, it’s HUGE to have something that you can call your own 🙂 And even better that it lead to editing for you and working IN books! Congrats on everything you’ve accomplished and I’m glad we met in real life and through our blogging 😀
Meeting you and other bloggers at BEA last year was one of the best blogging experiences I’ve had!
I have been blogging for about 5 years now but I haven’t been very active and that is what I regret the most. Book blogging has been life changing in a way where I can express my love for books. I have mostly been a solitary reader and the IRL friends that I have don read the same genre of books I read so we don’t discuss. So I am definitely happy that book blogging has been very great to me in this way.
Well, if you weren’t active at first, that’s okay – you can always be more active now! Blogging is one of those things that you can completely throw yourself into or just dabble in – either way it’s always there for you when you want to engage. 🙂
That is true! However, I really want to interact more with other blogger so I think being more active not only in blogging, but commenting as well, is pushing me in the right direction 🙂
I love this post, and I can identify with so much of what you wrote. I, tooo, would be in so much trouble if Anderson’s were a little closer to me as well. I always have internal debates when I get the weekly email – author event vs. other obligations. We will have to pick an event to meet at sometime!!
YES! We definitely have to meet!! I actually was so excited about an event next Tuesday – and then realized it’s on the night of my kids’ performance for co-op. Foiled again! But Anderson has events I’d love to go to ALL THE TIME.
Love this! Blogging is such an amazing hobby, and it opens up our world to all these awesome other fans of what we love 🙂
Yes, I feel like I’ve met so many amazing people through blogging! It’s really transformed me in a lot of ways.
<3 That's awesome! I haven't been blogging long, close to a year now, but you're right, it does do you good. It's great meeting so many other bookworms through love of books and other bookish things.
I love this post! I’ve only been blogging for a little over a year, but I already can’t imagine my life before it. It has changed so much for me! I’m so grateful for my blog, and the amazing community I’m now part of…
I’d like to give this post a great big hug! I’m glad to know I’m not the only one who feels that her life now tends to revolve around blogging (family excepted of course). I also find it’s so wonderful and precious to have something that is just for me. And you articulated so beautifully how reading helps us to see the world through other people’s eyes — the book blogging community multiplies that effect immeasurably. Thank you.
I agree so much! I’m a teacher and mom to two kids with challenges, and I was no longer doing anything for myself, besides reading and gaining weight. Blogging I can fit into my schedule whenever and however. I think one of the most amazing experiences for me was when I submitted some blog posts to The Nerdy Book Club, and they responded with suggestions for edits. I haven’t had anyone work with me to improve my writing since the 1990s! I have always been such a reader; to have it open up my world in this new way has been enormously satisfying.
I read an article awhile ago that said the best way to avoid burnout is to have a hobby you love. It gives you better respite from the work/family routine than vegging out in front of the TV.
Love this post! it’s good to remember how we started and where we are now. I love reflecting on the short 5 months I’ve been here. I am so thankful for every experience and development I went through. I’ve made so many friends, done so many things, and I continue to strive for more.
I have been blogging for years. I never really got deep into it until the last couple of years. Aaahhh so much time wasted in term of the amount of progress I could have made with my blog. Anyway, I love it more now that I did when I started. It just gets better and better.
I want to get into editing service but I’m too nervous to dip my toe in the water. How did you decide to start editing?
My life has kind of been put on hold right now. I’m almost 20 and don’t have any independence, and I’m staying at home and just kind of….couch potato-ing it for a year. So sometimes, I feel like I have no purpose. No ambition. My life is pointless. Blogging has really helped me feel useful, and accomplished somehow. I am a lazy person, but it’s amazing how completely horrible prolonged idleness can make you feel dull and depressed. Blogging has made me use my head. I can read, get lost in worlds, write about my opinions, discuss books with people. It’s wonderful. Blogging has legit saved me from going insane this year.
Nicole this is such a great post! I love all your reasons for blogging, most are mine reasons too. I love that I get to fangirl about my nerdy obsession with such cool people (like you!).