99% of my posts are book reviews. Which is fine, I guess, but doesn’t really tell you much about me. Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about why I started this blog, what I want it to be in the long run, and how I can go about getting there. Oddly, I keep thinking that I’m still a “newbie”, but then it occurs to me that, the truth is, I’m really only new to being a book blogger (and it isn’t quite fair to say I’m truly new to that either). I’ve actually been blogging on and off since 2001!
My first blog (dead for many years now) was just a personal “what’s up with me” kind of blog. One of my dearest friends had moved to London and started that kind of blog to keep his family and friends up to date on his life, and that inspired me. I lived away from my family and friends as well, so why not? This was before WordPress and other such sites, so I had to learn how to build my own site. From scratch. And the site was terrible. But a wonderful learning experience.
In 2009, I started an infertility (IF) blog. You do know I have triplets, yes? Well, getting to those triplets was a very long and painful journey. One I could not have handled alone. Thank goodness, I found the IF virtual community and they are AMAZING. Through my blog, I not only got to work through all that I was going through (so cathartic!), but I became intensely connected to a group of people who were (or had been) on the same journey. They were my greatest support during one of the most difficult times in my life, and I wouldn’t have come out the other side with any of my wits had it not been for them. And I hope that I offered as much support as I received. In so many ways, that community renewed my faith in humanity. So much kindness and love. But, I stopped blogging in that community in March 2013. At some point, you have to move forward, and it was time for me. But that blog was my lifeline for several years, and I’ll forever be grateful for all that it brought me.
In 2010, I made a failed attempt at starting my first book blog on Blogger. Failed because I simply didn’t have the time or energy to really get it off the ground. Tried to start it up again in 2014, and ended up coming over to WordPress to start Mad Book Love. Been here ever since, though I didn’t start posting regularly until the end of 2015. Two years ago. TWO YEARS. So, not really fair to say I’m a new blogger, or even a new book blogger. Just a book blogger who has gone through some growing pains.
Having had previous blogging experience, and being a passionate lover of books, I thought this would be a natural and EASY fit for me. But no two blogs are the same. With my personal blog and my IF blog, it was about connection, not about followers or content. I had no real obligation to anyone. It made no difference to me how many followers I had. And I wasn’t trying to monetize my site. So, the transition wasn’t quite what I expected. It’s kind of like thinking that because you know how to play basketball, you’ll be a natural at ice hockey. They’re both sports, right? Fair enough. But totally different playing fields. It has taken me awhile to come to that realization.
And now comes the part where I figure out how to bring the two worlds together. I want to talk about books, but I also want to connect with other book lovers. I’m not certain what that will look like, but figuring it out is my singular goal for 2018. I do think the first step is more personal book/reading related posts, in addition to the reviews. Aside from that, only time will tell.
So, there you go. My blogging history and my blogging goal for 2018. I’m open to ideas. What do you do to foster meaningful connection through your book blog? Is that a goal that you have for your blog? Do you think it’s a reasonable goal for this kind of blog? What are your blogging goals for 2018?