Happy 5th blogoversary to me! (also, some plans for the next year)

Thanksgiving cheer distributed for men in service. New York City turned host to the boys in service today and cared for every man in uniform. Underwood and Underwood: ca. 1918
Last week was the 5th anniversary of this blog! That’s a long time in internet years. I’m practically ancient now! Thanks so much to everyone who stuck with me the entire time AND to everyone who’s just joined me recently! Here’s to another five years, eh?

This here post is a kind of retrospective of some of the things I’ve done in the last 5 years, as well as a future-spective of what I’m planning to do in the future! Basically, the past was awesome, the future WILL be awesome, and though the present is only so-so, I’m not gonna settle for that.

Things that have happened in the five years I’ve been blogging!

I graduated from college, got a job, moved to another state, and finally got a smartphone.

I’ve written 1,533 posts. That’s about 306 posts a year! Holy crap.

I’ve read approx. 1,063 books. That’s about 212 a year! Again, holy crap.

I’ve interviewed two authors: Courtney Eldridge and Frank Portman

I’ve hosted, like…10 giveaways, maybe? (And have since discovered that giveaways aren’t really my thing.)

I’ve changed blog names! Here There Be Books was Birdbrain(ed) Book Blog for about 4.5 years. Ha.

I’ve been to Book Expo America twice, ALA once, and the LA Times Festival of Books twice. But still no single author events! The last one I remember going to was in Albuquerque, right before I started the blog. Sheesh. (I have plans for 2014 re: that nonsense; more about that later.)

Have ALSO met lots of blogging friends by going to those events! And, honestly, that was my favorite part of them anyway. Meeting bloggers. Yay! Seminole Indian Thanksgiving Meal

Discovered a fantastic thingy that saves me lots of time, the Ultimate Book Blogger Plugin (affiliate link). Wish I had it when I first started blogging!

Started several versions of the Southern California Book Events calendar thing, but this one should hopefully stick.

Written lots of blogging tips for both seasoned and newbie bloggers.

I have cohosted Dewey’s 24-hour Readathon twice (both in 2011), been a judge for Nerds Heart YA twice (2010 and 2011), and been a judge for Book Blogger Appreciation Week (2011).

Brainstormed but failed to start several projects. Whoops.

Handed the Book Blogger Holiday Card Exchange baton over to Judith and Courtney. They’re doing it again this year, so be sure to check their blogs out for more info!

Started and maintained several blog features, including Moment of Zen and Chitchat. (On the other hand, have dumped numerous features/memes! Everything’s a process, people, don’t be afraid to change.)

Added Adsense ads. I have made approx. $2 this month! Woohoo!

Things that I have noticed over the course of blogging 5 years:

2011 was a pretty kick-ass year for me! 2012…not so much. 2013…has been okay? Something happened in 2012– whether it was the move, the new job, who knows– and it’s made me lose my blogging mojo. I don’t feel like the same blogger I was back in 2010/2011, in a bad way. I’ve been struggling with maintaining enthusiasm for blogging and have in fact debated quitting blogging several times over the last two years. It’s been like a downhill slump since early 2012. Boo!

I ALSO miss a lot of my blogging friends. Some of them stopped blogging, some have stopped visiting, and some have just moved on to other things. Le sigh. Stupid life and its insistence on getting in the way of THE INTERNETS! Governor Collins' daughter Darby with Thanksgiving turkey at mansion: Tallahassee, Florida

On the other hand, there are more book bloggers now than ever! So I could totally go out and make new/more friends. I just have to remember how I did it the first time. Um.

I can also regain my blogging mojo if I actually make an effort. (Much harder is regaining my reading mojo, which has been on the fritz sice September. I’ve only read two books this month so far!)

How to get your blogging mojo back, part 1: Goals for the next year of blogging!

1. Read good books. Stop reading books that aren’t good. Any excuse to stop reading a book is valid, btw.
2. Go to more in-person book events. Author signings! Release parties! Festivals! Use the SoCal book events tracker and kick ass.
3. Make at least three new blogging friends. (Qualities of friendship to be determined later.)
4. Participate in online book events, including readalogs. But no more year-long committments because they don’t work for me. Month-long ones are okay, though!
5. Host an event/readalong! To be determined later. (Related: ask for help if/when I need it! Sheesh.)
6. Stop taking things personally? idk.

I have started working on getting my reading mojo back by adjusting my yearly reading goal down from 250 to 200 books. Now, instead of being 24 books behind, I’m 8 books ahead! BAM, instant confidence boost and good feelings and such.

The next thing I’m going to do is sell back some books I no longer want and use the cash to buy books I DO want. Namely, Diana Wynne Jones and Terry Pratchett books. Huzzah!

Thanksgiving photos thanks to the various people/groups who upload things to Flickr Commons.

14 Comments

  1. Happy blogoversary! I loved this post – lots of good advice. You’re so right – sometimes you have to change things up, stop doing things that don’t bring you joy, slow down or ratchet down goals so that there’s quality over quantity, accept that things change and move with the times (like making new blogging friends), etc. All EXCELLENT tips!

    Here’s hoping 2014 is a rock star/kick ass year for you 🙂

  2. Congrats on 5 years! I started not very much before you and I’ve been following you all that time. Yeah, the mojo — where did it go. I was thinking of you today because I’m going to write a Thursday Tea post, and I always, always give you credit. 🙂

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