This month, the lovely Jodi Meadows is celebrating the anniversary of the Newsoul trilogy. As part of that celebration, she's issued a challenge to readers to talk about new beginnings and adventures. The best part is that Jodi's holding a giveaway for signed copies of all three books in the trilogy.
So today, I'm going to talk about my big blogging adventure. Ironically enough, this week marks my one year anniversary of blogging...sort of. Double irony: Jodi was one of my major motivations for starting this blog. December 1, 2012 was the first time I posted a review of Incarnate, and I did it because Jodi was holding a giveaway for an ARC of Asunder. So yes, this week last year was the start of Mary Had a Little Book Blog. Or was it?
Actually, no. It wasn't entirely. In 2011, I was an intern with a big company, and I was BORED OUT OF MY MIND. There wasn't always enough work for me so I spent much of my time daydreaming about books. That was when I joined Goodreads, and I thought to myself, "Hey, I read a lot of books, and I spend a lot of time telling other people what to read. I should start a blog." And you know what? I did. I had an intense internal debate about my blog name (MHALBB was my second choice, actually, after Bookie Monster, but 1. BM has a different connotation. I didn't want people to think I was blogging about gambling, and 2. I found out BM was already taken! Decision made!) I even wrote up AND PUBLISHED a hello post and everything. Life was good. My problem was, I didn't post ever again. I sometimes have a hard time following through with my big ideas. After that summer internship, I was in school full-time, and things were just not so good all around. I had some pretty big real life problems going on, and my big blog idea fell by the wayside.
Reading, however, did not. In January of 2012, I got a library card to the local library in my college town (for some reason, I'd never gotten one before then), and I spent SO MUCH TIME there during spring semester. I discovered a lot of amazing authors and series like Jodi's Newsoul trilogy, Delirium, Divergent, Iron Fey, Everneath, Under the Never Sky, and many, many more. I didn't have a lot of money so the library was the best place for me to get books. When I got home from school that May, I got a job, but I continued going to the library. I absolutely hated my job. I was miserable there. Things were still not-so-good. My sister invited me to move in with her...in Dallas. 14 hours away from the only home I'd ever known. I'd applied for a dream job in Tennessee, but when it fell through, I realized I had nothing holding me there except my own fear.
I packed my stuff (sadly, leaving most of my books behind), and moved to Dallas. When Jodi issued her challenge, I realized I had the opportunity to start new, not only with a new city but a new hobby as well. I started off really slow, only posting 4 or 5 posts during each of my first couple months blogging, but it felt so good to start putting my thoughts out there. I was really excited when I saw page views and comments and followers because I felt like I was making an impact on people. But more than anything, blogging made an impact on me.
I went to the Texas Library Association annual conference in April, and I really felt like a kid in a candy store. I realized that book events just make me happy. I'm naturally a very introverted person, but being surrounded by books and bookish people made me super outgoing. I made a bunch of friends at the conference that I remain close with and I met a couple of my author heroes like Ally Carter and Jennifer Echols. For the first time, I felt really at home with my life and the paths that got me there, and I began to realize that if I let it, blogging could make my life so much better.
I love my blog dearly. It's a lot of fun, and I've met so many amazing people because of it, authors, bloggers, readers, publishers, everybody! Sometimes, I've occasionally gone through periods of lethargy, but I never feel like my blog ties me down. Am I one of the big players in blogging? No. But that's okay. Blogging has helped me find my voice among my family, my friends. I've found common ground with people I never imagined. I have the freedom to do what I want, to do what I love. And that right there is the best adventure I could ever hope for.