Blogging in 2011: Retrospection
The other idea was to polish my writing skills. If there is one passion I have apart from reading, is “writing”! I have been penning my thoughts down as long as I can remember, it has become my second nature. Some people express themselves better through “speech”, in other words, “talking”. But being an introvert, I prefer communicating through “written words”. I am more comfortable chatting with likeminded people in the virtual world than actually going out and making friends with total strangers who may share the same interests as me.
That is where, my blog essentially helped me in finding people who love to “read” and “write”. I know so many new writers now, so many bloggers whom I love to interact with, so many forums and communities which make me feel that I am not the only one who has the same questions on blogging/writing. I would like to especially mention two sites, which I think every writer/blogger should join!
1. If you are new to the blogging world, make sure you join this site! http://bookblogs.ning.com/
2. If you are an aspiring/struggling/published/unpublished writer, this site offers great help! http://www.shewrites.com/
The day I started this blog, these two sites have become “the most essential” for gaining knowledge of what’s happening in blogosphere and writing industry and they are great to build contacts!
Goodreads is one site which I joined but never actually realized how good it is until a few weeks ago. But in 2012, I am planning to build my Goodreads profile by utilizing this forum to the fullest. It is amazing to know what your friends are reading, you can compare books, recommend, post reviews! You do not have to be a blogger to join, anyone who enjoys a good book, can be a part of this amazing community. I am still discovering it, so I may be missing out a few things, but nonetheless it is “good”.
Okay, so where was I ? Yes! Blogging in 2011! It has been the most exciting, thrilling, mindblowing, incredible venture for me! Even though sometimes, I felt the pressure and thought I may not be able to sustain it for long, but hey! I survived! YAY! :) I have 71 posts and 400 plus followers at the end of the year, pretty good! Nothing makes me more happy than to see an ardent followership and readers building and growing day by day! :)
During blogging, I not only read amazing books but also discovered debut and indie authors and I especially loved every bit of interviewing writers/bloggers. I received soooooooooooo many comments on my review/discussion posts, which was simply marvellous! I came to understand the new marketing and publishing trends in the book industry, which was so overwhelming! It is so great to be part of the digital age and see the transition happening!
I also learned some valuable lessons:
Do not forget the main reason to blog: ENJOY while I do it! If the pressure around is making me unhappy and burdened, then it is just useless to even continue it! It does not matter what everyone else is blogging about, how many challenges they have, or how many reviews they are posting; it is not a race, darling! Yes, I knew this when I started to blog but people forget (sigh!), stupid me! There was a time when I was obsessing over posting as many reviews as I can, reading day and night, without realising that in spite of posting so much, I felt like quitting it! ThankGod, I am over that phase.
Having said that, this blog is definitely staying and there will be review posts, but I am not a genie or a nerd who does not have a life besides blogging, so posts will be published as soon as I will get a minute from my personal life: which does include family, friends and chores!
When my parents came to meet me all the way from Pakistan (after 4 years!), I was ecstatic, but at the same time, I was worried as to how I will continue blogging. I kept on posting, but could not keep up with my routine schedule. They went back in November and by that time, I was way behind, had my inbox overflowing with e-mails from authors. Now, I realise I should have posted about my being busy and the actual reason, in that way, my readers would have known why I was not posting as usual, instead of wondering about it. Okay, that’s another lesson learnt!
Blogging in 2012: Aspirations
Moving on to embracing the New Year with New aspirations:
1- Read more books.
2- Go to local library more often and discover new reading/writing groups/ workshops
3- Organize posts in advance
4- More emphasis on social networking sites, such as Twitter, Facebook to spread a word about my blog.
5- “Do” more from my enormous To-Do-Lists (Yes, It’s plural! I have got dozens of them!)
6- Stop procrastinating and start my pending writing project. (It’s time!) Maybe open another blog for this purpose alone (Phew! the final nudge/motivation to get me going).
7- Join more writing forums/sites to find friends with whom I can interact/share/discuss my work on one-on-one basis. If any beta readers (chick lit, short story, memoir) are reading this, do contact me here.
8- Give time to family and friends. They keep complaining that I have ignored them since I started this blog…oops! Well, in my defense, blogging is not just posting, it also means checking and replying to dozens of emails daily, scheduling future posts, reading books, posting on different forums (like every day) about my latest posts (which I think takes most of the time!) to increase traffic. Not to mention, read other blogs, reviews, articles on writing and the list is endless! Phew! And it’s not like I am getting paid to do all this! (now that is what makes my folks more furious! *frowns*)
9- Stop the habit of getting “distracted” so easily. Hee hee! Now, that is more like a syndrome in my case, which eventually I think I WILL learn how “Not-to-get-distracted”, one day… somehow… hopefully (I am positive!) Maybe there is a book or something which can help me with that. *wink*
10- Do more eclectic posts and discussions to interact more with my readers/followers.
Happy New Year to all of you!
Happy reading/blogging/writing in 2012!
Do you have a blog? What are your plans for this year on blogging/writing/life in general?
Are some of your aspirations, same as mine? Share with me through comments section below!