This month marks the eighth anniversary of this blog. I was eighteen when I started writing here, and a month away from moving across the country. I’ve gone to college, moved back across the country, looked for a job, found two jobs (a year later), lost my dad. Now I’m on the verge of moving into my own apartment and starting a new chapter of life. It seems appropriate, somehow.
When I started By Singing Light, I was on Blogspot, which I rapidly learned to hate. I was also convinced that this would not be a book blog. I love so many things–sewing and crafts and writing, not just books. But along the way I realized that I can talk about books forever. I have opinions, feelings, favorites, least favorites. The other things–I like them, but I don’t have much to say about them, beyond “Here’s something new I finished! Yay!” So I changed my focus to be far more on books, though I’m happy with the monthly Made & Making feature as a way to talk about these other parts of life that are important to me.
I was really young when I started blogging. In a way I’m grateful for that because I had the kind of brash courage that comes with youth. I’m not sure I would start a blog if I were doing it today. There are so many voices out there these days, and I’m not sure I would add mine. In 2006, the blogging landscape was much different, and of course I should start a blog. Why not?
But I was also really young in other ways. I had no idea what I was doing. I flailed around, wrote some really terrible reviews, and generally had no sense of how to find a niche or gain a readership or anything like that. I was just writing about books, and finding other people who wrote about books and commenting there. While in retrospect, some organization might have been nice, I have found some really great blogging friends, so I can’t really regret it. (Mostly from Sounis. YAY, Sounisians!)
In addition, I was young and fairly absolute in my understanding of the world and my convictions. That understanding has shifted a lot in the past eight years, with the result that many of my earlier reviews make me cringe a little bit. (To take it out of the subtext: if you read an old review and it seems weird, feel free to ask me about it, but please be gentle.) When I started this blog, I really was a young adult reading YA. Now I’m an adult, albeit still in my twenties.
For a few years, I was also reviewing every book I read, even if it was just a paragraph. And I was also reading 300-370 books a year. I have written over a thousand posts; I haven’t even tried to count the number of books I’ve reviewed. In the last few years, I’ve stopped doing this, although I still try to do as many books as possible.
In some ways I still feel completely inadequate and unprepared. What am I doing here? Heck, I even had a minor meltdown on Twitter this morning over this (thank you to the friends who talked me through it). I’ve been here eight years, and I still feel like I’m rubbish at the promotional type stuff. But at the same time I can’t imagine giving it up. Constantly reassessing what’s healthy for me in terms of posting schedules and what’s working and what’s not–yes. Quitting, no. Because the bottom line is that, in one form or another, I’ll always be blathering on about books.
So, thank you to all of you who read this regularly, or semi-regularly, or almost never. And here’s to another eight years.