one year blogoversary

Welcome to my blogoversary celebration! For the next ELEVEN days, I’ll be sharing guest posts with a huge giveaway on the last day after a post shared by me. Keep track of all the posts in order to enter the huge giveaway at the end!

We have Annie from The Runaway Reader sharing how blogging has changed her life!

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Hi everyone, it’s Annie from The Runaway Reader! First, a big CONGRATULATIONS to Shelly for reaching her first year of blogging and also, a big thank you for allowing me be a part of all the festivities!

Today, I’m going to talk a little bit about how I discovered the wonderful world of blogging and how I’ve changed (positively – I hope – though my mum would probably say something about how terrible it is I’m now spending more time online) because of it.

I started book blogging back in late August of 2012. I had just gotten back from my summer vacation touring Asia and even with all the cool things I did and saw, I spent the majority of that trip so bored with nothing to help me out of it but the Internet and a LOT of reading. I had only brought with me two books on a two-month long trip and bookstores selling English novels were hard to come by so when we made a plan to visit a large mall in Shanghai, I made sure to do a quick Internet search of books that I would be interested in getting and somehow ended up stumbling onto a book blog. Which led me to another one, and another and another until I had basically this full list of all these book blogs I had come across. And it was in that moment where a light bulb went off and I thought, “hey, maybe I should try this book blogging thing!” I had tried blogging before, but of cool things I found on the Internet or of my life and they didn’t end well at all. And after finding this whole network of book blogs, book blogging just seemed like such a fun thing to do, as well as a great way to keep track of all the books I read.

So when I got back from my trip, I immediately set up my book blog on Blogger. And that was about two full years ago. Crazy how time flies! I’m currently looking at my very first posts and it’s rather a weird experience just because I remember it so vividly – not that it was so long ago anyway. It’s just that I can still picture in my mind me sitting down at my computer and typing out my very first review. And feeling so proud of it. And even though reading those posts again make me so embarrassed (because what was with all the internet lingo I used back then?), it’s just a wonderful reminder of how far I’ve come in terms of blogging and how much I’ve grown as a person because of it too.

I started blogging at a major transition period in my (very short) life. I was moving up from elementary school to middle school, from being a tween to an actual teen and even though the jump doesn’t seem that large, it wasn’t small either. I mean, I definitely had some trouble dealing with all these responsibilities I now had, most of which stemmed from this thing called puberty. And even though all this only happened about two years ago, it seems like I’ve grown so much in such a tiny, tiny amount of time. Somewhere along the lines, I grew from a teenager still unsure about a lot of things to a teenager that is more confident about who she is. And I think a lot of that I have to owe to blogging.

Blogging gave me a voice. It helped me grow as a person because it allowed me to try something completely on my own and figure things out for myself. In the months that I’ve been blogging, I’ve learned some really important skills and about work and effort and how you can’t half-ass something and expect progress. But blogging also opened my eyes to this wonderful community of people who I’ve never met once in my life but appreciate and love so much. Who share the same interests as me, who somehow UNDERSTAND me without having met me at all, who are so supportive and who manage to make me smile whenever I feel upset. And these are all the reasons why I love blogging so much and am so happy that I started doing it. I know this entire paragraph has been so cheesy and sappy but seriously, I cannot be MORE thankful for all the things I’ve achieved and the people that I’ve met, including YOU, Shelly! (I think I strayed a bit from the topic here so let me just awkwardly transition back…)

You were one of the first bloggers who I could call a friend and I’m so happy that I met you. It’s crazy that it’s already been a year but HAPPY BLOGOVERSARY and here’s to many more years down the road!

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Thanks so much, Annie! *hugs* You’re one of the first bloggers I’ve been proud to call a friend too.

And to all the lovely readers, don’t forget to share your thoughts and stay tuned for more guest posts and a giveaway in a couple of days!

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