Today I have been blogging for 9 whole years!
When I was searching for a picture to illustrate the nine years – I found the number Nine written in Elvish (see above), as devised by Tolkien. In the Lord of the Rings films, the nine members of the cast who formed the ‘Fellowship’ had this word/symbol tattooed onto their body as a celebration of that fellowship – See Gandalf’s to your right.
It’s that aspect of FELLOWSHIP that I wanted to highlight in this post.
The years go by so fast and the world of book-blogging has changed, exploded and evolved so much during that time. Back when I started in 2008, there weren’t so many book blogs and it was easy to get around the most popular ones to read and comment on posts, and discover new ones through their blogrolls and comment streams. I’m delighted that many of the blogs I followed back then are still going – and I read every post – Kim, Simon, Victoria, Harriet, Jane, Teresa & Jenny, Hayley, Elaine, Phil, Lizzy and Simon S amongst them, (apologies if I’ve forgotten to mention you, but you all know I still visit). I feel lucky to have met most of these lovely people in person too. All of of blogs have undergone changes, moves, improvements and more but we too have a fellowship if you will. The following years have gradually extended this fellowship – David, Susan, Karen, Rebecca, Ali, Stu, Eleanor – and again many more (see my blogroll down on the right).
Since I started, the number of bookish blogs has increased exponentially and it’s no longer possible to keep an eye on the whole lit-blogosphere. We link to other streams of social media and as a result, direct blog readership and commenting goes down – social media picks up the indirect readers – but it can be hard not to feel disheartened when these visitors aren’t reflected in your blog stats. There are more pressures on bloggers too – but the ubiquitous blog tour etc are topics for another day.
There are hugely successful groups like Book Connectors on Facebook/Twitter which can feel overwhelming, but have a different sense/level of community – and once you get past the blog tour posts etc, also show strong fellowship between its members, albeit a virtual one.
I am delighted that my other joint project, Shiny New Books, thrives and has/is building a reputation for considered and intelligent reviews by our wonderful fellowship of reviewers. Thank you to all of you.
Shiny’s success means that at times, I have less time for this blog – but you can be assured that as I move into my tenth year of blogging mainly about books…
I will continue to:
- Read the widest variety of books I can and (eventually) write about all of them HERE (or on Shiny).
- Try not to care about blog stats (but secretly keep monitoring them of course!)
- Not start vlogging – I am in awe of those who do this, and there are some very good ones indeed. Vlogging is not for me though!
- Visit as many of your blogs as I can and comment whenever I have the time.
- Quietly update this blog to include all the posts that didn’t export from my old one so I can delete it – but I’ll try not to overflow your readers and inboxes
- I started blogging for me, I still do – but I’d be disengenuous if I didn’t say I love doing it as part of a wider community, so…