Just over a year ago girl_with_a_bookshelf _ * followed me on Instagram and completely opened me up to a new world I never knew existed. As an avid reader, with bookshelves overflowing, I was overjoyed to learn that ‘bookstagram’ was a thing. How had I gone so long without knowing it existed?
After years of boring my non-bookish friends with pictures of books and libraries I decided to set up a separate bookstagram where I could post to my heart’s content and people would actually appreciate the pictures. I was hooked and, before I knew it, I had set up a new Twitter and created my own website for blogging. I was already writing reviews for a website called The Book Bag so finding content wasn’t too tough.
A year on and the followers on my social media accounts have increased at a steady rate and my blog gets more followers/views with each post. However, I’ve learnt it’s not about the stats and the praise. I’ll admit, at first, I loved it – seeing people from all around the world reading what I had to say about a book and actually caring and considering my opinion – but that soon faded. I made friends. I chatted with people for hours about my favourite books. I met authors and attended book conventions. My bookish world became my safe place and it remains to be exactly that today.
When I decided to become a blogger I made the decision to keep it all private. No-one in my personal life really knows about my website or my social media accounts and I love it. It gives me so much freedom and a place to escape when things just get too much. The bookish community has completely changed my life for the better and I couldn’t be more grateful for the amazing people that make it what it is.
I won’t lie, there’s been times when it’s been really tough. I’ve had really bad weeks/months where I’ve just not wanted to read, write or engage with anyone on these accounts and have felt immense guilt for neglecting my blog. However, I’ve got much better at talking myself out of this guilt and reminding myself that this is, foremost, a hobby and should be treated as one. I’m under no illusion that this blog will be a huge success that I can build a groundbreaking career from and the more I remind myself of that, the more I relax. I’ve started to have fun with my blog, I’m engaging with more people and no longer worry about reaching out and speaking to new people and, as of today, I’m using my blog for more than just reviews. The pressure is off and I no longer fear posting something in case it isn’t grammatically perfect.
From the bottom of my heart, I would like to thank the bookish community for bringing so much light and love into my life. I’ve found a place to let my passion grow. A place to escape – to be myself. Don’t get me wrong, it can get ugly out there on the big, wide web and there are days when even the bookish community can feel hostile, but the good outweighs the bad by an enormous margin. So I would like to thank you all.
I only wish I found you sooner.
– The Book Blossom
*check out her bookstagram, it is beautiful!