4 Year Blogaversary: My Blogging Story

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Happy four-year blogaversary to me!… Kind of.

In all honesty, Books & Other Happy Ever Afters wasn’t born until June 2013, but I started YA Book Blogging in August 2011, making it four years ago that I joined this crazy-awesome community. WHICH IS CRAZY. Today I thought I would share my blogging story with you all, since it’s a pretty wild one.

I lied. I actually started “book blogging” sometime in early 2011 (Jan/Feb/March??) on this lame little Blogger blog. It was so low-key that I don’t even consider it book blogging; I think my blog name was literally My Book Blog (so original, right?!). At the time, I literally only used it to document the books I read and what I thought – I didn’t join Twitter to meet other bloggers or anything because frankly, I didn’t know there were other people. But then in August of 2011, I discovered these In My Mailbox videos on Youtube (hands up if you remember those!), started by someone named The Story Siren. That’s when book blogging hit me and I was like, “THIS IS A THING?”

I decided then and there that My Book Blog wasn’t going to cut it. I deleted the blog and started a new one on Blogger, named The Book Barbies. I sort of made a header for it (it was hideous, omg), and called it good. I made a Twitter so I could find other YA book bloggers easier.

I think it was less than a month when the lovely Racquel (@purplebull on Twitter) emailed me about how she loved my blog and wanted to start her own, but would rather co-blog. WITH ME. I almost cried. Someone liked my month-old blog enough to blog with me? We emailed back and forth before I said yes.

Racquel proved to be a pretty awesome co-blogger. It wasn’t until December of 2011 that I told my parents about my blogging and they refused to let me continue, thinking I was risking my privacy online (which I wasn’t, I was being perfectly careful) and that I needed to focus on school (um, I was FRESHMAN IN HIGH SCHOOL, for goodness’ sake). Thus, I had to quit my blog after just 3 months. I apologized to Racquel, and left her with my baby blog.

But I missed it so so much. SO MUCH. In the 3 short months that I had started book blogging for real, I had fallen in love. In those three months, I remember meeting Grace from Words Like Silver (she’s  a twin and was a dancer, just like me!!) and finding Vy from Vy’s Blog. It was then that I decided I would sneakily make a new blog – and get this – without letting my parents know.

I started fresh with The Dancing Reader as my new blog name on Blogger, and I blogged on there for a really long time. I reconnected with old Twitter friends, and everything was wonderful. I met amazing teen book bloggers like Aneeqah from My Not So Real Life and Willa from Willa’s Ramblings, whom I am still dearly close with today. It’s funny though, because in March of 2012, I “quit blogging”. In the post, I said that I was too overwhelmed with school. I probably felt that at the time, but I’m laughing at it now because oh, junior year does not compare to freshman year at all. I came back after a month or so, so it was really just a hiatus. I stayed on The Dancing Reader until August 2012, until I found out about a co-blogging opportunity.

I had been following A Reading Daydreamer, a blog founded by a UK teenage girl named Beverley. I loved her blog and quite honestly, I missed co-blogging. She was getting busy with school and needed a hand, so I thought, why not? I blogged with Beverley for my entirety of my sophomore year, but by then, I was carrying the blog. Beverley got so busy with school (which I understand entirely), but I knew I could take on my own blog by then. Thus, I left Beverley in June of 2013.

But I didn’t want to go back to The Dancing Reader because I was actually interested in blogging on WordPress instead of Blogger. (I definitely didn’t know that moving from WordPress to Blogger and vice versa was a thing). So, yes, I started over with Books and Other Happy Ever Afters, the blog you’re on now. I switched from WordPress to Weebly to WordPress back again. I’m just all over the place, to be honest.

This is the longest time I’ve gone without changing to a different blog. I’m really happy with Books and Other Happy Ever Afters, and I don’t think I’ll be moving around for a long time.

But in the four years that I’ve been blogging, I’ve learned that the most important thing to keep in mind is that:

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Because if you’re stuck doing something (or not doing something) you don’t like, you’re just going to suffer. Do something about it. Change something so you’ll be happy with your life. I had to quit blogging in the beginning, but it felt wrong. I knew my heart was with blogging, so I did something about it. Despite what my parents said, I started blogging again. When I started carrying the weight of A Reading Daydreamer, I knew it didn’t feel right. I knew I had to something about it – by starting my own blog again.

I’m happy with all of the choices I made. Without them, I think I would have been miserable. There’s something so liberating with doing what you want, whenever you want – and that’s what I love so much about blogging. There’s so much freedom with it. Blogging and its community has gotten me through so much – my entire high school career, really. I can’t even imagine what my high school career would have been like without it. It’s mind-blowing to think about. To all the wonderful people I’ve met these past 4 years!

So there you have it: my blogging story.

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17 thoughts on “4 Year Blogaversary: My Blogging Story

  1. Wait, your parents made you quit blogging!?!?! D: That’s such a sad story. But I’m so glad you sneakily made a new blog without letting them know. 🙂 Do they know about your blog now?

    Anyway, congratulations on four years! It sounds like you’ve jumped around a lot and have plenty of experience with different blogging styles and platforms, and it’s great that you found one that suits you well. It’s been lovely getting to know you these past few years, and I can’t wait to read more from you in the upcoming ones.

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    1. Yep, my parents were really strict like that back in the day. But now, they know about it! They know it’s truly something I love to do. Thank you Emily, you’ve been a great friend to have around ☺️

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  2. Wow, I had no idea that your blogging career has evolved and changed so much! It’s so interested to me since my own blogging career has revolved around my own blog, and only that one blog, but I think it’s so brave that you’ve chosen to start and end blogs at different parts of your life. Thanks for sharing this with us, Jen–it’s beautiful!

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  3. it was so interesting to learn about your journey with blogging. i think i found your blog in 2012 or 2013 so i had no idea about all your co-blogging adventures. and i love that you’ve stuck with it so happy four years jen! so happy to have found your blog. like honestly your posts light up my day and i always look forward to them. hoping you’ll stick around for much much longer too 🙂

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  4. Aww, such a lovely story! I’m glad you have shared this with us. And I admire you for making the choice for change when you felt like it was needed and not just giving up. Happy four years, Jen 🙂 And here’s to many more!

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  5. Omg!! Congrats on four years of blogging, Jen! That is a seriously cool story — I’m so glad you’ve stuck with it and are still around after all that craziness! <333

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  6. JENNY I’M SO PROUD OF YOU. Like. SO proud. You’re one of my closest friends I love you to death. You inspire me every day and your story is proof of how important it is to do what you love. I can’t believe it’s been so long since we first met ❤ I love you babe and so excited to see what you do in the future! I see nothing but success from here.

    LOVE YOU WITH ALL OF MY HEART. ❤ XOXOXO
    Willa

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