Yes, it’s hard to believe, but as of today, I have officially been blogging for a whole nine years! I’ve come a long way since I wrote my very first post, that’s for sure. I was just a young whippersnapper back then and I had no clue what I was doing, but I was very enthusiastic. I set up a basic Blogger blog called ‘Creative Therapy’ and started rambling away about books, art and writing.
I knew next to nothing about running a blog when I started, but I’ve learnt so much through the years. Blogging has pushed me to not only improve my writing skills but also to get out of my comfort zone and teach myself skills like digital design and coding. I’m now quite comfortable with CSS, HTML and Photoshop and that’s all thanks to blogging.
As well as giving me a new skillset, blogging has been an enormously important act of self-expression for me. If I’m not making time to be creative, eventually I start to wither and fade, but blogging has ensured that I have a convenient outlet for my thoughts, dreams and ideas. I find it incredibly fulfilling and therapeutic. I used to be afraid to share my art and poetry with others, but I received some great feedback and it really boosted my confidence. I also learned some invaluable tips and advice from writers and artists I look up to.
But the thing I am most grateful for is the wonderful community of writers, artists and book bloggers who were so welcoming and helpful from day one. I’ve made some brilliant online friends through blogging, some of whom I really ‘click’ with. My main advice for any newbie blogger is to visit and comment on as many blogs as you can. Join in with memes like the Book Blogger Hop, and blogfests like Bloggiesta and the Blogging from A-Z Challenge, and soon you will build a network of blogging buddies that will regularly visit and comment on your blog.
Blogging isn’t always easy, we can all get burnt-out from time to time and need a break. Over the years I’ve gone on hiatus a few times when my real life was too busy, like when I’d just had my daughter. But the great thing about blogging is that the community is still waiting for you when you return and you can usually just pick up where you left off. I’m incredibly grateful for all my followers, especially the ‘oldies’ who have stuck with me since the early days. Thanks so much to all of you for sharing my blogging journey. I hope to keep learning and improving things for many years to come.