Tuesday, October 27, 2009

One Year Ago Today...



Today is officially You've GOTTA Read This's first birthday! I shake my head when I think about how far I have come. (I apologise in advance to you if you have heard all this blabber before. I tend to repeat myself, but this is a moment for reminiscing, so bear with me!)

I've always loved to read - that was a given. But a writer I am not. And a techie I am not. My only writing efforts had been to compose my annual Christmas letter that goes out with my cards.

My sister had a blog, and I was full of admiration for her moxie and her writing prowess (I'm not thinking she got it from our high school English teacher, so where did it come from?). Never once did I say to myself "Sandy, you should do something like that". Too scary to contemplate.

I could never find a good live book club. I couldn't find a good online one either. I was complaining to my sister one day on the phone, and she said "Well, do your own book blog. What do you have to lose? Get on blogger and mess around. It's free." No way. It blew my mind. With a nervous laugh, I told my husband about my sister's idea. He said it was insanity. I don't have enough time as it is. But the seed had been planted. Why not indeed?

So I blindly set up my blog. I know more about splitting the atom than I do about html. I was an idiot pressing buttons (actually I still am). I banged out some obtuse "welcome to my blog" post. Then I sat and stared at the computer. Nothing happened. Nobody commented. Sort of anti-climactic! So I grabbed a couple of recently-read books, Child 44 and My Stroke of Insight, and banged out a couple of reviews. Still no comments. I kept adding reviews, and finally got one comment from my sister on November 8. God love her, but that doesn't count!!!!

Scratching my head, I asked my sister how long it would take to get someone's attention. Her advice was to start socializing, so I did. My first official follower, after my mom and my sister, was C.B. James. He took me under his wing, and even offered me an opportunity to write a review on Larousse Gastronomique at the end of November that would be posted both on his blog and mine. When the big day came, we heard crickets chirping. How embarrassing! But soon, the socializing paid off. I clicked through on blogs from James' blogroll, and pretty soon I was hopping from one to another, making inane Sandy comments. When anyone would give awards, I would check out the recipients. (Because of this, I will ALWAYS pass along awards. It is important!). I "met" the Bumbles and joined their Monday Movie Meme. Jackie @ Farm Lane Books and I interviewed each other. Influenced by Beth Fish, I started posting my photos on Wordless Wednesday. I hosted a Wuthering Heights readalong. I participated in a Gone With the Wind readalong. And on and on it went. I was even shortlisted for a Commenter Award in BBAW.

I never would have imagined this hobby for myself, not in a million years. But I have found it to be incredibly rewarding. I have forged friendships that have extended far beyond the occasional comment. We have found common interests, we have been there when a parent has taken ill, when a pet has chewed through a string of lights and nearly electrocuted itself, when babies were born, when cancer was detected, when loved ones were lost, and when we celebrated achievements. It is one, giant support group that just happens to have a deep love for books.

It has also dawned on me that online, everyone is equal. There is no poor, rich, fat, thin, disabled, black or white. Unless you are rude to someone, you are welcomed to this community with open arms. And that is a pretty wonderful place to be.

In honor of my bloggiversary, I've decided it was time to finally post MY top 10 books ever. I've milked it out of my friends and family, so fair is fair. Stay tuned on this Thursday, all will be revealed....








46 comments:

Melody said...

Happy Blogiversary, Sandy! I enjoyed reading this post, and most of all I'm glad to know you!! :)

Book Chick City said...

Yay! Happy Blogiversary! One year, that's so cool! I have really enjoyed your blog and reading your posts!

Nymeth said...

Happy blogging anniversary, Sandy!! I'm so glad you joined the blogging world :D

farmlanebooks said...

Congratulations on your first blogging year! It sounds as though you managed to get yourself into the blogging community faster than me, but it does take a long time to learn the ropes doesn't it?

It is amazing how far we have come in the last year. You have created a fantastic blog and I continue to read and enjoy them every day.

You fully deserve your commenting award - I always see your name ahead of mine - even when I go to blogs which I think of as new!

I look forward to seeing your blog develop over the years and enjoying sharing the major moments in your life.

Keep up the great work!

Violet said...

Happy Blog Anniversary Sandy!!!

DesLily said...

The first year flies by.. and the next even faster!
Happy Blogging Anniversary!

C.B. James said...

Happy Blogiversary to you... I glad you made the leap and joined in on the fun. I'm looking forward to your top ten, too.

JoAnn said...

Happy Blogiversary, Sandy! I know I started at the end of October last year, so I just checked and, guess what? Mine is today, too!!
(Wish I'd checked ahead of time and had a post ready...well, maybe later)

Julie P. said...

Happy Blogiversary! Isn't it amazing how many friends you made in just a year!

bermudaonion said...

Happy Blogiversary! I'm so glad you're blogging! Your comments are the best and I totally agree with you - this is a great community! I hope you're having fun on your cruise!

Molly said...

What a special occasion! I loved reading your "evolution" of a book blogger. Who would have thought that reading could be such a wonderful, social activity. And you are right (although I had never really given it much thought)....we are all equal here in the blogosphere!

Here's to many more blogiversaries!

Beth F said...

Happy, happy, happy day. I'm sooooooooooo glad you started blogging and that we hooked up. Who knew where this would take us, huh???

Susan said...

Happy Blogiversary, Sandy!!!!

Your post brought tears to my eyes. It was so heartfelt. And it was so much like my first experience with blogging. It IS hard to believe how far one can come in just a year's time. I was absolutely clueless in the beginning and it was defintely trial and error all the way, baby!

You are one terrific writer, I mean it! It's like you've been writing reviews for years as a professional. You tell enough about the book to spark interest, but never give away the spoilers. You're impeccable, darling! And I'm so glad I found you!

Here's to many, many more books and posts! Cheers!

Meghan said...

Happy blogoversary, Sandy! I hope you have many more in the future! =)

Heather J. said...

Happy Blogiversary! I just found you during BBAW but I'm very glad to include you on my blogroll now. And like you, I've realized that the blogosphere is blind to our differences - and THAT is a wonderful thing. :)

Kathleen said...

Happy Blogiversary! I always enjoy reading your blog and your comments. The blogging world is a better place because of you!

bookworm said...

Congratulations, honey; with your crazy schedule, I don't know how you do it, but "you done good". So proud of both you and your sister. And come on, give some credit to Brown or Bantz or whatever her name was. How else would two sisters from non-writing parents do SO well on their blogs??!!

Kaye said...

Well, Sandy, you are one fabulous blogger and I am so glad you took the leap of faith. Happy blogiversary to you and here's hoping for many more. Book bloggers are a wonderful bunch. I'll be looking forward to your list.

Alyce said...

Happy Blogiversary! I'm so glad you decided to start your own book blog! :)

Anna said...

Happy Blogiversary!! I can't believe it's only been a year. You're doing a wonderful job!

--Anna
Diary of an Eccentric

kaye said...

Happy blogoversy. Mine is coming up in December and I'm with you--I could never have imagined the journey. Nice Post.

Thoughts of Joy said...

I'm not even sure if you know that I read your blog, but this seems like a good time to pop in to wish you Happy 1st Blogiversary!!! :)

Serena said...

Congrats and happy blogiversary ! You totally rock!

The Bumbles said...

Happy Happy Sandy Sandy! I knew you would be cruising this week so I didn't rush to get it out to you while vactioning myself last week, but you'll notice that the postmark on a certain package from The Bumbles will have today's date on it which is symbolic of your anniversary in the blogosphere!

Socialization is the key to the blogging community. I want to create a new "Sandy Award" for loyal commenters in your honor. But since I don't know how to create pretty little images I'll just hand out the inaugural one to you verbally here - for all your fans to see ;0)

Missy said...

Happy Bloggiversary! And many more.... :)

caite said...

aww...I remember my first comment...

but I have a question. what about the rude?? where will the poor rude folk go if they are not welcome book bloggers.

just wondering in case I decide to become rude.

Happy BB..blog birthday

Florinda said...

Happy Blogiversary to you - sounds like you've had a wonderful first year. Here's to many more!

ds said...

Happy, happy Blogoversary Sandy!!!
Your comments are never 'inane' (where did you get that idea?), your reviews are excellent, and you are a fabulous person. I am so excited to see where you will take things from here, because I know it will be awesome. Congratulations!

Matt said...

has it only been a year, Sandy? You have been one of the top commentators on my blog, always bringing in fresh insights and fun comments. Happy Bloggiversay and a toast to you for more to come!

Ti said...

You've only been around for a year? I thought you were one of the old timers! Meaning, experienced blogger not old as in 'old'. Just wanted to be clear on that :)

Congrats to you! I talked to myself for awhile before anyone commented too. Socializing seems to do the trick.

Frances said...

Congratulations Sandy! This is a great post most notable for its honesty. I think this is a great encouragement for new bloggers to see the success you have had, but to hear at the same time that things were not so smooth to start. You are always such the blogosphere nurturer! Many thanks for all the kind words and encouragement and informative, funny posts. You are a gem!

Jeane said...

Happy blogiversary! I thought your blog was a lot older than just one year. Hope it continues for many more!

Michelle said...

Congratulations and happy blogging anniversary!! Your evolutions as a blogger, as depicted in your post today, is inspiring to new bloggers everywhere!

Margot at Joyfully Retired said...

Congratulations Sandy. I've enjoyed reading your blog and your comments on other blogs. Best wishes and good luck in the year ahead.

Gavin said...

Happy, Happy blogging birthday, Sandy. I had no idea you had only started blogging a month before me. You have left wonderful comments made me feel so welcome!

Here's to the next year, happy blogging and great reading.

Carrie K. said...

I am so glad you decided to give this hobby a try - and stuck with it during those first comment-less days that all new bloggers experience. My life is richer for knowing you and your blog. :) Can't wait to read your top ten!

Ingrid King said...

Happy Blogiversary! I really enjoy your blog (and the wonderful header photo).

Craftymoose Crafts said...

Happy Blog Birthday! I don't think I will ever be lacking in books to read now that I've found your blog!

(Can't wait to see the list!)

Iliana said...

Congratulations on your first year, Sandy! This is wonderful. I can't believe it's just one year though - I feel like we've been book buddies for a long time now :)

Wishing you many more bloggiversaries and looking forward to your list!

Amy said...

I am so thrilled you started blogging and I met you soon after I started my blog. I love your comments and think your blog is wonderful. You are an extremely valuable member of the blogging community and a true kindred spirit and friend.
Congratulations on your one-year anniversary, Sandy!

Dar said...

Happy Blogaversary Sandy. Great post! You know I love your blog and I'm so happy I got to meet you through our blogging world.

Amy said...

My well wishes are late but I'm thrilled you are here! I can't imagine blogging without you now!

Dawn @ sheIsTooFondOfBooks said...

Happy blogiversary, Sandy! What does your husband say now, after shaking his head initially? Can he see how satisfying it is for you to write your blog?

I love visiting your blog (your photos, esp. from Poland are amazing), and appreciate the thoughtful comments you leave when you visit mine.

And, yes, that second to last paragraph about the level playing field of the internet is so true!

Jenners said...

Isn't it amazing how far you've come in a year? My own 1 year anniversary is approaching and it is fun to think back on my humble beginnings. And I agree with you -- the community is the best part of this! Here's to many more years of blogging!

Alice Teh said...

Happy belated blogiversary to you, Sandy! I'm sorry I'm late. The last few days have been nuts to me. I'm so glad to know you and I really, really thank BBAW for that. :D

Melissa - Shhh I'm Reading said...

I'm behind in my reader, so I missed your official blogiversary, but I still wanted to say CONGRATS on your first year. I'm looking forward to reading your posts for many more!