I can’t believe I just typed that! I started my blog on January 12th of 2017 on a whim with no plans or goals in mind. I had thought about starting a blog or YouTube channel for the longest time but never pushed myself to take that final step. I was too afraid of failure so I just never tried. But it was a new year and I was tired of not doing things because of fear. So I started looking up different blogging platforms and, before I knew what was really happening, I had written my first post! I knew nothing about what I was getting into – all I knew was that I wanted to have my own space to talk about my biggest passion – BOOKS! What I didn’t expect to happen was that it would turn into this amazing thing that has given me pride, confidence, great books, and even better friends. I feel like this blog is not only my space to talk about books, but I found a worldwide group of people who understand me. And this group is amazing! The people that I have met throughout this year makes every bit of stressing over posts worth it!

Blogging isn’t easy – that’s for sure! Sometimes it’s easy to sit down in front of your computer and word vomit onto the screen. Ideas flow like water and it feels like you have a never ending amount of things to talk about. And then, 3 weeks later, you’re struggling to come up with something. It takes an insane amount of time and dedication to keep writing, blog hop, interact with other bloggers, and more. I said this in my advice series – if I knew the amount of time that I would be putting into this place BEFORE I started blogging, I’m not sure I would have done it. But in the end, every bit of time is worth it. I wouldn’t change the decision to start this blog for anything. It’s the best decision I’ve ever made. Well, besides having my kids – they’re pretty cool too! LOL!

In this first year, I have accomplished so much. I now work with 4 main publishing houses in Canada (Hachette Book Group, Penguin Random House, Raincoast Books, and Harper Collins) and review physical copies of books. To me, this is probably my highest accomplishment. I’ve always admired people who got to review books for publishers and never imagined that I would be one of those people. And it’s not the free books that makes it special – though I’m not going to lie, that’s a pretty damn big perk! But it’s the fact that the publishing houses that I’ve admired since I was 4 years old are now trusting me to review their books that just blows me away. Sending books to “media” people might not seem like a big deal to them. They do it every day. But for little me, a bookworm with a passion and a blog, this is the biggest accomplishment I’ve achieved all on my own. So thank you to the publishers for the chance to work with you – it really does mean more to me than you know!

I’ve also started my own weekly meme – Top 5 Tuesday. Which I never intended to turn into a meme! I just started it because I really enjoyed making lists and wanted to have at least one day a week where I wasn’t struggling to figure out what to post. Slowly, people started asking if they could join in. Of course you can! I started adding participants to my posts, essentially making a master list. Then more people started joining in that I didn’t even know. Now, Top 5 Tuesday has turned into a monster! Some weeks there can be 25 or more bloggers participating in a topic. This just BLOWS MY MIND! Every week I look forward to see who will participate and what books will make it on their list. 25 might not seem like a lot to some bigger bloggers but, when this started as just me making random lists, to see the amount of people joining me each week, I’m stunned every time. Thanks to each and every one of you who join me and make my Tuesdays something to look forward to!

Lastly, onto the followers. Once again, when I first started, I had no clue what to expect. I wasn’t doing this for the views and followers – I just wanted to talk about books. It took quite a few months to hit triple digits and I wondered what I was doing wrong. There were so many people out there that started AFTER me and were over 500 and still growing. Then out of nowhere, I was gaining more and more. Before I knew it, I was hitting the 1,000 mark! I cried – seriously. I didn’t know that there would be that many people out there who cared what I had to say! And as I’m writing this (a few days early because as you know I like to pre-write and schedule) I am sitting at 1,276 followers………… CRAZY!

This post is getting long and I feel like I’m ranting, so I’ll close now. I just want to say THANK YOU to everyone out there that has followed me, supported me, and has had some great conversations with me. This blog has changed my life in ways that I could never have imagined. And to think – if I would have passed up this chance because I was too scared, where would I be now. You only live one life – and even then, you have no idea how long that will be. Stop holding back. Take chances. Put yourself out there. Try for things even if they seem out of reach. Follow your passions…. because you never know where it will take you. It might just be amazing.

Thank you!

Until next time, happy reading!

I’m going to go wipe my tears now, excuse me lol