I’m back again to spread some appreciation for the wonderful people that are bloggers.
All the way back in August, I published the first segment of a new series on my blog called Blogger Origins. Despite the fact that it has taken me *much* too long to continue on with this series, I’m very excited to actually be posting a part II of it today! (And I apologize for once again semi-disappearing from the blogosphere and for the extreme delay in continuing with this series. I blame it on schoolwork and my bad habit of spending more time thinking about my blog than actually blogging.)
To provide a little background on what Blogger Origins is, it’s an idea I had last summer when I became curious about how people found the book blogging community. I think this community is an amazing place, so it’s always being intriguing to me how we all ended up here by chance. This series is essentially just me featuring the stories that bloggers have been so kind as to send to me in an effort to show appreciation for and spotlight the amazing bloggers that exist. My hope is that you find these stories just as interesting as I do, and that you find new bloggers to follow!
If you would like to participate in this feature, please email me or leave me a comment and I’d be happy to send you more details. :)) As of right now, I don’t have any more submissions so this might be the last one in the series, but I’ll definitely continue on with it if I get any more stories! Without further ado, onto the origin stories.
The first origin story of this post comes from Annie, who blogs at Zoelogist. Annie is a teenage blogger with an affinity for words and reading, and her posts are always very thought-provoking. I may be biased because we’ve been having comment conversations back and forth for years now, but I think she’s pretty amazing.
If I tried to pick some of my favorite of her posts to feature, it would be too long of a list, so I’ll link her most recent posts. If you’re looking for a new blog with a wide of variety of posts that are humorous, intriguing, and entertaining, look no further. And if that wasn’t enough to convince you, Annie is also the nicest, friendliest person ever!
- Words that are weird (aka how to become better at smelling and emotional intelligence)
- Sentences that actually made me laugh out loud while reading
- My commonplace notebook (aka my idea/self-analyzing tool)
Annie’s Origin Story:
The question of when I started blogging should be a simple one, but I’ve rewritten this first sentence multiple times because I’m not sure what the answer is. I created Zoelogist three years ago, but it was more of me reshaping something that had already existed, not me creating something out of scratch.
I had already attempted to blog twice before that. Near the end of middle school, I took the domain Running With a Backpack. Which didn’t go anywhere because I was so confused by WordPress. I remember being so insanely exasperated by the shift photo alignment function because it would throw the type off too. Then it changed into Uniquely Magic, a reference to the Stephen King quote, “Books are a uniquely portable magic.” Then it switched Portable Magic, and then maybe Uniquely Portable Magic, and then I don’t remember. Which go anywhere either because I didn’t follow through on the weekly posts I told myself I was going to write. Finally, during the summer before my freshman year of high school, I started blogging on Zoelogist, and for a reason I can’t pinpoint, this time I did follow through. Okay, so that’s the answer to when I started blogging.
As for why I wanted to start a blog, I think I will be able to answer this more straightforwardly. I knew I wanted to start one as soon as I realized they existed. The three that inspired me then and inspire me still are ModernMrs.Darcy, Cup of Jo, and Austin Kleon. ModernMrs.Darcy is the reason I read non-fiction, Cup of Jo showed me that some life blogs are also full-time jobs, and Austin Kleon forms how I think about making art. Together, they showed me how much was possible in the act of writing 200 to 2000 words on a regular basis and putting it on the internet. They made me want to try it out for myself.
The next story comes from Malka of Paper Procrastinators! I couldn’t express to you just how kind and friendly Malka (and her co-blogger, Chana) is, it’s just something I would highly encourage you to experience for yourself by checking out their very lovely blog. Malka posts book discussions, reviews, tags- all the amazing bookish content that is absolutely guaranteed to leave me with recommendations or new insight.
A few of her and Chana’s most recent posts include:
Malka’s Origin Story:
I honestly don’t remember the first book blog I came across. My introduction to the online book community began in 2013, when I discovered Booktube. Not too long after, I discovered book blogs, but was much more hesitant to explore that corner of the internet. I followed 2 or 3 bloggers, because I felt like that was all the content I could manage to keep up with. Of course, now my reality couldn’t be more different!
Since my introduction to the online bookish community, I had always wanted to be a part of it, but I never took that step. I never even commented on videos or posts, even when I had something worth saying! To put it simply, I was scared. So I had been toying with the idea of somehow becoming a part of this wonderful community for years before I finally became brave enough to actually start a blog.
Now part of my bravery stems from the fact that I have a co-blogger. I know that I’m never alone in this blogging processing. Having followed blogs for a few years also helped. I knew what bloggers loved and what bloggers regretted when they started out. I used that to help guide the formation of Paper Procrastinators.
And I’m so glad that I became a part of this wonderful community! I have gained so much from becoming a book blogger, and it makes me so happy to know that I still have more to both give to and get from book blogging!
Next is Ruby, from Ruby Reads and Reviews. Ruby is a book blogger who loves YA novels, connecting with other bloggers, and discussing her favorite books. She is incredibly sweet and also enjoys playing piano and writing. I absolutely adore her blog and her kind self, and I know I can depend on her posts to be lovely and lead to a comment conversation. A few of her most recent posts are~
- Backlist Titles I Want to Read in 2021
- Let’s Talk Bookish: What is a “Good” Ending?
- The Evermore Book Tag
Ruby’s Origin Story:
I started my blog in the summer of 2018 because one of my friends had started her own cooking blog around that time. I thought it was a really interesting idea, and I started thinking about things that I could blog about myself. And then it hit me: book blogging.
That summer and in the years following it, I sort of treated my blog as a personal reading tracker. I would blog whenever I finished a book, writing summaries of the books and not really “reviewing” just writing if I liked the book or not. I didn’t really know how to use WordPress, so I struggled a lot with formatting and my (almost nonexistent) graphics left a lot to be desired. I only had about twenty followers, and they were mostly my family and some of my teachers. I didn’t really interact with other people in the blogging community as and a result, I wouldn’t get a lot of feedback on my posts. I would just publish them, read a new book and write the next one. None of my posts were very good quality, but I didn’t feel like I had enough of a community to actually put a lot of effort into them. It felt pretty isolating and I had a lot of blogging and reading slumps.
A few months ago, I decided that I wanted to connect more with the community and improve my blog. I made new graphics, deleted a lot of my old posts and started interacting more on other blogs, commenting and blog hopping. And slowly but surely, my posts and reviews have improved. Reading other people’s work and reflecting back on your own is one of the best ways to improve, and it has really helped me improve my reviews and find my writing voice. I’ve learned about different kinds of posts, like hauls and tags. I wrote my first true discussion post a few weeks ago. And as a result, I have gotten a lot more interaction on my own blog, and it feels like I’m actually participating in this online community. While I don’t have a blog Instagram or Twitter (I’m still a teen and I probably won’t feel comfortable doing that until I’m older), I have really loved finding a new community here. At times it’s pretty overwhelming, but I think it’s amazing how books connect all of us, and I’m so glad I’ve found all of these other people who share my love of reading.
For our next story, it’s especially interesting because it’s the story of two co-bloggers and how they started their blog together- Amethyst and Turquoise from Act Your Page. They are two teenagers who share a love for reading, Netflix, and chocolate, and post book reviews and other bookish posts on their blog. A few of their most recent posts include~
Amethyst and Turquoise’s Origin Stories:
Amethyst: I started “reading” to my little sister at around age 3, when I would memorize short stories that I have read a ton of time and recite them to her. The first book I ever read to myself was Harry Potter, at around age 6, because I was always complaining that my parents read it too slow and eventually they told me to just read it myself.
I was the one who came up with the name of our blog, Act Your Page. I really love book puns and hope to share a bunch more in the future. Here were some other very punny names we considered: A Novel Idea, By the Book, No Shelf Control, True to Your Shelf, Lost in a book , Booked on a feeling, All you read is love, Easier read than done, In a blaze of story, A Little Word told me, Word’s eye view, Seen and not word, Ink or swim, Great minds ink alike, Rock the quote, and Strike a prose.
One struggle we faced at the beginning was that neither of us are naturally good at taking bookstagram pictures, so we struggle a bit with taking interesting looking and aesthetically pleasing photos. Most of my responsibilities are editing and organizing everything before we post it, and managing our Instagram account.
Turquoise: I actually used to have a learning disability, so I couldn’t really read until age 9. (I also still can’t spell, and Amethyst has to check everything before we post it!) My parents used to read me tons of stories and I have always loved telling other people about all of the amazing books I have been reading. I still love doing this now.
A few months ago I read What I Like About You by Marisa Kanter, which talks a bit about the book blogging community. (Check out our review of that book here) This book led me to start reading book blogs, and made me want to start a book blog of my own. I told my best friend-Amethyst-about this idea, and we ended up starting our blog Act your Page together.
One struggle we faced at the beginning was around using WordPress. We still barely understand many of the functions, which makes it tough to make our blog match our vision for it. We are hoping to update our blog soon to make it more interesting to look at! Most of my current responsibilities are writing reviews, answering our comments, and reading other blogs.
That concludes this segment of Blogger Origins! I couldn’t help but laugh about halfway through writing this when I realized that calling them “origin stories” makes it sound like I’m describing a villain origin story or something. That couldn’t be more false- all these bloggers are phenomenal and I’m so grateful to them for taking the time to send me a story so that I could feature them in this.
In other news, it’s snowing heavily (!!) where I live for the first time in six years, and the temperatures are lower than I’ve ever felt before in my entire life. Everyone is staying inside because no one here knows how to handle snow or ice on the roads, and it’s very cozy. :)) I went outside for a little bit today and it was very, very cold so I think I’ll be staying in for the next few days and doing a lot of reading and spending more time on my blog. I hope you’re all staying safe and healthy and having a wonderful 2021 so far! I look forward to hopefully posting a bit more in the coming months.
Thank you so much for reading! Just a reminder that if you want to be featured, just let me know in the comments or email me and I will give you all the details.
I’d love to hear more about your origin story or how it’s similar to these! Also, I’ve been gone for ages, so please update me on how you are and what posts I’ve missed…and if it’s also snowing where you are.
P.S. I finally switched to the block editor after boycotting it for a very long time and…it’s actually not as bad as I thought it would be?? I definitely have spent more time than I would have liked trying to figure out how to format everything, but I thought it would be a lot worse. If anyone has block editor tips though, let me know.