Books Magazine

Armchair BEA - Expanding Blogging Horizons

By Mle_vnc @Backlist_Books
The Day 3 topic for Armchair BEA that I've selected is:
Expanding Blogging Horizons
What do you think about when you think about going beyond blogging or expanding your horizons? Is it a redesign of your blog? Have you branched out into freelance writing or even published a novel of your very own? Or, have you moved into a different venue like podcasts or vlogging? This is the day to tell us about how you have expanded on blogging in your own unique way.
(To find out more about Armchair BEA and to join in the fun, go here.)
This is an interesting topic, because I've discovered through blogging that there is so much more going on in the online book community.
I started out this blog with a mind to post reviews. That was pretty much it. Then I found that I occasionally had opinions on things. Opinions I wanted to share, or just to work out by writing about them. So I started posting the occasional discussion post. I didn't actually think anyone would find my little bookish corner of the internet. I didn't expect any followers or for people to much care what I had to say. I guess it was more of an online journal I was keeping so that I could look back on the books I barely remembered reading, and to encourage myself to engage with the literature I was consuming more fully and deeply.
Over the past year, however, my relationship with both my own blog and the online blogging community has changed.What began as something of a small personal project and hobby has morphed into an actual thing. I have a few followers now - people who like what I have to say enough to want to see more of it. Which is both incredibly flattering and humbling. But I think the most important element for me is the interaction I have with other bloggers and bookish folks. You guys leave me comments and they make my day. I love hearing what your thoughts are on a topic or book I've written about, and I love it when a comment becomes a conversation.
Which is part of why Twitter has become such a huge part of my blogging experience. I don't use it to drive my blog - I normally don't even remember to share links to my posts. I use it as somewhere I can have more of those direct interactions that I've found in comments, but in real time, and at greater length. It's also somewhere I keep an eye on what's happening in the bookish world and what you guys are talking about and, more importantly, reading.
Looking back, even a year ago I had no idea what this experience would become. I've learned so much, I've constantly changed and updated my blog, added new link-ups and participated in Readathons. I've "met" other bloggers and even, I hope, gotten to know some of you well enough to call you friends. I feel more a part of a community in this little online network than I have experienced outside of university, and while I'm still a small little blog, I feel like I've found a place.
I don't know if this is really what the Armchair BEA folks meant with their question, but it's where my mind took it, and it seemed like a good opportunity to reflect on how far I've come - both as a blogger and member of the online book world. It's one I'm proud to be a part of.
What about you guys? How has blogging helped you expand your horizons?

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