Blogging Life: 6 More Things I Have Learned Since I Started Blogging

 

I recently took a small hiatus to rest and recover.  My time away from the blog, long or short, always allows me to reflect on how much I am enjoying the process, what I am learning and what I could do to improve that time. This is the cycle of my brain in pretty much all aspects of my life. So today, it felt appropriate to share several more things I have accepted learned since I became a blogger.

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6 More Things I Have Accepted Learned Since I Started Blogging

(These are simply personal reflections and not intended to be advice. I do not do advice.)

  1. Finding that distinct voice that I mentioned here, is actually quite a process at times, at least for me. Maybe it should not be, but it is. In a world where there are over 440 Million Blogs (according to the internet), we are each small fish in a very large pond. Depending on our personal goals, making our own mark can be challenging. I find myself constantly discovering new ideas and content the inspire and influence me. This also means I am constantly assessing the direction of the blog and the content I want to provide. In other words, I never seem to have a clearly defined direction. Who am I as a blogger? Which leads us to number 2.

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  2. I am living in a perpetual state of “winging it”. No matter who much I plan and organize, there will always be something. I am simply not an individual who has the ability to plan months of content in advance (not for lack of trying), and when I begin to gain a firm hold on posts life seems to inevitably happen. Be it health, family matters, or even just simply brain fog and lack of creative inspiration, I am destined to fall behind at least once a month. Setting unrealistic goals and spending hours on end trying to catch up will only worsen the situation. Sometimes I just have to roll with the punches and hope for the best. This can include last-minute content that is drafted sometimes only a night in advance.
  3. While I avoid stats like week-old leftovers, I value followers with all of my little <3. After all, I do this to be part of a community. It is always refreshing to see new faces and know that I have like-minded individuals I can share my passion with. I spent over a year and a half feeling guilty and concerned about each health break and hiatus I had to take. I was nervous that I would lose some of you and perhaps disconnect with the community in some way during my unplanned time offline. I was wrong. Breaks are not something I plan to make a habit of but they are beneficial and not detrimental. The book and blogging community is incredibly supportive and understanding. Not only do each of you continue to encourage me to take the necessary breaks, but I often return to several more new faces and feeling ready to tackle new content.

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  4. It is ok to deviate from the normal topic from time to time (or even often if that is your thing). I am a book blogger in the sense that this blog was created to share my love of all things books. Every social media account attached is also focused on books. Reviews, book photos, book discussions, interviews, you name it. But that does not mean I cannot talk about other things. In fact, I have found that post such as my Friday Favorites are normally well received. The ability to branch out at times and share other hobbies or passions helps maintain my enjoyment of blogging and recharge the creative fuel! And I feel like this helps with number one ⇑, finding the distinct voice.
  5. I will always preach that blogging is a hobby and should never feel like a chore. But sometimes it does, and it will. I have goals for the blog and the connections I want to establish within the community, and with those goals come some commitments. I have to accept that to achieve some of my personal goals I will need to put in some work, and work is a chore at times. But the important thing here is that I am reaching for something I desire and am passionate about. So it is not detracting from my overall enjoyment. Passions and hobbies can include aspirations and working hard to achieve these is simply another extension of that commitment and enjoyment.

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  6. I will never have all of the answers or win the internet. Each day will be a continuous process of learning from each of you and growing on a personal level. Embracing this aspect of blogging allows me to enjoy it to the fullest.

I wanted to do something a little different today and ask you, what are several things you have learned since you started blogging? I would love to know! So I am inviting you to share a post or your responses on social media and tag me or this post so I can see!

Let’s Chat,

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Very Small Break & Update

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Just a small update today. I am suffering a few flare-ups (mainly neurological) and need to pull the plug on screen time this week. I am finding myself requiring extra meds and time to rest. I thought a day offline would help me bounce back, but spending nearly 24 hours in bed my body is now warning me that it is time to listen. I am currently awaiting a callback from the neurosurgeon to meet and discuss the plans for the newly discovered condition of my lower spine. I have a feeling the pain and tension in my back may be contributing to the increased headaches at the moment.

I realize I have not responded to a lot of you and will do so as soon as I return. I will not attempt to catch up on missed blog posts though 😦 I normally aim to do this when I am able to log back in. However, the additional screen time at the moment is just not an option so please forgive me.

I hope to be back by Sunday or Monday and look forward to chatting soon! Wishing you all the best week ❤

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One of Us by Craig Dilouie

one of usOne of Us
By Craig Dilouie
Publisher: Orbit
ISBN: 9780316411318
Pages: 390 (per review copy)
Genre: Science Fiction

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They call him Dog.

Enoch is a teenage boy growing up in a rundown orphanage in Georgia during the 1980s. Abandoned from the moment they were born, Enoch and his friends are different. People in the nearby town whisper that the children from the orphanage are monsters.

The orphanage is not a happy home. Brutal teachers, farm labor, and communal living in a crumbling plantation house are Enoch’s standard day to day. But he dreams of growing up to live among the normals as a respected man. He believes in a world less cruel, one where he can be loved.

One night, Enoch and his friends share a campfire with a group of normal kids. As mutual fears subside, friendships form, and living together doesn’t seem so out of reach.

But then a body is found, and it may be the spark that ignites revolution.


My Thoughts

One of Us offers readers an alternate reality that unfolds in Georgia, 1984. Most of the world is much like you may remember or have heard of, however, a sexually transmitted disease has caused mutations in many unborn children. These children have been cast out by society, deemed inhuman and sent at birth to live in homes where they are raised under harsh conditions and used as labor on local farms. They are monsters.

But Enoch, also known as Dog, dreams of a better life. One where the children will live in society among the normals and grow to earn respected jobs and possibly even love one day. When Enoch and his friends have a chance encounter with the local normal kids and a friendship begins to develop, this life feels even closer than he had hoped.

Then a body is discovered and a grisly accident occurs and the town is looking for someone to blame. What unfolds could very well be the events that begin a revolution. Will Enoch and his friends find their rightful place among mankind or will they claim it?

“Enoch was the name the teachers at the Home used. Brain said it was his slave name. Dog liked hearing it, though. He felt lucky to have one. His mama loved him enough to at least do that for him.”

One of Us is not a fun or easy ready. At times, I found myself taking small breaks to digest what was happening and to even recover from a few graphic moments. I am not quite sure what I had in mind when I picked it up, but I think it was something along the lines of a light, fast-paced science fiction story with a few memorable characters at best. What I received was a heavier, unexpected exploration of humanity that tackled themes of discrimination, hate, and intolerance in the most unlikely but ultimately rewarding manner.

Dilouie crafts a world and cast that perhaps rely on their own familiarities for their true success. Once we strip away the mutation, we are left with a setting and group of characters we can relate to with incredible ease. Enoch and his friends are just teenagers trying to find a small slice of happiness in a life that has dealt them a shit hand. It is 1984 and prejudices and bigotry are common problems in many towns, and here is no exception. The mutation is simply another example, albeit a very extreme one. The fact that One of Us utilizes children to deliver its theme cleverly amplifies it.

“Again, my goal for you kids this year is two things. One is to get used to the plague kids. Distinguishing between a book and its cover. The other is to learn how to avoid making more of them.”

A tale of caution, One of Us exposes us to the real horrors and challenges us to face actual monsters in the form of intolerance and hate. Dilouie offers something truly unexpected, a cleverly written, beautifully executed story with an unbelievable amount of heart masquerading as your typical science fiction but ultimately proving to be something much greater.

Contains graphic, violent & sexual content with a heavy theme of intolerance and hate.

*I would like to thank Orbit for this advanced copy. The quotes included above are from the advanced copy and subject to change. This review is my own, unbiased and honest opinion.

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Serves well with earthy blends such as your favorite pu-erh.

Grab a Copy: Amazon.com Amazon UK

*Disclosure: I use affiliate links and may earn a small commission for purchases made through them. Click here for details.

Happy Reading,

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