Happy Fifth Blogoversary To Me!

If I thought I would be in this same place five years ago, I would be shocked. Honestly, I never thought blogging would have the impact on my life that it does, for good and for bad. I started Good Books And Good Wine after this mania obsession with Goodreads and before starting student teaching. Actually oh my goodness, I went to go look up my first post and it was actually on July 27th and not July 29th. Well, this is kind of embarrassing. Anyways, it’s been quite an interesting five years with lots of lessons that I’ve learned for sure. Here’s a few things I’ve learned along the way:

Lesson Number One: Say Yes To Everything (Within Reason)

Breathless Tour Andrea Creamer

Left to right: Andrea Cremer, Me, Jamie, Jen

  • Let’s see, Breathless Reads tour in Philly, four+ hours from where I lived one way? YES.
  • Go to Book Expo America in New York City by myself and stay with complete internet strangers? YES.
  • Stay up all night to read all the books and eat all the junk food with everyone on the internet? YES.
  • Go to book signings two hours away on work nights? YES.
  • Get invited to open bar parties with my favorite authors? YES.
  • Take part in campaigns for my most highly anticipated books? YES.

Lesson Number Two: There Are Going To Be Ups And Downs

Meeting Mindy Kaling at BEA

Meeting Mindy Kaling!

If anyone told you that blogging is this easy, always up always awesome thing, they lied to you. I cannot tell you the amount of times I have come unglued while blogging. I mean, I remember changing web hosting providers. Let me tell you, I nearly lost my mind. I think my blog was down for like two weeks. Then, there’s the amount of personal behind the scenes things. Sometimes bloggers can be really catty behind the scenes and not super nice. There’s a lot of drama and well, okay, drama is fine when your life doesn’t have a whole lot, but when I actually have real life drama, it’s like book blogging drama is the straw that breaks the camel’s back. There’s also been moments when my traffic has not quite grown the way I have wanted it to, when I have experienced extreme jealousy because my blog isn’t going to the super star heights I want it to. That’s when I have to take a step back. I realize right now I am making it seem like there’s all lows, not any highs. However, there are great things too — best friends from around the country, around the world; books I never would have touched that quickly became favorites; opportunities; amazing life experiences; honing my skills. I really think blogging is worth the time even though the experience isn’t all sunshine and glitter and unicorns. (There should really be more unicorns).

Lesson Number Three: If You’re In A Slump Try Something New

At The Book Signing

Making an idiot of myself, while Allison looks on like a normal person

In five years of blogging, slumps are inevitable. It’s likely that you’re going to run out of steam. It’s likely that the creative juices will just stop flowing. When that has happened for me, I try something else with my blog. One time, it was to do a movie review which LOL did not go over quite the way I wanted, that’s okay. There was also a time when I was highly resistant to booktube, I thought videos were a waste of time because I can read faster than I can watch someone talk to me. Yet, I have changed my mind on that because I am allowed to change my mind and because really, making and watching videos is a lot of fun. Sure, there are booktubers that irritate me because I am an adult and have particular tastes, but for the most part, it’s a fun community and a fun thing that is making me feel a little more creative and excited about books again.

Lesson Number Four: Never Speed On The Way To A Signing

E. Lockhart, Oblong Books, April Books&Wine,

Meeting E. Lockhart!!

Enough said, just trust me, leave a little bit earlier and make sure you are going the speed limit.

Lesson Number Five: It’s Not Personal

With Some AMAZING Book Blogger Friends

With Some AMAZING Book Blogger Friends

Does a certain publisher ignore you? Were you passed over for a cool promotion? Does a certain blogger not respond to your tweets? Is your comment count low? Did you not get that coveted ARC? I have spent way too much time as a blogger dealing with envy and manufacturing too much drama in my head. I mean there’s days that I would pop over to gchat and immediately go off to friends about how publisher A doesn’t like me anymore because they send things to people who just started with zero traffic. Guys, it’s not that serious and it’s not that personal. It took me YEARS and a drastic reduction in time to realize this. It’s still my impulse, honestly, to think that when I am passed over for something that it is personal. It’s not. Kind of like when someone ignores you on twitter — I am usually the first to be like oh, that person is such an asshole, but over these five years blogging I have learned to take a step back. I have learned to actually think about that judgement call. Like, maybe that person is at work and can’t check twitter or go on the internet (THAT IS MY SITUATION), maybe that person is overwhelmed by all their mentions, maybe that person just has not had time. Hah, with the way that I am going on and on about this I bet you are thinking I am talking about a person in particular, I am not. I am just using this as an example, that sometimes the things that hurt us with blogging are not personal so we shouldn’t let it ruin our day or make us feel lesser than. We’re all awesome people who have this huge drive to discuss books and share our love of the written word and that’s so cool.

Thank you for a great five years, for all 27,235 comments as of right this very second, for reading some of our 2,139 posts, for being so welcoming to Allison and Cassie. I am so, so thankful for all of you. I am positive I would not be the person I am without book blogging. Thanks!

About April (Books&Wine)

April is 28 years old and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. In her free time she can be found reading, working out, or eating junk food. She often wears her sunglasses at night.

Comments

  1. My own four years of blogging would NOT EVER BE THE SAME had you not been in it. Seriously, we hit it off immediately and I am thankful for our friendship because of all this. Like TRUE friendship. Non of the bullshit and alll of the fun! I mean, having you at my wedding meant so much to me. You’ve been an inspiration to me, a sounding board, the person to listen to me vent about dumb things (lol I’m glad we can laugh about these things after they are over) and you are probably responsible for lots of my TBR list!

    Happy 5 years, friend! Here’s to the future and our friendship and good books! (AND GOOD WINE YEAH!)
    Jamie recently posted..Top Ten Authors I Own The Most Books OfMy Profile

  2. Wow, five years is amazing! Congratulations, April! I’m taking your post to heart, especially the part about the signings. I live an hour away from DC and it’s hard for me to go (I don’t have me own car and my parents refuse to drive me), but looking at what you’re saying about 2+ and 4+ hour drives… O_O I hope I can meet you somebody, April! I’ve been a huge fan for about three of your five years now, one and a half solely as a reader, the other one and a half as a reader/blogger. Keep up the awesome work 🙂

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!
    Alyssa Susanna (The Eater of Books!) recently posted..Blog Tour Review and Giveaway: Magnolia by Kristi CookMy Profile

  3. Happy blogiversary!
    BermudaOnion(Kathy) recently posted..Review: A Bintel BriefMy Profile

  4. Ahhh, happy blogoversary April! <3 Blogging changes our lives in so many ways, especially when you've been blogging this long. I have to remind myself of lesson number 5 a lot. ARC envy or comment envy is a thing, and not a very fun one.

    To many years to come!
    Celine recently posted..Interview with the Page GirlsMy Profile

  5. Happy blog birthday, April! 🙂
    Amanda @ On a Book Bender recently posted..Top Off Tuesday Revenge, With a Side of BrontoMy Profile

  6. Happy blogoversary, April! You’re definitely one of the biggest highlights of my 4 years of blogging – so here’s hoping the three of you keep it up for a long time to come!
    Allison (Allure of Books) recently posted..From Egypt To The Virgin Islands…My Profile

  7. Great lessons, April! I still struggle with the lows of blogging, but you’re right, they don’t compare to the highs and friendships you make. Congratulations on Five Great Years! Here’s to many more! Cheers! *clink, clink* 🙂
    Jess @ Gone with the Words recently posted..London Falling by Chanel Cleeton – Dream Cast + Giveaway!My Profile

  8. Happy 5 years! You were one of the first bloggers I started reading when I started blogging 3 years ago. I appreciate the way you always speak your mind and I’ve learned a lot from you about the technical aspects of blogging (like your SEO posts) and about the more subtle aspects, like interacting with other bloggers and authors. Here’s to many more years!

  9. 5 years is amazing! Blogging isn’t always easy, I have to agree with that, but I’m happy that you still find enjoyment in blogging after so many years 😀 and I hope you will keep finding that for many years to come!

  10. Congratulations April. I always read your blog, but don’t always comment. 5 years is amazing! <3
    Chrissi Reads recently posted..Ten Authors I Own (or have owned!) The Most Books FromMy Profile

  11. Happy five years, my dear! Thank you for these beautiful reminders today, for being my friend and cheerleader, for entertaining me through endless hours of panels and for sharing your love of books with me. xo
    Anna recently posted..Authors I Own the Most Books FromMy Profile

  12. Woo-hoo! *raises glass of champagne to you and your lovely blog and fellow bloggers* Cheers, dahlin’!
    Mary @ BookSwarm recently posted..Top Off Tuesday: Viper’s Run by Stephanie TylerMy Profile

  13. Congratulations on five great years. May you keep on for many more. Best, and keep on blogging.

  14. Happy Blogoversary! Five years is an amazing accomplishment!

    I love your “Say yes to everything” tip. If I only I had things to say yes to! 😛
    Angie F. recently posted..Review: Pride (Shifters, #3) by Rachel VincentMy Profile

  15. First of all, a HUGE congrats to you on such a momentous occasion! FIVE YEARS is such an accomplishment and you should be so proud of yourself. I also want to THANK you for such a wonderful post filled with so many great pieces of advice. As a baby blogger I really took your thoughts to heart and am going to keep them in mind as I go through my first year (and beyond) of book blogging! I am having such an amazing time and a LOT of it is due in part to all of the amazing bloggers I have met!
    Sarah @ What Sarah Read recently posted..Top Ten Tuesday: Authors I Own The Most Books FromMy Profile

  16. Happy blogoversary!!! I’m so happy I’ve gotten to know you over the two years I’ve been around. Your advice is incredibly spot on. It’s nice to know that I’m not the only person that struggles with a lot of these things. You’ve done amazing things with this blog and I can’t wait to see what else you bring to us!! 🙂
    Rachel recently posted..Top Ten Authors I Own the Most Books FromMy Profile

  17. Congrats on 5 years!!! And I agree with all that you said 🙂
    Jill the OWL recently posted..Review: This is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. SmithMy Profile

  18. 5 years!!! That is such a cool accomplishment!! Good for you, happy blogoversary
    Michelle (Pink Polka Dot Books) recently posted..New Books Coming Out Week of 7/27My Profile

  19. Congratulations on 5 years, April! You have so much to be proud of. Thank you for sharing your love for literature with this community, and with me personally. One of these days we will meet.. it must happen! xxoo
    Ginger @ GReads! recently posted..My Top Ten Authors I Own the Most Books FromMy Profile

  20. P.E. @ The Sirenic Codex says:

    Congratulations April! You’ve been a blogger I’ve looked up to for some time now, and five years is incredible!
    P.E. @ The Sirenic Codex recently posted..Cover Wars: Queen of Someday vs. Gates of Thread and StoneMy Profile

  21. Congratulations on 5 years! Here’s to another five. *clink glasses*
    Melanie recently posted..Delirium Pilot: TV ReviewMy Profile

  22. HAPPY FIVE YEARS OF BLOGGING, APRIL! I really am grateful for you + your blog, as they’ve served as inspiration and a source of many, many, many books on my TBR shelves. It’s certainly an amazing achievement to have made it so far, and I can only aspire to someday be celebrating this milestone too. Here’s to more years of blogging!
    Alexa S. recently posted..Prisoner of Night and Fog – Anne Blankman (Review)My Profile

  23. *high five* on turning Five! You still seem very passionate about blogging and I love that you try out new things like booktube to stay inspired. Your blog is an inspiration and your “It’s Not Personal” piece is something I’m sure we all can relate to.
    Keep having fun with your blog, April!

  24. Happy blog birthday from me too!
    Charlotte recently posted..The Trolley to Yesterday, by John Bellairs, for Timeslip TuesdayMy Profile

  25. As a newbie blogger this is really inspiring! I hope I can hang in there for as long as you have 🙂 Congrats!
    meghann recently posted..[Waiting…] Black Ice by Becca FitzpatrickMy Profile

  26. Congrats, April! What a HUGE milestone! You’re a great blogger, and I hope you have another 4 amazing years (if the Internet is still around by then…you never know lol)!!
    Lisa recently posted..15 Beatuiful Book Quote Posters & PrintsMy Profile

  27. Happy blogiversary!!
    Lyn Kaye recently posted..Book Review: The Fever by Megan AbbottMy Profile

  28. Happy Blogiversary. Congrats on 5 years!!

  29. Five years! Wow! Congrats! I love your blog and reading your posts, and I look forward to yet another year of them! It looks like you have had a lot of fun experiences, and like it’s totally been worth it, which is awesome. Thanks for the wonderful advice! 😀
    Courtney @ Courtney Reads A Lot recently posted..Monthly Recap (4) – July 2014My Profile

  30. MUAH! Obviously love the picture that goes with number 5. 🙂

    Love the lessons, especially about things not being personal and saying yes to things within reason.

    Bravo on doing this thing for 5 years!

  31. Happy blogoversary to you! Love your blog!!

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