Well, my blogiversary celebration is coming to a close. I've had fun looking back at the past five years of obsessions, books, blog posts and memories. And it seemed fitting to end by talking about the lessons I've learned! It's hard to put into words everything that blogging has taught me - or the things I've taken to heart from the books that I've read. But here are the five that first came to mind:
This is probably the most obvious lesson, but I've got to start somewhere! I've learned so many new skills because of my blog. From creating graphics to using HTML, I've gained a lot of practical knowledge in the past five years. It even spilled over into my "real life" job, which involved social media. Blogging always gave my ideas for how to better market our company! I'm certainly not an expert, but I never imagined I'd know how to do things like make my own graphics or fix HTML issues with my posts.
Have you ever been talking to someone you don't know very well and discovered that you both love the same book? It's an instant connection! I've had it happen in real life, and I love that moment so much. It typically sparks a longer conversation where you compare your favorites, offer recommendations and get lost in the world of books. With blogging, that experience has increased tenfold. I touched on it yesterday, but I've learned that a shared love of books can lead to real, meaningful friendships.
While there's so much more to me than So Obsessed With, I will readily admit that this blog has been a huge part of my life the past five years. But it's been the best kind of commitment! It's taught me the value of a long-term project - giving me the opportunity to grow something over time and cultivate it into the kind of thing I'm proud to call mine. It's not always my main priority, but it's certainly helped give me focus. Every time I think about quitting, I remember how much I love having an outlet for my thoughts!
I've been a reader for my whole life, so I already knew that books could teach you things and take you to new worlds. But I didn't truly realize the way books can help you grow - open your mind to new ideas, introduce you to cultures you're unfamiliar with, and give you the opportunity to relate to people you've never met. Books remind me that everyone has a story. Books can teach you about others, but they can teach you about yourself, too. It's an amazing feeling when you're able to relate to a character and see yourself in their story!
And finally, this is the lesson I'm probably the most thankful for! I've always love reading and words, but I don't know that I would have described myself as a creative person before I started blogging. But now, I feel like my mind is always spinning with ideas for posts. Whether I'm dreaming up discussion post topics, pondering new ways to push books on other readers or brainstorming collaborations with other bloggers, blogging has sparked my creativity like nothing else. I love the thrill of a new idea and the act of bringing it to fruition.
Well, I hope you've had fun revisiting the past five years with me! I have no idea what the future holds, but I'm so thankful that this blog has been such a huge part of my life so far. If you're considering starting a blog, I'd tell you to go for it! It's not always easy and can definitely take work, but the journey has been so worth it for me. I can't imagine my life without the people and books that blogging has brought into it!
And as a thank you to everyone who has supported So Obsessed With, I've got a little giveaway to celebrate:
One Book of Your Choice from Five Years of Favorites: The Books
Open Internationally / Ends 12.31.16
Book must be available on Amazon or Book Depository.
One Audiobook of Your Choice from the Graphic Below
Open to U.S. Only / Ends 12.31.16
Not Pictured (But Also Options!):
Lady Thief by A.C. Gaughen
Dark Triumph by Robin LaFevers
Crown of Midnight, Heir of Fire or Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas
The Piper's Son by Melina Marchetta
Froi of the Exiles or Quintana of Charyn by Melina Marchetta
Days of Blood and Starlight or Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor