On March 27, 2016 I created my blog. At this point in my life, I was reading (for fun) for about a year and a half with a total of approximately one hundred and twelve books read in total. Along with that, I completed writing my first novel and began sending it out to fellow readers and writers for feedback.
I was becoming absorbed in this literary life of mine. It became my everything: the blood to my heart, the air to my lungs, the smile to my cheeks. I fell in love with the books in my hands and the stories roaming my mind. But I needed a place to pour out all of my thoughts and emotions as both a reader and a writer. Somewhere bigger than Instagram or the one hundred and forty characters in a tweet.
So I created this blog.
Little did I know this literary life of mine would consume my everything. How it would open doors I never expected to be unlocked with my hands. How it would fill me with a passion that only continues to grow every day.
I would never think a year from March 27, 2016 this little website of mine would have over three hundred and sixty followers. I never expected my Instagram to grow from a couple of hundred followers to one thousand and six hundred followers. That’s a lot of people taking the time to stop and read what I have to say.
Not only have social media outlets (and most importantly, the amount of amazing people I’ve met through here) grown immensely, but I have achieved things that still surprise myself. Many great and beautiful things that I don’t appreciate as much as I should.
So here’s a list of things I have accomplished within this one year. The dreams that have come true and the trophies I have won.
I finished writing my second novel, which was originally going to be the sequel to my first, but after receiving feedback from both friends and agents, I decided that this was the book. And this morning, before I even realized it was my blogiversary, I began querying for this novel I’m so very proud of.
I’ve read a total of one hundred and eighty-two books, all of which have broadened my mind and heart to new things. Whether I liked or dislike a story, it always teaches me something.
For my 18th birthday, my sister and a dear friend took me to Redmond, Washington where elements of my novel took place. I walked the same streets my characters did. I stood before the sign they passed by when they would enter the town, the gorgeous trees and scenery they soaked in with each step. I even stood before this treehouse that I used in my novel, and my god, it was surreal.
Taking photos of books all day led me to discover my passion for photography. I’m now a freelance photographer and work for a couple of amazing small businesses. I hope to pick up more jobs and continue photographing the world and all the beautiful people in it.
I’m writing my second novel (third, if we’re counting my first novel, but I now like to think of that as a practice manuscript). It’s a loose retelling of Mary Queen of Scots with elements from classic fairy tales. This novel has proven difficult to write because it is so different from my first book and I’m still attached to my old story and set of characters. But now that I’ve started querying, I feel like I can finally let go and place all of my attention to these characters who very much deserve it.
When I was in Washington, I also got these tattoos to represent my first novel. So now matter where I go, I can look down at my wrists and remember the world and characters I created. To remember how I’ve grown since becoming a writer and how this story has changed me in many (positive) ways. To remember to be brave and free.
I have met and connected with so many magical beings. I’ve also met a few rotten ones, but they’ve only made me stronger and braver. Whether someone left a positive or negative footprint upon me, it has only inspired me to be kinder, work harder, and simply maintain my own happiness. Because I am mine before I am ever anyone else’s.
I cannot begin to grasp onto the words to thank all of you enough. No gathering of letters seems strong enough to describe the amount of gratitude I hold towards each and every one of you who have supported my dreams and influenced my being. I suppose all I can say is thank you, and that I feel so lucky to have this abundance of support and love. I had no idea my blogiversary was today, but it couldn’t have come at a better time.
Yesterday was the beginning of a new week and the final touches on my novel. Today was the beginning of query land and my blogiversary. Tomorrow is also a special day for me, the beginning of a newer, broader, and more positive mindset. You’ll just have to wait and see what it is, but it may have something to do with ink. *wink*
You know, it’s easy to get caught up in everyday life and forget how far I’ve come, but it’s moments like these that remind me how much I’ve grown and seen. How there’s so much more to come. And without all of you, I wouldn’t be here. So, with all the love and magic, THANK YOU.