Happy Anniversary!

I think I had a topic I was going to write about today. Maybe? If I did, I promptly forgot. Because I got a little notification from Word Press saying today is my fourth anniversary of blogging on WordPress.

Wow. Already? Four years is a long time to be doing anything. This doesn’t even count the years I spent on my original blog. (which shall stay unnamed because, well, it is a little silly…)

I started a blog all those years ago for a space to hold forth on all of my opinions. I wanted to write about the things I was interested in and what I was thinking about. As I matured and grew, my blog morphed along with me. There was the books and writing phase, where I tried to give writing advice. (Ha!) There was the ‘publish a story on my blog’ phase. I enjoyed that one, I think? There was the very short phase of writing about teaching. (glad we are done with that one) Now there is the homemaking phase which you all are blessed (or cursed) with.

What stayed steady through all of it was the book reviews. When I discussed the books I loved and the books I hated. They also happen to be my most popular posts. I guess people like hearing my opinions on books? Which is great, I have more opinions on books than I do on just about anything else. I will never run out of things to say!

I believe blogging helped me hone my writing more than any class I have ever taken. Through blogging, I have learned to write clearly and concisely. I learned how to put an idea, an opinion, a thought, into words other people could understand. I learned how to edit my own work, to look at it critically and decide what doesn’t need to be there, and what may be distracting from the main point. I also learned to have a point with every post. No rambles without an ending here (though I do love a good ramble).

The biggest benefit to blogging, I think, was the opportunity to hone my ‘voice’, the style of writing unique to me. For a while, I tried to copy other bloggers styles. They were successful, so maybe if I wrote like them, I would be successful too. Spoiler alert, it didn’t work. Eventually, I figured that out and stopped trying to write like anyone else. Now, I write in a way that feels natural to me. It may not get me into the big leagues, but I would rather write this way, than have to force myself into a little mold just to be popular.

All that to say, I am glad to be here. I love blogging, and I don’t plan on stopping any time in the future. Here’s to four more years!

Shaina Merrick