Saturday, April 8, 2017

Two Year Blogoversary + Blogger Recognition Tag + Musings

On March 31st, Adventure Awaits turned two! Being as all my energy was directed elsewhere last month, I had no time to prepare a blogoversary celebration quite like the first time. It was fun taking a survey and hosting a giveaway in 2016, and for a while I expected to do something similar this year, but alas and alack, dear questers--circumstances are different.

I do fully intend to come up with another giveaway sometime. I'm also getting the inklings of a plan for breathing fresh life into this blog come summer. But for now, we'll have a quiet little party with as much chocolate cake and gingersnap cookies as you can imagine!*

*Because sadly, I have yet to figure out how to deliver sweets through the computer screen. So you'll just have to pretend, okay?

[image via Pinterest, text my own]

The Itinerary of This Miniature Blogoversary:

  1. Blogger Recognition Tag
  2. Stats (because measuring growth is fun and motivating, yes?)
  3. Some musings about my blogging experience

1. Blogger Recognition Tag

See, I didn't quite finish catching up on tags last month. Kate @ Story and Dark Chocolate gave me this Blogger Recognition Tag, which says:

  • Tell us a little about how you started blogging.
  • Give two pieces of advice for new bloggers.

How did I start this thing? Well, let's see if my homework-muddled mind can think back to two years ago . . . Ah, yes, I remember. For some time already, I had wanted an online platform for my writing/a public place to put my thoughts out there. But I was taking my own sweet time fiddling with Blogger until Bryan Davis wanted to share my book review of To Kill a Mockingbird on his blog and asked if I had a website to link to. That provided the motivation to pull myself together and finally launch Adventure Awaits.

And that's how it started.

It took me a while to find my groove, and to be honest, I'm still finding it. But now I can see more clearly how almost everything here centers around story somehow, whether it's reading them, writing them, or living them. As time goes on, I hope to hone my focus even more.

If you want to read more trivia on the beginnings of the blog, check out my first blogoversary post.

Advice for new bloggers:

There's the usual "be careful how much personal info you share," and "be consistent," but you can find those tips everywhere, so let's talk about the fun stuff instead.

1. Be yourself! Yes, it's cliché, but that's because it's true. Don't bother copying another blogger's voice or style, but don't get too caught up in originality either. Just write the way YOU write (or the way you speak, if you want to be more casual). Figure out what feels natural to you, and don't be afraid to experiment. Maybe you're sarcastic or nonsensical or practical or poetic. Maybe you do lists. Maybe you tell stories. Maybe your posts are mainly photos with a handful of succinct thoughts thrown in. Maybe reading your blog feels like sitting down for a cup of coffee with a friend, or maybe it feels like a drive-through classroom where readers can learn something new during a five-minute break in their busy day. I don't know! You get to figure it out!

2. Write about what's on your heart. What do you ponder? What makes your pulse race and your chest tighten with anticipation? What makes you question? What makes you dream? What matters to you? You have something to offer. For me, I see life through the lens of story. It's more than the books I read or the tales I type: it's the adventure I'm living that's headed toward a beautiful ending. So that's what I blog about, because ultimately all those different kinds of stories, whether read or written or lived, all intersect. You get to blog about what matters to you. When you do that, you'll write with passion, and you'll attract people who care about that subject too.

This tag didn't have any rules for how many new people to tag, which is fine because I've almost exhausted my list of available bloggers! If you feel like ruminating on the blogging life, feel free to steal it for yourself. :)

Stats & Things

78 followers across GFC and Bloglovin'--an increase of 40 since last year, hooray!
133 posts
2,938 comments (half of them are mine, LOL)
81,738 pageviews, over six times as many as last year (although I know I've been getting a lot of views from spammy URLS, so I'm not sure how much that actually counts)

Top ten countries from whence the pageviews came:
1. United States
2. Canada
3. Russia
4. France
5. United Kingdom
6. Germany
7. Ukraine
8. Australia
9. Brazil
10. Singapore

A collection of odd search results:
- wallpaper photos (I wonder which photos?)

- Tracey Dyck author (Yes! One day!)

- can I read eyes wide open without r . . . (Blogger cut off the sentence, but I'm assuming it would be "without reading [insert some other book in Ted Dekker's Outlaw series])

- quest adventure awaits (I love the word quest. Also the word adventure.)

- tracy dyck hayd [insert swear word] (What?!)

- adventure awaits (That's the expected search result, yes.)

- a girl walking alone in the road picture (I think I remember which post that was from . . .)

- pictures of people walking alone (See above.)

- tracy dyck accurate scale (Maybe learn how to spell my name accurately, hmm?)

- dekker "the creative way" writing course (Highly recommend!)

- Riley and Tracey Dyck [insert name of nearby town] (The fact that a local community name led to my blog is somewhat concerning. And who's Riley?)

- bleck crying spm (Say what now?)

- the silmarillion 2016 (Ahh, that was a good ol' time.)

- content (What do you mean? Being content? Offering good content? IS IT A NOUN OR AN ADJECTIVE? CONTEXT, PEOPLE.)

- tracy dyck Edmonton (I've never been there.)

- bryan davis dragons in our midst (You have great reading taste, my friend.)

Ten most popular posts:
Again, I'm really not sure how accurate this is with the amount of spammy views I've been getting, because these posts are pretty random.

1. Book Review: Five Enchanted Roses
2. Subplots and Storylines - October 2016
3. Subplots and Storylines - November 2016
4. Beautiful Books - Writing Goals
5. The Cage // a spooky story
6. A Glimmer of Hope (Happy Birthday, LOTR!)
7. Why Fiction Matters
8. The Silmarillion Awards 2016: Riddling and Poetry Nominations
9. Problematic Opportunities and Opportunistic Problems
10. First Lines (Part 1)

I'd say the blog has definitely grown since March 2016, but like I mentioned earlier, I want to freshen things up around here in the coming months. Make this place even more inviting for you dear questers! (And if any of you have tips for minimizing the annoying spammy stuff, please let me know.)

Musings on Blogging

I've been thinking about the nature of social media lately. It's so incomplete. We read each other's updates and blogs, see each other's photos, and think everyone else has it all together. Even the ones who openly confess they're falling apart seem to be doing so gracefully and oh-so-photogenically.

Subplots and Storylines goes up near the end of every month, and while I thoroughly enjoy reflecting on the happenings of my life and the ways I'm growing, even those journal-like entries feel incomplete. Not only that, but I seem to give the impression that I'm super productive, accomplishing all sorts of things in the midst of a busy life. Is that true? Yes. And also no.

For being an INFJ, I'm terrible at analyzing myself. I never know if I'm too harsh or too lax, and thus in this case, I'm not sure if I actually am as "superhuman" as I seem to portray, or if what I do is actually pretty average and summing it up in one breath just sounds cool.

This is in NO WAY a critique on any of you wonderful commenters who encourage me! I love you guys! I'm just saying the whole concept makes me think. It makes me wonder about the inaccuracy of our online facades.

That being said, the internet is not the place to dump every single detail of one's life, whether it's in the name of being genuine or not! Even if I did do that, the picture would still not be complete. I think even with the people we see face-to-face every day, our pictures of each other are incomplete, because in a sense only you know your life. (You and God, of course.)

So maybe the point is not to try to offer the complete picture on your blog or Instagram or Twitter or whatever.

Maybe the point is to offer a sliver of the picture as honestly as you can, in a way that helps and uplifts as many people as you can. And if we all approached our online lives this way--as millions of slivers intersecting and touching and twining around each other--we would do a better job of it.


That got all introspective and challenging, and not very party-like, but that's how I think sometimes, y'all.

Now, just so you don't think that I've fallen out of love with blogging, you must know that I am so grateful for this little adventuresome community! I love interacting with y'all and sharing stories both on the page and in real life. THANK YOU ALL for your kind and encouraging comments, your feedback, your readership, your presence here. I'm not throwing words into a void; I get the chance to sit around the bonfire with real people and exchange real stories. Real embers of hope. It's your names, your faces, that make blogging worth it. I'm truly honored to have you here.

Here's to another year of well-spun tales and adventures waiting around every corner! Huzzah! Now pass around those leftover gingersnaps, why don't you?


  1. AAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! MY TRACEY'S BLOG IS TWO YEARS OLD! :D :D :D HAPPY BLOGOVERSARY!!!!!!!!! *brings out cake and shoots fireworks and throws confetti* ONE OF MY FAVORITEST BLOGS OF ALL TIME EVER. *huggles blog*

    I absolutely love, LOVE the advice you gave for bloggers. Those are actually two things I had to work on. I think my early posts were sometimes If that makes sense. And I didn't always just let my heart loose in my posts. Now my blog is my refuge to be entirely me and write what's on my mind, and I love it even more. It's kind of my corner of the world to spill the thoughts crowding my head and have fun. Just being YOU is so important with blogging! I loved your thoughts on that.

    Wow. Those are some interesting search results you've got. XD Search results are always so weird. I mean...whyyyy are people searching these things? I don't know, it's usually so random! Lol. (And seriously, who is this Riley??? XD)

    Okay, your musings on social media just...YES. I need a gif that says THIS on it pointing up to your words because...THISSSS. I 100% agree! Often, when I read blog posts and look at instagram pictures, I get depressed because all I'm thinking is, "How is this person so perfect? Why is their life so much better than mine? Why can't I be that productive and have my own stuff turn out so perfectly?" And that's WRONG. I shouldn't have these thoughts. Everyone has struggles, no one is perfect. And playing the compare game is dangerous. Social media shouldn't be a place to make us feel bad about ourselves, it should be a place to enjoy each other's works and share our lives and just fellowship together. I LOVE being able to keep up with all my dear friends and family on social media. I just have to watch myself and not fall into comparison. But you put it wonderfully: "Maybe the point is to offer a sliver of the picture as honestly as you can, in a way that helps and uplifts as many people as you can." Again, I need a THIS gif. Like I said, it should be a place of fellowship and fun. Not showing off, not putting on masks. Just sharing and having fun and encouraging.

    Thank you for these words, Tracey. I needed to read them!

    Happy blogoversary again!!!! YOUR blog is one of the places I'm constantly getting encouragement from. You fill me up, girl! I cannot wait for another year of more posts from you! *ALL THE HUGS* <3 <3 <3

    1. ASKFJASKDJFSKLADJF THANK YOU SO MUUUUUCH! Your fireworks are almost as good as Gandalf's! ;D And aww, really? One of your favorites? That's so sweet! <333

      I think that's how a lot of us start--trying to find our voice, our style of writing, the topics we like, etc. We may start out imitating others (just like any creative pursuit, I guess, be it drawing or painting or writing or singing or whatever), but eventually we have to find *our* way of doing things. And just saying, I LOVE that corner of the world where you spill your lovely Christine-thoughts. ^__^

      I know, right? I'm not even sure whyyyy some of those are there. XD (I'm curious about this Riley too, LOL! I *do* have a character by that name, actually...)

      (I need a gif like that for sooo many things, too. XD) Even people who don't talk much about their daily doings, but just share random interactions or experiences they have, often sound like they're all put together too. I guess it's just easy to show what you want to show online, right? Face to face is a little harder to hide your flaws, but even there we still do to a certain extent. You're right, none of us are perfect, and nothing good comes from playing the comparison game! And now I need a THIS gif for everything you just said. ;)

      I'm glad it came at the right time!

      Thank you, Christine!!!! I'm so blessed to hear that, and I'm sending ALL THE HUGS right back atcha! <333

  2. Congratulations on another full year of blogging! I look forward to reading many more years of Adventure Awaits!

    Interesting musings on blogging. I've been pondering about things like that as well, but there's so much to think about still.

    Anyhow, I'm always excited to see a new post up- yours is one of the brightest blogs I know of!

    1. Thanks ever so much, Blue! :D

      There definitely is a lot to ponder. And I'm not saying blogging/social media is good or bad (it's just amoral), but it's interesting to think about how to utilize them in better ways.

      Aww, I'm happy to hear that! <3

  3. I like your assessment of blogging. I think you are right: the purpose is not to share everything, but to share bits and pieces. I think those who share everything are lonely and longing for community and try to find it online (I used to be like that), but sometimes that seems too personal.
    Anyway, happy blogiversary! I just started following you, but I can't wait to see what the next year of blogging holds for you!

    1. Exactly! It's impossible to share absolutely everything anyway, and besides, having some privacy is a good thing. Yeah, sometimes people (including myself at times) would do well to remember the distinction between a blog and a personal journal. XD

      Thanks so much, Abbey! I'm looking forward to having you along for the ride!

  4. Happy blogiversary! I'm so glad you've been here for two years. I don't know how long I've been following you for, but I love your blog and it was part of what inspired me to start mine :)
    INFJ <3 I'm one of those two, and I am still a complete and utter mystery to myself. It's great.
    Thank you for always being uplifting!

    1. Thank you, Florid! I was part of the inspiration to start your blog? THAT. IS. AWESOME. <3 (Oh, and I thiiiink you may have started following sometime last summer, around the time the Silmarillion Awards happened. I could be wrong!)

      Another INFJ! They seem to find each other online--I know very few "in real life." Oh goodness, same here. I'm a walking paradox most of the time. XD

      My pleasure! Glad to hear it!

  5. Happy blogoversary!

    OH MY GOSH I'm an INFJ too!!!! I was really scared to blog at first because I wasn't sure if I could put something personal out there for all the world to see. Now, I have two blogs - one for my serious side and one for my rebellious muse.

    I think your advice for new bloggers is sound. It's a delicate balancing act - having enough personal stuff to spice it up but not be totally transparent.


    1. Thanks, Catherine! (Welcome to Adventure Awaits, by the way! Have I seen you here before?)

      You too?! *high five* Haha, that's great how you stepped out of your comfort zone and started blogging. It's a lot of fun. :D

      A delicate balancing act is right! I know I love getting to know a blogger on the personal side of things, but it's also healthy to set boundaries and keep some privacy. Thanks for the comment!

  6. Ahhh, happy blogoversary! I lovey you and your lovely blog. <3

    1. D'awww, thanks so much, Emily! I love your sweet comments! ^_^

    2. And I love your posts!

      *smacks face over my typo in first comment* You know me... ;)

    3. LOL, reminds me of the number of times I've posted a comment only to mentally shriek, "NO WAIT I TAKE IT BACK LET ME EDIT THAT PLEASE!" XD

  7. Happy blogoversary! And thank you for your excellent advice for new bloggers - such as me :)

    One line that particularly caught my attention was "Even the [bloggers/social media users] who openly confess they're falling apart seem to be doing so gracefully and oh-so-photogenically". I really felt that - partly because I can't take those cool artsy photos to save my life! xD

    *INFJ fistbump*

    1. Thank you, Jem! I'm really glad you found that helpful. :) What have you learned from your blogging experience so far?

      Yeeeep! I personally like *trying* to take cool photos, but I try not to compare them to those with amazing skill. So I do kinda understand where you're coming from. XD

    2. So far, I've learned to spread all the encouragement and writing love, because the best bit about blogging is the /amazing/ community! *passes around plate of lamingtons (just because)*
      Something I'm still working on is finding my natural style/voice, but I'm sure I'll get there with time. :)

    3. I agree, it's the community that makes blogging awesome! *had to Google what lamingtons are* (They look positively delicious.)

      Time and practice is all you need! I'm still finding my voice too, so you're not alone. :)

  8. HAPPY BLOGIVERSARY TRACEY!!!! :D *cake, balloons, ice cream*

    I feel you so much, also being an INFJ. I'm always worried if I'm putting too much or too little out. But that's maybe not what it's about. Just being honest-to-goodness yourself and having people accept you for who you are. :) Thank you for that little introspective bit! I think like that a lot too. XD

    I am so happy to have found your blog and I can't wait to read all the wonderful posts to come! ^_^

    1. Thank you, Madeline! Cake! Balloons! Ice cream! What more could I ask for?

      I think we INFJs just have a hard time with second-guessing everything. XD (At least I do. I'm trying to get better at that.) You're right, let's just be ourselves. It won't be FULLY ourselves, because like I said, you can't share everything--but the parts of ourselves that we do share should be genuine. Glad I'm not the only randomly reflective person. XD

      That's really sweet; thank you! I can't wait to see what the next year of Adventure Awaits will hold. :D

  9. Congratulations on your second blogaversary! How exciting! I know just what you mean about always presenting a perfect face to the world. Sometimes it's really hard to know how much to share, to be honest. Sometimes it's about trying to make yourself seem better, and sometimes, certainly for me, a lot of it is about not knowing how much of the bad days people realy want to see. Do people really want to hear about my bad writing days? Am I going to sounds like I complain all the time? At the same time, I know I often find it encouraging to know other people have bad days too, so there's definitely some value in sharing beyond the perfection. Finding the balance is so hard though!

    1. Why thank you, Imogen! It IS a tough balance to strike, and I agree 100% with what you said about either making yourself look better or figuring out how real to be when it comes to the negative stuff. No one likes to be around a complainer, but realizing someone else has been through what you're going through is powerful. Buuuut there I go basically repeating what you just said! Very well put!

  10. Tracey, this was gorgeous!

    "'s the adventure I'm living that's headed toward a beautiful ending." I loved that sentence AND it made me think of your blog's name, which I LOVE, by the way!!! It's very subtle, but so hopeful! I love it.

    Also what you said about trying to convey your life and self accurately. Agh. Hit me in the feels, because I struggle with that. A lot. Less so now, because, like you, I decided it was kind of an impossible goal to CAPTURE IT ALL so that a reader would... KNOW me, but still. As writers/bloggers/artists of various kinds who thrive on sharing our passions with the world, it's something we have to grapple with...

    Anyway. Happy blogoversary!!! I loved this post, Tracey!


    1. Thanks, Kayla! ^_^

      LOL, it does fit the name! I can't remember if I wrote that intentionally or if it happened subconsciously. XD Glad you like it, though!!!

      I know, right? It's like, yes, you all know me to an extent. But how MUCH of me? And should y'all know more? Less? Am I really being me? All the questions. But I'm slowly figuring it out too. It's a journey, like everything else. :)

      Thank you muchly! <333

      THEY ARE THE MOST RANDOM THINGS. *shakes head*

  11. Happy blogoversary! What were people smoking when they searched those? XD

    1. Thank you, Tori! ^_^ And gosh, I have noooo idea. XDDD

  12. Thanks for the blogging tips! :) And great post!

    1. Oh yeah, almost forgot, happy blogoversary! :D

    2. Thank you, Chloe, and of course you're welcome! *hugs* :D