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:
- Blogger Recognition Tag
- Stats (because measuring growth is fun and motivating, yes?)
- Some musings about my blogging experience
1. Blogger Recognition Tag
- 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!
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
5. United Kingdom
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.