Why I started blogging and what I expected

I've been blogging for exactly five months and six days today. The reasons I started blogging are many and I know that some of you can relate to some or all of them and that other started, or hasn't started, their own blog for their very reasons.

I've always had a love for books but I didn't realize there was a blogging community dedicated to books until about a year ago. That's when I started reading reviews and other posts to find new books to read. Usually I had my eyes on a book but wasn't sure whether I'd like it or not so I read reviews of what other thought to know what I might think. I had so much help from those blogs and I really appreciated the effort the bloggers put in to sharing their passion and I realized I could do the same.

I've always been a writer, not a creative writer mind you, but I think I've started something like four blogs on different topics and since I started university I have really begun to appreciate writing essays about topics I enjoy and especially in English. The English language is so rich compared to Swedish. Although we have some awesome words the English needs to pick up

With my love for books and writing I thought I'd combine them and give someone else the same pleasure of finding new books that I got and still get from blogs.

When I started I have very few and very low expectations of my blog:

1. I never expected someone to follow it. My other tries at starting blogs had never taken off and gotten any kind of following so I didn't expect this one to either. I expected someone to read it but I never expected someone to want to come back or even follow it, I hoped but I never expected.

2. I expected it to be solitary. When I started reading blogs I never commented on anything and wasn't even aware that I could or that anyone wanted to know what I thought. That meant I never expected any one comment on my posts either. Or talk to me. Or engage in any way. I thought it would just me be, my thoughts and my words.

3. I surely never expected to get anything for free. I write reviews because I love doing it and the day writing reviews becomes a chore is the day I'll give up blogging. Never in a million years did I think that anyone would want to send me their books for free for nothing more than a review, I didn't even know people did that. The first time someone asked me to review their book I was in combination with a book tour. I didn't even know what a book tour was, but that completely fled my mind because someone wanted to give me a book for free. I was in complete shock and it took me hours to reply to that email. And asking what she meant by "book tour".

4. I expected authors to be high-up, unattainable creatures that never ventured in to the world of us mere mortals. Authors are my superheroes. They are. I read for the same reason others watch movies. For a chance to be a part of an adventure that I otherwise couldn't, because I couldn't afford it, physically or mentally couldn't do it (I'm a very unspontaneous scaredy-cat). I read because books can be hilarious and make me laugh till I snort, because books can make me incredibly angry in one moment only to make me cry the next, because books makes me feel a range of emotions, many in the extremes, that I rarely feel in real life. When my own life is a complete mess books give me an escape, even if it's just a brief pause, from the madness. Authors are the one who gives me that and because of it they are my superheroes. I couldn't even phantom ever talking to an author or that one for some reason would want to talk with little ol' me.

I still maintain my low expectation, they're just not that low. I still squeal EVERY time someone likes my Facebook page and my heart starts beating a mile a minute. I still clap my hands and giggle whenever someone follows me on Twitter or replies to one of my tweets. I get abnormally happy for any comment on a post.

I've had to raise the standards for which books to accept for review because at first I would say YES, YES, YES to anything that was sent my way, which left me with a pile of books that wasn't really for me and that I didn't really enjoy. Just last week I realized need to raise that bar again and only accept or request books that I really think I'd like.

And by blogging I came in contact with actual authors. I've gotten to do interviews and had guest posts, I've had email conversations with authors I admire. I almost had a heart attack the other day when one of my favorite authors, I only have three or four of those, followed me on Twitter. I had the most ridiculous smile on my face for hours.  I have a #1 New York Times Bestselling author following me on Twitter, one who I also kinda worship. For me, that's ginormous! Turns out authors are a pretty nice bunch of people.

So, pretty much all my expectations were completely off and nowhere near reality. What expectations or thoughts did you have when you started blogging? Did they match reality or were you living in fantasy land with me? Why did you start blogging in the first place? Or why haven't you? What have you learnt about the blogging community that you didn't know before?


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