This post is just to update anyone on where I've been and what I learned. And you totally weren't expecting that, eh?
1. Discovering New Interests.
Blogging is incredibly time consuming. All bloggers should have medals or something for being so awesome. It takes serious dedication and time to manage to post even every other day. Without being able to blog (and finding that I couldn't comment using Google Reader on my phone), I had to find new stuff to do. I got into sports a bit (but that's over now... *sobs*) and I did a bit of photography (though I still don't fully understand Instagram). I even tried to be a more active tweeter and wrote some articles for Teen Ink. Anyway, I experimented and ended up really enjoying some things. But I missed blogging. It's something I've always been proud of and it felt weird, but also relaxing, to just get away from it all.
2. Healthy Expectations
Last year I read over 300 books. That is a crazy amount and what's even crazier is that I thought I could do it again. You see, after a while I got picky. I'd read books because I had to and less because I wanted to. There were always so many books that it was overwhelming picking and choosing. This year, I'm lucky if I can get to 200. And that's okay, reading should never be a chore. I feel like my "vacation" stopped me from getting permanently burned out.
Another expectation I had was to post every day. I really wanted to give my readers the best content I could, but it's hard. The more time on the blog, the less time reading. Less reading means less on the blog. I'm trying to temper my expectations now by creating a new goal. I'll post at least once every two days. It's more realistic for me, and from then I'll evaluate how it went.
3. It's JUST a blog
I know some people pour their lives into their blogs. That's great- but I can't do that. I'm in high school. I have a lot to do and I'm probably never going to give my blog everything I have. Reviews are important to me, but please forgive me if I can't get it done in time. Followers mean a lot, but I don't blog for followers, I do it for myself (though I absolutely love it when people comment).
Page views and stats... I need to take a step back from that. Honestly, as long as someone comments I'm completely happy, but if they don't comment I don't need to be upset. I need to focus on content more than context, and at the end of the day blogging is just something I do for fun. Putting pressure on 'fun' is ridiculous, so I'm really, really going to try to take a step back and focus on me.