I find it funny that something I started purely on a whim ended up being one of the most important hobbies I’ve ever had.
Although it hasn’t quite been a year since I started Frappes & Fiction, I’ve been thinking a lot about everything that has changed since I started writing this blog. I am definitely very different from the person I was last March, and although the beginning of my blogging life coincides closely with the beginning of the pandemic, I think a lot of the smaller changes can be attributed to the inception of this small corner of the Internet.
So, without further ado, here are five ways my blog changed my life:
1) I started reading a lot again
I had been a voracious reader for most of my life, but when I got to high school, my reading began to taper off. I no longer took home stacks of books from the library, I no longer prioritized going to the school media center or perused the shelves at Barnes & Noble. It wasn’t that I didn’t like to read; it had just quietly slipped out of my life.
In February of 2020, I decided I wanted to start reading a lot of books again. Midterms were over, so I had more free time, and I checked out a stack of books to read during my Driver’s Ed class. I hadn’t realized how much I missed it. Then in March, when everything shut down, I was bored and decided I needed a new hobby. Thus, my blog was born, and over the course of the ensuing months, my book addiction was wholly rekindled. I had finished 30 books in 2019; in 2020, I read 127.
I don’t know if I would have read fewer books without my blog, but I do know that it was the fuel that kept me turning pages, reading my way through lockdown.
2) I became more critical of books and discovered my reading preferences
I used to be a lot easier to please when it came to books… just read some of my early reviews. I don’t know if becoming more critical is necessarily a good thing, but I definitely think differently about books now than I did a year ago or before that. I don’t think I’d ever given any book one star before I started blogging. (Not that I talk about my one-star books very often on here, but you get the picture)
I have also started discovering my reading preferences, which are constantly changing but used to be nonexistent. Over the past year, I read everything from YA blockbusters to literary fiction to murder mysteries to historical fantasy, and I slowly felt myself opening up to new kinds of books. Most notably, I discovered non-fiction books, and now I love them (but they’re so hard to find! I desperately need recommendations)
I owe a lot of this to my blog because if I hadn’t started writing and reading book reviews daily, I don’t think I would have ever come across so much variety.
3) I developed my narrative voice
This one is a little harder to judge, but blogging for almost a year has helped me develop my own writing voice. I’m not sure if I’m just projecting this, but I think there is a decently noticeable difference in the writing between my oldest posts and my current posts. Case in point, this was my first post:
Hi, my name is Emily and I’m a high school sophomore who loves to read, drink coffee, and try new things. I mostly read YA fiction and classics, and my favorite subjects at school are English and computer science. I decided to start this blog so that I could share book reviews and write articles about other random things.
If nothing else, there’s definitely a difference in length; my average post length used to be ~350 words… now it’s 1,000+.
4) I found a way to be creative
I used to write stories all the time, and though I haven’t tried my hand at creative writing for quite a while, I had forgotten how good it feels to write something: to create something and show it to the world. It can be a challenge to think of innovative post ideas (and I wouldn’t call mosts of my posts “innovative”) but before I started blogging, I never really got the chance to express the thoughts floating around in my head.
5) It gave me an outlet for my personality
According to some people, I act more like myself on my blog than I do in real life, which is… strange, to say the least. I definitely find it easier to write than to speak, so blogging has been great as a way to express my opinions. I’ve toyed with the idea of starting a YouTube channel, but a) I don’t think I have time, and b) I am horribly awkward on camera.
This sounds irredeemably cheesy, but blogging has taught me a lot about myself.
Thanks for reading today’s post! How long ago did you start your blog? Have you noticed a difference in your life before and after you started? Feel free to leave a comment.