How have I developed myself as a blogger over the past year? To better answer this question, I wanted to look at both the personal and professional development I've made as a result of book blogging.
It shames me to admit it, but I don't think I've been the best at my professional development as a blogger thus far. Part of the blame is my fault, and part I'd like to blame on circumstances.
I still do feel, however, that Late Nights with Good Books has helped to develop me personally, if not professionally or widely throughout the community. This is my fourth blog, and for all of my other ones I posted infrequently and stopped after only a few months. Here I push myself to post new content every few days. I'm reading more than ever, relying on my knowledge of literary criticism to help me write reviews, and becoming more and more adept with the literary and publishing worlds.
I started my blog with the express purpose of reading books, writing reviews, and connecting with other book lovers. Although I never kept track of the number of books I read each year before 2012, I know that I read more now than I used to. My reading's become more regimented and I never have to worry about what to read next since my TBR pile is out-of-control. And I also am writing each day: writing about writing/reading primarily, so it's not exactly the creative writing I love, but I believe any type of writing helps us keep our skills sharp.
Anyway, all of this is a very roundabout way to say that developing my presence and connecting with other bloggers is mostly put on the back burner. I love reading others' reviews and commenting on them, and I love discussing my reviews and discussions with others, but I'm not a very adept user of social media. I don't have a smart phone, I work during the day, and I like to devote my nights more to reading, writing reviews, and commenting on others' posts than developing my online presence.
Being a part of the book blogging community, even on the outskirts, has already benefited me as a reader, a writer, and a critical thinker. I can only imagine how beneficial it will be to become even more involved in the blogging community and develop my professional community presence.
If you have any advice on how you've managed to develop your blog and your presence as a blogger, please let me know! There are simply too few hours in a day for me to accomplish all that I'd like to with my blog!