Friday, October 3, 2014

Socratic Seminar: My Blogging Experience

For those of you who are unaware, Socratic Seminars are defined as "collaborative, intellectual dialogue facilitated with open-ended questions about a text." I use these in my classroom to get my students engaged in the text we are reading/discussing. It works much better than just having them stare at me for 45 minutes.

I started blogging back in October 2012, on Beauty but a Funny Girl. It was a tiny little blog, but it was mine and I loved it.

I wasn't exactly sure why I started blogging. I'd written a few book reviews for a teaching blog as a school project, but nothing really came of it. The first review blog I'd ever found had been from my local library and then I somehow stumbled across The Story Siren. It sounded so cool. Reviewing blogs, getting ARCs (not that I was entirely sure what that was at the time), and interviewing authors. Like a dream!

That I did nothing about.

A couple years later, I stumbled across my school project blog and decided to start adding my reviews to Goodreads. A few months after that, and after finding other review blogs, I decided I wanted to start one of my own.

I dove right in. I didn't really do anything in the way of research, just did what I felt right (both a good and bad idea). I found more blogs that I enjoyed reading, started networking, participating in memes and blog tours, writing reviews, and all the fun things that go with blogging. Of course, there were drawbacks and speed bumps, but I so enjoyed it that I kept on keeping on.

In May 2013, a blog I followed and loved dearly posted about looking for cobloggers. She was looking for a couple different "roles" and I thought "Why the hell not?" So I typed up an email about why she should pick me over the, I'm sure, couple hundred people. Imagine my shock when she emailed me back and said I was a winner! Okay, maybe she didn't say winner, but I certainly felt like a winner.

In case you haven't figured it out, I am referencing Evie and Bookish  :)

For a four months, I blogged on both Bookish and Beauty but a Funny Girl. And let me tell you - that was not easy. I thought I was going to go mad keeping track of what to post where, making sure I had content on both blogs, and reading enough to do at least one review a week for both blogs. Madness. I don't recommend it because there is no sanity in doing what I did.

I approached Evie and told her I was drowning. It was too much and I couldn't keep up with both blogs. Not in the way I wanted to. So I was making the rough decision to leave Beauty but a Funny Girl. It was hard - she was my baby! I'd spent countless hours designing the layout, reaching out to others using my using and I was just up and leaving her!

But I knew it was the right decision. A hard decision, but the right one.

Through Evie I have learned so much more than I thought I would ever know about the world of book blogging. She's an amazing blog partner and sending out that "please pick me!" email is one of the smartest decisions I've made.

There are some days that I miss Beauty but a Funny Girl (you may have noticed that my Twitter name and email address are still the same - they're fun I can't give them up!) and I'll go visit every once in a while, but I don't regret my decision to blog solely on Bookish. Bookish is my home, while Beauty but a Funny Girl is my childhood home that I love and miss, but know that I can never go back to. Okay, that was morbid, but you get my drift.

Side note: My mom currently lives like five minutes my childhood home and my sister and I will occasionally drive by our old house just to take a peek and see what they've done to it. We're also waiting for it to go on sale so we can go to an open house. No judging.

While there are rough days ("Do I really have to write a review for this book?") and easy days ("I can't wait to write a review for this book!"), I seriously love this little hobby of mine. I've become close to a few of my favorite authors, found some amazing books, and made wonderful new friends.

So that's my blogging experience. It's been a wild ride and I cannot wait to see what the next few years of blogging bring to me!

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