I can’t believe it. I honestly can’t believe that this lovely, little space has existed for a year. Last November, a reclusive and introverted freshman sat down at her computer and created a blog, because she felt she didn’t have a voice. Today, an opinionated sophomore types away on her keyboard with confidence. Somehow during the course of a year, I realized that I do have a voice. Here are some highlights of that journey.
November 2014 Let the Adventures Begin
I still remember the fear I felt while writing this first post. My previous blogging attempts had fallen apart, and I was worried if people would like the things I wrote. It was a rather desperate attempt to solidify a bit of my identity, which is perhaps why I chose Words On My Page as a title — the cadence reminds me of the “heart on my sleeve” saying. No, my blog didn’t have any special brand or game plan for marketing. There was no real reason for my words. I just wanted a place where I could be myself and share my adventures with other people, even if I was scared to hit publish.
December Bibliophile Babbling, January A Journey, and February Fun Fiction // Ready or Not
Christmas break brought several ramblings about school and some reflections on past travels, but I was hesitant to post much. I’d always heard that you needed to be an expert about what you were blogging about, and I was hesitant to venture past that misconception. With that in mind, I decided to stick with the safe topic of books….
With the start of 2015 there came an announcement of my first study abroad tour (Costa Rica), but school and Netflix kept most of my attention. In the end, the highlight of January was a post that attempted to take on the form of a life update.
Blogging wasn’t my focus in February, because I was working on a series of young adult short stories. Here’s a (unedited) post with one that won a local writing award.
March Poems and Snow and April Directional Dream
This was the only post for March, but it’s a decent representation of my inability to fully grasp my voice. Freshman year was still underway, and I was still uncertain of how to be myself in a world that attempted to me who I should be.
April was a turning point for my blog, because I decided that I wanted to do more than just give randomly publish posts. The image of a purposeful college lifestyle and study abroad blog came to mind, and I smiled. My blog needed a direction and destination, just like my dreams!
May First Impressions // Costa Rica
Costa Rica was a life changing experience. Perhaps there’s something about losing yourself in travel that helps you find yourself. Long walks on the beach, late nights looking at the stars, and many hours of laughter pulled me out of the shadows. Yes, I was still hesitant, but I was studying abroad in another country. Why shouldn’t I share those adventures?
June Truths of Travel
Ah, there’s that long-hidden voice. As I said, Costa Rica was life changing. I think that’s obvious from my shift in posts. When I boarded the plane for San Jose, my anxiety was still holding me back. By the time I returned home, it was no longer a question of anxiety or adventure. I realized that both are a part of my character and that I shouldn’t be afraid to be myself.
Over the summer, I gave my blog a direction, and my posting habits jumped from once or twice a month to twice a week. In July, I jumped from having ten followers to fifty. Monthly page views spiked from single digits to several hundred. My posts were no longer ramblings without purpose — I was sharing my experiences with others.
With the end of my summer break and the start of my Sophomore year fast approaching, I decided to focus on developing the collegiate lifestyle side of my posts. My anxiety tried to put a stop to things, but my voice (thankfully) refused to stay silent. As a result, I wrote one of my most popular posts! It’s surprising how much traffic it still gets on a daily basis.
September Why Travel Isn’t Everything
By the time my fall semester was underway, I was %110 dedicated to blogging. Pinterest groups had asked me to join, I had found a networking foundation, and my posts had grown more and more creative. I even published my first style post (here), which is now part of a growing, monthly series called “A Peek in My Closet”. Despite all the other exciting posts, I think my favorite and most popular one was about travel. In a way, it signaled the blog’s transition and focus on college life and a collegiate lifestyle.
October Fall Break In Picture // Colorado
While my focus has shifted to college life, travel is still a huge part of my identity. It makes sense that it’s still an influential aspect of my blog, so I was thrilled to share a post about my fall break adventures!
November 2015 Why I Didn’t Kiss Dating Goodbye
November is far from over, and I’m beyond excited to see where this blog is headed. This month marks my first linkup, and my wonderful readership is growing. I even sponsored my first networking post and made a bit of money, which was beyond exciting. Still, I think my favorite thing this month is the fact that I can clearly see the reflection of who I am in my voice. I would have never dared to publish a post about relationships or tips about school a year ago, but these are now things I want to write about.
While I know this post was rather long, I hope you’ve enjoyed seeing the growth of this blog. None of this would have been possible without the wonderful people who came and read the words on my page, and I’m looking forward to the many years ahead.
How did you find your blogging voice?