About Me: The Reader, Part 3: Redesign and The End

Hello all. Welcome back to another About Me blog. For those who are new to this series, no I am not obsessed with myself. Believe me when I say that these blogs are fairly uncomfortable to write. Rather, I am writing them to give you a feel of my work prior to This is Danielle. There is a lot to cover and so I decided to compile it all into multiple short blog posts. This way you can have a taste of my writing and see my past work. I'm proud of everything I've written and worked on, though I must say my past work is truly a reflection of how much I have changed as I have aged. Sometimes I do not agree with what I wrote 2 or 5 years ago. But I always stand behind my work, no matter how misguided my past opinions were. With that in mind, let us close our chapter on my time with the blog "The Reader."

2014 brought many changes to my life. I started working at my first office job, a job that would drastically alter my life in ways I could never have imagined, and I started working on podcasts (a topic for another About Me blog). Creating on the internet was becoming more than a hobby for me. It was something I took very seriously. At work, I would often jot down notes of things I needed to do when I got home pertaining to my blog. I had so many ideas that it felt overwhelming at times. I made to do charts just to keep track of all of my ideas I wanted to put into writing. Occasionally I had to fill in for the receptionist at my job and had some free time to read and write book reviews or blog posts. I read so many great books that year such as Notre Dame de Paris, Housekeeping, A Feast for Crows, and Bonjour Tristesse. Even writing book reviews about books I thought were just okay such as Watching the Tree Limbs or books I did not care for like Love Letters to the Dead were fun to write. I even read one of the worst books I've ever encountered in my entire life (yes, even worse than Twilight) called Disney After Dark. That review is one of my all time favorites and something I truly view with great pride. What can I say? I love critiquing novels and writing about them. I also was continuing to write my editorial posts. One of my favorite blogs that I ever wrote was about Elliot Rodger, a disturbed individual who killed multiple people and eventually took his own life. While the subject matter was very horrific, I took a lot of pride in my research and my analysis of the situation. As far as I was concerned, I was writing quality content. To this day, I view that post as one of my best along with the Disney After Dark book review.

But people still were not reading my blog. A friend of mine asked me how to gain readership and I responded honestly. "I don't know," I told him. "I don't have many readers. Sure I get the occasional comment but my numbers are scarce and I don't truly have a following."

"Why write then?" he asked me. "Why do any of this if no one is paying attention?"

I told him honestly, "Because I love blogging. I love writing. And I am only building up my portfolio. I have nothing to lose."

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Throughout that year, I decided that my blog needed a change. I began to mess around with the settings on blogger. I changed my blog's background and the header. I got rid of a lot of empty space in exchange for a more minimalistic style (though I did not quite achieve what I wanted) and added a few new features such as a Goodreads tab. All of these changes were very exciting.

As the year progressed, despite the redesign, I grew more and more restless with the blog. Although I was enjoying my time writing and creating, I couldn't help but feel that I was moving away from the blog's focus. It had started as strictly a book blog and had evolved into a random editorial slash book review blog. Wasted Wednesday and Thirsty Thursday had all but disappeared. The cherry on top was the blog's title, something I had never felt comfortable with since day one. The rushed title of "The Reader" was generic and boring and said nothing about who I was. But what title would? Yes my blog pertained to books but I also veered into several other territories. What title would fit with my blog? I could not think of anything. This bothered me quite a bit.

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When 2015 rolled around, I decided that I needed a change. "The Reader" was stagnant. It wasn't growing as I had hoped. On top of that, my priorities had shifted a little. I was doing quite a bit of podcasting and even working as an intern writing for another website. I wanted my blog to encompass me. I wanted more from my blog. I began to brainstorm about a new blog. Several different ideas came to mind. But it would be a long time before I became truly comfortable with a new blog concept. At the time, though, I settled on an idea that I thought was a good path for me despite the doubts in the back of my brain. "The Reader" came to a close as I began to tread new water on an entirely new platform!


If you want to read all of the blogs in the About Me series, click THIS WORD!