Good morning, friends. It's been a quiet week at Lakeside Musing thanks, in part, to the demise of my trusty laptop. After months of trying to ignore warning signs, the end arrived Monday. Several more days were spent futilely trying to fix it, then shopping for a new laptop (hello, MacBookAir!), and finally, transferring data. Now I am back in business.
While I was away, Lakeside Musing celebrated a milestone anniversary - five years! It's hard to believe. Things were much different in 2008, both in the book blogging community and in my own life. My oldest daughter was just starting college and, although the twins were still in high school, I had a little extra time on my hands. Drawing inspiration from the book blog pioneers I'd been reading for a year or so, Lakeside Musing was born. The community was small and welcoming, and I soon found my place.
Now, my oldest daughter is living and working in Manhattan (a great place to visit!), the twins are in college (one lives at home), we adopted a greyhound, 'inherited' a condo in Florida, and are trying to figure out how we can actually use it for more than one week in January. Book blogging is different, too. Several friends have closed up shop and, moving forward, the challenge for me is to make blogging continue to fit my lifestyle.
Since I was without a computer much of the week, I had the opportunity to think about time spent online and to plan for the future. It all boils down to this...
Lessons learned from five years of blogging:
1. I am a reader (albeit a slow one), not a writer.
2. A hobby should have minimal obligations and deadlines.
3. No matter how much I think I'm blogging for myself, community really is key.
4. There's more to life than books.
1. I don't really like writing book reviews, but love talking about books. My review style has changed slightly over the past few months. Abbreviated reviews include basic book facts, my thoughts in one or two short paragraphs, and a rating. This seems less daunting, yet still provides a springboard for conversation as well as a personal reading record.
2. This is a stress-free blog. I will read what I want, when I want and post accordingly. I will not request books for review, participate in tours, etc. Additionally, I will feel no obligation to review unsolicited review copies.
3. It's all about community. I love reading your blogs (and commenting as time allows), chatting on twitter, instagram, participating in read-alongs and other events, and responding to your comments here. I will continue to be as engaged as possible.
4. I'm very glad I chose the name Lakeside Musing five years ago because I can talk about more than books and not feel like I'm veering off topic. Weekend Cooking is the perfect outlet for chronicling my culinary adventures. Estellagram feeds my budding interest in photography, bookish or otherwise. I'm also free to talk about travel, greyhounds, movies, theater, sports, fitness/health... the possibilities are endless. Books, however, will continue to be the main focus.
Finally, I'd like to thank each one of you for your visits, comments, friendship, and support. You have made this all worthwhile.
Here's to the next five years!