Today I’m so pleased to announce that this blog, The Strawberry Post, is officially three years old!  Yay! 🥳🍾  A lot has happened in the last year, both in the wider world and also in my personal life, but despite everything that has happened which could have led to me stopping, I’ve not given up on blogging and I’m so happy that this blog has lasted this long!  As a small celebration of this anniversary I thought I’d share briefly with you some of my blogging achievements as well as some more about what’s happened in the last blog year and what will hopefully be happening in the future.

Blogging achievements

Still going strong…

By far the biggest achievement I’ve made since starting this blog is managing to keep it going.  I was really proud of myself last year for reaching the two year mark but it isn’t until this year that I have realised just why this is such a big achievement.  Although I’ve been blogging on The Strawberry Post now for three years, in reality I’ve been blogging online ever since late 2015.  This was on two seperate blogs, one that lasted from 2015-2017 and another that only lasted a year and a half after that.  I won’t go into the details as to why I stopped blogging on those blogs but let’s just say I suffered from some confidence issues, as well as some silly problems like getting spammed to death, and looking back now I know that I just never felt truly happy with those blogs like I am with this one now. 🙂

I had never run a blog for as long as The Strawberry Post has been going, so for me this is a big achievement in itself because I’ve not only been posting for so long without giving up, but I’ve also been enjoying it throughout and still look forward to more years of blogging! 🙂

Yearly stats

Everybody knows that we shouldn’t really care about stats, and I don’t really, but we also know that almost all of us probably do at some point check to see if our blogs are reaching an audience and want to have our stats increase with time, even if it’s very slowly.  These days I don’t let stats like daily views bother me (they used to), especially if I don’t get many views for a particular blog post, because I know people have busy lives and there can be many reasons for a loss of views, incluing the many reasons I often miss reading some of my friends’ blog posts.  But it has been so wonderful to see that I’ve gained quite a few more views since last year and although my follower count may not be as fast growing as in previous years, it’s still grown and hopefully more people will enjoy what I post.  (thank you! ❤ )

For those of you who are interested in the statistics, I gained about 600 followers in total on this blog in the last year (that includes social media as well as wordpress followers) and the views on this blog have doubled this year from last to over 40,000!  I credit a lot of that to joining and being a part of The Write Reads which regularly shares blog and review of the day on twitter, so an extra thank you to Dave and everyone in the Weirdos gang for helping to share my posts (that’s a twitter group by the way, I’m not being offensive🤪).

Life happenings

Bereavement

As most of you probably know who have stayed with this blog and read my more personal posts, my grandmother died in January and it was a shock as she passed quite suddenly and unexpectedly.  I’ve suffered bereavement before, but this one had a big effect on my life and made it so hard for me to keep up with everything I was doing.  My blogging was affected, my creativity to write lots of poems, dicussion posts and articles was mostly destroyed and I found it harder than I thought at first to bounce back after her death.

Unfortunately bad news followed on from bad news, and another family member of mine who was diagnosed with terminal cancer only late last year (2020) suffered increasing difficulties in living and dealing with daily life and they were more recently moved into a care home where they’ll live the rest of their life there.  It was such a sad time as so many things happened in a relatively short space of time, and me and my close family had to deal with everything, both physically, mentally and financially.  It was worth everything to help bring peace to everyone involved but we were stuck with a lot of paperwork and bureacracy as well (particularly dealing with Polish bueacracy while living here) from both events which just made things harder when all you want to do is take time out to grieve and adjust.  The lockdowns at some of the times also certainly didn’t help things.😞

Getting stuck in books

The main effect that these family issues had on me in regards to blogging had been the problem of losing my creativity.  When I started this blog I made a firm point that although I would blog about books a lot, I also wanted to blog on many other subjects too.  But when everything happened my creative brain just couldn’t cope and so rather than writing poetry and other articles or discussions on this blog, I fell into relying on as many book related posts as possible, which ended up being a LOT!  Now don’t get me wrong, I love reading and writing about books, I really do, and I find it easy after years of doing it, but I’ve always felt a little imposter syndrome when it comes to full-blown book blogging and I’m a more complex person than just books, so I want this blog to be about more than just that.

The blog has been very book heavy for a while now but I’ve finally had a breakthrough and I’ve begun to write posts on different subjects too.  I want my blog to be about so many things and after so many months of struggling to cope with things, I’m finally enjoying writing again so expect to see more than just books in the future (though in reality it’s still going to be a lot of books, lol). 🙂

Healthy mind, healthy body?

Well this phrase I believe to be true in general but people are often more complicated than that and despite the fact I’ve been feeling quite cheery lately, I’ve not been so well physically.  I don’t want to go on about what’s wrong with me but my physical health hasn’t been brilliant this last blogging year and it has definitely added to the blogging issues I’ve had.  Earlier this year I suffered from a bad infection that apparently could have been life threatening, though I didn’t quite realise the severity until a few days later.

Sometimes I’ve felt hopeful about writing something different, a discussion post or interesting article, and I’ve jotted down notes on what I want to write, but so many times I’ve suffered from really terrible tiredness, headaches and general pain.  In fact things got so bad pain-wise in 2021 that it was suggested to me by someone that I might be suffereing from chronic fatigue and possibly something more 😮, I hope not☹️.  Though I really do hope it’s just the fact I’ve been a bit run down in the last few months and not exercising as often as I should.

Mentally obviously I was in a bit of a slump for a few months because of all that happened, and it can sometimes be hard to cope with everything that’s been happening to all of us in the last year and a half, but I’m happily doing so better now and, considering all I’ve had to take care of both online and offline, I think I’ve coped very well with it all and am in a better way mentally than I have been in years past, before I started blogging on The Strawberry Post.

Into the future

More engagement, more content

My biggest goal for next year blogging-wise is to get more content done than just books.  I really love being a book blogger but I miss writing so much poetry, and other stuff so I want to start doing more of these posts and really make my blog a good mix of these things, as it was in the beginning, so it’s more balanced and not just overwhelmed with bookish things. 🙂  I also want to be able to stay on track with my Instagram and social media in general.  I’m often on twitter (here’s a link to my profile if you want to give me a follow) but I let my Instagram (linky here) lapse the last year and didn’t post much content for quite a few weeks (or maybe even months, it may have been months😳), but I really want to be more engaged on Instagram and maybe keep up with the drawing I’ve been trying to do for Inktober there as well as some more colouring stuff on there too which I’ve not posted for a long time.

Youtube?

Will I ever pursue this dream I’ve mentioned every year since starting this blog of getting on YouTube?  Probably some day, lol! 😅  But I’m not sure when that’s going to happen or what content I’d put on it.  To be honest what’s barring me more than anything is equiment.  I know you don’t need any fancy equipment to get started, and I don’t have a video camera right now (at least not a digital non-cassette using one😅), but the phone I have is currently on the cheaper end so, though it takes decent pictures, I have no idea what videos would look like.  I also don’t have any kind of tripod for my phone and my phone cover did have a kind of leg to balance upright but it broke.🤦‍♀️ (I seriously need to replace so many things in my house😅, finances were diverted completely to dealing with my grandma’s stuff and setting up care home and costs).

Health is wealth

Personally I want and hope my health improves and I can get back to the physically very active person I used to be and continue to be able to cope mentally with all that is happening, both in my personal life and the wider world.  It’s so easy to let simple stresses ruin your day and make a bigger thing out of something that’s going on.  It’s something that has happened to me in the past and I’ve been good at getting myself into a very upset and frantic state while trying to cope (and having a meltdown at the same time).  But the truth is that I’m trying to not let life bother me that much any more.  So many things have happened of late and it’s so easy to let the mind wander into negative thoughts and think the worst.  But things in my life could be far worse, and for many they are, and so I am trying to not let life affect me so much anymore, and I hope I can continue to be calmer and keep doing things that help me to cope with lifes little, and big ups and downs.

Time

Time is a big thing I hope to have more of as I sort myself out in the next year and I hope that with time I can do more with this blog too.  I want to be able to have more time to engage with other bloggers blogs as well as more time to do things like planning #Febookary and creating tag post, discussions and talking about the things I want.  In the last few weeks I’ve been able to keep up a set of scheduled posts ahead of time so I never run out and it has helped me to feel less stressed and happier as I feel I have more time to not blog and even have some off days where I can do other things without struggling to get something written down in time, or break the continuity of 5 posts a week. I also want to finally update my Goodreads account which I haven’t touched since somewhere close to March I think.😲😳🤦‍♀️

I’m hoping that in the future I can get even more organised with this blog, and hopefully I might even be able to write a post about how to get organised blogging, though I’m in no way an expert and might crash and fail again.😅😂

Final thoughts

Well this turned out to be a much longer post than I expected and anything but ‘brief’ which I said it would be in the beginning. 🙄🤦‍♀️😂 Nevermind…

Anyway, I want to say a big thank you to everyone who follows, likes, comments or even just reads this blog.  I could type things into a computer for myself everyday (and I often do, lol😅), but knowing there’s a wonderful community of people out there who are actually interested in reading some of the things I write, truly does make a difference, and I don’t think I’d be feeling so positive for the future of this blog (and my life) without such wonderful engagement.

I hope you’ll all want to stick around this blog for the next year (wow the fourth year!) and see what will happen.  I’m definitely gaining in confidence with my blogging abilities and book stuff, and even though I’ve felt quite a bit imposter syndrome at times I’m definitely more confident today, and that’s something that’s made me feel so much better too.  And it wouldn’t be that way without you, thank you so much I appreciate all of you so much! ❤ 🙂 😘

Have a lovely day and year everyone! ☺️☺️☺️


Did you like this post?  What achievements are you proud of this last year?  Let me know what you think in the comments below 🙂