My 1st Blogiversary! | Reflections and Gratitude

So this is pretty surreal.

Hello friends! I honestly cannot believe that I have been book blogging for a whole year already, or rather a year and a month, I confess I’m a month late writing this post, but better late than never right?

How It All Started…

It started on a whim. At 2am. 2 weeks before my end of year exams, on the 12 of September 2020.

I was feeling downcast and uninspired.

Until I discovered WordPress.

Despite my first few posts being absolutely cringe-worthy, despite the blog featured images being larger than the actual post, despite my abysmal blog aesthetic (if you could even call it one), I fell in love with blogging instantly. I’m sure many of you could resonate with a blog being a comfort space. There’s something inherently lovely about a little corner of the Internet belonging to you and your passion for books.

… And How it’s Going

After a ridiculous number of blog makeovers, as well as learning from other bloggers, these past few months, I can finally say that I am satisfied with my blog, to the extent of even being able to say that it’s an extension of my personality now.

By nature, I would consider myself rather opinionated, with a tremendous penchant for rambling, and blogging has given me a way to channel all that excess of words and ideas into something somewhat polished and thoughtful.

At first, I thought blogs were private journals, and that my pathetic attempts to include a follow button in the sidebar would only result in 6 followers (ie. the 6 different email accounts I had for myself). As of today, we’ve reached 477 followers, I can’t express how grateful I am that people are reading and interacting with my content.

Blogging has enabled me to…

Become more confident of myself, and be more eloquent in sharing my thoughts – Despite having a ton of opinions, I’ve always this fear of voicing them out to people I’m unfamiliar with, with putting them forth to be judged. I’ve a penchant for rambling, beating around the bush and talking at the same speed which my thoughts flow (that is supersonic fast). But blogging, especially reviewing books, has given me the courage and comfort to share freely without the fear of being judged (unpopular opinion or not) or seeming verbose, as well as nurtured my writing style and personal voice in words to something I deeply resonate with.

Read more critically and diversely – I’m sure nearly every blogger feels this way and I’m no exception. Before blogging, the way I found books was simply those that were popular (ahem Sarah J Maas, or those dystopian novels though The Hunger Games is still a favourite of mine), I was never aware of how white-dominated my reads were until I entered the blogosphere. Only then, did I take a turn and read books from authors of different backgrounds, races, ethnicities and more, and in the process, found books that I could see myself in, something Western authors never achieved.

Meet incredible people who share my fervent passion for books – The book blogging experience is lacking without community. Through blogging, I’ve met so many other incredible bloggers whom I can gush/rant/scream about books with, and have thoughtful discussions with! (Yes, you all <3)

Learn how to Canva and become even more obsessed with my favourite colour – My artistic skills, has always been and still is non-existent. I cannot do art for nuts. I’ve always stared at all those pretty blogs in deep awe and admiration, wondering how people could create something that *aesthetic*. My blog is far from gorgeous, but it looks decent (I mean come on, anything that is pink looks good), thanks to the many hours spend figuring out how to use Canva, the graphic design tool that is a literal lifesaver.

Books that have shaped my blogging year

I know, I am a broken record.

I’ve talked about these books enough so I’ll do my best to keep this section short, but I just wanted to share about these books once more, specifically how they are representative of the different phases of my blogging year.

Starting Out (Sep/Oct ’20): Lovely War This beautiful historical novel always marks the start of my book blogging journey for the simple reason, of being my first review (and first post!) I ever published on this blog.

Jumping on the Hype Train (Nov/Dec ’20): Six of Crows This duology needs no introduction, and to me, it encapsulates that period whereby I tried to be a bit more well-versed in the bookish world by reading many popular books, some of which I loved like Six of Crows, and many of which did not live up the hype, sadly.

Finding books that resonated deeply (Jan/Mar ’20): These Violent Delights This Romeo and Juliet retelling set in in 1920s Shanghai was a brilliant, compelling read, but what made it so special was seeing Chinese culture inside fleshed out in a way that I could resonate with, this was the first book that I saw myself and my culture in, and that paved the way for many more diverse books I’ve come to appreciate.

Books that have changed my life (Mar ’20 and Beyond): The Poppy War I’m not being hyperbolic at all, because this grimdark fantasy that parallels the events of 20th Century China, gave such critical commentary on themes like power, morality, lore and war, as well as changed my entire perception of the history of colonialism, nationalism and war that my ancestors and my race had lived through.

My Favourite Blog Posts

Thank You’s

Over the past year, I’ve met so many wonderful people. (Honestly the amount of people following this blog is insane to me hehe, but I’m grateful) Thank you guys for motivating me to blog, all the screaming/ranting and discussions, for increasing my TBR and so much more.

Here’s the bloggers who I’m grateful too. (I’ve met too many bloggers to count, so it’s inevitable that I’ll miss some of you. If we’re new acquaintances or not as close, I look forward to getting to know you better in the year to come!)

Ahaana, you’re the sweetest, yout taste in books is immaculate (I mean, TVD? TOWMTF? SOC? I can keep going) and I admire your efforts in supporting diverse books! // Abby, you’re one of the most sincere bloggers, reading your posts always brings a smile to my day, I still remember starting out fangirling about musicals with you haha, hope you’re doing okay! // Eryn, thank you for being my first friend and follower on the blogosphere, it means a lot! // Ashmita, you are such an inspiration, I loved running Books Go Boom with you! // Diya, ahh I’m so glad you loved The Poppy War (because of me hehe), your poetry is amazing as well! // Sam, thanks for all those random IG messages, and thank you for being the one that got me into An Ember in the Ashes ahaha. // Karla, thank you leaving such sweet and thoughtful comments, I really enjoyed buddying reading with you, hope that The Burning God doesn’t destroy you… (also, Bloodmarked!!!) // Katie, I hope you’ve been doing well – we’ve missed you! // Becky, hope you’re doing okay too, you have the cutest blog ever! // Phoenix, I still remember your epic monthly wrap ups haha, I love reading your discussion posts too! // April, your blog has so much personality, you’re hilarious and passionate!

Sanah, I love how thoughtful all your posts are, I love your reviews, thanks for getting me hyped up about TVD! // Aarushi, your posts are such a joy to read too, I really enjoy your books recs (that non fiction posts was everything I could ever ask for!) // Madeline, another queen of diverse book recs! // Veronica, I love your enthusiasm for your favourite reads, you made me so hyped for books like DOTMG and SCC! // Saima, I have no idea what genius skills you have, but apart from such timely posts, your blog aesthetic is gorgeous and I’m always in awe! // Janhavi, you were a relatively new book blogger but I couldn’t tell because your content seemed so seasoned, I hope you’re doing alright on your hiatus! // Jan, thank you for being so supportive, I hope you hiatus has been fruitful as well! // Eleanor, you post such well-written discussions, I still remember the one on political intrigue sticking with me!

Rachel, your book recs are the best, I’m a sucker for your fun fact intros haha. // Azu, thank you for your incredibly thoughtful reviews, I hope that October has been treating you well! // Saniya, your blog radiates happiness, and so do your posts! // Ritz, glad to see you back in the blogosphere, you write really creative posts! // Rania, I loved your blog glow up, I hope you’re doing alright! // Cherry, your love for We Hunt the Flame is infectious, thank you for all the other great recs (I’m off to scavenge for if We Were Villains!) // Birdie, omg queen, thank you for advocating for diverse books so fervently, your reviews are pretty awesome! // Ali, your blog was one of the first few I found, I love your blog aesthetic especially! // Kaya, your book lists are the best! // Mesal, you seem to have read every new release I’ve anticipated haha, thanks for all those eloquent reviews! // Kashvi, your taste in books is awesome, period. // May, thanks for the lovely comments, thanks to you I’m so excited for Iron Widow! // Gauri, from the first post, I was in love with your blog! // Lia, you always write such detailed and eloquent reviews, I’m in awe!

Riddhi, I look up to your dedication to blog a lot, as well as your involvement in the bookish community! // Nehal, thanks for writing the most hilarious (but at times, painfully real too haha) posts. // Aanya, teach me how to write a book please, you’re amazing. // Emily, you’re discussion posts are the best (I didn’t comment on it, but I found the one on politics in YA particularly thoughtful!) // Yesha, I’m in awe of how often you churn out great bookish content! // Trisha, hope you’re hiatus has been meaningful! // Isha, thank you for the meaningful Book Bloggers Nook project your started, I loved reading the first interview! // Isabella, your bookstagram especially is an inspiration! // Jayati, you have the best taste in books, I’m so glad we both love The Poppy War and Jade City ahhh, I still have to get to so many of your recs! // Sofii, thank you for being so supportive of the bookish community, your posts are truly a joy to read! // Allison, your bookstagram is amazing, and your blog is too – thank you for that review of OVE which got me both hyped up and dead-scared for it haha! // Dezzy, May, Jawahir, Kim, haven’t seen you guys in a while, hope things have been okay! // Belle, Karina, Tasya and Sumedha, you guys are #blogginggoals.

Feedback from You ❤

Lastly, I would deeply appreciate if you could fill in the feedback form below, as on this milestone, I’m thinking about my plans for my blog in the upcoming year and would love to hear from you. HERE is the link too! Thank you!

https://aboltoutofthebook.files.wordpress.com/2021/05/lets-talk-a-bolt-out-of-the-book.png?w=760

How old is your blog? What one thing you’ve learnt from blogging?

Once again, my eternal gratitude and devotion to you for sticking around! ❤

68 thoughts on “My 1st Blogiversary! | Reflections and Gratitude

  1. HAPPY ONE YEAR BESTIE ❤️ I love ranting in your dms, it’s so much fun ❤ I love your blog so much – it has so much personality and your posts are always so fun to read !! can’t wait to see what you have planned for the future 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Happy one year Cherelle! I love your blog so so much, and your personality is honestly one of the most genuine I’ve ever seen! You’re literally so kind, and your blog is an absolute wonder 💙 I can’t wait to see where you go from here and I’m so so grateful for you too! Thank you for everything and congrats on a year!!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Omg happy blogiversary cherelle, I am so happy for you!
    Ahh thank you for including me in the list, it makes my heart so full and I am really grateful to you for everything too🥰
    SIX OF CROWS SIX OF CROWS yes it shaped my journey too in a way (as I remind u all in EVERY post of mine 🙄😅) and I’d also read it in a period when I was discovering the community’s tastes by reading hyped books haha!
    Congratulations on the amazing milestone, here’s to many more years to come!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. HAPPY ONE YEAR BESTIE!!! <333 Thank you for helping me in the whole book blog thing and I'm so grateful to call you my friend 😭😭 AND NO your book taste is so swag 😌✋

    Liked by 1 person

  5. HAPPY ONE YEAR BLOGIVERSARY! 🎉🥳🎉

    You’ve come so far and I hope to see you go further! I love your blog from the design down to the gorgeously (and might I add hilarious at times) written posts. I’m grateful to have found a friend in you too! 💙
    Here’s to many more fun blog things to come! Cheers 🥂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Happy blogiversary Cherelle!!! This is so amazingg!!!!!! I agree on all of your points about how blogging has changed you- I mean more critical reviewing of books ✅ more confidence ✅ meeting amazing people✅ and better use of Canva✅!
    I am so glad to have found your blog, honestly, and I love how your personality shines through it! Thanks for mentioning my blog, it really means a lot to me!
    Here’s to many more years, and keep shining Cherelle!
    Lots of love,
    Riddhi

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Riddhi ahh I’m glad you resonated with the way blogging has impacted me! And aww, thank you so much, of course I had to mention your blog, you’re a huge inspiration! Thank you, and I can’t wait to continue blogging! Sending love too, happy end of the year! (oops this response is late) 💖

      Liked by 1 person

  7. HAPPY 1 YEAR, CHERELLE! I’m so happy for you ♥️ You are literally the sweetest person and your comments are always so supportive. Your blog is so freaking amazing and thank you SO MUCH for including me on this list, I am honored. Amazing post as always!

    Like

  8. Happy 1st blog birthday! Thank you so much for mention. You made my day. I always love your posts and also chatting with you. Your blog looks as beautiful as your posts.

    I’ve been blogging for 4.5 yrs. One thing I learned is consistency and visibility is as important as good content.

    Like

  9. AHH Cherelle!! Happy Blogiversary! Way to go love 🤗
    AH YES, The Poppy War 🥺 I’m gonna keep thanking you for this recommendation (and crying because of the *PAIN*😭) forever. (deal with me) And also, we’re never ever going to shup up about Six of Crows are we?😍😂
    Thanks to you too Cherelle, for being such a wonderful person and always being so kind and supportive to me 🥰❤ Congrats again, Looking forward to many many more incredible posts from this BEAUTIFUL blog of yours’s!💖

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  10. AHHH happy one year!! From day one of my blogging journey you were such an inspiration for me. I love you and your blog Cherelle. From your poppy war obsession, to your clean and ~aesthetic~ blogging set up, you will forever be one of my fave bloggers ❤ <3.

    All the best for the years to come,

    Saniya

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  11. CHERELLE!! HAPPY ONE YEAR ❤ i loved the look of your blog since i first followed it!! i love reading every post of yours! and hahaha blogging definitely taught me to be creative with canva too! love you ❤❤

    Like

  12. Happy blogiversary Cherelle! 💕 I may or may not have shed a tear or two over this post, and I may or may not have audibly swooned as I was reading it. I cannot tell you how happy I am that we connected over our mutual love of books, how seeing a notification from your posts (here or on IG) makes me instantly smile and how much I love reading your words! I cannot wait to see how this blog is going to grow and you with it. Special shoutout to your blog design which inspired mine because your blog aesthetic is to *die* for! 💕 I love pink! Thank you for hyping up the books you love so much and get ready for my rants about Jade City, The Burning God and Bloodmarked once I read them! So grateful for you and congratulations ❤️

    Like

  13. This is so sweet! Thank you so much for including me, Cherelle; you are without a doubt one of the friendliest bloggers I’ve met on here and I can’t believe you’ve only been blogging for a year. Your blog looks so professional, I’d assumed you had had it for a long time!

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  14. oh my god cherelle!!! it’s ur blogiversary!! i can’t believe it’s already been a year & i’ve missed u more <33 thank u for giving me a shoutout (though i'm hoping to post soon ;)) i've always loved ur blogging voice and am absolutely in love with u (& the aesthetic of ur blog i'm obsessed with it)!! i can't believe how much you've grown & i'm so proud of u 💗💗 ilysm & i hope you've been doing okay <33

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  15. happy blogiversary!!!!!!! i’m forever thankful that we’re blogger friends, and you honestly write the most fantastic, well-thought out posts. thank you so so much for giving me a shoutout, and here;s to many, many more years of blogging and laughter and amazing reads to come!💜

    Like

  16. happy anniversary, cherelle! 💕 thank you for mentioning me! i had the best time knowing you through your blogging journey. it’s nice to meet another fellow singaporean book blogger!! sending you all my love! can’t wait to see what’s in store for you and your wonderful blog!

    Like

  17. CHERELLE MOI AMOUR AAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH CONGRATULATIONS I AM SO PROUD OF YOU🥺😭
    You are amazing❤️‍🔥♥️🥔
    I am so proud of you🥺
    I am so excited in your journey ahead of you and I hope I’m part of it♥️
    Btw HAPPIE ONE HEAR ANNIVERSARY🍉🥔
    I loveee youuuuu

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  18. Happy Blogiversary!! 🎉 I feel so identified with your words, Cherelle!!! it’s always wonderful to see people as creative and wonderful as you grow, I LOVE your blog, so I hope many more years ahead! ❤️❤️❤️
    Thank you SO SO much for mentioning me along with so many amazing bloggers, I feel so honored, you’re such a sweetheart! 🥺✨
    PS: Your blog looks more than beautiful, really.🥰

    Like

  19. HAPPY BLOGVERSARY! Congratulations!!! It’s been amazing following your blog and I can’t wait to see more of your content. And shh your blog looks way more than decent in graphics and stuff. I was nowhere close to this in my first year lol.
    Thanks for mentioning me in that super cool list?? I’m honoured 💖

    Like

  20. AHH Happy Blogversary Cherelle! Im so happy for you and i love reading your blog<3
    Its aesthetically pleasing and your content is just wow 🥺✨
    I can't wait to see how your blog grows even more and ill be here always ly ❤

    Like

  21. omg cherelle!! happy blogversary lovely!!! <333 the way i abandoned my studies and came running over as soon as i saw this in my inbox 🥺🥺
    honestly, i was left AWED the first time i visited your blog because your reviews, your blogging voice and everything here is just so unique!! i still look up to you sm and whenever i think of how i want my blog to turn out, yours is one of the very first that comes to my mind. 💕 And thank YOU for being so kind and leaving comments that made my day, always. lysm bestie 💖🥺
    also, even tho i forgot to mention it, you're the reason i finally started the poppy war and AHH i am eternally grateful!! But how am i expected to survive all that PAIN send help please. 😭 i definitely can not wait for the dragon republic to shatter me (i was halfway through it but then this slump kicked in but i swear im gonna be in a mess when i get to it). and god, i really need to read the lovely war and tvd- i don't know how i can survive another person screaming about them.
    again, happy one year, and here is to many more!! continue being amazing, sending you loads of virtual hugs <33

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  22. CHERELLE!! HAPPY BLOGVERSARY <333 i'm so grateful and honored to have been mentioned here, so thanks a ton 💖 you are truly one of the kindest bloggers i've encountered here, and your posts never fail to brighten my day. the way you're so passionate about books and what you read is so contagious, and i have added SO MANY new books to my tbr because of your glowing reviews! here's to many more years of blogging and friendship 💞

    Like

  23. Happy blog anniversary! Also, me?? YOU are literally my blogging goals from your voice to your aesthetics- everything is just perfect!!! 💗

    I agree with how blogging has helped me to become more eloquent and critical with my reading. I also connected with so many amazing friends! Here’s to more blogging years! ❤

    Like

  24. Congratulations on one year of blogging, that’s so exciting, yay!! It’s so heartwarming to read everything you’ve learned in the past year. Blogging has taught me so much as well, I know I grew way more confident than I used to be and oh, yes, the community you can scream about all the books with… it’s just the best! 😀

    Like

  25. CHERELLE!!! HAPPY BLOGIVERSARY OMG 🥳🥳 Your blog is one of my absolute favorites and you are one of the loveliest and most talented people I’ve met in the blogosphere, I can’t stress enough how much you deserve all these milestones!! 😍 I can’t wait to see what’s in store for you and this blog—here’s to many more happy years of blogging ahead 🥰🥰

    And thank you so much for checking in!! Fangirling over musicals with you will always be a fond memory for me as well 🥺 School is currently sucking the life out of me haha, but we’re surviving! I’m hoping to post something soon because I miss blogging so much, but no promises 😅

    Congratulations again, Cherelle!!! You deserve all of this and more ❤️❤️ Sending all my love!! 💓💗

    Like

  26. Happy one year anniversary Cherelle! 💕
    I love reading the content on your blog and the aesthetic is just 👌✨❤️
    Here’s to many more blogging years!!

    Like

  27. Happy one-year blog anniversary, Cherelle!! 💖 I can relate to most of the points you made. I don’t know where we’ll be without Canva, haha. I love your blog aesthetics, especially the color palette, it’s soft and soothing to the eye. I was late to join your blog but I’m so glad I found it. I have added many books to my TBR, thanks to you. And I’m reading Jade City and The Poppy War by this year.🙈 Your voice in your writing is amazing, so keep giving us these diverse posts. Here’s to many more years🥂

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  28. Aaah, HAPPY BLOGIVERSARY CHERELLE!!! Your blog is so pretty and all your posts are absolutely AMAZING! Your voice is so unique and I cannot tell you how much I adore all of your content! ❤❤
    And shhh, your blog looks so aesthetic and absolutely gorgoeus, and I won’t hear otherwise.
    Here’s to many more wonderful years of blogging ahead and happy blogiversary once again, Cherelle! ❤❤

    Like

  29. AAAA HAPPY ONE YEAR!!!!

    you are seriously one of the brightest voices and loveliest people on the blogosphere and i’m so happy for you for reaching this milestone!! here is to many many more!

    also- thank you for including me on your lis of gratitidet, i am grateful to have met you on my blogging journey as well 🥰🥰

    Like

  30. AHHHH HAPPY ONE YEAR IM SO HAPPY FOR YOU!!!

    ahh your blog is my favourite one on here because idk why i keep coming back to your blog to re-read your posts and your blog is so aesthetic (don’t say it isn’t😭😭) and i love everything about it ahhh😭😭 its really sjskskssksksksk how you keep putting out such good and vibrant posts with such a hooking and addictive voice, keep doing what you do, your blog and your posts really make me very happy💕💕💕 here’s to many more of such amazing blogging years !!!!

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  31. Happy one year Cherelle, I’m so happy to have discovered your blog this year! I agree that blogging has inspired me in many of the ways you’ve mentioned as well. 😍 So honored you mentioned me and thank you for your kind words! 🥺💕

    Like

  32. Aww CHERELLE! Thank you so much for being the sunshine that you are in this community ❤ and AWWW I LOVE UR REVIEWS TOO! ❤ Happy anniversary! Now queue MUSIC! *spontaneous dancing*

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  33. Congratulations on your first blogiversary Cherelle! Here’s to many more 🥂 I loved reading about your blogging journey and your thank yous were so heartwarming to read! Thank you so much for the shoutout too 🤗 I’m happy you liked the political intrigue discussion—I’m very proud of that post ☺️! Your own discussions and reviews are so well thought out and written & your graphics are just stunning, plus you’re a lot of fun to talk to! I’m so glad to have found you in the blogosphere 😀 (also very nice use of how it started vs how it’s going :))

    Like

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