Today we welcome Taryn from My Secret Romance to our Romancing the Blog event! Take it away Taryn…
Hey everyone, I’m Taryn and I run My Secret Romance. I wanted to share the power of a book and how it can bring friendships together. I would also like to thank Romancing the Book for having me here today. This is an awesome event and I’m so happy to be part of it. Thanks so much!
Blogging isn’t even remotely close to what you think it is. It’s not just writing reviews and posting them. It’s much more.
When I first started blogging it was just by chance. I’ve never been a great writer. In fact, I struggled all through grade school with writing. I make a ton of punctuation errors and I have a pretty basic vocabulary. Plus, I have the hardest time expressing myself- definitely not a recipe for a blogger.
After reading some amazing books over the past few years, I decided to try and write a review. I’ve seen some beautifully written reviews before and thought, why can’t I do it? And so I did. It wasn’t easy and it was extremely intimidating to put myself out there like that. My reviews may have been all over the place in the beginning and probably did not make a whole lot of sense. But with the help of my hubby editing my reviews and pointing out some of the grammatical errors I made, I would like to think my writing has at least improved to high school level, lol. And oh yes, I still make my husband edit my reviews.
What really impacted me and pushed me to start blogging was the work of two authors, Jessica Park and A.L. Jackson. I had just finished reading Jessica’s book, Flat-Out Love, and adored it. It was one of those surprise reads for me that I never saw coming. So I wrote a review for it which she happened to read. She emailed me to tell me how much she appreciated and really loved my thoughtful review. I was shocked…and a bit giddy. I never expected an author to like my review, let alone read it!
But then I started to think — reviews are what authors thrive on. Whether it be a good or bad review, a review is feedback nonetheless. Authors are putting themselves out there for the readers of the world to experience the novels they’re penning with their heart and soul. In return, though perhaps not specifically asking us to, they would greatly appreciate it if we reviewed their books. And here I was intimated over writing a small review! Writing reviews do not even compare to what these authors do….not that I ever thought that for a second.
Two weeks later, author A.L. Jackson emailed me about my review for her book, Take This Regret, saying similar things Jessica had said. Both of their books left foot prints in my heart. I had a new found respect for authors. I mean, of course I already respected them, but Jessica and A.L. put things into perspective for me. If they’re putting themselves out in the open to be criticized for the taking, then so can we. Reviews may be nothing compared to a book, but we reviewers sure have been criticized for a book review before! And so I decided to start my blog, My Secret Romance.
While A.L and Jessica were the ones who gave me that little oomph I needed to keep reviewing and start blogging, it was the readers and bloggers I met along the way who really made the biggest impact. I was invited to join this romance book bloggers group and once I did, I felt at home with them. They’re kind, funny and always willing to give a helping hand. We’re there for each other and not just when it comes to blogging either. It’s like a tight knit family of bloggers who stand by others’ sides- even when the going gets tough. We bounce ideas off each other’s heads, get opinions from one another, and talk about our families. We laugh and vent when we need to, but we’re always there for each other.
So you see, when it comes to blogging, it really is so much more than you think. It’s not just writing a review and you’re done. Oh no. The work alone to run a blog makes you want to pull your hair out at times. Especially when a program isn’t working, then you want to ram your computer through the wall! Oh the stress we go through to do what we love! But it’s the friendships you develop along the way that will last a lifetime that make it worth it.
A few reader friends of mine are some of my best friends, even if we haven’t met. Sounds crazy, I know. But we clicked just like that and now I can’t imagine them not in my life. One day I would love to meet all these wonderful people I’ve met in the book world. They have a special place in my heart. And to think, it’s all because of a book….
Taryn is offering one random commenter ebook copies of the two books that made such an impact on her — Flat-Out Love by Jessica Park and Take This Regret by A.L. Jackson. To enter, fill out the Rafflecopter form below. And remember, your comments count for both contests.
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