1-year blog anniversary // in which I ramble and reminisce (+ an announcement)

green and white Hello board decor

As you can probably tell by the title of this post, I’ve been blogging (on this blog) for a year now. And it’s been such fun.

I started this blog because I wanted to grow my platform as a writer, but I’ve kept it up because I enjoy writing posts, commenting on other people’s posts, and making new friends. (Of course, I do want to grow my platform, but my favorite part of blogging is the community.)

It seems to be conventional to write a long post on a blogging anniversary (traditionally known as a blogiversary. But not here. Here, we use the full and proper term), often with a Q&A. And one must follow convention (but not too closely, hence the lack of a Q&A section).

Tally ho!

(This phrase has many helpful uses, as demonstrated by the Hawke brothers in the Out of Time trilogy by Nadine Brandes.
In this circumstance, it means “I couldn’t think of a good transition here, but now I’m going to actually write this blog post instead of telling you about it.”)

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in which I make an announcement unrelated to this post

Last week I launched my site Maya’s Library, a free personalized book recommendation site. You fill out a form and tell me about the kind of books you do and don’t like to read, and I’ll send you a list of stories to add to your TBR. (If you give me permission, I’ll post it in a blog post there too so other people can see it.) Go check it out!

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in which I discuss my changing blog design + name

My blog has changed a great deal since I started. But sadly, I didn’t think to take screenshots of its changes. I do, however, still have a lot of the blog headers in my Canva account.

It was originally called “maya’s magic musings: writer. dreamer. daughter of the king.” and I’m still rather fond of that name. The color scheme was completely different, and I think the theme was Dara, so it looked something like this:

Capture
obviously the content was different. and the navigation menu. and the sidebar. so basically everything was different back then.

I went through a lot of themes after that. I know I used Apostrophe 2 and Colinear at various points. My header eventually looked something like this:

old blog heading.png
sometimes it had the trees in the background. sometimes it didn’t.

Eventually I discovered Nucleare, my current (and favorite theme). But the name “maya’s magic musings” stopped fitting my blog. I wasn’t writing much about magic, I wouldn’t call my posts “musings,” and I no longer felt that “writer. dreamer. daughter of the king.” accurately summed up who I was or my blog content.

For a while I trialed “Wandering Wordsmith” but ended up with this:

pardon the bad picture quality 😐

And I liked it, but when I got around to editing my “about” page to fit the new name, I couldn’t figure out how to explain it. Why was I wayfaring? What on earth did traveling and adventure have to do with my blog? (The answer: I like the word “wayfarer.”)

I’d always been planning to change my blog name to my real name eventually, so that it would match the name on any books I happened to publish, but due to privacy reasons, I didn’t use it at first. My parents and I agreed this spring that using my middle name (Joelle) would be a good option for an author/blog name, so I finally used that for a header, and here we are.

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in which I make a list of blog stats

Note: all of these statistics were accurate when I started writing this post on April 12. I don’t think they are anymore (:

most viewed post: fast-paced books to read while you’re stuck at home

most commented-on post: reading The Hunger Games for the first time // my thoughts

most liked post: Inktober 2019 // poetry snippets

total stats: 798 comments | 8600 views | 2056 visitors | 1090 likes

most interesting search term: “till we have faces review by an author” (well, I’m not an author — yet — but thanks to whichever search engine sent someone to my blog!)

top 5 countries: United States, Canada, Spain, United Kingdom, Australia

top 5 referrers: WordPress reader, The Young Writer’s Workshop, search engines, Facebook (I wonder how people got to my site from Facebook, since I don’t have an account there?), WordPress Android app

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in which I reminisce about past events

Here are some of the things that happened to me in the past year:

writing and reading

  • I left, then rejoined, YWW. Which I’m now considering leaving again… feels like history is repeating itself (:
  • I finished my book Cathedral (yes, world, I have written a whole book!) and sent it to alphas and betas. And now I’m looking into editing and interior formatting… and I can’t believe this is actually happening…
  • I participated in NaNoWriMo (and won!) and Inktober (writing poetry), and started Camp NaNo (still doing that one).
  • I wrote Remnant. A lot of it. Not nearly enough to consider myself close to getting it done, but enough that my goal of completion by the end of October seems achievable.
  • I beta read + read ARCs for a lot of people.
  • I read a lot of books, discovered new favorites, and re-discovered old friends.
  • I became a more consistent and confident writer!

life in general

  • My littlest brother turned 1 and got glasses (he’s the cutest).
  • I got into a musical (which is now postponed, possibly canceled… but hey, at least I got in).
  • I went to Mackinac Island, Hillsdale College, the LCMS National Youth Gathering, Andrew Peterson’s Behold the Lamb of God tour, and a musical (Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat).
  • I got shelves in my room and organized all my books.
  • I took the NLE for the third time and the CLT for the first time. (AP Latin and ACT are next…)
  • I turned a year older. Whether I gained any wisdom is debatable (and sadly, I did not gain any height), but I definitely gained in experience, knowledge, friendship, faith, and possessions.

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in which I write about myself

As I’m not doing a Q&A but I thought it might still be fun to answer questions…

I’m going to fill out (some of) Story Embers‘ Ultimate Character Questionnaire, but as if I were the character.

my personality as described by five key words

Self-analysis is very hard, but here goes: overthinking, enthusiastic, literary, passionate, longing beyond myself (I know that’s not one word, but I couldn’t think of one word that encompasses that concept).

Myers-Briggs personality type

The 16 Personalities test says I’m INFP, but I’m 90% sure I’m actually extroverted (just quiet in unfamiliar circumstances), likely ENFJ. Make of that what you will.

how I deal with trials/opposition/tragedy/suffering

Hmm… I pray, I journal, I write letters to my friends, and I run out into the forest and cry. And I think. A lot.

my models/who I hope to become

Check out my list of heroes.

my greatest fear

I’m an Enneagram 4, so according to the official website, my greatest fear is having “no identity or personal significance.”

I guess I’d say I’m afraid of alienation, loneliness, and false friendship.

beliefs about…

  • …metaphysics (“the nature of reality, the existence of God, and the fate of souls after death”): I’m a Christian, and I believe that hell is real, but that God will pardon anyone who believes in him and seeks forgiveness. Feel free to ask me for a more in-depth explanation =]
  • …epistemology (learning/what I’m trying to learn): I like to learn about philosophy, theology, languages, literature, words, history, and writing.
  • …axiology (right and wrong/morality): Good and evil exist objectively. Unless you try not to, you can probably tell if what you’re doing is a good idea, since you have a conscience.
  • …religion: as I said before, I’m a Christian. Specifically, an LCMS Lutheran.

about my family

I have a throng of siblings. The oldest is named Ellery Maeve, and she sometimes comments on my blog. The youngest is named Milo and he’s adorable.

And I have two parents. Both of them have blogs too: Bramblewood Knoll (my mom) and Canons in Conversation (my dad).

educational background/occupation

I’m homeschooled, and I’m in high school. Once I finish that up, I plan to go to college.

I’m currently employed as a babysitter, but am an aspiring restaurant employee (once the quarantine ends and I can actually drive to work).

my history

I was born in Michigan. I lived in Pennsylvania for three years but am back in Michigan now. And my favorite place in the world is Cedar Campus.

what I look like

mememe

how I dress/what I carry with me

I usually wear a shirt and pants. Sometimes the shirt has a logo from a fandom of mine.

I’m frequently found in possession of a book, my phone, a pocketknife, and my driver’s license.

how I speak

I talk very fast and enthusiastically (in English, though Latin occasionally peppers my speech).

my personality quirks

What a weird thing to write about.

Hmm. Well, I like the taste of mushrooms but not the texture, I don’t like sleeping with socks (but I can if necessary — and sometimes it is necessary), and I’m a little shy with people I don’t know (but very loud around my friends).

how would you describe me?

The last few questions were all about how other people would describe your character. But I’m not other people. So comment and tell me: how would you describe me (in one or two… or maybe three… sentences)?

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in which I do a tag for which I was not tagged

I saw this tag on Sarah‘s blog and thought that, since it is (somewhat) related to my topic for this post, I’d do it. It’s called the “Get-to-Know-Me Tag” and was created by Savannah. Thanks to both of those lovely bloggers!

VITAL STATS AND APPEARANCE

name: Maya Joelle
nickname: Jo, Janner, Gilan, Maya Papaya (but that was a long time ago)
birthday: in the fall, less than three decades ago
hair color/length: brown, just past my shoulder blades (I look forward to the day when it’s long again)
eye color: brown
braces/piercings/tattoos: I used to have braces but now do not (to my great joy). And my ears are pierced.
righty or lefty: I’m right-handed.
ethnicity: I’m a quarter Korean, 70-ish percent German, and a bit Irish. I think.

FIRSTS

novel written: Remmant, my high fantasy novel. I started it when I was eleven; it is still not complete, but is much better (and closer to completion) than it used to be.
novel completed: None (yet), but I did get my NaNo 2019 project The Ancient Song to 50k words.
award for writing: none yet
first publication:  I was published on Kingdom Pen.
conference: It’s not technically a writing conference, but I learned a lot about writing from my two trips to the GHC.
query/pitch: none yet (:

person holding white paper with it is well text

FAVORITES

novel (that you wrote): Remnant
genre: To read, historical fiction and fantasy. To write, fantasy and poetry.
author(s): The short answer is J.R.R. Tolkien. I’ll spare you the long answer for now.
writing music: the Gladiator soundtrack
time to write: when I have time, whenever that happens to be
writing snack/drink: I don’t usually do these at the same time.
movie: Rogue One, La La Land, O Brother Where Art Thou, Beauty and the Beast, and Belle.
writing memory: writing for hours and hours on April 22 (this year) and completing almost 3k words and still having ideas for more
childhood book: The Chronicles of Narnia and the Little House books

CURRENTLY

writing: Remnant and sundry poetry and stories
listening to: Into the Lantern Waste (Sarah Sparks) and “Dead Mom” (Working With Lemons)
watching: The Great British Baking Show (the earlier seasons were better), Abbie Emmons’ writing videos, and Despicable Me (for the first time — though I’ve seen the second one before)
learning: vectors and parabolic motion

FUTURE

want to be published: yes!
traditional or indie: both (I’m indie-publishing my collection of poetry and short stories, but I plan to pursue traditional for my novel)
wildest goal: to build a tiny house and travel the country in it

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until next time

Thank You! decorative slab beside plant

I hope you enjoyed this long and crazy post. Thanks for joining me on my blogging journey.

sign off

P.S. During the month of May, I’m going to be hosting a short story contest with K.E. Stanton and Charis Rae. Go check out their blogs and look out for the announcement next week!

Published by Maya Joelle

classics student, bookdragon, wordsmith, forest girl, incurable romantic seeking to adorn the dark with my words and kindle hearts with legendary fire looking for beauty in the ordinary but the men signed of the cross of Christ go gaily in the dark

40 thoughts on “1-year blog anniversary // in which I ramble and reminisce (+ an announcement)

  1. Congratulations on your blog birthday 🙂 ❤ The word Wayfaring is just cool, overall, but I can see why you didn't keep that for your title based upon that reason. :p I love your blog design, currently 🙂

    I also am Type 4!! I don't meet many others, which interests me deeply. Where are we? What are we up to? I know what I'm up to– and, by squinting at your blog, what you're up to– but– where are the other— *dissolves into speculation*

    Liked by 2 people

      1. I… I could totally see that. Clara sent me Adorning the Dark and as I’m reading, I’m going, “I bet he’s cried in Walmart before.”

        Maybe we’re a rare breed.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Oh, also–I sent you a message through the contact thing, did you get it? My contact form messages… have a history of getting lost. I think the little WordPress Leprechaun doesn’t love me.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. This is a wonderful blog post! I am a sucker for stats. Thank you for being so honest and open with us. Here’s to another successful year for you. I sincerely hope you will get published one day!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Congratulations, dearest sister! It’s nice that you mentioned me and said I sometimes comment, but I really don’t ever because it takes too long. Except this time, because I felt like I should. This comment is rather pointless, but maybe you’ll laugh at its pointlessness.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Woohoo!! Good job on a successful one year blogiversary!! It was super fun getting to know you through this!! And I loved reading the post.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. mayaaaaaaaaaa
    happy one year
    i know we have different beliefs and opinions about so many things, but i love how open and straightforward you are and how willing you are to talk about so many deep, hard things
    this space online is so much better with you in it, and i’m just really glad to know you and know that you’re a really cool person
    also, janner! i used to obsess over maraly to the point where everyone started calling me by that name, and she still holds a special place in my heart

    Liked by 1 person

  6. CONGRATULATIONS 🎉🎈🥳🥳
    Awww your brother sounds so cute. 😍
    Boy I can’t believe it’s been a year…. congrats again. 🙌
    I love your blog so much.
    You got in a musical?!?! DUDE. I’ve always wanted that… that is so cool!! What musical?? Would you have/will you be dancing? Singing any particular songs? I really hope it is only postponed. It sounds like such a blast!
    Wow your hero list is really good! There are a lot of people I respect on that list.

    Well this post made my day, seriously. It’s just a bunch of happy stuff and it’s amazing.
    I wish I could comment on everything… but there’s just so much goodness and awesomeness ughhh 😂😂
    Why don’t I end with another CONGRATULATIONS.
    I’m so happy that your blog is still around even after a year. 😉
    Keep up the good work!! 😁😁

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The musical is Honk!, the story of the Ugly Duckling. A little strange but hey, that’s what the homeschool group was doing (: There’s dancing and singing, lots of it, and it is/was very fun. Currently cancellation looks very probable, since we are stuck at home until May 15 and then there’s not much time to practice before summer…

      I’m so glad you enjoyed it and THANK YOU for your kind words!

      Like

  7. YAY!! Congratulations on blogging for a year, Maya! 😄 I love your blog, Maya’s Library, it’s so cool!

    This is such a fun, happy post!! 😍

    Like

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