Sunlit Pages Turns One: Blogging Philosophy

May 24, 2013

You'd be surprised with how much thought I've given to why I'm writing this blog. At the end of the day when there are baskets of clean laundry overflowing all over my bedroom, I sometimes ask myself, Why did I spend two hours writing that review and consequently neglect this invasion  of socks and shirts and pants? Sometimes people will say to me, "I don't know how you have so much time to blog!" But it's not an overabundance of time that's making this blog possible. It's that I've decided to cut out other things that aren't as important to me so that I'll have time for it. It's the same for everyone.

Also, as I read other blogs with countless followers, I sometimes feel a little twinge of jealousy, but then I ask myself, Is that why you started this blog? Obviously not! Aside from sharing a few of my posts on other sites, I do very little to promote this blog, and that has actually been a somewhat conscious decision.

I don't know that the why of this blog matters to anyone else, but it matters to me, and this seems like the appropriate place to share it.
  • I started this blog because I love books. On Tuesday, I explained more about the reasons for starting this blog.
  • I think best when I'm writing. I've noticed this again and again, which is one of the reasons why I am so militant about writing in my journal every day. If I read a book and don't follow it with writing, the whole book is as good as gone to me in about three months. Sad, but true. But if I write about it? Then I've captured something that I can return to again and again. And that's really important to me.
  • I want to connect with other readers in real ways. Last summer when I was reading Quiet by Susan Cain, this statement really resonated with me: "Here's a rule of thumb for networking events: one new honest-to-goodness relationship is worth ten fistfuls of business cards." That perfectly encapsulates the way that I feel! Over the past year, my blog has grown only a little bit. But I think it's safe to say that all of you who read this blog do it because you want to, not because I've begged you to follow me or bribed you to subscribe. Over the last year, I've made new friends and rekindled old friendships. I am definitely trying to reach out because I know it's unrealistic to think that people will find this blog just because it exists, but I try to connect on a personal, individual level.
  • I write about what I want to write about. Even though this is called Sunlit Pages and was started primarily because I love books, I'm going to write about whatever strikes my fancy. That's why occasionally you will see some posts that have absolutely nothing to do with reading. I am not going to maintain five blogs (one for adult lit, one for children's lit, one for picture books, one for the occasional craft, one for spiritual insights, etc.). This blog is a reflection of who I am. And while it's fairly obvious that the greater percentage of my interests fall in reading and mothering my kids, I do have other things I love as well.
  • It's impossible for me to separate reading from my life. One of the reasons I love reading so much is because of the way the things that I read impact and intersect with my own life. I gain new ideas; many of my old notions are challenged; forgotten memories resurface. When I read other people's reviews, I want to know the back story: why did they decide to read that book? why did they like (or dislike) it so much? why did they relate to that particular character? And that is why you now know about dancing at my family reunion, my parents' parenting philosophy, and my addiction to my space heater.
  • I try to give very honest reviews. With picture books, I usually only review books that I want to buy (I've made one exception to this, and I've regretted it ever since), and with other books, I openly share what I liked and didn't like.
A few months ago, I read Palace of Stone by Shannon Hale. It was a wonderful sequel to Princess Academy, and I highly recommend it. But even if I hadn't liked anything else about it, I would have loved this paragraph because it spoke to my soul:
Lately she did not quite know what she thought until she wrote it down. Letter writing was a lot like quarry-speaking--a soundless call from far away. Would Marda have similar enough memories to understand what Miri was trying to say? How could she communicate the whole world to a quiet sister on top of a mountain? She would try. She needed a pen and paper and a way to see her thoughts.
Ultimately, I think that that is the real reason why I blog and why I've decided that even though it takes a lot of time, it is most definitely worth it.


  1. Amy, I love reading your blog. You always give me ideas for myself and the kids. I have always loved reading, but it's always been more of an escape for me. In the last two years I have more excess "bandwidth", so to speak, to engage in my reading in a new way and I'm so happy to have you as a partner and guide.

  2. I love having a blog, but it's interesting how it changes with time. I wanted to start a blog for the same reasons that you did (love reading and writing and want to connect with other reaeders). It's easy to get caught up in pressure to do other things that other bloggers focus on, but I'm happiest when I keep the focus I want. Love you blog.


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