Monday, February 17, 2014

1st Blog Anniversary!

   Today is the 1 year anniversary of For the Beauty of the Earth!

        On this day in 2013, I sat down at my computer, held my breath, and clicked the "Create Blog" button, creating my very first blog ever and, in many ways, changing my life. I remember the day perfectly, when my sister Sadie and I resolutely sat down at the computer to figure out this business of blogging and to finally create the blog we'd been imagining and planning for so long. (We originally were going to share a blog, but then we couldn't figure out how so we each made our own. :-P) It was a very exciting time for me, and I remember how utterly thrilled I was when I first saw my finished profile! "Sadie, this is SO COOL!" :-)
   My first profile picture was of Marianne Dashwood in the 1995 Sense and Sensibility:

        A few days after I clicked "Create Blog" and designed my first (very shabby) header, I wrote my first post ever,  somewhat nervously but very excitedly beginning what I hoped would be a very charming and successful blog.
   When I first started blogging in those dear old dead days gone by, I was pretty sure no one was reading what I wrote. Because, ya know, no one really was. :-P For awhile I felt like I was just writing to myself and that no one really cared what I had to say. I didn't get any comments for a very long time, say nothing of followers, but then, slowly, a few comments started to appear and followers slowly started to turn up on my dashboard. I still remember how thrilled I was when I saw for the first time that I had a comment! Now, comments aren't quite as exciting as they used to be-- I mean, I love getting comments and I enjoy each and every one of them (so keep commenting, ladies!), but back then, if I saw the bright orange "1 comment awaiting moderation" on my dashboard, it was BIG. VERY big. Then it was, "OH MY GOODNESS, CAN THIS REALLY BE TRUE?" And now it's more like, "Oh look, I have a comment. How very nice." : )

    I initially started this blog wanting it to be mainly a period-drama themed blog, like so many of the other blogs I had discovered and loved to read. I think I've pretty much stuck to that pattern, although of course I often write about other things and occasionally write about random subjects or just my life in general, and sometimes I tend to ramble a bit. :-P Looking back at my older posts, I can see a rather subtle change in my writing style: when I first began writing I was a bit timid and prim. After all, it was the first time I'd ever written and published anything on the internet for other people to read (gasp!) and I wanted to make a good impression on any potential readers, so I tried to play it safe. I wrote about my beloved Irish ballads, my favorite literary heroines (like I'd seen so many other bloggers do), and some very straight-laced and rambly posts about what was happening in my life. After awhile I became more comfortable with blogging and loosened up a bit, and I still look back with fond regard on those first few posts I wrote. :-)

The first picture I ever posted
   Starting this blog was a very momentous, even life-changing thing for me, and I am so glad I decided to "take the plunge" as they say and do it. I was first introduced to "the blogging world" in the fall of 2012, when Sadie and I came across by chance Miss Laurie's delightful blog Old-Fashioned Charm . (You're probably all saying, yes, we know, we've heard this story before. Well, let me tell it again. : P) We began reading Old-Fashioned Charm and through it discovered many other period-drama-themed blogs, and I was so thrilled to find that there were so many people who love period dramas as much as I do. In fact, through reading Miss Laurie's and other blogs I also found out about countless period dramas that I'd never even seen, which led to several meticulous search of the library to find all that I was missing.  Wives and Daughters? North and South? I'd never even heard of those. I guess if you wanted to be dramatic you could say that a whole new world of period drama opened up to me through reading these blogs, which is pretty much exactly what happened. But, besides being highly-informed period drama fanatics, most all of the girls whose blogs I read are very devoted Christians and committed to glorifying God through their writing, which is what I hope I can be known as as well. I've learned a lot from blogging and from all the wonderful young ladies whose blogs I read, me, and I've met so many lovely people who love the same things I do. :-)

    I really owe a lot to you ladies! If I had never visited Old-Fashioned Charm, never clicked on the Yet Another Period Drama Blog button or the Of Trims and Frills and Furbelows  button on the sidebar, I definitely would never have thought of starting my own blog and I probably would not be the period drama nut I am today. I've seen movies that I might never even have known about if it hadn't been for all of you and read books I might never have tried (although I still haven't finished a Jane Austen novel yet....wait, did I just say that out loud?) :-P You've been such a huge inspiration to me and I'm greatly indebted to you! : )

    Also, when I first started blogging I basically had no idea what I was doing. :-P I knew next to nothing about Blogger, and in short everything I knew about computers could fit into a teaspoon. As you can probably imagine, it was somewhat strenuous trying to figure it out all on my own (I had the most DIFFICULT time figuring out how to add pages and put gadgets on the sidebar), but it was actually a very good and rewarding learning experience, and although I am still by no means an expert (I still haven't figured out how to make a real blog button with the if you can tell me how, please do!!), I certainly know a good deal more about this business of blogging than I did back in those days. :-P

Unfortunately my first header has somehow slipped off the radar, but here is one of the pictures that was on it. :-)

      A lot has changed here at For the Beauty of the Earth since I began blogging a year ago. I've changed my profile picture at least six (or seven) times, my header six times, and my background just as many. My Favorite Literary Heroines list looks nowhere neeeeaaaar what it used to be, and I'm going to tell you right now to not even read my Little Dorrit review. Just don't even read it. But hey-- things are bound to change in a years' time. However, in many ways, not much has changed; I still write about period dramas, books, music, and anything else that strikes my fancy. Because that's really what I write about here: things that I love and that make me happy. So if it makes you happy too, well, I'm thrilled! Let's be friends! :-)

   This has been a glorious first year of blogging for me. I've learned so much: about writing, about computers, even about myself. I've met so many lovely people and even made some friends, and I am so grateful for all of you!

   And now for a few statistics, just because I think they're fun:

Posts: 111 (including this one)
Pageviews: 12112
Followers: 19
Most Popular Post: Pride and Prejudice: A Review 
Most Popular Search Keyword: "greg wise"
Weirdest Search Keyword: "a stinkin' ant bit me" (No really, I'm serious! And kudos if you know what movie that line comes from.)
Movies Reviewed: 10 (See my reviews page for a complete list)
Books Reviewed: Just 2. Sad, that.

    Thanks to all my lovely readers and followers for such a wonderful first year of For the Beauty of the Earth! I love you bunches! Here's to another great and glorious year! : )


  1. Happy blog anniversary, my dear! You blog is trrrrruuuuly deeelightfuly loverly, and I'm sure an inspiration for many!

  2. Oh, look. I have a comment. How very nice. ;-P

    Thank you, Naomi darling!

  3. Congratulations on your first anniversary!! *virtual confetti* I know I haven't been a follower of your blog for very long, I've really enjoyed your posts!! :)

  4. Lovely blog! I've visited a couple times and I am now your newest follower. :-)

    You asked about blog buttons... This link worked for me (I put mine on a post/page) and I found it super easy:

    My sister's "grab-a-button" is on her sidebar where we found this link worked better (on the sidebar, blogger didn't like the first HTML code much for some odd reason) -

    Hope that helps!

  5. Thank you, Heidi! I shall have to try that. :-) Thanks for commenting!

  6. Happy Anniversary!!!
    It was so neat reading this post because I am a new blogger myself and pretty much every single thing you said about starting your blog was the same for me too. Especially about nobody reading your blog and how exciting comments were. And when you get your first follower...that's AMAZING. :)

  7. Hey I nominated you btw! And sorry I haven't commented I have been on blogger for some time :( Anyway, if you want to do it it's on my blog! Oh and Happy blogaversary!


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