Fun fact: this week, my blog will be one year old! I knew it was this month, but it still kind of snuck up on me. As a sort of celebration, I’ll share a few posts this week about this blog. Since most of you probably don’t already know this story, we’ll start today with how this blog happened.
I’ve been blogging since I was a teenager. Well, sort of. My first experience with blogging started on Geocities when I was 14. Though it wasn’t actually on a blog (I doubt I even knew what a blog was back then!), it definitely set the stage for everything I do now.
My first official blog began when I was 18 and a freshman in college, still trying to hone in on what it means to be a journalist. I launched my first blog, simply titled ARBAMA (a username my dad came up with, which combines my first and middle initials with some school spirit), on Blogspot in March 2009 as a news/web content analysis blog. I stayed on Blogspot for about a year before moving to WordPress.
Between my move from Blogspot to WordPress, I began using Tumblr. It also had the title/url of arbama, but I eventually changed it to sleeplesssongs to match the type of writing I posted there. I still post there from time to time, but it has become more of a creative writing hub for me than anything else.
When I moved to WordPress, I kept the same title and idea for my blog as when I was on Blogspot but began adding foodie and life experience posts. During the year and a half I spent with that blog, I experimented with other blog ideas, particularly a food blog.
The food blog went well for awhile. I even had a dedicated Twitter and Facebook page. Eventually, though, I realized there was no way I could cook something new and write about it every day. (Let’s just be honest here, how many people are actually that interesting when it comes to meal-planning?) Besides, as a college student, I ate a lot of leftovers and on-campus meals.
So I abandoned the food blog, and blogging in general, for a few months while I focused on school and, particularly, creative writing (I was toying with the idea of going to grad school with a focus on poetry). At this point, I wasn’t even sure if I would return to the blogosphere.
In the fall of 2011, I took an opinion-writing course that really lit a fire under me, and I knew I had to blog again. In the middle of class one day, I felt like I needed to run home and start a new blog immediately (which I didn’t because that would have been super-rude of me).
Now, it’s worth mentioning here that all of my past blogs were spur-of-the-moment start-ups. This blog, however, took a little more planning. I knew I wanted to write about more than just food, and I wanted my writing to be more personal than a content-analysis. That’s when I decided to emerge from the name “Arbama” to show off the real me–Amanda (hence the url).
If you’ve followed this blog since it started nearly a year ago, you’ll probably remember the lack of an actual title. That’s because, despite the planning, I still didn’t exactly know what to do with it. All I knew is I wanted my readers to know the real me. I wanted the experience of reading this blog to be personal. So instead of a title, I wrote “This is Amanda.”
I finally came up with the name for this blog a few months ago, and I think it definitely fits and will probably continue to work for as long as I continue to blog (though I’m sure my tagline will have to change at some point).
So, hopefully, this is the end of the road for my blog moves. (I move enough in real life–I don’t need it digitally too!) Here’s to eight (plus) more years of doing what I love!
A chronological history of my blogs:
- 2004-2005: GeoCities (which no longer exists… darn you, Yahoo!)
- March 2009-April 2010: ARBAMA on Blogspot
- January 2010-Present: Tumblr (originally titled ARBAMA, but later changed to Sleeplesssongs)
- February 2010: Letters Signed With Love (this was intended to be a group effort; it was a total failure)
- April 2010-November 2010: ARBAMA on WordPress
- June 2010-January 2011: Food Love
- September 2011-Present: Amanda’s New Life
This, of course, doesn’t include the blogs I’ve created for classes, the blogs I posted to once before abandoning or the creative writing blogs that are just plain embarrassing (if you really want to find them you probably can, but I’m certainly not linking to them here).
**Editing note: This was originally titled “My 7-year blogging story” until I realized I was 14, not 15, when I began on Geocities.