Dolce Bellezza Turns Seven

“The time has come,” the Walrus said,
To talk of many things:
Of shoes–and ships–and sealing-wax–
Of cabbages–and kings–
And why the sea is boiling hot–
And whether pigs have wings.”
~from Jabberwocky by Lewis Carroll
I never thought I’d see this blog turn seven. In May of 2006, I was thrilled to discover that I could put my words on something bigger than paper which all the world could see. Then I learned how to embellish my posts with pictures. And then I saw that people commented, and whole conversations were taking place Chez Bellezza. I’ve told you before how my mother said it’s the perfect avenue for me; I don’t have to be socially involved any more, or any less, than I care to be.
Yet I have been involved less. “Less” seems to be the way that I am feeling these days with my son in San Diego getting on with his life as he should; with some of beloved bloggers writing less and less frequent posts (I miss you Claire and Frances and Matt); with feeling that what I have to say is less and less important, and the time I have to read is less and less available.
But the idea of shutting down completely doesn’t seem to be very appealing, either. I love the way my life is so enriched by learning what you’ve been doing, what you’ve been reading. I never knew about the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize. I never knew about World Book Night. I never read Japanese literature, or even much translated fiction at all for that matter. I never received novels from publishers in the hopes that I would review them. I never discussed classics like I can with the Classics Club, ordered Persephone Books from the UK, or read for 24 hours with the Dewey Read-a-thon before 2006..
So I weigh the balance. I see the shift I’ve made in my blogging not only literally, such as going from Blogger to WordPress and back again, but in emphasis. It used to matter very much what my page rank is, how many total hits I received, and the number of comments in a post’s conversation. Ever since I gave up blogging for Lent several years ago, I have been free of caring about stats. You can’t imagine the relief that is for this reader, who is not a mathematician! I am much more concerned now with content as well as finding out, “What are you reading? How are you feeling? Can we share in literature together?”
Just as Lesley and Nan discovered, I am sure that I, too, would find that I can’t stay away from blogging altogether. But, I can be around when it suits me. I can, as Andi has declared in her blog description, read “whatever I want, whenever I want…”
Please share in as much, or as little, of this journey that you care to travel with me. I’m sure we can all fit somehow in the Beetle above.
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30 comments

  1. Congrats, Bellezza! I'm slowly following, this spring is 6th year for me. It's been rewarding overall, isn't it, despite ups and downs. More aware of the world and more alive. I've enjoyed our camaraderie in read-along's, and in sharing our thoughts on books and things. Keep up the good work, Bellezza, and continue to march to the drumbeats of your heart.

  2. Congratulations on 7 years! The way we blog certainly changes over time, doesn't it? But I'm glad you are continuing and part of the lovely thing about seeing blogs change is perhaps seeing how the blogger's life changes too. Thank you for your conversation!

  3. Happy anniversary! I am happy you have been around and I have discovered an inspiring book friend :) True, the pleasures of reading and or posting whenever and whatever you want are fantastic and I hope you will never fill compelled to just post because you “have to”. Happy reading and happy thoughts from far far away!
    P.S. Even if there is no new challenge for Japanese Literature, I keep on reading it and I always seem to think about you and how grateful I am for reintroducing it to me. Thank you!

  4. I think I could copy and paste this post on to my blog! It is exactly how I feel. So many things that are on my heart lately, I can't blog about or don't feel a need to share. I will be on this journey with you!

    btw, a good book for you “A shepherd looks at Psalm 23″ by W. Phillip Keller. Actually, this book has changed me.

  5. Bellezza, Happy Blogiversary! Can't believe you have been at it for seven years! That is amazing! I'm so happy that you haven't decided to quit – your blog is one of the few that I view as a treat to read :) I can understand the need to blog less and less – I've felt that way too lately. I swear you always seems to capture what I'm feeling in your posts. Just know that I'm in for traveling on this journey with you ;)

  6. A very happy birthday to your blog. I'm glad you're redefining your blog and what your expectations are and just sort of riding the wave. I think that's what we all have to do as time marches on.

    Hugs to you, my friend.

  7. Congrats on seven years! It's hard to remember sometimes in the midst of stats and book tours that most of us started blogging for ourselves. I know that I wanted to remember the books that I had read for years after I finished them.

    I hope you enjoy the books you read in the next year and the conversations you have on your blog, whether they be many or few!

  8. I just passed my 5th year, and hardly noticed it. I'm the one who's either in a rut or a routine – hard to say which. I've never changed platforms, never changed themes, never much varied from my one-post-per-week routine. But that's because I have quite different desires for my blog, and it seems to me the way you've followed your path on its twists and turns has enriched both your content and your relationships.

    I'm so glad you're here – even though there's no chance of me keeping up with you readers, there's stimulation and nourishment here I treasure. So carry on, in whatever way seems best to you. After all, you're completely right. Those stats don't matter at all.

  9. I'm so glad you're still around. I take rather long breaks and when I get back to making the rounds your corner of the web is one I enjoy returning to. That's wonderful to be free of worry about stats. I've never really understood them, which I suppose helps. Happy Seventh!

  10. Happy 7th & thanks for those introductions over the years, I think we all start off trying to do everything, then realise this is fun not our 9-5 existence & then work out what suits us, being a poetry blog & posting weekly, I learnt early that I wouldn't get the big numbers, but that suits it's to my scale not anyone elses. Again Happy 7 the & Best Regards

  11. I feel the same way you do about blogging. I'm blogging and commenting less but I still check my favorite blogs regularly because they always somehow lead me to my next book, I hope I get back to blogging too. Happy 7th! That is quite an achievement in the blogging word.

  12. I feel exactly the same way, Bellezza :')
    So many of the bloggers I used to share thoughts with have just disappeared over the years (I miss Claire too!) and I feel like my posts become meaningless because I'm usually just forcing myself to write. It's been slowly dying for the last three years, but I can't quite bring myself to stay away completely either.

    But I hope you'll be encouraged to know that your Jap lit challenges have always been a great motivation – and I've discovered so many new books/writers by taking part! :)

  13. Happy bloggiversary! It's funny being an elderly blogger, isn't it? The relationships mean more, the stats mean very little, the habit is hard to break although the desire waxes and wanes. I wish I had the gumption to go and visit new folk who leave lovely comments more often, and then so often I forget what I intended to do… Still, we're still here going strong and I'm delighted to have made your acquaintance, and wish I'd done it sooner!

  14. Aww I missed you, too, dear friend! I'm still here though and you don't know how much it warms my heart to see you here, still, everytime I get an opportunity to sneak in blogging time. By the way, I just read Rebecca! Wheee! Loved it! Happy happy happy seven years to Dolce Bellezza! Wishing you many many many more. Love, Claire xx

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