First Year… and beyond!

circle flowerExactly one year and, erm… three days ago (I’m bad about anniversaries) I started this blog with pretty much zero experience and only the vaguest sense of what blogging was all about. But the discipline of posting every day was an attractive challenge. And I had a ton of opinions (and a backlog of 2012 reviews I’d written as a sort of test-run), so I took the leap.

And I’m so glad I did! I discovered a wonderful community of fellow bloggers and fellow drama-watchers and I’ve learned so, so much! I’ve learned that my first drafts are always terrible and to just get that mess down and then get to work whipping it into readable shape. I’ve learned that posting every single day is a bit much — but an average of 3 days a week is pretty doable. And I’ve learned that chatting with fellow drama fans can make a bad drama fun and make a great drama awesome.  (Seriously — I’ve adored sharing both the twirling glee and the confused side-eyeing that comes with drama-watching — circle treeboth here and on other blogs. I love how enthusiastic and friendly this community is.)

Where I’ve grown the most is in tightening up the focus of the blog. I began with the largely unfocused idea that I’d write about Korean dramas — but without a strong sense of the what or the how. As I went along I discovered that I enjoy sharing my mainly emotional — subject to drastic change as I processed my thoughts, filled to the brim with spoilers — reaction to dramas. But I also enjoy sharing more disciplined, thoughtful, and spoiler-free reviews. The moment I realized I could do two entirely separate posts on one drama was a huge epiphany for me — and the separation of “Reactions” and “Reviews” was born. (It’s the little things.)

So I expect the substance of my blog to remain much the same into this next year. I’ll continue to write babbling Reactions and orderly Reviews. And I’ll definitely continue the wild-card, Yesteryear Tree“Weekly Drama Check-in Post,” where I talk about dramas or blogging or my week (or a mishmash of all three). But that doesn’t mean there won’t be changes…

Where I’d most like to improve is the style of my blog. I plan on doing a great reorganizing of the banner-line pages. I’ve decided that they don’t make a whole lot of sense (for some reason I was obsessed with release years when I started) so I’m working out something that should be a bit more user friendly.

The header itself has graced the top of my blog for almost the whole year. I am all thumbs when it comes to that sort of thing and it took a great deal of effort on my part so I was really, really proud of it, but… change is good.

header 2013

Seeing all the lovely blog-headers out there (you all are such a positive influence!) I’ve decided on a new challenge. I’ve downloaded GIMP and I’ve been watching a ton of how-to videos (seriously — so, so many videos; I ♥ YouTube) and hopefully — if all goes as planned — new banners will start to appear. At some point.

In a huge burst of nostalgia — and in excited anticipation of the visual changes to come — I’ve sprinkled examples of my current blog style throughout this post. Hopefully by next year, they’ll be a fond memory… Let’s go Year Two!


25 thoughts on “First Year… and beyond!

  1. yeeeee CONGRATULAAAATIONS!! doesn’t a year just fly by so quickly?! i’m sososooo grateful to have been able to share in this past year with you — thank you for the wonderful posts and reviews and fun times and just simply everything ever!! 😀 😀 😀
    a very belated happy new year and heartfelt wishes for even more wonderful memories to be made in the coming year! <33

    • Thank you! 😀 And yes — it flies by like… a really fast flying thing!! 😀 I’ve been enjoying myself immensely and you’re definitely a part of that enjoyment. I can’t wait to see what this year’ll bring.

  2. Congratulations BetsyHp on your blog’s first anniversary!
    What an awesome way to celebrate a New Year too! May your blog continue to flourish.

    A belated Thank You to your 2013 Year-End Review. I’m impressed by how you presented it. Its format/structure is unique; it is so easy to read and just like in your other reviews, it taught me more interesting things about the K-dramas that I’ve seen and not seen in 2013. Just like your other reviews, I once again have picked a drama to watch. Thanks for your very thoughtful and well organized reviews.

    Thanks also for sharing your lessons learned on your blog’s first year. I’d like to share one lesson I learned last year. This lesson is partly due to reading your reviews and probably due to my age. ;-)And that is, I prefer dramas where I can gain new knowledge or insights on things or on life. I realized it is not enough for me to watch dramas that excite me or root for the lead characters, or dramas that everyone rave about. With all due respect to K-dramas, I learned this year I prefer dramas that have real substance.

    Thanks again to your wonderful blog and posts. Keep them coming this year of 2014. Cheers! 🙂

    • Thank you, bashful! I’m so glad to hear the 2013 Review is easy to read. I was putting it together and it was getting longer and longer and I kept getting lost myself as I was going back and forth between dramas and it hit me… color coding! 😀 I love those moments when I get to feel oh so clever. 😛

      Dramas with real substance, that make you think and/or change the way you look at certain things… those truly are the best kind of stories. The challenge, of course, is finding them. (And also the fun! 😉 ) Here’s hoping 2014 has a whole lot to deliver. 😀

  3. Happy one-year blogoversary, Betsy!!! 😀 Omo, I didn’t realize we literally started our blogs within mere weeks of each other! And I’m SO glad we did! Coz it’s been such a pleasure chatting with you here in the dramaverse. You’ve got so many interesting thoughts, and you make me have more thoughts, and then it goes around again, and it’s something I just really, really love. Plus, you’re super sweet too, of course, and always a pleasure to have around.

    Here’s to many more good years in the dramaverse – this place wouldn’t be the same without you. Smooches! ❤❤❤

      • Aw, thanks! Yup, we really did start at similar times — practically twins! 😉 And I’ve really enjoyed chatting with you too! ♥ I love how we both look at dramas from slightly different viewpoints or in slightly different ways… it gets the conversation going and then there’s practically no stopping it! 😀

        With GIMP, I feel like I’ve graduated from typing with my elbows to doing a slow hunt-n-peck method — which is an improvement! Turning the corner from mainly frustrating to mainly fun. So hopefully new banners will appear soonish…?

        • HAHA. Your GIMP analogies always make me giggle, Betsy!! XD Great to hear that you’re having fun now – that’s a big indication that we won’t be waiting too long till you unveil those new banners! 😉

          • Nope! I’ve… actually kind of unveiled them. I’m not entirely pleased with how they look on… or maybe I’m unhappy with the thick, black page bar? Anyway, it’s a start! 😀

  4. Congrats on reaching this milestone! Am looking forward to another year of your wonderful writing and insights :D. And where are those banner-making monkeys when you need ’em right?!

    • Thank you! And yes, banner-making monkeys would be a help. Unless they just pointed and laughed at my attempts… then I wouldn’t like them at all. 😉

  5. Congratulations! That year sure went by fast. o_0 I’ve really enjoyed being a frequent visitor here and I love your posts. Looking forward to what 2014 may bring along. 🙂

    • Thank you! 😀 I think you were my very first visitor. At least, that’s how I have you labeled in my head! Which means you’re less a visitor and more family. 😀

  6. Happppppy Birthday, BetsyHp!! 😀

    You (like Dramabeans) are my blogging inspiration, seriously! Because blogging and writing take so much discipline, and nobody told me that when I started with (as you put it) a “largely unfocused idea that I’d write about Korean dramas — but without a strong sense of the what or the how.” So, salut for being inspiring!

    And I love that you have so many opinions!!! hehheheheh. Granted I may not agree with each and every one of them, but I love how you’re so fierce about defending your loved ones. The constant clashing of opinions in the blogosphere (hullo, Heirs!) is something my peace-loving head (and heart) need a break from time to time, though.

    Good luck with the stylistic improvements. I hope you’ll have a nice bunch of pretty headers AND a handy list of dramas I can sample from when I come back to K-dramas.

    Let’s go year two, indeed! ♥

    • Yay, thank you, Maybee! 😀 (Gosh, linking me with Dramabeans — that’s a serious compliment!)

      Yup, I’ve got opinions to spare. 😉 But I love that there are so many opinions out there because I do love hearing reactions and thoughts and ideas that differ from mine. Anything to make me think, you know? Though, I totally agree that sometimes it’s nice to just chill out with your own thoughts — love what you love, don’t love what you don’t, however it hits you. I’ve totally gone lurker at times for just that reason.

      Here’s hoping the stylistic improvements are actually, you know, improvements! 😛 And here’s hoping to a large helping of really good k-drama. 😀

  7. I’m WEEKS late to the party, but congrats! I use Gimp to make our “headers” too, if you can even call them that, lol. I think my favorite one of yours is the SKKS one. So cute!

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