My first venture into the blogging world was when I was about ten or eleven. I took a break for a few years, and then two years ago yesterday, I created this blog. It feels like it’s been so much longer. Two years ago, I started my freshman year of high school. I really could’ve sworn that I started this blog in eighth grade….

I’ve really learned the ups and downs of WordPress through this blog, whether it be tagging, appearance, or content. My ultimate goal used to be to get Freshly Pressed with every single post I wrote, but I’ve learned that writing for me is what is most rewarding. For example, I posted something one day about writing, and I was trying to get Freshly Pressed. Another day, maybe a week later, I posted a poem about writers’ block about five minutes after I wrote it because I was frustrated with my halted stream of ideas. It got a few likes and some comments, causing me to throw my “dream” of being Freshly Pressed out the window. I’m writing for me now, not the WordPress community.

My most popular post/page since I started this blog has been How To Create Your Own Fantasy World. I wrote it when I was convinced the world needed my “expertise” (newsflash — I don’t really have any!) on all things fantasy and writing. I have yet to use any sort of list like this myself. After the realization that people were really into this post, I upgraded the list and stuck it on a page. I guess they liked it, because my blog is at number two on Google when you search the phrase.

I originally called this blog Fictional Fantasy, but I changed the name a months ago to something that fit me a little more: The Shadows Illuminated. My tagline since has been, “Behind captivating pages and words there is always a tale untold, a song unsung.” That was always the inspiration behind the title — reading between the lines, learning backstories of characters, discovering dark secrets — that sort of thing. I was talking to my dad about it one day, and he told me the title could also be seen from a spiritual perspective. I had never thought about that before, so yet another meaning was added to The Shadows Illuminated.

I’ve grown a lot as a writer since the creation of this blog; I’ve started to write poetry, I’ve begun writing and outlining my fantasy series, and I’ve even written short stories, as well as co-written a blog novel. I’ve gone from writing posts I thought people would like to writing posts that I like. I’ve posted stuff I’ve written for my literature homework, whether it be poems about seasons, short stories about antagonist therapy sessions, or blogs about Beowulf.

I’ve been so encouraged by every single comment and like and follow because that means somewhere out there in this wide world, a person is enjoying what I’ve poured my heart and soul into, and that really means a lot to me.

It’s been a wonderful two years. Here’s to two more!


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