Pardon me guys for this is sure to be a post where I get all sappy-pants on you but I promise it will be short(ish) and to the point.
Today is my one year blogoversary and I just have to say that before starting my blog, I really wasn’t prepared for what having a blog entailed. I knew that I would have to work to keep up with my reviews and so on, but if you told me a year ago that I would obsess over comments, and Tweets, I would have laughed in your face. I had no idea that I would fall into a schedule regarding what books I read so that I could review them and I had no idea that the whole idea would burn me out. A few months ago I was so burnt out by the whole ordeal that I kind of pulled back on my blog for a while. I wasn’t happy with what I was doing and I didn’t like that it was feeling like “work” when it started out as something I was so excited about. I took some time off, moved to WordPress and read some books that I wanted to read, books I knew I wouldn’t be reviewing and you know what? It renewed the whole idea for me. I no longer feel controlled by my blog or compelled to read and review things because I “have to post something today!” Instead, I read and review because I want to, and because I want you take something from my work.
I have blogger friends who have commented on the change in my reviews since my move to WordPress and this is my explanation: I love what I am doing now. I get excited to write my reviews and I feel proud when I know that the finished product is not something contrived, but something that really came from within me. I mean every word I say and when my readers comment and tell me they appreciate my words, that is the best feeling in the world.
A few weeks ago I posted a review on The Hero’s Guide to Saving Your Kingdom and the author, Christopher Healy tweeted me to tell me how humbled he was after reading my review. I honestly can’t even explain my elation over this message. The author of a book that I utterly ADORED, told me he was humbled by my words. I danced around the house, I got a little teary, I ate some chocolate and told my cat all about it. Then, just this week, a fellow blogger, Janice, mentioned me in her appreciation post for Book Blogger Appreciation Week. She mentioned that while reading my reviews she can genuinely tell how a book has affected me and this is probably one of the nicest compliments I have ever received because that is exactly what I long to do. I want you, the readers, to know that books affect me. They make me feel feelings. Strong ones…and I know you all feel the same.
Blogging has led me to meet new friends, some that I am lucky enoung to have met in real life and who I know will be my friends for many years (Oh! HAI, booksoulmate!) It has also led me to new authors, and genres and honestly, it helped me define myself in a new way.
Basically what I want to say is thank you. Sincerely. Thank you all for being people who understand me. When a certain quote hits me just the right way or when I am so angry at a character that I want to scream, thank you for all being there on the other end ready and willing to listen and understand why it is affecting me so. Thank you for thinking of me when you read a novel, knowing that it is something I would love (or hate) and thank you for taking me out of my comfort zone when you know it’s necessary. Thank you for being you, while you help me be me.
Happy blogoversary! It’s definitely pretty great to be a part of the crazy 🙂
Thank you!! It certainly is a wonderful clan to be a part of :]
YAY congrats on the blogoversary, and good for you! I know I easily got whisked away in all of the – shall we call it – blogging hype (it’s morning and I can’t think of anything better to call it) like features, jazzing up reviews, giveaways, etc and I actually love it! But yes, without a doubt, it is a LOT of work (and I actually stop doing my real work to work on my blog OOPS) so I totally understand! It’s actually kind of refreshing to see your reviews that are just feelings and opinions and you don’t need pictures or flashing lights to catch people’s eye for them to know how much you loved that book (honestly, no offense to people who do – Those are fun too!)
Anyway, I think you get what I’m saying, right? Right! Love you, love your reviews and your posts and I love talking books with you and I’m glad blogging is making you happy and not bogging you down!
Phew! Sorry for the long comment 🙂
I LOVE YOUR LONG COMMENTS!! I am glad that you appreciate my reviews, I try to just put my FEELINGS onto the page 😀
Yahoo! I love feelings on the page! It’s the whole point 🙂
Congrats on your blogoversary-one year is a big achievement. Here’s to many more!
Yeah, I understand what you mean about the stress of blogging. It’s something that happens when I see what other bloggers are doing and I think: oh should I be doing that too? I think it’s only natural to look around at other people in this culture but unless doing all those things to keep up with other people is something I enjoy, I think it’s difficult to maintain. It’s much better to go at my own pace and focus on the things I WANT to do, not the things I think I HAVE to do. It’s also easier to like my blog when it feels like it’s mine and not a reflection of others.
From your post I think you got that and are much more comfortable in your blogging skin. I’m glad you love what you’re doing right now. 🙂
Thank you so much!! For a really long time I obsessed over things like “I should really do a contest” and so on but then I remembered that this blog is, essentially, for ME. Ya know? I do love it now! Thanks again! :]
Congratulations! What a lovely post! 🙂
SQUISHY HUGS!! I love your presence in the blogging community and I’m so happy to be your blogging pal ❤
Hugs right back!! You should know that you are a big reason I decided to blog, your blog was one of the few I read before starting blogging myself!! :]
HAI BOOK SOULMATE!! ❤
I'd give you the biggest hug today if I could, because even though neither of us really likes to touch people, I still like hugging you on occasion. 😛
Congrats on a whole year! I think you've definitely got the right idea about it being FUN and not a job. That's how I've tried to look at things to, and kind of think screw 'em to everything else. I've declined to review a number of ARCs I just wasn't feeling, and haven't stressed about reading others by publication (in fact, I've stopped requesting any at all–I'd rather read things I KNOW I'll love–like Sevenwaters!) The quality and my enjoyment of the books I read has gone up ten fold since I started blogging, because I'm just aware of things I wasn't before, but also because it's like being in this giant book club that I adore. And seriously, friend, if it weren't for you I wouldn't be aware of this world at all, I am so grateful to you for that.
You're awesome and I love your face.
Ohhh friend, what is there to say? You are one of the few people that don’t make me want to puke when they touch/hug me! The list is short 😀
I love that I can decide to stop reading a book I am not enjoying because I don’t HAVE to review it!! It feels so much better. I agree with your comment about it being like a giant book club, I am so grateful for the whole community!!
(and I love your face right back!)
Your blog is 1 today!! Congratulations!! I’m so happy that you’re happy blogging now. It totally shows, and I think that it’s so great that you’re feeling nice and CHILL about things. I’m learning that it’s the only attitude to have without making yourself crazy. But keep up the AWESOME work! I can’t wait to see what incredible things you do now that you’ve got a year under your belt!! Our blogs are the same age! HUZZAH! ❤
Thank you! It sure sped by!! You are one of the peeps that I really appreciate, especially when it comes to certain quotes or parts in certain books (ahem, Tiger Lily) I am so glad to be part of this blogging world!
What a wonderful post, Alyssa. I know exactly what you mean about wanting reviewing and blogging to not feel like work. When we’re in slumps, it just feels awful to try to get, well, “work”, done when all you want to do is read, sloth, do nothing, watch every episode of Doctor Who. (says the girl currently in season two of a Warehouse 13 marathon) I was being completely honest about really wanting to meet up with you and Heidi:) I really do hope it will happen sometime. Just imagine all the nerdery that could happen.
You deserved that praise from Christopher Healy. I loved that review of yours. It made me put the book on hold immediately, though now it is sitting on the reserve shelf hundreds of miles away while I am visiting my sister in Oregon:-/ Anyway, congratulations on your 1-year! I hope you have many more to come:)
Thanks, Flan!! I had such a hard time, I didn’t like that I wasn’t getting excited about the blog because seriously what’s the point if I’m not enjoying it??
We WILL make some sort of plan to all meet up, we just have to.
One of the best things someone can say to me is that my review made them want to immediately read a book. Seriously. When Christopher Healy said he was humbled I almost died, I have had authors thank me before but you aren’t really sure if they MEAN it, ya know?? Anyyywayy…you need to read that book because it made me insanely happy and thanks again!!
Happy Blogaversary! I told S to tell you, but in the event he didn’t, I shall! Thank you for turning me onto books I may not have discovered on my own, and thank you for making me feel so not alone in my feels with books. You are awesome, and I don’t say that about many!
He felt SOOO bad because late Friday night I was like “So..I keep asking you if you’ve read my blog because its my blogoversary today and well…it’s kind of a big deal..” So then he was like OMG I know and I totally forgot! He should be ashamed!!
You are so welcome and I am grateful that you are a part of this community as well, it’s hard to find people that “get” you and you make me feel less alone!
Happy happy blogoversary!
No doubt blogging is stressful, but when you let that ease up a little, it’s so worth it for the enhanced enjoyment of books Heidi mentions.
You’ve got a lot to be proud of.
Here’s to many more blogoversaries! ❤
Thank you so much, April!
I don’t think I realized how much fun I wasn’t having until I stepped back for a bit. Now I feel loads better! Thank YOU for having a blog that gave me an idea of what to strive for before I even started blogging! :]
This is awesome!! Happy blogoversary or blog birthday or happy day in general!!
With blogging, you just have to do what makes you happy. I love that I’ve finally found you and that we can talk about the awesome things like LABYRINTH. And fantasy books. And how much I need to read Scarlet NOW and AAAHHH The Book of Lost Things.
Congratulations! 🙂 Sorry I missed this while I was taking a little bloggy break. Eek.
Thank you!! For so many things! You are one of my favorite bloggers for sure because you get all the EXCITEMENT over the THINGS!! 😀