Thursday, November 13, 2014

A Community of Love and Friendship

Being a blogger is nothing short of spectacular. Sure, I have moments of jealousy and envy when I see book hauls with the coolest pre-pub ARCs. Sure, I've dealt with the feelings of insecurity and worry that no one likes my blog and that I'm not doing enough when everyone else are creating their own cool features. I've been stressed out, and I've put myself in pretty incredible reading and blogging slumps before (October had been especially bad in this regard). Blogging almost feels like work sometimes, with the amount of energy, time, and commitment it takes to keep up with one.

But it's also filled with some of the most rewarding moments and experiences. It's also filled with some of the most amazing people I've ever "met" in my life.  This is what I have found since I've created my blog, this community of love. A community of like-minded people who are so passionate about books that they sometimes sound like crazy people. They are people who love reading and understand the pains of having to wait for sequels and of the highly anticipated reads that won't be out for years. They feel for you when you complain about your mile-long TBR list and they know what it's like to read a book that changes your life completely. They don't laugh when you fangirl too hard or tell you you're wrong when you rant about a book that they liked. They don't judge you for what you read, but rather, they give you recommendations based on what you like or what you might be up to trying. Whenever you add a new book boyfriend to the list, they'll just shake their head because they know it's no use to tell you that fictional men aren't real. And they won't yell at you when you capslock your love for the characters or series or author on Twitter, because they do it too.

But it's not just a community that talks about books. It's a community built on the shared passion for reading but one that strengthens through the bonds we create and the trust we place in each other. It's a community that builds each other up when someone feels down and out of sorts. Who come to know more personal details about each other than the people in their lives. Who take a stand when something isn't right. I've watched that happen time and time again, but never more so than in October when Kathleen Hale stripped away our sense of safety and security, who made some of us quit and give up, who had others nervous and scared to continue blogging and posting reviews. It was a time that made many of us take a step back and reexamine everything we've been doing. I know I had to do that. I didn't know Blythe personally, but I'd been following her reviews and on Twitter for over a year. I'm only a two year old blogger, so I'm still a baby. I still don't have many strong connections in the community. But I still felt the effects of what KH did, so much so I couldn't find the passion in me to blog, or even read. However, what came out of it was a force to be reckoned with. The way everyone responded and rallied against KH was amazing; the love and support was a whirlwind force that says we take care of our own and we're not okay with this.

Because we aren't just book bloggers; we're all friends. There are many people I've met who know more about me and my life than my own friends and family. If you follow me on Twitter, there's an even greater chance you know more because I use it to rant all the time. I use it to say things that I won't out loud. And I know that when I write personal posts and share intimate details about my life and my past, I'll have someone (even if it's just one person) who will listen with an open and kind heart. And who will give me support and encouragement when I need it.

And I know I'm not the only one who feels that way. I've read posts where people shared their experiences about very personal and sensitive subjects. Bullying, depression, anxiety, suicide attempts. Both from bloggers and authors. I think, in some way, reading those posts gave me a confidence and a sense of safety to share my past. I don't mind writing personal posts because it's therapeutic to get everything off my chest. To take a weight off my shoulders that had been pressing down and hurting me. Sometimes I think it might be because I can't see your face when you're reading them and, therefore, I won't know what you really think. But another part of me knows that's not true.

It's this community. It's these amazing people I've met and talk to on a daily basis. It's their comments and tweets that make me feel like a part of something truly wonderful. Something special. Something that I never knew I was missing in my life until I decided to start a blog one day in November of 2012.

Sometimes I wish I would have been a bit more open in the beginning, as I didn't really start socializing until this past summer. I'm a very shy person, even online. Maybe especially online. It's a lot harder to judge who someone is, what they really think of you, and how they took what you said. I still feel awkward sometimes when I'm tweeting at people (especially if it's someone I consider a "big" blogger). I feel so small in a large community, but I've made some great bloggy friends. People that I talk to consistently and whose blogs or Twitters I visit often. Shannon, Val, Kaitlin, Mary, Summer, Diamond, Amber, Veronika. I love talking to these gals. I love chatting about books, obsessing over TV shows (I'm looking at you, Shannon), and having long Twitter conversations until I can't see all of my notifications anymore (AMBER!). I love doing buddy reads and giving out recommendations (and also receiving them). And I adore getting to know everyone the longer I do this. I'm so glad to have "met" you all. :)

I'm planning on staying a book blogger for a long time, for years to come. And this has already been an amazing and awesome start. I know I say stuff like this all the time (and you might even be sick of it), but blogging really has changed my life. And I feel lucky to know so many people, to be a part of this wonderful community. Because it's not just a community of book bloggers; it's a community of love and respect and friendship

9 comments:

  1. wth I think my comment got eatened? Hmm, maybe I dreamed that I commented on this post?

    Um but yeah. I swear if you stop blogging, I will hunt you down. Wherever you are. I mean I kind of know where you live at the moment, so it shouldn't be too hard to find you

    I really love blogging, but it is a lot of work, and it also eats up my reading time (how ironic). BUT THAT'S OK. Because you're right, YOU MEET SO MANY BEAUTIFUL AND AWESOME BLOGGERS that are adorable and cute, and I would be so sad if they stopped blogging.

    So yeah. LETS KEEP SUPPORTING THIS COMMUNITY :D

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    1. You might have dreamed it? Maybe it was when you were in your sick haze. AND I PROMISE I WILL NEVER STOP BLOGGING. Yeah, basically, it wouldn't take you much to find me. And that could totally be Hale-level creepy if I didn't know you so well. :P

      Oh, it very much it eats up my reading time! And my life time. But yeah, meeting so many awesome bloggers (and authors!) makes everything worth it. LIKE YOU!! :)

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  2. Aw, this is so sweet! And TRUE! Seriously, that is why I do this too. The people are just incredible, and the community is so supportive. And I was the same way, I waited SO long to get out and socialize, and I regret it for sure. But hey, at least we did it eventually, right? :)

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    1. Everything you said, YES!! And hey, we eventually socialized and ended up becoming friends so I guess it was all good. :)

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  3. Thanks for mentioning me! :) I really hope we'll be interacting even more in the future. :)) I thought the same when all the bloggers stood behind Blythe and didn't take the bullshit that Kathleen Hale was the victim... I love this community even though I don't feel like I know that many bloggers. I do feel a "bit" jealous whenever I see a cool book haul, like you said but I don't have the feeling that I have to be better than everyone else or have to compare myself to others all the time. Which is something I sometimes feel in my everyday life so blogging to me is like a breath of fresh air if I want to be dramatic. Anyways, would you like to buddy-read a book with me one of these days? I know you must have a lot of other things to do but it would be great. And I think you mentioned before that you like to buddy read books, sorry if I'm wrong.
    Good luck in the future. :)

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    1. I really hope we do too. :) And aw, I'm so glad blogging can do that for you, give you an escape from your life and things that aren't so great (I feel the exact same way most of the time, though for different reasons). Also, thank you; wishing you all the best for your blog. :)

      PS: I would absolutely love to do a buddy read with you!! I adore doing them (except I stopped planning them with people in Goodreads groups because of the crappy experiences of this past summer). But yeah, if you ever see that we haven't read the same book, let me know! I don't really have the time right now but I'm open to setting up buddy reads during my Christmas break (after December 12th). And I'm actually going to be making Goodreads shelves of books I have in my possession and library reads that I want to pick up. I can let you know when I do that, and you can just let me know which book you want to read together. Just shoot me a message on GR or on here. :)

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    2. Sounds like a plan. Message me on GR of you make that shelf. :)

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  4. You know, this post couldn't have summed up the book blogging community better! I think I did just mention this in my previous comment, but it really is an amazing place to be. I have to say, I loved seeing everyone rally together when it came to the KH incident, even though it was a good situation to be in, but we know that we do take care of each other.

    Yes, blogging does take a lot of time and effort, and when I have school and I am trying to balance everything, sometimes it does get pretty hard. But I push on because I know it's worth it. We're helping authors, talking and making friends which each other, and when all is good and well, having fun as well ^^

    Thank you for sharing such a heart warming post with us all <3

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    1. Thank YOU for such an awesome comment! I'm so glad to be a part of this community, and even though blogging takes such time and commitment, I wouldn't trade it for the world. And I'm glad that blogging is the same way for you!! :)

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Comments always make me smile. :) Seriously. Even if you comment on the post weeks or months later, it makes my day! So don't hesitate to leave your thoughts even if it's been a long time since the post was published. I'll try to reply to you, especially if you ask a question, but sometimes life happens. But I do read and appreciate every single one of them because I know how hard it can be to find the time or energy to comment. So a heartfelt THANK YOU for brightening my day when you do. <3