Sunday, March 17, 2013

The Great Big Cheesy Post of Bookish Positivity

Warning: you may need some wine to complement the cheese that is to follow.
you guys make me smile like this

Okay, so I'll be the first to admit that I fall prey to all the insecurities/thoughts that many bloggers endure, including (but not limited to):

"Why does x publisher hate me?"
"I WOULD CUT A BISH FOR THAT ARC"
"No one even reads my blog anyway."
"Why do I do this again?"
"I don't even want to blog anymore."
"I have no idea what to write about that's worth reading."

And those pesky feelings of exclusion, inferiority, competition, self-blog-loathing, etc. It can be all-consuming at times.

It's so easy to lose sight of why we do this, with these feelings running rampant. Seriously, there are days I don't even log into Blogger because I don't want to see others' brilliant ideas, when I can't even come up with enough words to put together a decent review. (Which is why I haven't written one in over a week.)

I hate the times where there's conflict and negativity swirling around. But you know what? That's human nature. We are in a big bubble of bookish people. Despite the fact that we all have one very similar interest, the community is still jam-packed with a variety of people with a variety of opinions. And that's okay. But conflict is unavoidable. It just is.

But, more frequently, there are the times when the book blogging community is the greatest place to be: bountiful bookish discussions, excitement over an upcoming release, author events, movie news (VAMPIRE ACADEMY. HELL TO THE YES.) Not to mention it is ever-growing. I can't tell you how many new faces I see pop up from a retweet or a "hey! Check out New Blogger's blog. It's fantastic!" from a trusted bookish friend.

And so I present to you the reasons that the book blogging community makes me smile so wide that I feel like my face might fall off:

My TBR is now monstrous.
Honestly, I've been stalking so many blogs for years now. Back in 2008, I would scour the Amazon discussions for "If I Liked Twilight, What's Next?" Because I simply had to read more. That was my only source back then. I knew diddly-squat of GoodReads or what a book blog was. I kept track of all the books I wanted to read in a physical notebook. I even had a nifty little highlighting system of the books I'd read and the series I'd conquer. TOTALLY gratifying, by the way, but I digress. Fast forward 5 years and BAM. My GoodReads to-read shelf is over 1000. Unrealistic? Sure. But I wouldn't know about half of these books without the recommendations of fellow readers and Twitter-stalking all of you.

24/7 Reader Support.
I'll tell you what: I am never at a loss of people with whom to discuss my most recent enthralling read. SOMEONE out there has read and loved a book that I love and is more than willing to drop everything they're doing to discuss it with me. I can't do that with just anyone. Thanks to blogging, I've got thousands of fellow readers at my fingertips, just waiting to delve into the ins and outs of hypothesizing what the author will put us through with the next book, why I ship these characters and not others, OMG CAN YOU BELIEVE WHAT TAHEREH MAFI WROTE? (I lost count of the conversations I've had about Unravel Me.) Any time, any place, any hour of the day, the book blogging community has 24/7 bookish emotional meltdown support. 

We get to talk to/meet our own personal Justin Biebers.
Let's face it: authors are our superstars. And Twitter and blogging provides us the opportunity to actually interact with them. UNFATHOMABLE. I can't tell you how much I almost peed my pants when Melissa Marr tweeted me back the first time? And when I met Richelle Mead? Let's just say I was reduced to a rambling imbecile. But you know what? These authors are sweet as pie and receptive to all our incessant fangirling. In what other community does this happen?!

Avatars turned IRLBFFs.
I can't think of a better feeling than meeting a bookish friend for the first time in person. Don't you love the fact that it's not even awkward? Because you've talked to them so much about favorite books, favorite characters, most anticipated reads, etc. that it's like you have known them all your life? Yeah, book blogging did that. My daily life wouldn't be what it is now without my bookish friends. 

The Total Generosity of Other Bloggers.
Didn't get that ARC that you wanted? I GUARANTEE that there's a blogger who did get it and is willing to share it with you, wanting nothing in return. 

Innovation and Humor.
Book Bloggers are some of the wittiest people I know. Most of us love cats, coffee, Internet memes, and sarcasm. I can always count on my book blogger friends to bring the LOLs. I can't tell you how many times I've laughed at A Reader of Fictions' Cover Snark or Forever Young Adults' Vampire Diaries posts or Cuddlebuggery's In 10 Lines. Not to mention I've loved participating in In My Mailbox and Top Ten Tuesday over the years. And I'll forever love Anna's multitudes of stick figure videos. 

Variation.
Guys, I don't mean to sound like a dating service. Truly, I don't. But in this community, there is a bookish BFF for everyone. And there is a place for everyone. Variety is, for real, the spice of life. And there are thousands of readers out there that are just a click away, waiting to discuss any and everything. The best part? The feeling of community. Sometimes the collective passion books is just so massive and ginormous that I can't even articulate my heart-explody love for all the books and all the bloggers and all the authors.

I don't regret joining this community, because so much joy has resulted from it. And I'd do well to remember that when I get down and out about blogging.





38 comments:

  1. Thank you forever for providing perspective and reminding us why we do what we do! oxo

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    1. XOX back at you! I figure I bitch too much sometimes, so I'd try and flip it around ;)

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  2. I think I choked up a little XD No really, awesome post. It makes me feel more invigorated to actually finishing the post I started hours ago. Fangirling probably defines my identity when blogging (and on Twitter, which I agree is the greatest thing evaaa). Love the kitty pic :D

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    1. Kitties make EVERYTHING better. And high five to the fangirling. THERE'S NO BETTER WAY TO BE.

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  3. This is a great post. I just started book blogging a month ago for the very reason that I love to read and wanted to find some people to discuss books with. I have found the book blogging community to be amazing and my TBR list has quadrupled (seriously, when will I read them all). Sometimes I worry that I'm not doing it right but your post reminds me that there is no right way and that as long as we're fair to everyone and credit those who deserve it, our blogs are our own creation and all unique.

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    1. First off, WELCOME to this amazing community! Second, YES, absolutely. You are so right. We are all unique and as my friend Jamie has said (seriously, check her out at http://www.perpetualpageturner.com) there really isn't a right or wrong way to blog. That's the beauty of it :)

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  4. YESSSS, this post is so amazing and is giving me a lot of fluttery happy feelings!

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    1. That's exactly what I was going for! :) Thank you, Steph!

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  5. I love this because I am so new to this entire world of blogging/goodreads/twitter, etc. I do have a goodreads, but I still have my notebook list. haha Until I met Jamie and was awakened to book blogs and the bookish community in general, my only outlet was google! I'd sit around and just google nonstop... "what to read after the hunger games, after divergent, after shatter me, etc, etc." Now that I am surrounded by all these book rockers I don't think I'll EVER have to do a 'what to read' search ever again. I am so happy that I've gotten to know so many of you! I used to feel like I was going to explode after reading a book because no one cared! I was warned about all the drama and negativity that goes on. It was refreshing to see a post like this highlighting all the positives!! I better get to meet you someday!!

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    1. That's seriously sad that you were warned about the drama/negativity. When I started out in 2010, I saw little to no drama AT ALL. I don't know where it began or where it all came from, but it SUCKS. I stay pretty aware of the drama (I have a curious mind, IT'S A FLAW) but that doesn't mean it doesn't make me sad. I, for one, am so glad you started blogging and YES, we must meet someday <3

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  6. LOVE YOU. <333 You know all my feels about this. I hope, as a community, we can scale back on the drama and some of the more negative attitudes and behaviors and accentuate the positives like this! THERE IS SO MUCH GOOD or else we all would have quit a long time ago!

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    1. NO JOKE. But seriously, I don't remember the drama being this bad when we started, do you??

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  7. Ha, when I was in middle school/high school, I would go to the library with my mom, wander around and grudgingly pick out one book because nothing sounded very good to me, though I DID want to read. Now my GR to-read list has over 3500 books on it. Talk about a change, though that started before blogging, it's more intense now.

    Yes to having people to talk about books with. I'm always so sad when I'm the first to read something, because I can't go over it with anyone.

    Book bloggers are so nice. I've made so many real friends, even if I haven't seen their faces irl. And we share books around and it's wonderful.

    OMG, I'm in this post. I was not prepared for that. Thank you so much for the shout out!

    I never get tired of these posts about why book blogging is awesome and how we all need to just be us. It's so true, and it warms my heart every damn time, just like a well done romance arc with bantering and swoon.

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    1. HAHA, you're welcome. I seriously look forward to Cover Snarks. HOW U SO WITTY?

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  8. After seeing lots of negative posts, it's awesome to see such a positive post! So glad I saw it retweeted :)

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    1. I'm glad you stopped by! Anything I can do to pump a little positive into a book blogger's day :)

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  9. I love the feeling that after I read a book, there's someone out there I can talk about it with! Hooray for emotional meltdowns and shipping! It's so great to see someone talking about everything they LOVE about book blogging.

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    1. YES, it's like having dedicated customer support ALL THE TIME.

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  10. Great post! I love seeing positive things about blogging and the bookish community! I think lately we've been so bogged down with negativity that it's hard to think of the glass being half full. There's so much to be thankful for!

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    1. I sometimes get pretty "wahhh" about blogging, I won't lie. It's time to turn the frown upside down, and it helps to have some affirmations on hand!

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  11. I love this post! It's so easy to focus on the negativity. But it's so good to highlight the many positives in book blogging, too. And I love having a huge TBR list, too. Sure, it can be overwhelming, but it also means that there are SOOOO many good books out there to read. I won't run out anytime soon :)

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    1. It's SO easy to focus on the negative. But seriously, the negative is everywhere. And if that's the case, FORGE YOUR OWN POSITIVES!

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  12. I know I already said this to you on Twitter, but Jen, YOU ROCK. I'm happy that you put up this post in the midst of all the craziness that the book blogging community has been going through lately, most of it negative. Your post is a bright beacon of positivity and I LOVE IT. I love that you chose to highlight some of the best parts about book blogging, especially when it comes to the community. It's nice to be reminded of the things that are so appealing and good and true about it, and in such a personal, relevant way. You did a wonderful job and I love it and you loads xo

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    1. Thank you, ma'am :) Your compliments are the best, EVER. I love this community, forever & always.

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  13. LOL I love this post so much. I have to say, the author interactions on Twitter were a real surprise for me when I started. Within a month of posting reviews on my blog, I had a mention from Jane Green and a RT from Emily Giffin. I very nearly died. Authors are amazeballs.

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    1. AREN'T THEY? I can't even tame the fangirl sometimes. AND I DON'T WANT TO! That is so awesome for you :)

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  14. SO MUCH LOVE for this post! This is wonderful, and you make me smile, too! ♥

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  15. I love cheese. and I LOVE this post. =) Thank you.

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  16. I could go all long and rambly about this post (it really is a blessing and a curse...) but I will leave it short and sweet: I absolutely, positively, freaking loved it! Stuff has been feeling incredibly stressful lately and this was the exact pick-me-up that I needed! Plus, you put a cute cat picture on here and I am quite partial to cute cat pictures ;) Thanks for being awesome and writing up an equally awesome post <3

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  17. aw, this post is so great!!! i TOTALLY get what you mean about whining but in the end, i just don't know what i'll do without book blogging. it's easy to forget the positives sometimes but there are so many!! yesss to the generosity of bloggers, they are SO NICE. thanks for this post!

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  18. do I have the best co-blogger or what?

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  19. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU FOR THIS. You have no idea how much I needed to read this. I am very new to the book blogging world and I'm not entirely sure what I'm doing all the time and it can be a little daunting (Especially when I'm really good at stalking and read about the blogging drama-rama on twitter). I've had a few oh-my-gosh-will-everyone-hate-me-I-just-want-to-gush-about-my-love-for-reading type freak outs. BUT I'm happy to report that every one has been SO NICE and this post just makes me feel even better!

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  20. Love this post-it is so helpful to be reminded of all the great things in our community! One thing I would add is the generally excellent spelling and grammar of our community since we value writing! I cringe when I read some comment sections in other corners of the internet.

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  21. Great Post. Having recently started my own blog i certainly have fallen prey to insecurities. I honestly didn't know what to expect when I started my blog a few days ago I certainly did not expect it to be this difficult. I Also had to make a twitter... and a tumblr.... a face book page for my blog,and i had to do the Google thing as well. Having never used any of the following my journey so far has been a bit frustrating but i am having fun and rite now that's all that truly matters to me. Hopefully over time i will refine my blogging and writing skills and Hopefully i will become efficient in Blogging. (I Hope soon people will also view it and better yet read one of my posts!) LOl Thanks for the inspiration !
    My Blog: http://shanesbooksandreviews.blogspot.com/

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