Monday September 12th: CommunityThis past year of blogging has been pretty rough for me, due to real-life upheavals. I entered my senior year of college, wrote a 140-page thesis, graduated college, and moved to the other side of the world to start my first full-time job. In the meantime, my blogging has fallen by the wayside. I don't read as much as I once did. I find it harder to write reviews now. Some days, I don't even have the energy to check my email or go on Twitter. And I admit that I haven't read blogs in months. Sometimes it seems like the only connection I have remaining to the YA world is through my hourly perusals of Goodreads (can't stay away, love that site) and the review books that my parents tell me still show up for me at their home back in the States.
While the awards are a fun part of BBAW, they can never accurately represent the depth and breadth of diversity in the book blogging community. Today you are encouraged to highlight a couple of bloggers that have made book blogging a unique experience for you. They can be your mentors, a blogger that encouraged you to try a different kind of book, opened your eyes to a new issue, made you laugh when you needed it, or left the first comment you ever got on your blog. Stay positive and give back to the people who make the community work for you!
I'll admit: many days I wonder if I should even continue blogging. I don't have as much energy as I once did, nor, unfortunately, the motivation. There are a lot of things going through my mind right now that I'm struggling to fit into my understanding of myself and my identity. Some days I wake up and feel like I've completely lost the part of me that knew how to read and talk about books and maybe even write. I don't feel much like myself right now, and I don't know if it's because my new experiences have yet to have worked their way into my identity, or if it's because I'm really changing, and letting some things in my past go.
Anyway, it needed to be said. It's why I haven't been around, and why participating this week will be really hard for me. I'm going to try, because BBAW is such a wonderful way of recognizing the strength of the book blogging community. But it's a community that I find harder and harder to be a part of, and at the moment I have no solution or inkling of how things will turn out.
This past year, the bloggers who have mattered the most to me are the ones with whom I've formed friendships outside of blogging, those who have become more than just a blog name or Twitter profile pic. Those who know me halfway well know that I don't make friends easily. I can do the acquaintance or stranger thing, but the friend thing is a whole different story. That being said, once I make a friend, I typically keep a friend. I feel fortunate that I count the following incredible people as friends, despite the distance, or the scarcity of contact, or whatever other things may separate us:
|Totally taken from Jamie.|
Capillya of That Cover Girl: another blogger with the knack of making lasting connections with bloggers. Not only is her blog unique, smart, and sassy, but Capillya is also a lovely person, always willing to say something that makes me smile.
Adele of Persnickety Snark: I guess I technically met up with Adele in person for the first time last summer, during the previous year's round of BBAW, but I have a feeling that that won't be the only time I see her. I have so much respect for this accomplished and intelligent woman, what with her seemingly single-handedly running the YA librarian/blogging bizness down in Australia. Adele, I'm closer to you now, so I'm planning to visit you soon!
And these ladies here:
Lenore, for being pretty much the first blogger to comment on my blog back when it was shiny and brand new over two and a half years ago. I will never forget. And Frankie, who is cool and talented and brings the sun with her wherever she goes. Other Philly book-loving people who have bonded over the past year because all the cool kids seem to be in NYC and we made our own parties in the Philly area.
And my friends on Goodreads, for making me feel like I'm still in the loop in terms of YA talk, and for accepting what little I can give in terms of comments, status updates, and reviews. Including but not limited to: Nomes, Nic, oliviasbooks, Gabrielle Carolina, John, Aleeza, ohgodmybrainisshuttingdownandIcan'tremember.
Author friend who has become a role model for me not just in terms of literary talent: Beth.
To people in my life who were friends first and then bookish connections second. I love having friends who also love to talk YA books with me. Never stop being you.
And... just, everyone else that I forgot and shouldn't have. Basically everyone and anyone who talks to me on Twitter and makes me still feel like a normal, fully functioning person. Thank you; I need to go back to my cave now.