It’s Been A Hell Of A Year, or It’s My Blogoversary

A year ago, on July 29, 2009 I signed into blogger and created my own book blog, inspired by Kristen my friend from goodreads, also owner of Bookworming in the 21st Century. From there, I crossposted back reviews from goodreads, and did a whole lot of memes. I commented like crazy and eventually created a twitter handle, later changing to reflect my blog, because too many IRL people had my original twitter. I’ve met some bloggers in person. I’ve made friends I hold very dear to my heart. I’ve had my perceptions and ideas challenged. I have faced my white privilege, although that is something I do still struggle with. I’ve learned to look at books a bit more deeper, I am still learning how to examine books in social context, and through a gendered perspective. I am not as good at it as Nymeth, not even close, but I still enjoy engaging with books a bit more deeper. One practice I had never heard of prior to blogging but now care deeply about is whitewashing, or when ethnic minorities are misrepresented on the covers of books. Totes not cool, friends.

I thought I would maybe share some pros and cons of blogging I have come to discover over the past year.

Pros:
Meeting people who are just like me! – I am an awesome person who likes books a whole lot, so it’s so awesome to meet others who are also like this.

I’ve learned about so many awesome books I would not have touched prior to blogging – Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness, Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver, etc.

My book event attendance has expanded exponentially. Before book blogging, I’d never been to a signing or a book related conference. Now, I’ve been to two local-ish signings and BEA.

I have a place to gush about books I love, and moan about books I hate. It’s nice to have a place that is just mine, to be creative.

I’ve won a few contests, and not gonna lie, winning books and book related clothing is so awesome.

I’ve received books for review. This is a two-edged sword, which I will explain under cons. On the pro side, it’s very awesome that my opinion is respected enough that I get to check out new books before the general public. I’ve worked very hard to get to this point.

Vlogging. What better way for me to put all of my zany self out there by sitting in front of a camera and talking bout the books I got during the week. I love making vlogs and have a blast doing it every week.

Heightened Awareness. I am aware of bad relationships/rape culture in Y.A. books. I am aware of a lack of color and gay perspectives in publishing. I think it’s so important to know about the issues. On the plus side, I am also aware of upcoming awesome looking books, and cool sales held by book stores. I am aware of how great indies actually are.

Cons:
I am somewhat of a recluse now. Guys, I used to be very social and hang out with my friends all of the time. We’d go places like the movies, clubs, mini-golfing, you get the picture. Not so much any more, I am not sure if this is because I spend so much time blogging, because my friends live far away, or what. But I do miss that social aspect of my life. I actually am working pretty hard to get this back, so if you see less posts from me, don’t hate me, I’m just trying to get my social life back on track.

The drama. Anyone who says there is no dramz in book blogging is a liar. It’s so easy to get caught up in this drama and irrationally dislike someone because of it. I am guilty of this. I am also guilty of being unable to ignore the drama. It’s like a train wreck and I can’t look away.

Mail. I have never ever been super anxious about the mail, but if I don’t get a package, I feel a little pang inside.

Weight gain. I’ve gained like five pounds because of blogging. Instead of working out, I check my google reader. I know, five pounds sounds like nothing, but my bones are very small, so to me, it’s a lot more than what I want.

ARCs. I love them. I hate them. I have shelf after shelf after shelf of gorgeous, wonderful books that I have purchased, but have not read. Instead, I choose the review book, because I am a magpie. If it’s shiny, I want it.

Anxiety. I get anxious if I read a book longer than 350 pages. Heaven forbid I read a 1000 page adult historical fiction or Stephen King novel. I am anxious if I don’t post for three days. I am anxious when I lose a follower. I am anxious if my follower gain is slow. I am anxious if I get zero comments. I am anxious I look ugly in my vlogs. I get anxious that other bloggers don’t like me and I don’t fit into the blogosphere.

My bank account. I have spent thousands on books this past year. I do not exaggerate. If I had just used the library or read books I already own, I would probably be half way to paying off my car. However, on the plus side, I’ve helped support debut authors and PoC authors. Plus, my book collection is really bangin’.

Overall, though, I look forward to another year of blogging. I hope this year I find myself able to strike a better balance of my real life and my online life. I am so glad to have come in contact with all of you, via comments, twitter, email, or your own blog.

About April (Books&Wine)

April is 28 years old and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. In her free time she can be found reading, working out, or eating junk food. She often wears her sunglasses at night.

Comments

  1. bermudaonion says:

    I love the way you did this post! I try very hard to steer clear of all the drama and have finally gotten to the point where I'm okay when I don't get a package. Happy blogiversary!

  2. Aleksandra says:

    Happy blogoversary & great post 🙂

  3. YAY HAPPY BLOGOVERSARY!!!! <3

  4. Happy blogoversary! As a super-new blogger, it's nice to hear what you have learned over the past year. I'm already feeling your 'anxiety' section so hopefully that will dull down shortly!

  5. I think you were very honest in the pro/con area. I feel some of those things too (anxiety, spending money anyone?), but I usually keep them to myself. Nice post, and happy blogoversary!

  6. happy blogoversary and i love reading the post!hope many more years to come ;p

  7. brandileigh2003 says:

    Happy blogoversary!

  8. cynthial11 says:

    Happy Blogoversary!!! =D

  9. Ronnica says:

    Congrats on your blogiversary! So many bloggers don't even make it to a year. Sounds like you've already discovered much of the good–and bad–of blogging.

    I make very good use of our library. I just can't justify buying books if I can get them for free. I try to keep my buying down to an $30 order every 2 or 3 months or so.

  10. You're bang on with the pros and cons! I wish we could all do this without being so anxious all the time!

  11. Happy Blogoversary! I love this post. Theres so much I have to agree on with blogging. I too have been obsessively checking my mail and I get anxious if I don't get a package when its been like a month. Plus if it weren't for blogging most of us would have never known about BEA. So congrats one your blog's one year and 700 followers!

  12. This is why we would pretty much be best friends in real life! lol. I appreciate the fact that you are so open to sharing these things!

    I agree with you on every stinking one of them..right on down to the 5 lb weight gain! lol. I thank you so much for this post because, to be honest, I just thought it was me. I felt like I was such a crazy person for getting anxious about all those things, about staying in more than I usually do, and for caring to much if other bloggers don't like me. Honestly, I don't know why I care about that last one. I know that I'm fabulous in my real life 🙂

    Anyways, congrats on hitting the one year mark! I'm so happy to be one of those people that reads your blog! You've done a great job!

  13. Enbrethiliel says:

    +JMJ+

    Happy Blogoversary! =D

    I've been blogging for almost seven years (though my book blog is fairly new) and I can tell you that the anxiety over lost followers or weeks of slim postings never goes away! 😉

    And oh, my bank account started suffering long before I became a book blogger. In fact, I think I decided subconsciously to be a book blogger so that I'd have an excuse! =P When my friends heard how much I had spent on books in a single year, they were aghast . . . but I suppose I could find some parallel in what others spend for movies, for new clothes, or other personal pleasures. =)

  14. Heather J. says:

    Congrats April! It was great to room with you at BEA. 🙂

  15. Juju at Tales of Whimsy.com says:

    Happy Anniversary!

    I LOVE and live by my library. I'm proud to say: I own very little of what I read. I only buy what I love.

    You always come out cute in your vlogs!

    I <3 mail now.

    Like a train wreck, ya gotta look away to avoid getting sucked in 😉

    Kudos on the honest post.
    I admire that about you! 🙂

  16. Happy Blogiversary, April!

    I can totally relate to both cons and pros you listed.

  17. Yay! I created a MONSTER blogger. 😀 Y'know I love you but don't blame me about your extra five pounds. *wink*

    Sounds like some of us should balance out our lives a bit.. blogging sure can take it over! I've been better this summer about getting to the pool and the workout center. Doesn't help that my hubby has his own hobby of playing video games!

  18. aww! happy blogversary!

  19. WOOT BLOGOVERSARY. You're one of my favourite bloggers. I agree with all the pros and cons. Nice post!

  20. Great post!

    I love that we have many of the same pros and cons… I wonder if *most* bloggers do. I love the YA book blog community, though I too am guilty of holding grudges and disliking specific bloggers occasionally. It's so confusing because sometimes things don't translate or come across the way they are intended, so I never really know it is all just a big misunderstanding or something more!

    Well, after that novel, CONGRATS! 🙂

  21. ~Jennifer~ says:

    Congrats on a year! You're pros and cons are awesome and I totally agree with all of them. Except for vlogging because I haven't got the webcam or the nerve yet.

    I love your blog. You've got something fantastic here and I hope for many more blogoversaries in your future!

  22. Christie (The Fiction Enthusiast) says:

    Happy Blogoversary! Fabulous list of pros and cons. I relate to pretty much all of them. I hope you find the healthy balance over the next year. If you discover any secrets please feel free to share 😉

  23. Happy blogging anniversary! Blogging definitely has both pros and cons, but at this point it's difficult to imagine my life without it.

    PS: Thank you for the kind words, and I think you ARE good at it! I love how you're willing to question things and think outside the box. So many people just get defensive and shrug those issues off.

  24. Happy One Year!
    I am still pretty new to your blog, but I am having fun here and will be back. I like your pro and con list. That's a great idea.

  25. Allison says:

    yaaaaay…

    Happy Blogoversary!! <3333

  26. happy blogoversary and I enjoyed your very intellingent post

  27. Lynsey Newton says:

    Happy Bloggiversary! I laughed when I read this post as I'm the same. I always look at how many pages a book has and I too get anxious if it's over 350 words LOL.

    We're all the same though, I've spent thousands, haven't read nearly as many of the new books as I want to but somehow I keep buying more. We're supporting the cause. At least that's what I keep telling myself 😉

  28. Happy Bloggoversary!

    I hear ya on the getting anxious to read "long" books, lol… I realized the other day how many more books I could review if I stuck to short books for a while… and then I thought about how ridiculous it was to try to read only short books, lol

  29. happy Blogiversary. Relate to some of the pro's and con's too!

  30. Emily a.k.a WilowRaven : ) says:

    There was something in the water last summer – so many blogs started up! Love yours 🙂 Congrats!!!

  31. Happy blogoversary 😀

  32. Happy Blogoversary! 🙂 I can certainly sympathize on the bank account problem. My TBR just keeps on piling up because I'm buying books faster than I can read them.

  33. FionaChan says:

    happy blogiversary! 😀

  34. Alexia561 says:

    Happy Blogoversary! Love this post, as you are right on with your pros and cons! Here's to another great year!

  35. Happy bloggiversary to you!! I can totally relate to all of your cons and many of these are reasons why I took an extended blog break earlier this year. I actually started a new blog so I could encompass ALL of my interests but it still seems that the bookish material is the highest. Reclusiveness was a big problem for me–I would decline offers during the week because I either needed to read or blog. I think I might have also lost track of my husband. 🙂 I think balance in life is REALLY important!!

    Best wishes for the future!

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