One year of Book Blogging
I wrote this post a month ago, after I realised I forgot my one year blogoversary. I haven’t had a chance to post it yet, since I’ve been swamped with exams lately. I had 8 of them in 16 days, which is almost impossible. My body didn’t agree, my mind didn’t either. With only two to go and freedom getting nearer every hour, I’m slowly beginning to feel human again. I desperately want to start blogging again, ’cause I’ve got lots of stuff waiting for you! For now, a post about blogging and what it has meant to me.
It has been one year (a little more by now, but let’s just say it’s been more or less a year) and here I still am. I had no idea this would grow out to be such a big part of my life. In many ways reading has always been one of the things that defined me. I never thought, though, that I would turn my passion into some kind of “hobby” and do something more with it. 3 year ago I hadn’t even heard about the term “book blogging” and it was a great experience getting to know the blogosphere and all the book blogs over the next 2 years. I wanted to do the same. I wanted to share, to do something more with all the books on my shelves. I wanted to join in.
But I’m Belgian.
How was I going to pull that off? English is my second language (it should be French, but who am I kidding, I suck at French), Dutch (actually Flemish) being my first. How could I possibly compete with the book bloggers from the US of the UK? I was very insecure about this and in a way I still am. I still make mistakes and I probably will keep on making mistakes. My view of the book blogging world was one of an English-dominated community. I honestly thought I could never live up to those standards. I know my English is far from perfect, but I’m not one to give up that easily. I told myself I would at least try. So after blogging in Dutch for 6 months, I switched to English. It’s difficult to get an audience, but I guess all beginning book bloggers are faced with this ‘problem’. Slowly I got some followers and views and I felt like I really had accomplished something. I tried and I succeeded, in my humble opinion. I’m proud of that, I’m proud of the fact that I love Fantasy books to death, I’m proud I made a blog about it and that after one year, it’s still here and I’m still reviewing. Though there are a lot of people (even friends) that gave me weird looks when I told them about it, I don’t care. This is something I’ve accomplished, something I love working on, love to spend time on. I don’t care if they think its geeky or lame. This is my thing and I really love doing it.
I’m still not a big player in the community, but I’m really pleased with how far I’ve come this last year. I don’t want to be one of the big ones per se, I just want to share my ideas about books, discuss them with other Fantasy fans or help a new author get some attention. And that’s exactly what I’m doing these days. I’m where I want to be with this blog, for now.
As a book blogger and reviewer I do suck at one thing. At least, I hope it’s just that one thing I suck at… I don’t want to hurt anyone. I’m always honest in my reviews, but I hate to say something bad about a book, especially if it’s a debut. I know most authors spend massive amounts of time on their books and they get really attached to it. I always feel like I’m thrashing someone else’s big dream, their project, maybe their lifework. I have to push those feelings aside, though, if I want to be a good reviewer. Honesty is one of the most important traits a reviewer should have. To find some middle ground I always try to highlight negative AND positive sides of the book. That way I don’t feel all that bad about criticizing.
I still have lots of ideas to further expand this blog and keep on growing. Although I can go missing from time to time, due to my education that’s been kicking my ass, I hope my following will stay through the silent times and are still there when I reappear, brain squeezed out, but still highly motivated to share some awesome books.
I’ve met lots of great people online, who share the same passion for books. Twitter has been a great place to get in touch with other bloggers and authors. That’s another big positive thing I’ve gotten out of this and something I wouldn’t trade for the world. Since I don’t have that many people in my immediate surroundings who I can discuss my books with, the online community has become a huge part of my daily life. And I’m really looking forward to meeting some of them at WFC 2013.
It’s been one year. One. Year. Curiously enough it feels much longer than a year. I feel at home in this community. Books are a part of my life. Let’s add some more years of reading experiences. Thank you all for everything.