August 16, 2016

A Round of Appreciation

I don't know what's gotten into me. After I spilled my 10+1 secrets a couple of weeks ago, I realised that not only I am no longer afraid of being a little more personal with my posts, but I indeed NEED to. Of course, there's a valid reason for it...it's not like I really have someone to talk to in real life. I managed to go from lonely child to lonely teen to equally lonely middle aged woman with zero friends - especially the kind of friends you REALLY talk to, the ones who know your real self and your deepest thoughts, the ones whom you can bare your soul to and who bare theirs to you. On a level it's a relief, because I've never been that good at the sharing-everything game - which, of course, it's one of the reasons why I've never had THAT kind of friends in the first place. I am, essentially, a very private person...at least when it comes to certain sensitive matters. What happens at home stays at home - especially if it involves, say, your family or your significant other. I can't allow myself to talk about things that implicate someone else than me. I've never been the kind of girl who goes to the bathroom with her pairs (um, gross?). I've never been one to follow trends or - goodness forbid - to CONFORM. And apparently, I haven't had much luck with finding kindred spirits. This is why, for all purposes, I've been friendless all my life.


Now, I have to say that, in all this, music and books have always been my saviors. Of course, it was not the same as having flesh-and-blood companions, but at least I knew that I wasn't alone thinking and feeling certain things. Later in my life (much later...I was already past my 30s), I discovered the World Wide Web, first with a Fame message board (which, sadly, is not active anymore), then with other short-lived adventures that, for a while, allowed me to connect with a handful of like-minded people (at least when certain topics were involved). I used to have a Queen message board and a Queen-devoted MySpace (...remember MySpace?), but I soon realised I wasn't going anywhere with them because 1) there were too many Queen places around the net already and 2) you need a strong following of friends for any kind of site to take off. Also, I don't know...looking back at it, I suppose I wasn't ready to fight for them - or I didn't know how. Or they weren't projects that would allow me to espress my creativity and uniqueness to the extent I needed them to. (Note: when I use the word "uniqueness", I'm not trying to say I'm a special snowflake. Each and every one of us has the potential to be unique, and a right to let the world know they are. All things considered, I probably was just weirder than your average human...and still am LOL).


In the meantime, I had started reading a few YA novels. Most of you probably know I blame Christopher Pike for that ;D. I stumbled upon his book Remember Me and decided that the blurb was too intriguing not to try it...then I found out it had two sequels...while I had already bought a couple of additional titles of his, Last Act and Weekend. And I began to actively search for more books in the field, because what's a lonely old girl to do, other than vicariously living all the teen adventures she never got to live and then some? ;D So, for a long while, this was my secret guilty pleasure...till one day I discovered Goodreads AND the wonderful realm of book blogging...and the rest is history.


I've been blogging for almost four years by now. And I'm NOT successful, just like I wasn't when running Queen messages boards and MySpaces. But here's the catch - someone actually LISTENS to me this time. And replies. And shares some. And what's more important, while I'm doing what I do - for just one person or for one thousand, I don't care - I feel ALIVE. I feel like I've found a niche that allows me to be that creative, unique self who was desperately searching for a way out. And I owe it to a bunch of wonderful people who make a point of reading my posts, commenting on them, writing their own posts that I can enjoy and comment on myself, tweeting and retweeting, teasing me with Supernatural gifs, complimenting me on something I've written, not caring if I'm fifteen or fifty. And I also owe it to a few generous writers who took a chance on me and sent me their books to review, or - apparently - took a liking to me after I reviewed their books...I mean, to the person behind the reviewer...and have manifested such liking both by commenting on some post of mine and by saying nice things in emails and private messages. Now, I know some things are said out of kindness (and I'm talking about both blog buddies and authors here), but as a person who has been feeding on words all her life, I'm pretty sure I can tell when people are "just" being kind (which still means they chose to show that they care somehow) and when they feel compelled to let you know that you have done something for them. As in, made them smile, think, feel. And it's a wonderful thing that can sustain a hungry soul for days. So, this post is for all of you, to let you know that when I'm tossing and turning in my bed because my life sucks and I feel small and deflated, I have the chance of thinking of you and feeling a little better for a while. You blog buddies who pay me a compliment, or simply attention to something I've written;  you authors who go out of your way to let me know that you appreciate my thoughts or my dedication NOT necessarily because I gave your books 5 or 4 stars. You know who you are - and I just wanted you to know that my life is a complicated, often hopeless mess, and that all of you shine a little light on it and help me make it through the day...and the night even. So, basically...

YOU ARE AWESOME
AND I LOVE EVERY SINGLE ONE OF YOU


</end of sappy post>

14 comments:

  1. Your post brought me to tears Roberta! You are a wonderful blogger, who posts high quality reviews! You introduced me to Pike! You are awesome, I love you too!❤

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    1. Believe it or not, it is the highlight of my blogging career that I introduced you to Pike. At least I was able to get someone interested in a book - or, in this case, even more! When I feel like I don't matter much as a blogger, I think "well, at least I was able to introduce Christopher Pike to Anila" and I feel like I've accomplished something LOL (honestly!).

      And thank you - I know you're sincere. Maybe I shouldn't whine, because you've gone through much worse things than me in your life. I hope it only gets better for you from now on!

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  2. So, I'm officially back to replace my old comment (it wasn't long, btw :P).
    CONGRATS ON 4 YEARS OF BLOGGING! *claps + throws confetti* I think you're amazing for blogging for that long despite real LIFE happening.
    Fuck the stats - some of my favorite bloggers are not at all "successful", and they have the BESTEST contest, like you. :D (Which sounds funny when you think about the number of times I actually commented on your blog = not much. But that's not because of the content or anything like that, it has to do with me mostly just checking my Bloglovin feed *hides in shame*)
    ANYHOW, hope you'll be blogging for lots and lots more years to come. :D

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    1. Oops, Bloglovin'. LOL.
      Then again, if it's not the number of posts that makes a good blogger, it's not the number of comments that makes a good friend, either ;). One can read a post and not have anything special to say (it happens to me). One can lose a post on the way because - TIME. But the fact that you and a few people like you are coming back and saying meaningful things when you do comment - or are simply putting up with this old, annoying lady ;D - is amazing, and I value every one of you to bits!

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  3. I loved reading this post, Roby! Despite all the drama and occasional negativity, the blogosphere is SUCH a great place and I feel really blessed to be part of it. Books and music have always been my saviors too, and even though I might sound like someone who's very open on the internet, I'm really very private too :P Surprising, huh? Anyway, I totally get why blogging is special to you- and I'm REALLY glad you've decided to stick around for so long. Four years is amazing! Buuut I'm kind of miffed- why ever would you say you're not successful? With friends like me, you should consider yourself very lucky. Hmph. Just kidding, I know where you were coming from, but in the long run, stats and stuff only mean so much, don't they? I think you're doing a really great job here, and I hope you keep blogging forever more! :D Thank you for being SO A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!!!!!!

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    1. Yes, what was I thinking? I am indeed lucky! ;) OK, the thing is, I would like to be able to say that a few people decided to give a book a chance because of me (yes, Anila, like I said, pairing Mr. Pike with you has been a great achievement...but it's my only one...I think). I would like to have complete strangers stopping by and telling me I'm amazing. But until I have a small but loyal bunch of friends, I can indeed consider myself lucky. Thank you for being there for me!

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  4. I could not agree more! The blogging itself can kind of run you down at times but it has been totally worth it for the wonderful people (like you!) that I've met.

    It really hit home for me the year that my dad was very ill and passed away. I was SO down some days and barely blogging but my online/blogger friends were there every single day with a silly tweet, a supportive email, a quick DM checking on me, even a few treats in the mail.

    My *real" life friends/family (as few as there are lol) were not nearly as supportive. In fact they almost always said the wrong things or stayed away because it was uncomfortable for them. Book peeps seem to know the right the things to say/do.

    We're not perfect but I will forever love this book-ish community. It's what keeps me hanging in there. Even if it's just for an audience of 2,20, or 200 it's worth it for me.

    Karen @For What It's Worth

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    1. Thank you for sharing Karen. I understand that it's easier to be friends online than IRL...but maybe the fact is, we did choose each other. We found kindred spirits by sharing a little - or less little - bit of our souls. Sometimes, the people you meet every day are just people who are on your same path by chance - which doesn't necessarily mean they made a conscious effort to keep you company there. And yes, like you say, blogging for books can be rewarding regardless of your audience...ALSO because some wonderful writers out there reach out to you and basically ask for your help in putting their books out, and even if a handful of persons read your review they still value your input and the little help you've been able to give them. I'm sort of terrified of calling certain relationships with authors "friendships", because I don't want to be biased, and I don't want people to think I am - I'd do a disservice to those very authors. But at least a couple of those relationship have shaped themselves into something different from the mere writer-to-blogger routine. We always act professionally and never invade our privacies, neither we talk on what you would call a regular basis, but there's this warm feeling, like someone is "getting" you. For that, too, I'm grateful.

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  5. Oh man, I love this post so much. One, because you clearly poured your whole heart into it (and, of course, sprinkled it with hilarious GIFs). Two, because what you get out of blogging reminds of what I get out of writing. It's about having a creative outlet AND a community, even if that community is made up of just a few people. Sometimes, that's enough.

    Also, I can't even tell you how encouraging your reviews have been. I feel pretty confident they've helped me and the illustrious Troy Gardner sell some books, but even if they hadn't, it means so much when someone gets something out of your writing. It's like soul-food for writers.

    *hugs Roberta back*

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    1. I make a point of being an authors cheerleader when they are not only talented, but also genuinely friendly and nice like you are. And at the end of the day, when I've dissected a book (well, in a genuinely friendly and nice manner LOL) or proof-read/beta-read one, I feel a little less useless, and I ride a high that helps me going on with my rather uneventful, positively shitty life. So thank you for that, too - besides writing stories that let me escape!

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  6. Awwww! I love that you are putting more of your personal life in your posts. Believe it or not, we care about who you are and what you have to say. I love hearing about the latest book you read, your Supernatural theories, and everything in between.
    Also, I definitely think that you have been successful. Success is not just defined by the number of followers you have or the number of comments you get (even though I have noticed that you have been getting quite a few lately!). Success is the strength of the relationships you create. Success is not being afraid to share more about yourself. Success is always being able to find the perfect Supernatural GIF. Success is being happy with your blog. And I think you have accomplished that, right?

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    1. *gonna cry happy tears now*

      Thank you! You are a big part of my "success" then :)

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  7. This is such a fantastic post. I think that having an occasional personal post helps your readers connect to you in ways they otherwise can't. I'm so glad you've found your niche with book blogging. I've heard this time and time again - that someone feels alone and finds their "people" in the book blogging community. I love that we do that for each other. That we support each other and lift each other up when someone feels down or alone. It's fantastic to know that support is out there!

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

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    1. I was wary of talking about me when I started blogging, but the truth is, I didn't have anyone to "talk" to back then. Now I feel blessed for the people - readers/bloggers and authors - I've met, as little as they can be, because I am not a successful blogger by any means in terms of numbers...but a comment or a Twitter mention never fails to make me smile. I don't know of you or anyone else, but for me, a peek on the net is a necessary part of my morning routine by now.

      BTW, I don't know how you manage to write so many posts and connect with so many people, PLUS living your real life. Your Sunday post is like a Bible - no disrespect meant of course!

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