October 14, 2017

Gimme Five! or How I Survived a Half-Decade of Blogging

So, my dear friends and occasional readers...Offbeat YA turns five today! 🙌

I don't know if it's a big accomplishment or not. There are probably many blogs out there older than mine. For sure, there are SO many blogs out there that have been able to grow (much) bigger and better than my corner of the web in a (much) shorter span of time. There are so many dedicated bloggers who have worked hard and have grown an impressive reader base, while I was posting once a week in my best year (2014) and struggling to even do so. I can blame my hectic life and a whole set of issues that I have to battle every single day, plus work, plus age (because yes, I do tire more easily than I used to), plus the fact that I can't buy all the books most people can afford and I don't even want to, since I'm SO. DARN. PICKY. The fact is, after five years, I'm still one of the smallest fishes in an overwhelmingly vast sea of bloggers. Do I regret it?

To an extent, yes, of course I do. I would love to be popular and - more than anything - to be able to inspire more people with the desire to read those less hyped books I made it my mission to boost five years ago. But I'm aware I'm not cut out to be popular. And while my age doesn't seem to count for much (despite the vast majority of bloggers being in their 20s, maybe 30s), since my MUCH younger peeps gladly (??? 😉) interact with me all the time - the books I don't read, the memes I don't participate in, and more than anything, the posts I don't write, condemn me to blogger oblivion. Oh, I've tried to spice things up from time to time. I've also tried to concoct a reading/blogging schedule, and you know? it would work fine, if only my life were a tiny bit simpler. Because I try to set feasible goals, but even those ultimately get smashed by the weight of my reality. So, even smaller goals. A simplified schedule. And I trudge on.

But I'm not here to complain, heaven forbid. All in all, I'm a happy blogger, because I engage in something that I like, get to talk to like-minded people (or to great people anyway), have a handful of authors who trust me with their budding books (as in, beta-reading and such), and most of all, I'm part of the world. From behind this screen, from this crippled life I'm forced to live because of a series of home problems I won't weigh you with, I rise and breath and feel like I'm a human being with a purpose and a place (albeit small) in the world. That's the magic of reading and blogging to me.

Now it's time for me to thank a few people, who are the reasons why I not only survived a half-decade of blogging, but also found solace and enjoyment in this hobby of mine. So the Offbeat YA awards go to (in roughly chronological order)...
  • Karen (from For What It's Worth) for being my first blogging friend and a tireless commenter/retweeter, and for always providing a smile or a good laugh with her pet pics and tales;
  • Hannah...or Sophia...😉 (from Bookwyrming Thoughts) for being my first follower (it was a follow train thing, but kudos to her for turning it into a peculiar kind of friendship later, though she sometimes likes to remind me I could be her mom 😅), and for making me understand the importance of gifs 😜;
  • Kate (from Midnight Book Girl) for being a funny and big-hearted blogger, and for sharing my Christopher Pike obsession;
  • Guinevere and Libertad (from Twinja Book Reviews), also known as authors GL Tomas, for always being appreciative of yours truly and her blog even when it doesn't deal with diverse books or inclusivity;
  • Anila (she's not blogging right now, but this is her old blog, and you can talk to her on Twitter) for making me laugh with her vignettes and cry with her story, and for being the only certified person whom I was able to turn into a book/author enthusiast (Christopher Pike, go figure 😊);
  • Tessa (from Crazy for YA) for her unwavering support and for being a fellow Supernatural & Doctor Who fan;
  • Veronika and Ruzaika (from The Regal Critiques) not only for being friends with this old lady to the point of asking her to guest-post on their blog, but also for letting her pick their Halloween nicknames 😄 (that was last year);
  • Fanni (from Ink, Maps & Macarons) for tweeting me David Tennant gifs when I'm down and fangirling with me over him and Doctor Who (occasionally, Supernatural too);
  • and, last but not least, Carrie (from Bright, Beautiful Things) for always being amenable to chat on Goodreads and liking my reviews on there, plus commenting often on my blog though I can't comment on hers (it's a Tumblr), plus being a fellow Christopher Pike fan (do you see a pattern here? 😎).
Oh, and of course I have my handful of authors to thank too (again, in chronological order 😉). B.C. Johnson, Erin Callahan, Troy H. Gardner (just a Goodreads page for him at this stage - new site coming soon), Allison Rose, every single one of which trusted me with something they had written and thought that my opinion mattered. Not to mention the wonderful folks at Curiosity Quills Press, who don't care if I'm the smallest blogger alive and are always happy to feed me books with no strings attached (not that I request a ton, but still).

Now, I know it's customary to do a giveaway on such occasions as blogoversaries. I feel really small because I can't afford one. Also, me, Hanna Sophia (and her cobloggers of course) and Tessa were planning to do a group blogoversary celebration (ours are close), but I had to back out ultimately, since I didn't have the time to come up with ideas and stuff for it, and I don't know yet if I rained on their parade so hard that they decided not to do a joint event at all, with or without my input. (If so...I'm sorry, peeps 😢). As I said, my life has a mind of its own. But I love every single one of you, and I hope you'll understand. Thank you for being at my side during this crazy journey, and I hope for better things when Offbeat YA turns ten...also because ten is a magic number with me 😉 (...nah, that wasn't a Doctor Who and David Tennant reference, not at all...😜).

Thank you all, and never stop being amazing!


  1. Awww, it really made a little teardrop appear in my eye :3 Happy bloggiversary you adorable, Whovian fishy of the bloggosphere / I've just randomly discovered a Hungarian writer who is also a Whovian, Team 11, but better this way, we don't have to share David :D/ and now your kind mention, it's a lovely day :D

    Btw, I don't know if you have seen but I've added you to my sidebar as one of my friends :3

    1. LOL, you always manage to make me smile. I didn't know about the sidebar - thank you! I'm probably the only not-writer there, so I'm even prouder of it 😊.

      Team 11 is good - it's what I would be without David LOL. Is she on Twitter?

      (And yes, we will keep David to ourself...and a few million other people 😂).

    2. She isn't on Twitter, Hungarian writers don't know what a magic mine Twitter is :S
      I figured that for your TENTH birthday, I will invite the TENTH Doctor to deliver you a present, so you will have to keep at it.

    3. That's..."brilliant"! 😂 I feel so much more motivated now 😊.

  2. Woo-hoo!!! Happy 5th!!!

    Sticking to 5 years of anything is a big accomplishment so hell yes you should be proud!

    For your 10th (& you WILL be around for a tenth) I want you to bask in your accomplishment without any qualifiers. lol It doesn't matter how often you post - it matters that you've carved out a little space of your own and have touched people's lives (both authors and fellow bloggers). We appreciate all that you've done to support us as well.

    Despite having radically different reading tastes - I have still downloaded several books that you've passionately championed.

    Now go pat yourself on the back and get some ironing done! hehe


    For What It's Worth

    1. *cries loads of happy tears*

      Those are some of the nicest things anyone ever told me...

      *goes back to happy crying*

  3. Awwh, you are so sweet! Thank you so much for the shoutout, lovely. There's nothing wrong with being a small blogger. You're doing important work here, and the fact that you're doing it in spite of a hectic, difficult life means even more. You've already gotten me to read Deadgirl (and eventually some more Ilsa Bick!), and I'm so honored to be part of your blogging community! Happy bloggiversary, sweetpea! Lots more Supernatural and Pike talks to come. <3

    1. I'm so happy we met, and I love it how insightful your reviews are. Thank you for having my small reviewer's back, and for all the nice things you had to say! 😘 Oh, and for checking out Deadgirl. I poured so much (spontaneous) effort into promoting that one! I can't wait to hear what you think!

  4. 😭😭😭 I'm basically overwhelmed with feels after reading that post. In part because I'm so grateful for all your support, and also because I get what it's like to have a thing that helps you feel fulfilled and connected, but also to be a small fish when it comes to that thing. I'm right there with you lady. We can forever sit at the weirdo table together. And congrats on doing this for five years. I bet only a fraction of blogs last longer than a year so kudos to you for keepin' on keepin' on. On that same note, I actually can't believe it's only been five years because I feel like I've known you forever.

    Here's to many more years of writing, reading and blogging!

    1. Quote:
      "We can forever sit at the weirdo table together."
      Nope, because you will leave the weirdo table soon 😉. But I know you will always be there in spirit, and will never stop talking to the people you met when you started your journey 😃.

      "I actually can't believe it's only been five years because I feel like I've known you forever."
      *adds it to the list of nice things that make her smile and shed a tear at the same time*

  5. Five years! go you! I love your blog because you are so positive about it, and also open about the struggles. I'm so happy we met on teh interwebz--maybe I'll make it back to Italia one day ;)

    1. Thank you! I love yours for the same reason (how many times you've woven your personal life into your posts, and it's TOTALLY ALL RIGHT to do that - it helps us bloggers, but also our readers...) and for your all-round honesty. And I hope you'll manage to make it back here!

  6. Five years is an amazing feat Roby, CONGRATSSS!!! I may not always stop by, but yours is one of the very few blogs I actually frequently visit, and one I really enjoy reading- you make everything sound so real somehow and I love it! Please keep blogging and keep being amazing (thanks for the shoutout!), and do keep helping us with our Halloween names :D We still haven't gotten around to picking one for this year and I doubt we even will ahahah xD

    1. Why, what's wrong with Cruzaika and Veronikruel? I can't understand...😂😂😂

      Thank you for being there, no matter if silently. I often find myself reading a post I like, but not commenting on it nevertheless...maybe I don't have anything special to add, more often I don't have the time to articulate my thoughts...that happens to the best of us. And hey, I'm already waiting for you and Vera to turn five! it will sneak on you before you realise it 😉.

  7. I hope you know if we exist, we're coming for your soul in 5 years, okay? Okay.


    Also tongue in cheeks. :D

    So how does it feel being a blogger who is going to/about to enter Kindergarten? 😂😂😂

    1. You tell me LOL.

      And good point about the "thing" we have 😉.

      We have to exist in 5 years. So we can start planning our tenth blogoversary, let's say...tomorrow? 😂 Maybe we'll make it this time!

  8. I AM LATE TO THE PARTY, BUT CONGRATS! *throws confetti* I have been absolutely horrendous at commenting & visiting blogs, but ah, I'll get back in the game, I swear. Anyhow, woah, five years is a lot, so you totally rock, don't forget that! Screw the giveaway, not everyone has to have one - I myself haven't been able to afford one for this Spooky October, and I'm pretty sure we didn't even have one for our last blogoversary. *shrugs* (If I may say so even if I'm obviously super-late - you should buy YOURSELF something to celebrate these five years.) Keep up the good work! <3

    1. LOL, buy myself something, what a great idea!

      Thank you hon - I know you're super-busy lately, so I don't mind celebrating my blogoversary with you a few day later 😊. And I'm sure you and Ruzi will get to your 5th anniversary without even realising five years have passed...so I'm preparing my own confetti 😉.


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