The little moments in a blogger's life *Armchair BEA Week*

Wednesday, May 28, 2014




I've been book-blogging for four and a half years by now, and if I had to look at the big picture and say where it took me, I'd say nowhere.

I don't write for any publications.

I haven't written a book.

Heck, I haven't even been to BEA.

I haven't written fan-fiction.

And I still blog at the same place I started, all those years ago.

Yep, what a bummer. And I was saying that I'm going to write a book. Yeah, chuckles.


I have come across tons of blogs that have made careers for their writers. Remember Julie and Julia? Julie Powell started a blog on a whim and decided that she was going to cook all the recipes from one of Julia's books, and what do you know, but a year later she has become famous! Heck, she even has quite a few books to her name AND a movie. A movie, folks! Not something I can even dream of for now. Not that I have any interest in seeing myself on the TV screen, but hey, it's still an achievement.

What about Erin Morgenstern? She decided to do NaNoWriMo and before long, she wrote a book, The Night Circus, that the world was going to talk about for a long long time.

So yeah, when I read those stories, and then look at my blog, there's a nice frown on my face. Don't get me wrong, I wasn't (and am not) desperate to be famous. But it's hard to read stories like these and not feel inspired to conquer the world - how you can do something very insignificant one moment and transform it to the next big thing.

Blogging for four-plus years has given me yearnings like that. But what I often neglect is the little moments that maketh this blog. That sweet comment, that one meeting, that fangirl moment, that outpouring of support. Small stuff that has happened over the past few years but have not gotten any of the swooning attention that a blog-to-movie achievement might bring.

In my very first year of blogging, the wonderful J-Kaye, who doesn't blog anymore, gave me a shout-out at her blog. Let me explain how important that was. Here I was, a little blogger posting meme after meme, not having found her niche yet, still trying to figure out what to blog about, staring at her email all day to receive one notification of a comment posted, and going to bed happy if even one really short "Hi, nice post" comment was posted on her blog. And then J-Kaye of all people mentions me. That's like President of the United States attention, in my books. Thanks to that one small token of appreciation, I was able to get myself out there. A very small matter, but significant, nevertheless.

When I showed up at my first IRL meetup with bloggers, I was super-nervous. What will they all think of me after they meet me? Will they still read my blog or secretly laugh behind my back? But Kathy, Jennifer, and Jaime were amazing and very awesome. After months of interacting with people online, it was welcome to meet some of them in person.

Three years ago, I faced my first big-time life-happens moment. My brother was hospitalized and I was shattered beyond what I can express in words. After much thought, I posted about it on my blog. I can never thank or fully reciprocate the amount of support I received that day. People shared my post, tweeted me their support, commented in hordes, and kept coming back. On that terrible day, I was able to smile once thanks to what the community did.

So, even though I don't have a book written nor have a career in writing yet (I am not counting those out though), what I can say confidently is that blogging has changed me as a person. It has changed the way I talk to people. It has made me more appreciative of people who manage to comment on my blog so often, so regularly. It has reminded me that there is always somebody out there who is waiting for a J-Kaye to happen to him/her. It has taught me that my blog is my blog - I should only post content here that I want to read and will read again. It has shown me that I don't need to be shy to post my opinion or ask a question - chances are someone out there is just waiting for that post to happen. It has convinced me that when life happens, I should just get up and deal with it - the blog and the readers will be waiting for me when I come back. Most importantly, it has shown me that behind every blog is a person who loves books and blogs as must as I do and that it's entirely acceptable to fangirl with them.

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42 comments:

Nishita said...

I know exactly what you feel as I am in the same boat. But then when you think about it, I think we are the bloggers who blog for the love of it. It's not a means to the next big thing (though we are not closed to the idea of doing something bigger and better if there is an opportunity).


I am just happy that we regular book bloggers are able to hold on to this little place on the web in spite of so many things going on in our lives.

Lisa said...

I kind of get into modes like that, and I focus on all the things I have not done, and then I realize that there are actually people who read what I have to say, and maybe it helped them pick out the next book they were going to read. I have a short story published, and I will never make a penny off of it. It's in a free anthology, and I am okay with that. People are reading my words, and without my blog I never would have had the courage to do that. Blogging has given me friends, and that is the biggest thing for me, a socially awkward and painfully shy 30-something who has only just started to come out of her shell. Keep blogging and keep reading and commenting, you never know the impact it will have on someone.

Lisa @Just Another Rabid Reader

tanya (52 books or bust) said...

While I would love to become famous through blogging, at the end of the day I do it for me. I must say, though, the blogging community is incredibly supportive and friendly. It doesn't surprise me that they gave you so much support when your brother was hospitalized.

Allison Bruning said...

I started blogging in 2010 and thought who in the world would ever want to read my blog? Four years later, I'm still blogging. It's so amazing to think about the effect your blog can have on people. I've been through some hard times and have had the same reaction from my readers. My readers remind me that my blog isn't lost in some back corner of the internet world. Never give up on your writing. You just never know who you might inspire.

Athira / Aths said...

Exactly! You echoed it pretty well! In the end, we're all here because we like it. We all probably have moments of yearnings but we still blog in spite of it because we love this activity and the community so much more.

JoAnn @ Lakeside Musing said...

Loved this post!

Athira / Aths said...

I agree with you. Sometimes we don't see the passive impact that our blogging has had. We may think that if we just stopped blogging one day, no one will notice. But I know I have missed bloggers who weren't even very frequent in their postings and even years later, I wonder how some of them are doing. So yeah, it's very important to know that our blogs are having an impact.

Athira / Aths said...

I love the community feel of this blog. Every time I wonder where my blogging is taking me, I remember that support and how vocal and appreciative bloggers can be. And no matter how tough my going is right now, I don't want to lose all that, so I'm still here.

Athira / Aths said...

I admit I often don't think about any impact my blog may have on readers, but you are right - it is a whole two-way community out there. I am glad too that I have this spot in the internet where I'm able to shout from and actually have people listen to me. Definitely something to always remember.

Athira / Aths said...

Thank you!

Elizabeth Bevins said...

I'm new to the blogging world myself. This was great to read. I'm no sure what I really expect to get from it all. And there is so much to learn for an old gal like me! Thanks for this insight!!

Allison Bruning said...

Absolutely.

Sam_TinyLibrary said...

I've been blogging for just a little bit less than you. I've learned to be content with things how they are - my blog is my space on the internet and I'm happy with the connections with other readers I have made. I used to want more & more followers/comments etc, but now I think interaction is the important thing.

Jennifer Hartling said...

Such a beautiful post :*) Thank you so much for sharing!!

Wesley said...

I didn't know Night Circus came from a NaNoWriMo, so interesting!

Juju at Tales of Whimsy.com said...

JKaye! I remember her. Fun post.


I love whenever I see a blogger make it big.

Judith (Leeswammes) said...

Great story, Athira. Of course there are 100s of bloggers/writers that don't get a chance to stand out from the crowd but you (obviously) never hear of them. So what if you're not Morgenstern, you're yourself with a really nice blog that's a pleasure to read - I love the combination of books and personal.

Athira / Aths said...

You are welcome! I hope you really enjoy blogging. It's such a rewarding experience.

Athira / Aths said...

I guess everyone goes through a phase where they are looking for more, and finally settle down. I remember loving it when I used to get many followers before I realized that I'd rather have good interaction and returning followers than more numbers. It takes a while, I guess, but it's super rewarding when we get to that realization.

Michael @ Literary Exploration said...

Book blogging has changed me as a person too but I think reading has chanced me as a person as well. Before I started reading I was a bit of a jackass...now I read, I'm a pretentious jackass.

Lisa said...

Agreed. Some comment I make in some review might strike a chord with someone and have an effect on them that I could not even begin to imagine.

KatrinaBookishThings said...

What an amazing story! I do think that blogging and the community changes each of us. I know it has me. I'm a little more outgoing that I used to be.

Athira / Aths said...

Thanks for the kind words!

Athira / Aths said...

I know right? Certainly made me believe that NaNoWriMo can certainly jump start your career, not just get you committed to your book.

Athira / Aths said...

Thank you for the kind words. You put it very well! It is so important to remember what's more important!

Athira / Aths said...

Thank you! :)

Athira / Aths said...

Hear, hear! So long as the blog represents what we want, we should notice that and appreciate that fact.

Athira / Aths said...

Thank you!

Athira / Aths said...

Great comment, Judith! I agree with you - it's more important to keep a blog because it's fun and entertaining, not because you want it to be the next book or movie.

Athira / Aths said...

Thank you so much for the kind words!

Athira / Aths said...

LOL! I found that the way I read changed because of blogging, and in that indirect way, reading changed me as a person. Before blogging, I used to read for fun. No absorption of content, just read. Now, I actually spend some time thinking about the book, whether for reviewing or not.

Athira / Aths said...

Yay! I've noticed that change in me too. Not by a huge amount, but it's there. I used to also not talk too much about books with people, since no one around me was interested. Now, it doesn't bug me at all if they tease me about my reading, since I know there are so many out there like me.

Michael @ Literary Exploration said...

I review every book I read, I want to document my entire reading journey and I can see a natural progression into a better reader and blogger.

Words for Worms said...

What great perspective you have! It's tough to keep from getting caught up in the success of others. Sounds like you've got a good little blogging community going, and that's amazing.

Laura @ Shabby Rabbit said...

Gorgeous post! And this "staring at her email all day to receive one notification of a comment posted," Yeah I'm still there about 90% of the time... it's why I love A-BEA so much!

Alisha (MyNeedToRead) said...

What a beautiful testimonial about the transformative power of blogging. I'm glad you've been able to keep your blog as both a community *and* a true reflection of you as an individual and as a reader.

Katie @ Doing Dewey said...

Aww, great post! I have to admit, I felt a little bad that I didn't have any big things to talk about for this topic, but I think you make a great point about the importance of the little things and of becoming part of the blogging community.

raton pramanik said...

Nice content! The writing process enables concepts become more understandable to readers. It is further broken down as: pre-writing, writing, reviewing, revising and editing.cursive writing

Athira / Aths said...

Thank you for your kind words!

Athira / Aths said...

I agree - ABEA is just such a wonderful event. My Feedly has grown big time this week!

Athira / Aths said...

Thank you for your kind words. :)

Athira / Aths said...

Yes! Certainly, think about how you may have impacted someone who follows you. I sometimes don't really want a big project on my hands via this blog, so these little moments keep me coming back here.