Okay so as I’m writing this post, it has been exactly 1 year, 7 months and 15 days since my last post. I’ve completed two sets of exams, applied to and been accepted at university. I’m getting ready to start this next chapter of my life and it’s one I intend to have blogging be a part of again. The new exam system and staggering amount of work I had to do in the 2014-15 school year prevented me from keeping the blog up and then the following year I had just fallen out of the flow.
But exams are now over and I have a whole four months before I’m expected to do anything, so what a wonderful opportunity I now have to pick up from where I left off, though hopefully now I’m a bit wiser and more coherent.
This is the ultimate platform for getting to know people who read what you do, who share your interests and get just as passionate as you do about your favourite things. I feel like I’ve been sitting on the sidelines of this amazing community for a year and a half and I’ve missed being able to get in on the action.
Everybody would be talking about the newest book they’d read or an interesting topic they’d explored in a blog post this week and I would just hover in the background silently watching it all unfold on twitter. I felt unable to join in because I wasn’t sharing in that experience too, I wasn’t consistently writing about my passion for books because my studies had swooped in and stolen that passion from me, my focus being diverted instead to Biology or Maths. I mean who needs photosynthesis when everybody is fawning over what Dorian did in Queen Of Shadows, but you haven’t had time to finish the book yet? …. I still REALLY need to get on that)
As I just mentioned, the amount of reading I was able to do seriously decreased. With no prolonged interaction with the YA community and the mental gymnastics I was doing at school everyday, my motivation to read plummeted. (Sidenote: I managed to watch a STAGGERING amount of TV so if anyone ever wants to chat about the Flash or Prison Break, I’m your gal).
I went away to YALC for a weekend and returned with 24 new books. Do you know how many of those I have read since last July? FIVE. Literally 5. Ugh. I mean that’s not to say I haven’t read a lot of fantastic books in the past 19 months, I have read what are now some of my favourite books in that time. But do I wish I had read more? Yes. Do I wish I had kept that hunger for books? Most definitely. Am I going to work like hell to play catch up and get some extreme reading done between now and university? You can bet your ass I am.
I didn’t realise how much I relied upon this community for book recommendations and new releases until I left it behind. The lack of reading I was doing meant that I generally just read what I already owned, which was great…until I realise that I only read about three new releases last year, and two of those were the end of series. I have no idea what great books came out in 2015 and I haven’t read any of them, which is really sad because it meant, once again, I wasn’t really contributing to the online conversation, I was just living vicariously through other people’s reading habits
When I was doing all of the reading that I was before, finishing a book meant turning to twitter and sending out a 145-character burst of appreciation of the book to the author. I needed to let everyone, and especially them, know how much I adored it.
While I have still sort of done that, it’s been nowhere near the same extent as it used to be. One of the best parts about this community is the ease in which authors and readers can connect online. It’s wonderful being able to direct your feelings about a book to the person who wrote it and know that they can see it. Questions can be answered or even just seeing little details about their writing process as life progresses. It’s a unique position we are in and its glorious.
The creativity required in the upkeep of a blog is tantamount to my return. I miss thinking up new things to write about each week. I miss being able to write freely as much as I want to and share my opinions online. When I started this initially, it was an opportunity for me to explore new corners of the reading world, consider new authors and genres and challenge myself to push further from my comfort zone of YA. Doing a weekly Top Ten Tuesday forced me to really think about what books I would match to the TV shows I loved or maybe consider the movie adaptation of a book in a different way (Please be warned that those links lead to the disorganised and at times nonsensical ramblings of my 15 year old self).