For any other blogger’s out there, especially you book bloggers, I’m sure you’ve gotten this from at least one person, if not more. If you haven’t, I envy you (seriously, because you are lucky).
I only told a few people in my life about my blog after it was started (and even then, it was months after), and one new friend I met in my first year at college really loved the idea of it, and sometimes she even visits. However, I’ve had a few friends who’ve mocked me for it. My friends and I joke constantly about anything and everything, but now I almost feel like making my book blog or my nickname (Lea is a nickname) a part of the joke is just going a bit too far since it’s so personal to me.
I blog because I love to read, and I never got quite the fulfillment out of books until I discovered the blogosphere. My reviews are my thoughts, and it can be hard sometimes to post a review because I’m putting myself out there. The blogosphere gives me a huge online book club that varies and has a myriad of ideas and opinions. We can all talk about whatever topics/books we want on so many blogs. I can’t get this kind of interaction with my friends or family, because they don’t read. These people I meet online, bloggers, readers and authors all hold meaningful places in my heart. I wish I could dedicate more time to talking to them.
To have people I consider friends, and good friends, mock me for it and joke about it, without even really letting me defend it, hurts. I can come up with a lot of reasons why blogging, and book blogging in particular, is useful and instrumental in teaching me about life and skills I can use.
I’m learning how to network; how to contact someone professionally, with the right touch of impersonal writing mixed in with professional; computer skills, like using HTML; managing skills, how to prepare posts and decide what happens on what day and time; and so much more. Blogging is a lesson, and it’s one I enjoy. It is useful to me.
Even with my real name, I shortened it for my blog. Friends and family alike both seem to take great enjoyment out of mocking that (whether they realize it or not, they all use the same tone in their voices that sound a lot like mocking), and I never let that bother me on the surface until recently. YA Book Queen is a part of me, and I’m a huge part of it. I can’t change that, and I’m not ashamed to be Lea of YA Book Queen, book blogger. I know now that I would stand up any day, wherever, and say “I’m a book blogger, and I’m proud of it”. I have so much pride in myself for doing something so out of the box for me, something that can be difficult at times, and sticking with it, through the thick and thin. I have so much pride in all book bloggers, because some of them do amazing things beyond just review - like fundraising and donating books.
Honestly, it takes every bit of my patience not to retaliate with some witty verbal comment I spent time making up or even some quick remark that may be taken badly whenever someone makes a snide or mocking comment about my nickname on the blogosphere, or even the blog itself. There is a huge part of me that wants to be on the offensive and defend blogging as a positive thing, and that it’s nothing to be laughed at. There’s another part of me that hates to bring about verbal conflict, or encourage it. I've almost always taken the "Kill them with kindness" route, letting these things slide.
Yet, I feel like blogging and my life itself has changed me to a point where I can’t let these things slide. If someone in my friends and family cannot respect this part of my life, then I sadly cannot respect them in return. When I started this out, it was just a blog, but now it’s something special.
With this post, I’m promising myself that I won’t let anyone mock my blog, my nickname, and my love for YA literature. I don’t need that negativity in life, and I don’t need those opinions poisoning something I love. It breaks my heart that it’s people I’m close to that commit the worst of these problems, because I know I would back them up in whatever they wanted to do, even if I didn’t understand it (as long as it’s morally okay, people, I’m not condoning stealing or anything illegal here). Right here, right now, I’m saying I’m Lea from YA Book Queen, and it’s okay for anyone to not like that or understand that, but I ask that it is and I am respected for this, and not mocked, because I would do the same for anyone else.
I’m a book blogger, and I’ve got no shame in that. =)
*For any regular readers, you know that this is a very rare post for me. I felt it needed to be posted, because I need a reminder for myself that this blog isn't a joke to me. I need something to look back on when I have doubts. I love my readers, and I love so many other blogs and bloggers. I think they have value, and to be able to run a blog is quite a commitment that should be respected, above all else.
** On a more happy note, Happy Fourth of July!!!