Friday, February 21, 2020

Blogger Conversations: Why I Blog

Blogger Conversations: Why I Blog

I was scrolling through my Stitcher app, in search of a new podcast to listen to, while cleaning last week. I hate doing most things without some form of audio stimulation, and recently I’ve wanted to listen to more podcasts. I discovered the Just Keep Blogging podcast by Kim Anderson and I binged a ton of her episodes. In fact one of the episodes, I think the very first one probably, gave me the idea of this post. So… enjoy my story behind the story.

*Special thanks to Clo @ Cuppa Clo for helping me edit this post and turn it into something readable. You rock, girl! 

In just a few days my 10th blogoversary is coming up. I am so proud of my little corner of the internet, my little special place where I can share all my thoughts, feelings, and opinions about all things fiction. I’m also humbled by still being around, to still be active and inspired to be here and create content. The podcast I mentioned in the introduction of this post is very inspiring to me, when it comes to topics to write about. So you should definitely check it out! In one of the episodes, Kim Anderson (the host) asked “Why do you blog?” and that question is why I’m here today. I don’t think I’ve ever made a proper post about this topic, and I figured that after 10+ years, it’s time.


I first learned about blogs when I was in high school, from some friends who were on the school newspaper team with me. They both had blogs and they knew I enjoyed writing, so they shared this wonderful platform called Blogger with me. My first blog was a sort of online diary. I didn’t share anything personal, it was more a way for me to express random thoughts that ran through my head. It was actually something I kept up for my close friends, it never really occurred to me that it actually meant that I was “creating content”. I had that blog for 4 years, from 2006 to 2010, and I loved every second of creating content over there. Like I said in my last post before I shut my blog down, it wasn’t lack of inspiration to write, that made me move on from it. It was me growing up and not having the same passion for it as I once had.

Sometime during those 4 years I had also opened up two other blogs: one about my obsession with supernatural creatures and anything occult, and another one about my reading and music obsessions, where I did bookish soundtracks basically. It’s the latter that was the first brick in the Ruby’s Books blog. The former is lost in the cemetery of the Internet, never to see the light of day. The mission of the bookish soundtrack blog was an easy one. At the time there were very few book blogs, no Romanian book blogs that I recall were actually online, most bloggers that I knew about sharing their book reviews on their regular blogs. There was also no one that paired songs with books. I was disappointed by that, especially since people frowned both at my music tastes and my literature tastes. I was probably the only vampire lit lover who loved jamming to 80s glam rock and latin american love songs.


Fun fact #1: I got my first internet troll on that blog. Someone was offended that I had paired a book with certain songs, which made them feel like I was being bitchy or mean, about the book. EVEN THOUGH I mentioned...god knows how many times how much I loved that book. I’m still amazed by that. 

Back to the story. We’re in 2010, I had just shut down my main blog and was about to graduate, which was scary but I also planned on moving many hundreds of miles away to a new country. Where I only knew my parents, had no friends and where (brace yourselves!) I didn’t know the language. I knew I wanted to do something, to not go cray cray whilst waiting to be accepted into a Master’s program. I decided then and there that I had to have an outlet, and the only thing I was truly passionate about were books, which is how Ruby’s Books was born.

From the start this blog was a way for me to talk about the books I loved. I’ve always mentioned in the past, how it was because no one I knew really liked the same books I did, and while that’s true, there’s a secondary reason. One I’ve never mentioned before. That reason was mental health. I know myself really well, and through my choice of degree, I got to learn a great deal about how it’s the little things that can lead to when one cares only about physical health and not mental health. I knew I needed something to keep me grounded. So I picked out the only way I really knew how to do at the ripe age of 22, which is to blog. I truly believe my mental health would not be the way it is today had I not started this blog. 

Another reason is that I love writing. When I sit down to write something, and don’t procrastinate (which I am very good at unfortunately) it’s like everything around me disappears. I don’t think about my current problems, I don’t think about anything actually, except what I’m writing about. I blog because I like writing, and books allow me to be my nerdy self in a safe space. I know the Internet can be a very scary place sometimes, but to me this blog feels like a safe space in which I can be myself, and I can openly talk about what I like and what I don’t like. I can go in as much detail as I possibly can about why I liked or didn’t like a particular book, and I know that the people who will read my reviews will not be bothered by me being this detailed.

Fun fact #2: The assignment I hated the most in school was...wait for it…. write essays about the books from the required reading list. HATED it. “Hated” isn’t even an adequate word to describe my feelings, but it’s nearly perfect. Of course, those essays weren’t actually reviews, they were more literary analysis, but I also feel that my hatred was born out of me not enjoying the books we had to read. Because now I find myself trying to curb the instinct to write long essays about the books I read.

The last but still very important reason behind my blogging adventure may be surprising if you'd knew me in real life. I love talking to people. I’m bad at talking with people I don’t know, because I’m an introvert. However with people that I know and like I could talk for HOURS. Blogging allows me to “talk” to people, and I feel like I genuinely know a few of my readers. Maybe not as much as I’d like, but enough that I feel very at ease whenever I sit down and do one of these posts.

I love blogging. If there’s anything I really want you guys to know about me at the end of this post it’s that I truly love blogging. Do I sometimes struggle with finding the mental energy to write and post? Yes, because as many other creators before me have talked about, the pressure to put something out gets to me, and sometimes I don’t feel like creating content for the purpose of having something out in the world. I have felt that a lot, and I know that about 80% of that pressure comes from myself, not from some person outside of myself, so usually for me it’s a battle of wills between me as a blogger and me as my toughest critic. But blogging truly is awesome and it’s something I do because I find it fun.

Thank you for going on this 10 year journey with me, and may you still be here for the next 10. 

Let's discuss: Why do you blog, if you're a blogger?
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