[Blogiversary] – Reflecting On 3 Years and Thankful Thanks

the-thanks-u-give

I will not bullshit you:

This past [third] year of book blogging was a steaming pile of shit. It was.


I hit a wall that I’m led to believe most bloggers go through during their sophomore [second] year. I wasn’t where I wanted to be and non-blogging days compounded into weeks, and so on. I had great ideas and things to say but nothing stuck. Even when inspiration hit and I clicked that elusive New Post button, [scheduled] drafts published themselves despite being incomplete or they were sent back into the void when creativity diminished.

I found myself scrolling through WordPress Reader and skim-read the hundreds of new posts I’d see every day but rarely dropped a comment. Moreover, I had posts where you lovely individuals would drop comments that were met with unresponsiveness on my part. This is what I feel terrible about: that you friends took the time to let me know your thoughts and I barely reciprocated the same sentiments, and when I did, it was weeks later (if at all). I apologize for this.

I was running into a wall.

And I’m still running into that wall.

And maybe I’ll just be here chiseling away these bricks hoping to get back to the other side; where things feel like the first year of blogging again when everything is so new, so unknown, so fun. A side that will always be out of reach but is equally green and awesome and fun as the side we’re on. That’s the storm I’m lost in. Between the constant influx of new community voices, the departure of others, and the continual desire to invent and reinvent yourself in a shifting landscape of what content marketing is, all of these experiences accumulate to a question of why.

Why am I writing/reading this?

Why do people want to know about this?

Why be and do better?

The community, as an intangible and enigmatic concept, gives zero fucks as to anyone’s slump. It will move forward without you or me and it’s what you do with that matter-of-fact acceptance that is of concern. It’s okay to back down and seek other objectives so much as it is okay to continue to meander through it all. But only you know what you want, and for me, though I came for the books, I am certainly staying for the community.

So many thanks are in order, and if you fit into multiple categories, I only classed you as one:

Canadians:
To Amanda, Patty, Ambur, Jesse, Maria, Tiff, Michele, Christine, Erika, Joy, Giselle, Wendy, Dani, Indigo, Ardo, Jenn, Sarah, and Nanua Twins-

Sorry for you being as you are in real life as you are online. So, basically, not not a murderer. Sorry.
The Land of the Upside Down and Clouds:
To Aentee, Jenna, Brett, Jeann, and CW-

You lot are, perhaps surprisingly, the community members I speak to the most. I revert to my inner Cloud-shaped Quokka when we correspond. I'm basically Aussie, you hear?
The Black Sheeps:
To Tika, Shelly, Aila, Jamie, and Andrew-

We pour the tea; we drink the tea. Pinkies Middle fingers up!

blacksheepsquadsignal
Twitter Chats:
To Brittany of #BBTC-
My Brittyonce. I will never admit my love for Zach Parise. Go Leafs Go!

To Sarah and Sabrina of #BookishAMA-
Would you rathe--

john-oliver-screaming-nipples-gif
Publishers and Retailers:
To Indigo, Simon & Schuster Canada, Raincoast Books, and Harper Collins Canada-

Many thanks for allowing me to work alongside you in promoting books (even if I am probably the worst candidate to provide early reviews as I am on Team "3 Stars is the New 5").
books-soul-pancake-gif
11/10 Would Eat These Brains:
To Liam, Nazahet, Reg, Wesaun, Aimal, Thomas, and Mishma-

We may not always converse with each other. We also might not agree with everything (and you'll never know what because I judge quietly). But I see you and that which you vomit into the world.
This Random Group I Have No Name For:
To Joséphine, Crini, Cee, and Sana-

I may have just clumped you all together in my mind, so...
Bookstagram:
To Cherry, Danny, Ava, Justine, Jasmine, El, Kris, and Crystal-

Your viewfinder gives me joy.
Sandwich:
To Ann & Carmen of YA Wednesday-

Can you sandwich it?
sandwich-adventure-time-gif
The Precious Commenters:
To Deanna, Lois, Geraldine, Bianca, Chrissi, Marie, Ashley, Kat, Sara, Stephanie, Ichabod, and Summer-

Your consistency in comments light up my e-mail notifications.
It's "Later Days" not "Goodbye" re Twitter:
To Mariam, Shelumiel, Val, Kevin, Nova, Lillie, Gee, Joel, Paige, Jon, Nuzaifa, J.M., MC, Gervan, Kelly, Kaitlin, Tamara, Blessie Mae, Lori, Beatrice, Tina, Annie, Brandie, Rachel, Jaz, Stefani, Hazel, Piéra, and others-

Cheers.
Negative Reviews:
To all the negative reviews-

You are needed and you make me laugh without fail.
sesame-street-books
Community Drama:
To all the drama that spreads like wildfire-

Thanks for the entertainment, but once in a while, okay? Not all the time. (But I won't say nuttin' if you exist all day every day.)
i-am-literally-dori-gif-drama
Authors:
...and to those whose words enlighten, hurt, and are incredibly effusive (even if not to me but for someone else)-

Cool beans.
The Ones Who Suffer From My Bitching:
To Savindi and Sam-

I have words for you.

Afterthoughts:

I made an attempt at vomiting as many names as I could remember. I do apologize if you are not listed above. But if we have connected in any capacity within the past year, thank you.

Cheers,
Joey

connect: 
afterthoughtAn // twitter
anotherafterthought // goodreads
picturevomit // instagram

thoughtsandafterthoughts-signature-625x200

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76 thoughts on “[Blogiversary] – Reflecting On 3 Years and Thankful Thanks”

  1. I tend to do the disappearing act once in awhile when I hit a wall too. The great thing about this awesome community is that we understand and still love you anyway! You have brightened my day more than once with your posts and your humor. Thank you for being you!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Hahah the description for Canadians was just spot on. Apologizing profusely!! And don’t apologize for hitting a wall. Heck I’ve hit that plenty of times and I think I’m still in that weird hiatus phase as well. So nice to have met you and talked to you on Twitter, you rock 🙂 I love that GIF of Dory!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad you liked the description. At first, it was “Thank you for being as you are…” without the sorry’s in the mix but I just had to modify it to have that intent with the apologetic tone.

      Definitely a struggle to cope with being in that semi-hiatus-but-also-active phase, but just gotta keep trucking on I guess.!

      Like

  3. Again, happy 3 years, Joey! 🎉 Thanks for creating the quasi letter (it must have taken ages to link everyone, omg 😱) and including me even though I’ve kind of failed with being a loyal commenter as of late. Alas, life has been busy. 😅 Anyway, I feel really honored! To many more years of happy blogging and reading. ⭐️️

    (Also, we need to re-sync and reinstate our average Goodreads rating buddy status. Mine is slipping lower and lower?? I think your critical side (and probably Aimal’s) has rubbed off on me. Idk. 😂😂)

    Lastly, I hope your phone can now see emojis or else you’re going to get a lot of image errors in this comment, lol.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. The struggles of linking to every single individual/blog is peanuts to the recommendation of their voice from me-to-you.

      You’re allowed to be busy. Summer. You and your Pharmacology (?) — that is what you’re studying, right? I didn’t just make this all up in my mind!?

      And for your reference, my reading rating is somehow on a steep rise. I went up a full 0.03 points in this half year — from 3.25 to 3.28 –BANANAS! I must be getting soft and reviewing things nicely again. Except, actually, I started DNFing books now; which in theory are a “0” and could drop it but they’re unrated. So maybe my true rating is synced to yours.

      I seldom use my phone to blog (still). I’m a desktop user forever.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. My wall cannot protect me from feels from Attack on Titan — and if you didn’t understand that reference, FORGET I SAID ANYTHING.

      Thank you for your continual support, Bianca. Even if I know, without fail, that you are one of the blogs that I fail to reciprocate those comments back onto. I apologize again.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Don’t worry. You are worthy enough to criticize me for the title that I chose to label myself if I did not know anything about Attack on Titan. Unfortunately, I know a lot. 😂 And don’t worry, those feels are normal.

        You are too sweet to even mention me. It’s always a pleasure to drop by your blog. 😊

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I never would have guessed this was a hard year was for you blog-wise. I’ve enjoyed all of your posts. And I’m not bothered if you don’t respond to my many comments…unless they’re related to a certain gooey, chocolate-y, cracker-y treat. Then you better reply. 😉 Thank you so much for the shout out. It was very sweet of you.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I guess this is one of those moments where I can only say it’s difficult to gauge someone’s struggles if you aren’t in their shoes — type of sentiments. I think it was more difficult than not as some weeks merely had a Top Ten list and nothing more. And I know, in my mind, that I can do better — that I have done better.

      So here’s to being refocused again. Sort of.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Awe man, I don’t feel like I deserve that mention at all, but I am super happy you consider me one of your steadier commenters. I’ve kind of been slumping in activity, but I just love your blog! So HAPPY BLOGIVERSARY! 3 years is such an achievement, not everyone sticks around for that long. I never would have guessed that it was a difficult blogging year for you, you make it seem easy!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. In retrospect, three years is quite a long time over the course of almost 500 posts. I guess you don’t really feel it after a while when it becomes habit and not a chore — which is where I’m trying to get back to.

      I can pinpoint an aspect to our conversations that I do miss in my personal slumping — it’s that over and beyond the books we seldom talk about, I know at least that you watch a lot of the same film and television shows as me. That’s the conversations I enjoy the most!

      It was just a more sparse posting schedule for me as I would never opt to post anything that lacked the authenticity of the voice that I am trying to convey — so I’m glad that so many of you feel that it didn’t appear as though I was slumping.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, time just flies by and blogging becomes a routine in a way. I’ve been doing this for more than 3 years too and I honestly couldn’t quite imagine ever giving up the blog. I’d miss the people too much.
        We DO watch a lot of the same stuff and I always adored your one-line-summaries/reviews of where you were at with the shows. I narrowed down my TV schedule a lot, but I still have more than 20 shows on it …

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Happy three years, Joey! And thank you for the shoutout – don’t worry, the quiet judgment is reciprocated. 😈

    But more seriously, you’re actually one of the bloggers I really look up to when it comes to word vomit. Yours is SO articulate and often thought-provoking, I feel like I’m immediately smarter after I read one of your posts (albeit sadly only temporarily). Kudos for that, and here’s to hopefully a better year of blogging where that persistent wall has been… ah, scaled, climbed, or destroyed – any way you want it. 😊

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You are too wonderful, Reg. I’m just happy to hear that said word vomit has been understood haha, I always feel that most of what I’m saying just flies over people’s heads. I will make it my mission now to craft a life changing discussion etc. that will change the course of your thinking. A worthy adversary of a goal!

      Thank you for your continual support, Reg, and cheers to many more wonderful discussions with you!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Can I just copy the beginning of your post please because that’s how I’m feeling about mine rn (once again) too. I always kept going because of the people I met, but that’s not really happening on the blog anymore and all on twitter and IG.

    AND OMG I DID SO NOT EXPECT TO BE PART OF THIS POST ❤
    #mourningManchee5ever

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Feel free to use that sentence/paragraph! I am a sharer of steaming brown paper bags of shit.

      I feel you with the transition of community vibes from blog to more immediate social media platforms like Twitter and IG. It’s the informality and quick calls to actions that keeps things more exciting and “on your toes”, I think, than traditional blogs (which is totally fine).

      And of course you were included. Who else is going to beta read my WIP about a scentless world sans special snowflake a la smells a sweat drippin’ piece of bark?!

      Like

  8. I’m sorry it’s been such a crappy year. I’ve had almost zero motivation since September and I’m not sure what to do about it. It could be that 2 year slump you mentioned. You’ve always been one of the funniest people in the community and you never fail to make me laugh. I’m so glad I know you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha, I noticed your potential (?) slump since September as well when I had to go to everyone’s platform to link up (I was about to change it to Twitter too!) I saw a video recently that you were featured in a BookTube video re: that couple who you sent My Fair Lady to and cited as that lady who makes awesome book trailer videos!

      You are so kind, Sarah, and I really hope you find that creative spark again!

      Also: I think my jokes are pretty bad. So I don’t know what that says about you (or anyone else) who enjoys them haaah.

      Like

  9. I wish I could do something other than just say “I’m sorry you’ve spent a shitty year struggling.” That’s fucking awful. Do you have any new ideas to adjust your blog/blogging habits/interactions with the community/goals/whatever in 2017, to try to recapture that old blogging joy? Thinking about making any drastic changes? Anything I can do to help? (If nothing else, I could probably rustle up some sparkly pom-poms to cheer you on. Hotpants aren’t my thing, though, so don’t expect the full outfit.)

    I hope that, if you haven’t already, you soon figure out exactly what you want and need from your blog and the community, and that they’re easy to achieve.

    But allow me to wholeheartedly reassure you that:

    (1) I see no reason for you to feel guilty about your slow or absent commenting; I think we all generally (and amiably) assume that whenever someone is slow at commenting, it’s because they have stuff going on in their real lives (school, work, social demands, depression, whatever) that makes regular commenting difficult or impossible, and

    (2) your posts have never seemed less than well-thought-out and well-executed. If this is the type of content you produce when you’re in an inspirationless rut, I can only imagine what your blog will be like when you start feeling the motivation and joy again. In the meantime, know that your content is still high quality and makes for fantastic reading.

    Okay, I now have a lovely list of unfamiliar bloggers whom I need to investigate asap. Thank you for pointing them out! (And thanks for the shout-out, too. I’m glad I’m one of the people who’s made the awful last year at least a smidge more bearable for you.

    Here’s hoping for a happier and more fulfilling year ahead of you. =)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. An essay response deserves an essay reply. First and foremost: thank you, Liam, for your consistency in delivering articulate and thoughtful comments and true-as-you critiques. They are very much appreciated by myself and surely others too.

      For me, I think it’s a matter of following through on the ideas that I have to actually get said content out. I cannot even begin to count how many posts I’ve trashed because I did not know where I was going with it. I surely still have these ideas somewhere hidden away within a notepad file somewhere, but it just warrants a bit of disappointment that the heart-and-brain weren’t synced up in most of this past blogging year.

      Perhaps the actual creativity thing might be spurred by going self-hosted etc., which to be fair, I’ve been wanting to do for a year and a half but haven’t really sat down in fully flesh out my ideas since I also wanted to fully rebrand (this current blog name is just too long). I admit it’s one of those retrospective things you don’t really think about until later in the process. But that’s on me and my laziness as I genuinely have a problem with immediate gratification. Like, seriously. Don’t even give me any snacks before a meal. Or a highly anticipated episode of a television show before sleep. Or free time to eat-then-food-coma. I suck, haha.

      Thank you for your cheers though, Liam. I definitely won’t bother you for the pom-pom shenanigans but your sentiments have been received.

      Per your comments re: commenting.

      The awful thing is that in the beginning, I legit tried to throw comments out everywhere to many posts as I could every day. Even if it was a non-reply. It was something. And I couldn’t do that something this year. Ahhh.

      Per your comments re: post execution.

      Not trying to toot my own horn at all but I definitely would not have posted anything if it didn’t meet some internally derived standard that I have set for myself. That being said, I am happy with what was released this year, it’s just that, at the end of the day, I know it could have been…better? By which I mean more of these ideas being fleshed out, written, and released into your brains.

      Have I also mentioned how wonderful you were? I totally had a moment of “I wonder if Liam finished his move to his new mancave yet?” back a few months — and I (and the community) is surely happy that you have returned, if not for the better.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Heck yes, essays.

        Hm, you’re right; the issue you’re dealing with can’t exactly be pom-pomed away. It’s good that you probably have most of your ideas written down somewhere, though, so you can return to them and perhaps be inspired later on. I’ll keep my fingers crossed for that.

        I can definitely imagine that a total rebranding and reworking of your blog would be a thorough creativity and motivation boost–not to mention a daunting and probably lengthy task. Can’t blame you for not jumping on it.

        Well, I’m glad you didn’t feel bitter disappointment and self-loathing with every post that you published. That’s good, at least! I hope?

        I can honestly say I doubt anyone’s happier I’m back online than I am. I’ve missed these conversations. Here’s to many more in the next year, which will hopefully be a fantastic one for you and your blog. 🍻

        Liked by 1 person

  10. Do I get a bonus point now that I know who Zach Parise. is? 😛

    Don’t worry about the slump. At some point all of us face it so just keep doing what your doing and things will eventually work itself out. I must say that your posts are always a treat to read. Happy blogiversary and thank you for the mention. Here’s to an epic three years and more to come. You rock. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Someone above me said this post is a masterpiece, and I can only agree. I’m sorry this hasn’t been the best blogging year, but I am always looking forward to your posts, your ranting and reviews and thought-provoking posts about anything bookish, they’re always so entertaining to read and you are one of the strongest voices in the community. Even if you don’t feel like it maybe, you are, if you ask me. I’m hoping that you’ll find this little blogging frenzy again, and don’t worry too much about not commenting and answering on the same day / week or anything. Everyone gets busy, lazy, bothered and anything, it happens and there is nothing wrong with that.
    Also THANK YOU for quoting me in your post, I feel honoured to be there, and it’s always a pleasure to comment on your posts 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Your words cut me very deep, Marie. In a good way; cathartic even.

      I remember watching (or rather, I had your “How To Blog Like A King” (?) InterBlogCon video playing in the background as did other things) and I thought to myself “Marie’s got this blogging thing down alright” and surprisingly, it was a refreshing to hear how your process is because it’s always interesting to me to see how other individuals go about their blog. So thank you for that, and your continual support of my content. My only hope is that I can reciprocate these sentiments in all of the wonderful posts you have crafted over the years too.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. I had the same problem in my sophomore year of blogging. In fact, I actually stopped blogging altogether for more than a year then (but I was also not on social media then). Hopefully, you’ll get through it soon.

    Also, “I will never admit my love for Zach Parise” . . . I think you just did xD

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yay for being in the same timeline of blogiversary years!

      I hear you. I feel like we were (or maybe still are) in a constant cycle of “damn, sorry to hear your month was shit” for the past half year+ haha. BUT, I shall repeat those sentiments once more: I hope your 2017 year becomes better, Steph. At least one of us has to get out of this rut.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Thanks so much for mentioning me! I haven’t been the best at commenting lately but I just wanted to let you know that I always read your posts. Your writing style is very intellectual but witty at the same time, I don’t know if that makes sense 😂 Sometimes I get confused while reading but that’s totally on me. Congratulations on three years and I hope there’s many great ones to come! 🎉

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Being in my 4th year of blogging, I felt like my 3rd year is exactly how you described before I got my wonderful co-bloggers. I felt like everything I wanted to say had already been covered and I was stuck from the pressure of commenting back. needless to say I made changes and it turned out well! Happy blogoversary Joey. I’m glad you’ve stuck with us.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. If you’re suggesting I should get co-bloggers and life would be wonderful again, THEN YOU ARE A SMART CLOUD AND I SHOULD FOLLOW IN YOUR FOOTSTEPS. If I’m being honest, I have just been lazy in that search haha — but I’ve always wanted one!

      Year 1: from honourary cloud to full fledged cloud. life is good.

      Liked by 1 person

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