In a lovely, beautiful country, in one of the prettiest spots in Europe, full of culture and bravery, lives one of the most wonderful, kindest and inspiring bloggers of our community. Naturally, I’m talking about Marina @Books Of Magic from beautiful Serbia. She is one of the finest bloggers and finest souls you’ll ever meet and you MUST all visit her blog because people like Marina are one in a million. And I am NOT exaggerating at all. She has nominated me for the Blogger Recognition Award and I cannot thank her enough for being such a good, good friend.
Rules. I love rules. Rules rule!
(…failed joke aside….Don’t judge me, I had a nice blood-waking fight today and I am feeling energetic…)
- Thank the blogger who nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
- Write a post to show your award.
- Give a brief story of how your blog started.
- Give two pieces of advice to new bloggers.
- Select 15 other bloggers you’d like to give this award to.
- Comment on each blog and let them know you’ve nominated them, providing a link to the post you’ve created.
How I started my blog
To be honest, what triggered my decision to start a blog was my involvement with Goodreads. Initially, I didn’t believe that anyone would want to read my reviews but writing articles and analyzing novels and Non-Fiction was a favourite hobby of mine during my university years, so I thought why not? And I let myself presume that I could occupy a little, tiny-tiny corner in the vastness that is the World Wide Web. And then, everything changed. I am an extremely introverted person and I have a few, carefully selected friends in real life but none of them is the type that would sit and discuss books with me for two hours straight, although they are occasional readers. This was the treasure I found in Goodreads. The interaction, the meaningful sharing of views and opinions, the civilized discussion.
And then, I thought that I would love to have a corner of my own (too many corners, it starts sounding like a football game…) I’d love the idea to create my very own articles with pictures and gifs and puns and my jokes that could freeze Hell, things that I can’t do in my Goodreads reviews. My decision to join NetGalley also reinforced my desire for a blog. And there it was…I created The Opinionated Reader and I haven’t regretted for a single second. Yes, it is difficult to balance the time dedicated to blogging with work and real life but where there’s a will there is a way and so far so good. (…Two adages in a row. This is a new low…)
Advice to new bloggers
Oh, advice…I don’t think I am the right person to give advice to anyone. Once, my cousin had problems with her boyfriend and I told her ”punch the m—r in the nose and let him drink his blood”. Not really helpful…Don’t be afraid, I’m not always like that. Only when I am angry. Which is often because my mum handed me a short fuse on my birth but that’s okay. It helps one deal with the trolls. And the irritating, low-quality people.
The above paragraph brings me to my two points that are related to each other and concern behavioral issues.
1) Never let anyone diminish you, reprimand you or tell you that your opinion of a book was wrong or that you didn’t ”really” catch the aim of the writer.
You have your own opinion and you’re going to support it against all odds. Against every troll that thinks he/she knows better just because. Whether you will calmly explain your stance and try to make said person realize his/her mistake, it’s up to you. Personally, I’ve got limited patience with adults so I always block and delete and respond the way I’ve learnt to after years of interaction. Your opinion is sacred. Your relationship with a book is sacred. It is one of the most personal experiences in the world and noone NOONE has the right to tell you what to say, what to write, what to believe!
2) Do not oppress yourself just for the sake of appearence.
If someone bothers you, if a situation, an interaction, a person annoys you, cut every contact. Your blog is your safe haven from the anxiety, negativity and maliciousness we all face in real life. We don’t need to do the same within our book community. We don’t need to be harassed -in any way, shape and form- for our sex, for our contribution in the community, for our stance in life. If we tolerate this, if we allow those ”people” to invade our sanctum, then we’ve lost the game. So, be true. This is my advice. Be rude, if you have to. Sometimes, these people understand no other language. And believe me, if you answer back, you will frighten them. So, let yourself express your justified, holy anger on the trolls and then block them to the depths of Hell. It’s exhilarating.
This came out a bit more personal than I intended, but my 33 years on this planet have taught me that if you don’t answer, they are bound to think they’ve won. So, be true, honest and don’t let anyone dictate you what to say and feel.
Grainne @Darkly Whimsical Reader
Lauren @Books Beyond the Story
Paula @Book Jotter
Aneela @The Mystique Reader
Callum @Callum McLaughlin
Rachel @Pace Amore Libri
Hannah @I Have Thoughts On Books
Millions and tons of thank you-s (…totally wrong, I know…) to dearest, dearest Marina and I can’t wait to read your posts.
And don’t forget, lovely people: Get the posts rolling like a fine three-point shoot and stay true!
…that was fun!
…and watching Miro is also fun, but that’s another theme for discussion…