“While the awards are a fun part of BBAW, they can never accurately represent the depth and breadth of diversity in the book blogging community. Today you are encouraged to highlight a couple of bloggers that have made book blogging a unique experience for you. They can be your mentors, a blogger that encouraged you to try a different kind of book, opened your eyes to a new issue, made you laugh when you needed it, or left the first comment you ever got on your blog. Stay positive and give back to the people who make the community work for you!”
If you’d like to participate in Book Blogger Appreciation Week, click here!
Sometimes when I watch movies like Sister of the Traveling Pants or listen to others talk about spa days or book clubs with their very best girlfriends I start to get a little bit weepy. I WANT THAT. For whatever reason, I just don’t have a solid group of girlfriends in “real life.” I have a girl friend or two but even those have faded since graduating college in 2008. I always thought that it was me…maybe I have this weird genetic mutation that doesn’t allow me to find female companions. I really was convinced it was me until….
I started blogging and I found out what the REAL problem was — I just didn’t find the right girls to be bffs with! Pretty early on in the blogging community I had an instant connection with a great group of girls. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve found many many more awesome people that I consider to be really close blogging friends but I can’t deny the crazy special bond I have always had with a handful of bloggers.
These girls are the friends I wish I had in real life. Truly, I can talk books, movies, tv and music all day long with these girls. We help each other with blogging ideas and share our “blogging insecurities.” We know how to make each other die laughing or completely blow up a Facebook thread with our hilarious shenanigans. The times I’ve spent with some of them at BEA or elsewhere it has only reconfirmed that these are my long lost girlfriends that I need in my life. But aside from our ability to gab and laugh together or at one another, these girls know how to have a heart to heart. I’ve shared some the most personal things in my life with these ladies and they have responded with support, a cyber shoulder to cry on, words of wisdom and encouragement. My relationships with these ladies go beyond blogging….they are my friends for life.
I hate listing people who have helped and supported me because I always feel sick to my stomach knowing that I couldn’t possibly list the numerous people that I’ve encountered along the way that have truly impacted me, boosted my spirits, made me laugh, or gave me solid advice. If you are reading this and we’ve interacted, I appreciate you. I appreciate every comment, every word of encouragement, every laugh or book recommendation. I say this honestly and genuinely…as someone who doesn’t have girlfriends and values the friendships I’ve made through one of my biggest passions in life — reading.
But here’s a SHORT list of bloggers who have made this year and a few months unique for me. I’d highly suggest you check them out:
Steph from Steph Su Reads: I read Steph’s blog before I met her at PAYA. I had only been blogging for about 2 or 3 months at this point and she was KIND OF A BIG DEAL to me. Her blog was awesome and I always was putting books on my TBR list because of her. I met her at PAYA and she was every bit as awesome as her blog. After PAYA, we met again at a book signing and then had the most amazing time at IHOP talking for FOREVER about everything. After that we made it a point to have book dates and hang out. I value my friendship with Steph like you wouldn’t believe. I look up to her (even though she is younger than me). She is the voice of reason and always gives me solid, levelheaded advice. She has helped me tremendously in my blogging journey and I appreciate her encouragement about blogging and just life in general. She’s now in China for work and I miss her like crazy as she really became more than “just a blogging friend.”
Jen from Makeshift Bookmark — I’m pretty sure that Jen is my long lost best friend. FOR REAL. It’s disgusting how much we think the same things and have the same sense of humor. I just can’t even tell you the ridiculous things that we’ve found that we have in common. We have lost track and just start saying Number 94038059 of why we are friends. Seriously. She always seems to make me laugh no matter how good or bad my day is. She listens to me bitch about the most RIDICULOUS things and then we laugh at ourselves. We can vent and rant and I know that every secret is safe with Jen. She has made blogging ridiculously fun for me (and EVERYONE ELSE, am I right?) and has kept me SANE during the slumps in my blogging journey or days when I want to give up. Aside from that, this girl has a heart of gold and we always have each other’s backs.
April, Anna, Tara, Ginger, Carla, Capillya, Shanyn & Melanie — THESE GIRLS. I want them all to live near me so we can have dance parties, cocktail hour and BOOK CLUB…which would probably turn into cocktail hour. Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants can back the eff up because the friendships I have with these girls is AMAZING. I can’t count the number of LOL moments, conversations to encourage each other with blogging, heart to heart conversations about some really personal things and every other random awesome moment that has brought us all together. I met all of them at BEA (with the exception of Ginger & Capillya) and seriously, I don’t care how corny this was, but that week was one of the best times I’ve ever had. It pains me to not be able to have that all the other weeks out of the year. Every single one of these ladies has listened to me, given me advice, made me laugh and reminded me that having a female friends in my life is something I NEED. Love you all.
Michelle & Danielle – These two are amazing women and seem to always be there to listen or give blogging advice to a little lowly blogger like myself. The encouragement I’ve received from them helped me tremendously throughout this journey. I respect the hell out of them and find them to be two of the most passionate bloggers I’ve talked to. They are ALWAYS doing something encouraging to add positivity to the blogging community. I’ve received some really great advice from these two and they’ve set some great examples for me when I was new and they instantly accepted me.
Kristi — Guys, I know many in the YA community are going to say Kristi has inspired them to start blogging (rightly so!) but I’ll be honest…she wasn’t the first blog I read. I can’t say she made me want to blog or inspired it. I found her a little later. WHAT I WILL TELL YOU…Kristi is one of the most GENUINE, nicest bloggers in the world and if you have ever met her you would never know that she is “a big deal” as a blogger because she doesn’t carry herself in that way. She is normal, down-to-earth and seriously makes me laugh. A LOT. From PAYA to BEA, I’ve loved getting to know Kristi and she has really helped fuel my love for YA lit. She does A LOT for the community and I don’t know how she does it all and still has a life. I appreciate all the time she has taken to help me along and listen to me vent or trust me with her own thoughts and problems. She isn’t the “Story Siren” to me. She is Kristi…a dear friend and a WONDERFUL person with an amazing heart. She has shown me what it takes to be a classy blogger as she takes all the good and bad that comes with being “The Story Siren” gracefully. I don’t know how she does it but she has my utmost respect.
Sigh, I almost deleted all of this because I could honestly list SO SO SO MANY more people. I really could. I have all their names in my head. It makes me upset to think I could possibly hurt someone I care about dearly for not mentioning them by name here. Please just know who you are.