Monday, January 12, 2015
How I Stay Positive in Blogging
I try to be a really positive person online. I like to gush, I like exclamation points, I like gifs and fangirling and fictional people making out and puppies and rainbows and cupcakes. But clearly nobody is that positve ALL the time, and sometimes negative things happen in your life or in the blogging community that affect you. I'm not really a Debbie Downer in person, either, unless you're trying to force me onto a treadmill (don't), I'm out of coffee, or I'm REALLY fucking hungry.
(I also swear like a sailor in real life but I think this just, um, adds to my class and charm and WHIMSY.)
So, yay for positivity! I'm not saying that Positive Twitter Gillian (who sometimes bows for Serious Thoughts Gillian or WHY IS IT RAINING Gillian or WHY IS ALL THE COFFEE GONE Gillian or MY FAVORITE CHARACTER JUST DIED Gillian) is a front, because she's not. That is me, because I'm sort of really bad at NOT being me. (Believe me, I tried.) I LOVE Twitter for making it so much easier to interact with friends, make friends, and form a community, but that also has its drawbacks. It can be VERY EASY to be infected by negativity, to take on someone else's gloom, or to be burned. This community breeds a lot of things: ARC envy, pressure, drama, burn out--all of which I've totally suffered from.
So, again: how do I remain positive?
I'm not going tot ell you how to blog AT ALL, because the number one way that I fight to be positive online is that I DO WHAT'S BEST FOR ME. It's kind of the number one rule in life, pretty much. You do what works for you. Is that ARCS? Book blasts? Blog tours? Only backlist books? No ARCs? Daily posts? Weekly posts? Booktube? Only positive reviews? Big mega book rantathons? Personal discussion posts only? WHATEVER IT IS, YOU DO IT. So long as it doesn't hurt another person, or spreads more negativity (ie bitching in a nasty way or bragging in a way that makes others feel like shit), you do your thang.
I realize that I am NOT a person who deals super great with tons of pressure, so I try not to put too much on myself. I post when I want, and I review how I want, and I try NOT to get too bogged down in my schedule. It's hard, and I'm frequently behind, but I also let myself say "FUCK IT" a lot of the time. Because this is FUN. I do this because it's fun and I love it and I NEVER want it to be a source of anxiety in my life. If it is, I urge you to reconsider the things you're making yourself do. Yes, there's a lot of crap and crap people in the world, but in something as personal as blogging, you can make it what you want. And if that includes stepping away from blogging, I totally support that, too. Do what makes you happy.
I also try to take little breaks, just to breathe. I try to talk about only things I WANT to talk about on my blog (it's mostly fictional people kissing, let's be real). And most important of all, I talk to my friends in this community.
I'd be lost without my friends. Like, really lost. I'd tumble down the rabbit hole of my own insecurities, or I'd end up saying things on Twitter I'd MUCH RATHER BE UNSAID. I talk to my best friends on gchat every day, and we rage and complain and grump to each other, and (mostly) none of that bleeds through onto Twitter. They're my filter and also my anchors because hoooo boy, do you need people with you to weather the blogging storms sometimes. To talk you down from the ARC envy ledge, to urge you NOT to tweet that subtweet, to remind you that you DON'T need to accept that review copy and that YOU are a valuable voice in the blogging world.
Blogging friends, twitter freakouts over books, drawing fan art, finding new blogs to read--these are all the things I love to do and that are the best parts of this community. I try to focus on that and do my own thing and do what will make me happy. It's really hard, especially when external storm clouds come along and rain poop and negativity all over the place. But sometimes that can bring out the best in this community as well.
All my best memories I have of this blogging rigamarole involve people. Meeting friends at BEA for the first time; grabbing delicious fried chicken sandwiches with them; late night drunken talks; sitting in line and complaining about our feet; binging Kdrama; planning trips; any and every conversation i have ever had about The 100; grabbing tea and scones; late night gchat SPAZ OUTS over books; recommending books to friends that will change their lives; talking with authors whose books have left imprints on my heart; and an incalculable number of LIFECHANGING twitter conversations over anything form Harry Potter puns (siriusly) to Heir of Fire freakouts to honest and grave discussions after scandals.
Bottom line: I love you people. So much it's a little scary and DAMN THESE EMOTIONS ALL OVER ME GET OFF. I'm here so I can talk to you and shout about books, and the fact that a bunch of you seem to want to talk to me back is icing on the cake :)
Okay, now I want cake.