This is the last 2018 themed post I promise. I just wanted to talk about all the things I managed to ‘hit’ in 2018. I’ve been having a lot of trouble explaining my blogging to people in my life. They don’t understand my ‘hobby’. What I get out of it? All this time and effort, to do something for free, what must I get out of it? How do I measure my success? So I wanted to talk about some milestones I hit in 2018 that make this whole thing worth while.
- I was able to go to so many book events and festivals in 2018. To connect with people and authors. To be in the same room as such an infectious book lover and passion. Sometimes I get de-sensitized to how amazing that is, to be around people united by a love for books.
- Going as a member of the media to BookExpo. This blew my mind, because it was the first time I ever applied and to be accepted, was just the best experience. It wasn’t just about the ARCs, but about the atmosphere, the community. Knowing there are all these people passionate about books, to be surrounded in a stew of bookish love for days.
- Attending the Frankfurt Book Fair as a member of the press. This was just even bigger than I could have ever predicted. It was incredibly tiring, but it was fantastic to feel like this could be something I could be involved in. Moving back to Europe has been hard, so hard this year. And it made me wonder if I could ever find a smidgeon of the passion, the bookish enthusiasm, that I had immersed myself in throughout 2018 in NYC.
- Going to the Fierce Reads event where I was able to meet so many of my favorite authors – Leigh Bardugo, Alex London, Anna Marie McLemore, Tomi Adeyemi. This was just one of those out of body experiences.
- My internship over the year, which wasn’t related to blogging per se, but a huge factor was this blog, the knowledge and skills I had honed. It was fulfilling to look back and say, look. My skills have real life applications in a very tangible way.
- Speaking on a panel at BlogboundCon. This was also incredibly satisfying to be able to be ‘seen’ as someone. I’ve thought a lot in 2018 about exposing myself more and more on the internet. And this was just one of those moments where it felt like stepping out in front of a curtain.
- Making bookish friends in the community has always been something that kept me blogging. Sure I love screaming about books all day, but to have people with me, that’s been the best. If you want some specific names, check out my 2018 In Review.
- Breaking the 5k follower threshold. I’m not in this for the numbers, but when you pour hours into this, it’s nice to know your work is being seen. I spend so many hours on this in my life, that doing it and seeing the numbers rise, feels like these investments of time, have been worth it. To reach more people, to champion more books.
- Making my first ever follower/friend. At BookCon I met Mike, a reader of my blog, in person. I never would have thought that real life people follow me. There’s a difference between numbers, and Twitter conversations, then seeing a real person who reads my worlds and ramblings online. It brought the whole thing to a new level for me this year. There are real people behind these profile pictures.
- Having people tell me they liked my reviews and bought books off my recommendations. This is hands down the best compliment, that someone loves a book and got it because of what I said. It’s the reason I do this. To make sure people know about some fantastic and diverse books coming.