Bring out the confetti and streamers because today is my first anniblogary!
"Anniblogary?" you incredulously question? Why yes. Let's do some word breaking down.
"Ann" means year, and "ver" means true (thank you, seventh and eighth grade English teachers), so "anniversary" essentially means a year of truth. Replacing "ann" with "blog" creates a word that means…blogging truthfully? Therefore, I choose to use a different neologism that seems to me to capture the intended meaning more adeptly.
In all seriousness, though, I am amazed by this experience and I cannot believe I have been living it for a year. When I first rolled the idea of book blogging around in my mind back in March of 2012 and tried to mold it into something comprehensible, I was wary that I wouldn't do it correctly and I constantly compared myself to others, feeling lost in a sea of bigger bloggers. I saw the things some of them got to do and the places they got to go because of their hobbies and it all seemed so out of reach. The memory of sitting on my bed reading ALA tweets last summer and thinking about how over my head it was is a charcoal tattoo burned onto my brain, and seeing other sites make getting twenty comments a day look effortless tinged my vision with jealousy.
Now, everything is different, and surreal is the only word I can use to describe how it feels. I won't be reading ALA tweets this summer; I'll be there, something I never, ever imagined would possibly happen before becoming old enough to go there myself. I have made a few amazing friends and people actually read and comment on my posts. I'm even embarking on an unbelievably exciting new project that I cannot wait to see take off. Forever Literary's growth has been sluggish, but it expands a bit every day thanks to a certain group of amazing people, who I must thank.
A huge note of appreciation goes first to Jessica of Chick Lit Teens. Yours was the first book blog I started reading and I remain a devoted fan of your beautifully written reviews, even though your packed Harvard student schedule has slowed them down. Thank you for inspiring me to start my blog and for giving me something for which I can strive.
Thank you to the authors with whom I have worked (Shanae Branham, Sara Tribble, Jennifer McGowan, and Kara Taylor) and thank you to Lauren Myracle for writing the brilliant book Shine, which was the first novel I ever reviewed, back when my review writing skills were utter rubbish (we all know I'm a genius now, right?).
To my blogging friends: I adore you all and am truly lucky to know you. I love having bookish conversations with all of you, but even more than that, I love getting to know you as people and I am so grateful to have a whole extra group of friends. From long, rambling emails about the most trivial of topics as well as serious ones to extended twitter conversations that make me feel guilty for taking over other peoples' timelines, I have enjoyed every moment spent "with" you, so someday out paths will cross in person.
Lastly, I need to give a nod of gratitude to the community as a whole because it has never been less than welcoming and I have felt like a fully accepted, if not full-fledged, part of it since day one. Thank you for your support, your comments, your conversation, your posts that at times have inspired mine, and most of all for just being an essential part of this unique network of blogs. Each one of you makes the blogosphere a better place, even if I have not come into contact with you directly.
I could go into more detail and depth with my thank you notes, but I have already dragged this on too long. More expressions of appreciation would be redundant, so I will simply say that my blog has become a steadfast part of my life this past year and I am looking ahead to more growth in the upcoming one. All of you made that possible. Blogging keeps me sane and I would do it if not a single person read a word I wrote, but it is so much more fulfilling with the sense of community you provide.
You rock my blogging world.