Sunday 30 October 2016

Nerd Church (SPECIAL EDITION!) - Lessons From 2 Years of Book Blogging

It's my blog anniversary tomorrow! :) Yes, on Halloween, 2 years ago, a little depressed bookish rebel took her first steps into book-blogging.

That's Jango 'helping' me blog (climbing over my shoulder and onto the keyboard, he likes doing that) - he's the pretty/fluffy one ;)

So, you want me to dish the dirt, yeah? Of course you do ;)

I didn't blog much 'til October/November last year.

Yes, I've had a blog for two years, no I did not have a bl**dy clue what I was doing with it 'til last autumn, when I decided to really give this thing a go.

Don't look at my early posts, they're terrible. In fact, I look back at posts I wrote a few months ago and am hugely surprised at how much I've progressed since then.

The way to produce half-way decent blogposts is to produce a lot of not-so-great ones along the way.

If you're a blogger, don't be afraid to be honest.

I decided from the start that I was going to be brutally honest.

That doesn't mean being abrasive or aggressive - it just means that you're going to be open and honest about you, your feelings, your life.

Granted, the fact that I use a blogging name is a huge safety net for that. When I started this blog, I was majorly depressed, and I still struggle with depression and anxiety now.

I don't think I would have felt comfortable talking so openly and frankly about my mental health problems if it'd been my real name that I was using.

Ditto, there are approximately three people offline who I've come out as sexually fluid to.

Online? I'm free to be me.

Also, my real name is actually Welsh, and after nearly a quarter of a century of having it mangled by people who are, themselves, Welsh, I figured that expecting people outside Wales to do anything but butcher it was probably a little much ;)

Blogging almost every day has helped a lot.

Don't get me wrong: I know not many people want to/have time to do that. And it's uber-important to take breaks when you need them. Self Care first guys!

But I found that, actually, blogging almost every day helps with the depression: I have awesome online friends, the satisfaction of completing a post, and the ability to get my thoughts out of my head and into the world, where they might even do some good.

Plus, the amount of blogging/writing practice I get in is huge.

BUT: Do what suits you. No-one else. Blogging is such a personal thing that you have to do things your way, or you're going to end up hating something you should love.

I'm still socially awkward as all hell.

I'm so awkward. And I'm not just saying that. Everything that I could say goes directly out my earhole the moment someone talks to me.

Also, every time I talk to (awesome graphic novelist) Linda Sejic, I manage to become the living personification of a socially interactive train-wreck.

Luckily, Linda is amazing and doesn't seem to mind that I a) link to reviews of her husband's books instead of hers b) tag a random person whose @ was similar to Linda's handle and c) forget how to word and end up sticking random smiley faces in instead :)

General Warning:
If I'm acting weird, it's not you. It's def not you. *sigh*

But I'm not (that) afraid of controversy.

I'm not afraid of standing up for what I believe in. I think if you have a voice, you use it.

That said, I find it exceptionally difficult sometimes to disagree with people, in case I accidentally offend them.

The thought of offending someone is my #1 anxiety trigger, so you'll rarely find me insulting people - even those who deserve it - because it's not worth the shaking and racing-heart that comes with it.

This is not a way to gain instant fame and fortune.

I don't want to put you off - but to be even semi-successful in the blogging world, you need to put in some damned hard work.

If you're not willing to do that, then you won't see the results. Simple as that.

Basically, the way to blog, in my humble 2-year opinion, dearest nerdlets, is:
  • try your best
  • be you
  • don't write posts you wouldn't read
  • show people your passion

And, of course, Cee's Golden Rule for life:

Don't act like a jerk!

I know this is kind of a long and blathering post, but I also have to give a special shout-out to just a few of the people who continue to inspire me:

Emily @ The Paperback Princess; Emma-Jane @ The Book Crunch; Sierra @ The Nerdgirl Review; Olivia-Savannah @ Olivia's Catastrophe; Tina @ As Told By Tina; Charlotte @ Bookmarks and Blogging; Naz @ Read Diverse Books; Ely (and Michelle) @ Tea & Titles; Imogen @ Wandered Souls

(and thanks to @arbind_paonam, @LindaSejic, and @misses_pancake for making Twitter a nicer place to be)

Sorry if I haven't thanked you: I love all of you, but dude, listing you all would take more than a blogpost, and this is already entering Oscar-speech territory. I've met so many amazing people through blogging!

Please be assured that I appreciate each and every one of you, and am always pleasantly surprised when you like, comment, RT, and generally support yours truly.

There have been times when your niceness has actually made me cry. And I'm kind of a hard-a*s, so that's actually an excellent achievement on your part - keep up the good work guys! :)

So what's next for Diary of a Reading Addict (which I only realised a few weeks ago I can shorten to DORA - I'm so oblivious)?

Well, firstly, tomorrow I have a special review of a book called Star-Shot, from a Welsh publisher called Seren (which means Star) and an actual real-life giveaway on Twitter!

And yes, this is the first giveaway I will ever have done. They stress me out. See how much I love you guys?

So drop by tomorrow to check that out!

After that? Well, I'm going to keep shooting for the stars (I really couldn't resist that pun!) and I hope you'll want to join me ;)


  1. HAPPY BLOGIVERSARY CEE!! Awww this post was so amazing as always. I'm so happy we found each other through blogging, and your posts are so inspirational, unique and motivational. Thank you for being you <3

    1. I'm so happy we found each other too :D

      And awww Em, what a lovely comment! *blushes*

      Thank you for being amazing <3

  2. Aww, what a lovely post! <3
    I appreciate your contributions to the blogging community and am inspired every time I check your blog. How you manage to write up new and interesting content every day is so impressive! I wish I had your super power. :)
    Thank you for the shout out and thank you for always being supportive of me and my blog as well.
    Here's to another year of successful and consistent blogging! If anyone can do it, it's you. :D

    1. *dies at the loveliness of Naz's comment*
      Thank you soooooo much!
      And of course I support you and your blog - you're so freaking amazing, how could I not?!?!?
      <3 <3 <3

  3. Congrats on 2 years and thanks for the shout out! And you are so right about writing about stuff you only want to read. I've never thought about it like that but it is so important. You are such a great influence on the book blogging community!

    1. So much the lovely in this comment!
      Thank you sooooooooo much Sierra! <3 <3 <3

  4. I know I'm really late but I'm only taking the time to read some blogs today... so I hope you had a brilliant blog anniversary! Congratulations on being blogging for two years! And trust me, I know the deal -- my first year of blogging was inconsistent and horrible too. No idea what I was doing until I properly invested time into things. I hope there are many more years of blogging ahead of you, and I'm glad it's made you more comfortable to talk about your mental health online and any other controversial issues you want to state your opinion on. And thank you so much for the shoutout lovely <3

    1. No problem for the shout-out <3

      My blog anniversary was great, thank you :)

      And yeah, I think none of us really knew what we were doing at the very beginning :')

      Thanks for the lovely comment Liv! :)


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