Sunday 31 October 2021

Seven Years of Blogging! (aka My Blog Anniversary Post)

(Warning: this post references: the affects of Depression, grief and bereavement, 2020 in general, Nazis and internet trolls)

'7 Years of Blogging!' against a jazzy star background

Seven years ago, in a decision I can’t remember making, using reasoning I don’t remember at all, I started this book blog.

(Yes, this is technically a book blog! I’m just very good at stirring the bookish content into the non-bookish content. 

Like sneaking veggies into your food or something... I don't know where that analogy is going, tbh ๐Ÿ˜…)

I named it Diary of a Reading Addict. I don’t remember why.

Later, I changed it to Dora Reads – which I felt was better for a bunch of reasons. (I never have just one reason for anything!)

Did I think I would still be blogging seven(!) years later?

...Honestly I still can’t remember, but I don’t think that much thought went into it.

My memory from that period is even more shot than my general memory (Depression sucks,) and my thought-processes at that time were far from logical.

Sometimes I wanna ask why – Hey Cee of 2014, why did you start a book blog?

Why did you barely post there for a year?

Did you have a plan? (Could you let me know what the hell it was?)

Hey Cee of 2015, why did you pick it up – what made you decide to revive something that had no real traffic and extremely few posts?

Where did you get the determination to turn things around?

Hey Cee of 2016, why did you throw your all into blogging, despite the literal swastika-brandishing Nazis* and the Twitter abuse?

Where did you get the fire under your butt that year to blog so much and put so much passion into it all?

*No joke - 2016 on the Internet was wild  

Hey Cee of 2017, 2018, 2019 – what made you keep going?

To keep plodding away despite the way the world kept kicking you down?

What was it like to finally earn money for doing the thing you were born to do and writing your heart out?

Hey Cee of 2020 – how did you manage to keep writing with the world going to hell in a handbasket?

How did you pick yourself up when Amazon UK removed your main source of blogging income on a whim?

When you were pushed back to square one?

(You can see the full story on the Amazon thing here on Dora Reads, or here on Medium. Yes, when it comes to this, I am that b**ch ๐Ÿ˜Ž  )

All of this is a convoluted way of saying: I have existential crises all the time.

Including blogging existential crises.

Sometimes it feels like I’m on a treadmill, trying my hardest and getting nowhere. But I’m stubborn.

You know that, if you’ve read this blog before (and if you haven’t, welcome! This is an odd place to start but I’m glad you’re here, all the same.)

I am stubborn.

I am stubborn and strong and for reasons I have never known, never understood, never asked for, there are two things in my life that I know are as true and as fundamental as breathing:

I have to read.

I have to write.

And Dora Reads lets me do both. 

Not only that, but as I’ve said many times, this blog has literally been my survival mechanism – one of the things I can cling to on the bad days.

(Although, some financial security wouldn’t go amiss. My mental health would be a lot better if I had some prospect of stability on that front. #JustSaying.)

You’re all stuck with me, my dearest darling nerdlets.

Whether you regularly share, comment, interact on socials, or just read my bizarre ramblings from time to time – I freaking love you. You keep me going, in so many ways!

Dora Reads is and always will be a place where I am always brutally honest – I promise never to knowingly lie to you, or produce BS for the hell of it.

It’s a place where I’ve been able to ‘write it out’ – to figure out who I am and what that means (...although that’s very much still a work in progress.)

And I know, from private messages that mean so, so, much, that my visible wrestling with my own self is something that’s meant a lot to other people

 – that’s actually helped other people, so much so that they actually thank me for it.

(Which you don’t have to do, dearest nerdlets! It’s much appreciated, but in no way an obligation.)

That’s mind-blowing – that people thank me for basically being an ugly-crying hot mess all over the internet.

So in that spirit I’ll say this:

From: the Cee of 2021

To: my dearest nerdlets

CC: the Cee of 2022

Subject: Dora Reads

Hello my dearest darling nerdlets,

This year has been tough on a personal level. I thought my heart couldn’t break any more, but it did. Losing my Nan shattered a world I had been very slowly building since the previous blow.

And I’ve considered, more than once, whether it’s worth keeping going with this blogging thing. 

I mean, I’m so god-damned existentially tired, that it’s a wonder that I’ve been keeping it up at all.

I question every little bit of what I do – the ‘what if’ game ends up doing loops in my head.

And I know, and I recognise, that I have a huge tendency to over-work and that, counter-intuitive though it is, when I’m yelling at myself to work harder because I’m ‘not good enough’ is really the time to take it easy and rest.

But resting doesn’t mean giving up.

Sometimes the terrain on the road you’re travelling on is tough going, but I’ve come so far that it’s not worth heading back – moving forward, though?

That’s worth it.

That’s worth everything.

Cee Arr, 31st October, 2021

You can follow me on Twitter @CeeDoraReads, on Pinterest, and on Dora Reads @ BlogLovin. For more ways to support me, check out the Support Me page

Sharing and commenting is fuel for bloggers! ๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ’ฌ


  1. Happy blogoversary! Glad you kept blogging, even if you're not always sure why you kept it up.

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

  2. "I have to read.

    I have to write."

    "this blog has literally been my survival mechanism – one of the things I can cling to on the bad days."

    Same for me! And I'm sorry you got trolled or worse (especially in 2016), but I assume that, for every ugly comment or tweet, you've met at least one nice person who kept you going - and I hope things will stay that way for the longest time!

    Happy blogoversary (I've just hit 9 years BTW!), and if I may ask...why "Dora Reads" while you sign your posts "Cee Arr"? I mean, if it's not private ๐Ÿ™‚.

    1. Dora Reads comes from 'Diary of A Reading Addict' which I was shortening to DORA a lot. Plus Dora comes from the Latin for 'gift' so when I came to buy a custom domain it just felt right. It confuses people, but then so do I *shrugs*

      Thank you so much! <3

      And yeah, my perception of what is 'bad' trolling is kind of warped by seeing people who've had it *so* much worse than me, but being an openly Queer woman on the Internet, especially one who stands up for other minorities (in 2016 I was trying to stand up for a Jewish person - which was apparently enough to bring in the Nazis,) makes you an automatic target to some people.

      There are awesome people ofc! (Like you :P) <3

    2. LOL, your blog name story was fun. I would never have guessed.

      Sorry again about your bad experiences ๐Ÿ˜ฅ.

      And thank you!

  3. Cee, I'm so grateful that you're in the blogging community and so happy that you've kept going despite all of the hard stuff you've had to deal with. I know how exhausting blogging is, but the fact that you've kept up with it is a testament to your dedication into writing quality posts that mean something. I wish you all the best on your special day!

    1. Aw Em, you continue to be unbelievably sweet <3 <3 <3

      Thank you so much, and thank you for being such an amazing friend for the majority of my blogging time! <3 <3 <3

  4. Sorry for the late congratulations, but cheers to more years of blogging for you!


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