This actual website may not be very long in the tooth, but I’ve been off and on long-form blogging sites, whether my own domain or a Livejournal clone or somesuch, for decades. And yet this is something I’ve struggled with for years as my brain has spent many (formative?) years fitting itself into 120 or 240 characters on Twitter, or whatever the aesthetic seems to dictate on Facebook: what to write about and, by extension, what not to write about.
What am I trying to say and who is my audience, anyway? I go ahead and carve out a corner of the internet for myself and what am I to do with it exactly? I basically decorate a bit and then am stumped for content. A lot of electronic lip biting that culminates in, almost always, radio silence. Pardon the mixed metaphors here. It’s really hard to jump into something long-form when I spend weeks and months not shaping my brain around longer thoughts.
Hell, a lot of the time these days I don’t even shape my brain around conversation with adults. And that’s a struggle too.
I already call this website “semi-professional”–and I feel I’ve already blurred away from “professional” pretty deliberately with my last post on fandom. I always consider widening the fronts and writing about my personal life, motherhood and the kids, news bits that touched me, the kind of things I’d pluck from fast pace social media feeds and hang up on the internet mantle for a bit. Because maybe I’d like to look back on it in the future. Hell, even food blogging.
Last night, I considered another thing I could do, to come to the title of the post. Book reviews? Me, the one who never posts?
But the thing is, I have been finding time to read in recent years. (I did have to look up how long my reading renaissance has been going on, but I attended N.K. Jemisin’s book launch for The Stone Sky in August 2017 so it’s been some time now.) I have managed to find my way back to my childhood bookworm roots after years wandering (fairly happily) in the land of fan-authored works. I actually started reading real paper books again, ebooks, and branching out to genres that never took me like a fever in my pre-fandom days: fantasy, YA, scifi, romance.
These are the books I logged using my most memory (and shopping and app histories) when I created my Goodreads account back in October:
- Two books of the Broken Earth Trilogy, by N.K. Jemisin
- The Captive Prince Trilogy, by C.S. Pacat
- The Song of Achilles, by Madeline Miller
- American Gods, by Neil Gaiman (a reread, but still)
- The Girl Who Drank the Moon, by Kelly Barnhill
- Good Omens, by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett
- Maybe You Should Talk to Someone: A Therapist, Her Therapist, and Our Lives Revealed, by Lori Gottlieb
- The Disasters, by M.K. England
- The Hunger Games Trilogy, by Suzanne Collins
- by Rainbow Rowell: Carry On, Attachments, Landline, Fangirl, Eleanor & Park
- Room, by Emma Donahue
- Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fate of Human Societies, by Jared Diamond
- The Girl who Drank the Moon, by Kelly Barnhill
And then in the 3 weeks after that, before Thanksgiving, I started and finished:
- She Said: Breaking the Sexual Harassment Story That Helped Ignite a Movement, by Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey
- Know My Name: A Memoir, by Chanel Miller
- The Lightning Thief, by Rick Riordan
In January, I finished the first book of The Folk of the Air Trilogy by Holly Black, and in February (not yet half over as I write this) I finished the trilogy and began A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab.
Some on audiobook, some paper, some ebook, but I’d say that’s…apparently something I do in my downtime.
It may sound a bit rudimentary, but it’s hard for me to quantify these things, to recall things, and that’s part of why I do social media to begin with. Does it make sense now that I had to look up when The Stone Sky launch party was?
So. In an unnecessarily long-form manner, I think that that might be what I try doing going forward. Writing about the books I read. It’s something to do, a muscle to stretch out, a way to keep track of things in an external way that my brain won’t hold long-term. Yeah. I think I’m going to do it.
Something to do, another thing to do, for a list of things that never seems to get any shorter. But weirdly, even when I don’t budget the time, I seem to make time. For years now. So maybe this will work too. I’ll try not to think of it as an obligation and more of a gift to myself: time. Happy Valentine’s Day gift to me then. Cheers.