If you haven't signed up yet, YOU STILL CAN! Just visit this post and fill out the form. After, contact us via Twitter or email so that we can add you to our official participant list. You can also check out the full schedule for the 2014 Book Blogger Love-a-thon here!
Hope writing these letters inspired, challenged, encouraged, reminded you to keep on blogging, striving for what's better and what makes sense for YOU always. I know that it definitely did for me! It'll be such a treat to read everyone's letters and see all the different takes on blogging/writing.
Today's second mini-challenge invites us all to get a little more personal, as we write A Letter to Yourself. You can write the letter in two ways:
(1) a letter to your younger blogging/writing self (What would you change? What would you keep the same? What are your favorite parts of blogging? How has blogging/writing changed you? Any advice for yourself?
(2) a letter to your future blogging/writing self (What goals will you set? What do you want to accomplish or improve on when it comes to blogging? What do you want to start doing and what do you want to stop doing?)
(For an actual example, you can check out my letter to myself last year!)
And now, without further ado, here's my letter to myself for the year 2014:
Since you wrote your letter last year, SO much has happened to you! You went to BEA for the second time, which allowed you to meet so many more people. You got to interview some of the Fierce Reads authors for their NY tour stop. You flew home to get married, and spent a blissful two and a half months surrounded by family and friends. Then you flew back to New York, relearned life in New York but with your sister and then had your family come for the holidays. Now you're back to work and falling into your old routine.
What hasn't changed is that still sincerely, ardently love books. You've never enjoyed reading more! It's still simple for you to sink into those pages, getting lost in these wondrous stories, falling in love with attractive characters and wishing yourself into their settings. It's been fun to discover that there are things you love, things you're okay with and things you're not.
This love for reading books and writing about them has fueled your passion to improve your blog and participate as much as you can in this wonderful community. You've started to find your groove, examining the style and voice with which you write. It's becoming easier for you to stay organized - whether about books, reviews or both. Plus, you're realizing how much you love collaborations, as you're doing a ton of events, including this one, this year with other bloggers!
What I wanted to leave you with are a few reminders, listed so that you'll have an easier time remembering them all. These will serve as guidelines for you to remain the type of blogger you want to be - true to yourself, enjoying yourself and loving it all.
(1) Honesty is always the best policy. It's best to be forthright about any and all things, whether it's in a review or about something personal. Don't be afraid to be truthful, but be nice when you do present it publicly.
(2) Respect and manners apply to blogging, just as they do with any form of social interaction. It's important to be nice, to be polite and thoughtful before reacting, commenting or responding to something. You don't have to keep your opinions to yourself, but please try to make sure they come out in a way that's constructive and not offensive.
(3) Bookish friends, or the people you meet through this blog, will become some of your closest friends. Never forget that, even though the friendships may have had virtual beginnings, they appreciate being treated like real friends -- actual outings, packages and so on. Plus, there's always the option of a text, a video message or a voice recording too! Cultivate these relationships, allow them to flourish and enjoy them too.
(4) Be more picky about your reading choices. You don't need to have all these review books, especially if you're not 100% committed to reading them. Instead, filter them until you find the ones you want, and commit to those instead. This will help lighten your review load and give you a window of opportunity to read whatever you want.
(5) Always remember how much you love being organized. Sometimes, you decide being lazy is better than making sure things are scheduled -- and you wind up regretting it. I really think you should make an effort to update your calendars, and to stand by them. It helps you feel less stressed.
(6) Fling stress away and have fun all day. Book blogging is not supposed to feel like work; it's your hobby, a passion, and it should be fun. The moment you feel like it's becoming part of the daily grind, step away and indulge in other things for a while. It'll still be around when you get back, I promise, and you'll be more inspired if you're not staring at your computer all the time.
(7) Let go of your mobile phone, your iPad, your laptop whenever you can and just enjoy spending time with people, in this fabulous city. Keep working on saving up, getting Macky over here and showing Mel around -- and enjoying the fruits of your labor (a.k.a. shopping for books or concert tickets or Broadway tickets or travel).
Remember, in the end, blogging is something you do because you love it. But blogging will never surpass real life in importance -- and you should definitely keep that in mind. Real life > blogging any day.
Since this is a mini-challenge, there's going to be a giveaway!
[Note: Depending on the winner, the remaining "extra" prize will be added to the major giveaway!]
(US winner) signed ARC of The Secret Diamond Sisters (Michelle Madow) + signed bookmark
(international winner) e-book of choice up to $10