I want to be inspired.
Crack me over the head with what inspires you!
I am deeming it YA Community Thanksgiving and I want you to share what you are thankful for in our community. No negativity, cynicism or defeatism allowed...only shiny thoughts.
Here are the things that inspire me and make me thankful to be part of the YA blogging community.
- Intelligent discussions that take place after an insightful post. I love reading a thread of comments that reveal deep understanding, camaraderie and an exchange of ideas.
- Passionate posts that get to the bottom of a book worm's love. While the heated posts get the most attention, I prefer the ones that share the beating heart of the person behind the blogger. I am really enjoying Khy's (Frenetic Reader)series of posts about different YA genres and what she responds to. They are short, sharp and shiny. Her post on contemporary YA conventions and cliches made me bite my lip and swiftly rethink some of my ms.
- Uniting for a cause whether big or small. Operation Teen Book Drop. Young Adult Authors Against Bullying. Nerdfighters. NaNoWriMo. Devyn Burton's The Book Transfusion. PAYA Auctions (great items up for bid btw). Good can come from a united front...
- Finding a blog with a new take on an area of YA I may not have considered before.Rhiannon Hart's blog did this for me last year. I might be a sci-fi / fantasy / dystopian uber-fan but if anyone could sway me it would be her. Rhiannon's comprehensive reviews are extremely well expressed, original and energetic review often strike a chord and carry me out of my comfort zone. I am currently trying to find someone to do just that with bit lit or historical fiction.
- The music I've been exposed to. Melissa Walker introduced me to Charlotte Sometimes on the I Heart Daily site and I've been smitten ever since. Florence + the Machine were a band that the UK bloggers and authors brought to my attention - boy am I grateful. Considering I am one of those tragic mainstream music types, it's great that the blogosphere is able to direct me towards music that is considerably less dorky.
- Web design is not something I profess to understand but I can tinker with html...now. My knowledge could fill a thimble but thanks to the wildly supportive blogger Catherine Haines, I know that if I screw up my layout up too much... she could help me because she's amazing with web design. We are a varied group of people with amazing skills.
- Open Mic over at Michelle Zink's blog shows what a supportive sharing of one's own writing endeavours resembles. Giving back to the community in a safe setting of love and encouragement.
- Television - Only YA people can catch my references to Dawson's Creek, Roswell or Friday Night Lights and not skip a beat. You are all my pop culture doppelgangers.
- Vlogging - we can sometimes look worn out, have bad lighting, cough up a lung or be too long but we support the effort. You never see criticism in the comments section for vlogs because we judge on content, not what our hair looks like!
- Our intentional spread shows that we represent book worms of many continents. We introduce each other to authors from our countries and in my case, people introduce me to authors from my own. Thank you Jenny (Wondrous Reads) for waking me up to Markus Zusak! Thank you Lenore for encouraging blog support and resource sharing through your mentorship program! Thank you to those people who wrote about Elizabeth Scott, Kristen Cashore, Stephanie Kuehnert and Jennifer Echols - you introduced me to some of my favourite authors! People even follow my Japan adventure blog - it's all about sharing!
- How well read we are. Judging from the results of April's Top YA 100 Titles and the poll (of the same name) that I am currently conducting - we know our stuff...well.
- Support. I got pretty sick last year and I kept it quiet. It only came out once I was hospital ridden and an exceedingly nice individual used their blog to 1) send me a card full of well wishes from everyone and 2)raised money for a poor village in the Third World. It did wonders for my recovery and my joy at being part of this community. We bought a duck with the proceeds :)
- Don't like reading book reviews? That's okay...there's interviews, competitions, discussion posts, cover announcements and guest posts and if you are really lucky you get all these things in one place!
- Lists...we like them, if you like them you're in the right place!
- Buzz is something we can generate really well. I have been really proud of the efforts of bloggers to help debut authors launch themselves into the market. The excitement, the support and the warm feelings are great to experience from within and great to watch from outside.
- Social awareness. Being part of the blogosphere has made me much more aware of injustice. Whether it be the colour-blind covers, the pressure consistently placed on librarians or the banning of certain titles...I am more aware. With knowledge comes power.
- That reading preferences will always be subjective and that's something to cherish.
- Small, individual blogs have just as much to offer as higher profile blogs. Expand your horizons!
- Diplomacy. We have it in spades, how about having it in tractors?
- My friends. I have friends on all contintents, of every personality type, race, sexuality and religion. Friends who share my passion. You are my people. Thank you for being your book loving selves!
In the hopes of sharing blogosphere goodwill, I would love it if you would consider writing your own YA Community Thanksgiving post. Link the EXACT url address of that post below to share the love.
I would also like it if we could make a promise to comment positively on at least five blogs that you are unfamiliar with as part of this unofficial YA community builder. I know this is a lot to ask but I think it is time to spread some love, appreciation and understanding. As a well known lurker, I am also promising to comment on every linked blog.