Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Seven Years Blogging and No Itch

Seven years ago today, Estella's Revenge was coughed into digital existence after I deleted my first blog, The Waste Land. I was sitting in a run-down faculty workroom at my first (adjunct!) college teaching job with several hours to kill until the next class I had to teach.

It's something to sit back and think over seven years of blogging. While I always blogged about books because I was ALWAYS reading for school, it wasn't until 2007 that I really took a hard turn toward book blogging and let some of the miscellaneous fall away.  I went back through my archives today and looked over some of my posts and year-end favorites from those years. Many of the comments are from bloggers who still comment here now. The majority of those folks are still cruising by this site on a regular basis.

While there is occasional drama in the blogosphere I suppose what I want newer bloggers, or even just disillusioned bloggers, to focus on is the very real relationships that come about because of blogging. All of the swirling angst is irrelevant. It doesn't matter what authors and publishers say or what they want. It doesn't matter if you write "reviews" or "reactions." It doesn't matter what anyone's opinion of blogging may be. It doesn't matter if you're getting paid or not. We do this for us and we do this for each other. We blog because we love books and we love sharing what we read.

Estella's Revenge has been through some distinct phases. Including a name change. While the address was always Estella's Revenge, the original blog title was Tripping Toward Lucidity. As I was working my way through my Masters degree I felt as if I was just stumbling along trying to accomplish whatever was right for me. I was saucy then, bordering on angry, and just finding myself in the world.

I've been through successful and failed relationships on this blog. I've had a baby. I've accomplished many of the things I wanted to do professionally like being an English professor. And I even went one step further to be a Program Chair--something I love but I never foresaw being an administrator.

And many of you have been with me the whole time. Reading, offering support by way of comments and e-mails, gifts and tokens of friendship. Kind words, most of all.

The next time you feel pressured to blog or beaten down by the number of review books on your shelves or pressured to do this or that: just stop. While I get caught up in those feelings from time to time, taking a moment to reflect on the last seven years has reminded me that all that stuff is just extra baggage. I blog for me. I blog because of you. And I thank you so much for being with me whether it's been seven years or seven minutes. Any time you spend reading and becoming a part of my life is appreciated.


Now, let's get on to the really good stuff: the "Spread the Love" giveaway results!!!!

The winner of La Perdida by Jessica Abel is Emily O from Reading While Female!!!


The winner of The Housekeeper and the Professor by Yoko Agawa is Alley from What Red Read!


Last but certainly not least, The Sisters Brothers by Patrick deWitt goes to...Brooke from The Blog of Litwits!!!

Thanks to all who entered the giveaway. It's my pleasure to pass along some books I enjoyed and I hope you enjoy them, too.


Now, let's all drink champagne and eat cake. 

41 comments:

  1. I am a very new follower to your blog and a recent book blogger. I've been enjoying it now for a couple of weeks and I say congrats. It's a lively blog. Great voice.
    I'm glad I've found it.

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  2. This is amazing!! Congrats on your longevity :)

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  3. Congrats Andi! That's a long time. I skipped my blogoversary this year (Feb 14th). It makes four years for me, but i figure since I've moved around blogs, I might as well skip it...

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  4. Happy 7 years! I'm glad you still find enjoyment and happiness in your blogging and reading life. And...yay I finally won something!!! Thanks so much for hosting the giveaway. Sending super positive vibes for your interview this morning.

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  5. Andi, I love your blog and I love you. I've only been here for six of them, but I count you amongst my oldest blogging friends. I also count on your insight and wit, your practical, real persepective which reminds me we do this for us and we do this for each other. We blog because we love books and we love sharing what we read."

    Blessings on you, your family, your students. XO

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  6. Wow, congratulations on 7 years!! That's something to be proud of. I tend to ignore the drama in the blog-o-sphere. I have made some wonderful friends via blogging - I never would have believed it possible.

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  7. Congratulations. I'm just over five years myself. I do remember when you were Tripping Towards Lucidity.

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  8. Congratulations! Yay - to stick with something so long is truly amazing. I'm a relatively new follower and love stopping by frequently :-)

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  9. What a wonderful post. I agree with you wholeheartedly. We do this for ourselves and each other, and it's not a job, it's a passion. I am so glad to have discovered your site to be able to share in your adventure with you. It's quite a feat to have been around here for 7 years! I hope that you are here for many, many more.

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  10. Congratulations! That is such an amazing milestone. I love your blog and look forward to following you for many years to come :-)

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  11. Happy Blogiversary, Andi! I hope you stick about for 7 more and beyond!

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  12. Wow, seven years is awesome Andi, Congrats! I think your advice about staying calm, remembering all the things outside the blog are just things and aren't worth stressing over if it means worrying about the relationships and continuing to love to blog.

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  13. I am not a bit commenter but I'm around often -- congrats on your 7 years and here's to 7 more!

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  14. I can't remember if I visited your blog when Tripping was new, but I do remember you kept nudging me to join in until I gave up. LOL I'll always be grateful for that. I love your blog and adore your thoughts about blogging. It is definitely something we do for ourselves. There was a time when I thought the newer wave of bloggers was all about "free books" but I don't think that, anymore. They've just added to the joy of the community atmosphere and made it richer. Book lovers are the coolest.

    Happy Bloggiversary, Andiloo! And, many more!!!

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  15. Ah, the old days! Admittedly, I don't get over here as much as I used to, but I'm still happy to have you as one of my internet buddies!

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  16. Congratulations Andi! I've only found your blog in the last year, but I always enjoy reading your reviews as they have a bit of your personality in them.

    Here's to 7 more happy blogging years :)

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  17. I'm not a huge champagne fan but I'll certainly give the cake a go :)

    Happy blogging day!

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  18. I love you and your blog posts! Congratulations on seven wonderful years (and doing it YOUR way!)

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  19. Congratulations on your blogiversary! I have occasional itches, but it passes within a few days!

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  20. Happy blogiversary! Hooray! I vote champagne and cake to you. KING cake. Because it's Mardi Gras. The best kind of king cake, the kind with strawberry cream cheese.

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  21. I am so proud of you! Seven years is beyond awesome. If I had champagne here I would totally toast you! :)

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  22. Wow. I am SO impressed. 7 years. I'm so glad you still really enjoy it. :)

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  23. Your blog is an inspiration! Thanks for a great post and a reminder to avoid the angst, which I've definitely gotten caught up in. I'm at a year and a half with my blog and I feel like it's just starting to take hold. Happy anniversary!

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  24. Barbara, thanks so much for stopping in to comment! I try to keep it lively and upbeat around here. I'm a pretty happy person in general, so I like my blog to reflect some sass. :) Have a great day, and welcome to book blogging!

    Lenore, THANK YOU for stopping in! I'm sure you have a gazillion other things you could be doing/reading/writing right now. :D

    Amanda, it is a long time. Unbelievably long and it's passed in a flash. Congrats on 4 years even though you skipped it this year. :)

    Brooke, thank you! With 7 years there's definitely an ebb and flow in the enthusiasm. I'm at a high right now after some lower time after Greyson was born and I was trying to get back to life with some kind of normalcy. Here's to more of the "up" times! And congrats on your win! I'll be e-mailing you shortly. :)

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  25. Bellezza, thank you SO much!!! I adore you and your blog and count you among my oldest blogging buddies. Continued blessings to you, my friend!

    Kathy, I guess I'm old hat at building relationships online. I don't have an "real" friends I see on a daily basis who share my love of reading, so it's been a source of long-distance friend-making for a long long time. I'm glad you've discovered the wonder of it. Cheers!

    Thanks for stopping by, C.B.!!! Tripping Toward Lucidity got a little too wordy for me after a few years. lol

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  26. Thanks, so much, Tanya! I love your blog as well though I haven't stopped by as much as I'd like in the last couple of weeks. Life got nutty there for a bit but seems to be getting slowly back to normal. *knock on wood*

    Heather, thank you so much! It's been a pleasure to get to know you, to visit your blog, and to have you stop in to mine. Blessings, friend!

    Thank you Jackie! I adore your blog and look forward to following you for a very long time as well. :)

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  27. Chris, as long as I'm readin' and typin' I'll be here!

    Kim, we can't make ourselves (too) crazy about the blogging. I wholeheartedly believe in following one's particular blogging passions as far as one wants to, but when it becomes a stressor and kills the fun and the passion -- boo!

    Thanks so much for stopping in to comment, Candace!

    Amen to everything you said, Nancy!!! I love the community growth and continually add new bloggers to my own feed reader to follow along on their journeys. It's like the biggest book group eva!

    Thank you, Os! Right back at ya, sir.

    Thanks so much, Sam! I adore your blog, and I look forward to following you for a good long time. :) Cheers!

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  28. Thank you, Fence! More cake! (That's my motto.)

    Awww, thank you Carrie!

    Marg, I know what you mean! I've been through those itches myself but just keep coming back for more.

    Jenny, there is never too much strawberry cream cheese!!! Lots of it. On everything!

    LOL, thank you, Emily!!!! I'll even settle for beer.

    Jenn, me too! I've always loved it, even in the slow spots. :)

    Thanks so much, curlygeek! It takes some time but it's worth it in the long run to look back over so much time and so many books read and so many friends made. :)

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  29. I love that statement that you blog for you. I couldn't agree more! Congrats on 7 years of blogging :)

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  30. Happy Blogiversary! I am glad that we have found each others blogs. Here is to many more years!

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  31. *clink* (that's me and my champagne glass partying on your behalf)

    Congrats on 7 years! Wishing you much happiness on and off the blog!

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  32. Well, I'm of the 7 seconds variety, but I can still send congratulations your way! I have so little time, but I make it work because of the realtionships I make with other readers.

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  33. Well said! Happy Blogiversary =)

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  34. I'll have a piece of that cake. And several glasses of that wine. Woo hooo! Here's to many many more years my friend.

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  35. Happy 7th Blogiversary!!! It's your fault that I started blogging and although the last couple years I haven't been a very good blogger, I hope to get back into it soon after we're a little more settled in. So glad you're still around! Here's to 7 more wonderful years! :)

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  36. Happy blogiversary! 7 years is a major accomplishment! Hope you stick around for many more. :)

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  37. Congratulations on 7 years of blogging. Considering all of the life changes you have been through it is amazing that you have kept at it. You are so right about why we all still do it. We do it because we love reading and talking about books! Rock on for another 7 years and on and on an on...!

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  38. A rather delayed happy blogiversary to you! This is such a lovely post and you're totally right: it's all for ourselves and our readers. And cake. Mmmmm cake.

    Here's to another 7 years!

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  39. I could've sworn I posted a comment... So I'm late to the party, but here with my most heartfelt congratulations on your blogiversary. You are one of my dearest blogmates and probably the #1 blogger who influenced me to begin blogging six years ago. We've seen a lot of changes over the years and I'm so grateful you're still here, sharing your love of books and occasional picc and stories of that adorable little boy of yours. Here's to many more years of reviews and friendship. Love ya!

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  40. Andi--I'm embarrassed at how late I am on commenting on this post. I'm currently in the process of marking all read in GReader, but I couldn't go without saying congratulations. Part of me is sad that we've just recently connected as I've been blogging for almost five years, but the bigger part is SO HAPPY!!! :) To many more.

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Thanks for taking the time to comment! I respond to comments individually by e-mail and/or here on the site. I value community above all else in blogging, and talking with you all is the highlight of my blogging day!