I’ll say it— I’m quitting blogging. Now hear me out. I’ve never been diligent about this because I was always trying to emulate what I saw on other’s blogs. There is nothing wrong with those blogs, but they aren’t me. See, I’ve become caught up in the book blogging and the need for ARCs and reviews and… well, to be honest, I’m not a fast reader. In fact, I didn’t really get into reading until college (as in 2013 when I read The Hunger Games and The Maze Runner). So when I suddenly have 4 books to review in a month… I panic. And then hide under a rock and avoid reading all together. Why? Because I’m lucky to read 2 book in a month. Reading is such a touchy space for me, because it’s relatively new to me. Yes, I read (some) growing up, but not on my own volition – I absolutely HATED reading *oh the irony. In community college I started read because classics were some enchanted historical story. In college I found YA (reason 1 billion why New Adult needs to happen), but even then I struggled to find the far and few between books that made me have sleepless nights to know what happened next. To this day, if I’m not interested in a story it’s pulling teeth to finish. Because reading should be magic for those who struggle. Maybe you’re like me and just discovering reading as an enjoyment, or maybe you’ve spent a lifetime enjoying magical worlds and sparse landscapes, either way, reading is an entry point to something unique. That’s why I’m quitting blogging as others do. Because I’m horrible at reviews and ratings and I honestly don’t believe in wasting my precious little time reading a book I’m not enjoying. So why waste time making reviews about books that just aren’t my cup of tea?
So no, I’m not quitting this blog, but I am changing it. I go through blogs like Hershey Kisses at Christmas- FAST. It’s easy to say something isn’t working and just ditch it (call me a hypocrite because I just said that about books). With this blog, I finally found a space that represents me- The Literary Empress. So it’s story time: When the original Literary Empress started it was a story, a daydream, about a young girl, an empress, who had an empire of books. The stories came to life and she lived through them. I never showed anyone that story, it will never be completed or anything other than a spark of imagination, but it stuck with me all the same. That’s what I plan to pursue on this blog moving forward— the pursuit of story, of narrative, as it functions in our lives. Because good stories never leave us, they stay lodged in the nooks of our soul to act as guideposts in hard times.
2019 is going to be a year of change for me, and it seems apt that my blog change with me. I’ve seen the recent discussions about YA and how it needs to be given back to its audience- Teens. So with that in mind I want to focus more on what my age is going through, the struggles we are facing, the space where New Adult should lie. My hope is that readers can connect with this, that at 18 I was an utter mess and had no clue what I was doing, and that I still struggle with that notion at 28, and I probably will at 38 too, but that is life. If we stop growing and changing than what do we become? If we are content with knowledge, with our understanding of the world than what limits are we putting on ourselves? I am drawn to the transitions in life, from middle grade to young adult, from young adult to new adult— that is where these moments define us, because life is about transition and you’re never too old for a coming-of-age story because age doesn’t expire, it’s lived.
I will never stop reading YA or MG, but I’ve come to the realization that I’m looking at it through a very particular lens and maybe that’s where I need to take a step back. I love this community but I want to give it to the people who matter, who need this space to grow and learn and explore, just as I take steps to grow and explore who I am becoming. After 14 drafts of a personal statement for graduate schools I have a very firm understanding of what I want and am making steps to get there. After 5 very different drafts of this post I think I’ve worked through what I want to say finally. I am not a consumer, not to the level needed to be an active book blogger. I am a creator, and that’s where my passion lies. There will be more posts on storytelling, on narrative, on writing; and maybe I’ll even splurge on a bit of original content too in the future. So, if that’s your cup of tea then settle in and enjoy, if it’s not for you than that’s okay too. The only thing I ask is let 2019 be about standing on your own two feet and shouting that there is only one you and you are splendidly imperfect and beautiful. So take on new challenges, chase down fears, show the world that you are a forced to be reckoned with— because you are.
The Literary Empress