A Week in My Head

A Week in My Head: Entry 2

A Week in My Head is some kind of journal of all the things that went on in my head the past week. Be it succes, struggle or just some random ramblings. I know it doesn’t replace professional counselling, but this is my kind of therapy – talking it out of myself in this way. Join me if you want and feel free to share your experiences. I’m sure we can learn from each other and A Week in My Head will be a less lonely time.

In case you missed any of the previous entries, you can find them on the A Week in My Head page!


Well, hello there again!

Last week’s entry was a kind of introduction, and my less than stealthy attempt of showing off my bullet journal I’ll be maintaining this year. This week, I’m going to talk about more personal matters. I had a bit of a mixed week with some great things going on – which will come into fruition later on -, binge watching The Dragon Prince – OMG I freaking love that show, give me season 4 already! -, thoughtful conversations. I also got back fiddling with Children (sorry, insider joke) my short story I’ve been working on on and off for 4 years now. That actually made me really excited, so we’ll see where my sudden surge of motivation will take me. Before my self doubts and impostor syndrome kills it completely for the time being.

But the blog has been on my mind a lot – duh – and for the umpteenth time I was wondering what’s wrong with my approach, mentality and personality which prevents me from feeling like I belong in the community. I could say that all this is only in my head, but that’s not quite an answer, as I know there is something I need to improve on, I just don’t have the slightest idea how. Time to time I dwell on these things and it makes me kind of depressed. Writing was always the thing – besides music – that was my constant company whenever I felt like I couldn’t cope with things. So, let’s see if it works out now.

It’s been almost 2 years since I started blogging. It had become an integral part of my life, and I don’t look at it as a hobby. For me blogging is more than a way to spend my free time, sharing my love for books. I look at it more like an addition to myself, a brand, something I spend time and – in some cases – money on to make it as best as I could. My intention was always to make it seem professional. (You can read more about my blogging journey in an article I wrote for the 1st issue of the British Irish Writing Community’s magazine, Bard of the Isles). And all things considered, I’m pretty happy how the blog turned out. I’m a perfectionist when it comes to things I care about, and I’m incredibly proud of RockStarlit BookAsylum, and all the things I achieved thanks to it. I think that’s one of the reasons I still haven’t abandoned it, even though I came close to it a few times. That, and the constant itch at the back of my mind  which never lets me go without writing for too long. It had become the best thing I ever did and that’s not something you can easily give up. Even if you feel as disconnected from the community as I do.

To understand that, I also need to offer some background: I more or less always felt like this when it came to any kind of communitites or groups. I never in my life felt like I belonged, not even in my family. Might have been because of my physical appearance, or because I was among the smartest kids, and later because I didn’t drink and partied like everyone else seemed to. I always felt like I had different values and standards than anybody else around me, different things were important, different things made me feel certain emotions. I always had a handful of friends here and there, and we hung out occasionally, but a lot of times I felt uninvited or felt like some of them had a closer friendship and I was somehow not included. They all had a life – a huge circle of friends, family, work (in high school), after school activities, boyfriends/girlfriends, while I had none of that. After school I went home to read, write and hang out in online communitites. But that was never the same as having real life friends, and I guess that also prevented me to actually hone my socialising skills, and that’s why I feel so crippled now when I go to cons. I’ve never been good at holding a conversation which didn’t happen online. I don’t think I have anything interesting to say so it’s easy for people to overlook me. Not because they are cruel or something, but just because I’m insignificant and small to boot so it’s really not that hard. I have no one to blame for that.

My personal experiences more or less explain why I feel the way I do when I’m among people, but it doesn’t really explain why I feel the same with online communities, and especially the fantasy/blogger community. And that bothers me, because more times than not, I feel like a failure as a blogger. Not because of my reviews, or all the posts I’m writing/organising. No, I’m proud of all that, but I still feel something is missing from my personality. I look at these new bloggers who join the community and seem to fit in so smoothly, already making friends and seeming to be more in tune with the community than I ever was. I see bloggers being active, having a presence on more than one platform, being nice and supportive and making friends all around. And I feel jealous because I can’t be like that. I just don’t have the energy to keep up with everything and I lose focus when I try. I always try to support the people I’m friends with, but feels like that’s not nearly enough. I see these people partnering up for fun things, to create small but close and strong communities and I just can’t imagine myself to be part of a team – which is funny, considering I do have a team for SPFBO, and it surprisingly goes well, except the fact that I can’t control everything which is frustrating. That, and feeling forgotten/invisible a lot of times when I actually make an effort to interact and be part of a group on any platform. Sooner or later I realise I don’t belong and trying not to annoy people I just retreat into my own little world until I completely leave that group behind. I might miss a few people, but sometimes that’s not enough to make me go back and try to be more active in a place where I don’t think I’m welcome in the first place.

It probably also doesn’t help that I always seem to be out of the loop – I either read books later than others, or don’t read them at all for various reasons. I hardly ever seem to be reading (and liking!) what everyone else seems to. Unlike most of the people I got to know in this short time, I’m pretty new to the genre. I haven’t read all the “classic” fantasy books most of the fans did, I haven’t watched the movies and series, out of disinterest or lack of time. And that also kinda makes me an outsider, because when it comes to LOTR, Star Wars, Game of Thrones, I’m drawing a blank. I lack that depth of knowledge and fandom others seem to have. I grew up reading historical fiction, YA, mystery and if I’m being honest, I miss reading outside the fantasy genre a lot. Once I’ll catch up on stuff, I definitely will try to make room for other genres to prevent burning out on fantasy.

So, all in all that makes it hard to connect with other readers and even though I love experimenting with things on the blog, a lot of times it’s just like screaming in a void. And that makes me feel sad. Not because of stats or the blog – although that’s part of the reason – but because even though I’m trying to do my best to give publicity to authors and bloggers alike, it never seems to be making a difference. That’s when questions like “Could I have done anything differently?”, “Is it my fault?”, “What should I do to make my voice be heard?” creep into my brain. And I never seem to find the answers to that. Or, more like, I always come back to the realisation that I should get myself involved more in the community, but I just don’t know how. Or I just should be much better at marketing, who knows? I guess that’ll be one of the goals of this year, to figure that out.

In case you missed any of the previous entries, you can find them on the A Week in My Head page!