I used to write of personal things quite freely. It was easy when I was only known as Bellezza, not who I am, Meredith, and everything wasn’t all connected to Twitter and Facebook and real life. I think I liked being anonymous, hidden behind a name that no one knew.
Now my face is attached to the icon by my name, and there is no sense pretending I am Bellezza anymore.
Gone is the frivolous way that I would write about whatever I was reading, unconcerned about if my post would be considered erudite or trash; at first, in blogging, all that mattered to me was that I had a voice. How empowering it was to use it, to put it “out there”, even though few people read this blog in 2006.
My posts were a conglomeration of life with my then teenage son, life as a teacher, life as a reader. I connected most fiercely with other readers, and thus became primarily a book blog, reviewing books for publishers which was (and continues to be) an honor, if not a certain pressure.
Along came challenges and read-alongs, finding groups of people with whom to read classics such as The Brothers Karamazov, Great Expectations, Emma, and The Small House at Arlington. I found fabulous challenges to read German Literature, Spanish Literature, and French. I discovered Japanese Literature, and hosted the Japanese Literature Challenge which introduced me to more bloggers who love books in translation. I have been a part of the Shadow Panel for the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize, now the Man Booker International Prize, for three years.
But, I have lost my way.
So typical of my life, I find I am not an integrated part of anything. I am not an intellectual who can write posts reviewing authors I’ve never even heard of though I’ve been reading since I was five. I am not a romance reader, or a mystery reader, or a sci-fi/fantasy reader, or a young adult reader. I don’t make it a habit of reading the best sellers which so often disappoint me, and would just as soon read only the classics if that wouldn’t mean being unaware of what has been published in the 21st century. You can see that it’s difficult to find a niche with my odd parameters.
For the longest time I have not been leaving comments as a good blogger should. I have, if anything, removed my self further from blogging than at any time in the previous ten years, feeling unnecessary and confused.
But, I don’t want to stop. I don’t want to fade away into a world where I am not an active participant. I like the interaction, I like the discussion, I like the way I have shared what I am reading with those who read. I will try to put away doubt about my importance, recognizing that no one’s authority is absolute, and carry on writing about the books that please me, or don’t. Carry on writing about things that strike my fancy. And certainly carry on with more intensity in communicating with you, on your blog.
I’m looking forward to more time, maybe even another ten years, spent together discussing books.