1. The friends I've made.
I've met some amazing people since I've been blogging, and I think a few of them will be friends for life. Whether they're authors, bloggers or even publicists, I'm so glad I got the chance to get to know them. I can't name everyone, but here are a few:
- Carla from The Crooked Shelf. She's my best book buddy online and offline, and I love her to bits. She's mental, but in a good way! :D
- Luisa Plaja, author extraordinaire and editor/co-founder of Chicklish. She's my other best book buddy, and also an extremely good friend. I'm really lucky to know her.
- One glittery publicist in particular springs to mind, who I do believe is one of my very favourite online friends, and who rocks my socks off. She knows who she is!
- All the UK bloggers who have created a mini-community of their own, and who are always on hand to offer support, advice and all round awesomeness: Sophie from So Many Books, So Little Time, Becky from The Bookette, Lauren from I Was A Teenage Book Geek, Carolyn from Book Chick City, Sammee from I Want to Read That, Jo from Once Upon A Bookcase, Liz from My Favourite Books, and those I mentioned above (sorry to anyone I forgot!).
- My online friends I've made from around the world: Adele, Cat, Steph... I'm looking at you!
2. The chance to read books I otherwise never would have.
I've been sent and recommended so many books I'd previously never heard of, or that I never would have read on my own accord (well, I don't think I would have). I've been introduced to some of my favourite books in the last 15 months or so, and I have the blogosphere to thank for that. Jellicoe Road is one of those books that springs to mind, as well as Perfect Chemistry, Before I Fall and anything by Ellen Hopkins.
3. Discovering new authors.
Following on from that, blogging and Twitter have also been the best resource when it comes to finding new authors. It's thanks to them that my reading taste is so eclectic, and the reason why I've been introduced to such people as Jennifer Echols, Jenny Han, Elizabeth Scott and Melissa de la Cruz. I love their books, and reading them is all thanks to the blogosphere!
4. Getting to share my passion with hundreds of like-minded people.
When you have a passion or an interest, it can be hard to find people in real life who will share that with you. That's why the internet, and this community in particular, is one of the best things I've ever discovered. Anytime I want to fangirl over a book, or talk about a random TV show, you guys are here. You all rock!
5. Gaining more confidence.
I'm a shy person generally, but I think now I have a lot more confidence than when I did in January 2009. Blogging has gotten me invited to publisher's events, where I've been forced to meet new people, talk in groups, and leave my comfort zone. It's also allowed me to get an insight into the world of books and publishing, and realise that maybe that's the job I want one day.
So, to conclude: I love the YA blogosphere, and everyone in it!