Celebrating one hundred posts
It's hard to believe that this is my one hundredth post on Avocado Diaries. I didn't think that when I started with my first blog post back in March that I would end up at this point.
Truth be told, Avocado Diaries came as the byproduct of a pretty severe hypomanic episode. During that episode, I purchased more than thirty books over the course of ten days. Every book on the New York Times Bestseller list, and every new Heather's Pick at Indigo. Packages were arriving left, right, and centre, my apartment resembling an Amazon shipping depot.
For those who struggle with bipolar, or know of its symptoms, will know that following every manic episode is a depressive episode, and I fell down pretty hard when that happened. It was hard to pick myself up again after that one, but when I did, I found myself faced with a lot of books. I was in a therapeutic book club at the time and had made a ton of notes on Taming Your Gremlins by Rick Carson. I figured the notes were worth sharing with more than my inner circle of book clubbers, and so came my first review.
After the first few posts and reviews, I signed up for GoodReads to share my words with a wider audience and then I signed up for NetGalley, an awesome platform where reviewers can request advance reader's copies. Within a month of consistent reviewing, I started to receive book mail. My first package came from Penguin Random House Canada, and I remember waking from a nap to the box on the table feeling like I'd won the lottery. I was delighted.
As the time has passed, and the more I've written, the more I've been able to connect with publishers and my readers. I login to my Google Analytics account from time to time and I'm still in shock when I see how many new and returning viewers I have. I pinch myself each and every time my review is shared by a publishing house or author.
Writing is the best form of therapy for me. It takes me out of my dark thoughts and distracts me. I've read and written reviews for more than one hundred and fifty books this year in a variety of formats such as e-books, paperback and hardback, and I've even started listening to and reviewing audiobooks. My bookshelf at home is bursting with new content to read, and I feel so much pride when I look at it.
The books I've read this year have taken me on some wonderful adventures in my mind, and at a time when it's not possible to travel anywhere, I feel like my imagination has seen the world.
I've also made some pretty fun updates and additions to Avocado Diaries over the past couple of months. I added a page for publishers, so they can find reviews I've written about their books, and I also introduced a new feature called In Conversation With, where I interview authors and creatives behind the books I read.
Most recently I started writing for the Daily Hive, a Canada wide news platform with an audience of more than 6 million people. Each time I see a new article go live on the website, I feel a sense of joy in seeing my name attached to something I feel proud of, on a platform I myself read every day.
So, with that, I keep on writing, not just for my readers, but also for myself.
I'm proud of what I've created, and I'm grateful to my readers, new and returning, who come back each day and who open my daily emails.
The next steps for Avocado Diaries and for my life is to continue to read and review, continue to share interviews with new and inspiring authors and creatives, and to begin working on my book, a memoir of my history with anorexia and bipolar.
I don't know what the future holds, but as long as I'm holding a book in my hands, I'm sure I'll be content.
This post is a lot of things, but mostly it's a post about gratitude. To thank the readers who visit Avocado Diaries, the publishers who continue to send me content to review, and to the authors to inspire me every day. It's to thank my editor at the Daily Hive for giving me an opportunity and a platform to write from, and my boyfriend who deals with the influx of book mail and gives me the space and time to read. This post is also to honour myself and my determination. I set out to create a book review platform, and it grew into something much larger than I could have expected.
And for that, I am proud.