Sunday, June 12, 2016

On Love... Falling In and Out

Before you start to worry that I will be sharing my personal triumphs and trials in the universal quest to find someone that makes us feel like they care, you should know I'm not referring to that kind of love. (However if that's something you would be interested in, I have a few anecdotes up my sleeve) Yet, this is a love letter, one to the eager book blogger I was two and a half years ago.

I'm still a reader... obviously *flips hair* but I think my actions have made it clear enough that book blogging and making BookTube videos have most definitely not been a priority. If there's one thing I've been preaching since the start, it's been that whatever you feel as if you need in your life, you make the time for. Yes, that might be a Peeta-Katniss-Gale reference.

I remember back in the early days, whenever I temporarily fell off the blogging wagon, I would write long, apologetic posts to my readers about why I was gone, what I was doing that could have possibly been more important, and ninety percent of the time the reasons I stayed away weren't in my control. This is also known as being a student and having obligations like homework and studying.

Upon leaving for Oxford and more importantly, since coming back, I've realized it isn't that simple. There's been a lot of discussion about autopilot, whether it's been explicitly labeled or not. I personally don't have any issues with those who choose to produce book hauls, TBRs, wrap-ups, and the content we have come to consider "staple" in this amazing community. I remember making the decision after more than a year of constant uploads to cease doing monthly wrap-ups. They were one of my favorite types of videos to make, one of the most time consuming, and one of the most rewarding. I know now it wasn't for the reasons I stated in the video I dramatically titled, "My Last Wrap-Up Ever?!?"

In truth, if you look at the content I produced whilst in England, it's completely writing oriented, and that's what I want to talk about today. When I started off blogging, Ashley from Nose Graze explained something priceless about this community. When first creating a brand name which encompasses both the URL and usernames you use consistently on social media (if I had known anything about branding before I began blogging, I would have had the same URL and username), it is wise to choose something that has nothing to with what you intend to write about.

This is because it's intention. 

But what you want to say changes over time, experience, and most certainly, with the books you read. Loving the Language of Literacy obviously has a lot to do with literature, but the name never explicitly stated that I was a BOOK blogger or (and I'm thanking the blogging gods) that I was a YOUNG ADULT book blogger. This has nothing to do with the stigma surrounding the genre or the concept of "growing out of YA." It just has to do with the fact that one, I don't always read YA anymore and two, I don't want my sole focus to be on books.

I understand the effort and time that will go into re-branding per-say, but I couldn't be happier. Sidenote : I'm not going to start blogging about cooking or my athletic endeavors mostly because I can sum both of those things up in a sentence. My sister and I made a meal for our family in the month of May and I haven't worked out officially since I ran the Mountain Goat back in the beginning of May.

What I will be discussing are my passions.

Most of which you have heard little tidbits about since 2016 began and uncoincidentally, these  passions are either language or artistically based. They might even end up better representing the words Loving the Language of Literacy than book reviewing ever did. This isn't to say I will never review a book again because it's a sure fact that some book will come along soon and steal my heart in a way all of the books I've read before it haven't in a long time. This isn't to say I will never do a book haul again because to be perfectly honest, my Black Friday BookOutlet Haul was one of my favorite videos to film.

for Creative Writing and Language Learning  

Who is surprised? If you are, you must be new. 

On languages... Since the year began, I've learned that I'm just as fascinated with the scientific, mechanical aspects of language as I am with the artistic, imaginative ones. Language learning itself has become my new obsession not only because I love annoying my friends by saying things they don't understand but because I want to to communicate with as many people as possible. I remember  walking into English one day when I was in Oxford for a lesson focused on modal and auxiliary verbs. I swear to goodness, I had a better time in that lesson than my teacher did. Basically, if my peers didn't already think I was a nerd for loving to read and make up stories, they do now that I have discovered my love for analyzing sentences and language structure.

On creative writing... In terms of style, subject matter, and skill, I have grown exponentially. I don't even know where to begin besides the Champlain College Young Writer's Conference which I intend to make an entire video about because it was the best weekend of my life and I definitely think I could produce a killer sappy/cliche essay about everything the weekend taught me about courage and belonging. In gist, it is a magical place up at Burlington, Vermont where there are over 250 teenagers who all love to read and write as much as you do with a place for everyone from slam poets to song writers to novelists to playwrights to creative nonfiction-ers.

On schedule... To be perfectly honest here, this summer is insanity for me. Regents are next week, then I spend the rest of June in Finland and Sweden. I'm home for the first ten days of July and then I head off to three weeks at Bard College for their Young Writer's Workshop. The first week of August is spent in California visiting family. The following is going to be my miserable attempt at getting back into shape amongst the fastest, fittest teenagers in New York State at Aim High Running Camp. Then it's back home to Syracuse for Cross Country preseason. And then it's back to the grindstone for another school year.

Despite everything going on, the plan is to have one blog every Sunday following the themes of my language learning and writing progress as well as a video every Tuesday and Friday. Of course, if I'm particularly inspired, there will be more content coming your way, but this is the plan for now.

I admit this change is scary. 

Loving the Language of Literacy is changing and evolving and I'm basically rebranding everything I've worked towards in the past two and a half years. I always thought I would have my book blog and BookTube channel as a sort of crutch when it came time for college applications - as if I could point to it and say, "Even if I quit or gave up x, y, and z, I never gave up this." But here I am, diving headfirst into my new passions and I couldn't be happier.

If you're new, I hope you stick around, and if you've been following me for a while, I would love you to stick around as well during this time of evolution. My primary goal that ties my two loves together is for storytelling and I can't wait to share mine.