Aug 7, 2013

My Life As a Blogger (the GIF version)

I've had a few friends (who aren't bloggers) and a couple newbie bloggers ask me about the life of a blogger, so I decided to tell you guys a story. Well, the story. About my beginnings as a blogger until now.

This all began in January of 2011, when I was starting to rediscover the YA genre and read a lot. A fellow friend from livejournal (Ashley) started talking to me about book blogging. The more we chatted, the more I wanted to start my own.

That February, I decided to go all in and I created The Irish Banana Review - you know, the blog you're currently reading. And it was a glorious day. But I was also a little scared.

It was in this moment I knew I would quickly own the blogosphere with my awesome ability to be ... awesome. Yeah.

But then suddenly (and by suddenly I mean 3 months later) it wasn't so glamorous. Where were the hoards of people that were supposed to adore my every written word? Where were these magical, mystical creations called "ARCs" that were supposed to arrive at my door?

And where were the other bloggers that were going to embrace me with open arms and welcome me into their fold?

So, my friends, this newbie blogger found herself at a crossroads. She could walk away from the blog (and really, who of the 56 followers she had amassed would notice? Surely not the robots that outsmarted the captcha to get here.) or she could dig in and keep going.

Spoiler Alert: I kept going! 

Even in the face of dire straits like no comments, minimal page views, and a low GFC number (because back in my day, kids, that was the only number that mattered), I decide to press onward.

I worked hard. I reviewed often, participated in enough memes/giveaways to bring in new followers, but not so many that I was one of "those bloggers" that I heard whispers and rumors about. And then, this one glorious day, a package arrived in my mailbox.

It was my first ARC. A shiny, advanced copy of Half-Blood by then-unknown author Jennifer L. Armentrout. It. Was. EPIC.

Not too long after this, the online world exploded in a flurry and fury of twitter fights, plagiarism scandals, and rampant cases of authors behaving badly. 

I took one simplistic approach that I try to maintain in my life: If it doesn't involve me, I generally stay out of it. 

Then, this one day, I saw this strange little word on Twitter: BEA.

After some careful research, I discovered that this was a place, really a mecca, for book lovers. And as a book lover, I would make my pilgrimage there the following year. So I kept working hard at my blog and decided to go to my first BEA. 

That week in NYC went something like this:

I met a lot of cool people and started making friends with other bloggers. Like, I started texting them, and tweeting them, and facebooking them, and stalking them. But we were friends now and that that made it OK.

But seriously, I came back from BEA and took a small break from blogging because of weddings and jobs and vacations ... But then I was refreshed and ready to go. And go I did; doubling and sometimes tripling the number of page views/visitors per month compared to what I had been averaging before.

Life was good ... but it was also getting overwhelming. I was getting burnt out, and was suffocating under a pile of unread books I had committed to reviewing.

Enter my partner-in-crime, Gabrielle. It's always a plus having a cousin you adore who is also a book lover. So Gabrielle became my co-blogger and helped shoulder a lot of the reviewing duties.

So with Gabrielle came a lot of freedom. I was able to read books for pleasure - not just like a mindless reviewing robot. And because things were going so well, Gabrielle accompanied me to BEA in 2013.

And of course by this time those people I had actually become real-life friends with were there. It was like an awesome reunion. With books! And there were even parties that I got to go to! It went like this:

That pretty much brings us up to now. Now, where I am a happy blogger who gets to do cool things, hang out with pretty awesome people and get the inside scoop in fantastical books.

Until next time, guys!


  1. Love your blog life via gif my friend. It just makes me wish you lived next door so I could run over right now and pounce on you. Except if I did that, I'd find my creepy neighbor instead who's currently building himself a wolf pack and keeps 2 wolves in a large outdoor kennel in his backyard. They howl whenever he's not there. Super. I don't want to hug wolf man Hannah. I would much rather hug you and climb you like a tree. That sounds sexual, but dammit, I mean it ;-)

    1. No hugging the wolfman. You're lucky I share you with Kevin - I refuse to share you with a wolfman. You start hugging wolfmen (werewolves?) and I'll find someone else to climb my tree.

      I don't share my Jenny very well.

      BTW? That "Let Me Love You" GIF? Totally me chasing you.

  2. LOL!!! This made me giggle so much because THIS IS ME!! Well, except for the co-blogger. But otherwise, YESSS!!! *tackle hugs*

    And, yes, this includes me chasing after Jenny (and some others) yelling, "Let me love you!" That GIF made my day. Hannah! LET ME LOVE YOU!!!

    1. LMAO! Thanks, Mary! And I will let you love me as long as you let me love you.

      .... Did that make sense?

  3. The cat pouncing gif was adorable. And I'm glad you kept up your blogging; yours is one of my favorites to read.

  4. Adorable-love this post! So glad you stuck with and kept your love of all things bookish.

    1. Thanks, Kimberly! I love books and blogging is just a great outlet to share that. Plus, I have met some of the best people through blogging.

  5. This is such a great post!! I love all your gifs!!! They're so funny!! I'm glad you kept blogging!! :) I love your reviews!!!

  6. This was such a fun post. I love the choices you made for you gifs and am glad you didn't give up. I love reading your thoughts on books and other such things. :)

    1. Glad I could amuse you! Thanks for reading! :)

  7. Glad you didn't give up. Great, funny post :)

    1. I never would've met up with you if I'd have stopped, and that, my friend, would be a travesty. :D

  8. This is precious. BEA 2013 was amazing. I can't wait until next year. I need to be there!

  9. Haha - what are you talking about - you have lots of bloggers with open arms =)

  10. I also started my blog in 2011, but in many ways I'm still a newbie blogger and have a ways to go. Loved your post. It's such an inspiration...just what I needed.

  11. Just have a peek at weblink if you want to get rid of writing mistakes


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