This post is late due to technical difficulties. So I am having a wee extension of Book Week Scotland. Book Blogger Mary Picken hosts the blog Live & Deadly and Mary, kindly wrote about how book blogging changed her life. Thank you so much, Mary and I am very sorry for the delay.
Book Week Scotland 2017 is taking place from Monday 27 November – Sunday 3 December.
Welcome to our Book Week Scotland 2017 special. Every day we are featuring guest posts from various Authors with a variety of genres to suit every reader.
Book Week Scotland is a week-long celebration of books and reading that takes place every November.
During Book Week, people of all ages and walks of life will come together in libraries, schools, community venues and workplaces to share and enjoy books and reading. They will be joined in this celebration by Scotland’s authors, poets, playwrights, storytellers and illustrators to bring a packed programme of events and projects to life.
How Book Blogging Changed My Life
By Mary Picken
It’s quite a dramatic title, isn’t it? I mean, blogging about books can’t actually change anything, far less, someone’s life – can it? Well, in my case it did.
I used to have a job I really loved. Unpredictable, high pressured, full of train journeys, dealing with senior managers and journalists from all sorts of media and publications. I managed a team spread all across the country and though I worked long hours, evenings and weekends I loved every minute of it. I was truly happy in my job.
Then the stars collided and suddenly it all blew apart pretty spectacularly. It wasn’t really anyone’s fault and there wasn’t much anyone could have done about it, but over a two year period, my job went from being fabulous to being unbearable. At the same time, my partner began to be quite ill; an illness that has now kept us apart for over three years.
So I found my resilience crumbling, my confidence floundering and I had to take time off to recover. And once I had returned to work after several months off, it became clear to me that I was no longer the woman I used to be and I did not have the emotional reserves to carry on as I used to. So I left my job and retired early.
Whilst that got rid of the pressure, it did not do much for my social life – which I belatedly discovered had largely revolved around either my partner or my job. Now I had neither and the empty days stretched before me.
I did take some positive actions. I moved back to Scotland where I had friends and I went to counselling, but neither of these things filled what was rapidly becoming an aching void.
So, to fill my time, I went back to my first love, reading – and especially reading crime fiction and I rediscovered the joy that books can bring. But to keep my brain active, I thought it would be a good idea to write about the books I had read and thus I started my blog – Live and Deadly – focussed mainly on crime fiction reviews.
I never thought that it would become so all consuming, or that along the way I would meet so many great people. I soon found that there is a fabulous and supportive book blogging community. I got lots of help and so many friendly comments that it was not long before I felt quite at home. Book blogging met my need for deadline driven activity and brain fodder, but it also opened up a whole new world to me. I have been to book festivals I never knew existed, met loads of terrific authors, bloggers and publishers; made new friends with whom I share an abiding passion and now enjoy an active social calendar. This year alone I have been to Book Festivals in Stirling, Grantown on Spey, Ullapool, Bute and Harrogate. Next year I am contemplating book festival visits to Bristol, Bouchercon in Florida and Iceland.
My book post is awesome; and even when it isn’t, there are still lots of terrific books on my TBR pile to get to.
I won’t pretend that everything in my garden is rosy. My partner is still chronically ill and currently awaits an operation which may offer a life enhancement of 10%, which would, at least, enable me to be with him. But what I have now is a life and that’s entirely down to books and book blogging.
You can visit Mary’s today Live & Deadly
Thank you for sharing your story with us today Mary, I for one are over the moon that you found happiness in blogging. I am always excited when I spot you at events. You have a beautiful gentle soul and it’s always a pleasure to be around you. I love your reviews of books and festivals. Thanks so much for being you and I am so happy that you found something that lifts your spirits daily. Our thoughts are with your husband and we wish nothing more than for you both to be reunited and have a happy life together.
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Merry Christmas from Kelly & The Team, thank you for all your support and love in 2017.