14 January 2012


According to the Oxford Dictionaries:

Instigation • noun [mass noun] the action or process of instigating an action or event. Origin: late Middle English (in the sense 'incitement'): from Old French, or from Latin instigatio(n-), from the verb instigare (see instigate).

I loathe instigating...anything. Why? Because by doing so I feel exposed. I feel...vulnerable. I feel...open to be judged that what I have instigated isn't worthwhile.

This all from earlier this week when I realized that I had received no comments on a post. No big deal, right? Wrong. The fact that this is the first post not to receive comments in 3 years of blogging doesn't factor in. Because I'm always about what is wrong, not what is right. To me, a post with no comments indicates an uninteresting post, a boring post. A post that isn't good enough. And I worry that if the post is not good enough then I am not good enough... (I know, it sounds ridiculous, doesn't it? At least I'm come far enough to know that.)

But all of the above is the reason why I have been sitting on a post. In 2010 and 2011 I joined I Heart Paperbacks' M/M Romance Challenge. And I loved it, Unfortunately, I Heart Paperbacks appears to be offline and so the challenge is not happening :( And no one else appears to be hosting it :( So...I thought about hosting it. And then the fear started. That no one would join. (Yes, even though six people other than myself have joined the 2012 Big Book Challenge.)

But...the thing is, a post isn't about others. This blog isn't about others. It is about me. For me. So whether people comment or not, or join challenges or not, isn't the point. I'm always telling others that their blog is about them and they can do what they want on it. And yet I don't take my own advice. If this is something that I want to do, if it is something that makes me happy (and doesn't hurt anyone else) then...why not do it?

Remember the quote from my previous post entitled Thoughts on Double Blind? The one about the wheel? I read it (and the other quote) out to the unnamed expert this week and realized that I was doing exactly what the character (Ethan) was. I keep waiting for things to go right. And by right I don't necessarily mean what I deserve but more in terms of balance. Except the wheel isn't about me. It isn't about anyone. It just is. And as the quote said:
You had to go and be your own wheel.
And that's when I realized that's what I have to do. (The unnamed expert was grinning away at me when I said this.)

So...here's me, being my wheel. Look out for the 2012 M/M Romance Challenge...coming to a blog near you! In other words this one *grin*


  1. Go you. :)

    I'll look forward to signing up to the challenge. I have a feeling that I'll be needing a kick up the bum to get me going again with my reading and this is a perfect excuse.

    Thanks for taking this on, Orannia. :)

  2. D'oh! I did include the Local Library Challenge in linkity, but since I've been doing quite horribly going to my library (sadly lacking in m/m), I didn't comment.

    But yay for you for going forward with this!!! I'll sign up for it, too. :)

  3. Aww... I thought I did comment on the library post, I must have not hit publish or something :( I said I would join since I've actually been borrowing from the library a lot lately :) Since the library has their digital site updated pretty regularly, it's great to not have to spend the money on books.

    The MM I'll definitely join, as that makes up the majority of what I read, although the challenge for me is to balance MM with everything else I read.

  4. I think you would be stellar at hosting the M/M challenge. :) It is sad when you want to organize something and no one signs up-I've been there, Orannia, several times. But it's not the end of the world, and soon you find yourself organizing something else.

  5. Kris - I'll take that perfect excuse and run with it :) Look for my post tomorrow!

    Chris - I so appreciated you including the Library and Big Book Challenges in your linkity. You rock! And no need to apologise about not commenting. I should have probably clarified in my original post that what I wrote was about my weird thought processes. No one should ever feel that have to comment. Only if and when they want to/can. And thank you in advance for signing up. I feel kind of bad now - I hope my post didn't give the impression that I was obsessed with comments, etc. Well, OK, I was, but I guess what I was trying to say in my post was that I was looking at it all wrong. Does that make sense?

  6. Mariana - that's OK :) Thank you. Did you end up joining (the library challenge that is?) Weirdly, ATM, I'm not in the mood for library books, but instead am totally in the mood for m/m, so it's eBooks all the way. At least I have 12 months :) And thank you in advance for joining the M/M challenge. I had better get on and write it.

    heidenkind - ohhhh. Thank you. And see, that's the attitude I need to have. Up until now, getting knocked back has had me closing down the hatches. (I won't even mention the last actual birthday party I had...18 years ago.) I think that's why I've been deliberating over hosting this challenge in the first place. But then I realized that I wanted to do it. And that I would be missing out because I was afraid. So I'm stepping out :)

  7. I think is perfectly natural to feel a bit...deflated? when you have an initiative and no one joins it.

    Isn't having others join you the point of making sharing it?

    Plus we all want to be liked and appreciated, and in blogs the easiest way to gauge both is by checking comments (and views*)

    So I don't think you were obsessed--and I thin it's wonderful that you are so self-aware. (Picture me grinning along with the unnamed expert, here).

    * I hadn't realized until a few days ago that, when it's your blog, you can check the stats to see if anyone has dropped by. Now I find myself checking that in a blog I started as an archive kind of thing more than anything *headdesk*)

    As for the challenge itself...I have read and enjoyed m/m romance a bit, but I confess that it makes a tiny part of what I read. I'll see if I can scrape 12 m/m titles of my existing files to read for this year. If so, I'll join.

  8. Orannia,

    Having just started my own blog this weekend, I can understand your fears. Without any sort of comments, it can feel like you are invisible. I am trying hard to have a strong sense of self and realizing the blog is about and for me, not anyone else.

    I adore your blog, but rarely comment. That is true for most blogs I belong to. I will try harder to give all of you the comments that will make you feel heard, even if it is just, "Great post!"

    As for the challenge, I read so many books so often, that these sorts of challenges don't really take long to complete. The I make the other contestants crazy, so I don't sign up for them. I will be reading, though!

  9. azteclady - thank you. I think it's part of the whole 'liked' issue I have. And I think letting go of that and just focusing on writing the posts for themselves is a good step :)

    And...actually, I was thinking of changing the challenge a little and including a 'taster' option of one m/m book for those people who might like to try the genre :)

    Eliwrites - welcome! And thank you for de-lurking :) And I think it about having that sense of self and realizing that your blog is about you and not about everyone else. People commenting is wonderful - I love hearing what people have to say - but I shouldn't take that as the be all and end all. I shouldn't be using comments (or lack thereof) as a judgement. Does that make sense? All the best for your blog!