Hello, world! Welcome to the brand new spot for me to put all of my online musings, hilliterate.com. After keeping up both a personal blog and book review blog somewhat sporadically throughout the past five years, I’ve decided to try and synthesize the two under a single website identity which is, in fact, the bad pun I made by combining my last name and my love of reading/writing. Yay!
This lovely site was made possible by my even lovelier partner, who is way better at computering than I am and who made the whole thing super customized with all of this fancy code. What a star. I’m still figuring out what all I want to import from my old sites or what ~fresh~ content to add, but for now, you will see some of my old book reviews in the archive.
Since I started writing reviews, I’ve become more involved in Online Book People World and — with the help of that and some navel-gazing — it’s become clearer that a blog entirely for book reviews maybe wasn’t my thing. There are so many awesome book bloggers out there who do it better with their fancy pictures and frequently scheduled posts, and I couldn’t quite keep up. I still plan on posting about books here, perhaps more frequently and less meticulously than I did on the ol’ blog, but also hope for the whole thing to be more organic and true to who I am as a writer.
Did she just call herself a writer??
Why yes, confused reader, I did. But fear not; I doubt myself way more than you could ever doubt me! Gotcha! Nonetheless, I will keep calling myself a writer until I start to believe it (at which point, I guess, I’ll still call myself a writer — with feeling). Messy book blogs aside, I have been working consistently over the past few years at writing. The big dream is to publish a novel (!) and I’ll now admit for the first time in a setting this public that I am working on a second draft of my third manuscript.
That sounds absurd to me, too, dear reader. I get so awkward and embarrassed when telling anyone about my writerly ambitions, imagining that they see me as I saw the third grade classmate who told me on the playground that she was writing a book (“lol okay sure, you’re 8, now watch me cross these monkey bars”). But to keep myself from staying in my paralyzing insecurity cave forever, I have to believe that not everyone is as judgey and dismissive as Third Grade Kaitlyn.
As I’ve seen on my own and in interviews, tweets, etc. from some of my favorite authors, writing can be incredibly isolating. You pour out so much of your mind and heart onto page after page without knowing if anyone will ever read it — or if you even want them to, for that matter. You criticize and scrutinize your every period, comma, word, idea, comparing your earliest rough drafts to the beautiful finished novels that you read every day and imagining that your work will never be good enough. It’s little bursts of confidence — this idea is so good and valuable that I should write it down and make a story out of it — mixed with endless self-doubt — I am the worst and a third grader could indeed write a better novel than this.
So I guess that I hope for this blog to be — in addition to a place to hate on third graders — a space to talk about writing and its frustrations and my own journey with trying to make it my life’s work. In ten years, it’ll either be a hugely depressing ‘wow look at all that misguided hope I had’ thing to look back on, or, ideally, a way of reminding myself how I started toward whatever dream life I may be living.
Remember what I said about the weird mix of confidence and self-loathing? Yeah.
I would also like it to still be a way to talk about the books I’m reading and other things that are currently inspiring me without the self-imposed pressure of a “review” format. It seems like there is an unending well of hope and inspiration to be found in books — at least for me — and I want to tell you about it. Plus, some of the Adventures with KHill posts about my travels, mental health, and, well, ADVENTURES might migrate over here, too.
If you have even stuck around for this long, thank you. If you ever read my old book blog or rollercoaster of a personal blog, doubly thank you. My two favorite compliments to get out of any in the whole wide world are 1) you’re funny and 2) I like your writing. The tiny egomaniac in my heart likes to believe that if you’re a reader of Kaitlyn Hill blogs, you may once have thought one of those two things, and for that I am eternally grateful.
While we’re talking about the tiny egomaniac in my heart (who lives under 50 blankets of self-deprecation, by the way), I leave you with my new headshot, taken by my partner’s fancy camera. Where would I be without his technology? It’s good to know people.
Anywho, I hope to make this a fun and productive place for myself and it would be a huge bonus if it was fun or productive for literally anyone else out there. Meet back here soon, okay? Okay.
xo, Kaitlyn Hill(iterate)