Fangirl Thursday: Three Years of Nerdy Fun

Today is a special day at Nerdy Girl Notes, and it seems very fitting that it should fall on a Fangirl Thursday. It’s NGN’s third birthday/blogiversary/whatever the kids are calling it nowadays. The point is, three years ago today, I picked out my hot pink color scheme, wrote a post about the joys of being a nerdy girl, and NGN was born.

NGN has evolved and grown so much since its earliest days, and in the process, I’ve grown so much, too. I started this blog as a way to reconnect with the kind of writing I wanted to do, and somewhere along the way, I also discovered the kind of person I want to be. That’s not something you think about when you write your first blog post, but it’s something I feel thankful for every day—that what started out as a writing exercise turned into a place where I was able to grow as a person not just through my writing, but through interacting with some of the smartest and kindest people I could have ever hoped to meet.

This year has been a year of new challenges at NGN. New TV shows were reviewed, new features were started, new lists were made, and new essays were written. I pushed myself as a writer this year not just in the sheer volume of posts I wrote, but in the vulnerability many of them required. And I am forever grateful for all of you who’ve responded with vulnerability and openness of your own. We share something special with one another when we talk about the media we love, and this year was filled with reminders of that belief, which has always been at the heart of everything I write here.

I’m proud of the fact that, over the last three years, NGN has become known as a place of positivity and enthusiasm. There are plenty of places on the Internet to go for criticism and snarky comments. But sometimes you just want to feel like it’s okay to find joy, hope, and inspiration in the media you consume. And that’s my goal every time I sit down to write something new: to create something that resonates with people in a way that makes them feel less alone for loving things with the intensity with which only a true nerd can love.

There’s something really magical that happens when we start talking about the characters and stories that inspire us. In sharing our feelings about those stories, we start to share our stories, too. And that’s something I’ve become fiercely protective of when it comes to the dialogue and discussion around NGN. When people say why they love something they’ve watched or read, they’re opening up a part of themselves, and that’s something that should be treated with the respect and appreciation it deserves. So thank you to all of you who’ve shared your stories with us in this way over the past three years.

NGN started as a labor of love, and this year was another year filled with a lot of labor and even more love. It was a year that taught me the importance of staying true to who you are even when you know some people won’t understand. It was a year that showed me how rewarding it is to write with an open heart and get back the love you put into something. And it was a year that made me feel happier than ever to be a nerdy girl.

I hope all of you know that I sincerely appreciate the kind words you’ve sent my way via Twitter and Tumblr over the past year, as well as all the beautiful graphics you’ve made using the things I’ve written. I can never properly express how honored I am to have your support and, in so many wonderful cases, your friendship, too. To those regular commenters who’ve become my little NGN Family, you mean the world to me. To the lovely Leah, thank you for your insightful writing and for being such a kind friend. And to my beautiful tropical fish Heather, thank you for always pitching in when I need help, for letting me work through posts in text messages days before I actually write them, and for being the most encouraging friend any girl could ask for. For as rewarding as the writing part of NGN is, the most rewarding thing is watching friendships form and grow because of this blog.

I’m so excited to see what the next year has in store for NGN. I already have some big plans I hope to share with you soon to help us get through summer hiatus time. Whatever the next 365 days has in store, it’s sure to be a fun ride, and I’m so happy to share that ride with all of you!

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30 thoughts on “Fangirl Thursday: Three Years of Nerdy Fun

  1. Happy Birthday!! I used to be the webmaster of five fansites at one time and even though I’m not anymore, I still remember my first website’s birthday. Today, that first website is a teenager! 13 years old!! And I still remember how much I was still learning with that first website.

    Even better when you have a site where you grow as a writer. That is the best gift ever.

  2. *throws confetti*

    Happy blogabirthversary!

    We’re glad you’ve shared your writing and made a thoughtful, happy space for the rest of us to hang out and discuss.

  3. I can’t tell you how much I love your posts about Once upon a time! I’m waiting to read them every Monday and sometimes it’s pretty late for me because I live in France but I HAVE to wait! I love how you express yourself, the things you write and it’s clear that you not just write about things, you feel them. It really becomes more than just television. I don’t usually comment your posts because english is not my native language and I feel like I’m not very clear when I try to discuss the episodes, but God knows how much I have to say after reading you because you seem so passionate about it!! I made an effort this time because I just wanted you to know how talented you are… sometimes I feel things after watching the episodes and I can’t explain it clearly or put words on it until I read your posts. Continue please because people are looking out after your posts every week! Thank you for sharing this with us! 😀 And sorry for my english!

    I can’t find you on tumblr with the name “nerdygirlnotes”, do have another name there?

    • What a lovely note you left for Katie! I got all emotional reading it and it wasn’t even for me 🙂 I just wanted to throw out some encouragement for commenting on Katie’s OUAT posts. Even if it is just to quickly gush about your favorite part of of episode! Your English is great, and trust me, even as a native English speaker, my comments are far from perfect (you learn to live with the typos). I hope to see you around!

    • Oh my goodness—this was such a lovely comment! Your kind words are very much appreciated, and don’t apologize at all for your English; it’s wonderful. I second Shauna’s comment; if you ever want to join our OUAT discussions, don’t worry about your English holding you back. We’ll be happy to welcome you to the group, and I’m always interested in hearing as many fellow fans’ thoughts on each episode as possible!

      Thank you so much for saying such nice things. ❤

      • Thank you, really, for encouraging me! I’ll try to comment more often from now on!! 😀 I can’t wait for your next OUAT post! Have a wonderful day!

  4. Happy Birthday, NGN! ❤

    It's a birthday, which automatically means I'm going to be sappy and sentimental. One of the best things about the fact that I've been here since NGN started is the way I've gotten to see both this blog and you grow and change over the past three years. I am so proud of all the work you have done to make this space what it is today.

    Both you and your writing has become more vulnerable and open and it's added another layer to your already talented writing. You have truly made the commitment to write from the heart and share yourself with the world both on here and through tumblr/twitter. As the long list of female characters we love have found out, that kind of vulnerability is a scary thing but it's also a very freeing one. And I love that you encourage all of us here to do the same. Presenting ourselves just as we are to the world, flaws and all, teaches us to be more accepting of ourselves and helps us be kinder to ourselves when we think we've failed. It's all an ongoing journey but one that is so worthwhile to take.

    On a slightly self-serving note, I also love the variety of television shows that are now represented here, whether they are in weekly reviews, your best of the week posts, or your end of the year lists. I love sharing TV shows with you and the rest of the NGN community who have gotten me to start new things and who've started things on my recommendation. It's a special feeling to share shows with the people you care about and I love that I've found that here.

    Finally, I am grateful to every member of this community you have started. Thank you to all of you who have commented on a post I've written, shared your thoughtful comments in the OUaT posts weekly, or shared your general enthusiasm either here or on twitter. Thank you for helping make this a place of positivity and excitement.

    • Well now I’m just ridiculously emotional. 😉

      Thank you so much for everything you’ve done for NGN and for me. I feel like my writing has been able to become more vulnerable only because I have such a strong support system to lean on as a write, and you are basically the center of that writing support system for me. I remember texting you so many times as I worked my way through writing my Emma/Hook essay, and you were there for me every step of the way. I’m the writer I am—and NGN is the place it is—because of your encouragement and friendship. ❤

      On a slightly less sappy note, I love how many shows we're all sharing now, and I love getting to write about so many shows here at NGN now. I can't believe how many I've picked up in the last couple of years, but I'm so happy I did because they've all played big roles here at NGN. And they've all become shows I hold close to my heart. I can't wait to add Jane the Virgin and Eli Stone to this list soon!

  5. Yay! Happy blog birthday!
    It’s hard to write so much good content, so give yourself a huge pat on the back. There’s not a lot of people who write so much with so much heart, day in and day out. I’m glad you’re feeling proud and positive today. You should.
    I’m happy to have followed you from New Girl recaps and tags to a deep appreciation for Parks & Rec (way beyond my surface “it’s a good show”) to loving Once Upon a Time and Mindy and HTGAWM and Nashville too. I’m not promising anything, but I’ve given in to the idea that at some point I will give your beloved Castle a go. If you love a show I can pretty sure I’m going to love it too. Thanks for putting my feelings into words and clarifying the bigger picture. You fill in the details of what I’m watching and I think it’s actually made me a better viewer too. I know for sure that I’m super excited that when something you’ve predicted or hoped for comes on the screen! I want to yell “Katie!” at the TV even though you watch everything 3 hours earlier and many many miles away. hahaha
    Have a great day & best wishes for the year ahead!

    • Thank you so much, Jo!

      I’m so glad New Girl brought you here but you were able to jump to new shows along with me. Your love for both OUAT and now Nashville brings me so much joy because those are two shows I hold so close to my heart and want to share with as many people as possible. (I’m basically downing in Nashville feelings right now, by the way.) And i do hope you join us on the Castle love train someday because i think you’d really enjoy it. It’s actually one of the first shows I always recommend to friends of mine because it’s such a crowd-pleaser. 😉

  6. Happy Happy Birthday NGN!

    This post was wonderful, just like everything on this site is wonderful. 🙂

    It means so much to me to be able to have a place to come and talk about the TV shows I watch. I am a true geek, and by that I mean when I REALLY like something, I cant just consume it on the surface. I want to talk about it. I want to get excited about it. I want to talk to other people that are excited about it too. And I want to be able to do those things without having to spend all my time and energy wading through a bunch of negativity.

    I, like I am sure a number of people that find themselves on this site, found myself here because I was looking for something different. I didn’t want surface level recaps. I watched the show, I know what happened. I also didn’t want mean spirited sarcasm. While there is room for humor, there is a definite difference between jests made in good fun and those that are meant to hurt or exclude others, and I have no taste for the latter. A lot of time and effort goes into creating, and I dont like seeing other’s efforts be constantly belittled. There is also room for criticism. Not everything about a show I watch is going to be perfect, and I don’t have to ignore the problem areas, but its nice to be able to put them in perspective compared with all the others things I love about the show. Here at NGN, you have managed to write reviews about TV that are smart, articulate, positive, vulnerable, lighthearted, and yes, even critical, without being mean or divisive, and that is something for which you should be incredibly proud. You don’t write like everyone else on the internet, and that is a good thing. And its why I choose to spend my time here above all the other options out there on the internet.

    I am so glad that we have become friends through this site. While I started coming to NGN to talk about ‘Once Upon a Time’ and my frustration over Colin’s “sincerity face”, you and your readers have opened me up to other great shows I dont think I ever would have started watching on my own. Shows like ‘The Americans’ and ‘Orphan Black’ and ‘Outlander’ and ‘Broadchurch’. I watch these all religiously now, and its even more fun knowing I can come here to talk about some of them too. As you know, I told my boyfriend that all our TV show recommendations came from you and our twitter family, so he also thanks you for your great taste in TV 🙂

    Congrats on the milestone, and I cant wait to see what NGN has in store for its 4th year! I hope this site continues to inspire you, teach you, and foster great new friendships, as continues to do for me.

    • Thank you, Shauna. ❤

      First of all, I want to thank Colin and his "sincerity face" for bringing you here, because I can't imagine NGN without you. It's been so fun to share so many new shows with you, and I can't wait to share Eli Stone with you this summer!

      Your enthusiasm, encouragement, and sense of humor are such important parts of NGN. You make every comment section brighter, and it always makes me smile to see you welcoming and engaging your fellow commenters in discussions. You're the poster child for what's right about NGN's commenters, and I'm so glad that we've become friends along the way, too.

      I'm also happy to see someone else who shares my disdain for plot recaps. That was one of the first things I was sure of about NGN when I started it: No straight-up recaps. People who watch the show know what the plot was. I always wanted to give my readers more than that, and it makes me smile to know that you came to NGN because you were looking for more, too.

      Here's to another year of Fangirl Thursdays, Colin's sincerity face, Russian spies, and talking about all of it together!

  7. HAPPY 3rd ANNIVERSARY!!!

    I’ve said it often, but the joy of my favorite corner of the universe here at NGN is the fact that you can come as you are. This place has inspired me to relish the joys of media through perspectives different than my own. It has made me consider options I would have never conceived. It has brought me comfort in a painful and dark period. It has inspired me to write again about the things that move me. And it has opened up a world of wonderful people I would never have known and now can’t imagine not being a part of the fabric of my life. For all those things I raise an anniversary glass to NGN.

    To you Katie, I tip my hat. I do so because it has been such a pleasure to be a part of this circle and watch your writing and voice evolve from fan girl enthusiasm and exploration to a depth of analysis that is vulnerable, transparent and authentic. On a weekly basis I am in awe of your bravery. Bravery to put yourself out into conversation for sure, but moreso the bravery it takes to unapologetically let your voice be who you are and not what you think will make NGN more than it is. To have something be nimble enough to be a reflection of yourself and to allow it to evolve and change to maintain that reflection is what makes you and as a result NGN so very special.

    I have missed being a regular dive in on these topics and shows these past couple of months, but I am very eager to return. Because while I came to NGN for Castle, I stayed because of you and this marvelous group of people whose passion and love of media mirrors my own.

    • Thank you for this—truly and sincerely. I am at a loss for words in the best possible way, and there are more than a few happy tears in my eyes. Just know that this is a comment I will be returning to on bad days because I know it will always make me feel better.

      I can’t wait for you to come back home to NGN after life’s craziness dies down. We’ve missed you (Thank God for Twitter)!

  8. Congrats Katie! I’m so happy and proud of you for writing such fantastic content for so long, and I’m so happy to see how this blog has become a welcoming place for those who want to nerd out over their favorite shows with positivity. Thanks to all the NGN commenters (and to you Katie) for keeping this blog as one of the few places online that I feel safe in reading the comments.

    One thing I really love is that I’ve discovered over the years, through NGN and through being your friend, is that talking about and sharing a love of TV has been a great way to talk about important things and to connect with other people. I will forever be grateful to the fact that you and Heather have brought me so many fantastic shows (and characters) simply by enthusiastically sharing what you love.

    Congrats on three wonderful years of writing, and here’s to many more!

    • Thank you so much, Leah—not only for all the fabulous writing you’ve done and continue to do for NGN but for being such an amazing friend and source of support.

      I’m so glad to play any small role at all in helping you discover the ways sharing a love for TV can help you connect with wonderful people. That’s been such a rewarding part of running NGN, seeing the ways people share parts of themselves and end up becoming friends when they share the things they love with one another. ❤

  9. I have to agree with Shauna, that I came here (and stayed here) because I didn’t want to read the same old recaps and reviews that everyone else has, which were usually not even very accurate or perceptive, and didn’t feed my enthusiasm for the shows I love. The only other reviews I regularly read when I was still excited about New Girl were the ones on the AV club website, but every other review I read made me cringe. And there was no way I would ever comment on any of those sites! Nope. No way. This is the only place I feel comfortable talking about the TV shows I love.
    Thank you, Katie! Never change.

    • This was such a lovely thing to read, Jo. First of all, to be said in the same breath as The AV Club is basically a life goal for me as a writer, so thanks for that. 😉 And I’m so glad you feel comfortable here talking about the shows you love. That’s so important to me; I always want people to feel free to talk about the things that move and excite them with fellow fans who know what it’s like to love things deeply.

  10. Happy birthday Nerdy Girl!!

    Katie I discovered this website about halfway through S3 of OUAT and I promptly had to go back and read all your previous reviews and now I really look forward to reading your OUAT reviews every week. Your reviews are always so thoughtful and insightful and you usually make me rethink some scenes that when I first viewed them I didn’t like but after reading your review I look at them more positively. Another thing I love about this website is all the great comments you get – I love reading what other people think, and everyone is very respectful to each other.

    Keep up the good work!

  11. HBD NGN!!!!!
    This is just the BEST site. I think your writing is absolutely fantastic and I hope your readership attracts someone who will bring your writing the credit it deserves! You have made my favorite show, Once Upon a Time come even more to life with your thoughtful, always positive, analyses. Thank you for the service you provide!

    • Thank you so much, Christy! And thanks for sharing your awesome OUAT thoughts with us in the comments every week—I always look forward to your take on an episode.

  12. Pingback: Four Years of Fun and Feelings | Nerdy Girl Notes

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