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I’ve been a book blogger for almost two years now. (Blogoversary’s coming up in January woop!) And it’s been a blast. I couldn’t imagine my life without blogging anymore. I’ve learned so many new things, both regarding to the act of blogging itself, as to just in general. I love talking about things I love. I love the bookish community. Every comment makes my day. I wouldn’t trade it for the world.
But. Despite all the positives, there is also a dark side to blogging. There are days when it’s a little hard to think about all the positives and it’s just so tempting to focus on those few negatives. And I’m sure I’m not the only one. So why not talk about it with the people who would best understand, fellow bloggers? Let’s get into some of the most common book blogging issues!
Well, for a book blogger, it all starts with the books, right? And with regular posts going up, that means quite an amount of books to be read.
But what when life gets in the way and you don’t have time to read as much anymore? What about when you get into a reading slump (holla)? What if you’re just not that fast of a reader? I mean, there are book bloggers out there reading more than 100-200 books a year. In my reading prime, I can read about 8 books a month. Max. At the moment I’m happy if I read two. So yes, I’ve had moments where I wondered if I can still call myself a book blogger. You might want to read about the Melbourne Culture in a famous blog and understand the city better before visiting.
Forget about numbers for a minute, I’m also so behind on all the newest releases. I mean, these books keep on releasing so HOW ARE WE SUPPOSED TO KEEP UP?
Well, we’re not supposed to. Don’t compare yourself to others. It’s okay to read a lot and it’s okay not to read as much. Everybody reads at their own pace. And slumps happen. Life happens. It’s OKAY. The most important thing is that you’re reading what you like, when you like, and that you love blogging about it. That passion is what makes a book blogger, not your Goodreads Reading Challenge.
You know what? Blogging is hella hard to do! It’s not just reading and typing out a review. There is so much more that goes into it that non-bloggers just don’t get. There is so much creativity involved as well, and guess what? I’m not someone with a whole lot of creativity on a daily basis. There are days where I have no clue what I want to write about. Or how I can actually create a visual I have in my head and make it come alive on my blog. So this is where a lot of blogger envy and demotivation comes into play.
There are A LOT of book bloggers out there. And they’re all so wonderful and inspiring and have so many great ideas and posts that look amazing and discussions that are so well written and thought out. So yes, sometimes the little green fellow called jealousy pays me a visit. Fellow bloggers seem to come up with so many fun and creative topics. How do they do it? Why can’t I?
But the important thing is not to focus on what other bloggers do better than you. There will ALWAYS be someone who’s better at something than you. Instead of letting it get to you, instead of letting it demotivate you and make you feel insecure, let it inspire you. Let it make you think about what you can still do to improve your blog. Maybe seeing that one amazing blog post will inspire you to make your own awesome blog post. Maybe seeing that amazing lay-out will inspire you to learn how to do create awesome graphics yourself. It shouldn’t be about putting yourself down, but about inspiring yourself.
Oh, and that awesome blog post or amazing lay-out you saw? Don’t hesitate to let the blogger in question know how much in awe of them you are. Chances are they are just as insecure as you, so it always helps to spread the love!
Like I mentioned before, blogging is hard. And it takes up time. A LOT OF TIME. Most of us bloggers only do this as a hobby, not a full-time job. So yes, it can be tough to come home after a long day and start blogging, when really you just also want to crash face-first into your sofa and binge Netflix. But it’s something we love, so we do it anyway. But even so, a little appreciation is SO WELCOME. And mostly, when we think of blogger appreciation, we think stats.
Even if we try not to, those stats are so tempting to look at. And they can be so, so, so disheartening. What if you just spend hours and hours on a post you’re really passionate about, but it hardly got any views? What if you finally took that hiatus you desperately needed only to come back after a week and see your daily views have dropped like crazy and it takes months of work to build them back up? What if you’re already a blogger for so many years, trying to get your follower count up to that beloved 100, when you suddenly see a new blogger celebrating their 500-follower milestone? Well, let me be honest here, it sucks. These are things that happen to me all the time and it can really make me question whether or not I still want to be a blogger. Why spend all that time and effort when it doesn’t feel all that appreciated?
Well, as addicting as those stats can be, the most important thing to consider is whether or not YOU still like blogging. Does it still make you happy? Do you still get excited to come home at the end of the day to finally write that post that’s been brewing in your mind all day? Do you still feel that little thrill when you click the publish button? Do you still love sharing your love of books? If the answer is yes, then that’s all that matters. No matter the stats, blogging is something you should do for yourself. So don’t just depend on the appreciation of others and start appreciating your own awesome blogger self!
Comments and bloghopping
Ah, comments. The heart and soul of blogging. Or at least, that’s what it feels like to me. Sure, blogging should be done for yourself first of all, but nothing can make my day more than a nice comment. It’s a little sign of appreciation by a fellow blogger and it is the best. So for me at least, a crucial part of the blogging process is the commenting. Replying to comments on your own blog and leaving a comment back on their blog – it’s standard blogging protocol. You can blog just for yourself and don’t need those comments or community and that all okay, but for me, it’s one of the reasons, if not THE reason I love blogging so much. The community and sharing the love.
But it also takes up a lot of time. It may even take up MORE time than actually writing, editing and lay-outing your posts. And that’s just replying to comments. Actively going out there, bloghopping and commenting takes even more time. And since we already covered the fact that most of us bloggers don’t do this as a full-time job, it means a lot of our free time spent commenting. And sometimes, life gets in the way. Things get busy and for me personally, I always feel like my commenting game is the first to suffer. And it makes me feel THE ABSOLUTE WORST. Nothing gets my blogging guilt going as much as a lack of commenting on my part. And that blogging guilt often leads to the question of whether I should still be blogging if I can’t find the time to at least reply to a comment…
So what to do when this thought process hits you? Well, what works for me is reminding myself that fellow bloggers UNDERSTAND. They all have busy lives too. They’re probably beating themselves up for not commenting enough either. They will not be angry at you for taking a week to reply to a comment or for not having commented on their last post. They’ll get it. So take the time you need and do your commenting and bloghopping when you can.
Blogging vs Real life
How to deal with blogging vs real life? Well, this can go different ways, depending on if you have informed people in your real life about your blog or not. (See this post where I talk about reasons to tell people about your blog or not). It can be that you have chosen to keep your blog to yourself and not tell anyone else about it. Which is something that could potentially lead to conflicts, because how do you explain to the people close to you what you are spending all that time on?
Or you could have told people about your blog, which could potentially lead to other conflicts. Because what if they don’t understand? Or care? Or appreciate it? I mean, blogging takes up a lot of time, and we all want to feel appreciated for it. Both by fellow bloggers, or real-life friends and family if you told them. And honestly, that’s not always the case. I myself have told friends and family about this blog, and guess what? They don’t really care. I’ve written some quite personal posts on here that they’ve never taken the time to read.
But then again, that’s all A-OKAY as well. Because as much as we love them, non-bloggers will never really understand. How much time and effort we put into this. How much of our heart and soul goes into blogging. So as I said before, all that matters is whether or not YOU still love blogging.
We all have our doubts and insecurities. This blogging thing, it can be tough. But I think the most important thing to remember is: we all have those moments of doubt and insecurity concerning blogging. There definitely is a dark side to it. But there is also so much light. And as long as you still love blogging, love this community and focus on the fun parts instead of the bad, than it’s really all worth it.