I think I mentioned before that I really love the posts by Becky from The Bookette, McKenzie from The Book Owl, and Staysi from Lost in Ink. Still, go check out what those awesome bloggers have to say. They pretty much articulated exactly what I'm feeling about blogging now. And I'll add my voice to what I like to call a blogging revolution :)
Blogging is not as fun as it used to be when I feel pressured to post this many reviews or that many memes. It's not as fun when I have 1241948920 updates on my Google Reader, attempt to comment on everything, and end up feeling exhausted afterwards for doing--in effect--nothing.
And I think the posts by the other bloggers above me gave me the courage to say, "Blogging doesn't have to be this way" Because it doesn't. It's supposed to be a great experience. It's supposed to be an outlet for our (somewhat) unhealthy obsession with books. I am definitely not in blogging for getting free books. Aside from a few book tours, I've only once or twice been approached to review a book. And that's perfectly all right by me. I like going out to the library and the bookstore and picking out books to read.
And most of all: I like thinking about the books I read. And even if my reviews seem to be more negative than they are positive, this just guarantees that when I do come across a a good book, or a great book, or A HOLY WOW I WANT TO READ THIS BOOK EVERY DAY FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE book, I appreciate it even more. That's a large part of reading: recognizing what you do and don't like. It's okay to not like something. And I'm totally getting off topic right now but I just wanted to say: Don't ever be afraid to write an honest review. Don't ever silence your own opinions. Don't ever be ashamed of your opinion. And most of all, don't ever let anyone make you feel ashamed for thinking about the books you read. For writing honest reviews. Because to me, that's the absolute most important quality of a book blog: that a book blogger is sharing their own, unadulterated opinion. Because that's really what a review is, isn't it?
Lately I've come across a lot of bloggers going, "I'm don't want to write negative reviews" or "I don't write discussion posts because I'm afraid people will disagree with me" or "I'm afraid to post this." It breaks my heart to hear this. But I'm not surprised: there's a tendency in life--not just blogging--for the majority to shoot down people with opinions they don't agree with. And it's perfectly understandable that bloggers are afraid but I wish it wasn't that way. I can't help feeling the WHOLE point is having people challenge your opinion.
Get your opinion out there. Learn to defend it. Learn how to accept other arguments and recognize that maybe you're not 100% correct.
It's healthy. It's part of life.
And I'm hoping that ALL of you bloggers will support other bloggers who want to get their opinions out there. Even if you don't agree at all.
It's important, that as bloggers, we're facilitating discussion on books. What we do and don't like. Isn't talking and thinking about books the whole point of book blogging?
But to get back on topic:
I have noticed that a lot of bloggers are feeling tired or discouraged or fed up. Last month I think I came across the most "I'm taking a break, be back sometime...or not." posts than I have in my whole blogging experience. I don't mean to generalize, but I think that while it's true that life gets in the way, sometimes it also just seems like there's no point in blogging anymore. I've been feeling a bit of that way myself lately. I've taken a break before: two weeks in December so I could survive finals week. I'll be taking a break sometime in April-May, just so this blog doesn't turn into a ranting ground about how much I HATE AP testing. (have I mentioned I hate it? I hatehatehate it so much *cries a little*).
Anyways, all of the bloggers I linked to above pointed out some of the things that I wish would change in the blogosphere. And with this post, I just wanted to reinforce the fact that I'm trying to make improvements on this blog and also improve myself as a blogger. Some of the upcoming changes you've already heard about: no more memes except for Captivating Thursday, and less commenting by me but hopefully more meaningful comments (i.e. quality over quantity).
But I also want to change something about myself as a blogger. I have no idea how approachable or friendly I come off to you guys.
Maybe I'm scary? I really hope not.
You know what?
I'm just any other teenage girl sitting in my pajamas as I type this, my right leg about to fall asleep, and wondering if I can possibly bake cookies today. I procrastinate all the time, and I'm thinking of throwing out my textbooks so I won't have to study and I REALLY wish my dog hadn't just sat on my sweater, cause now it's covered in fur and I am SO AGAINST wearing my dog.
Anyways, my point is:
I'm a real person.
I think sometimes we forget there's a blogger behind the blog. Especially when we're just churning out book review after book review, meme after meme.
There's very little room for personality when blogging is like that.
What I'm saying is, I'm going to make room. Because first and foremost, this is my blog . I want it to be a reflection of myself. I don't know if it is quite yet.
But I don't ever want to hold you guys at an arm-lengths away. And I don't want you guys to ever feel I'm some sort of distant machine hammering out post after post.
A lot of bloggers are striving to be closer to other bloggers and their followers, and I'm going to follow suit.
I feel bad because I feel like I don't support new bloggers enough. I'm not a new or an old blogger myself-- somewhere in between as I've been blogging for about 6-7 months.
We've all been new bloggers at some point.
So what I'm saying is this: if you're a new blogger, don't be afraid to approach me. Email me if you have questions about blogging or about books or about anything. Email me if you have suggestions. Email me just for fun.
And same goes for all my followers and fellow bloggers. Email me at email@example.com. Come talk to me on twitter. Come friend me on goodreads. EMAIL ME if you're about to write or post a rant/discussion and you're feeling worried about the reaction. I'll be there to cheer you on, no matter what.
And despite still being baffled by it, I have to say twitter is excellent because that way I can really chat with fellow bloggers.Get with the times and get a twitter and come talk! (I only got my twitter account a month or so ago and I resisted the whole time. But it really is fun!)
And I'll admit I'm TERRIBLE with checking my email and replying (The HORRORS OF SPAM! THE HORRORS! IT GROWS!) but from now on I'll be reforming myself in that regard as well.
But anyways, I'd love to make some more bloggy friends. I feel like that should be one of the biggest parts of book blogging, and unfortunately it doesn't seem like a huge priority in the blogosphere. It really should be. I love talking to bloggers. I love developing bloggy friendships. It's great.
And blogging is even more fun when we can support each other, talk to each other.
And that concludes my ramble-of-the-day :) Really, I think this is the most rambling/ random post I've ever done, haha.
*random dog pictures are part of my resolution to honor my now retired puppy profile picture :)
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