the Little Red Reviewer

Dear Book Bloggers, I’m worried about you

Posted on: October 23, 2018

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Dear book bloggers of the world:  I’m worried about you.

 

Yes you, the blogger who said on their “about me” page that they’d being posting 3 book reviews a week, and a month in you’re already starting to get burned out because you’ve been reading 26 hours a day and have  barely slept or walked your dog or done your homework or texted your mom or spent any time with your best friend.

 

And you, the book blogger who clicked on so much shiny cover art that now you have 50 NetGalley eARCs you need to read, like, right now because you need to make sure NetGalley always loves you.

 

And you, the book blogger who decided ten  reading challenges look fun, and you thought reading 100 books this year was a worthy goal (and don’t forget the bingo card!), and then college started up again, you got diagnosed with a chronic illness, you moved cross country, you had to give your cat away, and now you are wondering how are you ever going to meet your goal of reading 100 books this year?

 

And you, the book blogger who feels like you’re doing it wrong because you think someone else’s book blog is shinier or sleeker, or longer, or shorter, or whatever-er than yours.

 

Dear book bloggers of the world:  I’m worried about you. Please be kinder to yourselves.

 

Book blogging is not and was never meant to be something you are required to do every day or three times a week or on any arbitrarily defined schedule.

Book blogging is not and should not be about keeping up with other bloggers. There isn’t some prize for reading the most books, or downloading the most eARCs from Netgalley or getting the most ARCs in the mail.

Book blogging should not be something that comes before selfcare, or before your family, or before the big things in your life. Some days watching TV should come before book blogging, because we all do #selfcare differently.

Book blogging should not be something that causes you stress or strife or causes you to be judgemental about yourself.

Netgalley will understand. They know we love clicking on beautiful cover art.

 

Book bloggers of the world, please be kinder to yourselves.

 

Please, be take some time to be selfish.  Take some time to realize that you have taken your passion for reading, the spark you carry inside you, and allowed it to blossom on a website that is all your own.  With a little bit of clicking, and a little bit of html, you have literally created something out of nothing. You have created something that is completely unique to you – someone else, if given the same exact recipe, could never have made what you have made. Because of you, someone discovered a new-to-them book. Your passion, your spark, it rubs off on everyone who visits your site!

 

Still looking for the magic bullet of how win at blogging? Ok, here you go:

 

Being the bloggeriest blogger who ever blogged is not winning. Winning is showing up. Winning is being your authentic self. Winning is talking about books you care about, books that make you think, or cry, or laugh, or grow. Winning is coming to the bloggish community as you,  not as who you think we want to meet. Winning is recognizing burn-out for what it is, taking a break when you need to, and keeping it fun.

 

Blog when you feel like it. Blog on a schedule that works for you. If you have a schedule that was working, and it isn’t working anymore, change it. Blogs are not made of stone and neither are  you. Your blog works for you, not the other way around.

 

#selfcare comes first. Your health and your family come first.  Take a break if that’s what life calls for. Your blog will still be here waiting for you when you come back. The blogging community will still be here waiting for you when you’re ready to return. We’re patient and we want you to take care of yourself.  If you decide there isn’t room in your life for the commitment of blogging right now? That’s OK too. Really, it is!

 

Please do not think you are failing as a blogger because your blog isn’t as sparkly or as polka-dotty or as whatever-y as someone else’s.

 

The only failed blogger is the blogger who never started a blog in the first place.

 

Book bloggers of the world, please be kinder to yourselves.  If the spark inside you burns out, the blogosphere will be all the poorer without you.

 

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26 Responses to "Dear Book Bloggers, I’m worried about you"

I hear you! I cut down to once a month on the Writing Slices blog. Twelve reviews a year doesn’t seem like much, but I have to remember that those are twelve reviews that otherwise wouldn’t exist, and some is better than none.

Liked by 1 person

This is such a wonderful post! I totally remind myself that this is a hobby and something I enjoy whenever I start to feel anxiety during reading slumps.

Liked by 1 person

I lovd this post! Yes, we should take of ourselves first and foremost.

Liked by 1 person

Excellent article. I don’t only blog about books but I’m currently danger of getting carried away. This is an important message. Thank yiu.

Liked by 1 person

Well said. I took a break from blogging recently when I moved house now I post once a week. No more pressure. I put way too much pressure on myself

Liked by 1 person

Yes, we hear you, but sometimes people get carried away. Still, speaking for myself, two or three times a week, usually two, is comfortable. I usually review an older book on Friday and whatever I’ve been reading lately on Monday. I can write the older book reviews three at a time, and the other just flows as I go. So no pressure, no sweat.

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From the title, I thought this was going to be worried about people like me, who have basically vanished off the face of the Earth. :p

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Yes, I’ve not been as active on the book blogging circuit as I was before Shortcake arrived. And I’ve decided that’s OK. 🙂 And there’s nothing wrong with taking time and enjoying a good book rather than rushing through it from some self-imposed deadline.

I’ve taken this attitude toward my TV and movie viewing as well. I can keep up with fewer shows and that’s OK. I get as much joy out of watching Sesame Street episodes with shortcake as I did out of watching Breaking Bad and binging the latest Netflix show. Those shows will still be there to binge later when I’ve got more time and her mind isn’t a little sponge and I can help her soak up knowledge.

Liked by 1 person

I love this so, so, so much.

Thank you for writing it. ❤ ❤ ❤

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This is so wonderful. I quit blogging 4, yes 4, years ago because life went haywire and blogging felt more like work than fun. When I saw this post, it made me think about coming back because for a long time, it was so much fun. I loved (still love!) talking about books but when it started to feel like more trouble than it was worth to keep up with everything, I shut down. Now, it sounds like fun again.

Thank you so much for this! It’s a good reminder that we need to keep things in perspective. Also, it may just be the inspiration I need to start again.

Liked by 1 person

life goes haywire, and blogging suddenly feels like a full time 2nd job that’s more trouble than it’s worth? Yep, been there, done that, it was awful! i had a choice to make: walk away from blogging or reprioritize and change my expectations of myself as a blogger. Could my blog survive a change like that? You bet it could!

Come back to blogging when you’re ready. if it sounds fun again, then it’s time to come back! just remember to keep it fun. 🙂

Liked by 1 person

Really good call to get back to the root of things. I am just starting out on my blog, which I started as a way to reconnect with my passion for books. This was a kind of warning sign, reminding me to make sure it stays that way.

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a passion for books is the perfect reason to start a blog! Or at least I think so, since that’s I why I started mine. Stay true to yourself, keep it fun, and you’ll be fine. 🙂

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Damn, I just about cried reading this…it was easy to imagine how what you wrote applied to me. I remember how burned out I was before I took my four and a half year break from blogging – I was not very kind to myself with regard to time management. It’s amazing how many other blogs fell to the wayside during that time for reasons you touch on in your post. Many people don’t realize that blogging is hard work, but it is also a drain on your time, as you have so vividly reminded us.

After returning to blogging I set a reading goal that was incredibly ambitious. What the hell was I thinking, lol? I took a big risk that I might burn out again. I managed to pull it off, but your post is a poignant reminder that I should not feel anxiety if I don’t meet that goal. I do think that this time around I have managed my time better. But thank you for posting this and looking out for the rest of us, Red. You are one of the most prolific bloggers I know, so you must be following your own advice…

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please don’t burn out again! this is our hobby, it should bring you joy and satisfaction, not anxiety. yes, blogging takes a ton of time, but you should feel like it was time well spent. don’t stress yourself out.

way back when, when I started blogging, I was only working part time. I had zero obligations, my life was super simple. Reading 2-3 books a week was a real thing that actually happened in my life. And then, well, life got complicated. When it became a challenge to finish one book in two weeks, i either blogged less, read skinnier books (hi graphic novels and novellas!), or did some blog posts that weren’t book reviews or even book related. there were plenty of times i took unplanned 2-3 week breaks because life was busy. and when i got back to my blog, i just picked up right where I left off. i got 99 problems, and blogging anxiety shouldn’t be one of ’em. 🙂

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Such a great post, and we need to remind ourselves of these truths from time to time. Thanks for sharing! And this quote – “You have created something that is completely unique to you – someone else, if given the same exact recipe, could never have made what you have made.”

Very well said, love it!

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Lovely post and an excellent reminder!

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[…] a recent post titled “Dear Book Bloggers, I’m worried about you”, Redhead almost brought me to tears with her concern about book bloggers…particularly about […]

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May I share this post with others?

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so long as you link it back to me, you are welcome to share it freely. 🙂

Liked by 1 person

Thank you for this! I agree with everything you’ve said. Most of the time I love blogging but occasionally I’ve had to take some time away – and then I always miss it and come back. I think authenticity makes for a much more interesting blog and it’s what I strive for – but it’s awfully easy to get distracted by what everyone else is doing and what you feel you ought to do.

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some of the books reviewed here were free ARCs supplied by publishers/authors/other groups. Some of the books here I got from the library. the rest I *gasp!* actually paid for. I'll do my best to let you know what's what.
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