blogging

5 Reasons I’m a Bad Book Blogger (and Why That’s OK)

 

capture-20190115-171643.pngHello lovelies! How are you? Lately I’ve been reading a lot of posts about blogging goals and resolutions. I love posts like that cause they always make me feel inspired. I want my blog to be as good as possible and I think setting goals for myself helps me with that. But that’s not what this post is about. With all the goals we set for ourselves as bloggers, it’s easy to feel a lot of pressure. We’re telling ourselves we should work harder, write better, post more often, gain followers faster and there’s nothing wrong with that. But I think it’s important to remember that there’s more than one way to do this thing and no one’s way of blogging is inherently better than anyone else’s, even if they have more followers. It’s okay to break some “Blogging rule”. It’s okay to to fail at some things. It’s okay to not be good at everything. That’s what this post is about. It’s about being bad at something and being okay with it. It’s about owning our flaws and maybe even discovering that our weaknesses can also be strengths.

1. I DON’T EVEN REVIEW BOOKS

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I used to think I had to review books to be a book blogger. Well, I’ve been a book blogger for over a year now and so far I’ve written exactly one book review. I simply don’t enjoy writing them and when I try I’m never satisfied with the result. I don’t feel like I’ve expressed the nuances and complexities of what the book’s made me think and feel. I’ve said too much or not enough. I haven’t said what I’ve said beautifully or sincerely or intelligently enough. I’m not smart enough. I’m too pretentious. My writing’s too simple. My writing’s too flowery. I always find faults.

WHY THAT’S OK:

Since I don’t review books, I have to think outside the box to come up with new content and that’s great, since coming up with creative and fun ideas for posts is my favorite part of blogging! It always inspires me and makes me feel excited to write new posts, unlike book reviews which inspire me to hide in a cave beneath the sea.

2. I DON’T HAVE ‘A VOICE’

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Don’t worry, I didn’t make a shady deal with a sea witch over a bad case of insta-love (I don’t even like princes, they’re the worst) What I mean is I don’t feel like I have a strong, unique blogging voice that is distinctly “me”. The kind people talk about when they say “Find your voice!” (Which happens to be the most common blogging advice) I just write what I feel like and hope someone likes it?

WHY THAT’S OK:

I might not have found my blogging voice yet, but I love experimenting with different post styles and finding out what feels right and true to me. The blog’s still a work in progress and so am I! To quote one of my favorite songs: Let’s not try to figure out everything at once. Isn’t that thought freeing?

3. I’M BAD AT SOCIAL MEDIA

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I’m not on Facebook or Instagram. I only occasionally remember I’m on Twitter, tweet 5 times that day, then forget all about it for another few weeks. I almost never promote my blog or share my post there. I rarely interact with anyone cause I don’t know how to talk to people? I’m an extrovert who loves meeting new people, but something about not seeing people’s body language or hearing the tone of their voice kind of makes me anxious.

WHY THAT’S OK:

Since I only have my blog to focus on that means I have a lot more time to write posts, read blogs, reply to comments and blog-hop, than if I had three other accounts to update and interact on. Which I’m grateful for, cause I love spending time reading blogs and talking to people about books!

4. I DON’T HAVE A NICHE

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Beside “Find your voice”, I think “Find your niche” is the most common blogging advice. Now for someone who’s not a book blogger a book blog might sound pretty niche. But those of us who are in the cult know that’s not true. There are YA bloggers, SFF bloggers, Romance bloggers, literary fiction bloggers. I’m more of a…”I like all the books please give me all the books” blogger.

WHY THAT’S OK:

I think this is pretty obvious: I get to read all the books! Sci-fi. fantasy, romance, YA, literary fiction, I love it all and I love my weird, eclectic reading tastes. And I don’t think anyone minds hearing about books that are outside of their preferred genre once in a while either. I know I don’t!

5. I DON’T READ ARCS

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In the year and a half I’ve been blogging, I’ve never gotten an ARC. Which isn’t that surprising considering I’ve never requested one. I’m just not sure I want the pressure? I’m a big mood reader, so I don’t like feeling like I have to read something and I definitley don’t like feeling like I have to review something. I wouldn’t even know how to request one if I wanted to and I’m pretty sure being an international reader wouldn’t make it easier.  Of course there are books I wish I could get my hands on early, and maybe I’ll change my mind about this. But right now, I’m clueless and totally okay with that.

WHY THAT’S OK

Thankfully books don’t come with expiration dates y’all! That’s what my mom always says when we stare at our stacks of unread books with equal parts joy and terror. I don’t think it’s any less exciting to read or blog about a book after it’s been published. Besides there are plenty of other wonderful bloggers who read and review arcs.

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I’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic! Do you feel pressure to blog in a certain way? What “Blogging Rules” are you guilty of breaking? Has breaking them improved your blog in any way?
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84 thoughts on “5 Reasons I’m a Bad Book Blogger (and Why That’s OK)

  1. I love this! Like you said there’s no ‘right’ way to be a book blogger, and I think it’s easy to feel like you have to follow certain rules to fit in which just isn’t the case. I’ve been blogging for a few years now and when I first started I was reading the YA everyone else was reading because I thought that was what I had to do but, like you, I don’t really have a niche – I’ll read pretty much anything! – and I love the freedom of that. 99.9% of people who have a YA book blog have it because they adore YA, which is totally valid, but I wouldn’t want to be part of that 0.1% that’s got stuck in a niche genre and feels like they can’t review or talk about something completely different. Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, I’m glad you enjoyed reading it! I can definitley relate to what you’re saying. It’s so easy as a blogger to be influenced by what everyone else is reading and even feel like you “have to” read certain books or genres for your blog to be relevant. I’m sure I subconsciously let it affect my reading choices sometimes. I adore the freedom of reading all genres too – we have so many wonderful books to chose from ❤️ Thanks for this insightful comment!

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  2. Two of these, maybe three are true for me too – I fail at social media, I’m not sure what “finding your voice” even means, and I’m trying to get out of my YA + adult SFF niche more often – but I don’t feel the pressure to be more active on social media or change my content much. I just write what makes me happy, which I think everyone should do – this is supposed to be fun!
    Maybe if I really cared about being popular I’d read more YA, write less reviews (they’re necessary to get ARCs but… very few people read them) and I’d get more involved in book twitter, but that’s honestly not how I want to spend my free time.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think that’s a wonderful blogging philosophy, if you love what you’re writing it always shines through. I feel the same. I try to write posts that make me feel enthusiastic and excited about blogging – and just hope someone’ll want to read them.
      Doing things for popularity seems tiring tbh! I think that’s why I fail at Twitter too, I’d usually just rather be reading.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Literally 100% accurate for all of these 😂 reviews are so difficult to write! I’m trying to get better at it but honestly by the time I sit down to write a review I’ve already moved on to a new book and have forgotten everything

    Liked by 1 person

  4. i absolutely love this post. i just started book blogging a few weeks ago and have been feeling the pressure of having to do certain things to keep the whole thing going and standing out. i try to tell myself i’m doing this for myself because i enjoy it, but sometimes it’s hard when seeing what others do. i’m glad you’ve found a method of blogging that works for you!! and reading this has definitely eased a lot of the concerns i’d started having. thanks for this great reflection ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, I’m so glad you enjoyed it ❤️ I never would have guessed your blog was so new, it looks so polished! It’s hard to compare ourselves with other bloggers, but I really think the most important thing is just to write what you love and enjoy yourself. I hope you find a method that works for you too and that you keep enjoying your book blogging journey! Thanks for the lovely comment 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Great post!! Tho I disagree with a lot of it! First I don’t think you are a book blogger. Second I think you totally have a voice. Just because its constantly changing and you do different stuff doesn’t mean you don’t have a voice, it just means that is your voice!! I like reading blogs where people just share their thoughts rather than have a set “voice” 😀 And I’ve never even noticed that you don’t write reviews haha 🙂 Just keep doing what you are doing ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much! This is the sweetest comment ❤️ I’d never thought of it that way, but I actually love the idea that my voice is one that just happens to change a lot. That’s how I’m going to look at if from now on! Thanks for the insight 😊 Keep doing what you’re doing too ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

  6. This is such a great and refreshing post!!!! I love the point u make about not doing so many reviews even though we’re book bloggers, I don’t think reviews are all that popular in general anyway, and there is SO MUCH PRESSURE sometimes w them.

    Also I agree that finding my voice is SO HARD and I feel like I’ll never actually find one and I’ll always be a vague rambler slkdjf sdlkfjslkjdf

    But your voice is v soothing?? GOSH IT’S SO HARD TO EXPLAIN bc I’m bad at explaining things. But u for sure have a unique writing/blogging voice c: c: c: c:
    +++++I am so bad at Twitter, but I love posting on Instagram (even tho I almost never comment)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, I’m so glad you enjoyed it! I didn’t even know reviews aren’t that popular, now I feel way less pressure to start writing them.

      It’s so hard finding your voice! Oh my gosh you think mine is soothing? I take that as a huge compliment. Thank you!!! You definitley have a unique blogging voice too, it’s really enthusiastic and gushy in a way that makes me excited about books ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

  7. This was such an amazing post! You’re seriously one of my favorite bloggers and it’s due to the fact that your posts are one of my favorites out there! I always look forward to seeing your stuff in my feed and this post only further proves how wonderfully unique you are. I do think that reviews are sort of expected in the community which kinda sucks because we can hype books up in other fun ways!! I’m so happy to have stumbled upon your blog and I cannot wait to see what’s in store for you next ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This is such a lovely comment ❤️ Thank you so much for all the kind words, it means so much! I’m really happy enjoy reading my posts. Your blog’s one of my favorites too and I’m so glad we can follow each other’s blogging journeys!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I love your post! I am terrible with social media too. I don’t have Instagram and I almost never use the ones I do have.
    I do think you have a voice though, I can see it when I read your posts. A voice shouldn’t be something you try very hard to get, it’s simply the way you have of explaining things and writing. I think your voice is fun and interesting and I’m glad you are not worrying about it too much.
    Keep posting cool stuff!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. This is so funny, I only now realised that I probably haven’t read a review from you but somehow, I never noticed it before!!! 😊 I have always considered your blog to be about books and never ever considered you not to be a book blogger. I enjoy your fun & highly creative posts! ❤️

    I don’t do social media either, it just stresses me out and I tend to spend a lot of my time there, which I would much rather use for other things. 😊 I can totally relate to many of your points. No niche, no voice, no social presence… I have always enjoyed being a rebel… 😈

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha, maybe no one would’ve noticed if I hadn’t made a whole post calling attention to it 😂 Thank you much, Vera! That means a lot to me ❤️ I’m very glad you enjoy reading my posts!

      I find social media to be stressful and time consuming too, to be honest I’d just rather be reading 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I love, love, LOVE this post! I think you’re right that there is a lot of pressure with doing a book blog and trying to do a million things at once to get followers and be current, and it’s easy to lose sight of what YOU actually want your blog to be. That’s one thing I’m definitely going to work on this year. I already think you’re an amazing blogger so keep doing you!

    It also never dawned on me that you don’t write book reviews. How did I miss that?! 😂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, I’m so glad you liked it! That’s so true. it’s easy to get caught up in the all the things we “have” to do, when really there’s no rules. That’s what I’ll be working on in 2019 too, making my blog everything I want it to be. Thank you so much ❤️ So are you!

      Hahaha, I’m glad I’ve been getting away with it for so long 😂

      Liked by 1 person

  11. I see my blog more as a journal of my reading adventures. I like to go back and see what was important to me last year or the year before. I like getting book recommendations from other bloggers/readers. I enjoy being part of a community during readathons and such. But mostly, the blog is for me. I am evolving and so is the blog. I don’t like to be put into categories and neither is the blog. I loved your post on this!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. That’s a lovely way to think of your blog. I really like what you said about categories. I don’t like being put into them either, so it makes sense that my blog would reflect that. Thank you for the lovely comment! Enjoy your reading adventures ❤️

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  12. I think I fit into every one of these categories… well, I do review books. And I’ve read a couple ARCs, but those are because someone who was a bookstore owner lent them to me! But I definitely feel you with the “no niche” and “no voice” things. I barely have any presence in the book blogging community, to be honest. Do you have tips to grow your blog? Also, I love your “why that’s ok” sections after each “reason.” It makes every type of blogging valid and I love that!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so glad you found my post relatable! I felt the same way when I started blogging, it can be hard to find your place in the community. But once your start reaching out to people, they’re all so warm and welcoming. I’ve never had a strategy for growing my blog, but I think the easiest way to do it is to post often and consistently, and to do lots of blog-hopping and interacting with other bloggers. Which you’re clearly already doing 😊 And thank you, that’s exactly what I wanted this post to be about!

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  13. We must be on the same wavelength because I just put together a post talking about why I’m a bad book blogger. I like how you balanced each of these with a “Why It’s Okay” section. Mine is more of a self-deprecating kind of post. I feel you when it comes to ARCs. I like them, but they always add extra pressure when I am trying to plan out in my head what I’m going to read next. ARCs are always so easy to request on NetGalley especially. When I end up having to get to multiple ARCs in a small amount of time, it can take the enjoyment out of it.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Lovely post! Sometimes it can feel like so much pressure. You might not review books but I love your posts just as much! Finding a voice is so hard and I’m still struggling with it.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I agree your point about ARCs so much. I have never requested arc and I don’t think I will. I’m a mood reader too and I don’t want to feel pressured to read something I might not be in the mood for or a book that sounded better when reading the synopsis. I also haven’t found my “voice” and I don’t have nigh. I like YA books. I like Romance books. I am the opposite of reviewing books though. I love writing them and I might even post them too often, especially lately. I think I have like two posts this month that wasn’t a review.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Exactly! I’m glad I’m not the only one who feels this way. I just can’t force myself to read something I’m not feeling at the moment, it’ll make me dislike the book – even if it’s amazing. I think that’s awesome, I’m still trying to find a way to write reviews that works for me. I want to enjoy writing them too!

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  16. This is such a reassuring post! I like writing reviews for books I really really loved but they always end up more gushy than actual review like I intended in my head. I loved your comment on “books don’t have an expiration date” that’s so important to keep in mind. I feel like so many of us are focused on the new and now and that just adds unnecessary extra pressure. This is an amazing post 💕

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think writing reviews for the books I really love is the hardest, cause I want to write something that’s worthy of the book and that will make everyone want to read it. I love reading gushy reviews, they’re the best! Thank you so much ❤️ I’m so glad you found this reassuring!

      Liked by 1 person

  17. Love this post, and love your “why it’s okay” section ❤ I definitely feel the pressure of being "niche" and reviewing ARCs as well, but I think we all have our own voices in our own personal blogging style by just being the way we are! Keep on being you and keep on making lovely posts like these ❤ ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  18. I loved this post! Most of the time we see great blogging advice online, but I think those are mostly just guidelines. I enjoy your posts, which I do think are creative and fun, so I wouldn’t say you’re a “bad” book blogger, but a blogger who’s creating your own unique version of being a book blogger!

    Liked by 1 person

  19. I love this! That Stitch gif had me giggling. I feel like he’s always appropriate for everything, haha. I do the same exact thing on Twitter, too! I share all my posts from Instagram automatically there, but occasionally I’m like “oh uhhhh I should probably actually tweet something?” and then disappear into the ether for another few months.

    Also, YES the niche & ARCs. I can’t imagine sticking to one type of book to blog about or even just blogging about books, haha. I want to read all the books all the time. And ARCs are so scary, kind of? Like you said, the pressure of having to read them, especially as a fellow mood reader, makes me just never want to, haha.

    Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much! There’s a Stitch gif for every mood and context! I don’t even have instagram and I still can’t remember to tweet, so you’re doing better than me at social media 😂

      I’m glad you don’t have a niche! I love reading your blog because it’s like a treasure trove of interesting books and topics ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

  20. This! Post! I like writing reviews because I like talking about what makes a narrative work and what doesn’t and how that makes me feel. But there are definitely times when I don’t know what to say or feel like I’m not doing it justice. And I have zero problem with interacting with people on social media, but trying to promote my stuff is still scary and awkward!

    And really, I think of your blog as this magical tea house that’s hidden away in some quiet corner of the city, where all the magical creatures gather to chat and relax, and you won’t know how to find it unless you’re guided there by a fairy at the strike of midnight. It’s cozy and whimsical, it’s unlike any other blog I know, and I always have a huge smile on my face whenever I visit.

    So you know, I figure you’re doing *something* right. 😉 ❤❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Kathy! This comment! I want to print it out and frame it on my wall! You’re too kind ❤️

      I’m forever in awe of all the insight and poetry you fill your reviews with. If I had half your talent for expressing my thoughts and feelings – I’d write reviews all day!

      So if you like my little blog, I think I must be doing *something* right too 😊❤️

      Like

  21. I really feel this post so much. I know I’m trying to figure everything out in 2019 but this felt so cathartic to hear. Also I happen to think you’re a great blogger and you influence me in a lot of ways! 🙂

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  22. Ah Aurora you are so far from a ‘bad’ blogger. Firstly because there’s no such thing and secondly because even if there was you are not it. Your content is incredibly enjoyable, original and fun and I always look forward to reading your posts when I get my notifications!

    I don’t think you need to post reviews to be a book blogger. I don’t actually read all the book reviews that get posted. I only read those of books that I have read to see what a blogger thinks or those that I already had on my radar to read.

    ARCS can be more of a chore than I realised (you *have* to review them… otherwise why request?) and I don’t think a niche is needed. I prefer the variety!

    You do have a voice though, you might not think you do but you do!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aw, thank you so much Gerry! That means so much to me ❤️

      It’s so reassuring to know that no one really cares if I write book reviews or not, and that they’re not even that popular. I still want to find an enjoyable way to write them, but I won’t stress about it anymore!

      Thank you! I actually think that writing this post made me realize that I do 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  23. This is such a good post ! For me, the main problem is that I don’t blog in english, and I feel like my blog isn’t as good as other people’s blogs, because it’s in french. But I’m slowly learning how to do things “my way”, even if I don’t have a “voice” or anything extremely special, and I think it’s great to talk about it ! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, I’m so happy you enjoyed reading it 😊 My first book blog was in Norwegian, so I can relate to that! For it was natural to start writing in English when I started reading more books in English – but I don’t think it’s necessary at all. The most important thing is always do what feels most natural and true to you. We’re all just doing it our own way ❤️

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  24. Your blog posts are always so interesting and creative that I didn’t even realise you didn’t review books until you mentioned it a while ago in another post!
    There is no one way of being a book blogger, I love that this was a really positive post Aurora, keep on doing what you do. ❤

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  25. I feel so many of these points- especially the social media one! I know that if I remember then posting on Twitter can be good for the blog, but I tend to post on Twitter once a month then forget about it. In a way it’s fine, as it means the people that do visit my blog are regular followers, or those from interacting on others blogs.

    I’m also terrible at posting reviews- while there are some I’d like to talk about (from books as far back as May 2018), in the past few months I’ve definitely been more ruthless in moving a lot of reviews to Goodreads instead.

    This is a great post though, and so freeing!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much! I’m really happy you could relate to it 😊

      I keep trying and failing at remembering to post on Twitter, but I’m totally fine with that. I like your way of looking at it! It’s nice knowing people read our posts cause they want to, not just cause they scrolled by it on Twitter.

      Liked by 1 person

  26. One of the reasons why I love your contents! I can even relate to that ‘I’m bad at social media’ even though I’m still thinking of putting up an instagram account. Haha. Keep it up! 🙂 ❤

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