This is going to be a long post – so I apologize in advance! I’ve had so many thoughts flying through my mind over the last few weeks and it’s finally time I got them out in the open!
I started on Books Amino back in 2016. It’s such a fantastic place! I’ve met so many amazing people and spent countless hours talking to those people about books. It was a dream come true for a book nerd like me. I felt like I finally found a place I belonged. While on Books Amino I was told by many people that I should start a blog or You Tube channel because they liked my reviews and talks. That made my heart swell to epic proportions!! People seemed to care what I had to say about the books I was reading and I can’t begin to explain how happy that made me. So, I thought about it for months on end before I finally decided to start a blog (You Tube wasn’t really an option because I’m not a camera person AT ALL!!) I started this blog without any expectations. I was really doing this for me, because I love to talk about books, and hoped that maybe I would get a few followers. Well. I have officially hit 497 followers (just 3 away from 500!!!!!!!!!) and that number takes my breath away! I never in a million years could have hoped for this. So to all of you – THANK YOU! Thank you a thousand times over. It really means the world to me. 497 isn’t a giant number – I’ve seen blogs that have over 1,000 – but it’s giant to me! But now that my blog has been going for 6 months, it’s presenting itself with some unexpected side effects (not problems or issues because I don’t see it that way at all!) Here comes the Catch 22…
BEING A PART OF THE COMMUNITY
When I first started I very quickly realized that being an active member of the book blogging community was the most important thing. Following other blogs, liking, commenting, and supporting in general. I didn’t expect that this would be my favourite part of blogging though! Once again I felt as if I found a second family. So many great conversations and I’ve added many books to my TBR because of their reviews! And when I see the same people commenting over and over again I get so excited! It’s like I get to keep talking to my friends that I’ve never met in person. But, let’s face it, this takes time. If I’m being honest, it takes more time to keep up with the blogs you follow than to write your own stuff! I wanted to follow as many blogs as I could. I know how much time I put into this thing so I wanted to support everyone. But I’ve come to a point where I may need to reconsider things and the guilt I now feel is weighing far too heavy on my shoulders. I could spent up to 3+ hours a day reading all the blogs I follow. If I was a full time blogger then this could be possible. But I’m burning myself out trying to keep up with everything! I run two businesses, have a husband, two kids (who are now home for the summer), and so many other responsibilities. I feel like every aspect of my life is suffering in some way and I’m just spread too thin. I want to give everyone views, likes, comments and more, but I physically and mentally can’t handle it anymore. So if you have any suggestions on how I can make this easier and still follow people I would love your advice. Does anyone else feel massive guilt over not showing daily love to the blogs they follow? I seriously love all the blogs I follow and don’t want to abandon them. Do you like and read every post that comes up on your reader or do you just like and read the ones that you’re most interested in? The guilt is real people!! I need to find a better way to go about this! The thought of skipping posts because I don’t have time makes my heart hurt…….. It makes me feel like i’m ignoring their hard work. Would people understand or notice when I don’t read and like every single thing they post? Am I taking all of this too much to heart? PROBABLY
IDEAS, PLANNING, WRITING, EDITING, POSTING – REPEAT
I’m a big time planner. Almost OCD – ok totally OCD but, whatever! And this is probably the most helpful thing of all when it comes to blogging. I have my bullet journal where I have ideas written down for Top 5 Tuesday, discussions, topics, lists, calendars and more. So when I’m stuck for a post, I look at the journal, and have an idea within minutes. I’ve also found that if I take a day and write, then I can have almost a weeks worth of posts scheduled and then I don’t have to worry about it. But here’s where another Catch 22 comes in – since I started this blog I’m reading less. Spare time is something I don’t get a lot of due to work, kids, and other obligations. But now I’m spending more time on the blog writing, editing, and checking out other sites, and spending less time reading. BUT – there is a bonus to this. I read a book and post a review. It sparks conversations about that book, makes me consider things I may have not considered without those conversations, and I remember more about the book! So I may not be reading as much as I once was, but the books that I do read stick closer to my heart and mind.
THERE’S ALWAYS TIME FOR THIS
One thing that I will never cut short is acknowledging likes and comments on my own blog. Every single comment and like puts a smile on my face. It lifts my spirits so much knowing that someone took time out of their day to visit my little space on the internet and like or comment on it. As we all know, not every comment that you make needs a reply, so to those I will like your comment to acknowledge that I read it. But if there is more to the conversation I will always take the time to reply, even if it’s short.
I was talking over all these things that’s been running through my head with my husband and he asked me why continue? If blogging is making me read less and I’m burning myself out with the stress of keeping up with all the blogs I follow – then why not stop? The answer is easy – this has been the best experience of my life! You don’t know me all that well but I’m a person who dives head first into things and then, when it gets hard, I move on. Take writing for example. I want to write so badly. I even started writing a book at the end of 2016 and have 40,000 words written. But I haven’t touched it in probably 5 months. And why? Because it got hard. I hit a spot where I didn’t know how to take it to where I planned and I just stopped. I thought I wasn’t good enough and it wasn’t living up to where I wanted it to be. I’m not saying that I’ll never get back into it, but for now, it’s laying dormant. But the blog is really the first thing that I’ve pushed through some hard times and keep on going. I’m excited every day for my wordpress notifications and the conversations I have with people. When a new post notification comes up from the blogs I really love I get excited. So for this reason I’m going to see this through. Sure it’s hard. It’s stressful, overwhelming, and has pushed me to tears. But this is something that I’m passionate about and I’m doing this all for me. I will find a way to make it through these tiny set backs and I will come out a better person because of it. This blog has given me a feeling of power over myself, and success. It brings me joy. So that’s why I will continue! And who knows – maybe knowing that I can do THIS I may actually start writing again 🙂 I’ve been considering putting up some small poems and stories but not sure how it will go over. My fear is something I need to get ahold of first.
So have you struggled throughout your blogging career? Have you had any of these set backs, and how did you overcome them? I need all the advice I can get!!!
Until next time, happy reading!