It’s not you, it’s Book Blogging…

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This is a bit of a breaking my promise not to blog over the Summer type post – that’s even lost me already, so bear with.

I said at the start of the school holidays that I was only going to do the two Blog Tour Posts I had promised, and that would be it.  I would spend the rest of my time simply reading what I liked, when I liked, and doing video reviews.

The thing is, over the Summer, not having the pressure of writing a blog post has been a revelation for me in terms of reading.  My notebook hasn’t been opened, I haven’t had to wonder what the heck I was trying to say when I decipher my notes, and best of all, I could just wallow in the knowledge that the only thing that mattered was enjoying what I was reading.

It’s also given me time to think about my Book Blogging, and being part of the Bookish Community on Twitter and Instagram.  I wrote in an earlier Blog Post this year (which you can read here ), how I was wondering why on earth I was bothering, and needing to rediscover my joy of reading too.  I have definitely moved on from that, but the last few weeks have also led me to question a lot of things about me and my relationship with Bookish social media, and that I have honestly been relentlessly comparing myself and my content to other people.

The conclusion I have come to?

When you are a Book Blogger, it is so easy to get caught up in the Fear Of Missing Out, the need to be seen with the latest book, making sure books are photographed, Instagrammed, Tweeted about, added on your IG stories, making sure you tag and thank everyone, replying to any comments, then retweeting and doing it all over again, that you are in danger of losing the most important thing.

The simple pleasure of just picking up a book and reading it.

I will admit quite freely that there have been so many times I will happily scroll through Twitter and Instagram for an hour, then moan about the fact I have no time to read! We all do it, but why?  What are we so concerned we are going to miss if we put our phones down and read? It’s still there, whenever we go back to it, and chances are the Bookish world hasn’t ended while you read a couple of chapters.

I think it is so important that we have to learn to stop comparing ourselves to other people, to understand that this is a hobby, something we do when we’re not doing everything else we’re supposed to be doing, and not to try and keep up when we just can’t. There is no shame in saying ‘no’.

I do what I do for the love of books. I am not on a deadline, I am not being paid for what I do (but fingers crossed, maybe someday!), and most of all, my simple mission when I started Years Of Reading was to spend the rest of my days on this planet reading and shouting about books I love.

I know I needed a break to think about all this, to work out what was important for my mental health and for continuing this passion which takes up so much of my time.  Some wise advice from the always fabulous Bookish Chat also helped me realise what I knew anyway, that we all need to step back at certain points, and not worry about what everyone else is doing, but instead to think about why we started doing this in the first place.

There is no right or wrong way to be a Book Blogger, you do what works for you when you want to do it.  It’s your Blog, your Social Media, your Rules.

The only thing you need from the start is a love for books and reading, and the rest will follow.

Anyway, I’m off to get an almond magnum and my book to read, and I’ll tell you all about it soon- maybe.

Lots of love,

Clare

xxx

24 thoughts on “It’s not you, it’s Book Blogging…

  1. emmasbibliotreasures says:

    I love this. I’m enjoying reviewing for lots of blog tours at the moment but I know the minute I don’t then I will pull back and just read. It’s why a lot of books I’ve read that aren’t for Netgalley or a tour aren’t being reviewed straight away as I’m not putting pressure on myself and letting the review happen if and when I feel like it. Thank you for the reminder not to compare. It’s an easy one to forget xx

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The Book Cottage says:

    Once again you seem to have pulled my thoughts right out of my head – but did a much better job of getting it to make sense. I feel such guilt that I don’t Blog regularly, and yet I could never quite figure out why I feel so guilty. It’s a hobby – I do it for fun – but it was starting to feel like a chore. I was reading less, and feeling like my posts had to be “insightful”. I was hoarding books from Net Gallery, but never seeming to get to them. Ugh! More guilt. I’m taking the summer to re-evaluate how I feel about blogging and social media, and what it really means to me. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I always enjoy them.

    Liked by 1 person

    • yearsofreadingselfishly says:

      Thank you so much. It sounds like you and I are doing exactly the same thing. I just felt that I was getting caught up in a never ending cycle of reading and blogging and not. enjoying it at all. I can really recommend taking a break – I think I have read a lot more too! Xx

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Karen says:

    Well said Clare. I’ve taken a step back from blog tours and although I only ever took part for books I wanted to read, I’m really enjoying choosing for myself and not having to read to order, and best of all not having to read if I don’t want to. I didn’t start my blog to do blog tours but somehow they’ve taken over and I want to get back to a more relaxed way of blogging even if does mean missing out on the latest books!

    Liked by 2 people

    • yearsofreadingselfishly says:

      I think that’s the thing Karen, I went through a stage of saying yes to everything to keep everyone happy, but when you stop and think about it, you can see what you really want to do, and make better choices for yourself too xx

      Like

  4. macsbooks311 says:

    As a book blogger, I’m so over the pretty pictures, the self-promotion, the “I like you, like me back” propaganda that everyone wages. I’m a reader first, a reviewer second and a blogger last. It is the reading that is most important to me – the rest, meh. We often forget that it is our “job” to review the book honestly, it is the job of the publisher to promote the book. There is such a vast difference between those two. Enjoy what is left of your summer and have fun reading.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. bucksbooksbeyond says:

    Love this post. I’ve taken a step back in recent months since finding out I am pregnant and it’s been a bit of a revelation! It gets so addictive wanting to sign up for every blog tour that gets sent my way when all the books sound so interesting I found myself getting a bit overwhelmed with all the deadlines! Not having so many on my schedule now means I’m actually reading what I want when I want for a change and actually getting through the pile of books I’ve been meaning to read but never getting round to.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. The Book Cottage says:

    I’ve been thinking about this post a lot – and I think what I appreciate most is how you pull it all together with this one paragraph …”There is no right or wrong way to be a Book Blogger, you do what works for you when you want to do it. It’s your Blog, your Social Media, your Rules.” …. Living by that sentiment can really do a lot to get rid of the weight of the blog starting to feel like a chore or a job. I want it to be the fun hobby again, to share my thoughts on the books that I’m reading. Love your spot on perspective!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. bellaojones says:

    This is a really insightful post! When you’re a new blogger (I’m 6 months in now) you do feel a lot of pressure to build up your following by doing all of these things. It’s a tried-and-tested route to establish yourself and ensure that publishers start to notice you and might be willing to let you have a book to review. I can see how from there it can become an ingrained habit, almost feeding itself (the more one’s following grows, the greater one’s appetite becomes). And then it certainly does stop being about the love of reading. It’s a fine balance and you’re absolutely right, if you loose that love or it becomes diminished the scrolling and FOMO won’t bring happiness.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. carhicks says:

    This post hit a spot that has been itching. I have over committed with blog tours and reviews so that I haven’t been able to read books I really want to read for me. I need to rethink why I started my blog in the first place.

    Liked by 1 person

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