Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Wednesday Chatter #17: Blogging and guilt

Wednesday Chatter is a weekly feature at Ruby's Books where we'll be talking about anything and everything related to books and reading. Click here if you want to see what we talked about in the previous weeks

WARNING: Some bad words might be used in the following post. Don't say I didn't warn you!

Hello lovely book lovers! I hope you're having a great Wednesday.

Today's post was inspired by a recent discussion topic Tonyalee from Lilybloombooks wrote about reviewing every book you read. Reading that post and writing a comment gave me an idea to write about when I feel guilt in my blogging life, but also how I plan on changing that, because after 6 years of blogging, I feel like I've grown up as a blogger, and I want to keep doing this, so there's a few changes that I feel are needed. Sort of. Maybe. Moving on! Can't believe I'm doing this!

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I feel guilty when:

  • I'm not reviewing books on my blog, just on Goodreads
If you've followed me for a longer time, you probably know I don't review books I don't like or books that I DNF. I tried that once and I felt terrible. I try not to, but, especially with books that everyone around me loves, I feel so bad, because there's definitely a hidden message somewhere that I'm missing. So I tried writing small reviews on Goodreads, or if the books I DNF are from Netgalley, I simply send a note to the publisher to let them know that I couldn't finish the book. I feel so much guilt over not writing that review on my blog, that you guys wouldn't even believe. It's like I'm betraying my blog. I sound like a maniac right now, but that's how I feel.

How I plan on changing that? I might start posting tiny reviews for the books I DNF, mostly because I realize (and I always have realized that) it's not something to be ashamed of, and also because by doing it, maybe someone will find the aspects I didn't like compelling enough to read that particular book. OR we could have a nice, honest, respectful conversation about those aspects, in which we discuss what I got wrong or right. 
  • I don't review books I picked up to read on my own
Look, I tried staying away from Netgalley. I really did. I actually did it for about a year or so. Then I went back to it, BECAUSE NETGALLEY IS AWESOME!! Also, some other sites that are just like Netgalley, work with other authors, and those are awesome too, and OMG HOW TO I STOP THE MADNESS? (You can't, Ruby, you can't!) And don't get me started on blog tours. Those are my weakness, guys! Especially when I see authors that I desperately want to read more books of.

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This would be me, if you see Roger as the image of Netgalley, blog tours and the likes

Basically there's not a lot of time for me to post reviews of books I've read because one day I was browsing my shelves and picked one at random.

I actually have a plan to change this, and it's really simple. This year I did something really different with my reading habits. I picked a monthly theme, if you can call it that, and I stuck to reading only books with that theme. Kind of like ARC August, if you will. Of course, I'll probably keep September as an ARC-only month as well, just to get control over those ARCs, but I'm thinking of making November and December "shelf-only" reading months, so I'll probably try really hard to control myself starting with October and not request anymore books. That way I'll review those books that I picked up on my own and this guilt shall disappear. 
  • I'm writing reviews for books intended to different age groups
This one is a bit difficult for me. When I started my blog 6 years ago (HOLY BANANAS, IT'S BEEN OVER 6 YEARS GUYS!!!), I read adult books exclusively. Starting my blog, getting to know other bloggers, opened up the world of YA to me, and for a while I managed to keep it kind of balanced, to read both YA and adult books, as well as review them. Then, about three years ago or so, I started reading more YA books, and therefore review more YA books, and not a lot of adult ones. Now I crave the more adult themes, and the darker side of fictional worlds, and I have this... I don't know if you can call it guilt, really, but it's a strange feeling for me, to write reviews for YA books in the same week as adult books. I do have an "age group" entry at the beginning of each review, and I do realize there's nothing to be guilty of when posting those reviews, but I still am confused over how to balance the two. 

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No, I can't choose an age group. Because I like both

I was thinking of making a schedule. So for the last few months, Tuesdays are exclusively for comic book reviews, so maybe I'll do the same with the rest of the books I read. I don't know. Does anyone else have this problem? Or I'm just that weird?
  • I can't come up with a discussion post topic every week
Look, coming up with stuff to talk about is a hard thing. I signed up for Book Blog Discussion Challenge and said I was going to post somewhere between 25 and 36 discussion posts, but it's not an easy thing to do. I've done only 5. Actually 6, if you're counting the present post. I have this idea that all of the topics I come up with have been done already, and there's nothing more to say on the matter, and that might be true, (or not, who knows?) but the point is that I don't always have something to say. And when another week passes and I've come up with nothing, I feel guilty. Because come on, lets be honest here for a second. Who reads reviews? I've had more views on cover reveals, memes, and book tags than on reviews. It's sad, because I and all of the other book reviewers out there, pour our hearts and souls into a review, but it's true. It's a thing that's happening. Or maybe my reviews don't get read all that much, which is sad too, but there seems to be a shift in blog readers' preferences. When I first started blogging, it was all about the reviews. For a few years now I've felt this change in focus, this need for more discussion posts than for reviews. I understand having a discussion post, because it's always interesting to have a conversation between blogger and readers, but I kind of find it sad that reviews are taking a backseat in terms of views. Sure, I don't stress over it, but I feel the pressure to come up with discussion posts that are new, fresh, interesting. And while I think I'm a smart cookie, my brain doesn't always come up with things to write about.

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Do I have a solution? No. Do I want one? Maybe. Depends on the solution, really. And depends on the topic.
  • I don't always feel like blogging
Balancing blogging and work and studying is hard. I know there are teenagers doing it, and kudos to them. But it's hard. Blogging actually feels like a second job sometimes. It starts as something you do for fun, but unless you're really dedicated, at some point in your life you'll realize it's not what you want it to be anymore. Collaborating with publishers, authors, and PR companies, means keeping an active presence in the blogging community, being social, writing new content every week, no matter the community you're in, be it bookstagram, book blogosphere, booktube, booklr, and so on. And I find that sometimes my daytime job sucks so much of my energy, I have none left for blogging. It's sad, and I hate it, and it makes me feel guilty, because I do this for fun, because I enjoy it, because I want to help people discover new books and new authors. So yeah, I feel a little guilty when time passes and I haven't written a blog post in a day or for a few days. 

I know the solution is to schedule posts, which is what I've started doing for a while now, but again, the inspiration/time/energy doesn't always come to me. 

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I hope this post doesn't sound whiny or anything. I'm not really complaining, just merely confessing to my moments of guilt in blogging.

Let's discuss. Do you feel any guilt when you're blogging? If no, HOW DO YOU DO IT? WHAT IS YOUR RECIPE?? SHARE WITH THIS CONFUSED MORTAL. If yes, welcome to the club, have a cookie, and know you're not alone!

1 comment:

  1. Your ideas are really good! I, too, find myself feeling guilty if I don't post certain things or if I choose to not review a certain book due to some personal issue. For a long while I let my blog sit without ANY new content coming in because I was just in such a huge reading and blogging slump. And then I started college and finding time to read and blog just wasn't a priority. I think if you find a way that works for you, stick to it! People will understand any decision you make because ultimately it is YOUR blog and no one else's :)


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