Summer Says: A New Blog Series and Xingsings’s Origin

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For the past couple of months I’ve felt really unsettled with my blog especially with the absence of my weekly participation in Top Ten Tuesday. And for a while I’ve been quite jealous that other bloggers are just so witty, funny, and creative; all three characteristics that I lack naturally. So I decided to finally start my own discussion blog series called Summer Says in hope of finding my own creative bubble and voice. It’s going to be difficult for me and this may be just a sporadic feature, but I’m hoping this will allow you guys to get to know me better and give you a chance to join in the discussion. And, ultimately, allow me to engage with some readers I haven’t been able to chat with yet.

So my first topic is one that is long overdue and I probably should have addressed in the very beginning of Xingsings: why I started this blog.

I realized that I never really made an official post about why I started to blog aside from my very first one, which I actually took a look at the other day (and cringed after reading). In several other places (aside from that post), I mentioned that I wanted to try my hand at blogging, meet other bloggers, improve on my writing, and take advantage of WP as a platform to share my thoughts. And I like to think that I at least tried handling all these goals though I’m quite no where near accomplishing them yet–except for the friends bit. I’ve made some buddies. (Hope the feeling is mutual, lol.)

I never really explicitly claimed being a book blogger but I gradually became one. I began, like most bloggers, not knowing what my focus would be, hence why my handle is Xingsings, a completely non-bookish and awkward name to say out loud. I tried creating blogs in the past using Blogger and Livejournal but the only one I really kept up with was my tumblr, my cheat blog where I reblog K-pop/Exo related stuff. And that was where Xingsings thrived and came to be somewhat known in the internet world. (I’m actually still pretty active on tumblr.) The name, Xingsings, itself originated from my love for the K-pop boy band, Exo, and one of its members, Yixing (aka his stage name, Lay). He’s pretty popular for his dancing but I always was amazed by his vocal skills, therefore Xing Sings.

Anyway, in the beginning, I was pretty obsessed with WP and constantly was checking my reader to leave thoughtful comments and like posts. I genuinely wanted to make friends and (not going to lie) gain more blog traffic. And when my blog reached a modest following I was pretty happy about, had enough traffic that made replying to comments in a timely manner challenging, and led me to making enough blogging friends I was afraid I’d get their names confused, I began to feel the pressure to produce better quality posts and more interesting content, both things I fail at naturally producing it seems.

Then I vaguely mentioned about having a bad day in one of my posts, which somewhat prompted me to stop partaking in Top Ten Tuesday altogether, which was a blow since they were my most read posts. During that time, one of my worst nightmares came true: I missed one of my college finals (it wasn’t entirely due to blogging). I potentially could have failed that class because of that one mistake. And I had to live in weeks of misery and self hatred for being so careless and dumb. And so I just stopped everything. Stopped Top Ten Tuesday posts. Stopped checking my feed as often. Stopped looking at the stats. Partly for feeling not qualified as a blogger since I was a failure (I know I sound melodramatic and it really does sound outrageous now that the ordeal has been solved) at school (and pretty much life, since I’m at the age in which school is my life). This mistake, though not an end-of-the-world disaster, made me upset. Life’s usual, hectic schedule and pharm school apps didn’t help the situation either.

When summer break came around and throughout my short blogging hiatus, I realized that I was too obsessed with blog traffic and kind of lost my own identity in real life. And that this probably added to my fatigue of missing my exam. I discovered that some point along the way of blogging (though my journey so far has been short) I tossed out my original initiative to blogging and was doing it for the numbers. I had some long, deep conversations with some other fellow bloggers (particularly with Savindi @The Streetlight Reader), and I discovered that I wasn’t blogging for myself and that I should.

It’s okay to smile when you gain a follower or another country’s flag appears in your visitors stats. It’s okay to jump up and down when you get contacted by publishers to review ARCs. It’s okay to spend an unspeakable (and embarrassing) amount of time to tweak your blog and create posts. But blogging should never be a chore or an obligation that keeps you from experiencing real life or make you uncomfortable as a contributor in the blogosphere (when I say uncomfortable I mean when you have opinions that clash with others, fan wars in the comments, black sheep status, outgrowth of certain types of books, etc). And if it is, you’re blogging for the wrong reasons.

So don’t ever feel bad about taking a hiatus or returning after months of unannounced absence. It’s not your duty to stay active and there never should be obligation to make excuses (or even apologize really). It’s important to soak in the details of your real life even if blogging is a big (or small) part of your life. And now, I know why I started to blog: I did it for no one but myself. I blog for me.

Writing this much more personal post really put me at ease. It just feels so good to vent, you know? I’m actually still pretty nervous to see how this new series will be received and if these discussions will work out. But I guess, we’ll see!

So what do you have to say (that sounds so accusatory, omg)?

  • Why did you start blogging? And how did you come up with your handle/brand/username/name thing? (I realized I don’t know the “story” behind a lot of your blogs??)
  • What post are you most proud of so far in your blogging career? (Please leave a link if it’s not too much trouble.)
  • And, what is the most rewarding thing about blogging for you?

I know, I know. Most of those post-reading questions are very much tailored for bloggers. But for you readers/non-bloggers: What makes a blog worthy enough for you to (actually) follow up with its future posts?

Update 7/8/2015: Seriously, thank you guys so much for taking the time for reading and/or commenting. After publishing this, I was embarrassed (and somewhat ashamed?) but I regret nothing. In hindsight, I’m glad I did it. Thank you for the kind words and letting me know your thoughts. I wasn’t expecting this to be relatable for some of you so thank you for letting me know that I’m not alone. And it’s not like you guys are concerned about this but I’ll make sure to reply to your comments all by the end of the week. So don’t feel alarmed (not that you would be) if I commented on one of your recent posts but didn’t reply on here. Again, thank you guys. Virtual hugs (I’m not even a hugger in real life so this shows the extent of my gratitude.)

94 thoughts on “Summer Says: A New Blog Series and Xingsings’s Origin

  1. mylittleemo says:

    I love this post. I love you for writing this post. I can’t even begin to a try to say how much I adore it because you have literally put all of my thoughts into a single post.
    For a while I was very envious of other bloggers. I found it difficult to break into the bubble that is the blogosphere and I still do. I felt really intimidated to talk to others since I was way younger and felt as if I’d be treated as such. I was very hung up on numbers but I soon realized that with everything going on in my life, I shoudn’t feel bad about not posting. The blog and online community would always be there when I returned and if I didn’t get big on my blog… well that’s okay. I love this series you’ve made because it’s extremely honest and I think a lot of bloggers can relate to it. I’m even thinking that all bloggers should read this post. YOU were honest and that is bigger to me than any witty or humorous voice. And it’s probably the reason I followed you back and continue to read your posts! Don’t feel bad about not being funny or witty (god knows I’m no) because you have a great personality online!
    I first started blogging because it looked fun. I loved the idea of having an outlet on the internet that could essentially be a piece of me. And I’m not going to lie but i also thought that if I got really successful, I could put it on my resume for college applications. My blog name is pretty self explanatory but I love to dance and read and when you get into a book, it’s kind of like you’re “dancing” through it. Hence the cheesy name. Still, I like my blog name and I wouldn’t change it.
    The post I’m most proud of? Man that’s a tough one. It’s probably one of the reviews I’ve written but I know that if I ever learn photoshop and make nice headers, I’d be proud of that post even more. I’m on mobile, but I’ll link you later. 🙂
    The most rewarding thing is probably just being able to talk about everything without anybody’s judgement. Not many people at my school read as much as I do. Heck I’m one of the only people that knows what “new adult” is. It feels so good to just write however I feel onto my blog even if I know I have the tendency to come off a little… angsty? I know a lot of people are going to say the interactions with other people and I like that too! I just don’t like that it’s one of the only ways to build your blog because I hate spending absurd amounts of time on social media.
    So what makes me follow a blog? Well great reviews and posts that aren’t too short. Great personalities. Obvious care for what they blog about. Confidence. And real people. I don’t like fake sounding voices or lazy blogging. I don’t like it when half the posts could be written in 20 minutes tops without any consideration.
    Love the post, Summer! I hope you feel tons better about the situation~
    Kelly @ Dancing Through the Pages
    (Okay I don’t usually sign off but it feels really appropriate this time haha)

    Liked by 2 people

    • Summer @ Xingsings says:

      Thank you so much, Kelly!

      I’m not sure why I feel this way but I was shaking when I published this post. And I felt so relieved (and kind of emotional?) when I read your comment, being the first one and so supportive. I seriously feel so lucky to have met bloggers like you.

      I actually remember google searching something one day and stumbling upon your blog. I mean the fact that you’re an EXO-L, love the same type of American music as I do, and enjoy reading was what sold me. It also helped that you wrote quality posts. And I’ve always liked your blog name, especially since I could tell it meant something to you. I think we talked about 7Sense and you making a dance cover? (I so hope I’m not mixing you up with someone else… Because that would be so embarrassing.)

      As for the age thing, I’m so glad you don’t let it bother you as much any more. I really don’t believe age defines an individual especially when it comes to blogging. I’ve seen a ton of adults that have half-heartedly published posts out there. It kind of bothers me that young teenagers are doing so much better (but I can’t speak for all). But to each his own, those bloggers have their own set of readers.

      AND YES! Social media is a never ending black hole that can just swallow up any blogger at any time of their blogging career. (So sorry, you know me and my crazy imagination. Remember my comment about us grazing on the reading grass, LOL) Blogging can be all-consuming itself, so I try to avoid social media like the plague-or at least I’m really skeptical of it. I only have a Twitter (I don’t count Instagram since I don’t interact with anyone on there. Plus all you do is post pictures, lol.) and I only use it to talk to other bloggers occasionally. I never check my feed. It’s just too scary. There’s just so much!

      Anyway, you’re a wonderful blogger, Kelly. Thank you for lifting me up when I needed it most!

      (Oh and it’s amazing you typed all of that up with your phone. You’re awesome!)

      Liked by 1 person

      • Kelly @ Dancing Through the Pages says:

        No problem! I really liked the post. Usually I check everything I read together but when that popped up in my inbox I was really interested in the title. And I’m glad I was the first to comment because your post really dragged me back down from my cloud of negative thoughts about blogging and my word vomit was able to help you haha.
        Wow thanks. I thought I’d never find someone with similar likes because I’m so… varied with the things I enjoy haha. And yeah I was the one that covered it don’t worry lmao. It was really fun to do it.
        I have to admit that every now and then it still creeps up but I’ve been better with letting it bother me less. I feel like these older people use social media a lot more than I do which is hilarious because usually it’s the opposite way.
        And I love your crazy imagination. One of my best friends has the most insane imagination ever and I love her for it. I mean she’s a crack fanfiction author and writes some of the most insane EXO fanfic and it kills me every single time xD Okay back to the social media. I have a Twitter which is used… rarely. My twitter is a mess lol. On Instagram. I agree. It was huge for a while but I just don’t get all the hype. But recently bookstagram has been getting pretty big so I’m following a few people on there. I don’t do anything though. My personal account is.. definitely not bookish enough for that.
        Thanks! I hope my reply was somewhat coherent because I just kinda replied to everything you said in order haha.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Summer @ Xingsings says:

          Oh gosh, exo fanfiction? I try to steer far away from those. I know you mentioned your friend writes crack exo fanfiction but some ff writers are delusional. I mean some of them write smut fanfiction-and it’s a bit disturbing that some of them have never had sex before but are writing stuff like that. Sorry, didn’t mean to rant all of a sudden… Again, to each his own, I suppose. But, I do want to read Anterograde Tomorrow someday just because it’s so popular (and heartbreaking??)!

          Lol, I kept debating whether I should have edited my comment and deleted the 7Sense part to save me from embarrassment if I was wrong… So I’m relieved that it was you, haha.

          And your reply was very coherent! 🙂


          • Kelly @ Dancing Through the Pages says:

            LOL I GET EXACTLY WHAT YOU MEAN. I mean I’ve read a lot of exo fanfiction (I can feel you judging me already lol) so I’ve been desensitized to all of the smut and crap… there’s a certain level of delulu that I can’t stand with authors. Fanfiction is okay but an author has to understand that the ship they have IS NOT REAL. If they’re trying to find “evidence” that it’s real I close out of the fic and never look back. Oh and I cannot and will not ever read 2nd person pov fanfictions because those make me really, really uncomfortable. And about the authors that never had sex… I’m not a huge fan of straight smut. Like at all. 99% of the time it’s horrible and bad grammar and blehhhhh. I do think that Anterograde Tomorrow is worthy of being an exo fanfic classic because… well it’s very, very heartbreaking (Understatement of the century lmao I was crying at 1 in the morning when I read it). I looked it up on Goodreads once for fun and it was actually there xD

            Liked by 1 person

  2. erinsdavis78 says:

    Thank you so much for writing this post! I have been thinking through this lately myself. I’ve been feeling a lot of pressure to read more books as quickly as possible, but life gets busy and sometimes I just don’t have time.

    I intended for my blog to be a book blog with a smattering of a few other types of postings that people like me (nerds) would appreciate.

    I originally started a blog because my sister had started one and I loved reading what her thoughts were on books, so I decided to try it out and see if other people would want to read about what I love and cared about. I thought it was really cool that she would get some ARCs and I wanted to be able to have that opportunity too.

    I got my blog handle off of a John Green quote on a poster that I have hanging in my room. You can read the quote here:

    I just love how it embraces how people get super excited over the things that they love, and how being called a nerd is definitely not a bad thing.

    I think I am most proud of my post that was a book review of the Wrath and the Dawn. Although it is a relatively short one, I was really passionate about this book and I feel like that can be felt through my writing. Here’s the link:

    Although I love getting likes and followers, I think the most rewarding thing about blogging for me is that I am continuing to write, and I am not just racing through books and never thinking about them again. Blogging helps me to think about plot, characters, emotion, etc.

    So, thanks for posting. It really helped knowing that there was someone else out there that had the same thoughts and had gone through the same things.


    Liked by 1 person

    • Summer @ Xingsings says:

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts, Erin!

      I have 4 John Green books but I have yet to read any of his work. However, I absolutely love that quote you shared since I consider myself as a nerd as well. You are so right about the blogosphere seeming to not care-and maybe even embrace-nerds. It’s an awesome feeling to feel like you fit in and that what you say matters to others.

      And it’s great that you have a sister that enjoys reading as much as you do. I’m an only child and most of my close friends don’t read for fun like I do. So I’m forever amazed by how many readers there are that share their opinions on books like us on the internet. And totally, the hectic frenzy of trying to read books faster and publish reviews eats at us sometimes but the rewarding side of blogging makes those moments so worthwhile to endure. (Plus, we tend to get over them eventually. The somewhat hectic frenzies, I mean.)

      Thank you for linking me to your posts as well. I’ll be sure to check them out as soon as I post this reply. 🙂


  3. Robert Doyle says:

    I freely admit to the allure of hits and views by country, and I would be lying if I said I did not get a little dismayed at times, but as you say, I gradually learned to write for myself, at my own pace, and to view it as a side project. But a worthwhile side project. In other words, I blog for me, and whatever comes out of it is fine by me. The nature of my blog is tricky as you know-one part my work (the photography) and one part someone else’s work (the music). Despite my best efforts to promote the various blogs, at times I have been disappointed at the results or lackluster effort from the artists I write about. I am mindful that they are very busy, and may not see the importance it has to me, for them to share on their own social media pages. Some have gone above and beyond, some have shared it halfheartedly. Over time I learned to accept it. What I also learned is that true words of support and gratitude from those artists is what means the most to me than my hit count.

    Two such stick out in my mind, and both were what I consider to be perhaps my best written. Unbeknownst to me at the time of writing one, the band was in the process of amicably breaking up, so the lackluster, thanks dude I got in response when I sent them the blog was disappointing, until I realized that they probably were not in the mood for a lot of fan interaction at that moment. Fast forward a year, and I posted it on my Facebook page, tagging the band (who still have a FB page) as well as the new group that formed out of the old one. It must have been the right time, because one of them read it, and really absorbed the project, and what it was about, and shared it extensively across there social media. A year later, but now a whole group of strangers read it and liked it. More importantly, someone from the band told me the best thing-they said to have someone enjoy and appreciate their music is great, but to have someone create and share something new and personal to them from that was worth all the money in the world to them. One single comment put me on cloud 9 for weeks and made me realize why I did what I did.

    The second was I wrote about an influential all woman a cappella group from 25 years ago in one of my blogs. Though they still sing for fun on occasion, they have no collective social media or website and I knew when I wrote it, that they may never see it, and never realize that people did remember them, people like me thought they were great. So a few months went by and based on some of the comments I got on it from friends and others, I thought, you know what, these ladies were just too damn good to go unnoticed, so I started a FB tribute page to them. After 3 months I had 6 people…and was just about ready to shut it down due to lack of interest, when somehow, one of them saw my blog, then saw the tribute page. And overnight, I had over 100 people like the page, including 4 of the group. A few of them have told me how much they enjoyed what I wrote, and thanked me for making a tribute site for them. They were touched, and seem to be enjoying the walk down memory lane for them. So apologies for the length of this, but the point is definitely-do it for yourself. Don’t worry about deadlines, or responding to every comment (except for mine lol!). Do it for yourself and good things will come out of it. Cheers!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Summer @ Xingsings says:

      Thank you, Robert! 🙂

      I remember finding your blog through the community pool, I think. You’re one of the very few non-book bloggers I follow on here and I’ve never regretted it-I always enjoy your posts. And as you know, my favorite was your season series. So it’s relieving to know that a more experience blogger has been dismayed by the numbers before.

      Your experiences with being acknowledged by the band and a cappella group are seriously so amazing. So far I’ve only had two book reviews in which authors have tweeted me their thanks. And you’re so right, it’s one of the best feelings and makes blogging so worth it.

      And speaking of a cappella. Do you follow it on the collegiate level? I have a friend on here that really loves it and got me watching Sing It On. It’s basically an 8 episode show that tracks five a cappella groups that compete at the ICCAs. I just finished watching the last episode today and it was so cool to watch, especially since I grew up with a lot of music around me. I’m not sure what your music taste is like in terms of pop music, but this is one of my favorite performances on that show. And I’m not sure how you feel about Sia as an artist, but 7:43 has one of the most beautiful arrangements of Elastic Heart.


      • Robert Doyle says:

        Thank you! I am honored to be among your non-book blogger follows. Your blogs are great, keep at it and you will get noticed and get more thanks and appreciation from more writers. Sometimes I think about packing it in out of frustration, but I always reign it in and remember it is for fun and the satisfaction and friendships I have made from blogging have been worthwhile. As to the a cappella I will check both links out. I don’t follow the collegiate level, but I will say that the group I wrote about called the Mint Juleps are enormously influential and a lot of those college groups still sing their arrangements to this day. This is probably their most well regarded performance-

        And for you or your friend who are a cappella fans you can head over to the Mint Juleps Tribute Page on Facebook. A few of the group have joined. I know Sia by name but will check that out as well! Thanks-Keep blogging and thanks for the kind words!

        Liked by 1 person

        • Summer @ Xingsings says:

          That Mint Juleps performance was very cool. Thank you for the link! I also ended up watching some of their other videos and really liked their collab with another group for The Lion Sleeps Tonight. I just liked the Facebook page and sent the link over to my friend. And you’re welcome, I meant everything I said! 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

  4. ravenblake99 says:

    Hey Summer! I feel bad that you had missed your finals.Being a blogger will sometimes make us forget our real life outside the internet. It wasn’t only you all the new bloggers feel the same about getting more followers,getting more traffic eventually it’ll make us forget why did we start blogging in the first place.I myself felt the same for a while and it started to made me feel that I was doing a chore and finally I realised that I had enough and I wanted to take it slow.And Now I don’t worry about followers or my traffic stats I just publish my thoughts in the posts and feel happy that at least I’ve shared my thoughts and Yes we blog for our-self and you should feel happy for what you do and it never should feel like a burden.I think this post should be a message to all the newbie bloggers out there and it’s really a wonderful post.Oh! Now I know why your blog’s name is xingsings. I already guessed you are fan of exo but I didn’t know you are a crazy fan of them ha ha BTW I totally loved their “overdose” track makes me want to hear it again and again.:)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Summer @ Xingsings says:

      Thank you for commenting, Raven!

      Missing my exam really sucked but I was fortunate enough to have a professor that allowed me to retake it. So I didn’t fail the class and did fine! Missing it was partially due to blogging but not entirely. Even though I hate that it happened in the first place, I’m so glad it did. I learned a lot about myself and about me as a blogger; and it’s just wonderful to be blogging with my initial motivation. Getting too caught up in the numbers is too tiring and I’m glad I’ve been reminded that.

      As for my blog name, haha! XD I had no idea any one would recognize or understand it. Overdose is magnificent (and I thought Lay looked most handsome as usual)! I actually think Overdose is my favorite Exo album to date now that I think about it. I also really loved Mama era too though.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Tiffani @ The Book Venom says:

    I agree with you. The other day I was having quite a fight with my boyfriend since I pretty much spent my time all day in front of my laptop writing post after post for my blog or sometimes I open and read other blogger’s post and interact with them and be active in the blogosphere. I don’t know, since I’m pretty new at this, sometimes I felt like writing a post is an obligation but then that would lead to blogging slump (is that the term?) eventually. So yes it’s important to keep an eye on the followers, but we should remember that the purpose of blogging itself is merely for expressing ourself, not adding an extra burden to our life. Let’s just enjoy blogging like we enjoy reading! high fives

    Liked by 1 person

    • Summer @ Xingsings says:

      Thank you for the comment, Tiffani!

      After posting this, I felt so relieved and surprised by how many bloggers that got caught up with blogging like I did. I’m sorry about your fight with your boyfriend though.

      And I guess I started this blog having thoughts that no one would read my reviews-but, you know what? I didn’t really care if they did or not then. It wasn’t until April when I got a lot of blog traffic from one post I made that made me greedy? Actually, that’s probably not the right word. I just felt like I could gain more traffic, but eventually I hated how much time I spent blogging. I wasn’t really enjoying my real life as much as when I first started Xingsings. And I especially felt like blogging was more of obligation when I made that academic mistake.

      But anyhow, I’m glad I have this chance to refresh, recharge, and reinvent my myself and my blog. And YES! Happy reading and blogging to us both. /high five back/ 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  6. baniwillsing says:

    I so get what you mean though my blog traffic is a far cry from yours!! Anyhow, you are doing an awe-worthy job with your blog as I have mentioned earlier but will nonetheless love to remind you. And handling school with all of it! Phew! I will be starting my undergrad soon and I don’t know how it is all going to play out. But I guess we needn’t be so hard on oursleves. I’m glad you did such a post! All the very best to you Summer. You are and will always be a great asset to the blogosphere. And always remember to do what you love because you definitely seem like someone who does their best at what they do! 🙂
    Now to answer your questions:
    1. I started blogging as a medium to vent during a rough patch in my life, in all honesty. But now I am trying to diversify my posts. My name has Bani in it and I wanted to sing my metaphorical song! So banwillsing happened! 😀
    2. A post called Artists.You have already liked it.Thankyou for that! It is kind of motivational I think. Was reblogged a couple of times so. 😛
    3. The fact that I get to share and let out what I feel without being judged. And definitely the amazing people I get to interact with and learn from! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Summer @ Xingsings says:

      Bani, thank you for the kind words!

      You’ll always be a blogger I’ll keep up with because of your awesome prose (including Artist and many other posts I’ve read of yours) and the fact that you were with me in the very beginning of Xingsings-thank you of that, by the way.

      Ahh, I do remember you taking a hiatus this year because of college apps. Best of luck to you, you’ll do great things in college! Though it’s a little tough sometimes to blog and balance real life. I know you’ll have lots of fun (in college and balancing blogging with you studies).

      And I’m so sorry you had a rough time. Hopefully, blogging has helped you heal a little or at least made you happier some moments. I’m always here if you ever need to talk! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Carolyn says:

    Wow I really liked learning more about why you named your blog Xingsings. I haven’t been blogging for very long but I think you’ll always be one of my favorite book bloggers because I think your honest and sincere personality really shine in your comments and I learn a lot just from reading your comments 🙂 I always feel pressure to produce interesting content and I’m at that point in my blogging where I want more followers, not because of the numbers but I just love talking to people in the comments and I like to hear people’s opinions on the books I’ve read and things like that. And I love blogging because this is the place where I can talk about books and the things that I love without being worried about judgement and of course, I love the book blogging community and I like that I can chat about books anytime I want with you guys ❤ My username (ahundredthousandstories) is something that I thought encompassed what this blog is all about. I love stories and I read a lot and I just like the wording behind it. To me, it sounds like a name with possibility and hopefully reminds people of the limitless of stories. I just realize that whole explanation sounds really, really cheesy but I tend to be really deep when thinking of names for my social media lol.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Summer @ Xingsings says:

      Thank you so much, Carolyn!

      I actually vaguely remember stumbling upon your blog one day and bombing you with a bunch of comments on several of your posts. (I hope I’m not wrong and getting you mixed up with someone else because that’d be mortifying…) I was so surprised by how much we had in common! And it’s been great discussing books and other non-book related topics (I think we’ve talked about bubble tea and California before?) since.

      So you’re so right, the best part about blogging is meeting new bloggers that actually enjoy reading as much as we do. It’s just so awesome that everyone is on the same page (see what I did there? Omg, I suck at being funny).

      Thank you for sharing the inspiration behind you blog name. I don’t find it cheesy at all, it makes total sense and suits the content you release. 🙂 Though, I’ll forever be puzzled by how fast your read and your quirky way of rating books in non-0.5 increments (I mean that in a good way, of course), I’m glad we’ve had the great conversations we’ve had so far. Again, thank you for the kind words and commenting! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  8. fasterthanfaeries says:

    This was a really insightful post and it really made me think about my own blogging and why I do it and by reading the other comments it seems resonate with a lot of people.
    You were actually the first blogger who I had a conversation with and made me start to enjoy this whole blogging malarkey. thank you!
    I too have long bouts of absence which make me feel like a failed blogger or something, so I totally understand where you are coming from.
    I am looking forward to you new series 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Summer @ Xingsings says:

      Thank you! 🙂

      You were actually one of the first few bloggers I met on WP as well. If I’m not mistaken, I think we discussed Jane Austen and our adoration for P&P the first time. ^.^ And I’m so relieved that you and some others can relate to this. It feels great to blog with no schedule. I guess, quality over quantity fits well in this case.

      And I really enjoyed your latest reviews. I seriously need to get my hands on a copy of The Bell Jar and hopefully watch English Vinglish in English subs soon (because I think it’s in Hindi)!

      Liked by 1 person

      • fasterthanfaeries says:

        Yes we discussed the P&P adaptations and everything too! 🙂 Quality over quantity is a good motto!
        Thank you too! I hope you get to read The Bell Jar soon 🙂 English Vinglish is indeed in Hindi but of course there is quite a bit of English too because of the plot 😀

        Liked by 1 person

  9. SERIESous Book Reviews says:

    I love this feature Summer!

    And you really hit the nail in the head: it is so easy to get caught up in the numbers game when it comes to blogging (or any social media really)! I know that I have had to reel myself in at times when I look at my stats; especially if I make the mistake to compare my stats to newer bloggers who have “better stats” than I do.

    It’s silly really because who cares? I have so much fun writing my blog and talking with others! I should measure my success by my own standards and not other people’s. Would I like more followers? Sure but at the same time, I like the balance I have between blogging, reading and real life and I fear that if my blog did become super popular it would become too much like work and I wouldn’t have as much fun as I do now.

    Why did I start my blog: That’s on my homepage but I wanted to review entire series instead of individual books to see if they were worth reading; hence the name SERIESous Book Reviews
    My Favourite posts: I think I’ll go with my recent musing post about not being embarrassed about what you read because it had some great comments; but I also really impressed by my Fixed Trilogy Review, it’s always one of my top viewed reviews despite being written a year ago.
    Biggest reward: I love when people say that a review was helpful because that was the entire reason why I created my blog 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Summer @ Xingsings says:

      Thank you, Lauren! 🙂 (I’m not sure how I managed to compose a reply longer than your comment, so sorry!)

      Precisely! After reading the comments to this, I learned how common stat envy is but you’re so right, it shouldn’t matter! And it feels awesome to not have to think “oh! I need to post that review tomorrow” and just create them whenever. It really does make blogging so much more enjoyable and sort of gives off the same feelings as being a newbie blogger.

      Yes, I remember reading your home page after you revamped SERIESous Book Reviews. Did I every tell you that I loved the purple theme? Because I do! I think it was yellow before, which was happy looking but the purple makes it look professional and clean (not that it wasn’t before). (Gosh, I’m so bad at explaining what I mean…)

      You already know how I feel about your latest discussion post. You, Poulami, and Joey were actually the bloggers I was thinking of as I started this discussion series.

      And ahh, I think when I first found your blog I read your review the Fixed Trilogy via your Top Posts widget. It was definitely intriguing because you mentioned it being similar to 50 Shades of Grey drama-wise. I’m not sure if I’m ready for a romance yet, but since your really enjoyed it I remember adding it to my potential romance TBR.

      Liked by 1 person

      • SERIESous Book Reviews says:

        Haha no worries! My comment was super long in the first place 😉

        And I totally know what you mean about my colour scheme. Like you, I don’t know how to put it into words but you’re completely right. The theme I have now is more like a business website than a blog which is what I was going for. Plus all that orange and pink was so hard to read 😛

        Yeah…that Fixed Trilogy review is the one that brings most people to my blog and it’s consistently on my Top Post widget–it’s so weird to me but so awesome at the same time! Especially because it is one of my all time favourite contemporary romances!

        Liked by 1 person

  10. Joey @ thoughts and afterthoughts says:

    This comment is largely unfiltered vomiting (I apologize for nothing):

    I think this post, to me, is more about the realization of your voice being redefined (it’s ever-changing after all) rather than you ‘realizing’ the need to blog for yourself (which is equally important). If you aren’t honest with yourself in what you shoot out, then you’ll immediately feel the backlash in dissatisfaction. Nothing hurts more than a waning resolve to keep up with a hobby; or maybe you hoped for it to be more but you aren’t sure.

    But you know what? This is a hurdle you had to face. It was inevitable (for you and for everyone else). The expectation to have it right on the first go-around is pretty darn unrealistic. Things change, you change. So you deal with it when it occurs; like now. (Don’t be surprised if you want to change XingSings in the future. The thought will happen.)

    This comment might go against your new found resolve (and if it does, then you can just ignore me and continue doing you), but you can definitely blog for yourself while using the information stats provide to help prop up your blog in terms of content generation and the timing of release. Stats usually get a bad rap for being toxic to mull over, and in many cases, it’s true. We become overwhelmed with striving for “more” where 10 followers doesn’t become “enough” and 1,000 views is just a far memory.

    And do stats matter? Yeah, they do, but how much of it matters to you?

    This sounds counter-intuitive to what I said before but it comes back to what you want to do with your voice. See: the Internet is a giant abyss of voices screaming at each other and so it’s natural to want to fit your sound into some box so it become heard by others to gain more views. We feel liberated when others enjoy what we have to say; even better when we empower them. The problem? How can you feel any joy if you aren’t fully putting yourself into what you write about. It’s disingenuous to your character and a bit of a waste of time, don’t you think? People can appreciate and love you–but they can’t appreciate the full extent of you.

    Why do you write reviews? Why do you write memes/tags? Why do you blog? Why?

    The community you create for yourself lives and dies by what you’re putting forward. Yeah you can shoot out posts and follow people hoping they’d follow you back but if you aren’t cementing those relationships with comments and trying to build a bridge, all you have is a pile of bricks.

    So you fell down. What of it? Be excited about what you’ve done and what you’re going to do; and if you can’t get excited, then just keep in the back of your mind the fact that if you smile while you write, then you know you’re doing right onto yourself. You’ll notice a difference, I’m sure.

    You’re alright, Summer.

    Joey via. thoughts and afterthoughts

    (p.s. worst comes to worst, go listen to Nor’Easters. They’re pretty cool too, I guess.)

    Liked by 4 people

    • Summer @ Xingsings says:

      Thanks, Joey!

      Your word vomit was very comforting! (Oh and thank you for cueing Savindi to my emotional rescue, that really helped too.)

      I pretty much agree with everything you said. After I published this, I noticed this was more of a change in me than an initial realization that I’m blogging for myself too, but oh well, it still felt good to let it all out. As for the networking/making friends part, I guess I’ve kept up with most of the people I follow, but sometimes it can get overwhelming and I hate missing out when my reader is pushed too far down. But I’m a firm believer that you can never have enough friends (most of the time). I’m not very social media suave so stepping into new platforms can be kind of scary, but it is really nice to feel like you’re a part of a community. And it’s weird to know that most bloggers have had to run pass this hurdle. It just kind of hit me when I least expected it to.

      Thank you for writing all of this out. I really needed to hear it and thanks for the support! (I think I thanked you at least 4 times in this, lol. But I really do feel grateful for what you wrote.)

      (And you already know how I feel about the Nor’easters. And Sing it On. Feels and tears do not even cover it. I’ve been listening to so many Nor’easters videos I may get tired of them-I doubt that’ll every happen though.)


  11. honya says:

    Good to know I’m not the only one to struggle with this. At first, I totally started my blog entirely for myself because I liked the WP platform–never expected anyone would take a second (or a first) glance. Then when the follows started rising . . . well, it does go to your head, doesn’t it? But if it’s not fun anymore, if it makes you feel uncomfortably pressured, it’s definitely time to back away for awhile, to re-evaluate why you’re doing what you’re doing. I admire your determination to do just that. Best wishes from here on! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • Summer @ Xingsings says:

      Thank you, Honya! ^.^

      Though WP has its limitations that can be so frustrating, it is one of the easier to use in my opinion. I also really like the readability and how professional most of the layouts look. And thank you! Writing this really helped clear my head and I’m so glad I did it (even though it is an embarrassing confession).

      Liked by 1 person

      • honya says:

        I honestly suspect that a lot more people struggle with this than would be willing to admit it. And once you get it in the open, you can move on, right? Avoiding problems does no one any good.

        Liked by 1 person

  12. cwreads says:

    I love your honesty in this post, Summer. Go you!

    And I really relate to this, though not really on WP but on Neopets. We had this thing called a ‘site community’, where a small group of us made little sites and it was a lot of fun. Eventually a lot of people got caught up in getting views, being ‘popular’, or having something so high quality that their identities and personality were curtailed by conforming. It was all petty in hindsight, but it felt like it meant something at the time. A lot of people felt so resentful (unfortunately myself included), and lost sight of why people set out to own sites – to express their creativity or to do something fun with your friends.

    But I really liked this post. I can’t wait to see more of these posts. 🙂 I like reading reviews, but I love reading about people behind the reviews too.

    To answer your questions though:
    1. Shingie and I talk a lot about books, and I used to have a personal blog (which I don’t write in anymore). One day I spontaneously suggested writing a book blog. And we spent so long thinking of a name; we wanted a name that reflected our approach to reading, so that’s how Read, Think, Ponder was born, I suppose!

    I think my review of the Handmaid’s Tale and The Remains of the Day have been my best so far!
    Most rewarding would be the rare occasion where I engage with people through my blog. Unfortunately it doesn’t happen as much as I like! And also looking back to when I first started, and going through the reviews I’ve written over the past year… that’s pretty rewarding too. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Summer @ Xingsings says:

      Thank you, Chooi!

      Ahh, I haven’t heard of Neopets before, but I looked it up and the animals are cute! That site kind of reminds me of the Meg Cabot Message Boards, they’re both very different from each other though. When I first got into reading in my preteens, I really enjoyed Meg Cabot’s books and MCMB was a huge part of my life as silly as that sounds now. There used to be a forum that wasn’t fan fiction but just original writing readers of her’s would create. And I loved checking that site every day I came home from school. When I grew out of it, I felt bitter thinking back on how much time I spent on it. I think that was the only time I ever considered becoming a writer but I soon realized that wasn’t for me, haha. Anyway, my point is that internet can be so innovative and convenient, but it’s a scary abyss to step into sometimes.

      Oh! I haven’t read The Handmaid’s Tale yet but I’ve heard it’s a must-read classic. I’m not a fan of dystopian books so far. Granted I haven’t read that many; I’ve only read THG and the Uglies trilogies (and Brave New World and maybe a few other dystopian-esque books), which were both young adult. So maybe THT will change everything for me since it’s most reader’s dystopian prototype.

      And yes! I always feel happy every time I add another post to my masterpost index. It’s nice to take a look at that list and see how much you’ve accomplished. ^.^

      Liked by 1 person

      • cwreads says:

        Thank you for sharing that with me, Summer! I know sharing things of our past can be embarrassing sometimes hehe, but I think there are lessons to be learned too! Sometimes I think back to the time I spent drawing and putting up my art on Neopets, but in the end, I suppose I can say that I enjoyed myself. And I taught myself how to code HTML and CSS, and use Photoshop, which have turned out to be useful in my job now! So you never know! c:

        The Handmaid’s Tale is fantastic; definitely something I would recommend if you are interested in feminism and/or consider yourself a feminist.

        I think the best gateway dystopian is Nineteen Eighty-Four; it’s quite slow – I’ll warn you of that – but it comes together in the end! It was the book that got me interested in Sociology and dystopian novels, so definitely give that a go! 😀

        Liked by 1 person

        • Summer @ Xingsings says:

          Ahh, you make a good point, Chooi! I honestly can’t remember what I learned from MCMB but it was a fun experience overall. 🙂

          And I actually have had Orwell’s 1984 on my list for a while now, but thank you for the recommendation! I’ll bump it up on my TBR pile. We can continue to have our dystopian discussion when I have both of those titles read. 😉 🙂


    • Summer @ Xingsings says:

      Thank you for reading and commenting, Valorie!

      I think the first post I read of yours was the one about John Steinbeck, one of my favorite authors of all time. Did you ever get to pick up East of Eden? (I have yet to get my copy of Grapes of Wrath but I’m hoping to remedy that soon at the next trip to the bookstore.)

      And thank you for the link, I’m going to check out that post now.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Valorie Grace Hallinan says:

        I still want to read East of Eden – other books keep getting in the way. But I will. I was so impressed by Steinbeck’s journals – they have been so helpful to me as I try to write a memoir.
        I have decided to read Go Set a Watchman, even though I’m not sure I want to. But there has been so much discussion and controversy I think reading it is inevitable for me. I pick up my copy at 7:30 am tomorrow at Barnes & Noble.
        Thanks so much for taking the time to check out everyone’s posts – reading your post once again helps me put blogging in perspective and identify what is working and valuable for people. It’s a challenge.

        Liked by 1 person

  13. Trisha Ann says:

    This is one of the most inspiring posts I’ve seen. Seriously. It’s not about the quantity but the quality, right? 🙂 Summer Says will surely be a hit. I’d like to answer the questions but my thoughts are a bit cluttered right now. I just dropped by to say how great this one is 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Nerdybirdy @ Daydreaming Books says:

    Great post Summer. I’m so glad you decided to start this. And I’m so sorry about your exam, I totally understand you because previous year the same thing sort of happened to me, I was so ill and everything became a mess and I missed an exam, though it was not much important but I was devastated because nothing of that sort ever happened to me in my life before. So I totally understand how you felt. But it’s okay to mive on from that and I’m glad you are starting to.

    Seriously, I can’t tell you how much I love your blog. I read everything you post. It’s all about quality than quantity and believe me, you have that in each and every post. And I’m sooo happy I met you in this blogosphere. 🙂

    I actually started blogging on total impulse, mostly because I needed to get my feelings out and talk about books with someone else because in my real life I have no one who is crazy about books at all. It’s so sad but the truth, so I jusy started it and gere I am, friends with such awsome bloggers. I’m actually glad that acting on this impulse was more good than bad. And about my blog name, it’s a long story, I changed it two times before finalising Daydreaming Books. I was thinking about doing a post about this, actually I thought about starting Daydreaming Discussions with an introduction like this only but a company aakes if I could something on language translation, so I started with that, and this month as you already know, I was so pissed about people bashing Grey and hence this month’s discussion about bashing. But I’m going to do a post on this topic as well, there I will briefly explain my crazy story! 😀

    So, just keep rocking Summer and don’t underestimate yourself for once. You are a great person and I totally adore you! This feature’s going to be totally awsome! 🙂

    Be happy and stay bookish! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Summer @ Xingsings says:

      Thank you so much, Poulami!

      Missing my exam really sucked but my professor was kind enough and understanding so I was able to retake it and not fail that class, by some miracle. I’m so sorry it happened to you before though, it really is one of the worst experiences a student can undergo.

      For me as well! I’m so grateful that I decided to start and stick with (my initial problem was keeping up and staying motivated) blogging. And I love your blog name, it really is perfect for all bookworms-especially fangirls in my opinion. 😉 And as you know, I loved you latest discussion. It was eloquently written and the topic needed to be addressed. I’ll be on the lookout for your next one (about your blog story and reintroduction), no pressure though (take you time)!

      Thank you, again. I’m not sure why I felt so emotional when I read some of these comments. By the time I read your reply I felt like crying, happy tears though! Thank you for always being supportive. I’m so thankful for all the friends I’ve made on here, including you. ❤ Let’s stay happy and bookish together!


  15. booksandblah says:

    What a great post Summer 🙂 Especially since I just got out of a phase where I just felt completely useless for not doing anything for my blog. It feels so nice to hear you talkkk. Looking forward to more of your Summer Says series 🙂
    My blog story is on my blog, I don’t have a post I’m most proud of actually, all my posts are pretty mediocre. 😛 The most rewarding thing about blogging for me is getting to talk to so many people who lilr the same books as me and making friends (though I need to work on talking to more people!) I hate when I don’t go on my blog for long periods (college is hard 😵). It feels terrible and I hate myself for not talking to people and not updating and it’s all a bit ehhhh.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Summer @ Xingsings says:

      Thank you, Shotobhisha! 🙂

      Of course, being a student as well I completely understand. I have a hard time trying to read all of my reader but I try. Sometimes it’s just too overwhelming (especially on Tuesdays when everybody posts their T10T posts and I don’t participate in those anymore) so I take breaks form the interaction and commenting (though making friends is what I enjoy most about blogging). I mean look at me! I’m replying to the comments on here very late. But after writing this post, you know what? I kind of learned that it’s okay. It’s okay that you take hiatuses because being a student and enjoying your real life is so much more important. Because all of your blogging friends will wait for you and support you in their own way, whether it be reading your posts or just saying “hello” every so often. I had a couple of blogger friends that contacted me via other social media making sure I was okay after posting this. Between those reassuring chats with them and these comments I almost cried because I felt so grateful that I started this blog. So the overall message I’m trying to say is please don’t feel bad about having long bouts of absences, Shotobhisha!

      And your posts/reviews aren’t mediocre at all! Every blogger has their own style and voice. I’m seriously so picky with the blogs I follow, and I followed yours for a reason. Your blogging is great, be confident in yourself!

      Liked by 1 person

      • booksandblah says:

        The late reply is definitely fine, being a student myself, I understand that you can’t possibly manage your college stuff and your blog simultaneously. (Hence my reply is also late). I’ll be here for you as well 🙂 whether it’s through conversations through comments or through goodreads. Thanks so much for that, Summer, it means a lot to me! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  16. drizzleandhurricanebooks says:

    (Please don’t mind me coming wayy and waaay later, but I missed lots on things on blogs lately, and stumbling upon that post, I just needed to comment <3)
    I have to say, I agree and completely understand everything you just wrote. As a book blogger, I felt, and feel sometimes, forced to post regularly, in order to keep people coming. Otherwise, I just feel like I’m not interesting or entertaining enough, and my blog isn’t worthy anymore. I still think sometimes like this, however I have good days that I’m pretty content with my blog and everything I do, and I don’t feel all that bad. Because most of all, I remind myself that I should do that because I mostly enjoy it.
    I wondered about writing reviews, or just book discussions, and I find out that both of those inspire me, and I don’t want to give up on writing my opinion on books, because it’s the main reason why I started book blogging. Because I love books, and want to talk about them, a lot. The thing is, remind yourself daily of why you started blogging, and why you want to continue. Never force yourself, and don’t let your blogging come in the way of your live. No one is ever going to be mad at you for taking a break, some holidays, and just enjoying yourself. I still have a hard time thinking this way, sometimes, but we all should! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Summer @ Xingsings says:

      Ahh, thank you for joining in the discussion-you’re not late at all! 🙂 Also thank you for sharing some of your advice and thoughts. I completely agree, reminding ourselves really puts the entire blogging regimen in perspective. At first when I started blogging, I didn’t think anyone would visit my blog even if I visited theirs. I’m so grateful for each interaction and for making friends (like you, Marie!), but I guess after a couple of months you can get too absorbed and forget your original purpose (and lose what’s really important: blogging for fun). I’m relieved you can understand. After writing this post I felt so much better and strangely liberated. And now I blog much more relaxed. I so agree with your points. I know you’re super busy especially after returning from your trip, thank you for checking in!

      Liked by 1 person

  17. drizzleandhurricanebooks says:

    And this is such an amazing post, I will answer all of your questions, too 🙂
    I started blogging because I really wanted to talk about books with other people, and I came up with my name because I obviously love john green, and I felt like reading books is much like this famous metaphor. Drizzle, hurricane, you can be swept off your feet, stuck into a tornado of words, soaked by emotions.. I’m reading too much into that, aren’t I, ahah 🙂
    And the most rewarding feeling about blogging is sharing. Meeting amazing people like you, and being able to share lots about books, book blogging, and everything we enjoy ! 🙂
    Amazing post, Summer, I’m really looking forward to all of your “Summer says” series! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Summer @ Xingsings says:

      Thank you so much for the kind words and support, Marie! I’ve never read any John Green, aside from his short story in Let it Snow. I love your handle now that I know what it means. And you’re not reading too much into it, it must be the reader (and writer) in you. 😉 Love it. And I’m not sure how sporadic and spontaneous this series will be, but thank you, I’m really excited as well! ^.^

      Liked by 1 person

  18. Analee @ Book Snacks says:

    Omg I’m so late to this party!! I hope you don’t mind. 🙂
    This blog series is such a great idea, Summer! I’m so happy that you’ve found what to do about all the blogging pressure you seem to have gotten. I’m sorry to hear that your exam was missed! :/

    Blogging can definitely be a lot of pressure, and it is often hard not to get caught up in the numbers! God knows it’s happened to me before. A lot of the time I used to find myself worried and not willing to take a break from my blog after I started posting consistently. And while I told myself it was because I simply wanted to blog more, I knew, deep down, I was worried that I wouldn’t get blog traffic if I didn’t post. Now, this was a while back, and now I’m not as anxious about my stats, but this post really struck a cord in me. Blogging definitely isn’t supposed to be a chore. The numbers aren’t important, just as long as we have fun and blog for ourselves. I mean, that’s what it all surmounts to, in the end, blogging isn’t work, it’s just our space for sharing our thoughts.

    To answer your questions,
    There wasn’t really a big reason why I started blogging, if you want you can check out my story here, but there’s nothing worth repeating. 🙂
    And, another boring answer, but I don’t think I have a post I’m most proud of either. I don’t know, I suppose in whatever I do, I can find something wrong with it, and there’s not any posts I can name off the top of my head that I’m particularly proud of. I mean, it’s not that I don’t like any or anything, it’s just there’s none I can name that I’d consider worthy of being proud of. I guess you can call it a flaw of mine; undermining my own work is my specialty! I can appreciate others’ work, but I’m never able to appreciate my own…
    The most rewarding thing for me about blogging, I would say is making friends. I’ve made countless friends while blogging (like you!) and I honestly feel close to said friends than some of the friends I have in real life. It’s been so great in the blogging community, I always feel so welcome! ❤

    Anyway, this was an absolutely great post! This post has actually inspired me to make a creative feature of my own; I have decided to make a blog discussion feature! 🙂 This post has really gotten me thinking of my own goals; to be creative (even though I am in no way creative). I think discussion posts are a good place to start! So thank you for this lovely post. I can’t wait for more Summer Says posts! You rock girl, I’m so happy you know it. 😉 I’m proud to call you one of my friends!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Summer @ Xingsings says:

      It’s totally okay-thank you for joining in, Analee! 🙂

      After reading so many comforting comments on here. I realized how common this is for bloggers. Sometimes the best of us fall. Everyone starts the same: in doubt that anyone would want to read their work. And when then numbers begin to rise, the stats are really etched in the brain and you want to keep this security blanket of proof that people are enjoying your work. Making your initiative and motivation to blog to be more for others than yourself. I’m so glad that we both now can recognize that it’s okay to have our own space outside blogging and have a steady but manageable posting schedule that makes us happy.

      And gosh, those are symptoms of a ultimate perfectionist, which isn’t a bad thing! 😉

      And I so agree, the friends I’ve made on here have made these high and lows so worthwhile and rewarding. Most of my friends in real life don’t appreciate reading. So I’ve always remained composed when explaining what I was reading; I may even be considered a closet reader since a lot of my friends aren’t aware of my love for books and blogging. The friends I’ve met on here (including you!) have been so supportive and friendly. I always feel like I’m in a book club with fellow sisters (and brothers) when discussing (and admittedly, fangirling over) books with everyone.

      And I already dropped a comment on your introduction to Book Snacks Babbles. And I’m so excited for you!! I’m so grateful to have met wonderful people like you and I’m glad we’ve been able to grow closer these past months. You’re an awesome blogger and friend, Analee! Let’s have fun and grow together! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  19. MyTinyObsessions says:

    Hey! (I can’t believe I missed this post until today)

    I totally understand what you’re saying, sometimes we can get lost in this world of blogging/comments/posting/stats and forget a bit about “real life”. I’m glad you got through it though and found a balance that works for you – that’s the most important thing – balance!

    Now I’ll ramble a bit…

    I started blogging after a moved to Barcelona and I had no one to talk to about my tiny obsessions (hence the name of my blog: My Tiny Obsessions). I’m terrible at making friends because I’ve been burned so many times in my life (Yes, it’s a quite “long” life, I’m already 31), so when I got here to barcelona my expectations weren’t high, but I couldn’t predict how horrible it would be.

    The people at work aren’t friendly at all, and now (almost 3 years later) we get along and we talk, none of them I would consider friends. So that sucked! So after a few months of being here I needed to talk to “somebody” other than my friends and family back home, so I started blogging. I’m an introvert, which for me means that I don’t exactly need to talk to people, so I wasn’t disturbed when I had no comments on my blog, or my views were not stellar. Also I should mention, I don’t consider myself a book blogger.

    So for mostly 2 years my blog grew, but I didn’t exactly interact that much, I was happy blogging for myself, posting and venting about the things I did, liked, the stresses I had, the movies and shows I liked, etc.

    That said, I always have 5 tabs open on my browser: my mail – for work, facebook – to update on friends and family back home, my blog, my stats and my reader. And one of my favorite things is to see everyone’s posts. It helps that my laptop is connected 18 hours a day…

    It wasn’t until recently that I started to interact a lot more with people,it came more or less when I started to blog about books as well, and I found myself in this book blogging community that is awesome and way more present and participative than any other. I like it. It has made me come out of my shell. I started commenting more and talking more to people. And although I’m super happy that my blog is getting more views and traffic, it doesn’t change the content or frequency of my posts. I’ll always blog more when I’m in Barcelona than when I’m back home in Portugal or I’m traveling. I hardly program my posts (which can be seen by the amount of typos one can find in them). I just blog what I like, when I like it. I like the views, the comments and the likes, but that doesn’t mean that I’m not doing it for me.

    I guess I’m lucky that I have a lot of waiting times between experiments, which allows me to write a lot during the day :).

    i’m sure I got way off topic… sorry for that 😉

    Can’t wait to read more from you…


    Liked by 1 person

    • Summer @ Xingsings says:

      Thanks for joining in the discussion (it’s okay, I totally miss other bloggers’ posts too), Cristina!

      You are so right. Balance is key. I hate that I learned that the hard way, but I’m so glad I did. I’m also so happy and relieved to hear you’re another blogger that doesn’t plan your posts. I never really planned my posts in advance either. Well except for the two bookish memes I participate in.

      As for working on your PhD in Biodiversity/Biological Anthropology in Barcelona (yes, I like to creep people’s about pages quite a lot, no shame, haha); that is some serious cool beans! I’m hoping to go to grad school in a couple of years and, though school has it’s toll, it’s so worth it for the learning aspect. It’s always great to be more knowledgeable.

      And I really liked the intentions and inspiration of your blog. I have very few friends that appreciate reading but a handful of them still put up with my bookish rambles. XD However, a good many don’t even know I like to read or that I have a blog-which is okay. Because I have plenty of amazing friends on here (like you, though I know we’re more recent friends) that are so friendly and supportive.

      Thank you for dropping by and sharing the background of your blog with me. Stay in touch and happy blogging (I’ll be on the lookout for your book haul post with those beautiful new TMI editions)! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      • MyTinyObsessions says:

        I will definitely be posting a book haul this month, with all my shiny gorgeous TMI new covers 😀

        I always thought that learning was worth everything. I always wanted to be a scientist, since I can remember, I wanted to be in school forever (lol), that’s why I joined Academia. I really like it, the process, the learning, but it’s a weird kind of future… even when I’m on break or weekends, my mind is always on my PhD and on what I can do to solve the problems I have with some specific thing or another.

        It’s also a cut-throat environment (unfortunately), between the lack of funding, deadlines and doing something before the lab from across the country, it can be quite exhausting. Luckily, not all grad school is like this, not even in science.

        So, what are you studying/want to study?

        Liked by 1 person

        • Summer @ Xingsings says:

          Thanks for sharing that with me. A lot of my friends that are already in grad school have mentioned about it being so competitive and the funding is limited. :/
          And I aspire to be a research or compounding pharmacist one day. So I’m hoping to get into pharmacy school! I’m actually applying this year as a undergraduate sophomore to get into the pharm school the beginning of my junior year. Not surprisingly, it’s pretty competitive so there’s a great chance I won’t get in, which I’m okay with since I’ll have two more tries before I finish my undergraduate studies. Hope all that wasn’t too confusing to follow!


  20. Thomas says:

    Summer, I read this post when you first published it but just did not have the time to comment. I just want to let you know that I am so inspired by your growth and your vulnerability and your honesty here. I remember when I first had my blog in high school how I also used to really, really care about blog stats and comments and views. But as time moved on and life became busier in college, I realized that if I wanted to be a healthy person and have a solid engagement in the real world, I would have to change my perspective on blogging – I would have to change it from a “I need to do this” to a “I want to do this.” Ever since then the pressure has come off.

    But, back to this post: it’s so amazing to see your progress as a blogger on WordPress, because I think this is a lesson we all have to learn in life. This, as in, the way we pursue our goals and our passions. Oftentimes people do things because their parents tell them to or place an implied pressure on them (a lot of my Asian friends, for example, want to be doctors for this reason) or because they think a certain career will get them a lot of money or make them look prestigious to their friends. However, at some point we all must learn that doing things just for extrinsic validation will never get us anywhere: it will only result in disappointment and distrust in ourselves. I believe we should strive to accomplish things because we find them meaningful – whether that’s medicine, writing, law, politics, etc. You’re developing not only as a writer here but as an individual, and that is just so marvelous to me.

    Anyway, wanted to also say I love your new blog design – it’s so trendy and hip and aesthetically appealing. I wish I could read and comment on all of your posts because they all look so enticing; I will do my best, soon. (:

    Liked by 1 person

    • Summer @ Xingsings says:

      Thanks so much, Thomas!

      Everything you said really means a lot, especially (as silly as it sounds) since it’s coming from you. I know I’ve mentioned this before, but it still feels crazy we’re nearly the same age. I’ve only been following your blog since 2013, but your growth as a reader, critic, writer, and individual really shows. It’s been wonderful learning more about you throughout your blogging journey, the ups and downs. Like I’ve once expressed you and Michelle at the Innocent Lam were the two bloggers that really inspired me to start my own blog. So hearing you say I have inspired you a bit is really uplifting, thank you.

      And you’re so right, sometimes all we want to do is to do well but as the pressure builds there are more burdens, which isn’t healthy. Achieving dreams we, ourselves, deem meaningful is very wise; thank you for reminding me, Thomas.

      Again, thank you for always trying to squeeze in some time to check in with me and my blog!


  21. dreamingthroughliterature says:

    This is such an awesome post Summer! (I’m way behind on reading everyone I follows posts, if you can’t tell by how long it’s taken me to see this. Haha). You wrote out your thoughts really well. It is definitely easy to get lost in the blogosphere every now and then. I first started this blog to be able to talk about books I love with fellow readers, but it has turned into so much. I not only get to read about tons of great books (most of which get added to my TBR), but I also get to read about terrific people and their lives, as well (like yourself!). It’s so easy to get distracted by the follower count and stats. I often have to remind myself of exactly what you just explained. That I blog for me and no one else. It’s great that people can relate to what I have to say, but, ultimately, it’s a form of personal relief and also a great way to keep my writing skill practiced and constantly peaking. (Even though some blog posts aren’t as good as others.)

    I actually put off getting a blog until I was done with school. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do, but I’m one of the biggest procrastinators. It’s probably for the best I didn’t start this blog while I still had classes to attend. I have no doubt I could have ended up in a similar situation to yours, especially since I would constantly be using my blog to procrastinate on everything. I’m glad that I waited, but I’m also glad I have my blog now. Blogging is a great way to vent, as long as everything’s kept in moderation.

    I’m so glad it sounds like you finally found a good balance. Hiatuses are definitely acceptable to focus on real life and not just internet life. It’s important to not forget to actually live in the process of living online. It’s awesome to have contact with people who have similar interests, but the real world is definitely where the focus needs to be.

    I really like how you’re blog got it’s name. It’s a cool story! Plus, I like that it fits how you kind of write about a little bit of everything. My blog name’s story isn’t anything nearly as cool. I just thought it up the day I created my blog, liked it, and rolled with it.

    I hope you stuck with creating this new blogging series idea. I’m excited to read more as I continue to catch up on (ridiculously) old posts! Keep blogging for yourself and not the statistics!

    (P.S. I hope this comment was all coherent. It’s a bit late here and I didn’t proofread – which is never a good idea for me, but oh well.)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Summer @ Xingsings says:

      Thank you so much, Ashley! Your comment was very coherent actually. Thank you for commenting even though it was really late when you wrote it.

      Exactly, finding a balance is definitely key. I also find reminding myself that this is just a hobby, and that it should help relieve stress and not give me stress was important. And I feel really relieved that I’m not the only one that cared about stats. I guess even after writing this post, I still do but it definitely hasn’t consumed my life as it did before.

      Yes! Hiatuses are healthy and sometimes just letting the reading/blogging slumps roll is okay. And now that school has really taken over my life, I totally understand what you mean about not being able to follow up with the blogs I follow. That’s the great thing about blogging and this community, there’s no such thing as obligations. We’re all individuals with lives outside of our blogs. I love keeping up with everyone but I have a hard time reading everyone’s posts. Yet, everyone is so understanding and continuously supportive no matter if I check their blogs often or not.

      And thank you! I’m really excited for this new blog series to take off but, as you can tell, I’m going to take my sweet time to think of quality discussion topics!

      Anyway, thank you again for the comment and supportive words, Ashley! Hope you’re having a wonderful time on your trip!

      Liked by 1 person

      • dreamingthroughliterature says:

        You are most welcome for the comment. (I’m glad it made sense haha!) Yea, it’s so hard to keep up with everyone and everything, especially with school and everything. That’s one of the biggest things I love about this community to, that you don’t have to keep up with everyone to know that you still like and support each others blogs. It’s so nice not to be pressured or have to be super active on everything and still be a part of the community.
        I had a wonderful trip – thanks 🙂 –, but it was way too short, as always haha. Good luck with school. Hope everything’s going well for you Summer!

        Liked by 1 person

  22. The Drama Bear says:

    XingSings!! I think we really DO have a lot in common. Out of all the EXO members, I actually love Lay the most, he’s such a sweetie pie (although I sometimes do get annoyed by his innocence in Go Fighting because he always lose to his members who are a lot more sly than he is, while I just want to see him win). And yay to Xing Sings! I honestly feel like that’s such a smart pseudonym and when pronounced, it actually sounds a lot like “xing-xing” aka stars in Chinese aka my baby cousin’s nickname haha. And yes! Finally someone agreed with me on Lay’s voice. He can sing! I think his soft and sweet voice has a few similar traits to Jae Joong’s voice.

    I think this post is a great reminder to all new bloggers (coughmecough) who are still trying to build viewerships, blog rhythms and henceforth I feel like it’s somewhat easier for us to lose that real life-blog life balance. I am also not a good multi-tasker, so once I’m onto something, I like to pursue it until it ends and basically become fully engrossed in it to the point of being obsessed. I literally have to remind myself everyday that I need to “keep” a blog for the long haul instead of pushing myself to achieve x numbers of a,b,c posts in y amount of time. I personally think having a different opinion is fine because if everyone thinks the same way, then, this is going to be one heck of a boring world. However, I don’t think we should go into a “war” either. If I could have a different opinion and wish others to respect it, then others are also entitled to their own opinions and I should respect that. 😀 But back to the post, I’m glad that you’re now able to blog for yourself! I’ve also done many things that are directly or indirectly forced upon me by others and I’ve never enjoyed them no matter how “good” it is or how much I enjoy the same activities when no one forced me to do them. I think every human being sort of posses this bit of stubbornness within us and also why we sadly don’t really feel grateful for the things we have. 😦

    Anyhow, this is such an interesting post and I feel so glad to find a black sheep friend in the drama-sphere community! >:)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Summer @ Xingsings says:

      Ah, thank you so much, Ari! 😀

      It’s bizarre (but wonderful) that we have so much in common! I adore Yixing and love his voice so much. He’s seems like such a polite and warm guy in real life too. I really want to meet him someday, which is highly unprobable but a girl can dream. 😉 And oh gosh, you’re the second person to comment on how Xing Sings really sounds like “star.”

      Thanks so much for reading this and sharing your thoughts. I so agree, the diverse opinions we all have makes this such an interesting community. My heart aches when I see comment wars and nasty commenters battling out their justifiable different views. Like you said, we don’t have to agree with each other or even get along but we should at least give each other the courtesy of respect. Sigh, but alas we all are very stubborn creatures.

      As for blogging, I think you’ve done a really great job with creating quality content thus far. It’s clear that you’re an avid drama watcher and love to share your thoughts. Also I was really drawn towards the thoroughness and length of your posts. Not a lot of bloggers are willing (or honestly have time) to do that. But it’s great to see that you’ve put your all into it! And even better, that you’ve gone around the blogosphere to make new friends. The first three months I started blogging, I literally was posting but had zero friends, which didn’t make blogging as worthwhile as it is now for me. I didn’t take the initiative to visit other blogs and meet new people.

      Anyhow, I’m so glad we met in the vast community, Ari. Black sheep herd forever! 🙂


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