If you haven’t already read Liam’s heartfelt discussion post from the other day, I suggest you go take a look (I’ll link it here). In his post, he discusses the struggle that most bloggers have in common: finding the balance between blogging and juggling real life.
Naturally, I left a Summer bomb on his post but afterwards I was still feeling really inspired. So I decided to create a draft, which essentially became the post I’m sharing today: “The Things That Makes (Book) Blogging So Worthwhile”
I don’t think any of us can deny that blogging takes time, effort, and energy. Your blog is what you want it to be. With that being said, it can be stressful. There have certainly been times in the past where I’ve felt overwhelmed and pressured with releasing content for Xingsings. (You guys may even recognize these moments of weakness with posts like my Semihiatus From Ten Tuesday, first Summer Says discussion, and Hate Comments posts.) I do get bogged down; and I have definitely experienced those anxieties and insecurities. Anyway, my point is that I created this post to share a few reasons why I never stopped blogging even when it was tough. In my opinion, there are so many rewarding aspects that are attached to blogging.
I hope you guys can find it somewhat relatable!
- So when my WordPress notification button has that bright orange bubble, I sort of get excited? I don’t know, it makes me extremely giddy to know I may make a potentially new friend, reconnect with an old one, or just interact with the community in general. (Or sometimes have the surprise attack of having one of my in real life friends tell me to check my phone. Yup, I am guilty of checking my blog more than my text messages sometimes, lol.)
- I kid you not when I say, reading comments gives me life-especially those extremely lengthy ones that you know must have taken that reader time to compose. (Maybe I’m only saying this because I’m one to leave essays on other people’s posts, haha. I’m sure some people must feel burdened by those summer bombs. 😂 )
- So I think I’ve talked about this before but shoutouts/tags/nominations/pingbacks just make me smile. Though I’m a wishy-washy award/tag free blog now, every time I see one of those notifications I still consider it as a huge compliment. Because I think the idea behind using shoutouts/tags/nominations/pingbacks is to recognize blogs and bloggers. That means someone is thinking about you or think your post/blog is noteworthy enough for them to share it to their readers. I don’t know, maybe I’m reading too much into it but that’s how I truly feel.
- Ah, and hitting follower milestones makes me want to jump and do an uncoordinated, happy dance every single time. Ironically, my very first Summer Says post did generate this huge focus on “Stats don’t matter! Blog for you!” vibe going on. And I still do believe in that, but I must admit numbers and stats are one of the ways (but not the only one!) I use to gain feedback about my blog. When I see certain posts being viewed or shared more I get an understanding what the community likes or prefers to read without releasing an explicit poll for people to take. However, with that being said, if you have less traffic on your blog that does not mean you have less quality content by any means. I’m just saying I use the milestones and stats as one of many ways to gain feedback on how I’m doing.
- However much we say we’re introverts, it’s human nature to want to feel inclusive in certain things or groups.
- This is nothing new to share because I express this all of the time but meeting fellow bookworms or book dragons that happen to blog is the best thing ever. Mainly because I don’t have a lot of friends that enjoy reading in real life. I do have a couple but I’m just greedy, okay? I want to have a lot of bookish friends so when I’m reading a certain book I know who I can turn to gush and lament with, etc. Maybe that’s why I’m such a blog hunter. Thats right, you read that correctly. When Xingsings was a baby blog, I would essentially blog hop by using the WordPress book tags so that I could make more friends (and gain more traffic, not going to lie). But it felt more like hunting since it was quite tedious finding genuine book bloggers that had the same taste as I did. But, gosh, do I paint myself savage. Summer bombs, blog hunting… I swear, I’m really a nice person in real life, you guys. 😅
- Well it’s one thing about meeting people but it’s another wonderfully great thing to build friendships. I met a number of really amazing friends via blogging and the blogosphere and I am so thankful for that. Side note: I literally live in the middle of nowhere and have no bloggers near me (that I know of)… but when I see bloggers do “in real life” meet ups or book blogger conventions I am beyond envious but also very happy for them.
- I suppose some don’t need to blog to understand the fangirl/fanboy or bookish jargon, but the blogosphere is certainly a platform where one will grow familiar to “I ship it,” “all the feels,” and other nonsensical phrases. I sort of knew the jargon pre-blogging but there were a few things I didn’t catch on until after I had started (like I had no idea who a publicist was, etc).
- So everyone talks about the numbers and the wonderful community, but what about the growth and improvement you gain as a blogger?
- The biggest and probably one of the most worthwhile things that results from blogging is when your archive grows. So what do I mean by that? Well you know that thing on blogs that show how many posts you’ve released in “Month X” or “Month Y”? Or that dropdown menu that has all those months you’ve published posts? Well seeing that menu grow makes everything so satisfying and rewarding. I’ve mentioned in passing before but my greatest struggle with blogging in the past was staying consistent and committed. I’ve had other “book blogs”(I shall not divulge the urls because I’m too embarassed by them), but I was never able to continuously release content for more than a week or two. Yup, my willpower was weak before, haha. I think it’s just really difficult to keep up with a blog if you feel discouraged (and sometimes this can stem from not having the targeted traffic you think you’d get when you start out or seeing other bloggers’ popularity). By no means am I a veteran blogger but I’m not a new one anymore either. To sum what I’m trying to say, I guess it feels great to say “I’ve been blogging for a year and half” and to have that archive to support your claim.
- Which brings me onto the “index” or “book review list.” If you don’t already, I highly recommend book bloggers to create one of these for their blogs. It helps your new and old readers navigate and see what you’ve posted. And adding to and seeing that comprehensive list of book reviews is so darn satisfying, you know?
- Blogging also helps you improve on your writing. If it’s not your vocabulary, spelling, or grammar that enhances, you can at least acquire speed in thinking up what to write. It used to take me hours to create blog post. #noshame But I can easily say it doesn’t take me nearly as long anymore. Maybe 30 minutes to conjure up a rough draft and a few edits here and there before I’m able to schedule it as a final product to publish. Anyway, I believe blogging awakens the writing creativity in folks.
- Is it weird for me to share that blogging is a healthy outlet for procrastination? So yes, this could totally be a disadvantage. But think of this way, there are worse forms of distraction. Like Youtube. (Youtube is an evil temptress that will lure you to fall into an abyss of pointless hours of nothingness. I’ve been there many times, unfortunately.) I find that blogging helps me to stay motivated because reading what other individuals are up to tends to inspire me to do well in real life? Is that just me? You guys can totally ignore this bullet if it doesn’t apply to you, lol.
- This is more of a bonus than an important aspect but the opportunities we gain from blogging is pretty cool.
- So when I first created Xingsings I never even considered making other social media accounts. But, of course, I joined the bandwagon and now have a Twitter and Bookstagram. I don’t use my Twitter all that much but I do recognize the benefits of using such an outlet. I’m not too familiar with book chats yet since I’ve only participated in one. It was a bit chaotic and overwhelming but thrilling (in a good way) all at the same time. And I’ve only started to use my Bookstagram more seriously these past few months. Anyway, both of these social media platforms have a different way of operating compared to blogging, but are awesome ways to meet new bookish friends.
- Another opportunity that I’ve gained because of book blogging was discovering and learning more about book festivals or events. It is all thanks to the blogosphere that I learned of Yallfest, a book festival based in the same state I live in (I still cannot believe this escaped my notice for the past five years), in which I attended last year and had a total blast.
- So this was something I was already aware of pre-blogging, but requesting and receiving ARCs or review copies from authors and publishers is such an amazing privilege. Instead of dwelling on this topic, you can read more of my thoughts on review copies with my previous Summer Says posts (one about how I go about requesting them and another on the cons to requesting/reading ARCs)
- I suppose this next one can be a benefit or disadvantage depending on how you look at it… Though my endless TBR pile gives me anxiety, I still love discovering new books from fellow bloggers or just through browsing the blogosphere in passing. (Waiting on Wednesday and Top Ten Tuesday posts that float in the blogosphere tend to be the main source.)
- Do you ever feel overwhelmed or pressured to blog? Any other blogging insecurities?
- What do you find makes the time, effort, and commitment you put in your blog worth it? In other words, what is the most rewarding thing about blogging?
And we’ve reached the end! It’s been a long while since my last Summer Says post, hasn’t it? ^.^ And technically I haven’t been available in the blogosphere as of late despite being out for the summer from school. And that’s because, admittedly, I’ve fallen in a reading slump. I haven’t finished reading a book in weeks (that’s how bad it is). Therefore I haven’t had much to share with the blogosphere in terms of book reviews. (Then again, I have book review drafts waiting in the queue… But I haven’t felt ready to put my thoughts into words for those titles yet. But lately, I’ve been focusing on trying to catch up with replying to old comments anyway, so I guess it’s okay.) Anyway, thank you all for reading! Until next time. 🙂