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Summer Says: How I Reduced the Time I Spend in the Blogosphere

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Alright, I know what you guys are thinking with this header. Why is Summer going to talk about how she spends less time blogging, etc, when really she’s terrible at taking hiatuses? I admit I’m not the best prototype when it comes to sticking with decisions such as taking breaks when I say I will. So the title is a tad ironic. However, even so, I have noticed (and you guys may have as well) that I have significantly reduced a lot of my time in the blogosphere, which is pretty much a “blogging vacation” for me.

All of my posts this year in 2016 have been scheduled and I haven’t been around the blogosphere to see them go live (even my latest Top Ten Tuesday post which may have sounded considerably spontaneous but it, too, was scheduled). I also no longer feel obligated to blog hop; I comment when I want to or have true input. I don’t reply to comments in a timely fashion (or even at all it looks like-don’t worry, I’ll eventually get on the unanswered ones during winter break in December at the latest).

And, most importantly, I find it a relief that I don’t feel guilty about any of these things anymore.

Since the moment Xingsings reached a humble following (and probably when I got my first ARC), my blog started to feel like it was going somewhere. And then I started to feel like my blog became an extension of me-but more in the sense that it became a pastime I couldn’t see myself giving up. However, blogging itself is not the only attribute that defines me and therefore it shouldn’t consume so much of my time that would be considered uncomfortable or unhealthy. (You guys don’t want to know how long I spent typing up posts and reviews in the past. Some were relatively easy and fast, but others… like Top Ten Tuesday were a struggle.)

My time away from the blogosphere these past few months have made me reflect on where Xingsings is and where I want it to go. I feel the most secure and happiest with my blog (well aside from not being able to interact with everyone anymore as I wished to) at where it is now and how much I’ve achieved than ever before even if there are less views, likes, or comments as a result to my inconsistent posting and activity.

It really feels great and liberating to finally put this in words. But anyhow, back to the main purpose of the discussion. After reading Marie’s lovely and thought provoking post about blogging and time, it made me feel inspired on discussing how I stay away from the blogosphere to focus and reconnect with real life. And, without further ado, here’s the short list!

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Don't Deny It-3

Summer Says: The Things That Make (Book) Blogging So Worthwhile

Don't Deny It-3

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!

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Summer Says #4

Summer Says: The Types of (Book) Bloggers

Summer Says #4

So I am completely aware that this type of discussion post has been done so many times, yet I still wanted to release my own version of it. I was first inspired by Aentee’s post on the same topic in July 2015, which you can check out here. Instead of only generalizing types of bloggers, which Aentee has already done wonderfully, I wanted to also share a part of my brain and how I categorize fellow bloggers I’ve gotten to get to know this past year. Now this portion of the idea is piggybacking off of Joey’s usual blogger shout-out type of posts that he occasionally releases on his blog.

The only flaw to these is that unfortunately I can’t include everyone I’ve interacted with. So I’m terribly sorry if you were left out this time. If you want to know where you belong in my brain (that sounded ultra weird) please just let me know in the comments and I’ll sort you out. 😉

So with no further ado, let’s do this!

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Summer Says: The Cons to Requesting and Reviewing ARCs That No One Really Tells You

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I really hope I don’t come off as a spoiled blogger by sharing this. Because, don’t get me wrong, I’m really thankful for the books I’ve received or when I’m granted access to a book. But, lately, I’ve only been reading ARCs and I feel like those are the only ones I’ve been reviewing, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing but there are some cons in doing this (or just requesting so many ARCs in general).

So I thought this would make a perfect discussion post to create (if you haven’t noticed by now, I don’t release these often because I need to feel really strongly about something personally before I can get inspiration; to the folks that churn these discussion posts at a frequent rate, teach me your ways). Anyway, I’m curious to see what you guys think of this topic. Please, feel free to join in the discussion!

And by the way, at the end of last year, I released a comprehensive guide to how approach requesting ARCs and addressed general questions I thought new bloggers or bloggers that weren’t as familiar with ARC (Advance Reader Copies) requesting would have. If this seems like something you’re interested in and missed that post, you can check that out here.

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All About ARCs

Summer Says: All Things About ARCs (Well Sort Of)

All About ARCs

As you guys have probably noticed, the only books I’ve been reading and reviewing lately have been ARCs. It’s kind of due to how I went a little request crazy a couple of months ago, so yup, now I’m frantically trying to read all these books for their release dates, but I’ll get onto that later.

Also, it’s been so embarrassingly long since my first Summer Says post. From what I remember, I never made any promises about how often this blog series would appear since I tend to be flaky with original stuff like this, but I want to thank you all for the patience and I’m so thankful for the encouragement towards this feature!

Anyway, today I wanted to talk about ARCs. In no way am I a pro about this subject, but I thought I’d share what I did know and my experiences with requesting ARCs since some people have expressed inquiries about this topic. And I recently had a few conversations with some other fellow bloggers, and I felt inspired to talk about this. Plus, obtaining ARCs and review copies was something I was curious about as a newbie blogger and even before I started blogging. Technically, I’m still a baby blogger compared to the strong voices, older and more professional, and popular blogs out there in the blogosphere, but I still think this post would be of some help!

To simplify this whole process let’s go with the kindergarten basics and use the Five Ws system-WHAT, WHO, WHERE, WHEN, and WHY-and a bonus, HOW.

Also, all text in this color are some things I’ve learned on my own and are my personal tips.

And here is a full list of the review copies I’ve been offered, have requested, or have received in the past. This list doesn’t even include the titles that I’ve requested myself but have been denied. If I included that it would be twice as long. I promise you I’ve been rejected many times. But you know what? That’s okay! All this (and blogging) is a learning experience. The key is to not worry about rejections and just move on. Don’t be discouraged!

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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.

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