Books Magazine

Keeping the Fun in (book) Blogging

By Mswicegood @MeganSwicegood

As you can see, Read It, See It has gotten a bit of a makeover. I'm in love with the new lighter colors and minimalist vibe. It's a reflection of my new attitude towards (book) blogging.
After careful consideration (and a lot of cheerleading from fellow bloggers and book lovers) I've decided to keep plugging along here at Read It, See It. The fun and benefits of being a book blogger far outweigh the negative stuff that I've been feeling lately.
But, I want to make sure that I keep blogging fun so I came up with a few guidelines for not letting it get me down.
Megan's rules for not letting book blogging crush your love of reading:
1) Read what you want to read.
There's a lot of pressure and competition to read the "latest" book or get that "hot" ARC, but the second you get caught up in that you start running the risk of not enjoying it anymore. I'm probably never going to be the one holding that "hot" ARC, but I don't give toot. Reading should be fun. I got into this partly to show young people that reading is just as fun as tv watching and when I'm reading stuff because a publisher or other bloggers want me to read it - well, that's like homework, which is very much un-fun.
2) Review what you want to review.
I've been really guilty of only posting certain types of reviews - namely young adult and mostly paranormal and fantasy. I've had long discussions with other bloggers, my friends and even my husband about reviewing other types of books. I've gone back and forth A LOT. I'm not in a youth specific market anymore (I used to be a YA Library Assistant so I felt like I should keep up with YA trends and only post YA). I also happen to read LOTS of genres - both in YA and adult. The pressure to have 2-3 reviews a week was sucking up a lot of time - namely forcing me to read a lot of YA books I probably wouldn't have read otherwise. So I'll review anything that strikes my fancy and reserve the right to not review a book that doesn't.
3) Learn to use the word "NO".
I'm not really a fan of middle-grade books and I don't read picture books ever. Most of the middle-grade stuff I've reviewed has been the result of an author request. I want to support authors - especially indie authors or authors writing in a genre that might not get a powerhouse marketing campiegn - I really do, but I also don't want supporting theses authors to feel like work. I'm slowly learning that saying, "No, this isn't for me" isn't the death blow in a writer's career (I'm not even kind of that big of a deal). It's okay to pass on things you aren't 100% excited about.
4) Poke your fellow book lovers and bloggers for support.
Every time an "I'm burned out" post comes along (like the awesome one at For What It's Worth) about a million other people chime in and say "Oh, I've been there." They have great advice to help you out of the dark and sometimes they just have hugs and support which makes it feel not so crappy.
5) Repeat the phrase: This is not a job. This is a hobby.
This is a hobby. A cool, fun hobby with a great community and some awesome experiences available - but it's still a hobby. I wouldn't go on a bike ride if I felt like crap so why do I feel the need to stay up late depriving myself of much needed sleep just to finish reading a review book? It's not a job. It's a hobby. Sometimes, I'm going to disappoint someone by not getting a review up exactly on time or at all - and as long as I don't keep saying "yes" when I should be saying "no" then that's okay. This isn't my livelihood and it's okay to call in sick.
6) Wipe the slate clean.
Return all your library books. Clear your Goodreads to-read bookshelf and walk away from your actual bookshelves. Use your TBR pile as a bowling pin and knock it over. Then ask yourself, "What do I WANT to read? What sounds fun/good/awesome?". Then go read that. Don't put anything on the "next up" pile. Take it one book at a time for awhile. Start over! Get back to that place where you were when you first started thinking about blogging. When you read what you loved and were excited about - back before you had that scary "obligation" pile.
7) Walk away.
It's okay to stop for awhile. You don't even have to announce it. You can just stop. Many of your readers won't even notice and almost all of them will be there when you come back. It won't be the end of the world - I promise.
Keeping the fun in (book) blogging

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