It’s been a while since I dedicated an entire blog post to the art of blogging, I believe my last one was 10 Blogging Confessions: The Do’s & Don’ts which, looking back, there’s a few now on that list that I don’t agree with. But, lately, I’ve been pretty consumed with blogging or if I’m not blogging, I’m often thinking about blogging. Here are the 10 thoughts I have while blogging, let’s see how many you check off!
1. I wonder how my readers see me and with what tone they read my blog posts and comments
Okay, I definitely cannot be the only one who does this! There are times where I’ve noticed that I have the potential to be misunderstood because I’m pretty straightforward and tell it like it is which a few people might consider “aggressive” (bleurgh, hate that word). I’m not willing to change that perception because that’ll pretty much be the worst-case scenario. “Aggressive” and “outspoken” aren’t two sides of the same coin and it depends on who’s interpreting it. I’m going to take it as a positive, thanks to Suziey @ Of All the Books in All the Libraries (this is gonna be a flex):
If I had a penny for every time someone called me “self-possessed” or “calm”, I’d be as rich as J. K. Rowling, but, better yet, not disturbing your spirits with random toilet trivia.
I’m also wondering which tone my blog posts are read in: am I high-pitched like Rachel Green? Calm and measured like Kim Kardashian? Sarcastic like Max Black? Nasal like Jessica (Love is Blind)? As excited as Winston Bishop? I actually oscillate between the first two depending on my mood.
So, not to be all Peter Kavinsky about it, but what are your impressions of me, fellow readers? Which tone do you read my posts and comments in? Anyone who says Jessica from Love is Blind will be banned from my blog, just saying.
2. Am I posting too much or am I posting too less?
Another one I know every blogger has thought about or, at they very least, I know you’ve decided exactly how much you’ll post in a month! I know enough about myself to know that I can’t commit to writing more than three blog posts a week especially given that I write a lot for a single post, so I’ll be experiencing recurring burnouts if I post more than three times a week. But… I feel self-conscious if I don’t post for a week, so I remind myself that it’s not only okay to let myself breathe but my blog too. So, on occasion, I’ll go on a mini hiatus without warning.
3. Am I loving what I’m writing?
Now this is something that can really bother me. There have been moments where I’ve planned a super serious blog post like Look Around You, Incels Are Everywhere, but I come to a decision a fortnight or a month beforehand that I’m not ready to write on the topic just yet. Then I beat myself up about it because I know that it’s something that I’m passionate about, so why am I delaying it? Recently though, I’ve created a blog schedule for my upcoming posts, and, with blogging, you get to learn a lot about yourself and your blogging habits, so I’ve figured out when I’ll be ready to write on a serious topic which is working out a lot better for me… and my sanity. Another thing that works for me is scheduling lighter posts in between or putting a fun/different spin on a book review like 5 Things I Loved About Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets or with a new angle like are Nina and Matthias basically Jon Snow and Ygritte? in my Crooked Kingdom review.
Shameless self-plug, but best believe in the emphasis on shameless.
4. I need to write up reviews quicker than I’m reading books
Oh, to be a book blogger and face ever-accumulating pressure to review books… while you burn through more books… while you buy even more books that you won’t read until a good three years.
5. Are people getting annoyed that I’m blog hopping in chronological order?
For a long time, I’ve been eating food in a very specific order and subcategorising my wardrobe. Blog hopping is no different. It goes Reader tab, Manage, then blog hopping from Z-A (yeah, I know, daredevil, I am). So, I’ve been reading your blog posts from where I’ve last left off which can be quite a while ago… and then it basically becomes like liking someone’s Instagram photo from 47 weeks ago. I’m sorry, I can’t change this, I just can’t. I can only apologise. I absolutely have to go in order just in case I end up missing reading a post I would have enjoyed. Which leads me to…
6. I have to limit liking comments
I am compensating for blog hopping in chronological order by not liking comments unless it’s to signal that this conversation has come to an end (no malice intended, I promise) just like you would say LOL to end a text conversation.
7. How should I deal with trolls?
One of my friends gave me some great advice when I dealt with backlash for my post Hermione Granger – 10 Reasons Why Your Fave is Problematic: “don’t feed the trolls.” I expected disagreement, and it didn’t cause me to retreat, but I was getting comments from people outside the blogging community which included a lot of swearing and there were one or two that were so crude that I had to moderate it as spam. Some of these arguments were nowhere near as reasoned enough to even dignify with a response. But reading Osi’s post about whether the use of swear words is appropriate, I think I’ll stick to allowing the comments, but I’m not responding to it either. You can change my mind with well-developed reason, otherwise you’ll be yelling into the void, and that sounds like a personal problem to me.
8. Am I taking too much time writing up my book reviews?
I can take a good few hours when writing a book review. I have to factor in tailoring my content, using SEO best practice, undertaking any additional research (like I did for Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief Review and Why the Sansa v Daenerys Feud is not Anti-Feminist), finding quotes, designing images for both Pinterest and Twitter, sourcing images, adding my Connect with Me section as well as Ko-Fi button, and including summaries, pages, publisher, etc. A lot of detail goes into writing book reviews. I could write shorter posts, but I enjoy writing in-depth reviews because that’s why I started this blog after all, to talk as much as possible about books!
9. Blogging can be pretty consuming
A few weeks ago, I paused What the Love? on Netflix because I suddenly got an idea for a blog post. I’m a rapid brainstormer as it is which can be exhausting for my family: “I have an idea!” “Oh no, what is it this time?” I can’t stop generating ideas which can sometimes rob me from truly living in the moment. I might be overcompensating for my prior staggering levels of impulsiveness, but I gotta get back my ‘seize the day’ joie de vivre, the right parts, that is. So, why not combine both post-depression long-term planning skills with my former even bolder self? Together it works out as an excellent enterprising mindset. Which leads me to…
10. Is there anything more I can do?
What I have right now is what I’ve been dreaming of for years (well, two years). I’ve been able to make a lot of blogging friends, gush over books, connect with people who’ve gone through the same things as I have, and blogging has also reconnected me with art of various mediums. I do arts and crafts with my cousin, design my own clothes for Eid, I’ve remembered to take selfies again, I’ve designed images for work, and I get to hear people’s stories. Blogging has been a joy and opened up a lot of opportunities for me, and I have to remember to be grateful.
*** Before I wrap this up, I have to mention that some of my comments have been going to the spam folder. I need to tone down with the exclamation marks and emoji use, so please bear with me in this enormously trying time. ***
What are some of the thoughts you have while blogging? What tone do you read my posts/ comments in and how do you see me as? Do you worry a lot about how you’re blogging? What are some things that you’ve learned about yourself or discovered through blogging? Let me know in the comments!
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& if you should feel so generous, why not…