Confession time: Blogging was bumming me out a lot last year and the beginning of this year. So much so that I wasn’t enjoying it, and I even thought about giving it up. Because you really shouldn’t do something if you don’t like it, right? I had myself stressed over every review, every ARC, every unresponded to comment. I fretted about how much I was posting, my content, my page views, all sorts of nonsense. If it could stress me out, it did.
I remember talking to Holly @ The Fox’s Hideaway, who had recently begun to feel comfortable with not being stressed all the time about it, and I marveled at her, because… how?! She assured me that it would come, in time, and I’ll be damned if she wasn’t right! I don’t know what changed, but it was like… something in me snapped into place, and I realized “Hey asshole, this is something you’re supposed to be doing because you like it. It isn’t a job, you don’t get paid.” And of course I had said that to myself before, but this time? I don’t know, it just kind of… took.
So I was thinking about what exactly made me feel less stress, and I came up with the following:
This is a biggie. Maybe the biggest. I used to post at least six days a week. Then I did calm it down a little, but I never liked to have more than a day, two at the absolute max, between posts. Now, there are three, four days sometimes between posts. That isn’t my norm, but if it happens? Meh. I don’t lose sleep about it. And I quite literally used to!
Sure, there are times when I do have to post and don’t want to, but they’re rarer now, and they are always my own fault. (Procrastination, it turns out, is not your friend.)
I used to worry when I’d post The 100 stuff, because only like, a few people care. But then I realized some stuff: First, I care, and that is enough, and second, I enjoy chatting with the people who do care about it. The most important though? They are hands down my favorite posts to do. I don’t care that I spend 4 hours making GIFs, I love it. I’m unapologetically in love with the damn show, so why not post about it?
I guess I was worried that people wouldn’t follow me if they didn’t like stuff I posted but then… who cares? I mean, people post shit I don’t care about all the time. So I just don’t read those posts, and come back when I do care, because if I follow them, I likely care about some of the stuff. I also used to worry if I did too many blog tours, or had too many… whatevers. But now? I post what I want.
(I promise this is the last “posting” one ha.) So here’s the deal: I will never be the kind of person who writes lovely, poetic reviews. Fine, maybe once or twice, but as a rule? Unless it is a legit life-changing book, I probably don’t have all the pretty words to use. I am probably just going to word vomit on you and then throw you a GIF or something.
I worried that publishers would not like my reviews/posts. Because in discussion posts, I use whatever the hell language I want (see what I did there?) and don’t really care. I would also rather post a funny GIF than a pretty book picture any day of the week, which doesn’t seem… “professional”, I guess? That’s when I remembered one of the key things from above: This is not my job, so why should I censor myself, make myself write in a way I don’t want to?
Oh, mini-reviews, how I adore you. These are fun, because I can write as little or as much as I want, and it’s fine. Because I said they were “mini”. To be perfectly honest, they aren’t actually any shorter than my regular reviews, but it does mean that I can shove three or four of them into a post, and BAM, just knocked out four reviews. Cross post ’em to Netgalley or Edelweiss, and call it a day. It makes me happy to be able to cross so many off my list at once. Plus, then there’s something for everyone!
Because everyone likes cute tiny things!
Here are a few things that stress me out on social media: Taking bookstagram pictures, seeing ARCs in the wild, trying to sound moderately interesting when I have nothing to say. The list could go on and on. But really, it was all just so… much. I feel like I can kind of manage one social medium semi-proficiently? But add more than that into the mix, and all bets are off.
Instagram was a big source of stress for me. Taking the damn book pictures took hours, and I never was fully satisfied with the results. And when it seems like everyone and their mom is using a social platform, you kind of feel like you need to in order to stay relevant. But guess what? I do not care. I still take book pictures occasionally (mostly when I get bookmail, tbh) and the other times? Nope. Unless the mood strikes me, I am out. I also go into my Twitter newsfeed far less than I used to. I scroll through every so often but it’s exhausting. And I am pretty sure I haven’t been on my shady Facebook (the only one I have left, and really only a few people know I have it) in two months or so. Oops?
Repeat after me: The world will not end if you do not respond to/return every single comment in the history of ever. I have discussed this before, and yes, commenting is awesome! I love chatting with people on here, and I try to respond and return visits as much as possible. But you know what else I like doing? Crazy things like sleeping, eating, showering, etc. You know, pesky human things. And there was a time when I legitimately was forgoing sleep to respond to comments. I was a zombie. And probably an asshole, because I am bad without sleep. So I was a zombie asshole, and no one wants that.
Yeah, that means sometimes I am behind. Sometimes, I cut my losses and move on so as not to be playing catch up forever. But I do try really hard, and I feel like that is enough.
What is the best way to get over ARC envy? Tune it out. Look, we are all prone to some envy, because we are humans. It is just a thing. Especially when you want something, and someone else has it. No one likes to admit it, but I feel like if you have never felt any envy or jealousy… you’re likely lying?
This is why I just… don’t look for it? And then if I do see something that gives me a case of the sads, I just… be sad for a minute and move on. Because pretending it didn’t upset me doesn’t help, but also, neither will ruminating on it.