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, 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.

So, what things have you obsessed over in the past and calmed down about? What is one thing you wish you could calm down a bit with? Or are you just a happy little blogger? If so, I will be needing your life secrets, please and thank you. 

Posted May 15, 2017 by Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight in Discussion, Discussion Challenge / 83 Comments


83 responses to “Things That Have Made Me a Happier Blogger

  1. I’m so with you on posting WHAT you want (and obviously I’m pleased you stuck with 100 stuff). 🙂 Because that show NEEDS to be talked about, you can’t just watch it and move on. And I’ve done the same thing- some of my TV reviews especially (like when I did 12 Monkeys recaps last year and like, no one, cared lol) you wonder why am I doing these posts? I’m the only one reading them! But… if we like it, that’s why we blog, right? So good on you.

    And same with review style. We all have to be true to our own style, or it’s not authentic? And we each bring our own thing, that’s the fun of it, so yeah. the mini- reviews are awesome, too. As for comments, I remember when I got none lol. So we go from that to worrying about replying- so I guess we’re doing something right? 🙂

    Great post. If there’s one thing I wish I could calm down about it’s the posting frequency. I’ve gotten so used to posting everyday that it feels weird if I don’t, and I have to remind myself… breathe dude once in a while. The world won’t end if I skip a day. 🙂

    “I just like to do things later” lol. That is SO me. I’m the worst.

    • SO TRUE. You cannot move on ever because the writers like to make you wallow in sadness and angst. I think they have a sickness, tbh. But in seriousness, it just makes sense to me- why not discuss shows or movies or well, whatever, just like books? And then I remembered that I can so yay! 😀

      YES to the comment problem! Oh my goodness, that was me for a good year and a half, at least- just hoping that ONE person would leave a comment, and then being extra sad when no one did hahha. So yes, I think you are right, it is a VERY good problem to have. I just have to remind myself that no one will die if I sleep instead of replying every so often.

      And you SHOULD breathe if you want to! I admit, the first “drop down” for me was the hardest- when I went from 6-7 posts (and sometimes more!) a week to 4-5. And then… I don’t know, I just kind of went with… whatever happened, happened. Because I used to force posts, but I always felt like people could tell, you know? That my heart wasn’t in it? (I have no idea if they could, but I definitely could!) Though, I will say, that freedom can become a slippery slope when I keep saying “eh, screw it, I’ll post tomorrow”… for like, 3 days in a row!

  2. Awesome post! I really needed to read this right now, because I’m currently in that stage of feeling super stressed out about blogging, and I really need to try and get over it! I’m definitely going to take a lot of this on board, and I’m so glad that you’re feeling more relaxed and happier about blogging these days 🙂

    • Awww, thank you so much! I am glad it helped! I understand completely, it is SO hard to like, lose that feeling, but I promise that it will happen- it’s hard to let the stress go, but it WILL happen. I think part of it is like, when I would freak out, I would make myself stop and say “okay- this is just a blog, literally NOTHING bad will happen if you calm down” and then I’d like, really logically think about it, putting my emotions aside, and it somehow just started to actually work! Good luck, I know the feeling, it is overwhelming!

  3. Lin

    I totally agree with you here. First thing first you need to remember that you are blogging for yourself and not for the others to be pleased. Next as a blogger of your own blog yoi have the right to post whatever, whenever and however you wish without feeling guilty about it.

    As you mentioned you are nor getting paid so why stress about blogging and restricting yourself by killing all the enoyment from it.

  4. Zaira F

    I am not a blogger but I do read book blogs a lot, and I must say, mini-reviews are one of the posts that I really enjoy reading!!

  5. Oh how I love this post!! I feel like I am currently starting to go through some of these. Like the posting when I want. I have a schedule in my head I should post to and letting that go is hard but helpful. I also write crap reviews. There is nothing poetic about them and that is ok. Also mini reviews are my most favorite thing to write – and read. I have gotten better with the commenting stuff but it still stresses me out. I need to work on that. I also like to take breaks for a week or two to recharge and that always makes me a happier blogger.

    • Aw thank you!! Ohhh I had that schedule too- for SO long. (It was called “crap I have to post everyday, what the hell do I post about?” 😉 ) And I think your reviews are great! They absolutely don’t have to be poetic and flowery- sometimes just the basics are way better. The commenting does still stress me out too- but not as much as it used to. Like, I used to have actual panic over it, and now I am just… mildly concerned hahaha. You know, breaks are the one thing I haven’t been able to let myself do for some reason. Maybe that is the final key to happy blogging!

  6. I guess I’m one of those happy little blogger😂 I never feel exactly pressured to write about post that others like and follow the popular books… I kinda read my own thing? 😅 I mean it’s our blog, so obviously it’s up to us to write when and what. Sure, it can be disheartening when I get no likes, comments and whatsoever… but hey, I really enjoyed what I read/watch/write and I think that’s the most important thing. What bugs me is minor thing like my posting schedule, I post either 2/3 times a week, and there are 7 days in a week so how do I spread my post to make it even??😅😂 It really bugs me I don’t know why😂 And about ARC envy… I admit it’s more of an envy because I live outside of the US so everytime there’s a giveaway/ARCs request my heart breaks reading the “US ONLY” words😂

    • That is SO good! I am happy that you are able to do that! I think it’s more authentic that way anyway. Plus, you are SO right– if you enjoy it, that IS the most important thing. I have definitely realized that lately. I feel so bad when I can’t make giveaways international, because I know it must suck so much! I wish shipping wasn’t so ridiculous! (Sometimes I wonder how Book Depository stays in business with the free international shipping 😂

  7. *claps*
    GO YOU! I’ve learned a lot of these lately, and I do whatever the heck I want, and I’m completely happy. I’ve noticed a decline in comments too lately, but I don’t even stress about it anymore. I used to before, but I’m too busy with real life, school and having fun reading to now.
    ARC envy is also one of those I’ve successfully gotten over. Life is too short to spend being envious of everyone else. And eventually the book will come out! 🙂
    Love the post, Shannon!

    • Aw thanks!! 😀 And you are SO right- it is much better to be chill and happy than stressed and hating everything. I agree that you can’t worry about the comment decline, because WHY? It is mostly out of our control anyway! I have gotten MUCH better about ARC envy but… it does still happen from time to time 😉 But good point, the book WILL come out!

  8. Tammy @ Books, Bones & Buffy

    This was an eye opening post, and I’m so glad I read it. I’m really struggling with my blog for pretty much all the reasons you mentioned, and I really don’t want to quit but I’m at complete burn out. I’m going to try your approach and see what happens.

  9. I love this post. I think the only rule of book blogging is “Do what works for you.” You don’t *have* to do anything just because other people are doing it. I’ve calmed down with weekly memes. I used to do a bunch of them because linkups are a great way to discover new blogs. Keeping up with memes started causing too much stress, so I quit most of them. I even backed off doing Top Ten Tuesday and now only do it when I like the topic and can get a post done on time.

    • Thanks so much!! I agree SO. MUCH. Being you, doing what is best for you is the BEST way. I used to do the same with weekly memes- and I still think they’re an awesome way to get started in blogging, to meet people, etc- but now I realized that most of the time, I don’t really need to meet 38973 new blogs? Because YES it is stressful. And I hate when I don’t comment back on all the blogs because I feel so bad, but then I run out of time! It’s a struggle!

  10. I agree with you with most of these things! Especially with the posting part. I used to write my reviews beautifully (or what I thought was beautiful), but now I just write whatever I want, whether it’s ranting or just super short review. I’m also trying to use twitter less since it could be overwhelming sometimes. Anyway, this is such an inspiring post, Shannon!

  11. everything on your list applies to me & I pretty much do them all, other than the arc’s one and the instagram one, since I’m not a book blogger or on instagram. I totally envy people who can schedule their post and do all the other extra social promotion things, I can’t seem to do either but the great thing about having a blog is, you can do whatever you want and people may complain about it, but they can’t stop you so do what you want.

    have a lovely day.

  12. Sam

    My blog is small, so we just do whatever we want, and I have no social network game. I accept that I will never be a “book mail” person, because I will never have the kind of following, that prompts publishers to send you book, but I still love sharing my love a book and talking about bookish things. I have to work on that ARC envy thing, though. =) Congratulations on making yourself happier with blogging!!
    Sam @ WLABB

    • Legit still have no idea what publishers in general want. I have seen people who blog for a month and have 3 followers get books, and huge bloggers be shunned so… NO idea on that front! And I feel you, my social media is… well, it comes in spurts. I will use it for a few days in a row, then forget for a week haha. I am still working on the ARC envy too- I suspect it never fully goes away 😉

  13. I really enjoyed this post! I have gone through phases where I too have foregone sleep to catch up with comments or crank out a post, and it’s not fun. And don’t even get me started on bookstagram (I love it but I have to be in the mood for it, and I’m never going to have the creativity that others have!) I think it’s great for bloggers to be transparent about their methods and struggles because it helps the rest of us feel not so alone when we’re struggling with these things! So thanks so much for sharing 🙂

    • Aw thanks so much!! I have absolutely forgone sleep- and it is NOT fun the next day for sure hahah. And I feel you completely with bookstagram. I agree too- I love to see that I am not the only one who is a mess sometimes (all the time) 😉

  14. Awesome post! I love everything you said, and after 2 years of blogging, I finally get some things! and soon, I’ll be posting one of my own too about what makes me a happier blogger! Thanks!!!

  15. Gosh, I agree with all of this so much. Sometimes I need to realize these things and NOT stress out. Somethings I’ve always done since the beginning though is posting what I want. hahah I post about movies and, like you said about your The 100 posts, not many people care. but I like it and I’m happy to even meet one new friend who also likes the movies/games/shows that I’m talking about. I’ve also gave up on the arc envy. I used to care so much about that but I realized even GETTING arcs was an added stress. So I don’t even request them anymore. Great post!

    • Thanks so much! And YES- I am so happy just to be able to chat about my favorite stuff, it doesn’t matter that it isn’t a huge source of views or whatever. I have been trying to think about ARCs that way too- it IS stressful! So if I only have a few, then less stress! I request them, but only on forms from publishers I have worked with in the past- I don’t have time for emails that NEVER get answered anyway!

  16. Yep, Yes, Yeah, Yh, YAS!

    Posting when I Want is a must for me and feels JUST SO GOOD and is that little less pressure. I really want to cut down ith socail media A LOT!

  17. This is such an amazing post, thank you so much for writing it. Blogging definitely brings a lot of stress I did not expect, but even if I still am a bit freaked out at times, I try to relax and enjoy blogging as much as I can without putting too much stress on myself, my blog posts and everything I do. It’s hard but I’m getting there slowly ahah. There are so many different things to keep up with : blog posts, comments, social media and reading ARCs. I’m trying to do things my way with a schedule, and relax whenever I want to, remind myself to take a breath once in a while and JUST LOVE IT AND DO WHATEVER I WANT ahah.

  18. Aw, I love this post!

    I’m glad I realized early on that I don’t necessarily have to stress myself out regarding blogging! I tried bookstagram for a while, then quit because it stressed me out. I decided to minimize two reviews a week to one because I just don’t like reviewing. Mini reviews are a good idea, and I might try that from now on as my reviewing style! I still get ARC envy, though; I can’t help that! 😂 But I have noticed that now, when a post doesn’t do as good as I thought it would, I’m not as upset as I would have been when I started out. I still get so many comments, likes, and page views that it’d be ridiculous to even care if ONE post doesn’t do spectacular! 😄

    • Thanks so much!! 😀 I am really happy that you were able to figure that out early on. I wish I had too. I still have days where I am stressed, but they’re much rarer now, thank goodness! I minimize reviews too, and I generally only review books that I got FOR review- and then I just enjoy “me” books and never speak of them again haha. ARC envy… I think EVERYONE has that from time to time, unless you’re some kind of unicorn who gets ALL the books 😉

  19. Oh, yeah, there are times when I’m like, “I’m pretty sure no one is going to care about this,” but screw it, because *I* care about it, so I post it anyway! And oddly enough, sometimes the things I think no one will care about end up getting lots of comments and people do seem to enjoy it, sometimes just because people like seeing other people be passionate about things, you know? And when in doubt, I just cram those things into my weekly updates instead of making a whole separate post.

    • That is a really good point! I think that people do kind of appreciate that you’re really passionate about stuff. And I am at the point where… do page views even matter in any way? I…. don’t think so? So now, it’s whatever. And I am SO much happier posting my nonsense 😀

  20. I’m with you on SO many of these!! I’ve really chilled out with my blogging stresses this last year or so too. And honestly it’s really really relieving?!? Like I used to freak out over getting “enough” comments (whatever that means anyway😂) and then I’d freak out if I didn’t get my goal and then I’d freak out trying to answer them. ENOUGH FREAKING CAIT, JUST GO SIT SOMEWHERE AND HAVE A CUPCAKE AND A NAP. So basically I’ve definitely limited myself…post 3 x a week and stop crying over everything.😂 It helps! I TOTALLY agree with you about mini reviews too. 😉 And blogging in one’s voice and for oneself is super important. We aren’t getting paid to do this and there are so many “invisible rules” around. Ugh they drive me crazy. WE SHALL ALL BE LOKI AND DO WHAT WE WANT.

    • YESSS Cait. It IS relieving, why didn’t we calm down sooner!? I used to do the same, and ironically, I was finally like “listen, you will never get Cait-level comments, to chill” bwhahah. And seriously- I would stress about getting ALL the comments, but then when I did… I would stress because I had no time to respond to them! So what the hell!? I am ignoring all rules from now on. Visible, invisible, shit someone made up… DONE. We WILL do what we want!

  21. I hope I can get to this point, and figure out what works for my blog and for me. Like, reviews are nonexistent on my blog, because I don’t know if I am able to not spoil things while reviewing them. Dude, while I don’t know much about The 100, I love your posts on the show in general. I like all your posts, honestly. I just need to comment more.

    • AWWW You are too sweet! Thank you!! And I hope you can get there too- but honestly, I think you will. It just takes time, and like, trial and error figuring out what works for you. I understand the struggle. and the comment struggle… UGH I feel you so much. I try so hard but like, I need to sleep and stuff. And then I feel guilty. But I am really trying not to 😉

  22. I feel like I also cared a lot more about ARCs in the past, but now I feel like they are vastly overrated? And also the fact that publishers just give them out to whoever, really has nothing to do with how many pageviews or how many posts you have. LIKE HAVE YOU SEEN ME? I get the most books when I post the less. What even is that.

    I like instagram. But I use it for myself and not to get a million followers. That’s only a side effect, if that even happens lol.

    I LOVE YOU SHANNON. I hope you get to post whatever you want. And I can assure you that that WILL HAPPEN. Because who actually cares about when or what you post anymore? Certainly none of my followers do lol.

    • Seriously Val, what IS that!? I seriously think it is completely random and arbitrary and I no longer have any fucks left to give. Fine, I won’t promote your book for free. Your loss. I like that you genuinely enjoy Instagram. That seems like a good reason to use it. Whereas when I used it, it was “fuck, I have to do this shit again”. That didn’t go well.

      I love you too Val ♥♥ I have been doing a pretty good job of posting whenever I want (except like, blog tours or something I guess haha) so hopefully I continue to be out of fucks to give!

  23. Mini reviews are such a blessing for me because I struggle to say a lot on some meh books or when I have a lot to review and not enough time to post them all, they are SUCH a huge life saver! I also find, like you said, posting when I want to be super relieving because at one point, I posted every day and it was so stressful and time consuming!

  24. Kel

    I think the thing that helped the most with blog stress was…finding a bigger source of stress, lol. Once upon a time I tried to post 6 times a week and take lots of pretty Instagram pictures and force myself to chat on Twitter when I really had nothing to say and/or didn’t feel like it. Now, I have a go-to excuse: law school. Oh no, I haven’t posted for 2 weeks! Law school. I haven’t posted on Instagram in a month! Law school. I haven’t read a new book for a while! La-la-la-law school! It worked wonders and destroyed almost any remaining guilt. (It also turned me into a different sort of zombie, but details.)

    Now, I post when and what I want. I reply to all comments, but they’re aren’t a ton, so that’s easy enough. I wouldn’t mind doing more Instagram posting (just started a small 5-6 day challenge), but I never spend more than 10-15 minutes on a photo. And ARC envy? Eh, it occasionally happens, but I remind myself that I’m incredibly picky, probably wouldn’t have loved it anyway and don’t have time (because law school). In all seriousness, I think I’ll finish the two eARCs I have and then focus on all the unread stuff on my shelves.

    I’m glad blogging is fun for you again, Shannon! Thanks for sharing this fun look at your process! Also, “I just like to do things later” too.

    • Oh my goodness, I am DYING, because that is SO true 😂 Law school is a VERY good reason- and I am sure ALL the stress! I think it is such a good thing though to think of it in that perspective- like, okay, blogging is really NOT worth all that stress and freaking out in the grand scheme of things. And I think I enjoy not having as many ARCs to read too! Though I am so picky that sometimes ARCs force me to read a book, and I like that haha. Hope law school is going well!

  25. This is the type of post I needed today! (I actually needed it a month ago but better late than never, right? LOL) I have been struggling with the blog or rather, writing book reviews. I feel like my reviews aren’t good enough at all. I feel like I need to follow a guideline that publishers will like and it’s so stressful! When it comes to books I get from authors, I tend to be myself and write whatever the hell I want. But when it’s a book sent by a publisher, I freak out and I have this need to write a perfect review which turns out to be not so perfect *struggles*. But this post just gave me life. I should write what I want because it is a hobby, not a job! Thank you for reminding me of that. Seriously <3 All the hugs and kisses to you!
    Genesis @ Latte Nights Reviews

    • Aww, I am so sorry you’re struggling too! I have had that publisher fear SO much, and then I decided… who even cares? Do they even READ them? I mean, I once sent a publisher a review in which I rated a book “shrugpony” so… All the hugs and kisses to you too, I hope you are able to make it more fun for yourself ♥♥♥

  26. This post is everything. I couldn’t agree more with everything you’ve just said. When I went to New Zealand last year for a month I was stressing about the fact that I would be absent from the blog but when I got out there I completely forgot about that stress and it was so freeing. Coming back from that trip made me remember that I’m blogging because I enjoy it and I should do things my way. There is no wrong way to blog and enjoying it is the most important part. Thank you for this post.

  27. I’m so happy for you! *sniff sniff* (I was about to say I was so proud of you but that sounded weird so yeah.) You know I haven’t been blogging nearly as long as you (a little over 2 years) but to be honest there is zip about blogging that has every stressed me out and very little that has caused me much concern. And the few things that did, I got over. I have a full time job that provides all the stress I could ever need. So I’m sure as hell not going to stress over freaking blogging. LOL This is my down time. This is my fun stuff. When you boil it down to the basics, it’s talking about books. With other people who like to talk about books. Booyah. Where’s the stress in that? 🙂 Yeah, maybe it’d be nice to post more than I do… but it’s probably not going to happen. So, okay. Few people probably care about my occasional That’s What He Said Thursday posts but I love them so oh well. No one has to read them or comment on them. I rarely care about ARC’s. The book is going to out eventually and I will read it eventually. I simply do not care about reading it “first.” And social media? For the most part I just can’t be bothered. Too much of a time suck and frankly I’d rather be reading. So, if all that put together means that I will forever be the tiniest speck in the wide world of Bloggerdom? Totally cool with that. Because I like what I do, I like the people I interact with. And that’s enough. No go forth and continue not to stress. =D

    • Aw thanks! I am seriously impressed that you have never caught the stress bug! I think that you have the key- remembering that it IS your down time is super important. I was kind of turning it into.. Idk, something way more serious than a hobby, and it was killing me! You seriously have THE best attitude about this whole thing. You’re right, at the end of the day, it is the people who are the best part anyway ♥♥

  28. Okay, I have ALMOST gotten to your level of zen with all of this, except for the commenting and replying thing, which I’m still weirdly anal about. But I totally agree on everything else (and I actually agree with you on the commenting in principle, just not in practice because I can’t manage to make myself let that go quite yet). I especially love your comments on the “how” because I have often thought about how random and unprofessional my blog sounds, but I don’t care (usually). My husband was testing out an Amazon product that turns blog posts into podcasts. It was hysterical to listen to my post in this automated, professional-sounding voice (imagine a professional voice saying “I love graphs. I just do.” Yeah, it just doesn’t work. LOL!).

    • The commenting thing was the hardest for me to let go of too. And honestly, I still haven’t *fully* let it go, though I don’t lose sleep over it either 😉 OMG that blog to podcast thing sounds SO FUNNY. I want one to read my The 100 posts. Like this super professional voice fangirling about Bellarke. Bwhahhaha. Dying!

  29. Fab post, Shannon! I’m really pleased to see you’re blogging the way you want to be blogging, because there’s no point in doing this if it’s no fun for the blogger – especially when so many bloggers are unpaid! I don’t think bloggers necessarily should be paid either, that’d be so hard to keep up with, but some bloggers essentially run very professional blogs, where they promote new books, completely free of charge and I don’t think any blogger should be made to feel like they’re not doing enough when we have real life to deal with, too. Those pesky responsibilities.

    I completely agree with all of these, and I can confirm that I definitely follow you because I love the way you blog and the way you talk about things – blogs are so much more fun to follow when they have their own sense of individuality. =)

  30. YES TO ALL OF THIS. I think the secret to blogging is just doing whatever makes you happy. Blogging is supposed to be a fun hobby, not a stressful job, so it’s no use trying to force yourself to do anything you don’t want to do. Thanks for sharing and, as always, fabulous post! <3

  31. This is such a great post! It is something I’m working on right now. The mini-reviews is a big thing for me right now with being so behind on posting reviews. I am trying to do my own writing, so I have to take my choice of what to spend time on. I also have kind of figured out that I’m probably never going to write the kind of reviews that get quoted for book covers. 🙁 So I’m not as worried about writing big long reviews. I do miss it though, because the way I wrote my reviews was the same way I would do a book talk for my students in my library to help them get interested in a book, and I don’t get to do those really at school anymore.

    One thing I’ve decided to also let go, is challenges. I just get all stressed when I’m not keeping up with them, so why do I keep signing up? They were great when I started to make sure I stayed on top of my blogging, but that’s not an issue anymore. Along with challenges comes the weekly memes. There are some I just love to do, the Wednesday posts, but since I don’t get to go and see everyone else’s posts like I used to, I feel bad participating other than just to share new books I’ve found. My Sunday and end of Month posts are really going by the wayside too.

    I’m trying to do better about commenting, but as my blog gets more and more followers, which is a very good thing, that often means I have more and more of them to reply to. So I’ve set a goal that unless they leave me a link to their blog, or it is someone I know I want to go check out, then I don’t always do any more than reply on my blog to their comment.

    • Thank you!! When you are trying to do your own writing, it is even harder for sure. Because the last thing you want to do after typing ALL the words is typing even MORE words haha. I also totally agree about challenges. I can’t do them because nope, all the stress. And I skip most memes now too, unless there;s a TTT that sounds especially interesting. I cut out the weekly recap ones too, they were SO much work, and a monthly one is just fine- and if I don’t do those I won’t be heartbroken either 😉

      And I feel you with the commenting thing. I get SO behind, and you’re right- you love to get more comments, but you still have a finite amount of time to work with, and it is HARD. And if they don’t leave you a way to comment back, then totally don’t worry about it! I am lucky that in WP it lets people leave their URLs, because I wouldn’t be searching either!

  32. I am in total agreement with you on this post we blog for fun. Unless you’ve somehow made a job out of it and it’s a source of income then there really is no need to let it make you lose sleep. Nothing other than books should make you lose sleep. I’m glad you’ve reached a point now where you can enjoy it again and you won’t be stressing yourself out over it. I mean, it’s inevitable we start to feel bad when it comes to blogging. We slack on things like replying to comments or visiting blogs or finishing that post which has been in your drafts going on 6 months now, but it should only be a passing worry.

    I like to think I’m a happy book blogger but really I’m just very good at not stressing about stuff. Sure, I probably should reply to blog comments sooner than I do but I make what time I can. I used to try and do it all in one go and it took an entire evening sometimes, now I try and set aside an hour a couple of nights a week because it’s way easier to reply to comments in small doses. Some may prefer a quicker response but that’s their problem. And when it comes to how I post stuff on my blog… it’s my blog I do what I want. I used to really overthink reviewing but in the past year I just sort of word vomit my thoughts onto a screen and tidy it up a bit before clicking post. I don’t want to spend hours trying to write things to impress others with my deep critical analysis of a book, it’s boring! My biggest one is not stressing when I don’t stick to my post routine, though. I’ve recently stopped having my posts ready 2 weeks in advance and I’m winging it posting what I have finished and it’s nice. Sure, it means I have to set time aside to clean up a post now rather than just scheduling it but I kind of prefer it.

    • YES totally agree! If someone wants to pay me, then super. Until then… this will be as random as I want! And YES- I agree with you so much about people who want faster comments back or whatever. Too bad, friends. I do not have all the time, and I am doing my very best. I am also impressed that you used to have all your posts done in advance! I pretty much am rushing at the last minute no matter what it is hahah. I say, whatever works! 😀

  33. I agree with so much of this! I mean, I try to blog regularly (I tend to write a bunch of posts at once, then schedule them), but I also try not to feel guilty if I don’t do it. And I post what I enjoy posting about. Because what is the point of blogging if you aren’t enjoying it? I don’t have Instagram (I know I should get around to making one), although I do like Twitter and use it regularly. For me, blogging is about the experience.

  34. Yes to all of this. I took an unexpected step away from blogging for about 3 months (just life stuff) and have finally been able to sit down and take stock of what I really WANT to do. It’s been good for me, and for my family. FWIW, I love reading your posts even if I don’t have a clue about the book or show. I just like the way you write. It’s very entertaining and fun. Also, I don’t expect anyone to return my comments (mostly I just talk to myself anyway) so there’s some pressure off you 🙂 I will even unclick the little “notify me of follow-up comments” so I won’t even know! ha ha

    • I have to tell you, your comment made my DAY. Maybe my week. Seriously, I cannot thank you enough for your kind words ♥♥♥ Of course, now you may never see this since you turned the notifications off 😉 But I am really glad that you have been able to reassess what you want to do with blogging too. And I hope that all is well in your life, too!

  35. I did most of this last year because otherwise I was on my way out. I’m SO much happier now though so I know it was the right thing to do.

    I think we put more pressure on ourselves. Most people don’t expect us to be super bloggers yet we feel guilty.

    For What It’s Worth

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