Book Blogger Survey
Candace (Beth Fish Reads) recently wrote an excellent post in honor of her 5th anniversary as a book blogger. It led to a great Twitter discussion about just what brings on the BBBs and whether the longevity of one’s blog plays a role. As a result of this conversation, Kim (Sophisticated Dorkiness), Shannon (River City Reading), and I decided that it would make sense to build a survey to discover if there are any connections between the way book bloggers feel about their craft and factors such as the age of their blog, their other responsibilities, etc. We’re interested in the thoughts of active book bloggers as well as those who have moved on. We want to know what drives you to blog and what drives you away. Through Kim and Shannon’s hard work and dedication (individually my follow through is for sh*t these days), the survey has gone live. I would like to personally invite all book bloggers – new, experienced, or former – to share your thoughts, feelings, and opinions. We will be publishing the results after they’ve been collected and reviewed.
My Blogging State of Mind
Initially I thought I’d been experiencing the book blogging blahs (hereafter BBBs) for about six months, making this the longest stretch of my blogging career. I’ve added things like Monday Minis and Soon to be Read Saturdays in an attempt to change things up a bit. I’ve enjoyed having those two small effort, regularly scheduled posts and have soldiered on, trying not to think about it more than anything else. Despite the longevity, I’ve been blogging enough to know that this comes with the territory and that I’m hardly alone in my feelings when I have them.
Candace’s anniversary post reaffirmed the fact that “we’re in this together.” It has also gotten me to reflect more deeply about my blog. I’ve really been pretty deeply into BBBs for a good year now. For a short while my Baby, It’s Cold Outside feature reinvigorated me in December, but by the middle of the month I was feeling tapped out. As much as I love narrators, putting myself in a position where I was posting unique content almost every day for a month broke my blogging spirit. It stopped being fun and started feeling like an exhausting second job and that feeling hasn’t let up.
For the longest time, this blog energized me and excited my creativity. That simply isn’t the case anymore. While I will forever enjoy interaction with the friends I’ve made as a result of blogging, I’m not having fun with Literate Housewife. I don’t feel driven to write or to explore other avenues with my blog. Right now my feeling is why blog when my time on Twitter or Facebook gives me the same energy that blogging once did?
While this paints a rather bleak picture of the state of my blogging mentality, there are things that still excite me as a book blogger. Bloggers Recommend tops the list. More than anything else this year, BR is an opportunity that has changed my outlook on reviewing. It was the genesis of my Monday Minis feature. It allows me to highlight in 50ish words or less an upcoming release that I loved. It challenges me to find just the right book each month. My DNF rate has gone way up, but this doesn’t distress me in the least. It’s been freeing in just the right way. My mission when reading for BR is to find books I’d whole-heartedly recommend. Books that don’t fit simply don’t fit. I move on.
So what do I want to read when I’m not on the hunt for my next recommendation for the Bloggers Recommend newsletter? The answer, as I discovered last month, is not a review copy or another ARC. Receiving ARCs and review copies from publishers or publicists has been an incredible opportunity and experience. I can still remember the day my first ever ARC, The Monsters of Templeton by Lauren Groff, arrived in the mail. Throughout my time of receiving and accepting pitches and participating on blog tours I’ve been exposed to so many wonderful books. I have rarely if ever felt any direct pressure from anyone in the industry, but as my eyes are bigger than my reading stomach, I’ve often struggled under the weight of this particular opportunity. Some of the best advice I’ve ever received in this regard is to accept pitched books for consideration and not with a promise to review. Despite this, my time as a regular reviewer of ARCs, review copies, and blog tour requests has come to an end.
While talking about this with my husband, he reminded me again of my mission when I first started blogging. Then my blog title was 52 Books or Bust and 52 books a year was my simple goal. I read the books on my shelves or those I found at the library. It made me happy then and there is something to be said for getting back to basics. Along the way, I am hoping to explore blogging about other topics and, as Michelle suggested, put a little more housewife into Literate Housewife.
While I feel like it would be relatively easy and painless for me to hang up the Closed sign, I’m not quite ready to throw in the towel on Literate Housewife. My 7th anniversary as a book blogger is coming up in January and I’m too bullheaded to quit this close to a milestone. It does make me wonder if there isn’t a seven year itch for blogging just as there can be for marriage, which leads me back to the Book Blogger Survey. I’ve shared my thoughts and feelings about blogging right now. Won’t you?