Friends, warmest of welcome backs to The Pond Gets Loud – a ongoing feature where book bloggers share their experiences. The aim of this series is to provide book bloggers – including Booktubers, Bookstagrammers, and so on – an opportunity to share and be more open with their experiences.
Today is the third post of the current The Pond Gets Loud series that celebrates and raises awareness of the incredible work that book bloggers do by sharing their candid stories of what the average week of being a book blogger looks like. Book blogging can be a huge and significant commitment for some bloggers, and sometimes it feels like no one really understands the amount of work we put in. Although what instigated this event took place a few weeks ago now (for more context, read this post), I still believe it’s important to share and discuss the good work that bloggers do. Book blogging can be really lonely and can feel like you are shouting into a void, so I hope that reading these accounts will make book bloggers feel less alone.
THE AIM OF THIS SERIES
The following is what I hope that you will take away from today’s post:
- A book blogger’s time is not limited to writing book reviews. Book blogging also involves creating graphics, formatting, promoting ourselves and books on social media, and reading the books that we promote and review.
- Book bloggers not only do this for free, but at their own expense. Consider: costs of purchasing books, costs of hosting domains (book bloggers), costs of decorations and props (bookstagrammers), costs of recording equipment (booktubers), and unquantifiable costs, such as time and energy.
- Book bloggers accept the costs of book blogging because most book bloggers love what they do, love sharing books with others, love promoting books.
For the last two weeks, I have invited eight book bloggers to the Pond to share their experiences of how they balance blogging and everything else in their life. Every single response has been illuminating, and I continue to be humbled by all the responses that I have read. Thank you again to the eight wonderful bloggers who shared their experiences last week and the week before! You are all amazing.
Today’s post is the third out of five post of the Balancing Book Blogging and Life series. So without further ado, here are eight more responses from eight brilliant and valuable voices within the book blogging community.
Please support these book bloggers and what they have to say today, and maybe give their blogs a visit, a like, or a comment! They absolutely deserve it.
Nox, book blogger (6 months) from Nox Reads
Hi! My name is Sam, but I go by “Nox”. My blog is titled Nox Reads and I’ve been actively blogging for six months! I’m a nineteen years old college student who is studying to be an English teacher. I have a job as a secretary at an auto body shop on the weekend.
I’ve loved reading since I was little. Reading was an escape for me, as cliche as it sounds. I was bullied and it was nice to be able to hide from the outside world.
I hit a reading slump in high school, and once I started reading again I discovered that I was missing out on a community of book lovers and some interesting books, so I realized I have a bit of catching up to do.
I started Nox Reads as a place to share my thoughts with others. I didn’t (and to be honest, still don’t) expect others to care (blame it on the insecurities), but I just needed to get it out there. Blogging is a way to be a part of myself without having to reveal too much, like what I look like and other things that I have been judged for.
As a student, I go to school Monday to Thursday. I don’t have my drivers license, so I take two buses to and from school. My commute averages about 3.5-4 hours each school day. From 11 to 4 I’m usually at school, with classes scattered throughout the day. Fridays I work from around 1 to 5, and Saturdays I work from 9:30 to 12 (I have a flexible work schedule so it varies). Because of this, I mainly blog at night on the weekends. It can be challenging to find the time or motivation to blog. As I said, sometimes it feels like nobody cares what I’m posting. Who’s actually going to read this? Why would they? But blogging gives me an outlet, a chance to100% geek out about something I love. I can ramble on about how much I love the Raven Cycle series, or rant about how much I hate Romeo and Juliet. Things that I do in my “real life” but feel ignored about.
On average I spend about 10 hours a week reading or blogging. I’ve definitely panicked because I haven’t had a post ready and I want to post at least once a week. It feels like I’d be failing or letting someone down if I don’t, which is weird when considering that I also have several moments of doubting that anyone reads it. The human mind is a strange thing, isn’t it? I still have rough days, which is why my blog has never really had a set posting schedule. Most times I can get myself to write a post, but there are some where I’m just too tired, for the lack of a better word. I don’t have the energy to do it.
I would love for authors to understand that book bloggers are their biggest supporters. So many of the books that I’ve read, I’ve found from the bookish community. I’ve discovered different books that I normally wouldn’t because of book bloggers.
Book bloggers put so much love into their blogs. It’s hard to balance everything, but there’s something inside them that makes them want to. To have your efforts shoved to the side hurts. Bloggers shouldn’t have to feel scared to put up negative reviews (although yes, tagging authors in them is rude and should not be done, but that’s a whole other can of worms). Bloggers shouldn’t be under-appreciated.
Here’s my advice for those who are/want to become book bloggers.
- Take mental health breaks. If blogging makes you feel better then by all means blog away, but if not, then it shouldn’t be something you force yourself to do.
- You don’t have to talk about the most popular books if you don’t want to. Your blog is meant for you, so you blog about what you want.
- It’s okay not to know what you want your theme/aesthetic/brand to be. Media puts pressure on having a brand, and those probably do help, but if you’re unsure then that’s okay too. Try stuff out and see what you like.
- Share as much as YOU want to. This is the (second) most important one. You don’t need to post 4 days a week or every week if you don’t want to. If there are certain things about a book that you don’t want to share then don’t. It’s up to you. And this isn’t just about books. I’m just starting to be more open with my mental health struggles on my blog, and it’s taken me a while to start. You don’t have to share anything, ANYTHING, that you don’t feel comfortable sharing. It’s why I usually go by Nox. It’s what makes me comfortable. Do what makes YOU comfortable.
- Find other book bloggers. I’m in a group with some absolutely amazing bloggers, and they’re supportive and kind. Find other bookish people out there. Share your posts, make some friends.
- Don’t focus too much on the numbers. Blogging is hard. The statistics aren’t always the most uplifting. The point is to share your thoughts, not to make it about the numbers.
- By all means, be and enjoy yourself. This is the actual most important piece of advice. I was so scared to be myself when I started, but I realized that someone out there will like who I am, and most importantly, I like blogging as who I am. Blogging is much more fun when I don’t pretend to be someone else. It’s easier said than done, but it’s definitely worth it.
And that, dear readers, is all I have for you. There are going to be tough days, but stick it out. And if you would like a bookish friend, I’m always in need of one! You’ve got this!
Elin, book blogger (4 months) from Annotated Paperbacks
My name is Elin, and I’m blogging over at Annotated Paperbacks. This isn’t my first attempt at blogging, but it is the one I feel the most happy with and that I think I’ll actually stick with. I’ve had this blog since September 2018, so four months.
I haven’t always loved reading. I first got into reading in my early teens, and I think a big part of why I fell for it so hard was because of my age. So much happens in your teens, and I always felt a bit on the outside and like I experienced everything after everyone else. Reading about all these teens going on grand adventures with their friends and defeating evil forces, it comforted me. Now I’m older and I’ve grown a lot as a person and as a reader, but I still love stories in general. With or without grand adventures and evil forces.
I want to help other people find those stories that will make their heart flutter and help them through hard times, and talk about books in general. A book blog is a great way to do that. I want to help out and give something back to the community that has helped me so much throughout the years.
I work full time, and I have about an hour commute to my job. With waiting for trains and busses, and possible (read: very common) delays, I’m away about 11-12 hours a day, Monday-Friday. This doesn’t leave much time for reading or blogging after work, as that time is mostly spent eating dinner and catching up with family before going to bed. I also have dance classes after work every Thursday, so Thursdays I basically come home and go straight to bed. Weekends are free most weeks, though.
I’m sometimes able to steal an hour or so between coming home from work and going to bed to browse blogs or work on a post of my own, but most weeks I don’t have the time or energy during the work week. Because of this I do most of my blogging during the weekend. Problem is, most other things I want to do has to happen during the weekend too – reading books and comics, catching up on shows, meeting up with friends, visiting my grandparents. I find it very difficult to juggle everything and find time to write.
I get a lot of my reading done during my commute to and from work, and I’ve started bringing my iPad with me so I can write as well. The downside is this cuts into my reading time. I can’t finish and post anything on my iPad during my train rides, but I can do a lot of my rough writing and then make it look more presentable when I’m home. When I do find time to blog during the weekends, I’ve found that I’m the most productive in the morning. I often get my laptop and start working in bed first thing when I wake up. It doesn’t sound very healthy as I type it out like this, but it’s what works best for me.
With spending about two hours a day, five days a week, reading and blogging on public transport, plus a couple of hours during the weekend, I’d say I spend maybe 13-15 hours on it a week, give or take. If I’m listening to an audiobook that week, the number is going to go up a lot, since I can listen to those way more often than I can actually sit down and read physical books.
So far I’ve never stayed up too late and lost sleep because of my blog, which I’m really grateful for and something I’m very strict on myself about. I know that I really need my sleep and while I enjoy blogging and would love to be able to spend more time doing it, I will not let myself sacrifice sleep for it. I think a big part of why I don’t really feel that pressure is because my blog isn’t very big, but I wish no one, regardless of blog size, had to lose sleep because of pressure to post on time.
I haven’t been doing this for long enough to have something put me off or want me to give up blogging yet, and while I’m sure that day will come I hope it takes a long time. It is getting old, seeing publishing and authors dismissing bloggers on twitter so often, but I’m trying not to let it get to me. I think if I’d been blogging for longer than I currently have it’d wear on me more than it does.
I think in the end we have to support each other, because we do more work and put so much more of ourselves into this than people realise. I feel like I do the bare minimum keeping my blog active, and I have a really difficult time just doing that sometimes. There are so many people who upload more than me, who have so many more responsibilities than me, and somehow they still run dedicated book blogs. It’s important that we show each other that the work we do is important and that it pays off. Visit each others blogs, like and comment, definitely let people know if they inspired you to pick up their favourite read. It’s easy to forget, when you’re just working your ass off to get up a new post, so hearing it from someone else every once in a while really helps. And if you are a small, struggling book blogger with barely any traffic, like me, try to remember to take a step back and breathe. Your work will pay off, and in the meantime you’re doing something you love.
Harker, book blogger (3.5 years) from The Hermit Librarian
Hello. My name is Harker (they/them pronouns). I’ve been blogging as The Hermit Librarian for a little over three years (March 2019 will be 3 ½ years). I originally started blogging because I fell in love with BookTube. I don’t have many people that I talk to about books in real life, so when I found out about that corner of YouTube, it was a blessing. After awhile I wanted to do something like that (talking about my favorite books, discussions, tags) but I’m not comfortable in front of a camera. I liked writing well enough, so I looked into blogging & started out on Blogger before moving to WordPress where I’ve been for the last two years.
Reading is something I love to do for a few basic reasons (time passing, that sort of thing). Primarily it’s a form of escapism. I live in a small town that is particularly conservative and before I was able to find friend and communicate online, finding myself a way out was only possible in books. Whether I’m reading a contemporary, sci-fi, or adventure story, being able to go into the pages of a story that wasn’t my own got me through some tough times and continues to do so to this day.
Blogging allowed me to convey my thoughts about what I read. I mentioned earlier how I don’t have many real life friends to talk to about the books I read. My blog allows me to talk as much as I like about whatever I’ve just read, espouse whatever theories I’ve come up with, and post the questions I may have come up with as I traverse fictional landscapes..
Getting through the tough times of blogging can be hard under the best of circumstances. Doing so when you’re dealing with anxiety and depression on top of it is an even more complex situation. There are times when I get impostor syndrome because I feel so small compared to the perceived success of other blogs. Mostly dealing with these feelings is recognizing them and persevering through sheer endurance. I may still hurt, but over time it’s gotten to a kind of numbness that I can handle. I try to make sure that it stays at a level that’s manageable.
There was a time last year, though, where I had a bit of a health crisis that necessitated taking a hiatus. Making that decision was hard to do, but realizing where my health was and what pushing myself past that point with blogging and reading would do made me decide that a hiatus would be the best course of action. If I hadn’t, neither of those activities would be what I enjoy today.
My blog is something I hold onto despite all these challenges because I want to support an open & honest venue for sharing stories; I want to reach the readers that will be impacted by them; I want to help authors by spreading the word about the wonderfully diverse worlds they create. There’s also a personal sense of obligation to complete my backlog of TBR books, so even if things pile up (besides books) I tend to end up stressing and trying to fit in the books even if blogging isn’t the most important thing.
A normal week consists of work and looking after my family. Fluctuating retail hours, looking after a primary school aged son (including homework,playing, etc), house chores, it builds up. Blogging and reading are both usually done one of two times: late at night (turning into early morning) or during the day when I’m not working/during school hours. This is a general guideline, but the late hours are most typical because there’s less chance that something will come up to distract me from all that goes into blogging (plus I tend to be more relaxed at night). It can still be hard to manage, especially if posts have piled up, because my work shifts start at 7 a.m., so figuring out how to combine my best blogging hours and my work hours is stressful. Sometimes it just happens that I don’t get much sleep (< 5 hrs.)
Not every day gets the same time allotment for reading/blogging work. Some days are 6-7 hrs, some 7-8 hrs, and others vary from 3-5 hours. At the outside that’s 40 hours/week. I’m lucky that I can listen to audiobooks while at work which helps a lot.
I said earlier I’ve had to sacrifice sleep to get something blog related done. It’s happened occasionally because the deadline for a requested project was short and I needed get the reading finished quickly, then write a post as well. Other times real life events have come up, so I’ve had real life + the combo (all-night/blog post). I feel the pressure to do this because I dislike not meeting deadlines for tours or special projects, regardless of what’s happening in real life. I know I may feel adverse effects the next day, but the thought of disappointing tour organizers or the author who’s book I’m promoting and possibly being blacklisted from future tours makes me feel anxious, so I stay up and get the work done.
I don’t think that there’s a lot of understanding outside of the immediate book community as to how much work it all takes, whatever medium you’re talking about. The work may be worth it to us, but that doesn’t make it less taxing. It would be great to be acknowledged, whether it’s something simple as RTing a review link on Twitter or commenting on a blog post.
There have been times when I’ve felt pretty discouraged about being a book blogger, but I still love reading and talking about books. The Hermit Librarian is my outlet. Whatever your channel, your outlet, your Insta, they’re your thoughts: rants, raves, lists, favorite quotes, all of it is you!
Don’t let the haters get you down and if all else fails, do it out of sheer spite. 🙂
Ash, book blogger (19 months) from Ink Trails
Hi! My name’s Ash and I run a blog called InkTrails that I started in July of 2017.
I love reading for too many reasons to coherently talk about but it’s primarily because I love learning and books are always there when I need them. I love falling into worlds and being completely entranced in scenes and characters. It’s my true passion. I love blogging, on the other hand, because I never had a person in my actual life that got books like I got books. I don’t have friends that read as much as I do, though they do all listen to my book ramblings. I started my blog, though, because I wanted to talk about books with people and for them to answer back just as voraciously. The closest thing I have to a “tough time” with blogging is when I’m in a reading slump. When that happens, I will either take a break, or power through it. Usually when I’m actually going through tough times in life, I run to blogging, not away. It’s a comfort to me; something I can always come back to.
I post at least five times per week, Tuesday through Friday, with two posts going up on Fridays but sometimes I post more. I’m also a student in advanced courses, a dancer, and a worker. I was busy before my blog, but after, free time is something I embrace when I can afford it. But I’ve always thrived on being busy and so it doesn’t really bother me. Blogging basically fits in wherever it can. I plan posts during downtime in my classes, between/during them, and during my lunch break. When I get home and am finished with my other responsibilities, I blog. The work that I don’t get down during the week, I finish on the weekends.
During an average week, I read at least one book that’s usually between 350-500 pages, sometimes more. Some weeks, if I have more downtime than usual, I begin reading another novel. Reading say, a 500 page book, takes me around 5 hours. I’ve been blessed to be capable of reading relatively quick. So adding those 5 hours on top of planning posts, writing them, etc., I probably spend an average of 10 hours a week doing blog related activities.
I’ve definitely lost sleep because I have to get a post ready! I haven’t cancelled any plans, though. Usually if I am behind, I’ll stay up into the night until I’m prepared for the next day.
The people around me are generally pretty supportive of my blog but there have been some who can be a little rude about it. That doesn’t really bother me though because I know what blogging and books mean to me. And I also know that a lot of other people feel the same way I do, so talking with them definitely helps.
As a blogger, my favorite things to see are comments. I love reading people’s thoughts on my posts! Consistently liking and sharing posts is also really encouraging. Just being interactive with your favorite bloggers brings a lot of joy into their lives — I say this from experience.
If you are a blogger who is feeling a little discouraged, talk to some blogging friends you have. And if you don’t have any, my email is always open for you. Shoot me an email (you can find my address on my blog), comment on a post, or DM me on twitter (@iinktrailss) if you ever need to talk. You aren’t alone in this crazy ride, I promise.
Kevin, book blogger (7 years) from Bookevin
I am Kevin of Bookevin and it’s been almost 7 years since I started blogging. However, I only started blogging about YA books in 2015. I used to blog about women’s fiction and romance books from 2012-2015.
Hand on heart, I started blogging because I enjoy reading and writing and the best way for me to do so is by practising my writing through the form of blogging and reviewing books I’ve read. Blogging has always been a hobby of mine and the feeling of sharing my thoughts on books that are worth reading with other readers is priceless. Upon joining the blogging community, I feel like it’s a space where I can share the books I have enjoyed, find like-minded people to talk books with and get recommendations from other bloggers I follow.
I work a full-time job at a PR firm, Monday to Friday, 9am-6pm. So the only time I get to read on weekdays is during my daily commute on the train. Most days, I am too wiped out to read or blog when I get home. Weekends are reserved for family time and spent reading in my room and it’s probably the only time I have to blog, if I am not feeling too burned out.
I try to blog whenever I am free but it’s not easy since most of my blog posts are reviews and if I don’t read, I can’t write reviews. Before I started my job, I used to blog in between classes when I was in university, but these days, I don’t have the time to do so. If I am in the mood to blog, I will usually blog at night before I head to bed. At times, I have to sacrifice my reading time to blog. Perhaps I should venture into writing discussion posts or mix things around on my blog. Hit me up if you have any suggestions!
On weekdays, I usually read about 2 hours a day since I spend about that amount of time commuting between my home and office. As for blogging, I don’t really have a set amount of time where I usually spend on blogging but it varies, if I am feeling inspired to write, I can finish a draft of a review in an hour or so. However, what I usually do is, I take a long nap after dinner so I would be more refreshed and energised to blog in the middle of the night. I usually do this whenever I feel really exhausted from a long day of work. Personally, I don’t condone this because it does mess up one’s biological clock but my sleeping patterns are irregular. That being said, I do most of my blogging and reading in the wee of hours of the morning.
These days, I don’t really dedicate much time to blogging since I barely have time to do anything else! However, there will always be the pressure of posting reviews by publication dates or within a time frame of receiving the review copy or ARC.
I started off blogging because I really enjoyed writing and I still do, but it’s become a bit of a side job? Sure, it is great to have the opportunity to read ARCs and share my thoughts on them. It feels amazing to have someone value your opinion as a blogger and it’s a wonderful feeling when someone tells you that they picked up a book after reading your review, but there were times when I just really wanted to quit because blogging is hard work. The hours spent writing a post, creating graphics, researching, checking with other bloggers on details and finalising everything. Sure, I do find enjoyment in blogging but some days I feel like it’s a thankless job.
The best thing about blogging isn’t just about having a platform to share your thoughts and recommendations. It’s the community. I have met so many wonderful and friendly bloggers online and I do consider some of them as my friends! (Like you, CW jie!)
I guess in a way, we bloggers can start off by being supportive towards each other. Don’t treat blogging as a competition because in the end of the day, being in the blogging community is to be among family and friends and we are bonded by our love for books. One of my favourite bloggers is Marie of Drizzle & Hurricane Books because she’s incredibly supportive and she would take the time of the day to visit blogs and show her support. I strive to follow her footsteps and she brings a ray of sunshine whenever she drops by my blog.
I just want to thank bloggers and other book influencers who have welcomed me in the community and made me feel included. You are all stars and I am so thankful for all the hard work and effort everyone has put into blogging and doing what they do. Keep up the good work and let’s read and blog more!
Marie, book blogger (4 years) from Drizzle and Hurricane Books
Hello CW and thank you so much for having me! 🙂 I’m Marie, 20-something book blogger, travel lover, tea-drinker, chocolate lover and occasionally writer. I’m the main blogger at Drizzle & Hurricane Books. I’ve been blogging for a little bit more than 4 years now.
I could ramble on for days about why I love book blogging, but I’m going to keep it short: for the love of books and what they bring me every single day and for the love of being part of such a passionate community. Despite the struggles and complications and exhausting feeling that I’m not enough, at times, I always find it all worth it again for the love of books 🙂
I am working full-time (39 hours per week), from Monday to Friday. I have a 2-hours commute to work, too. Fitting blogging into this daily life is, well, it is complicated at times.
I take time to work on my blog every day, I make it fit into my routine. It’s not always easy, because between working full-time and handling life on the side, too, sometimes it’s challenging to make the time to blog and it’s tiring, too. Yet I always find a little bit of time to keep on going, because I’m passionate about it. It is challenging and sometimes I’m exhausted and don’t feel like doing it. It takes a lot of time and energy, especially after long days, but I always find it rewarding when I do blog work 🙂
If I am considering the time I spend blogging, here is what an average week looks like:
- On weekdays, I spend around 2 hours every evening doing blogging things: blog-hopping mostly, answering to comments.
- On weekends, I spend around 10 hours blogging: mostly writing and scheduling blog posts for the upcoming week, taking pictures or making graphics for each of them, as well as blog-hopping, interacting with the community and answering to comments, too.
- On weekdays, I spend approximately 1h30 – 2h reading, on my commute to and from work and during my lunch break.
- On the weekend, it depends, but I would say I spend approximately 1h, 1h30 reading.
That would make a total of around 22 hours blogging per week (a number that may grow depending on my current projects) and around 12 hours reading per week. This may vary depending on life events, obviously, but in my regular routine, that’s the gist of it all. If you add it all together, it is around 34 hours per week spent on book blogging and reading. This is not counting the time spent on twitter with my book blogger cap on and promoting books there, too – if I added this, too, we would easily be at 44 hours per week.
If blogging takes me a whole lot of time, I haven’t lost any sleep over blogging, but I have definitely felt pressure about getting content written, getting things done, participating in the community and so on. It is a fear of my part though of missing out on things, on not feeling part of the community and so on. I have felt the pressure to read the relevant books, to boost them “well”, to somehow fit it all in in order for me to “make it” and feel seen and relevant as a book blogger for the community and for the publishing side of it all, too.
The recent dialogues going on the twitter-sphere about book bloggers, their work, ARCs and everything else has made me feel sad and tired. I feel like book bloggers aren’t as recognized, especially compared to booktubers and bookstagrammers. I get that they might have a better reach, because video and pictures are more popular than reading blog posts, from what I’ve noticed, yet book bloggers work hard on their blog posts, too and everything else and I wish they were put on the same level as these other kind of book influencers, sometimes I feel like they’re not. I also often feel like people don’t realize the amount of work that goes into a blog and the amount of HOURS it takes. I wrote above how many hours I spend on blogging, it’s almost like a full-time job alongside my full-time job. It is a hobby, I am not paid at all and I love doing it, but I feel like we lack the recognition for it and sometimes the support, too and it makes me feel worthless at times. It’s also a reason why I’m always trying my best to support bloggers as much as I can 🙂
I actually wrote two blog posts about supporting book bloggers and international book bloggers, which you can check out right here, listing all the ways you can support us.
- Supporting Book Bloggers : https://drizzleandhurricanebooks.com/2018/02/14/why-and-how-you-should-support-book-bloggers/
- Supporting International Book Bloggers : https://drizzleandhurricanebooks.com/2018/08/08/support-international-book-bloggers/
Book bloggers work HARD and most importantly, pour our hearts into what we do. Respecting our work, our time spent on this hobby and recognizing it, too, would be incredible. Honestly, a word that you appreciate our work, sharing our posts we work very hard on, taking some time to thank us already go a long, long way. Use book depository/amazon/wordery affiliate links, because they don’t cost you anything more. Support book bloggers and leave them a tip on their Ko-Fi page if you can. Appreciate book bloggers like book bloggers appreciate books ❤
Erica, book blogger (15 months) from Living A Hundred Lives
Hi, I’m Erica and I blog about books at Living a Hundred Lives. I’ve been blogging since November 2017.
I ‘ve been reading since I was on my 6th grade. It was because my best friend that time recommended a book and I enjoyed it. The next thing I know, I’ve been looking for more books to read. I love how I can go to different adventures while holding a book, hence, the blog name.
Starting a book blog was a random thing for me. I started browsing instagram for bookstagram posts. And I figured, I want to do that too. I want to celebrate my love for books. I want my own space to talk about books because I don’t have friends who loves books as much as I do. By looking back, I know that starting my blog was one of the best decisions I’ve made. It absolutely helped me to appreciate books more, engage in discussions and interact with other people. I made friends.
I’ve been on unplanned hiatus and I admit I don’t have a consistent posting schedule. I’m still studying and I’m on my last term of Uni. It’s honestly very hard to juggle everything because I still have responsibilities at home. Ever since I started my 4th year in college, I was busier than ever. I started writing my thesis, I had a system to develop. I can’t even sit to relax. I ended up having a hiatus on my blog and only posted because of some blog tours I’ve signed up for. I actually wasn’t able to read much at that time too. Finishing a book was a miracle for me.
Then I started my internship, I was fully loaded. I was always tired. Then I thought of shutting down the blog for good because what would happen if I were to graduate and start working? I wouldn’t have that much time and would maybe post less than my busy days at school and internship. But I can’t bring myself to do it. I love my blog. I love blogging. I love what I’m doing even if I don’t get that much views or likes from it. I enjoy having that personalized space where I talk about books and promote what I love.
Now, I’ve been trying so hard to get back up and have a productive blogging year. The whole time I’ve been blogging, I guess there were times that I stayed up late. That happens especially when I haven’t posted in a long while and I feel the need to publish a post as soon as possible. There are times that I do it because I don’t want to be left out. Honestly, blogging is a bit tricky. Sometimes, you have to follow the trend, talk about new books. That’s a little exhausting. And for bloggers who don’t have that much time to browse social media, keep track of what’s in, well, it sometimes feel that you’re left out.
With the issue about bloggers and authors surfacing, I was really disappointed. Blogging is not a piece of cake. Writing isn’t just done in a snap especially if you post a lot of reviews. You have to read the book first, analyze then come up with ideas on how you can express what you think/felt about what you just read. That’s draining when you don’t have that much time (working, busy in school, etc). I once reviewed a book for an author and he sort of questioned why I think a part of the book was too fast. From him, it sounded like I was blaming him for writing it that way. And that got on my nerves a little bit. Because hey, that’s what I think of it, That’s what came in to me while I was reading it. But I know this isn’t comparable to what happened to other bloggers who were harassed by authors because of negative reviews. But back with the issue, blogging takes a lot of time and it hurts me that some think that it’s just something you can do in a few minutes. Imagine if you have work and your only free time is when you get home. You’re tired and you just want to rest but then, you remember your blogging responsibilities.
And it sucks sometimes especially for a blogger like me, I don’t post that much stuff. I don’t get that much view, likes, comments, etc. That’s pretty okay with me because all that matters is I love what I’m doing. It’s a place where I can be my total self. Blogging doesn’t get me paid but it makes me happy. I enjoy promoting books I love and sharing my thoughts to other readers. Just a simple comment makes my heart happy. The best feelings are when someone tells you they love how you write your posts, or when someone’s looking forward for a certain book because of a review you posted.
I just want to remind everyone who’s having doubts on whether they should continue what they’re doing, remember why you started in the first place. If what you do makes you happy, then keep doing it.
Kayla, book blogger (3 years) from Kayla Reads and Reviews
Hi! My name is Kayla, I run Kayla Reads and Reviews and I have been blogging for three years now.
I love being a blogger and reading because it gives me a way to escape from the everyday, I can talk about books with other people who love them as much as I do. Blogging can be hard but at the end of the day I remind myself that the reason I started this blog was because I love reading and want to help others discover the books they wouldn’t know about otherwise.
An average week for me is going to school every day, I am a college student in NYC studying education. But now, my average week is student teaching in an elementary school classroom every day and going to graduate school once a week. I work for my university book sale that happens in February and I am a mentor for a youth organization, both of these are things I am very passionate about. My schedule is pretty crazy, but I try to blog whenever I have time to.
Usually I pre-blog and will write weeks worth of blog posts during my vacation and then will post them every day. I spend more time bookstagramming because I find that easier to be done when I am still somewhat swamped with work, but I do need to work on engaging on others posts better. I think on average I spend about eight hours reading and blogging combined, unfortunately my schedule doesn’t lend itself to more than that.
Thankfully during my blogging experience, I haven’t felt extremely stressed by deadlines, there was one time I was part of a blog tour that I had been behind schedule and unfortunately wasn’t able to finish the book by the time my tour post was due. Even though I didn’t finish the book, I was able to have a post up on time but I did learn a lot about time management from that experience.
Book blogging is hard, much harder than I ever thought it would be. I have found that blogging sometimes becomes a competition and others don’t seem to understand the reasoning behind it. I think as a book blogging community we need to work on is promoting each other and helping smaller accounts grow. I think we as a community need to support each other.
Blogging is not easy, no matter what other people may tell you and know that you are doing a great job. Don’t give up because this is something you love.
THANK YOU AGAIN FOR LISTENING
Thank you so so much for taking the time to read these bloggers’ stories, friends. Thank you for hearing them out, and for listening to what they have to say.
My biggest and sincerest thanks, however, to all the book bloggers who contributed this week. I could not have done this without you! Please take a moment to check out their blogs and have a look at the incredible work that they do:
- Nox from Nox Reads
- Elin from Annotated Paperbacks
- Harker from The Hermit Librarian
- Ash from Ink Trails
- Kevin from Bookevin
- Marie from Drizzle and Hurricane Books
- Erica from Living A Hundred Lives
- Kayla from Kayla Reads and Reviews
Once again, thank you all so much for joining me today and reading these stories. It’s my hope that with greater awareness of what these incredible book bloggers do, we can do better to help each other and be more supportive of each other moving forward. As these book bloggers have said, it’s the small things that count – so drop by their blogs today, like a post, read their review, and leave a small comment!
Want to read the other parts of the ‘Balancing Book Blogging and Life’ series? Here are the other posts: