Hi folks. As you can see I still can’t muster up the energy to write a review so I’m here with the rare rambling discussion post instead. Today I want to chat about the expectations we put on ourselves as book bloggers.
For the vast majority of us book bloggers out there, this is a hobby. We’re not in this for money, this isn’t a job. Sometimes we might get free books and that’s always nice but those free books also come with their own set of pressures and expectations. Many of us invest a lot of time and sometimes our own money (web hosting, word press, graphics, etc) into this ‘hobby’. My husband likes to make fun of me often saying ‘only you would get a hobby that is just like work’. But it’s true, this is a hobby that can come with a lot of work to it so to keep up with it you really have to put your heart and soul into it. And when you put so much of yourself into something, spend so much time on it, you set certain expectations for yourself–otherwise all that work can feel kind of like a waste? No one likes to feel like they’re wasting their time.
I can’t speak for all bloggers, but I know the expectations I put on myself. I love growing my audience because that means meeting and interacting with new book friends. The work that goes into that is, however, immense. It seems like the minute you miss a post people start jumping ship. After all, there are a million other book blogs out there, why stick around if content isn’t being produced? So then you think about the kind of content you’re providing–do people want reviews? Discussion posts? Book blog memes?
Now I know that all this pressure to perform is purely internalized. I’m not really getting any outside pressure (aside from an occasional email from an author or a publicist asking when I might have that review up for that book that just came out). Followers, views, having great content, posting as much as possible–does any of this really matter at the end of the day? I guess, if you let it? But truthfully, no.
Here’s where I admit that I’m a bit of a perfectionist. But like…a half-assed perfectionist. I want things to be good enough to get by but I also, deep down, that’s not good enough and I’m always pushing myself to do more. And in regards to review requests, I feel a certain sense of obligation. I don’t want to let people down. I have been accepting a lot less requests for this reason but even when I have a single outstanding review for a request I put all kinds of pressure on myself. And maybe this is just a me thing?
Anyway, since this is a ramble I don’t have a real conclusion here. Except to say that we all need to be a little kinder to ourselves when we fail to meet our own expectations, after all this is just a hobby. A really work-intensive hobby. And we all need a day off now and then. I’m really talking to myself here, but maybe it will help others that read this and if so, yay. Do you ever feel the pressure that comes with being a book blogger? Do you also have high expectations of yourself and your blogging? What do you do to stay motivated? Leave a note in the comments, happy to chat!