I’ve just been doing a little ‘spring cleaning’ on my laptop today, tidying up the bookmarks that I keep on here relating to all things books: I have YA book blogger lists, MG/kids blogger lists, blogs on writing that I follow as well as other general writing resources.
For once, instead of dipping in and out of blogs based on what Twitter flashed up at me and made me go ‘Ooh shiny shiny!’ *click* I started at the top of my list (around 40 YA blogs) and I began running down from the top, to see who was out there from when I first started blogging and reading blogs myself, back in 2011… There are six active blogs left posting today. Just six.
Some of the blogs that have gone were ‘big’ to me – they had between 1000-10,000 regular followers and the bloggers who ran them took part in everything from read/reviews to author giveaways, features, blog tours, interviews. Some of the blogs had hundreds of posts, reviewing hundreds of books, which will have meant thousands of hours reading and preparing posts…
I know how easy it is to beat yourself up when it comes to blogging: it starts out as a hobby, an extension of something you love (in my case reading and writing!) that you want to share with the wider world and it can very quickly snowball into a job. (One you don’t get paid for, funnily enough!) If you already have a full time job, are in school, (have any kind of life), or maybe even trying to write yourself, maintaining a blog and keeping your passion for it can be difficult. It sets you objectives: what to post, what to read, running a giveaway, responding to emails/requests…
In recent years I had to choose, for my own available time – and maybe my sanity, a little – to reduce what I blogged on my own YA blog asidefromwriting.com because I couldn’t keep up with the pace needed. We used to run an annual Indie Author Month, but the volume of work to co-ordinate 30 authors and features for a one month block became absolutely impossible for me. I feel bad looking at it today – I really need to post some things in there! Even on my author blog, where I tend to post mainly now, I struggle to deliver new posts and content, because if I write here then I don’t write my own books.
And this is why I’m saying ‘thank you’ to the other book bloggers that are out there. It is a hard hobby you have set yourself and can often feel thankless, or like you’re writing to no one, but you aren’t – you are still writing for yourself, sharing what you love and helping people, authors probably more than readers, in the ever-growing world of books and e-books.
Please don’t let it become so much of a chore that you eventually turn your back on your blog – let it quiet down and give yourself some space, if you need it. Post less frequently and let the pressure off until you feel the spark return. Your readers will still be there, as will the books to read, it’s important that your blog is about you and what you wanted to share in the first place.
Most of the blogs I’ve seen today that disappeared lasted between 12-24months… If you’ve made it past that, then you’ve done an amazing job because this shows how hard being a blogger can be. If you’ve only been blogging for a week, I still say thank you – because you’re starting something that means something to you 🙂 keep it up!
Best wishes for 2018 and beyond x x