Before talking about today’s topic, I just want to thank Amy of My Friend Amy who began Book Blogger Appreciation Week. If you’re not a blogger, it may have gotten a bit tedious (I hope not!), but it has been a huge shot in the arm for me. Blogging is work, and though I love it, it can be difficult to tack on another few hours of behind-the-scenes blog work each day. So thank you Amy for creating some time for us to share more deeply in the community!
The world of blogging is continually changing. Share 3 things you think are essential tried and true practices for every blogger and 1-3 new trends or tools youâ€™ve adapted recently or would like to in the future.
Hands down, the absolute most difficult part about blogging (for me) has been reviewing. Take a look at my older posts: they are incredibly long and unwieldy. Hell, I’m an academic. I was writing freaking essays. And I labored over each post. I mean, I seriously was a crazy, straight-up neurotic in those days. One day my sister told me, “I love your blog, but you sound so smart, I never have anything to add.” I say this, not so you’ll tell me I’m smart; there are plenty of smarter people out there. I tell you this so you can understand the WHOA-slow down, I’vebeendoingthisallwrong-damn moment I had. Because who wants a blog no one feels they can comment on? Not me. I love comments. I mean, to go out on a limb here, I check my email all the time after I post. Talking to you guys about books is awesome.
And the crazy academic in me is still here. Hell, I can’t kill her totally, I’m a teacher. BUT (p.s. can I copyright the all-caps “but” because I need to). I can harness her. Reign her in. And when I get particularly twitchy, I go to Twitter where people like Sean from Read Heavily tell me …butbutBUT how did the book make you feel?? And I stop everything and revise the review. Because isn’t that what you really want to know? It’s what I want to know. Did you connect with this book? Did you like it? Why? Did you hate it? Why?
I tell you what I think. You tell me what you think. If that means you think I read the book upside down and backwards and that’s why I didn’t like it, tell me. Because sometimes I do read books upside down and backwards. [Only if I’ve had lots of champagne. Or am exhausted.]
I won’t and don’t apologize for getting a little analytical and twitchy from time to time about things like structure that drives me up the wall or why. authors. use. so many. awful. similes. It’s who I am.
So what am I saying? In shorter terms: be yourself. I know it’s the most catchall phrase and pretty trite at the same time, but it works.
- Be yourself.
- Have fun.
- Tell the truth.
- Don’t be a jerk.
- Make friends.
- Interrupt a conversation. That’s why bloggers blog.
- Post when you can.
- Use gadgets if you like.
- Don’t use gadgets if you don’t like.
- Stop pressuring yourself.
Everything else follows, and you’ll have a space you can live in and live in well. I don’t have 50 million followers. I don’t have 100 comments on every post, but I do have community. I do have regular readers and people who comment, and I love that.
P.S. Did you miss my giveaway post? I’m giving away two graphic novels: The Arrival by Shaun Tan and City of Glass by Paul Auster. Head to this post to comment and enter.