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Sunday, January 20, 2013

Book Blogger Confessions: Calling it quits on blogging.

 

Book Blogger Confessions is a meme that posts the 1st and 3rd Monday of every month, where book bloggers "confess" and vent about topics that are unique to us. Feel free to share, vent and offer solutions.

Just keep it respectful - no bashing authors or other bloggers! If you want to participate just grab our button and include it in your post with a link to either Midnyte Reader or For What It's Worth. We will be providing a linky at the end of our posts so people can "hop" to see all the participants answers.

Question: We've discussed blogging slumps before but have you ever seriously considered throwing in the towel and quitting blogging? If so, what changed your mind? Did you discuss it with other bloggers?

I almost threw in the towel for good last year. It started because of a reading slump and led to a blogging slump. I had originally started this blog to review books, music, movies and TV, as well as talking about whatever crossed my mind. Slowly, it drifted to books only which was fine at first because that’s what I felt like talking about.

Then I got caught up in the “rules” of blogging. I have never cared about follower numbers or stats but I did feel the pressure to have a new post everyday, improve the quality of my reviews and have original content. I became obsessed with blogging to the point of losing my own voice and ignoring all my hobbies and family.

After all the drama last year with bloggers I felt like our once tight knit community was coming apart at the seams. The jealousy, plagiarism and Twitter frenzies in particular got to me (the author drama doesn’t bug me for some reason – I just ignore it & those authors). Blogging wasn't fun anymore for me.

I did talk to my fellow bloggers about it. Sadly, several of them have since quit but a few are still here with me and I’m so grateful I have them to vent to. (Thanks Pam, Julie, Lena, CarrieJen!! You help me keep my sanity!)

I ended up stepping away from the blog for a few months, stopped reading and reassessed if this was something I still wanted to do. The answer is yes. The friends I’ve made these past few years far outweigh any negatives.

The key for me was to give myself permission to get off the hamster wheel of blogging and go back to doing it at my own speed. I post whenever I want – about whatever I want. No rules. If I don’t want to read for a week or review a book then fine. Does that effect my stats/followers or the way publishers view me or my blog? I have no idea. But I don’t really care. If I can’t find a way to enjoy this again then I won’t be doing it at all and it wouldn’t matter anyway.

How about you? Have you ever thought about quitting and how do you things bloggers could help each other through these things? Do you feel like you have enough support or do you feel it's a competitive atmosphere now?

Future Book Blogger Confession topics here

23 comments:

  1. I can understand why you might feel like walking away. There have been a number of blogging controversies lately. I have just been ignoring them and going off and doing my own thing. I like that blogging places only as much pressure on me as I want it to.

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  2. Yes totally agree with the last year being a PITB with other bloggers. Glad that you found what works for you. Still on the fence with it. I agree blogging at your own pace and not worrying about publishers

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  3. I think that staying off Twitter helps, as I seem to miss most of the blogging drama that way. I was never obsessed with stats as every counter I use shows vastly different numbers, but I am working on commenting more often. Totally agree that blogging is supposed to be fun!

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  4. So far I've never been tempted to completely call it quits, only back off from time to time. As a graduate student, my life just gets so completely insane that I don't need the extra pressure of reading ever spare minute and writing posts for every day of the week and get mad at myself for putting on extra pressure. However, I am bad at only going half-way with anything, and still have a goal of becoming a blog that publishers actually notice. Maybe I'll find a happy middle somehow?

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    1. I think I had to realize that it's ok if I don't post 7 days a week. I'm not sure why I felt I either had to post 7 or quit lol

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  5. I did about my 2nd year in and then I decided to get out of the "follower" "arc" "catty" race and since then it has been back to being a hobby. I have a core group of friends that I enjoy talking too and I just don't seem to care anymore whether I am popular or liked. I do like having an outlet to track my books though so that I am loving :)

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    1. I just can't worry about that stuff anymore. It's sad when it happens but there are so many great people out there that it's easy to avoid once you find your little group of friends.

      I told a friend last week that I'm now of the grade school philosophy of keeping my eye on my own paper (in this case blog). There is no point in being jealous of each other or worrying about books that we don't have. We all have too many already! lol

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  6. Your approach to blogging is what I aspire to. I'm so happy you found a solution that works for you. M

    Don't you dare ever stop blogging, Karen!! lol

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  7. I think I have a lazy approach so I do not get burned out. Yes I can feel sometimes I should make things better. Better reviews, better whatever, but then, well I am too lazy to change. I like my easy breezy reviews. I will never be one of those bloggers who write insightful reviews and posts about this and that

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  8. The only reason I want to increase my numbers from time to time is so I have a good base in which to help the authors promote their books. Not sure if that helps, but I know it doesn't hurt. Most come from giveaways and not those that really care what I write. I do have a small number of people I consider friends and they support me. That is enough for me. :)

    I don't think that numbers have anything to do with popularity. I think people get too caught up in the wrong kind of competition. I don't see it as a big deal (other than what I've already stated) so I never really got into all the drama. However, I've been burned out quite frequently and have considered quitting a lot. Then good books come along and an awesomesauce author and it makes it hard. I do and will quit or at least really slow down the book blog one day. I really want to get back into more creative pursuits later on.

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    1. That I agree with! I may not obsess over follower numbers but let's face it - we do all want followers or what's the point of sharing our thoughts and trying to help get the word out about authors and books we love?

      Most of mine come from giveaway hops and I know that so yeah....can't get caught up in all that. I just hope enough people are happy with the content and stick around.

      I don't get caught up in or upset about any of the drama but it does get me down that we are starting to view each other as competition or are jealous of each other. We should all be having a great time talking about books.

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  9. I feel you. I have had the biggest blog slump of my 2.5 years of book blogging. I've wondered if it is all worth it. Am I making a difference? IDK but discovered that I blog for me and no one else and that is what has kept me going. I can't keep up with everyone else and what they are doing, I have to set my own pace.

    Yes I wanted to quit. Yes I think it's competitive and somehow over saturated if that makes sense. When I started there weren't that many book bloggers and I had dreams of making My Life With Books BIG. But I don't and can't spend that kind of time.

    I have seen so many book bloggers call it quits. I've wondered why and hope that the trend does not continue.

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    1. Yes, yes yes!!!! I totally know what you mean. Sometimes I think that it doesn't really matter if I blog or not, and then I have to remind myself that I am blogging because *I* want to! I do hope you continue.

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    2. There were only about 50 or so bloggers (that I was aware of) when I started. We were all friends irregardless of the genres we reviewed. I feel the over saturation too. I couldn't visit and comment on all the blogs I love everyday even if I wanted to. It also makes things more competitive.

      I do believe this year will be better. A lot of people have gone back to treating it as a fun hobby and are sick of all the drama so I'm feeling positive about the whole thing and I have learned to do what works for me and not worry about it anymore.

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  10. I'm so glad I was able to help you in some way. You don't know how much you help me as well. I think it is so important to have key people to be blogging buddies with. I totally get what you mean about the hamster wheel. To have content everyday is sooo much pressure and blogging should be fun. I'm glad you took your hiatus and came back refreshed and ready to dive into blogging again.

    I definitely feel the competitive atmosphere, but to be honest, I've always shied away from competition to do my own thing and I try to remember to apply that to blogging as well.

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    1. I'm not too competitive either. I think I started worrying too much about writing reviews that were as good as my friends though.

      It's more the atmosphere that depresses me. People worried about getting books, or who got them and who didn't. It never used to be like that. We used to all be so happy for each other.

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  11. I actually never considered quitting, Karen, but I understand where you were coming from. I'm in UK, so away from all the big conventions, and funnily enough review copies I receive is only 10% of all the books I acquire - the rest I buy or borrow from the library. I don't like the pressure of reading something unsolicited so only 2 publishers know me and send me physical copies, the rest I request from Netgalley/Edelweiss. i think that takes away a lot of the pressure. I do post every day but only because I read way faster than I review and my OCD always pushes me to make lists and review everything I read. I also get a real kick knowing how my readership changed from mainly US to almost majorly US/Russia (I review in both languages) which for me was one of the main goals - to involve more Russian readers and tell them about new books.

    I think knowing that this is not a job and I can take few days off when I feel like it let me truly treat this as a hobby. If I'm tired or didn't post in time, so what? Blogger police won't knock on my door :) Like most of the people here I made few really good friends, and they are the ones who comment on my blog and whose opinion I cherish, everything else is unimportant.

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    1. I don't get many books from the big publishers. I'm not aggressive about making contacts. I don't feel worthy lol I took on too many indie/self pub books last year though.
      I scaled back on review books so I'm feeling much better about the whole thing.

      I'm learning to just post when I have something to say and not worry about it.

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  12. Aw, thanks for mentioning me. And I'm glad you didn't quit. But I understand why people do -- especially when it stops being fun. I've had my moments of frustration and "why am I doing this?" too.

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  13. I'm so glad we have each other to vent and cry to. I've taken my fair share of breaks and still haven't exactly gone full steam since then. No 5-6 posts a week for me anymore, lol.

    When blogging starts to feel like work, that means it's time to take a breather. :-)

    LOVE You!

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  14. Thank you for the shout out, Karen!! You have always helped me out a lot too. I always know if I have a question or concern that I can talk to you about it! :)

    I haven't wanted to quit, but I have gone through phases when I knew I had to make changes to make my blog fit me and my life. I used to read whatever I was offered. I can't do that anymore, I have to be more choosy because I was reading many things I had no or little interest in. Like you, I also have to work on the balance between blogging, and the other aspects of my life! Thanks for the great topic, and I am going to read what the other participants have said about this topic!

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  15. The no rules thing is so important, yet it's one of the hardest for me to put in practice. It's so hard to let go and break from the crowd of daily posters and reviewers. Maybe the thing I need to do most is just stop judging myself against everyone else! I'm so glad you've stuck around and this meme is such a great way for us to vent all this crap. lol

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    1. I did feel that I needed to post daily but I need to let that go if I want a life outside of blogging.

      I absolutely agree! Just blog for yourself. I'm still working on it but I'm getting better about it. I do find that when I don't try so hard that my love of books comes through more, rather than churning out reviews to have something on the blog.

      vent away! lol

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