The Myth of Why We Blog
This is the point where I should say I got into blogging because I love spreading the word about books and I just love being immersed in literature, right? I'm going to say what few bloggers will admit to, but I suspect we all felt at one point in time:
I wanted the free books.
I had heard about these amazing things called ARCs and heard publishers gave them to bloggers. Like, for free. Sometimes? You even got finished copies for (again) free. I am fully admitted that two years ago I jumped on the blogging bandwagon because I was a girl with limited finances and a big book love and the allure of free books sold me.
However, the truth is, bloggers who are in it just for the free books don't last long, and I was no exception. If you look at my first year, around April I got tired and frustrated. I stopped posting, I quit caring, and my blog was about to be one of those blogs that just fizzled away into cyberspace. After a couple months of dragging my feet, I came to the moment where I realized I had a decision to make: Either I was in or out, no more half-assing it and expecting people to magically adore me and my blog. If I wanted it, I needed to be willing to work for it.
So I did. I started reaching out into the blogging world and I met some amazing people who encouraged me and kept me going. And yes, eventually I did start getting those "free" books I had to desperately desired in the beginning, but by that point they were icing on the cake. I was having a blast discovering books I probably never would have heard about or read had it not been for blogging. I loved the times when my friends and family would ask me for book recommendations. I loved spreading the word about a book or author I had fallen in love with.
The Myth of the Friendly Blogger
When I started blogging all I heard about was how friendly and open the blogging community was. This was a group of people (mostly girls) who loved to giggle and talk about books and book boyfriends and cupcakes and - Yeah, you're not buying it either, huh?
The truth is I quickly found blogging was like any other social order with its own cliques. There were bloggers who had been at this for years - well before anyone really knew what book blogging was and they didn't particularly care for the 100 new blogs popping up daily. You had librarians who resented bloggers period. You had newbie bloggers tripping over each other every day (several of whom had the same blog name) ... It was exhausting and it took me forever to find a niche in this world.
After two years, I can honestly say I have made some awesome friends. I've found a group of bloggers that I have become friends with both online and offline. These are people I have met in real life and text daily. People that when I say I'm having an off day actually care about why that is. I love these people, and it's such a great feeling knowing they feel the same way.
The Myth of Perfection
I wanted to be that perfect, elegant blogger from the beginning. I strived to make my blog be everything I thought it should be: My reviews were flowery and filled with adjectives, I kept everything straight and neat and organized. I spent close to a year trying to be the blogger I thought everyone else would enjoy.
And then I realized that I was hurting my blog by not being me. I started writing reviews the same way I would verbally tell you a review if we were face-to-face. I started adding pictures and discussion posts to my blog about things I cared about, and you know what? Turns out other people cared about them, too.
My blog may have a few typos, and may SQUEEEEEE!!!!! during a review, but that's me. It's who I am, and my blog stats improved dramatically when I started being myself.
So there you have it, my friends: Things I've learned since I started blogging 2 years ago. Now, it HAS been a fun two years, and what better way to celebrate that than with .... A funny cat GIF:
OK, and a giveaway. Open internationally so all of my followers can participate. I love you guys. Thank you so much.