Monday, 27 March 2017

A Year of Blogging


This time last year, I finally realised that books were the things I kept coming back to. I sat down with my designated notebook and launched myself into a project of the unknown: writing blog content, taking photographs, making (very basic) graphics and learning (very small amounts of) code. Over the last 12 months, I have learnt a lot and I wanted to share some lessons with you:

  1. You get out what you put in

Blogging and bookstagramming isn’t just a matter of uploading content and leaving it there, hoping that someone will come across it. It’s about tagging, commenting, sharing, liking, linking. It's a big time commitment, but it is well worth it in the end.

  1. Book reviews are especially hard work

I myself am guilty of leaving book reviews to the side a little too often because the reality is they are difficult. When I stand in front of someone talking about a book I love, I usually just flail about so they can physically see the passion, but getting that same feeling across in writing is (for me, at least) nigh on impossible.

  1. You have to be willing to learn

This isn’t just meant in terms of all of the technical blog stuff like equipment, coding, photography etc (although that certainly is an element) but more in terms of putting yourself in another’s shoes, accepting your privilege, realising where your money goes and what it is subsequently put into.

As far as first bookstagram posts go, I don't think this is so bad?

  1. Books are inherently political

A couple of weeks ago, I was listening to a Book Riot podcast and the hosts had been asked to stop discussing politics. ‘I come here to escape the world’ the listener had said, seemingly underestimating the effects of the real world on what gets published and who reads what. There is no separating the whitewashing, use of problematic language, and general lack of diversity in the real world from that in books, so let’s all stop trying to and instead work harder to do better.

  1. It’s better to put a book down than to push through it

I own way too many unread books as it is and certainly not enough time, so why on earth would I choose to spend the time I do have reading books that I’m not enjoying?? It sounds like a no-brainer now but for a while it was a very tricky thing to get my head around. This way is better for me and the book: I can move on to the next book, and the book can move on to a charity bookshop and hopefully find a new owner, rather than be relegated to permanent coaster on my bedside table.

  1. ARCs are not the be all and end all

When you first come into the book blogging world, ARCs seem to be the End Goal. As mentioned though, book blogging is time consuming, I have too many books and should really be reading those, and book reviews are hard, especially when they are time-sensitive as with ARCs. Am I still a book blogger? YES OF COURSE. I love books and then write about my love of books et voilĂ : book blogger.

How long have you been book blogging? What have you learnt? Let me know in the comments below!
Happy reading and thank you for sticking with me this past year,