The answers to the first two questions is easy. I'm here because I love books, and I love to talk about them with other book lovers. It's not enough for me to read. If I feel something, anything for a book, I need to be heard. I want to know that someone else heard me, and then I can let them somewhat go. The answer to the last question isn't as clear cut. In many ways I am happy with how I blog. I'm honest. I'm fair, or as fair as I can be. It's impossible to be completely objective when reading, we all bring our personalities and experiences to the table when we open a book. But I always try really hard.
But in some ways, I don't feel happy with what blogging has become to me. Or what it would become to me if I let it. I've found myself caught in the fray a few times. The competition, the quest to read all the new and hot books so that I can say I was there at the beginning. The numbers. Oh my gosh, the numbers. For a long time, I never paid attention to my blog numbers. I barely knew how many GFC followers I had, didn't even have a clue on how to search for the numbers of RSS and email subscribers. I didn't even have a page view count up for the first six months of the blog. But back then, I posted a couple times a week, and wasn't super active among the blogs. I only blogged because I loved it.
I don't know why that changed. Partially, it could be due to all the posts and tweets I saw from the bloggers with "authority". I woke up and thought "Hey, am I doing this wrong?" If I don't know what an SEO/unique visitors/etc. is, does that make me lame and non-legit? FYI: I still don't know what an SEO is, nor do I care. And guess what, it hasn't hurt my blogging opportunities one bit. Or maybe it has. But you know what? I'm okay with that.
This blog, while I do enjoy and take pride in it, is my hobby. I make absolutely no money, at all. In fact, it has cost me a lot of money in shipping costs, books, and time that can never be accounted for. I don't do Amazon Associates. I do have a Book Depository affiliate account, but I've never used it. I don't have ads, though I've been approached by companies to place them. Gosh, I've never even gotten off of blogspot, and I can't tell you how many times I've been told that's wrong.
**Please let me be clear, I am in no way saying that other blogs/websites shouldn't do these things. I'm only talking about me here. **
I've taken steps to make sure that I'm blogging the best way for me. I've started limiting promotional spots to books/authors that I can confidently promote. When I write my reviews, I'm thinking of readers, and not trying to "out-review" anyone else. I'm doing giveaways differently, in an effort to focus less on my blog's numbers, and more on the book/author. To make it easier for a reader to just simply enter if they want a book. If someone wants to follow my blog in any, all, or no way....that's cool. Now, if I'm paying for a giveaway, I will probably include blog following options. I haven't decided. But I do know that nothing is required. This is simply to do what's best for me. I am a person who tends to get a bit too focused and obsessive. It's the same logic as to why I no longer count calories, why I had to give up my Wii fit and leave batteries out of my elliptical. I get too focused on numbers and results.
** Again, I want to stress that I am in no way speaking on how others blog. This is my way of making sure that I am blogging for the reasons and in a way that feels good to me and makes sure that I am not focusing on numbers. **
I'm not sure if I even know what I intended on when I began writing this post. I just know I've had these very conflicting feelings on blogging. I love the community, but dislike the competitive nature. I've thought about the blogs I admire, especially the first blog I ever really loved, For What It's Worth. I don't want to copy anyone, but I do want that spirit that Karen has.
If you're still reading this, thanks. I really try to keep feelings like this to myself, but it was either say something or just quit. I don't like feeling...whatever it is I'm feeling towards blogging. I'm too old for jealousy or competition. Some days, I feel thisclose to saying "Fck it" and being done. I just want to talk about the books I love, and be happy about it. If the day ever come in which I feel that way, I should just stop. But maybe just writing this will help lift the heaviness, and help me once again feel good about blogging.
I'll just be me...