As all of us know, blogging can take up a lot of your time, whether it's scheduled or free time, it seems that sometimes it can fall between the cracks with reality takes center stage.
Over the Christmas holiday, I lost an uncle. I am not going to blame my lack of blogging on this, but it has definitely helped me put things into perspective more clearly since I found out. While it feels like we have forever to accomplish what we want on this earth, some of us get the short end of the stick and have to visit heaven earlier than scheduled.
I started blogging in January 2012, and it was slow going and interesting to experiment with learning what I could about the blogging community and how I could adapt it into other aspects of my life. At this moment, looking back on my blog posts, I'm happy with what I put out there. But each time I posted, I didn't feel particularly good about any of them. What I've come to learn and respect is that blogging is not fun or enjoyable when you stop having fun doing it. It sounds silly to say out loud, but it's true. The moment I start to stress about posting a review or doing a "Showcase Sunday," it loses that appeal and interest it held previously. I admire those bloggers who dedicate hours to their blogs, and they have so much to show for it as many of their blogs are fantastic and well organized and inviting.
But I didn't start blogging to acquire followers. I started blogging to meet new people and learn about books I might not have a chance to have heard of otherwise. Over the past year, I have infinitely more knowledge about the publishing business and what it takes for a book to actually make it to the bookstores. This is information I wouldn't have been able to garner with just sly curiosity. Many bloggers have experienced the publishing world first hand through author interviews, book signings, author tours, events and panels that are not readily available to someone of my location, on a small island, in the smallest state in the U.S.
I have made friends with bloggers and authors which I value above all else because sharing an interest in reading with people from all over the U.S. has broadened my chances of learning and honing a skill that can only be exercised with conversation and enthusiasm.
There's always a moment before the New Year when I tell myself that if I don't make a resolution, I won't be letting myself down if I fail. But this year, I was thinking about the stress of having more than one item on your plate and how that could be alleviated. I told myself that no matter how much or how little I blog, whether it's a short review, a long rambling one or a simple update on how my TBR pile is growing and not decreasing, I blog for me. I blog for the experience. I don't want to put a deadline or a due date on what I choose to spend my free time doing. Going through school and finishing college has taught me that finishing a project is the worst thing you could do to yourself. Everything is always a work in progress and I seem to forget that from time to time. It's okay if I post an extra long review of a book that really bothered me. I can go back and edit it, trim it, delete it all together.
I'm not in the spotlight. I don't depend on daily hits or followers or requesting books for early review. I make due with what I have and I try to enjoy it as much as possible. If my fingers hurt after posting, I know I've let a little bit of myself into the world, allowing it to begin its journey and start to form itself. Whether it happens quickly or over a long span of time, I'm okay with whatever it takes.
There will always be another book to read, but the experience will always stay with you.
Happy reading :)