You do your thang!

I realise the title of this post is a bit 'swaggery' and a little 'hip', but I promise, there is an important message behind it. Just bare with me whilst I ramble on and on, and I'm pretty sure by the end of it, you'll get what I'm trying to say.

When I first started blogging, I had no idea that the blogging community was so freaking big. I mean, I just put Becca's Books out there and was like, "Yeah, no one will probably ever look at that." Little did I know, there were hundreds and hundreds of like-minded, book-obsessed bloggers out there, doing the exact same thing that I had just done. Absolutely tons! It was incredible. I remember speaking to my very first fellow-book-blogger and thinking, "Oh my god, THIS PERSON IS EXACTLY LIKE ME IN MORE WAYS THAN ONE!" It was brilliant, absolutely brilliant, and I have made so many fabulous blogger friends since that day I created Becca's Books, and it's something that I will be eternally grateful for.

But...

With so many book bloggers out there, with so many gorgeous blogs and friendship circles etc. it can sometimes get to a point where you wonder if you're actually making any sort of dent or impact on the world with your blog and reviews.

Is it just me, or can it sometimes feel as if no matter how hard you try, you just don't seem to get noticed? I know blogging isn't entirely about being noticed, but surely it plays a small part doesn't it? And no matter how many different times you attempt to change the layout of your blog, or the colour themes and fonts, that it just doesn't look as good as somebody else's? And no matter how many times you attempt to become someone's blogging buddy, no matter how many times you attempt to make friendly conversation, you just feel pushed aside, left out and worthless? Is it really just me who can sometimes feel that way? Please note: In no way am I trying to insult the blogging world, but I do feel that some of these issues should be addressed, because it's been mentioned to me a couple of times and I just feel crappy not speaking up about it. I see it every now and again in my Twitter feed, a person commenting on another persons review or blog, and suddenly that person is questioning why on earth they even started their blog in the first place, or they're thinking that the reviews that they write aren't good enough. And you know what? That's not fair. In fact, it's so not fair that it's shit, and I can't stand people who take joy and pride in making somebody else feel bad. I HATE IT. So, my lovely blogger friends, here are some wise-words from my perspective on you and your blogging.

You feel like your blog isn't as nice as someone else's?

Fuck it. So what? There are always going to be others out there who have beautiful blogs, and yep, sometimes it's probably going to be more beautifuller (I know, that's not a word) than yours. But are you honestly telling me that the reason you started book-blogging was to decorate a web page? No, I didn't think so. Of course, there's nothing wrong with having a pretty blog! But what I'm saying is, don't let it affect you! You made a blog because you love books and reviewing them, not because you wanted to enter yourself and your blog into a beauty competition, am I right?! The next time you visit someone's blog, and it's one of those gorgeous ones with the swirly flowers and curly fonts and pretty colours etc. just think to yourself, "My, what a lovely blog," and move on. Because trust me, a publisher may smile if you have a pretty blog, but they're more interested in your reviews than anything, so don't worry, don't panic, don't have a meltdown and hover your mouse over the 'delete blog' button in a moment of hysteria. Smile, move on, throw a compliment their way, and take a deep breath, because your blog is just as good, I promise.

Feeling like it's a little cliquey sometimes? 

I get that. Totally get that. I suppose you have to remember that a lot of the bloggers you know have been blogging for quite some time, and obviously they've made some friends along the way. Don't worry, that's totally normal! And you, you gorgeous little blogger, have your own group of friends too. Don't panic if you're not invited in, don't sit there and think, "Oh, well obviously I'm not good enough," because you totally ARE! In life, you're not going to be liked by everybody, and if you are liked by everybody then fair play. But the reality is you're not going to be everybody's cup of coffee/tea/strawberry milkshake. I know I'm not, and I'll admit that. I know there are people who could sit with me and chat for hours, but I also know that there are other people who probably wouldn't even bother. That, my friends, is life! The beautiful thing about that is this ~ accept it, smile and know that just because you're not accepted by those people, you're absolutely adored by others. It's that whole "one door closes, another door opens" thing. Don't let it get to you! You're brilliant at what you do, and you didn't start your blog to get acceptance from other people. You created your blog because you have a passion for what you do, and that is magnificent. So, remember, there will be people that will welcome you with open arms, and there will be people who will turn away. Just know that you've got your own bunch of bloggers right behind you every single step of the way.

Don't let the jealousy burn you!

I'll hold my hands up and admit to this one. I think it just basically stems from wanting to have and own all the books in the world.

You know when you're waiting on a book to be published? Not just any book, but that book that you've been waiting on for months? That you've gazed at longingly for hours because you just want to hold and caress it in yours hands lovingly?

And then you scroll through your twitter feed, and you spot that book in another book bloggers hands and you're like, "NOOOOO! HOW CAN THIS BE?!?!" Yep. I've totally done that. A million times, maybe even more. You begin to wonder where your name has got to on that publisher's mailing list? You start to question whether you're even still on the list at all, or if they just said that they'd add you and then somehow forgot, and now, you're left naked and book-less, crying into your desk? Okay, that's a bit over-dramatic, but can you see what I'm saying? I suppose, with this one, there's not really anything amazing that I can say to help you along, but I will say this.

Don't worry about it. Again, just like everyday life, there will always be other people who have what you want. The best thing to do, in my opinion, is let it be. I bet you sit there, eyeing your blog, wondering if the publishers ever read your reviews. You're thinking, "Can you not see how dedicated I am? Can you not see how much I LOVE the books that you publish?!" The truth is, it's probably not even to do with them noticing, it's probably the fact that they have hundreds and hundreds of other bloggers out there, requesting copies to review. Lovely blogger, one day, your time will come, and when it does, I want to see a picture of you with that much-wanted book in your hands and a glass of champagne to celebrate it. Don't forget, good things come to those who wait, and I'm betting that it totally applies in the world of book bloggers too.

You want to give up, you're not good enough, you feel like it's pointless even having a blog? 

HEY! Don't make me come over there!

It's not pointless, you are good enough, and if you even DARE to go anywhere near that delete button, I will scream this damn house down.

Because, let's face it, it's not pointless is it?

Does it make you happy?
Does it make you smile?
Do you grin stupidly whenever an author/publisher thanks you for your review?
Do you feel like you've got a whole load of stuff off your chest after publishing your reviews?
Do you enjoy writing your reviews?

HELL TO THE DAMN YES!
I know it makes you smile. I know for a fact that it makes you happy. And at the end of the day, you wouldn't have started if you didn't want to do it, would you? You've got to keep strong, you've got to know your reasons behind creating your blog. Yeah, it's awesome if it looks good, and has lots of view and tons of subscribers, but there's GOT to be love behind it, too. Loads of love and passion and excitement. And from the looks of things, you all seem to have that, so don't worry.


Becca says this...

DO YOUR THANG! 

You're amazing, talented people who have a love of books that blows everything else straight out of the water. As long as you love it, as long as you know you're happy, DO NOT let anybody else or anything else ruin that.

You're all brilliant. In my eyes, from the moment you all created your blogs, you took a giant step, and now look at where you all are. So that book that you really want? Don't worry. That blog that looks like it's made out of diamonds and twinkles? Don't worry. Feeling a little left out? DON'T WORRY.

You're unique. You're wonderful. And most importantly, you're YOU.

JUST DO YOUR THANG & SMILE!

Becca xxx
     

16 comments :

  1. I'v been around for nearly two years and still feel like this at times. Great post!

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  2. Thank you so much! Yeah, I know a few of my blogger buddies that have been doing it for ages and they're get a bit down now and again. Thought I'd 'attempt' to help ;) Thanks so much for commenting! xx

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  3. Hello,
    I'd like to say that you've posted a great, positive entry. What you say in it can be applied to other things, not just book blogging. Very inspirational thoughts about life in general, I must say.
    I follow a few book blogs, including yours, and I have to say that you do a great, inspirational job. I get good ideas about the books I want to buy and read. So thank you for that. And reading these blogs also inspired me to start my book journal a few months ago where I leave my random thoughts. Thank you

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  4. This is such an honest post and probably reflects how we all feel at times - writers, readers, facebookers, twitterers - it's easy to feel unappreciated. AND you've inspired me to update my blog. Maybe I should try cupcakes and pink and red spots...

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  5. Love this post...and Do your thang makes me hear the song while I'm reading it!

    So works for parenting blogging as well, so off to share and help motivate others who're feeling a bit down!

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  6. Thank you so much for all of your lovely comments! It makes me smile to know that you've all taken the time to read it, which is so motivational! xxxx

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  7. OMG!! I feel all of those things at least once a week!! Then I think about quitting and that makes me feel even worse than feeling like I haven't "succeeded". I'm reading books and I get to tell people about them. Even if only 1 person listens, that's one person who listened!! Thank you, thank you, thank you for posting this!! FYI: I'll totally be your blogging buddy!!!!

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  8. Aurwh, thank you so much gorgeous ladies! And thank you again for taking the time to read this! xxxx

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  9. Fab post Becca in your unique bubbly style which we all love.

    I think we all have days/weeks/months where we feel some or all of the above no matter how long we've been blogging.

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  10. Just remember, that without you book bloggers (all of you), we authors are just writing into a void, hoping against hope that someone picks up one of our books. You bring the attention of loads of readers to any book you review or even mention - you book bloggers can make or break our careers. Without you, we're pretty much just people talking to our invisible friends.

    Keep it up and never doubt yourself.

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  11. i just started my blog, thanks for this x

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  12. I would also like to say there are also a lot of fakes out there aswell! I used to work for a marketing agency (I would like to add I had nothing to do with this side of the agency before I continue!) and they had a blogging section! They would create blogs/sponsor blogs/write posts for blogs you name it. And all under the "guise" of genuine bloggers. They had photos, back stories, social media accounts, friends and their blogs were all designed by the in-house graphic designer! They were amazing to look at. But the content lacked one thing....heart! Because the "staff" we're doing a job and getting what they had to write written for whichever of our clients they were promoting. It was dirty blogging in my opinion, but marketing as far as the agency were concerned!

    What I'm getting at is some of these pumped up blogs are because the owners are pretty super amazing at graphics (I'm not BTW!) but some are prob like what I witnessed above with my old workplace, the same with people who ignore you on social media. They prob have scheduled posts going out to make them seem real but they aren't. Don't take it personally. And if someone says something mean to you the Block button is your friend!

    I only moved into book reviews recently, I've always been in music previously (where it's cutthroat!) but have found everyone SO friendly so far! Becca you were one of the first to "welcome" me in so thank you!

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  13. I've only just started blogging and I feel like that sometimes already! Only this week I received a negative post that I had to delete! What a brilliantly trueful post and one that I can totally agree with. You are a fantastic role model and a true inspiration to me and for that I thank you xx

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  14. What a FABULOUS post, I'm still a newbie and so often think a lot of the above, so pleased its not just me.

    I often think 'should I post this?" 'will people care?' but i've decided to adopt the attitude of- if I think it would be good for my blog I'll do it. It makes it easier and less stressful, and even more worth it when someone takes the time to say they've enjoyed something.

    You keep doing what your doing gurrrl (keeping in the swag) you're brill xx

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  15. This is such a thoughtful and brilliant post, Becca. I often feel the same way, but from the author side.

    And for anyone afraid to reach out and talk to people? DON'T BE!! Sure, not everyone will respond, but that's okay. Initiate conversations on Twitter with people you find interesting. I myself always love meeting new bloggers, and you might find yourself some lovely new friends in the process.

    xo

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