When I started blogging, I expected so many things to happen. Some did. Some others didn’t. I thought of the way blogging was supposed to be, when I was just a young blogger having created this little corner of the internet a couple days ago and trying to figure out just how I was supposed to do this thing. And now here I am, two years later, wondering just what the f*** happened to these expectations. Blogging is, in our minds, a lot of different things. It takes loads of different shapes, but one thing is for sure: now that I’ve seen and experimented blogging from the inside, I can say with certainty, oh, boy, was I wrong about blogging.
What changed? Maybe we should make a list.
I thought book blogging would be easy.
Ha.Ha.Ha. Book blogging is everything but easy. There are so many different things to think about when you are book blogging, and most especially when you are kind of like me, meaning a perfectionist obsessing about something until it is just right. With blogging, you have to actually have ideas for blog posts, which can take…a second if you have a brain overflowing with ideas or like, a year or something if you’re feeling in a slump, uninspired and everything. There is just so much THOUGHT that comes with blogging – or at least, for me, and all of this brainstorming isn’t easy.
I thought all that mattered was what I wrote.
Don’t get me wrong. For me, when I read a book blog, I pay a lot of attention to what other people write, and it’s their blog posts, in the writing sense, that has a lot of importance to me. I’m hoping it is the same way for people reading this blog post at the moment. THAT BEING SAID, there are so many other aspects of blogging that matters, and I tend to notice it more and more. There are the way the blog posts are formatted, that makes us want to read it more. There is the blog overall appearance, which, because we are visual human-beings, has a lot of importance as well. There is this whole visual aspect of everything, really, that matters a lot, both when I read a blog and when I try and think about my blog.
I thought book reviews would be my most important posts ever.
This is sad, but book reviews aren’t the posts with most success, on my blog or on other blogs, from everything I have heard. Book reviews ARE important in the strict sense of the term, meaning that we ARE doing good by reviewing books and sharing the bookish love. We are promoting books. We are loving it. But in blogging, if I first thought book reviews would be the most important posts here on blogs, they are clearly not the most successful.
I thought I would have to read A LOT MORE to “make it” as a book blogger.
When I first started, I wasn’t reading too many books per week, per month, per year. I still loved reading, but I thought that I would have to step up my game in order to align with the gorgeous book blogger reading 12 books a week and fangirling about them all. Well…not everyone does that, I found out. I also found out that it’s okay to read at my own rhythm, it’s okay if I read one book a week. As long as I’m loving it.
I thought it would be a fun hobby to do on my spare-time.
Biggest joke ever. Book blogging is consuming my entire life and I am making my whole family contribute. Whether they want to or not. Whatever.
I thought I would be doing this alone.
I am. In a way, since I’m handling this little blog on my own. Except for the time when my sister contributes to it, brainstorms with me and hold me when I’m having emotional breakdowns (I think I might be a pretty intense blogger here). Well, I am not. I found that the community is HUGE, and it is here. With me, sharing my blogging struggles, sharing the love, always here to turn to to fangirl about a book or complain about bad tropes and blogging and overall love it. Blogging seems solitary, but it’s not.
I thought I would never fit in.
I’m French and English isn’t my first language. I found out that the blogging community was massively dominated by American bloggers. I thought I would have an emotional breakdown and give up a long time ago, being not able to face the ones able to get all the ARCs because of geography, able to go to BEA and just overall able to chat together while I’m here with my French-ness, no ARCs and not a way to teleport myself.
I was wrong. I found out that there are so. many. international. bloggers. SO MANY. I found out that no matter where I am from, whether or not I can get all the ARCs or go to the big bookish events, I CAN fit in. It’s all a matter of not being too afraid, being yourself and just blog your heart out.
I thought I couldn’t “make it” as a book blogger.
“Making it” has so many different meanings, depending on how you see it. Can you really “make it” in the sense of being rich and famous, having books every day in your mailbox, billions of followers and talk-shows and such? No. Making money as a book blogger is hard, controversial at times, and not the question I want to tackle here.
Truth is, without talking about money here, you can totally make it. You can be the best book blogger you want to be without money or fame involved, just with you. By setting and meeting your own expectations, whether they are statistical (getting more visits, trying to get more followers) or bookish (reading more books, getting out of your comfort zone). You can make it by loving it every single day, despite the struggles. You can make it as a book blogger by being proud because it takes a whole lot of time and work and you are doing it anyway.
Do we share some of the same book blogging expectations? How did this measure up to reality for you? What’s one GOOD (or bad) thing about book blogging that you didn’t expect at all? Let’s chat in comments!