Feeling validation as a book blogger and why it matters

Despite all of my bookish talks about statistics and how they don’t matter, despite everything I could say, or try to say and try to brainwash myself into thinking, I’m only human and, so is everyone around the bookish community. Okay, maybe there are some robots in there, I don’t know, I only know humans so far (if you’re a robot… please don’t tell me. That would definitely freak me out).

I’m only human and that means I’m a selfish, number-focused creature that, no matter what she might do, will always seek validation from the outside world.

I started book blogging because I wanted to, no one was holding a knife to my throat and telling me “NOW YOU GO TALK ABOUT BOOKS ONLINE AND THAT WILL TAKE OVER YOUR LIFE”. (Spoiler alert: it did take over my life, but… that’s not the point). I started book blogging, because I wanted to talk about books online and I wanted to find my people. My thing, too. I did.

Yet somewhere in this blogging journey, early on, I, just like anyone else, started seeking validation. Feeling validated, like we matter, like we did something good, is the best feeling in the world and let me say it out loud already: THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH THAT. There is nothing wrong with wanting to be noticed, to have a great following, great statistics, to get amazing opportunities and so on.

Book blogging takes loads of time, sweat, frustration and tears (maybe it’s me. I am kind of intense). Book blogging also brings a whole lot of happiness in my life and it’s only human to want to feel like we are doing this for something. Like we have a voice here in the community that matters. Like WE matter. We want to feel like our reviews are being read, like people are buying the books we recommend and think, oh! I did that! We want to get views and comments and have people to chat with and feel like that post we spent hours on actually works, somehow, actually matters because people are looking at it and commenting on it and enjoying it. We all know that’s goals for any kind of blogger. Feeling like our voices matter.

How the heck do you feel validation as a book blogger?!

In my book blogging journey, it took me quite some time to feel like I was, well… okay as a blogger. To feel like I mattered, like I have something interesting to say, like, people actually care about what I spend so many hours on. That being said, when I think back to everything that happened to me in over three years of blogging… I feel pretty lucky to have gotten this “validation” feeling, whenever….

  • I get not ten, not twenty, not hundred, not thousand of comments, but ONE comment. One comment already makes me feel that way,
  • Whenever my stats increase, because we (me included) can say whatever the heck we want, we are still quite HAPPY when these damn stats increase.
  • Whenever someone actually mentions, casually, that they like my blog?! In an award, in a blog post, in SOMETHING, I’m already tearing up.
  • Whenever someone just thinks about me for a book tag? I mean, they thought, yay, let’s tag Marie and I’m like, AWWWW. Even if I have tags back from 2015 I haven’t gotten around to.
  • And yes, let’s mention that one because, let’s face it, it is a dream and it WAS one of my dreams, I’m not scared to say this: getting my first physical ARC, as an international blogger.

There are other, tiny, small or bigger things that, in my blogging journey, made me feel like I was somehow, doing good. Doing something right.

We all want traffic. We want books. We want answers and interactions to our blog posts. We want twitter accounts over 3 K, because that’s where everything happens now and we want authors to recognize our names (or twitter handles. whatever). We’re all greedy and humans and we just want to succeed and, success is more often than not, in our minds, completely linked to these things.

We just want to feel like, in a community of thousand and thousand of people, we are not just one grain of sand.

Validation comes from outside, but it also needs to come from inside. Before anything else.

Visits, comments, ARCs, everything else coming from outside that might make you feel like a book blogger, are things that can completely be out of your control. Blog hopping, commenting, sharing with the community and everything else, like I did a whole lot since I started blogging, helped me create a love bubble and made me feel included and therefore validated, somehow. Yet, these things are sometimes totally random. People get busy, visits go down. You don’t live in the United States, so ARCs are harder to come by. You’re just not made for twitter, because that amount of drama freaks you out.

And you know what, that’s okay, too, because you don’t need any of these. Validation as a book blogger needs to come from inside, too.

I know I personally have trouble doing that thing, because I tend put others, the community and outside people and opinions before mine. Not trying to show off, say I’m awesome or anything else here, because if you know me, I am far, far from being that person. I tend to make validation come from outside and I’ll admit it: I didn’t feel validated as a book blogger until late last year, because I let other factors determine my worth as a book blogger. It mattered for me, but I just realized how wrong I was.

As fun and amazing as being validated by exterior factors feel, what matters the most is what we think of ourselves, what we put out there. I’m proud of the things I’ve accomplished and this is the first time I’m writing this down, really. This feels weird. Obviously, I won’t be lying and say I’m not proud of the followers, the blog, the comments, the shares, every single thing that the outside gave me for so many years.

Yet, I’m also proud that I kept up with this for so long and I still love it. That proves something.

I’m proud of the connections I made – aside from the comments these people bring me, I’m proud and happy and thankful to have genuine friends that will recognize themselves, my queens and so many others. I sometimes still need my sister to tell me that I’m doing okay, that I can take a break every once in a while, that it’s okay if there are highs and lows and ARCs denials and mail that will never come. I’m still standing and doing this and I’m just validating the hell out of myself because I’m doing good. As long as I do it with love.

What makes you feel validation, as a blogger? Comments, followers, statistics?

Do you still struggle with that feeling of “do I matter?” or not? (Let me tell you, YOU DO, you’re doing great, keep on going!) ?

This was your reminder to be proud of yourself, you’re doing FANTASTIC and, personally, I am so proud of you.

Posted by

Book blogger, travel blogger, writer. πŸ“š |🌍 | πŸ’ž Writing & Communications Graduate. French. Living on love, wanderlust and ya books.

145 thoughts on “Feeling validation as a book blogger and why it matters

  1. Hello Marie!
    Love this honest and thoughtful post πŸ™‚ I whole-heartedly agree that it is okay to want validation as a blogger, because it is hard work and a big commitment to do what we do. It is only natural to want to be rewarded for it right? Also, I think a lot of validation that I get as a blogger also tie in with being part of a community (such as comments, tags, awards, etc), and the community is one of the reasons why I love blogging.
    I also agree that internal validation is as important as external validation. One thing I decided to do is to set goals based on what I have control over (# of blog posts per week or # of hours spent on blog-hopping, etc), instead of things that I don’t have control over (# of followers, comments, likes, etc) – I can’t control how many people will see my next blog post, but I can decide to make more regular posts to boost blog traffic πŸ™‚
    Great post!! I think you are an awesome blogger and you should absolutely be proud of everything you’ve accomplished ❀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Agree, it’s only natural to want some recognition, since we all are working so hard and spending so much time on our blogs, too.
      I love your idea of setting goals you have control over, such a brilliant idea! It’s something you can control yourself and that can boost views and following for sure, but that you can also control yourself and I’m all for that. πŸ™‚
      Thank you so, so much Sophie, you’re way too sweet, that means the world!! ❀ ❀ ❀ ❀

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes πŸ™‚ I feel that we shouldn’t beat ourselves up about things that is out of our hands, you know? Even if a post didn’t do as well as I hoped, at least I did my best writing the post. It’s hard though, since I think our human minds are programmed to care very much about what other people think (even people who pretend to not care what others think!)
        You’re welcome ❀ πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Marie, this is such a great post! I think too many people want to put on a “it doesn’t matter as long as I’m doing something I like” mask, and it might be true for them! But I can’t help but feeling that that’s not something that can keep you going for years or even decades. Once you stop feeling that internal gratification you need something external to keep you going. At least that’s how it works for me, and as a very introverted person it took me a while to realize that I’m….more than okay with the attention that some of my posts or reviews have gotten. However, I didn’t start feeling like what I do really mattered until I started basically (almost) only reviewing queer books, because I want to help people find them and have discussions about representation in all its forms. It doesn’t have to be the same way for every blogger but I think finding something you’re truly passionate about (it might be a subgenre or books with a specific theme or whatever) really helps you find like-minded people, and that usually means validation because these people will leave you comments and you can get to know them and make new friends, which in turns helps to keep you passionate about blogging πŸ™‚ anyway, what I was trying to get is that there’s nothing wrong with wanting/needing validation and I wish more bloggers were transparent about this because to claim the opposite seems a little bit hypocritical to me. Anyway!!! Again thanks for the great post β™₯

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh thank you so, so much, that’s so sweet, I’m so glad you enjoyed my post! πŸ™‚
      I agree, while I really think it’s important to be passionate and focused on why we do it, for ourselves, seeking validation and finding our kind of people to share our blogs, book recommendations and so on and feeling validation through the comments and conversations we can have, ultimately matters a whole lot as well ❀ ❀
      Thank you so, so much!! ❀

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I think it can be difficult to feel validation because we never really know what type of impact we are having. I get tons of search engine hits on one post, for instance, but I have no idea if half of those people are reading the post or just clicking back because they didn’t mean to go to some random person’s blog. If someone did read the post and it changed everything they thought about the book, I’d also never know! And sometimes people nominate our blog for awards or mention that they love our blog–and I have no clue who they are. They have never commented on our blog so I didn’t know they followed it, much less loved it that much! There could be tons of people who follow your blog and love it to pieces. They just don’t ever say it out loud (or in writing, as the case may be).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. OH you are making such a great point. I think that’s why I love comments so much, when people reading my blog posts actually let me know that they appreciated it through a comment, or that I made them want to get a book, etc. That, these little thoughts and the time taken to write down that comment, really makes me the happiest. ❀
      But yes you're right, there could be so many people enjoying your blog and content, but just never saying it out loud. I think that's a bit sad and… that's part of why I'm doing my best to let my favorite bloggers know how much I love them πŸ˜€
      Thank you so much for your sweet comment! ❀

      Like

  4. I feel like this is true about ANYTHING in life, actually. Like just about anything. And it’s a real problem for me xD with many things, blogging included. I feel like it might actually be even worse for me because no matter that I was nominated for those awards just now six times (six!) I still think I’m a crap blogger, apparently..? The main thing I can’t get over lately (and haven’t been for the longest time) is the fact that a lot of bloggers who started at the same time as me, now have double my followers. And I can’t seem to break the damn 500! The funniest thing that I absolutely don’t get is that I have amazing engagement stats – for example, I get as many comments as you or Cait on a lot of posts. Well, maybe slightly less. But like a lot! Every week I log in and can’t deal with the deluge of comments. And yet I have no follows. What gives? Meanwhile, every other blogger who started when I did, has 1k follows, and yet 1-6 comments on their posts. How does this even work? Why do people follow them if they don’t care to interact? Why do they storm me with comments but I don’t get followed? What’s wrong with my content? This question bugs me out to no extent (mostly because I think you’ll agree that it makes no sense xD)… but also it’s really hard because every time I see my stats, I basically bully myself that “you loser, you can’t even get those pathetic 4 last follows to get you over 500, when everyone else is in the thousands”, and it’s the worst thing ever, and no matter what, I can’t seem to stop feeling that way 😦

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have to agree with you that the validation feeling comes with pretty much everything in life and is hard to deal with, no matter what haha.
      I’m so sorry you are feeling this way and it totally makes sense to be and is NOT stupid at all, Iget where all the frustration comes from, especially when you get the engagement, interaction, but not the follows that should be going along with it all :/ I wish I could resolve that for you – but I KNOW that the issue does NOT come from your content at all – people are commenting on your posts a whole lot, that’s a sign that they appreciate it a whole lot, that’s for sure. Also, you got a MASSIVE twitter following as well, that’s something you should be proud of!! AND THE NOMINATIONS, GIRL WHY WOULD YOU FEEL LIKE A CRAP BLOGGER???? You got SO many nominations and pretty sure you’ll win some, as well, and that’s a wonderful sign of appreciation from the community for sure, they LOVE you and your content enough to nominate you ❀ ❀
      I know how hard it is NOT to look at stats – but honestly you are not a crap blogger at all, you're one of the best and most famous bloggers, seriously, the comments, the nominations, everything proves that you're doing a FANTASTIC job ❀ ❀ ❀
      I'm sure that the blog follows will rise, maybe it comes from the fact that you're self-hosted or something? I honestly wish I could help :/
      You're doing AMAZING though, never, ever, ever doubt that, queen of blogging ❀

      Like

  5. I love this post so much, Marie! It’s so, so, so true that validation should come from within first. I never really think about this, honestly, but reading it in your post made me aware of it. It’s difficult to validate yourself, and it takes time and (hard) work, but I’ve finally gotten to a point where I do validate myself as an (okay/good) book blogger and I hope everyone gets to that point eventually because it’s such a wonderful feeling! Thanks for this wonderful post! πŸ’•

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh I’m so, so happy to hear this, Ayla – you should feel this way, I absolutely love looking at your blog it’s so pretty and you write great posts!! ❀
      Thank you so, so much for your sweet comment ❀ ❀

      Like

  6. Aw I loved reading this post Marie! I think you are so right, while there is nothing wrong with wanting validation from outside sources, it is also very important to find validation internally. I’d say I learned this particular lesson over the past 6 months since my blogging became sporadic due to personal reasons. While I miss being as active as I once was (and all the stats) I’ve learned to feel validation every time I publish a post. At the end of the day, my blog is for me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re right about that – it is so hard to finally be in that place where we feel okay with what we’re doing and how our blog is and should be for us. I aspire to feel the same way as you do someday πŸ˜€
      Thank you so much Amanda! ❀ ❀

      Like

  7. I agree. I definitely see validation for my blog when my readers in my community comment on my posts letting me know they’ve enjoyed them. I also have a hard time giving myself credit for the work I’ve done on my blog. That’s something I know I need to work on.

    Like

    1. I’m so glad you could relate to this post a little bit πŸ™‚ I completely get the feeling, the hardest thing for me is to give myself credit, as well. But we should, and as often as we can. We’re working hard after all. You’re doing GREAT and I’m proud of you! πŸ™‚
      Thank you so much for your sweet comment! ❀ ❀

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Aaahh Marie I love this post!! I think as humans, we all want validation and approval, so we know that we’re doing at least something right/enjoyable! But it’s definitely more so with blogging, when we put content out into the world and hope people like it. And I really love the point you bring up about internal validation! I think that’s super important, and personally, my self-esteem/self-confidence will vary based on my mood/mental health, but if you don’t like what you’re doing and think it’s worth it, then you need to make sure you do! A lot of the time external validation can help you feel internally validated, but there needs to be some internal validation that isn’t connected to external validation, at least imo. πŸ™‚ ❀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh thank you so, so much May, this means the world to me that you enjoyed this post ❀ ❀ ❀
      I'm with you, a lot of self-confidence comes from the way I'm feeling too, at the moment. I agree though, yes, if internal validation can come from external validation as well, we should and need to feel that validation feeling without others, as well. That's the most important thing ❀
      Thank you so, so much for your sweet comment ❀ ❀ ❀

      Like

  9. Thank you very much for making this amazing post, I will talk for myself that I feel validated and I feel happy when people comment, like and also say nice things about our kingdom. There are so many blogs and so many Instagram accounts… That sometimes is so hard to be noticed… And create content is so difficult and so time consuming… I love it don’t get me wrong but I also love when people actually check it out xD we all want to be read and we all want to make this our job I guess? Haha
    But I have to agree with you that I started this blog because I wanted to talk about books with people that actually read. ❀
    So thank you very much for being one of those :3

    Like

    1. I completely get it – I mean, if we are doing this for ourselves, it feels great to know there are people reading what we put out there and enjoying it, for sure. But don’t worry, you’re doing AMAZING, always remember that, as long as you’re having fun πŸ˜€
      Thank you so, so much for your sweet comment! ❀ ❀

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Totally! I love it but I love it more when I see people around haha there is no Kingdom if there are no people in it XD Thank you for making such a great post! I will for sure keep having fun!

        Liked by 1 person

  10. Awww Marie! I’m glad you feel so validated! You’re one of my favorites and I think that you are an awesome person! I don’t have a book blog but I wonder a lot if I matter. So this post was helpful! Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

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