I’m going to be completely honest with you here: I tend to play the comparison game way, way too often. In the book blogging community, we are thousand and thousands of people screaming about books. In the bookish community overall, including people only on twitter, on bookstagram, for instance, we might be twice, third times more. The community always grows and this happens to any other kind of online community. We are a lot.
This means that there’s a lot of people that we can compare ourselves to.
Right in the middle of a blog-hopping session, stumbling upon a blog with an absolutely stunning design and layout, you can feel it. Scrolling endlessly on twitter and admiring someone always speaking out, with the guts to lay out the things you’ve been feeling, but are too shy to say out loud, you can feel it. Spending time on bookstagram and finding these perfect, flawless, minimalistic or colored, cluttered feeds and you can feel it, slowly creeping in, that feeling.
Yes, I’m going to say it, that jealousy. My blog isn’t as good-looking as this one, my twitter is too quiet, my bookstagram isn’t as well put together as this one. The list goes on and on and, when you start, the comparison never, ever stops. It’s even more terrible if you’re anything like me, anxious as heck about everything and anything, a tiny little thing might just make you want to scream and feel worthless compared to others.
I’m not immune to the jealousy, to these feelings creeping in every now and then and, you know what? It’s okay. It’s human and it’s okay to feel this way, too. Yet, at times, the feeling can get overwhelming, can send us into a blogging slump, can make us want to quit it all together and make us lose faith in our work, too. Truth is, this has happened to me. Countless times. Yet, there are some advice I’m trying to remind myself of and, today, I thought I’d share it.
How to stop comparing yourself to other book bloggers
🌪 Statistics are not your whole truth: they do not make you.
Ugh, statistics. Numbers. I shiver just thinking about them, yet I can’t stop checking them, either. It’s terrible, the relationship we can have with blogging statistics. You know what? I’m just going to say it.
There’s always going to be someone with more numbers than you. More followers, more views, someone that receives more ARCs, someone that seems to get all the opportunities in the world. It’s hard then, isn’t it? To feel that thing creeping in, that jealousy, that thing that tells us that, yes, we’re not good enough because we’re not like them. Yet. Are we really on the same journey as they are?
Some bloggers are able to post three times a day and spend a long time promoting their posts, too. Some bloggers live in the United States and therefore get more opportunities than me, because I live across the Atlantic and teleportation isn’t a thing and money doesn’t grow on trees and geography sometimes just is the WORST okay.
We’re not like that. We do everything we can given our own journey, our own path. I’m working full-time, all week long. You might be in school, in college, working full-time or something else. We can’t all do it all. Obviously, this makes our statistics different. This makes our journeys different. This makes the way we blog different and, for that… well, we can’t really compare ourselves to others when we’re not on the same path.
☂️ Related blog post: the truth about book blogging statistics.
🌪 Focus on yourself, your blog, your work, your voice. YOU.
This feels very self-centered and selfish, but this blog, this bookish space you’ve created is all yours, so you are allowed to be completely selfish. Whether you’ve been working on your blog for a couple days, three months, six years, it’s your journey and no one else’s.
You can also blog like no one else is in the community. We might be thousands, but only you can write about this book the way you do, only you can write blog posts the way you do, only you can have your blog like this or like that. There might be the same design template, the same book reviewed, the same kind of discussions coming around every now and then (because originality is complicated, yes). Yet, you blog like no one else, because you’re YOU and you’re unique. You have your own voice and your own passion.
I know how complicated it is to find your own blogging voice. I know how complicated it is to tell yourself to just get up and write, when it feels like everyone else has already done the same thing. They haven’t. You have your own way of spinning things and of writing them and believe me, no one does it like you do. Okay, but how can you actually feel that you’re unique?
- Make a list of what you like about your blog (or bookstagram, book twitter, bookish platform). This can be the type of blog post you like, some particular pictures, a feature you imagined, the way you review, your design, your blog template, some pages. It can be anything, small or big. Take this as a starting point.
- Go through your old blog posts (and do NOT cringe. I know. It’s so hard not to.). This works whether you’ve been blogging for weeks, months or years, because no matter what, blog post after blog post, you grow and slowly but surely, you’re finding the way you like to write, the way you like to blog. Read your posts. You’ll notice.
- Just stare at your blog for a couple minutes or hours until your eyes hurt and be proud because even if you’re not self-hosted and a coding god of some kind and are using a free theme, this is your blog and YOU DID THIS AND THIS IS YOURS BE PROUD.
🌪 Beat comparison : inspire yourself to grow
Important reminder not to copy other blogger’s work, but get inspired. I’m going to link to Cait’s fabulous blog post on the topic about inspiring vs. copying, in case you are uncertain.
There are so many book bloggers out there and, if you’re trying to spin this in a positive way, you can get so many inspiration from their incredible work and grow yourself, too. I got inspired by Kat’s incredible series about branding and it made me want to brand my entire blog way better, which I did at the beginning of the month. I got inspired many, many times by Top Ten Tuesday’s prompts to write my own types of listicle blog posts and discovered that I actually love and love doing that a lot. I got so inspired by so many people, really.
There is so much inspiration to take from book bloggers you admire. I know I admire a whole damn lot of them all and, even if my anxious, vicious mind is always trying to tell me I’m no good compared to them, I’m trying to spin it all around and get inspired from them to grow as a blogger, instead.
I know that I will never, ever stop being critical of myself and my blog. I know that, deep down, even if I’m sharing this advice and reminding myself of it all as much as I can, I will still compare myself, my work, my blog, to others. It’s human and it’s okay, but I’m trying to spin it all around. Stay positive about it all and remind myself that, there are many blogs out there, but there is only one drizzle & hurricane books.
How do you deal with comparison overall? Are you feeling that frustration and jealousy every now and then, too? What do you struggle with the most?
How do you deal with it? Any tips and tricks to share? I’d love to hear from you in comments!