On Blogging, University and the Contradicting Emotions they’re giving me

Title (On Blogging, University and the Contradicting Emotions they're giving me) against a stars and planets background

I’ve practically finished my first year of university now – just an end-of-term concert and all the joys of packing and moving. I’m also almost at my one-year blogiversary.

I’m so proud of this blog, and everything I’ve done with it. I’ve managed far more than I thought I could in both one year and while juggling university work load. I’m posting regularly and making friends in the community.

Having the community, and a bookish outlet, has been amazing. My friends here aren’t bookish, and I’ve been struggling with my housemates. The blog, and community, have given me a place to talk about that and not feel weird for having a book in my bag. I’ve met up with some bookish friends I’ve made online – and it’s been amazing to meet in the flesh. I can’t wait to meet more of you.

I thought, with the end of year coming, and my workload dropping off dramatically, that I’d have more time for blogging. But my motivation has plummeted. It’s been a massive effort to write anything.

Which might seem weird as, according to WordPress, I’m on a 40-odd day streak. I’ve been posting everyday.

And that’s half the problem. I’ve been pushing myself to write, and so the results aren’t what I’d like. (This is 100% NOT a plea for compliments. I’m trying to be honest with myself and that’s it.)

I feel like I’m writing the same thing in every post, and no one cares (the stats seem to validate this). I know reviews are the least read part of a book blog, but they are also the backbone of what we do. I also know I need to diversify my posts – mainly for myself, to keep up that motivation. But then the what do I have to talk about? gremlin comes knocking.

However, a major reason why I started this blog was to force myself to write reviews, to stop and reflect on what I’d read. My brain is a little odd, to say the least. I store information like data – all facts and figures, with the emotion stripped away. I can tell you I like something, because I’ve stored that fact, but often the emotional response and the whys don’t come back. Reviewing helps stop that, helps me process what I liked so I can recall it later.

Another major issue is that I’ve been forcing myself to read a book a day, in a panicked attempt to finish all my books before I go home. I’ve been staying up late trying to finish them, getting tired and still waking early (ish). It’s just not going to happen. I can’t get through all of them in the remaining five days. (Especially since I’ve bought a load of books. Oops.)

So what am I going to do?

Firstly, I’m going to stop pressurising myself to read a book a day. Instead, I’m going to read at my pace, however much or little I feel like. And I’m going to slowly get through that eARC pile. I’m also going to do my best to stay far away from a bookshop so I don’t add any more (except for preorders!). My unread book pile is tiny compared to what I hear many talk about – only about 20 – but it’s enough for me to feel guilty about not reading them.

I come from a family with a very strong waste not want not ethic so having unread books makes me feel like a horrible, greedy consumerist. Why am I spending my money on books I’m not reading when X, Y and Z are going wrong in the world? Sometimes telling my brain to shut up isn’t exactly easy.

I’m also going to take more time over my reviews, make them feel more polished. If that means not posting everyday, it’s probably for the better. I have a backlog of reviews, however, so it might take a while for the frequency to drop off while I get through them. I’m going to try and come up with a way of analysing it better, making it feel less repetitive.

Of course, less posts makes me a little nervous about what it does for the numbers. It’s going to go down, for sure, if I post less. Which has knock on effects.

The number game is horrible, but it’s everywhere. Hitting a certain number of views and followers and so on for publishers to consider you for ARCs. Keeping an 80% NetGalley rating (hahahaha *sobs*).


And repeat, until it goes in.

I’m only going to post when I think I have something good to share, but I also want to post more than just reviews. Games/memes are fun, but I want to share/talk more. My brain is screaming no one cares about that right now, but I’m going to ignore it. There’s discussions I want to have, things I want to analyse. I want to find what’s really me about my writing again. Hopefully you’ll all connect with that, but I want to go forwards thinking more about my growth (as a reviewer and a blogger) than about numbers and audience. Sorry if that sound self-centered, but I want to be genuine.

And with that essay out the way, I’m going to think about the next few posts I want to write. Luckily I have the aforementioned backlog to buy some time. I’ll do a more general, positive One Year Blogiversary post at the time, and with YALC coming up, I want to write a bit about that. But beyond that, I’m not sure.

We’ll see. Here’s to whatever the future brings.

4 thoughts on “On Blogging, University and the Contradicting Emotions they’re giving me

  1. Heyhey!! Congrats on making it through your first year 😁 I’m actually at the same point as you – just finished first year, just had first blog anniversary too!! If you ever want to write about uni related stuff/personal stuff, you’ve got a willing audience right here ☺☺ (Also I 100% agree on not pushing yourself to do too much – it’s summer, take a break and enjoy yourself 😇💚)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The number game is horrible, but it’s everywhere. Hitting a certain number of views and followers and so on for publishers to consider you for ARCs.

    This really hit home for me. The first thing people do is ask for your stats and when you are new it’s pretty disheartening.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It starts to feel more important than finding your voice, finding the *thing* that makes people want to keep reading. But without that, you’re trading on air. Thankfully, you get communities like this that are so supportive (both of the blog and you as a separate person) and constantly reminding you to ignore the numbers.


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