Monday, June 3, 2013

One Year Later: The same familiar feeling

Almost exactly a year ago I wrote a post called What I Want (and don't want) my Blog to Be where I expressed how I wanted more from my blogging experience and ways I want to improve my blog and interactions within the blogging community. If you didn't read the previous post, here's a little recap:
  • I want to share the books I love. I do this all of the time. Through "Now Recommending" in the sidebar, book blasts, reviews, Twitter, and my personal Facebook page.
  • I want to openly discuss books on my blog and get all spoilery. Instead of reviews, I include my book club "Provisions and Paperback Discuss (book title)" and invite my blog readers to openly comment and add to the discussion. I'd hope that this would generate some discussion (not just traffic) on my blog, but that hasn't happened. 
  • I want to get caught up on my back-logged reviews. This is still a problem. 
  • I want a greater sense of community. I'm not feeling that very much which is a main reason I'm even writing this post. Maybe this should be the first bullet point. 
  • I don't want followers who just stop by for giveaways. I have noticed that this has become less of an issue. That may be because I'm hosting fewer giveaways, but it may be attributed to the use of Rafflecopter.
  • I don't want this to be a place for just posting memes. OK, this one makes me laugh a little because I have cut back BUT I only posting two times last week and they were both memes.
And here it is a year later and I feel THE EXACT SAME WAY. In my mind, it means that I must be doing something wrong. It makes me doubt my blog and what I am trying to do here. And sometimes it makes me want to quit. Yet I can't because I have all of the back-logged reviews and this is when the guilt starts to set in. But I've come to believe and understand that guilt serves no one just becomes something else to obsess over. 

I still long for that greater sense of community. I comment on more blogs on a daily basis - leaving thoughtful comments trying to initiate some correspondence and create conversation. I respond to comments on my blog and interact with my readers as such as possible, either here or on Twitter.Yet sometimes, I feel like I'm trying to create something that means a lot to me, and I get no response, no reaction. Just void.  For those who do comment and correspond with me, please know that I do appreciate you and know that you are part of the reason why I haven't given up on this little ol' blog.

I'm almost three years in and don't want to give this blog up. It does give me joy to have a place to share the books I'm reading. So what do I do now? 

I have some ideas and hope that it will make blogging an even better experience for me.
  • Let go of the guilt with my back-logged reviews. Like I said before guilt serves no purpose. I took some action this week and FINALLY created a spreadsheet with all of my pending reviews. I don't know why I didn't do this sooner, but seeing an organized list makes it a little less overwhelming and a task I am eager to tackle.
  • I'm getting rid of yet another meme. I'm taking a break from Waiting on Wednesday. I'll share more about this in a future post (which I hope to complete this Wednesday).
  • I'm still going to keep putting myself out there - commenting on blogs, corresponding on Twitter, etc.
  • I'm going to put more of myself in my blog. I'm not sure exactly how I will do this, but I do know that most of the blogs that I really enjoy reading are by bloggers who share more about themselves. 
I hope that taking these actions and making some changes will bring the joy back in blogging.  Thanks to everyone who's taken the time to read this far. If you have any advice or helpful suggestions, I would appreciate you sharing them.

I feel better getting the out because it is something that has been on my mind for a while. 


  1. Joli-

    I feel the same way sometimes. There just isn't any communication about books. No discussion. That's what I wanted when I started reviewing books. There is an active site on Google Plus that you can join where you can ask questions and have discussions, but not about books, more about blogging. Maybe starting a group on Goodreads that states there will be spoilers an then discussing books? That might be something you could do. I know when I finish some books I need to ask about the endings to know if what I think happened really happened. What does it mean? Let me know if you do it, I might like to help.

    I've stopped requesting review books. Then there is no more guilt. You saw my books last year that I hadn't read, it's doubled. So I am reading those.

    Followers??? Let me know when you fix that problem. I have the same people commenting constantly.


    1. I'm still not sure about the communication thing - it can't be forced. Maybe my reviews just aren't interesting enough or they are books that other people aren't reading. I know that I don't read a lot of reviews for books that I haven't read yet (in fear of spoilers). I don't think I will start a Goodreads group because I don't know if I can keep up with another outlet. I do use Twitter a lot to communicate with other readers and a few have been responsive. And I have my book club and I get to meet bloggers, like you, and discuss books.

      I have limited my reviews. I'm not going to request any on NetGalley or Edelweiss, but I am considering review requests from authors and publishers that I've worked with before. I ask that they give me a timeline for posting before considering. That's been helpful.

      And as for the followers, I don't mind the same people commenting. I just can't tell who is reading my blog or who is just following for giveaways. In the end, this really isn't an issue.

      I do know that I need to step it up a bit. Spend less time worrying and have more fun.

  2. Love this post!

    The spoiler thing is tough, but I agree that it's really fun to discuss a book without having to worry about spoilers. But some people hate them. LOL -- I regularly Google [name of book} spoilers just to get recap when I'm reading book two or three in a series. It's surprisingly hard to find spoilers out there :)

    Memes… yeah, I do a couple periodically but there aren't any I do weekly except a Sunday news and recap post. I am a person who gets bored easily so I like to mix things up.

    Backlogged reviews -- eek. I got way overloaded in April. I do have a spreadsheet and that helps prevent me from over-requesting. If I can look at a week -- or month-- and see that I'm really full, then I'll be more cautious.

    Thanks so much for stopping by! Jen @ YA Romantics


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