Random Thoughts: Remembering Why
It is so easy to get caught up in the day-to-day. Meeting deadlines for blog posts and reviews and keeping up with all the social and marketing aspects of being a book blogger. It’s so easy to get caught up in the frenzy of the latest drama. It’s so easy to get sidetracked by all the animosity, all the fear, all the blog posts about who’s in the right and who’s in the wrong.
It’s so easy to get discouraged.
It’s so easy to feel disheartened.
It’s so easy to just give up.
Maybe when you started your blog you never envisioned a community at odds. Maybe you never imagined a world where book lovers could be divided by anything but genres. Maybe you thought that blogging was fun and friendly and simple and easy.
Maybe you’ve had to make a few adjustments to your mindset.
Maybe you’ve had to make a few more.
But even with all these… let’s just call them “distractions”… you still are committed to being a blogger and being the best blogger you possibly can. You still want your voice to be heard. You still want a little piece of the interwebs to call your own. You still want to make a name for yourself. You still want to create something you can be proud of. The only problem is you can’t remember why….
Why you got yourself into this in the first place.
With all the drama, all the squabbling, all the name-calling, all the insecurity of not being liked, not being the best, not being noticed, not being heard. Why did you get yourself into this?
Why you put all the time and effort you have into building your blog.
When someone else comes along and steals your thoughts, takes your ideas, gets the spotlight when you don’t, makes the friends that you don’t have, becomes an insider in a community that makes you feel like an outsider. Why do you put forth all this effort?
Why you continue at it day after day with little or no recognition.
When you know you’ve worked as hard as someone else, when it seems so easy for them and it’s just so hard for you, when you struggle for words that just don’t sound the same outside of your head as they do inside, when you feel as if you’re talking only to yourself. Why work so hard for so little reward?
Because you love reading. Because you love the authors that write the books you love to read. Because books are your escape, characters are your friends and you could never imagine a world without them. And because you have such great love for these books, writers and characters, you want to share your thoughts about them.
That’s why you do this.
Whether you want all the social aspects that come with being a “popular” blogger or the “free books” that come with being recognized by industry professionals, you choose to write about books because you love them. If you loved music or fashion or beauty or entertainment or technology you’d probably be blogging about those subjects… and probably be getting a whole lot more traffic and visibility. But YOU LOVE BOOKS.
You do this for free… or potentially at a huge cost of both time and money. You do this without any industry recognition… for the most part. You do this without any real sense that your blog will turn into a money-making endeavor. But you knew this before you started blogging, didn’t you?
Before you started blogging… Did you ever really think you’d be getting awards for your blogging efforts? Did you really think that publishers would be sending box after box of books to you? Did you think that authors would be clamoring to have their books read by you?
Or were these ideas put into your head after you started blogging?
After you saw mailboxes full of books.
After you saw bloggers getting kudos from events that put bloggers into the spotlight.
After you saw bloggers talking with authors as if they were colleagues and friends.
But did you really start blogging only to receive some form of reward?
And did you really expect to be incredibly popular? Did you really anticipate your blog’s daily traffic to be in the thousands? Did you really expect to have a twitter army? Or did you only hope to find a like-minded friend or two to discuss the books you loved with?
Did these expectations change after you started blogging?
After you saw how many followers the blogs you followed had.
After you saw bloggers with thousands of followers on Twitter.
After you saw bloggers’ pageviews and unique visitor stats.
Did you really start blogging for the numbers?
Isn’t having the opportunity to read countless books and share your thoughts enough of a reward? Isn’t even just one “thank you for reading my book” from an author you respect reward enough to last you a lifetime? Isn’t making one really great friend in the community more than you ever really expected when you first started out?
It’s so easy to forget why you started out. It’s so easy to lose track of why you love doing this. It’s so easy to feel defeated by things you never thought of as possible in the first place.
But unless your sole goal from the outset was to reap the rewards that came with being a book blogger – industry connections, advance readers copies of books, money from advertising – maybe just take a few minutes to remember just why you started and maybe you’ll realize just why you’re still here.