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Random Thoughts: Blogosphere or Battleground?

Random Thoughts

When I started my blog two some odd years ago, I didn’t even know there was such a thing as a blogosphere. I didn’t know there were things such as book blogs. I didn’t know there was a community to be a part of.

There was just me. My books. The thoughts in my head. And a platform on which to pour them out.

Every day – sometimes more than once a day – I’d rush to write down my ideas about the books I’d read, share my opinions about books coming soon and share my thoughts about things that loosely related to books. I didn’t really have an audience for any of these writings. I didn’t know there was a targeted audience to be found. I didn’t know there were people just like me who’d been doing this a lot longer and a lot better than I was.

All that knowledge came later. Not much later. But later nonetheless.

But I also didn’t know I had to approach my blogging like I would a battlefield. I didn’t know I had to come prepared for war. And maybe I didn’t. Not then anyway. But maybe I should have.

For some, it seems, blogging is a competition. A competition to see who can be the most popular, who can get the most attention from the publishers and authors, who can get the most friends, the most comments, the most pageviews.

For some blogging is more akin to a business. One in which to make a name for oneself. One in which to derive income. One in which to branch out ones skills into other, but related, areas.

And for some it’s a platform. To speak their voice the loudest. To be heard by the most. To be recognized, touted, revered.

While these may not be the majority of the bloggers in the book blogosphere, they tend to be the most visible because they’re looking for popularity, attention, compensation. And as there are so few spots at the top, whether or not they want to battle, they often have to. But that’s a choice they make. That’s an achievement they’re prepared to fight for. That’s a position they want to hold.

For some, these bloggers are representative of the ultimate goal. They are the icons, the pillars, the role models. Their behaviors and actions are closely watched and modeled after. If they approach blogging like it’s a competition, so will those who want to be like them. If they approach it, instead, with a gameplan or marketing strategy, so too will those who seek to find the same successes.

For others they represent an impossible to achieve status, yet one they strive for regardless. While these bloggers may not follow in their footsteps so closely, they do look to them to see how they too might succeed. They do look to them for guidance, for wisdom. And if they perceive competitiveness as the only way to achieve that status, they may adopt a similar approach.

And yet for others they are symbolic of all the things they dislike in the “real world” – elitism, popularity, unfair treatment, perceived arrogance – which sparks feelings of inferiority, jealousy, envy, hate. These bloggers may wait quietly in the wings for those at the top to fail, to fall, to disappear. Jumping on the “hate” bandwagon only after their decline. Or they may take action, looking for the cracks in their armor, trying to find a way to remove them from the spotlight they don’t feel these vaunted bloggers deserve to be in.

All of which serves to create an “interesting” dynamic in a community that is rather large but often feels rather small. Between those striving for number one and those envious of those at the top – the “chosen few” – a less than harmonic environment is created. And those caught in the crossfire are the bloggers who don’t wish to aim quite so high or don’t harbor feelings of ill will toward those who succeed.

These bloggers, who are perfectly content being somewhere in the middle, simply sharing their thoughts and ideas, being happy with the following they have, enjoying the praise and books they do receive, are the ones that often get dragged into the fight unwittingly.

And sadly they’re the ones who often become too battle weary to continue.

They’re the ones who are left scratching their heads wondering how the landscape became that of a battleground where they are forced to choose sides, forced to become sentinels for their original ideas, their posts, their voice. They’re the ones left wondering if it’s really worth it when their aim was never to battle for the top spot or to join the revolution against those who hold those positions.

And this “silent majority,” who are the staples in this community, are often overshadowed by the dramas that give the book blogging community a bad name. They’re the hard workers who do this day in and day out without recompense, without glory, without drama. They are the bloggers who put in the enormous amount of time and effort simply to share their voice with anyone who’ll listen. They are doing this simply for the love of books and authors and community. Nothing more.

They’re the ones who are ill prepared, ill equipped or unwilling to fight. And yet they often have to. To protect their ideas. To protect their content. To protect their integrity.

They’re the ones whose reviews most often get “lifted,” as the thieves think no one will notice. They’re the ones who feel kowtowed into silence when a wrong has been committed as they don’t feel anyone will believe them or that they won’t have help in their fight for what is right. They’re the ones who suffer when their reviews are attacked for being too positive/negative/fan-girly/critical.

And they’re the ones who have to decide, if they believe that blogging is a battleground, whether it’s all worth it.

My thoughts…

When you put yourself out there and share your ideas in an open environment, there is always a risk. A risk of them going unnoticed. A risk of them being disliked. A risk of them being copied or stolen.

When joining a community there are also risks. Risks of not being accepted or liked, of being unnoticed, of getting drawn into situations you otherwise might not want to be a part of.

But there are also rewards. Of having your thoughts read. Of connecting with those who have similar thoughts and ideas. Of learning new things. Of meeting new people. Of finding new friends.

So, if having to be prepared to fight for your ideas, your friends, your place in the community is a part of being in this community, the question ultimately is whether you perceive the effort to do so worth the “reward” you receive.

And for me? Today I say yes.

Posted in Random Thoughts | Tags: ,

39 Responses to “Random Thoughts: Blogosphere or Battleground?”

  1. This is a lovely post. And I wholly agree, today I say yes too. Blogging can be stressfull, dramatic, and sometimes painful, but then I remember the friends, the wonderful books I’ve read and the chance to share my thoughts on ecerythibg book related and I know that blogging is worth it.

    • Fiktshun009 says:

      Thanks. And yes it’s worth the battle it sometimes feels like more often than not. I love discovering new books and authors that I know I wouldn’t come across without being in this community.

      And the bloggers and readers I’ve meet are pretty incredible.

      And ugh don’t get me started on my phone commenting skills.

  2. When I first started blogging I didn’t really even know what I was doing. It just seemed like a fun way to share my love of books with others. Who knew in order to do that I would actually have to get followers or it would just be me and I already know what I think about the books I read.

    I’ve never really aspired to be at the top of the pack. It seems like a lot of work not to mention the stress. I try to keep blogging as stress free as possible. I put a ton of time into blogging I can’t imagine putting even more time into it.

    I do believe the risk is worth the reward. I love blogging and can’t imagine my life without it.

    Love the post (as usual)!

    • Fiktshun009 says:

      Thanks Nicole!

      I started out exactly the same way. When my friend Nic asked me why I don’t have that email subscribe thing so more people could read my posts I was totally surprised. Then when I heard about that GFC thing I had to beg her to follow me because I didn’t want to subscribe to my own blog and be the only follower. I finally caved and became my own 18th follower, LOL.

      Oh and just like you, I’m the same. To be at the top, you do have to network, make connections with publishers, keep those connections “active” and read and review more of those books. I commend the people that do that. And those that blog with integrity and that level of hard work.

      It’s just all too stressful to me. I’m not a great networker/marketer.

      And I’m so glad you try to keep blogging stress-free and that you still love it!

  3. BellaBunnell says:

    Wonderful post. I say YES as well. And I will until I feel I’ve nothing to contribute, or just don’t enjoy, or have the time. For now, I’m not going anywhere. I’m quite content in the middle.

    • Fiktshun009 says:

      I’m so glad you’re hear to stay Bella! And those are the perfect reasons to stay… or go….

      If someone doesn’t love it, doesn’t have time for it and doesn’t have anything to add, I couldn’t think of any reason to stick around. I couldn’t imagine the effort would be worth it.

  4. Alaiel Kreuz says:

    Somehow I always manage to stay away from the drama, maybe because I find out about it when everything has ended, maybe because I’m one of those middle blogs you talk about and I just don’t find myself inside the problems. But I do care what happens and I’m always sad when a blog I like disappears because of the drama…

    So far my only concern has been if my reviews are being copied but since I have no clue of how to check something like that I try to pretend it will never happen to me^^U

    Right now I say the same thing as you, blogging is worthy. I love writing even if I tend to go on hiatus every now and then… But I like the feeling of belonging to something, you know? And I’ve met some amazing people that I now consider very dear friends so yes, blogging is awesome :]

    As always, your “random thoughts” are amazing, Rachel^^

    • Fiktshun009 says:

      That has almost always been the case for me too – I find out long after the fact. But lately it seems that I’m finding out earlier, or maybe the drama is lasting a bit longer.

      But even without the drama there is often this “tension” after large events like ALA where jealousy rears its ugly head when people come back with giant book hauls or have met with publishers and get their names on various lists.

      It does make me sad when blogs just disappear. When I see posts that say they’re saying goodbye because it’s not the friendly environment it once was. I don’t mind the “life change” situations which aren’t so sad, i.e., new job, new family situation, new spouse, school. As all those are positive things. But leaving because there’s too much drama – whether from competition or just random craziness – always makes me sad.

      It’s odd how even if you don’t fully know how to find plagiarized posts sometimes they find their way to you and you end of finding out. Of course I hope you’re never plagiarized!

      And I totally know. Being a part of a community of book lovers is – almost all the time – a truly wonderful thing to be a part of. I tend to be a bit of a loner but I love talking with people just as excited about books as I am!

      And thanks so much!

  5. Awesome post. I was completely unprepared for the ‘blogosphere’, still am, to be honest. I didn’t know how big this community actually was, I didn’t know there was an audience to be found, I didn’t know how competitive it could be. I certainly didn’t know it was filled with drama every. single. week. I’ve been lucky enough not to encounter anything too harrowing, beingi n the middle pack myself. But it just makes me sad. There are some that’s took this fantastic, awesome hobby (for most of us) and marred it with scars. But I agree with you, wholeheartedly. We do have to fight. Because this is our place. And we’re not going to let a bunch of angry pathetic idiots ruin it for the rest of us.

    • Fiktshun009 says:

      Thanks! And neither was I. It can be overwhelming at times. There are some amazing things and some not-so-amazing things about it.

      I’m so glad you have been able to avoid much of the drama/spotlight if that’s not what you’re looking for. While some are prepared for the spotlight others aren’t. I know I do not like being in the spotlight. I’m not that kid who raised their hand in class. I’m not the one who boasted about grades. I prefer to be behind the scenes at work rather than in the front lines. So I’m happy mid-pack myself.

      But I think some of those who enjoy the spotlight also don’t realize what challenges come with it. Which is a whole other post entirely. There are a LOT of responsibilities when being that revered/looked up to blogger. It, I’d imagine, would be a lot of pressure for some.

      It is sad that some days we have to fight against all these things working against us as bloggers – whether we’re in the top, middle or bottom – but yes, I do agree, that if this is where we want to be, doing what we want to do, that it’s worth the fight.

  6. As a blogger who’s rather firmly placed in the middle, I found myself nodding right along to your post. And, funnily enough, I wrote a post last night (which will post tomorrow) extolling why I love blogging. Because why do it if you don’t like it, right? I try to not get involved in a lot of the controversies, though I find myself shaking my head at some of the crap that goes on. I mean, really?

  7. bn100 says:

    Very nice post. Thanks for sharing.

  8. -They’re the ones who suffer when their reviews are attacked for being too positive/negative/fan-girly/critical.-

    I think that kind of struck home… I’m too silly when it comes to writing my thoughts-reviews of books… Specially if they’re ones that I fell in love with.

    Of course everything else you wrote is true and hard and I speak at least for me… Saying that this last month was the one that relates completely to this whole post.

    But going back to my reviews… I don’t ‘think’ I’ve ever been robbed or you know… Of reviews. :)
    But as to my content… Sometimes I even wonder if people think I’m faking it, my enthusiasm… So I try very very hard to pour all my feelings into each and every single review… But even then… there are tons of doubts.
    So maybe that’s why I think people don’t take my reviews too seriously.
    I try to make them fun… But I NEVER lie while writing them. I don’t see the point…

    ANYWAY…

    I can’t help getting excited while reading a book and then getting overly excited when writing a review for that book because I think someone might stumble upon it and try out the book simply because I loved it…

    I’m forever in the middle though I won’t lie I used to look up to certain… huge bloggers… And that led me to believe we all had to be like them in order to be considered serious reviewers/bloggers and to have a loyal reader base— But ultimately they ended up disappointing me and well… It was sad…

    So now I just aim at staying true to myself and my love of books… And if only one person stops by my blog… That’s enough for me.

    I love doing this… even with all the drama. I love it. It’s the one place I feel like I can be myself completely even if it is posted out there in public for everyone to see and criticize…

    And yeap… My thoughts…
    I’ve become stronger and a bit surer… I’ve made friends and YES I’m completely prepared to fight for them, for what we believe is right.

    The reward I receive is more than enough for me and yet… Most of you give me more than what I know I deserve.

    You all guys made it worth it being a blogger and the authors and their books make it worth it being a BOOK blogger.

    I love you all!!

    #1FiktshunStalker

  9. zabethmarsh says:

    Beautifully said. Keep writing!

  10. Giselle says:

    First–Fab post Rachel you’re great at these opinion pieces.

    I wasn’t sure how to approach it at first, feeling a little like if one is popular, one must thrive for attention and drama, must have fought dirty to reach the top, must not be blogging for the right reasons like those in the middle. And while–at the risk or sounding vain–I may be what some consider “popular”, I don’t see myself in any of of those descriptions.

    I started blogging not that long ago just like anyone else, with zero followers and an unheard voice. I wanted to put myself out there, I wanted to share my opinions and be part of what looked to be a great community (there wasn’t so much drama then–or I wasn’t aware of it). So you know what I did? I socialized, I commented, I CARED about what others have to say, I cared what my blog looked like and conveyed. Because frankly if you don’t give a shit about others or your blog, they won’t give a shit about you. And somehow, this lead to people enjoying my blog and coming to visit, coming back, becoming my friends, which led to, well, being a “big” blog I guess. I did not do anything that I would consider a battle to achieve what I have achieved. I honestly just did my own thing, and friendliness will get you further than fighting. I have never felt superior or better than anybody because of my follower count. I have friends whose blogs are just starting up, friends who have never pined for followers and are happily a “smaller” blog, and I don’t value their friendship or opinions any less. I consider myself equal, in fact. I’m not blind to social status in the community, but I just don’t see myself in that social staircase. I only see us all in a big ass room together. I just am who I am.

    Regardless, drama finds me sometimes, though most of the time I ignore it. Not everyone has to like me and I’m ok with that. Some people WANT to create drama, thinking it will garner them attention, I’m very rarely going to bite. I did have to learn to choose my battles. I have never in my life looked for drama, only despising it with a passion. The one time I tweeted something negative last month I got a reply that they were surprised I was speaking up about anything. I don’t search out attention or drama–drama is attention for the wrong reasons anyways and one will get nowhere with it.

    So I could take this post both ways–it’s encouraging smaller blogs, bloggers who may think their words are not heard, but on the other end it could make some feel like they’re being shamed for their success, it being a proof that for them it’s only a competition, separated from the rest by their self importance and conniving ways.

    And just in case this comment is misconstrued, I’m not pissed or even annoyed, just showing that the whole is not always representative of the sum of it’s parts.

    • Fiktshun009 says:

      Hi Giselle, I will reply again when I’m on my computer and not my phone as I’m terrible at commenting on cell phones. But I wanted to clear something up. I didn’t say all popular blogs were competitive. I said some blogs feel like this is a competition to be popular.

      Some blogs achieve popularity through hard work and don’t treat it like a competition. But those blogs weren’t a part of my analysis/commentary.

      Just as some small blogs who are jealous of large blogs who don’t do anything about it.

      I was very much thinking only of a specific type of blogger – the competitive one or the envious one – that by no means implies all. But if I went on a tangent to explain all the blogs outside the scope of my post I think the focus or point would have been lost.

      And of course there are other types of competitiveness even among mid-level blogs but again that is an entirely different post topic altogether.

      I’ll respond to the rest of your comment when I’m on the computer and don’t have to fight against autocorrect quite so hard!

      • Fiktshun009 says:

        I wanted to publish the comment before it potentially failed. But to continue I just wanted to say that I also wasn’t saying competition is a bad thing necessarily.

        Competition can help people strive to improve. My point here was simply that many in the middle don’t get into this to aim for the top spots and therefore finding out that there is competition where they thought there was none can be a surprise. Hence the preparing for battle.

        I just didn’t want there to be any confusion that I thought popularity automatically meant competitiveness. It doesn’t. Just look at Mundie Moms who are hugely popular and have been doing this for years and years.

        • Giselle says:

          Yeah I figured it was more of a “hey this is happening”, but I thought I would leave my unsolicited 2 cents to point out that you can build a successful blog without going a nasty route, and that popularity does not equal attention whores (for lack of a batter term lol).

          I do agree there are some good and some bad competition, and I’m not blind to the bad one either. I’ve seen people get ugly competitive over who could read faster, who could get more books in a week, some who get pissed that they haven’t reached a certain goal in what they think they “should” have by now. Some of this is born because of bloggers who maybe preach a little too much about what you should and shouldn’t be doing with your blog. Advice on bettering a blog is one thing, but forcing an opinion on the community is another. How often do I see tweets that go something like “if you’re going to post mostly memes maybe you shouldn’t blog” (yes I’ve seen this and worse!)

          I’ve also have seen some nasty bouts of jealousy over what should be healthy competition. It’s funny too that we’re in one of the geekiest hobbies that exists and there is so much drama–who knew people could get so riled up over books? BOOKS! O_O

          • Fiktshun009 says:

            I agree, you can build a blog without being rude, stepping on people or be looking for the one lone spotlight to shine only upon you. More of these blogs ideally would be the role models, not the ones who feel as if being at the top means that everyone else needs to be beneath them. And I’m glad you left your opinion about it. Because it is true, you can rise to the top with lots of hard work, honesty – no need to plagiarize to win – and without the “take down” mentality.

            And I’m all for competition if you blog like it’s a business because you can’t be a successful business if you can’t be somewhat competitive. Of course there are always degrees of competitiveness in business, too.

            But these bookish events like ALA seem to often bring out the drama – look at the books I got, look at the contacts I met, etc. And I have seen healthy competition turn to these ugly battles, too.

            There is nothing wrong with wanting to succeed. And if you go into this with the game plan and goals to succeed you do anticipate some competition. Of course I suppose even those who are prepared to compete might be surprised at some of the ugly sides of the competition in the blogosphere.

            And for me books will ALWAYS be cool! The most AWESOME “hobby” ever. :) And I am surprised but also not. I may have rambled about that before come to think of it. I think it’s human nature to a degree and the more popular blogging gets the more different types of people get jammed into this space.

            But I could never have imagined someone getting so riled up over books before I started blogging!?! Perplexing really.

    • Fiktshun009 says:

      (The comments got too skinny and stopped letting me reply.)

      LOL of course! And yes book nerds ARE the new black. I’ve been trying to convince everyone of that notion since long before it was cool to read. I used to skip class to hang out in the library in grade school as I thought I could learn more from books than from some of my teachers.

      And I think you just inspired a ramble post today. Thanks! Of course I’ll credit our discussion. :)

  11. miki says:

    I would say yes. When i started it was because i enjoyed the community i followed several blog officilaly or not before taking teh step because i was too shy. My blog is small yes and i don’t have that many followers but i’m happy as it is, if authors trust me to review their blog perfect if they look down on me because of teh low level of followers sad for them. i will receive the book i buy ( the large large majority anyway^^)

    i’m happy i managed to find some friend in bloggers that share my opinion . popular is perhaps a goal for some but the more popular the more risky too, more problem etc

    Thank you for this great post

  12. This is a fantastic post. It is a shame that sometimes blogging seems like a battlefield, but I find it to be worth it. Not everyone will like me and I have had my reviews stolen, but does that make me not want to do this anymore? No way. I do this because it’s something I enjoy doing.

    I love the followers I do have and in comparison to other blogs that started around the same time I did, I have way less followers, but I’m totally okay with that. Obviously we all want more followers, but the ones I do have are great and I love interacting with them. I would rather have less followers who care about what I am saying, rather than a lot that don’t even really read my posts or comment.

    When I started I didn’t really know too much what it was all about, I just wanted somewhere to put my thoughts and saw that people had these book blogs and was like. “Oh, that’s a perfect way to get my thoughts out of my head!” I had no idea that people would actually want to read what I had to say. I didn’t even know how to start a blog or have my own website, and forget how to actually post pictures or anything lol! I have slowly learned, but am still very technologically challenged.

    In general I love the blogging community and the awesome friends I have made including bloggers, authors, publishers, and readers. Of course I get stressed out sometimes, but there are way more awesome days than bad days, and I am very happy to be part of a great community. Yes, there is the drama, but I figure it can only get to me as much as I let it.

  13. Really a wonderful post. I am one in the middle. I am happy with my blog the way it is and don’t have the energy or the time to make it into a giant blog that has tons of followers. It’s an extension of my work as a bookseller; sharing what I love with the world. If it means only a few people read my reviews, so be it. That’s a few more people I’ve guided to a great book!

  14. Rachel,

    I’m going to make this short and sweet. It’s posts like this that remind me why I enjoy blogging and why i love to always visit your blog.

    Hayley G

    • Fiktshun009 says:

      Thank you so much Hayley! And I’m so glad that you enjoy blogging! When it all boils down, isn’t that the point? To enjoy what we’re doing as bloggers?

  15. As a newbie blogger this post seriously hits the nail on the head. I got into blogging solely because I wanted to rant and rave about books without having to watch my “friends and family” roll their eyes. I never thought about the drama or competition that is involved with blogging and to be honest it is really something I hope to avoid as I grow.

    Thanks for the thought provoking post,
    – Octavia

    *Side Note* But if a battle ever does come to my doorstep I do have some armor I’m willing to break in. :)

  16. Wonderful post as always. I’m not sure where my blog and I sit in the scheme of things but I know I am not jealous of the people that sit at the top and I always strive to help those blogger that are starting and want the help. Though I am not exactly a blogging genius I try. I also try and stay away from drama because I know that being smaller getting pulled in could be certain death but I also know that if a blog I care for was attacked and not in the wrong I would stand for them. I didn’t realize that blogging would also be a battlefield but I do stick with it. Not to say that I don’t have days that I wish Publishers would notice me but those days aren’t frequent and pass.
    I know this is kind of all over the place but it’s my thought process today. I really appreciate your honesty and the posts like this that you write because it gives some of hope and other that are just starting advice. I have been this about a year and still love the advice!

  17. Jazmin says:

    Rachel, this was a fantastic post on book blogger dramaz. It seems that after people were certain the world WASN’T going to end in 2012, they were willing to kick off 2013 with drama llamas. I started blogging like what, 3 years ago? I’m by no means the most popular, but I do fall firmly into the wallpaper category as in, I go so most unnoticed like that one word you skip when reading (like is or was!) How I started to blog by just raving about books and then over time, I began to fix my posts and made them ‘nice’ (readable) and have always aimed for a colloquial feel to my blog. But then I found about Netgalley and ALA and while both interested me, I didn’t find it worth it to reach for the numbers Netgalley wants and whatnot. Basically, for me, blogging was all about my opinion on books with some music tastes added to it, I’ve never really wanted that ‘top’ position because frankly, that’s a lot of work, and I’m lazy enough as it is with schoolwork ;)

    this post was most excellent and a reminder of why I should get back to scheduling this months reviews :)

  18. Avanti says:

    Great post & glad so many people commented!
    I consider my blog to be inbetween a small & medium one. I have had the blog since 2011 but recently started getting serious about it. When I first started I didn’t know much about the blogging world but I slowly discovered all the large, popular blogs. I looked up to them and wanted to have lots of followers & get tons of comments on every post & get free books. But then I realized that will probably never be me… and I’m fine with that now.
    I’ve come to see how much work goes into being that big of a blog & staying popular. I know I can’t do it because for one, I don’t read nearly as fast as they do. I finish a book a week if I read consistently, there’s now way I could post 3+ new reviews a week. I post 4 times a week: 2 memes, 1 discussion & 1 review. Some people may say I’m not a true review blog since I only do 1 a week but whatever, everyone’s not a speed reader.
    I’ve become less a victim to the number game of blogger. You know, seeing how many followers you have compared to blogs who started around the same time as you or after you. Shoot, even before you. I know now blogging is not about how many followers you have (although it’s nice to see the # grow) but the content of your blog. If you have good things on your blog that’s all that matters. People will like you for that. If I grow then I do, if not I’m perfectly fine with that. I’ll continue to blog anyways.

  19. alexia561 says:

    Excellent discussion! I love the blogosphere and the wonderful bloggers I’ve met over the years, but sometimes the drama does get to be a bit much. I think that everyone feels jealous at some time or the other, but it all comes down to how you deal with the jealousy. Do I wish publishers sent me boxes full of books like some of the big blogs? While it would be awesome, I don’t think I’d be able to read them all in a timely enough manner and the pressure would get to me.

    Love your discussion posts!

  20. Ivana says:

    What an amazing post. It’s so easy to fall into the pitfalls of attention-seeking and drama…and in that sense the blogosphere has changed so much since I started blogging in 2009. I’m really happy with my BIG 350 followers (to me every one of them is precious) and more review books than I can read. It’s the trust of my readers, the publishers and authors that pushes me to produce better content. The drama will come and go, but it’s the love for books that makes us stick to what we do.

  21. Bookworm1858 says:

    Great post-I personally have really struggled with blogger jealousy throughout my time blogging and I really want to stick to the reasons why I love blogging: it’s about reading and discussing books with other people who love them since the people in my real life don’t read much YA like I do.

    • Fiktshun009 says:

      Thank you! And it’s hard not to feel jealous now and again. I mean who wouldn’t love beautiful boxes of books delivered to their doorstep? It’s just if the jealousy overtakes the enjoyment that I’d start to question whether it was worth it. Because feeling jealous all the time isn’t a great way to exist.

      Focusing on the good stuff – talking with people about the books you love – can help to remind you why you’re here. And as long as you have a few books to read so that you can share your thoughts that’s all that matters in the long run.

  22. Thanks for the post – this is a pretty accurate picture of what I have found. When I started blogging, it was to share what I was reading with my students – a book talk on the Internet – because I was pursuing my Master’s in Library Science and really wanted to discuss what I was reading, but I didn’t always have time with my classes.

    I have been surprised to see what has taken place with some blogs/bloggers, but I keep sharing my love of reading. I figure that as long as I have passion for books and for sharing what I am reading, and if I always keep my students in mind, I cannot go wrong.

    I just hope I’m not one of the ones who ends up stepping away. I have thought about it. Several times.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

    Happy Reading!

  23. parajunkee says:

    This makes me sad Rach, because I’ve been feeling this way too and it is easy—so damn easy to be caught up in all the competition. Especially when blogging becomes so much more then just a “hobby.”

    I’m not that pretentious that I would assume I was one of the blogs on top. But, I will tell you that I think it happens on all levels. From small blogs, medium blogs and even the “girls on top.” Jockeying for that next slot a bit higher then where we are at the present moment. Not that it even matters. But, neither does popularity in high school. What does that help with in life? Nothing, but it is a driving force for a lot of teenagers. Frankly, we always say “That is so high school,” but really we mean, “that is so life.” Because, high school is a microcosm of life when we are just starting to learn about human behavior and interaction, so everything is magnified and new.

    There will always be bad apples, their will always be people whose scruples get lost somewhere in their drive for success. Unfortunately those people tend to stand out more and cause trouble for other people, while the people who just want to do the right thing, are the background noise. Because those people are usually the one driven for popularity and success. Not all, but some.

    It makes it worse, when the blogs on top are of questionable character and their questionable character trickles down into the “mainstream.” I can see where you are getting at here and in all honesty there is nothing we can do about it. We can’t change people’s minds about who they follow and emulate. All we can do is change our own minds, who we follow and emulate. As long as you continue to be a shining example of awesome, and carry yourself with integrity, don’t let all that other stuff filter in. Hard. Especially when they KEEP coming at you. But, it is something we have to do. In real life and in our blogging life.

    The best advice I can give you is something my grandmother once told me. If something doesn’t have a positive impact on your life, it isn’t worth a damn. Get rid of it, no matter how you feel about it.

    Sorry for the long and meandering comment. I guess I was saving up.

    XOXO Sweets. Keep your chin up. Just keep swimming.

    • Fiktshun009 says:

      Firstly, I clearly love long comments. I leave them often enough on your blog so no need to apologize!

      And so well said.

      And I agree that it’s tough to see anyone trying to emulate those whose character is less than stellar. But that seems to happen often in life. Celebrities, sports figures, et al. I doubt anyone starts off blogging thinking that hey, someday they’ll be a role model. But once blogs reach a certain “status” that label seems to stick. And their behavior will be emulated whether they want it to or not.

      It’s also so true that the “bad apples” stand out more. The bad kids always get more attention. And drama always gets more attention, which makes me sad, too.

      And I like what your grandmother had to say. It’s true, even if it isn’t always easy to adhere to. If the day comes that the balance tips so far to the negative side and stays there a bit too long, I will say goodbye to the blogging. But in the meantime I definitely try to shake off the negative stuff. Because it’s not worth dwelling on. Life is WAY too short. And there are just so many important things to focus on.

      Thank you so much! I am definitely trying.

      Oh and you are so not pretentious but I do happen to consider your blog a top blog and one that I think you run very professionally with a touch (or a few…) of humor. Okay, some of your posts are wildly entertaining. :)

  24. I definitely have some days where I get annoyed when I get rudely told my numbers aren’t high enough for someone’s blog tour company that does self-published books… and then that sort of thing leads me to thinking why do I even bother to put in the time?

    I avoid a lot of the drama because I don’t really interact with other bloggers. I’d like to change that, but there’s only so much time in the day.

    In the end, though, I stick with blogging, because I do enjoy it, and I like getting my (probably insignificant) opinion out there, even if no one is reading it.

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