Let’s Talk: Being a ‘bad’ book blogger

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Hello fellow book bloggers (and other bloggers too, of course). I’ve been thinking about writing this post for a little while and now seems like a good time to do so.

This post comes as a result of something I often seen on Twitter in the book blogging community. On too many occasions I see fellow book bloggers writing tweets apologising for having been a ‘bad blogger’. Of course, there are ways to be an actual bad blogger and I’m not here to go into those. I’m here because about 99% of the people I see tweet this are apologising because they have taken a break from blogging to look after their own well being. We’ve all been there, we’ve all done it. I know I certainly have written tweets apologising for not blogging when, actually, blogging is our hobby.

Mental health and well being are something I feel very strongly about and it has really been getting to me to know that my fellow bloggers are feeling that they should be putting their blogs before their own mental health. Blogging is something that we all love and feel passionate about. I know that blogging has given me some wonderful opportunities, I’ve made a whole new circle of friends and some of those people are truly my best friends in the world. On the other hand, with the fun side of blogging all of a sudden comes the expectation. But where does that expectation come from?

Some people could argue with book blogging in particular that the pressure comes from keeping up with new releases, writing reviews on time, getting yourself known to publishers etc etc. And yes, of course all of that does come with some pressure. That being said, nobody is going to want any of that to happen if it is having a detrimental impact on your mental health. Is getting one review written on time really worth the impact of having poor mental health for days/weeks after? It is really not.

Sometimes as bloggers we must remember to say ‘no thank you’ and most importantly we must remember why we started our blogs. I started mine because I wanted to share my love of books with others. I never dreamed at the time that publishers may want to send me books to review, it is a huge perk and something that I am incredibly grateful for but if I were to let all the pressure get to me, I’d end up hating my blog and I never want that to happen.

I post very regularly on my blog and that’s just because I like doing so. Other bloggers post once, twice, three times a week or month. That’s okay. We all have to do what it is that we want for our own blog and also what it is that we can manage within our live and time constraints. Blogging isn’t as easy as people who don’t blog think and we have to give ourselves credit for that. With a full time teaching job, I know that blogging sometimes just has to go to the side. I learnt it the hard way this year when I had some well being issues of my own due to tragedies in work. I felt wracked with guilt at first about not blogging. After a week of not doing so I realised that nobody was going to judge me for not posting. In fact, what did happen was that when I then came back to blogging I found that people in the community had missed me which gave me such a boost.

I think it is only natural that we feel guilty when we can’t meet a deadline or we feel we are letting our readers down. But that one post or week/month of posts not going up isn’t going to hurt anyone. It will allow you to recuperate, to refresh and taking a step away for a while will help that love of blogging come surging back.

Don’t feel bad if you need a break. If you have prior commitments contact those involved and explain. I did and they were so incredibly supportive of me. Tell your followers you’re taking a break, or don’t. It really is up to you. But remember: you can’t be a ‘bad’ blogger when taking time for yourself. There is no blog without you to run it so self-care is always a priority.

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lets-talk

Have you ever felt like a ‘bad’ blogger?

What tips and advice can you give for when bloggers feel overwhelmed?


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36 responses to “Let’s Talk: Being a ‘bad’ book blogger

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  2. This is a great post, Kelly! I just started up my blog, but I already can see how this hobby could become something more akin to a full-time job if I’m not careful. This was a really wonderful reminder to just take it slow if I need to and not let the pressure get to me. Thank you!

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  3. Unfortunately I’m guilty of thinking like this sometimes… These last 3 months I wasn’t able to blog or read much and I felt like I neglected my favourite things, but my life has been so hectic and so many changes are happening so fast… Thank you for this post honestly, I’m fairly new at blogging but I love it, so it just made me feel a lot better to know we all go though this…

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m so glad you’ve taken something from this post. I see people saying they are a bad blogger all the time and I think we all just forget that actually it is a hobby and shouldn’t be something that we force ourselves to do. We are all guilty of doing it though! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

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  7. great post, whenever someone asks me what they should do because theyre feeling overwhelmed i always encourage them to take a break if they need it or theyre just gonna get more bogged down and not enjoy the content theyre creating

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Lovely post Kelly! This is something that we all struggle with I feel. There is so much pressure (mostly from ourselves) to be a “good blogger” but what does that mean exactly? This is something that I’ve really had to learn over the past 2.5 years blogging. I blog for myself first, so I am not going to feel guilty for taking time off. At the end of the day, I have to put myself first and do what is best for me.

    Liked by 1 person

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  10. Wonderful post, Kelly! I think it’s super important for bloggers to realize how important it is for us to focus on our mental health, and to cut back on blogging if needed. I know I have felt the pressure of book blogging before, and have felt guilty when I couldn’t post multiple times a week. I’m trying to find a balance between my personal and blogging life at the moment, and it is difficult!

    I really loved this post! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  11. This is a fantastic post, and you’re completely right. It can just be hard to prioritise yourself sometimes.
    I’ve definitely felt like a bad blogger before, but one thing I’d recommend is asking for help – maybe ask for a guest post or a guest review to take the pressure off yourself. Or just give yourself a break, there’s nothing wrong with that if you need it.
    Cora | http://www.teapartyprincess.co.uk/

    Liked by 1 person

  12. This is such an important post. Mental health, your own happiness and satisfaction comes way above a blog. I’ve also had my fair share of struggles where I’ve felt guilty for not being able to give my blog its due importance but over time, I’ve realised that IT’S OKAY. As long as your blog makes you happy, you can do whatever you want to do with it – it shouldn’t lead to guilt or dissatisfaction.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Oh goodness, yes! Especially this past year, because I’ve gone back to university to do my masters so that, as well as my part-time job, has to take priority over reading and blogging. After my dissertation is handed in, I’m planning to get back into the community so hard, I’ve really missed it!

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  14. I feel like a bad reviewer when I look at my back pile of ARCs that I started requesting before I even contemplated the idea of blogging and sometimes I feel like a bad blogger for not putting in the effort to properly learn what the hell SEO is but the way I see it is that blogging is a hobby for me and I do it for my own enjoyment, if I charged people for my blogging I’d feel bad for delivered a less than perfect service but for me, I’m happy.

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      • Yeah I accidentally fell down the SEO research rabbit hole (it was NOT a wonderland) and it was just link after link after link of so much more stuff you had to have/learn/pay for to enable the next stage, I had to stop and just clear my browser history to stop cookies giving me grief about it for months afterwards. Needless to say, the only way I’ve changed how I blog is that sometimes I do a Pinterest image if I’m especially pleased with a post and I give my images appropriate file names, that’s all I can handle. Oh, and I get what alt text actually is now, not that it’s especially useful.

        Liked by 1 person

        • It does seem like such a minefield and I’m not sure I’d be able to put in the time to make sure I truly understand it! I’ve seen a few people recently saying that they are using Pinterest to draw in viewers for their blogs but I can’t quite get my head around how it helps/works. Any tips?

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          • Yes, I’m on the mailing list of a blog called Well and Wealthy and the first one she sent was one all about Pinterest for traffic building, it’s quite easy and I use Canva for really easy graphics – I’d be happy to forward the email to you? Or you could join the mailing list if you prefer the blog is here: https://wellandwealthy.org/ – if you decide to start doing it, I’m part of a bunch of Pinterest boards, I’d be happy to add you into 🙂

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  15. I have definitely felt like this at times. It’s so easy to get wrapped up in the mentality that you HAVE to do the reviews and keep your blog running, but you’re absolutely right. Sometimes you have to take a break to look after yourself

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  16. I’ve felt incredibly guilty quite a few times for taking my break and the way I’ve chosen to do it, and I put a lot of pressure on myself to get things scheduled before surgery. I managed that even though it was stressful, and overall I’m still slightly guilty some reviews will be later than originally planned, but think I’ve done things the best way for me. Really enjoyed this post, I agree with so many if your points!
    Amy x

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