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.
Have you ever felt like a ‘bad’ blogger?
What tips and advice can you give for when bloggers feel overwhelmed?