BBAW 2012: What book blogging means to me


I’m a bit late getting to sit down and think about today’s blogging topic for Book Blogger Appreciation Week. I had hoped to have all of my posts done beforehand, giving me plenty of time to formulate thoughtful responses. Ha! I forgot how my life is during September, so instead, you’ll be getting my thoughts completely “off the cuff.”

I love book blogging. While there have been times when I’ve felt a bit burnt out, more recently I seem to have found a close to Zen balance when it comes to how much I blog, and how many review copies I accept. I have cut way back on review copies – to around one a month – and being able to go to my bookshelves and pick a title up simply because it’s calling to me has re-energized my reading this year.

I also seem to have found my niche in the blogosphere, and been able to let go of my dreams of having thousands and thousands of readers a day. I’m completely content where I am. I love my regular readers and commenters, and feel like I know each one of them as far more than just a link on the page. I have also tailored back the number of blogs I read, because I wanted to have time to actually comment on my favorite bloggers’ posts, not simply scan through them in Google Reader.

The book blogosphere has gotten so big, and there are so many new blogs, that it can often be overwhelming. But I visit the blog of every person who comments on my blog, and that has allowed me to find some terrific new blogs to follow without the pressure of trying to keep up with all the latest and greatest.

I’ve also given up Twitter almost completely. I still add my review links, and get on for quick conversations once in a while, but I don’t log on every day. I’ve found that this is good for my sanity. I don’t know all the latest gossip or scandal, and therefore don’t feel the need to get righteously indignant over all the blogger drama that goes on.

My life outside of blogging is very stressful right now, with a husband still unemployed and the possibility of losing our home. It makes me so extremely grateful that my blog has become a peaceful little part of my life, a place I can escape to for conversations with like-minded people about books that are making us think, feel, and dream. If you are one of those readers and/or commenters, then I offer you my heartfelt thanks.

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29 Responses to BBAW 2012: What book blogging means to me

  1. Beth F
    Twitter: BethFishReads
    says:

    Finding balance, especially when real life is stressful (wishing you all good things), is so important. I have cut back on commenting on blogs. That way I have the time to at least skim all my favorite blogs but I’m not eating up half the morning typing out answers. I have probably lost readers because of that, but I have gained some sanity and I’m much calmer when I start my workday.

    • CarrieK
      Twitter: booksandmovies
      says:

      Candace – it is so important to figure out what works for each one of us – and I think (most) bloggers are understanding. I read several bloggers who rarely, if ever, comment on my blog – but I still love their reviews and insightful posts. For me, it’s become so much less about reciprocity and more about what makes me enjoy blogging – both writing and reading. :)

  2. I am glad to meet so many book crazy people like me and book blogging has made my reading more intense!

    BBAW: Meaning of Book Blogging

  3. I can relate to so much of what you’ve said here, Carrie. I think I’m finally getting to where I want to be as a blogger, finding my comfort zone. I let things get out of hand and think I about drove myself crazy with stress trying to figure out what it was I wanted–thinking I had to be everything I wasn’t. If that makes sense. My blog should be my peaceful place–I want it to be.

    You’ve had such a rough year. I wish I could give you a big hug right now. I feel so lucky to know you, Carrie. I have such admiration for you as a blogger, a mother and a person in general.

    • CarrieK
      Twitter: booksandmovies
      says:

      Aw, thanks, Wendy! I really didn’t mean to sound like I’m looking for sympathy – just being honest. :) And I am holding out hope that one of these days, we’ll be able to meet in person – and then you can give me that hug!

  4. You’re right on the money, Carrie, and so much of what you’ve written here resonates so deeply with me. I am sorry to hear you’ve got such a whirlwind of worries in your personal life, but I’m glad the blog brings some solace and comfort and best of all: FRIENDS! Hugs for you.

    • CarrieK
      Twitter: booksandmovies
      says:

      Andi – it is the people that make it all worth it, isn’t it!? And how amazing to be able to consider people I’ve never met in real life to be true friends.

  5. Isla McKetta says:

    It’s great to hear your target number for review copies. I’m a newbie book blogger and the requests are already starting to overwhelm me. I wish I had your willpower re: Twitter ;)

    Thanks!

    • CarrieK
      Twitter: booksandmovies
      says:

      Isla – yes, I had to learn the hard way that it is not fun to feel like you are buried with review commitments and have no time to read your own books.

  6. Sandy
    Twitter: youvegottaread
    says:

    I can relate to this SO MUCH. I’ve got so much going on in my life right now that I can’t concentrate like I used to on blogging. I’ve cut back on what I do too, and just stay in touch as much as I can with the blogs that have been here all along. I hardly ever take review copies, I don’t do challenges and I haven’t even done much this week! I have cut out Fridays all summer. So what? We don’t make money at this, and it is supposed to be relaxing. You know that you are always on my mind and I do a lot of praying that things look up for you soon. :)

  7. MoniqueReads
    Twitter: MoniqueReads
    says:

    I can relate and totally agree with you about finding balance.

    There was once a point like you I was concerned about how many readers I had and acquire review copies and being “popular”. Now that I have stopped I enjoy blogging so much more.

    I am sending you a big supportive virtual hug and wishes that “real” life get better for you soon.

    • CarrieK
      Twitter: booksandmovies
      says:

      Monique – thank you! And I’m glad you’ve found your happy blogging place, too.

  8. Alexia561 says:

    Incredible post for being “off the cuff” instead of scheduled in advance! I love that you’ve found an almost zen balance, as I’m still searching for mine. Sometimes I think I’ve found it, then I get stressed out again. I’ve practically given up on Twitter, which does help, but I need to learn to say no to review copies more often.

    So sorry to hear that you’re going through such a rough time. But am glad that your blog has provided a peaceful retreat for you! I tend to go online when I need to relax, and one of my blogger friends calls it her Happy Place. :)

  9. Michelle says:

    I knew things were stressful but somehow missed just how bad things were for you. I am so glad that you can find moments of peace among all of the stress and worry. Also know that you have a friend just a tweet, email, shout-out or other method of communication if you need anything at all!

    • CarrieK
      Twitter: booksandmovies
      says:

      Michelle – you didn’t really miss anything – I haven’t blogged much about it, because it just sounds like complaining. Thank you so much for your offer of an ear – I may take you up on it!

  10. heidenkind says:

    I’ve missed you on twitter! I haven’t been tweeting as much as I used to, either, although I do check it a lot throughout the day.

    • CarrieK
      Twitter: booksandmovies
      says:

      Tasha – I do miss some of the conversations, but I just don’t have much time to be on there very often – and I don’t miss the drama!

  11. Marg
    Twitter: MargReads
    says:

    I am so glad that you have managed to find some balance that enables you to still keep on sharing with us. I love your blog!

    I hope everything works out for you and your family.

  12. I am with you on finding contentment in your blogging space. I’ve given up the dream of thousands of readers and given up on being a super-active twitterer. Hope this place continues to be a nice calm spot for you.

  13. Heather
    Twitter: BookAddictHeath
    says:

    I’m so with you here. It is all about balance and I have cut back a lot too. This should be fun and if it stops being fun then I think we are doing it wrong. :)

    • CarrieK
      Twitter: booksandmovies
      says:

      Heather – I agree! Blogging is a wonderful part of my life, but it’s not my life.

  14. stacybuckeye says:

    I don’t know how you find a balance and am in awe of what you accomplish on your blog! I hope your husband finds a job soon. Having just gone through this in the last month I know how much stress it adds.