Google+ YA Romantics: Trending Thursday ... Blogging From the Heart

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Trending Thursday ... Blogging From the Heart


Welcome to another installment of Trending Thursday, in which I pick some sort of bookish trend and we can all discuss. Hot or Not? In or Out? Love or Hate? We don't have to agree, which is what makes book discussions so much fun.

Today I'm going to pick a blogging topic. Here's my take on what I've been seeing in the YA blogging world over the past year:
  • Feeling like you have to read ALL the books
  • ARC and/or Series OCD -- "If I commit, I cannot quit"
  • Feeling like you MUST do all the memes and hops
  • Intense guilt over non-daily posting, DNFs, and feelings of burnout
  • Feelings of guilt, obsession and competition
  • Requesting books because you genuinely are interested in them
  • Putting aside books or series that you aren't enjoying
  • Seeking a better blog/life balance, whether that means finding a co-blogger, taking a hiatus, or cutting back on posts
  • Making your blog more personal and less cookie-cutter
  • Trying to reconnect with the joy of reading

Trend One: Co-Blogging

Jamie of the Perpetual Page Turner remarked on this trend a couple months ago, and I agree. I see a lot of bloggers joining forces.  Becca of Pretty Deadly Reviews joined Great ImaginationsJenni of Alluring Reads joined Xpresso Reads, and Taylor from Thoughts of an Endless Dreamer joined The Bookaholic.  Heather at The Flyleaf Review will be joined by Marlene. Devin joined Bec and Alise at Readers in Wonderland. Rachel teamed up with Nuzaifa at Say It With Books. Starry Eyed Jen is welcoming April from SimSational Books as a co-blogger.

Trend Two: Cutting Back on Memes, Promos, and Hops

It seems like a lot of bloggers are also deciding that they don't have to do every single meme or hop, or participate in every tour or cover reveal.  Ashley of Nose Graze wrote about her strict policy on promo posts.  Recently, Jen of Starry Eyed Revue posted about why she's decided to do fewer giveaways. Casey at Literary Rambles had a similar announcement about cutting back on international giveways.  There was recently an interesting Forums thread on BookBlogging.Net about ways to keep your blog fresh and unique. If you're a blogger and haven't joined the site, you should!

Trend Three: You Don't Have to Read ALL the Books

Once in a while I'll be at the bookstore and feel a sense of overwhelming panic. I mean, there are SO many books.  But there's a sense of freedom in admitting that you can't read them all. Reading can stop being fun if you do it out of a sense of obligation. I like to try to read outside my comfort zone, but I also think it's okay to decide that a book and I aren't meant to be together.


What are your thoughts on blogger burnout, co-blogging and life/blog balance? Are you or a blogger you know doing something that goes with (or against!) these trends? Let me know in comments and I will add it to the post :)

30 comments:

  1. I've shared my thoughts to the point of probably boring everyone lol but I have found my balance and could not be happier.

    I do still struggle with the "I can't possibly get to every book in my lifetime" thing once in awhile but for the most part I'm just doing my own thing now and it feels great.

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    1. You are such a trendsetter!! I need to watch you closely for further posts. But seriously, you have been a great blogger mentor to me, and I have watched you work through burn-out and learned so much from you :)

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  2. I noticed how many bloggers were teaming up and thought it was great! I'm seeing a lot of people getting out of memes and feeling okay to post less now, which is basically how I feel too. It's too much pressure for some people, like me. I'm totally okay with posting only 4 days a week, or hell maybe even 3. And I've noticed it's allowed me to read more, which is what this is all about anyways. My last 3 books were all older, sitting on my shelf for over a year. It feels good. I'm requesting less so that is possible and I love it.

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    1. I cut back from 7 days of posts to 6 and it felt great. Right now, six days and 2-3 books read per week is working for me, but I'm willing to re-assess if things change!

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  3. I totally agree! I've been wanting to make my blog more personal so more people can see who I am as a person, but cobloggers have been such a big trend recently. I feel like it's because this year everybody's been getting progressively more and more busy, and I feel like the average time you invest in your blog is getting even higher and more demanding as well. Thanks for sharing, Jen, I love this post! <33

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    1. I love hearing about bloggers' real lives! And a blog is a HUGE time committment -- I don't think most non-bloggers realize how much time it takes...

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  4. I just posted a discussion post this week about rereading. I used to love rereading books before I became a blogger, but now with all the arcs I should be reading I feel guilty if I pick up a book I've read before. I'm making a conscious decision to read what I want when I want. Yes, I'm still going to try to get to the books I've requested, but if I feel like picking something else up instead, I'm going to.

    This last semester (which was my last semester of grad school and I was student teaching) I could barely keep up with posting anything on my blog and I hated it. I was mostly only keeping up on a couple of the easier memes to throw together (like WoW), but I wanted to post something. Now that life has gone back to normal, I've been moving away from memes as well. I'm still participating in WoW and Stacking the Shelves because I like them, but I posted a review on Tuesday instead of a Top Ten list and was pleasantly surprised that I got just as many comments on the review as a list probably would have. It was so nice to see actual comments instead of: nice list, now come see mine.

    Great post! I love this new feature, Jen!

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    1. Thanks! I'm having fun with this and have SO many ideas for trends posts. I guess that proves the point of this post -- making changes and coming up with new ideas can be re-energizing and make you remember why you love blogging.
      I'm off to read your re-reading post. I used to be a huge re-reader but that ended when I started blogging...

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  5. This is such a fantastic roundup! I like the move to having co-bloggers, which should take the stress off. And since I rarely read reviews anyway, I like seeing the content variety that bloggers are coming up with - like this post :-)

    Tanya Patrice
    Girlxoxo.com

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  6. I love this post idea! I totally have seen the same things in the community. I think we all have been running the race and look back at the beginning of the year and realize that we started for our enjoyment and to share our love of books. I'm so happy to see so many bloggers taking this to heart and really doing what they love.

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  7. I have considerably cut my blog posts - right now, I'll be lucky if I'm able to do a couple a week. Also, I learned to say, NO. To book tours, to ARCs, to hosting giveaways. I'm becoming more personal with my blog as well. I do book haul posts but I don't do any other daily or weekly memes. As for finding a balance, well, I'm aiming to do more than just a couple of posts a week.

    Great post, Jen. ;)

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  8. What a great feature! I love how everyone is trying to find a comfortable way of blogging. Whether it's taking some more free time or adding someone to the team, I like it :) It's also very good to see less memes, promos and all those things. I enjoy discussion posts, personal stuff and reviews.

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  9. I've noticed having a co-blogger solves almost every problem I had with blogging so I'm not surprised that more people are doing it. I love the emphasis on balance these days. I think in general, the push is towards more quality content which is great for everyone.

    Great post!

    -P.E. @ The Sirenic Codex

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  10. I definitely struggle with wanting to read all the books but am getting better about narrowing in on the ones that sounds good to me and aren't just getting hype from other bloggers.

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  11. I started by co-blogging (with my little sister), so I definitely know that's a huge help to sharing the posts. I've really only been in the book-blogging world for a year (I didn't start by blogging properly >_<), but already I've cut back on all the memes except for Stacking the Shelves, really. I did a few book tours, but I felt bored as I scheduled them...and I guessed readers would feel bored as they read them then (though I know that's not always the case). I still want to read ALL the books though. I'm going to have to work on that one. ;)

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  12. Brilliant discussion Jen! I've noticed a lot of the same trends you've mentioned and it's great to see that bloggers are taking a step back and realising that blogging and reading should never be a chore. I rarely do any memes as I'm not exactly a huge fan of them, and I know I definitely cannot keep up with every single series. I rather have a blog/life balance than stress myself out and make blogging/reading into a chore that I find tedious!

    Joy @ Thoughts By J
    http://thoughtsbyj.com

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  13. Jen, I have nothing but absolute LOVE for this post, it is so true, and I know myself that I had to take a step back from blogging for a while, I'm just now getting back into the swing of things but know now what commitments to make, and which ones to leave for others who can devote more time and attention to them.

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  15. I love this post Jen and I actually agree with you 100%!!! I've seen this trend myself and am actually happy that it has gone in this direction. I know for many of us, our blogs are our babies, but I think its important to enjoy LIFE and not focus tooo much on this one area of our lives. I've had to step back a LOT and I constantly struggle with the perfect balance.

    As a reader, I have actually UNSUBSCRIBED from blogs who post daily content. I just don't have the time to keep up. And primarily because most of those blogs I noticed, are participating in a LOT of meme's just to get them to the point of daily posting. I'd much rather read 4 blog posts a MONTH that are meaningful and well thought out. Versus daily posts just for the sake of content!
    Cristina @ The Princess of Storyland
    http://www.theprincessofstoryland.blogspot.com/

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  16. I had to do that as well. I needed to cut back and take some time off of just reading and reading and reading. Not that I don't like it but it was starting to feel like a job instead of something I loved.

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  17. I've been noticing these trends a lot, myself. I'm trying to be a more regular poster, but I'm trying to be more forgiving of myself if I can't do it all. And then there's only accepting things I want to read. I accepted too many self published ebook requests I had last year, and I was miserable. I'm sure this will annoy the indie authors who are hoping I'll help them out, but if I'm not interested? I should stand by that. Great post! Really accurate. -Kelsey

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  18. Completely agree on everything!!! I was thinking about adding a co blogger last year because of the stress and pressure I felt regarding the arcs and blog tours, but then I decided to take a break and cut back on extra requests. And so far it's working really well. Great post, Jen!

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  19. I think at the beginning of the year we all say we're going to do all these things and then we don't. We fall back into accepting too much, etc. I've noticed there are some people that sign up for ALL my tours and then they aren't always able to read the book on time. They clearly need to work on narrowing it down a bit. I'm happy to have them on the tours, but if they can't read the book in time they might want to just sign up for an interview or something. I don't request books often, most my review books are unsolicited or the pub/author has asked me. I have a hard time saying yes to much because I'm always feeling overwhelmed. It seems like once a book becomes a review book that I'm obligated to read, I no longer want to read it. I want to read all the shiny books on my shelves that I've wanted to read for years. So I need to find that balance (I say this every year) so that I can read MORE of them. I'm doing okay so far this year though.
    I have noticed that a lot of bloggers are teaming up with co-bloggers. This is good so that no one feels as overwhelmed. I guess it depends on how much you want to blog yourself because with a co-blogger you only have to do half. I can't imagine having one myself. But one day that could change.

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  20. I agree! I've been blogging a while now and I see so many bloggers teaming up, reading a ton of books, or doing every meme out there.

    I try to keep my blog looking like my style and making it fun for others to look around.

    I like the blog partner thing. I may have to find someone to work with soon. I try to make posts and have them set for the days coming. Sometimes it will be everyday and sometimes I only have time for a handful a week.

    I get a lot of requests for books and such and it comes down to deciding if you should read and do posts giving you little time, or reading the books and giving yourself time for other things out there.

    Maybe once I find a good blog partner I can get reviews out faster and do more fun and creative posts. As much as I love books and blogging, I had to remember that I have my own life and can't please everyone all the time. So posts would go out there, when they got out there.

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  21. Oh, so true!!! I know I haven't been blogging long, but I've already started doing some of these things: not always joining memes, not always joining hops or offering giveaways, trying to get back to reading and reviewing more, joining forces (Laura with Prism Book Tours), etc. I think it can be easy to get burned out if you feel like you have to do everything. I started blogging for fun, so if I start not enjoying something then I cut back on that or stop all together and I think because I've been doing that I feel like I am still loving what I am doing. :)

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  22. Yup I post way less and request barely anything now. I felt like when I started that I had to post everyday and have at least like 5 reviews a week. Now I'm happy to just post one. I also love just browsing my shelves or kindle and picking whatever I feel like reading. I've though about getting a blogging partner but most book friends already have their own blog. I also kind of like just having my own space. Maybe someday!.

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  23. Oh gosh no I cannot imagine feeling like you need to read them all. Sadly thought sometimes I still want to. But there is just so much! Picking and choosing then realizing your other friends like the once you decided to set aside and the vicious circle continues. Finding a balance is definitely a plus.

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  24. All of your OUTs are why I was either going to have to go on hiatus for a bit or find a co-blogger. I wasn't even actively seeking one, but April mentioned in an email that she didn't want to blog full-time anymore and it went from there. So far, it's been great, and I don't imagine that changing. It helps that I've known her since I started blogging, though. It's definitely all about finding a balance, and I think this is finally the year that I might do that. I still love blogging and the community as a whole, but I want to love it as much as I did in the beginning. And I don't want to feel like I'm always on a deadline. And you're right...I don't have to read ALL the books, but I should at least have time for the ones I really want to read. :) Loving these posts, Jen!

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  25. Thanks for the mention, Jen! Bringing Marlene on as a co-blogger has been SUCH A BLESSING. I have never felt like I had to post every day of the week--and I'm a big proponent of taking a blogging break/vacay every now and then, but it has been great to not feel like I must be writing a review or post or blogging during every available second of my free time in order to just keep up. I had serious blogger/ reader burnout a few months back--and I'm still trying to work through it--so bringing a co-blogger on has helped tremendously. And I love that she adds a fresh perspective to the blog. I think it's nice for readers to get a break from just reading all MY stuff all the time--I mean even I get sick of hearing myself sometimes, you know? :)

    Overall it sounds like everyone is tending to take this blogging thing more in stride--not let it get to us quite so much. Whether it's reading what you want or not putting so much pressure on ourselves to complete a book or series, or getting more organized and efficient in the time we do spend blogging, it's just like Jen says above--it's all about finding that balance.

    These really are great posts, Jen. It's good to know that we all face similar things and that we are all in it together:)

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  26. I really like this newest batch of trends. I think the longer you're around as a blogger, the more everything sort of comes into perspective, especially regarding not chasing every shiny new book, trying to figure out what makes you happy, etc. I think we all start out very eager to say yes to everything, or perhaps more accurately, give everything a try, including alll the ARCs, memes, etc. It's often only with experience that you learn what works best for you and your blog.

    By the way, I've had cobloggers since our "real" launch in January 2012, so pfffft! I've known about the joys of coblogging for ages. ;) I like these trend pieces, though, because although people may notice them in passing, it's good to have them documented somewhere. Next year it'll be interesting to look back and see what's changed.

    Wendy @ The Midnight Garden

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