I have been blogging off and on since I was fourteen years old. A huge part of my life was completely consumed by everything book-related, but lately it's been more off than on. There are many reasons for that...
#1) Nobody on the outside understands the book blogging world. Most people I'm friends with don't even know it exists. My friends viewed my vast book collection and random bookish knowledge as some sort of weird quirk that they didn't necessarily comprehend or relate to. Traveling to New York for BEA and filming IMM videos were foreign concepts to them, and try as I might, I couldn't ever fully explain it to them. And the concept that I met some of my best friends, who lived all over the country, through blogging? Forget about it.
#2) I was intimidated by the criticism. Whether it was the way I talked while I recorded a vlog, or the fact that I had the audacity to dislike a book that everyone should love, there was a never ending stream of criticism from commenters, and it just felt like a reminder of everything I was doing wrong. I once reviewed a book that I hadn't finished, but really disliked, and I was told my multiple people that I didn't have the right to review a book that I hadn't even "bothered" to finish. I had so much fun filming IMM videos, but some of the worst critiques we ever got were in the comments.
#3) College. This one is easy to explain, my college reading list is long and insanely boring. I felt like any time that I spent reading should be spent reading for school, and I would feel guilty any time I read books just for fun.
#4) I felt like the blog controlled my reading schedule. If all I needed was a good Scrambled Eggs at Midnight, or Anna and the French Kiss fix, I couldn't take the time to reread them, because I had a TBR pile that could fill an entire bookshelf and ARCs that had to be reviewed before their release date. I realized that I was letting the blog slowly suck my love for reading dry, and I got to the point where I not only didn't want to blog, but I also didn't want to read anymore.
And how I remedied each one:
#1) I realized that the experiences I've had through blogging were some of the best experiences I've ever had, and I wouldn't trade them for anything. Some of the highlights were:
Meeting Tim Gunn.
Getting to do the fantasitcally amazing Sing Sweet Nightingale cover shoot with Spencer Hill.
#2) I realized that if I believed that I was entitled to my own opinions on books, then I had to accept that everyone else was entitled to their own opinions about my reviews. And I didn't have to agree with them. So what if someone thinks I talk too loudly or have terrible taste in books? That doesn't mean I have to change or be intimidated by them.
#3) I got lucky. This year I'm taking a class that has blog posts as homework assignments. So I get to do what I've always done, and it counts as work. I also realized how reading for fun de-stresses me, and so I shouldn't feel guilty because I'm not reading for homework, because sometimes you just need to de-stress.
#4) I took a break. Freshmen year of college, I only read three or four YA books, and I didn't blog at all. While this sounds a bit sad, it was rejuvenating and it made me realized how much I really missed the blogging community when I wasn't immersed in it anymore. Then, I binge read. I read 15 books last summer, and didn't blog about any of them. I rediscovered my love for books themselves, and it made me happy.
All of this so say, THANK YOU. Thank you if you've kept up with ReadingTeen from the beginning, and thank you if this is your first time coming to our blog. Thank you for giving me a community I LOVE more than anything, thank you for commenting, and thank you for reading.
I love you all.