Saturday, August 19, 2017

Book Blogger Newbie Tag 2.0

I feel like I will forever be a newbie- at everything, but especially at book blogging. lol. No matter how many years I might blog, vlog, instagram - what have you - the internet is such a vast and constantly developing place, it can be hard, to impossible to feel like you can stay on top of it! So in that spirit, I decided to adapt a tag which has been floating around Youtube, the Booktube Newbie Tag 2.0, and answer the questions for book blogging. Keep reading to see my answers to some pretty interesting questions!

1. What genres would you like to see more of on book blogs?

One of my favorite genres of books to read, non fiction. I feel like non fiction is the ugly step child in the reading world. I very rarely see book reviews, youtube videos, or instagram posts for non fiction books, and it makes me heart sad. Non fiction has so much to offer, and it has the benefit of being real life! Inspirational stories and life wisdom are great to find and enjoy in literary fiction, but there is a level of credibility and just all around genuine-ness that i really appreciate when I know that the story actually happened to someone.

2. What do you feel is the best way to make friends while blogging?

In my experience, making friends online is *so* much like making friends in real life- and the things that I struggle with in real life I also struggle with online. My biggest real life struggle is participating in conversations, I find it really easy to talk to someone when they are leading the conversation, but when the conversation falls on me to carry - I saw a complete and total blank! It's absolutely crazy - I'll leave the conversation and think of a hundred things I could have said or asked - needless to say socially I don't perform well under pressure. 

And the same thing happens to me online! I will read a blog post or watch a video and then when it comes time for me to respond, to let the author know that I appreciated the content, that I disagree etc, I draw a blank! Thankfully, online I have time to reflect on an answer or come back when I think of something thoughtful to add. Participating and showing up to me the best way to make friends - I can read and watch a thousands different bloggers and as far as making friends, none of that will matter if I do not let them know that I read/ watched/ etc. their content.

3. What do you enjoy the most about book blogging?

My initial, obvious reaction to a question like this one is always the amazing community of people who talk and read about books on the internet. Were it not for this great community, I would have no reason to want to participate! It is amazing to me every time someone tells me that they are interested in what I thought about a book or are excited for me to read a book I have mentioned. I do not know that many people in "real life" who read as much as I do, or want to talk at length about the books that I do. Blogging has been such an amazing outlet for that and I am so grateful that a community of wonderful people exits around this topic.

4. What do you enjoy least about book blogging?

I really struggle with the technical aspects of blogging - the constantly unmet desire to make things look how I want them to look - *kills me* inside. I have yet to find a format or a blogging resource that has really helped me with this - so if you have recommendations or resources for things that have helped you- please, pretty please, leave them below : )

5. What posts other than the usual kinds of reviews and recommendations would you like to see more of?

Well, going back to question 4- I would love to see more posts about the technical side of blogging. There are some absolutely amazing bloggers out there who seem to have nailed their style and set up and I would love to see posts about how they got to where they are, as well as posts from people who are working on their style and formatting - and the resources they are drawing on to get better at those things.

6. What are some themes that you want to see more of or less of in books?

I've been on a bit of a YA kick lately, so the first thing that came to my mind when I read this question were the tropes I have continually encountered lately around romantic relationships. There's a handful of them, and while I find some more annoying than others ( insta love, for example, is pretty high on my list of annoyances) their overall effect is that the relationships depicted do not reflect any relationship I've ever been a part of or seen- which is frustrating and really unfulfilling as a reader. But then I also really appreciate it when I feel like an author gets it right - Alex George for example did an excellent job with this in Setting Free the Kites. Check out my review of that book here!

7. What are some of your book blogging goals?

My current goals are two - I want to have written 100 book reviews- I'm more than half way to this goal, so yay! By reviewing the books that I have read this year and not yet posted a review for ( which is a shameful amount by the way, don't even want to get into it.) And reviewing the rest of the books that I read this year, I should be able to achieve this goal! My other goal is to really work on my ability to analyze the books I am reading - I feel a bit out of practice with writing book reviews, to be honest! So I want to spend the rest of this year taking the things I want to say about a book and really working to express those feelings in writing.

8. What advice would you give to a blogger who has just created their blog?

Whatever your blog is about - anytime to start to get frustrated, doubt yourself, or your content- remember why you wanted to create the blog in the first place. I continually struggle with getting caught up in the aesthetic of my blog, or my Instagram, or my Youtube channel - and those are all pretty tricky spaces to critique yourself creatively. Especially when you haven't spent any time studying design, photography, video, etc. At the end of the day though, I know that I created each of those places to have an outlet for the creativity that I do have and to grow. Comparing myself against others is always a losing proposition, but when I look at some of my first blog posts, Instagram posts (oy!) or videos- I can clearly see the growth - and that is exciting! And frankly, all that I have control over, and to me- all that should matter!

9. What are some qualities or traits that you look for when reading other book blogs?

I love reading book blogs that show a lot of different aspects of a book. At times, I am not able to read a full blog post- so finding blogs that have great photos and quick snippets and summaries is my favorite - and is definitely something I want to do more of on my own blog, as well!

Ah- tags are so fun! I completed this same tag on Youtube, as well. Click the video below to see my talking about some of these same topics. I would love to see more book bloggers complete this tag, so please let me know below if you decide to do that - I would love to check it out!


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