Hold on. Just hear me out. Give me a second. I know my target audience is, well, book bloggers, and here I am insulting their craft. Dick move. I know. But just hold on.
[Cue the follower drop off]
Lately there have been some "outings" of plagiarism here in our little community, and while I'll spare you the lecture on how stealing content is a huge sin, the explanation from of at least one of them made me chuckle. She felt too pressured to post. In fact, I hear that resonating on many blogs, that people feel genuinely overwhelmed with ARCs, publishers, book "tours," challenges, memes, guest posts, commenting, and whatever else this hobby entails.
You guys. Did you just read that word? Hobby. For most of us, that's what this is. A rewarding, fun hobby that lets us do something more with our other hobbies, reading and writing. Hobbies are not supposed to stress you out, but instead be something that you can enjoy to escape the things that do cause you anxiety. You know, like work, taking care of families, nurturing relationships, illness, financial woes, or various forms of personal loss. The really, really important stuff. Not that hobbies aren't important, because they are, but, again, they're not supposed to make you feel anything but positive.
Most of our blogs aren't going to pay the bills, and never will. They are an outlet that should fulfill a creative need or perhaps one that craves interactions with like-minded individuals. Our blogs will never cure cancer, bring peace
to the Middle East, or solve the poverty crisis.
They do make us happy, though, and happiness is really important to being sane, healthy, and having a balanced life. They make us feel warm and fuzzy, whether we're writing, reading, or commenting on posts. They make us feel validated when we see new followers, complimentary comments, or shout-outs from others. We get on our soapbox when we see people insulting books we love or knocking down our favorite authors (but in a fun way, right?).
I get wanting to do what you do the best you can, since I run that way about 80% of the time. I love that people value their audience, which I see paid-bloggers in other areas totally not do. I even get a little bit of competition.
So, relax. Calm down. Have a glass of whatever makes you feel better. Read your books. Write when you can. Comment when you have time. Remember: this is supposed to be fun.