This is “free for all” week for Top Ten Tuesday where we’re supposed to go back and pick an earlier topic that we missed. But since the topic last week was the things we love about blogging, I thought it made sense to do a list of my top ten challenges. I couldn’t make this a list of things I “hated,” because I would not be doing this if I hated it! Below are the things I struggle with, and while it’s a long list, rest assured that the positives outweigh the negatives.
Where Did All the Time Go?
If I’d known how much of a time commitment blogging required before I started, I might have been scared off. There are many, many blogs that are much more developed than mine, and I have no idea how those people do it.
Over-consumption of ARCs
I’m sure this is something that trips up new bloggers. We do this because we love reading, and all of a sudden, we have access to so many unpublished works. It’s easy to lose control and soon find yourself completely over-committed. And as publication dates come and go, and books remain unread and unreviewed, the guilt starts to set in. I’m much, much better with this now, but I’m still digging out from my previous over-abundance of requests.
When Reading Becomes a Chore
Annnnd…this is what happens after you over-indulge on ARCs. That hot new ARC that everyone was clamoring for – you got it, too (YAY!) But you haven’t read it yet, and now the reviews are coming in, and they’re terrible. (Boo!) Suddenly, that shiny new ARC isn’t so appealing anymore. Or, you’re reading a book, and you’re just not getting along with it. In your old, pre-blogging days, you would have tossed it aside without another thought. But now, it’s not just a book; it’s a commitment. This is the point when reading becomes a chore. I’ve been blogging for a year, but I still don’t feel like I’m at the point where I can have more than a handful of ARC DNF’s. I worry I’d get blacklisted by publishers (does that even happen?) and I worry about being perceived as ungrateful. So I slog through these books, and I just hope that the next one is better.
‘Tis Better to Give Than to Receive?
We know it’s fun to get ARCs and books, but it’s fun to give them, too. I did a lot of giveaways when I first started, in part because it is just a fun thing to do, but also because I wanted to get attention for my blog. That’s hard to admit, because it seems…cheap? Like cheating? Kind of pathetic? I eventually got the feeling that I was “buying” followers, and that bothered me. As I expected, a side effect of fewer giveaways is fewer pageviews, but I feel better about my blog now. And I love knowing that even though fewer people are visiting, they are (hopefully) coming for content. I still do occasional giveaways, and I still enjoy them, but I’m focused primarily on giving away ARCs that I received. Speaking of…I’m giving away a signed ARC of These Broken Stars! 🙂
Save the Drama For Yo’ Mama
Every week it seems like there is some new “drama” erupting on Twitter or GR. I put drama in quotes, because 99% of what I see is complete silliness and not worth the energy that people put into it. I’ve unfollowed many bloggers I otherwise enjoyed because of their participation in this. I know some people get genuinely upset over minor slights from authors or other bloggers, and I’m OK with that, even though I don’t really understand it. I DO have a problem with the same group of people who constantly jump in with an almost gleeful manner, just to stir the pot.
Keeping Up With the Joneses
It’s sad but true, but there is jealousy in book blogging. Whether someone else got the ARC you wanted, or they’ve got a fabulously designed blog, or they came up with some fantastic feature – there will always be someone else who is “doing it better.” Be inspired by these people. Think about what they’re doing and how they’re doing it, and make your blog even better. Do you like the funny blogs? Or the personal ones? Or the simple designs? Or the flashy ones? I know which blogs I admire, and I’ll often see them do something and think, “I wish I’d thought of that!” But I also know that they can pull off their original ideas better than I could, just as I hope that no one can write a better limerick than me. 🙂
The Learning Curve
I’m still shocked by how much I’ve learned about Blogger initially, and now WordPress. And I’m a bit overwhelmed by how much I still need to learn. But hey, I managed to design my header, so there may be some hope for me.
Stepping Outside My Comfort Zone
I have yet to ask an author for an interview, and that is mainly due to a fear of a rejection. I have done a handful of interviews, but those were in conjunction with a blog tour, when the author had no choice! This is something that affects me in my personal life, too, so it’s not something that I will overcome easily. But as I’m writing this, I’m thinking that I could set a goal to ask two authors for an interview this year. That shouldn’t be too hard…should it???
Keeping It Fresh
There are only so many memes one can do, and I can only read so many books in a week, so I need to really exercise my brain to think of new ideas. I fail miserably at this. I’m very good at noticing when other people have great ideas, but I have a hard time implementing my own. I actually came up with something that I *think* might be a great idea a few days ago, but it’s going to take a good amount of work and creativity to pull it off. Which requires time. Which brings me right back to the first item on this list.
Coming Out as a Harry Potter Virgin
I’ve promised myself that I would read at least the first Harry Potter book this year. But after the last episode of GoT aired last year, I also told myself I would read the first three books of A Song of Ice and Fire before the next season begins in April. And I’ve read exactly ZERO of it. So, I don’t know if my HP promise will hold or not. But here they are on my bookshelf…impatiently waiting for me.
Your turn! Share your TTT post with me below!