So this is a more spur-of-the-moment post than most of the posts I post here (how many times can I use the word post in one sentence? Apparently several, post, post, post, post!), but it’s been on my mind on and off now and I wanted to put it in writing.
If I had a booktube channel, this would be what they call a discussion vlog, as I don’t have that I suppose I could call it a discussion blog or you know, a blog post.
Anyway, there’s a lot of things that have been on my mind lately and I recently reached the point where I wanted to talk about it, so here we are. In the interest of 1) keeping it short(er) and 2) keeping things straight I’ll do this in a list form of sorts so I’m probably going to be touching on several subjects.
TBR vs. currently reading vs. wrap-ups vs. round-ups vs. nothing
So something that has been occupying my mind a lot lately is how to structure this blog in a way that’s beneficial to me, the writer, and to you, the reader, without putting too much pressure on myself. I also want to avoid making too strict rules because that too, historically speaking, has killed a lot of things for me in the past.
I enjoy posting TBRs for much of the same reasons I suspect a lot of people enjoy writing New Years resolutions (I’m not one of them, and also I’m not saying all people who write New Years resolutions do this, but some certainly do), which is that it’s filled with the sense of a new beginning and the hope that this time you’ll accomplish more than the last time.
Like I said, I enjoy posting them, but I do wonder how much you, the reader, get out of reading them? Do you like them? Are they interesting? Or do you shrug them off in a second? Because in some ways TBRs are great to show off things, but (and this might especially be true for book blogs) they can be kind of boring since it’s not really about anything too substantial either.
A post about what I’m currently reading however would enable me to speak a little bit more about how I’m liking a book as I read it and offer a lot more personal insight into it. A currently reading post doesn’t have to include everything you plan on reading in a given month nor does it have to include to official “count” once the month is finished. It could just be an on-going thing with no definite end.
Or, I could do a monthly round-up where the books that made an appearance in any currently reading posts might make an appearance and I could let you know if I finished, how far into it I am or if I’m putting it on hold or even dnf’ing it.
I started book blogging (years back) for the same reason I started to do it again which is because I want to be involved in a community filled with people who love the same thing that I do and that I can talk to about the things I (and they) are loving. Not because I want to be involved in some monthly quest where at the end I get XP points and coins like I just participated in a Final Fantasy boss fight.
Frequency of posts and what to posts
One of the things I’ve struggled with a little after I started oddish.me was figuring out how many times I should post and also how many times a month I’d be able to comfortably keep up with without feeling pressured.
I intentionally kept away from doing reviews because I’ve always struggled when writing reviews because I haven’t quite found a review style that I like that doesn’t make me drag my feet about writing them. I’ve read a lot of reviews and sometimes I get so blinded by wanting to write a review just like they do that I forget that I need to enjoy that process too.
The fact that I’ve also been stuck reading books in genres I’ve long since tired from didn’t help matters. So I’m hoping to find a review style that suits my way of doing things and to (hopefully) have one review up a week starting next year or at the very least every other week.
However I also want to do other, more, frivolous (I guess? I want to say more fun, but that sounds wrong too) posts like tags and the like and I would love to do a post about books that have caught my eye each month that I might not be planning on reading just yet but that do excite me.
The way I do things is that I typically write up several different posts at once and schedule them so that they are posted throughout the month. Which means I can come up with ideas for new posts, note them down and not feel like I have to start writing the post now because I haven’t had a post up in X number of days.
A weekly currently reading type of deal sounds like something I could enjoy, so that might be something I’ll try next year.
Reading pressure and yearly goals
When this year (2017) started I gave myself the goal of reading 30 books thinking it would be pretty easy for me to achieve. I mean, I read a lot, it should be? But then I spent almost a 3rd of this year being ill which meant I read very little and only got close to that goal in October/November when my reading finally went up.’
If I had had a very strict goal of reading 100 books a year, that would have felt like a terrifying goal, but 30 still felt achievable and I’m not that (1 book) far from reaching it now.
I do enjoy reading, but I don’t want to force myself into a corner where I have to read X number of books a day/week/month/year in order for myself to qualify it as a “good” reading month. I have a lot of commitments in my life outside of reading that I love and I read because I love it, I don’t want to stop loving it because I’m not reaching some arbitrary goal I set for myself.
So I’m not sure yet if I’m going to give myself a goal for next year yet, but I do know that I’m going to be kind to myself and not hold myself by force to some TBR that I might not feel that into anymore. TBRs to me are great for inspiration when I’m looking around for what to read and wanting to put attention on something I might have forgotten about. But it’s not a law that I need to follow and finish.
Getting into book communities
This is probably what has been on my mind the most recently. I enjoy books and I enjoy talking about them. I have a Goodreads account, a twitter account and I have this blog. However, with the exception of this blog, both of those platforms are huge and what I really want are more personal connections in the book community, be it with vloggers, bloggers, bookstagrams, twitter or anything else.
One way to get that is of course to find, comment on and follow other book blogs which I am doing and am in the process of finding more blogs to do that with. However I also want to find a book club to join I think and perhaps see if there isn’t some kind of forum/smaller community that I could get into that doesn’t feel quite as frightfully big as the two I mentioned.
I might also try to do more discussion-like posts on this blog as well and see how that goes and how people respond to that as a way of being able to connect more with people who like the same thing I do.
I have a lot more on my mind but I’m going to wrap it up now before I go on for ages. Does any of this ring true to you? Have you tried any of the things I’ve mentioned and what worked (or didn’t) for you? Do you have any suggestions for me or do you simply want to gush about a book you just read in the comments?