Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Hardcover Lover Confessions | Coming to Terms with the Type of Blogger I Am Now

Had you asked me five years ago when I started my The Hardcover Lover where I'd be today, I probably would have said happily teaching and reading in my spare time. While I'm still reading, I'm definitely not reading as much as I used to read. I'm not upset about it, but I do feel like it's had an impact on my blogging and the kind of blogger I want to be in the future (if there is a future for me in blogging).

Sometimes for me, it's hard to believe that I sat down one summer day over five years ago and just decided to start a book blog. I'll admit that I was a little late to the party, and at times, I felt like I would never be thought of as a serious book blogger. But things happened, and more and more authors and publishers were willing to work with me, and I was reading more and more than I thought I could. 

I kept up with this new normal for almost three years, often draining my bank account to buy new releases of books that my blogging friends were reading and recommending. Sometimes I loved the books. Other times I hated the books. I even threw my copy of The Fault in Our Stars across my living room and into the wall. Sorry, John Green. It just wasn't my cup of tea!

On top of buying new books to read, I was receiving a lot of the highly coveted Book Mail that most bloggers love to receive. I would devour these books because I felt like it was a serious part of the job. I'll admit that I never felt the need to up-rate books just because I was getting them for free, but I did feel highly pressured to read and review them quickly. I thought a high turnover was best for me and my blog. Also, I just loved being able to log on to my blog and check comments from other people - people who had also read the ARCs or people who were just waiting for it to come out so they could sit down and read it. Truth be told, I was experiencing FOMO without even realizing it.

Somewhere, I feel like I lost my way. What was once a pleasurable past time for me had become a chore. One day, I just decided I wasn't going to log in to my blog just to see what would happen. Slowly, I made a habit of not checking in on my blog, and my short queue eventually came to a stop. Checking Goodreads was no longer a priority for me. And one day, I removed my blog's logo from my Twitter account. It was as if I disappeared from the book community and blogging world. And here's my secret - I really liked it!

I felt like I was able to enjoy things for myself again. I didn't feel pressured to read things like I was always on a deadline (even though they really didn't exist). I didn't feel the urge to spend all of my hard-earned money on books, although truth be told, books are still a huge part of my very low checking account balance. Sometimes old habits are just hard to break!

In my unplanned blogging hiatus, I've learned a lot. I've done a lot. I went back to school, and I'm currently in the process of earning my Master's in Education. I've made new friends. I was even able to go overseas and spend a week in Sweden, which I never thought I'd do!

So what I'm saying now, and especially after reading Someday, Someday, Maybe by Lauren Graham is that I don't exactly know what the future holds. I don't know where my career is going. I don't know what my future in the book community will be. But I do know that when I blog on this platform from now on, it's going to be on my own terms. I don't want to promise myself that I'll post one review a week. I can't even guarantee that I'll read one book a month. 

I have enjoyed and loved my time here. If I only check in from time to time from now on, it's okay with me.

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