This post should’ve gone up months ago. Alas it’s here now so please, welcome one of my awesome friends to the blog, I love her to pieces and if you’ve not been to her blog yet. What are you doing?! It’s Charvi @ Not Just Fiction! Her blog content is honestly some of my favourite content and she’s such a sweet, lovely person too.
School is a pressure most teens have, whether we like it or not. Anyhoo, as teens we also face other pressures that can be unique to our age. Some of these pressures, will fade as we get closer to our 20’s others will still be here, because no matter our age, our background we are all under different pressures.
I think the important thing for us to note first, is whatever your age, or what stage in life you’re at. We all face blogging pressures, coupled with life pressures which impact our blogs, our mental health etc. I started my blog when I was 16. I’d tried blogging before though ahem, when I was 14 but it was a writing based blog which flopped majorly. I didn’t have a clue as to what I was doing. I started my blog in Aug 2017 so I was 16 for erm..4ish months and I started just as I’d gone through a lot of stuff in my personal life.
I’d spent most of my summer reading actually, since I’d finished school in mid June and had nothing else to do but read and write. I’d been toying with starting a book blog for a while, it made a lot of sense to me but I was also worried that I’d get zero engagement. I started blogging for the community, to put my thoughts onto a document and let others read them. To learn from others thoughts and perspectives has already been an eye opening experience for me. That’s not to say I’ve not felt the crippling pressure of running a blog in multiple ways.
I hope you all enjoy this post, stick around till the end where I’ll leave Charvi’s links to her blog and socials!
Feeling Isolated Because Of Life Experience/Age
I don’t know if Charvi relates to this one as well, but as someone who’s always found it easier to talk to a room full of adults about something. I’ve always felt a disconnect from people my own age in real life. The difference with blogging though, is all of us share two things at least in common. We’re bloggers and we love books (if you’re a book blogger). In my own mind that changes the ball game a lot, because I know no matter the book bloggers age they’ll listen to what I’m saying; there’s a shared interest there so naturally we’re gonna want to listen and engage.
However most of the friends I’ve made in this community, who are active and who I’d go to ends of the world for (ahem you know who you are) are in their 20’s or above. The friends I’ve made who are in their teens like myself and Charvi aren’t always active because school and exams eat away at most of their spare time.
I don’t have the same life experience to draw from to always properly engage in conversations, nor am I in the same stage of life as any of them. I’m in college, not at Uni or working. For me personally, that can sometimes make me feel really isolated because I’m usually the youngest who’s active on the Discord server.
We’ve been used to our peers shutting us down, we’re young we don’t know what we’re talking about, when it’s usually on a topic we do know what we’re talking about. Yet those same peers seem to expect all teens, to pick what subjects to take for exams, what A levels to pick and oh by the way have you decided on what career you may want to do yet?
No. Well actually yes but it’s a creative one and nothing you say/do in schools help teens who want to go down a creative career path. At least not in my opinion.
I feel like sometimes I’m not good enough or/and my blog isn’t because I am simply a teen. Sometimes I also feel like I have to work twice as hard to get my voice heard on certain things because hey I’m 18 not 20 something. That’s a pressure which will only lessen the closer we get to our 20’s. Unless we sort it out ourselves in the community.
Ah, I definitely feel this one! More often than not it isn’t intentional but yeah. I’ll just add to this that we also aren’t taken that seriously, both by bloggers and other adults. Bloggers may see us teen bloggers as people who’re only blogging for fun or as a hobby and some of our opinions may be given lesser value depending on the topics during a discussion. In real life when I tell someone, especially adults, they usually dismiss it and move on. My parents are cool with me blogging but I know many teen bloggers who face a bit of resistance from their parents. They either won’t let them blog frequently or just criticise teens saying that they could make better use of their time.
Not Having the Time or Resources
Before anyone comes at me with ‘everyone is busy with work and jobs or something’ listen to me. I know you all have your part time or full time jobs and are just generally busy parents but in my opinion blogging while having the pressure of school, college or university is much harder. For starters, we spend so many hours studying in our institutions yet we have to bring back homework and projects and deadlines back with us. Unlike a 9 to 5 job where usually the work ends there and then we have to slog literally all the time. On top of that there is the academic pressure of never being successful in life if we don’t work hard and throw ourselves into our studies for these few crucial years. Finding time and energy to blog after and during all this is… hard.
We have exams like thrice a year? And one month before every set of exams parents usually go ‘okay stop blogging, your exams are coming’.
That means at least three complete months of not blogging at all.
Also we don’t really get any holidays or breaks because the word ‘holiday’, means that every teacher that exists on this planet, will dump all kinds of work and projects and learning assignments on us and we’ll end up having like 5 tests the day after. Honestly, until you graduate I don’t think the studying stops.
I’m currently on top of my blogging game because I’ve got 3 months before uni starts and I’m going to schedule a shit ton of posts for later because who knows what uni will throw at me?
People Pleasing & Acceptance
I think this point may relate to those older than us but people pleasing is something I try not to hold myself to. However my parents and grandma are three people I don’t want to let down, I also feel like when I was younger I put added pressure on myself, just because I’m an only child. If I messed up then it’s not like they’d have another kid who could do better than me and make them proud. *coughs* Luckily my parents made it plain to me, as did my grandma, that they’d not be disappointed in me for anything school/college related. They’d just be disappointed for me because they all know I’m capable of getting high grades.
Aah just want to add that my family is the same! But like my brain takes that as a terrible challenge and goes look how much they are investing in your education you have got to make them proud and be perfect at everything!
You do not want to live with my brain…
After that and now I’ve got a few months left of college and I think the hardest thing for me is balancing assignments with my blog. Particularly if the assignment involves software I don’t have at home. People pleasing though, can extend to our friendship groups we have in real life, particularly if we’ve been friends for a while and they’re not supportive. Somehow I’ve landed lucky in my in real life support network, however as a teen I can remember being in secondary school and feeling pressure for my friends to accept certain aspects of who I am. Now…look if you’re friends can’t accept you for all that you are, blog or no blog than they’re not true friends. Friends don’t ask others to change to suit them.
Okay so everyone is aware that we book dragons aren’t exactly at the top of the social hierarchy in society. People mostly look down upon us, calling us nerds or just weirdos for having such an obsession with books and reading. I’ve gotten my fair share of strange looks from both family and friends upon laughing or crying over books or simply by reading at the fast pace that I do. And we teenagers face this mounting pressure to maintain or social status the most, no matter how much we try not to let it affect us…we’re only human okay? When reading books isn’t really a ‘cool’ thing imagine how much scrutiny blogging about them puts you under! I’ve been building upon my self-esteem and trying to be my true self but when I first started my book blog… I told nobody about it.
I know, it was the worst strategy ever.
It was just me and my sister (who by the way can’t read to save her life) because I was scared of becoming more of the ‘quiet nerd’ than I already was. Eventually I sent links to a few of my close friends who I knew wouldn’t judge me and after a while my parents found out and they were… excited for me? Umm since then it’s common knowledge to every single soul who knows me that I’m a book blogger, yes even my relatives. I ferociously blush sometimes when I think of my aunts and uncles going through my posts but I remind myself that it is good content and in the end I am extremely proud of it. In fact I’ve got a ton of compliments from everyone, including my non-reader friends which just warms me to the heart. Screw the people who you think will judge you. You’ll find your own beautiful people in the blogging community!
But like also I don’t go full fangirl mode when I first meet someone because come on, I don’t want to drive them away with my crying and squealing and giggling.
Fellow teen bloggers, can you relate to any of our pressures? What are some pressures you’ve faced as a teen book blogger? And for the wonderful book bloggers who aren’t teens, share a pressure or two you’ve faced.