Helloooooo today I’m going to share some thoughts, opinions on the reality of being a book blogger. Sometimes I wish people who don’t blog would just be quiet and listen. Just because we’re blogging doesn’t mean all we’re doing is sitting on our backsides, typing up posts and reading. Even though it may look like that to an outsider.
We do so much more than just sit around. So to everyone who’s ever insulted us book bloggers, whether on purpose or by accident, to everyone who thinks they know what our reality is. Please, take a seat. I’ll share the realities unique to both book bloggers and teen book bloggers as hi, I’m 18 and a book blogger.
“If you spent as much time on your school stuff, as you did your blog, think about the grades you could get.“ & “Online friends.”
I’ve had this said me to throughout school but instead of blogging it was writing related, nevertheless this is probably something a lot of book bloggers get sick and tired of hearing. Whether we’re in Secondary school, College or Uni…you want the real tea parents, guardians?
If we spent as much time on our school stuff, as our blogs we’d be highly unhappy book dragons, who are stressed out and wouldn’t have a social life. Say what you want about internet friends, but if you have an open, honest relationship with your kid/s then them having online friends shouldn’t be a problem.
Secondly, you want your kids to be happy right? Last time I checked, school doesn’t make us happy, the pressure you put us under, doesn’t make us happy. Not listening to us, doesn’t make us happy. Telling us that the things we love are pointless, worthless, useless because it’s not earning us a revenue stream; makes most of us want to whack you with our nearest hardback. Would it kill you to just listen to us for once?
Whilst I’m hugely lucky in the parent and grandma department, they’re supportive of everything I do, they let me have my independence and don’t nag all that much. I know not everyone has this, just like not everyone has parents who are genuinely interested in what they do. My parents are awesome as is my grandma, they’re not perfect but they make the effort to listen to me, to chat with me and always ask how my friends on Discord are.
Our reality friends is for 99% of us are support network are online, they’re other book bloggers. Our immediate family, friends typically aren’t all that supportive. No matter how much you love doing something, when you lack support it can take its toll on you, particularly if you deal with comments daily.
“Oh blogging is easy”
Oh really? Well if it’s so easy here *passes blog to everyone who says it’s easy* Blogging looks easy, it’s not we all just work damned hard to get where we are. We’re writers, dabblers in graphics in most cases (not everyone is a graphic designer like myself) we’re skilled with social media, we have to figure out how to make friends. Blogging. Is. Not. Easy. To keep creating new content? Oh yeah totally easy, some people have been here for 9 years or more. I tip my hat to all of them because wow I hope I can last that long.
“You don’t need anymore books.”
Hmmm I get this one every now and then from my parents and grandma, or my dad will bring up me having a kindle to which I glower at him. I respect Kindles. Doesn’t mean I want one. As a teenager, we don’t have a set income every month, we may work but most of us don’t. So buying books isn’t as easy for us as those who have a set income and are overall more financially sound.
Either way if we want to buy more books, then just let us? Some of us will factor in a budget for books whilst others will spend ages saving up to be able to afford to buy a certain book. We always need more books…more stories to line our walls. More books to sit and judge us as we ignore them for other books. Books make us happy, you telling us we don’t anymore is unnecessary. (unless there’s a legitimate reason like the weight of the books in your room is so great you risk going through the ceiling etc)
Our reality is we blog about books that we love, doesn’t mean we own them all. We try our best to hype up new releases, doesn’t mean we’re able to pre-order the book. A lot of the community, particularly International book bloggers rely on ARCs…specifically eARCs.
Whilst I live in the UK and have privileges, I am still an International book blogger. My situation overall isn’t that bad, my main problems are I live in a rural village with no public transport, so I am dependant on my parents for getting anywhere. My library is 45 minutes drive away, but hey at least I have a library, multiple actually near me. Not everyone does and if you want to learn more about the struggles of reading around the globe then click away. Kal @ Reader Voracious started that series to raise awareness of what it’s like around the globe, for us readers and book bloggers.
The publishing industry is US biased. Book bloggers are not all on a level playing field which is our reality. If you’re a teen book blogger then we have the added issue of being overlooked, which leads to a lot of us when we first start out feeling very isolated from the community.
“Dang where are erm…all the teens?”
I mentioned this in the above point, but as a teen book blogger when I first started my reality was, oh so most of the book bloggers are 20-40 as a ball park age bracket. Finding other book bloggers, who were a teenager like myself was hard. I had no clue what I was doing, I felt lonely and was hyper aware that I wasn’t going through the same things a lot of the other book bloggers were and are.
I don’t have kids, a job or a husband/wife to juggle on top of my blog. Instead I had college, my parents and that’s well it. My reality was I had a lot of spare time to throw into my blog and into trying to find my people.
A book bloggers reality is that at first, it can be highly isolating, lonely and you’re literally just wondering if this is worth it. Are all the hours, sleepless nights worth it for this blog. Without the friends I have made (you know who you are) I would’ve quit a long time ago. This community my teens, is why you should stay.
Other teens are out there, Kelly @ Another Book In The Wall has an awesome Teen Directory you can join and a Discord server you can be part of. We’re not always active as we have school, but you’re in teenage company there ❤
Our reality as a book blogger, is we’re either fighting with technology, people in our lives who don’t understand why we do, what we do. Or…ourselves. We are our harshest critics, in everything we do, blogging included. We’ll have low days, high days and the reality is we put a lot of time into our blogs. For some of us, our blog could basically be a second job or a job, the amount of time we devote to it. It’s not easy. It’s hard work. It’s done out of a love for books, a passion for wanting more from the publishing industry with diverse books, which only happens if we use our voice. Make our voice heard.
So we’re deeply sorry, for having a hobby which at times, consumes a lot of our time. At least we’re learning about other people’s situations around the world. At least we’re making friends with other readers, from all different walks of life. At least our blog, helps hone certain skills that can help us get a job. We’re sorry you have nothing better to do than pass judgement, on something you’ve never done. Please…if it’s so easy start your own blog. Let’s see if you still think it’s easy after a month.
For my fellow book bloggers I hope you can relate to some of my points, and for those who aren’t a book blogger but have perhaps stumbled onto this post. Welcome to our reality, I hope you enjoyed this post! Let me know your thoughts in the comments, as well as your type of reality.