A few days ago, I realized that this year marks 10 years I have been a book blogger. So I decided it was time to do a small post series, beginning with this – The Journey So Far.
I have to say this milestone hits me right in the feels, and not entirely in a good way. I am in my 30’s, so 10 years as a blogger means I have spent just shy of one third of my life creating bookish content for myself, and for you folx. And looking back, it took me a while to see what I have to show for my efforts, time, and money.
I started with a blog I made for NaNoWriMo on another platform that I called Inklings. (This is honestly still my favourite blog name to date, but the domain was unavailable when I went self-hosted) Then I moved to a blog called Written Permission, hosted with WordPress.org. After a few years, I decided it was time to try out self-hosting, but the SEO for the phrase “Written Permission” was pretty awful. So I spent a good chunk of time thinking about what I wanted to rebrand myself to. And Bluestocking Bookworm was born.
While I was deep in my feelings one night this week, Mr. Blue asked me why I was so sad. I explained to him that I didn’t feel like I had “adequate” success to show for 10 years of work. So he asked me how I would classify success, which was something that I had been thinking of all that day.
You see, I have had a LOT of amazing experiences and successes that have stemmed from this blog. And while there is still a lot of room for me to grow, I wanted to share with you where I have found success. Not to brag, but so that if you are having trouble seeing your own successes, maybe this will help?
I regularly get eARCs (and occasionally physical ARCs) from publishers, including some of the Big 5. I have even received unsolicited ARCs a couple of times, and I am auto-approved with HarperCollins Canada, and Orbit Books on Edelweiss and NetGalley respectively. (I am still waiting on a fancy ARC box though, like some of the bloggers in the US get.)
I have presented seminars about book blogging and book reviewing at a local SFF convention.
In 2018, I was in Toronto for my brother-in-law’s wedding. While there, I had the amazing opportunity to tour both the HarperCollins and Penguin Random House offices and meet the publicists I had been emailing face-to-face.
I have been a blogger (unofficially) for Canada Reads through CBC. I have made friends with some authors via social media. And even though we rarely get authors here, I have met a few authors in person, too!
And the friendships I have made in the book blogging community? Those are simply irreplaceable.
So why do I feel like I am not a success?
I mean, part of it is that I am Made of Anxiety, and I feel like if I am not perfect at every aspect of things, then I am obviously a failure. But there is a little bit more to it.
Sometimes, it feels like I am just yelling about books into the void.
- On average, new posts of mine only generate 10 or so unique views. And of those views, I will get one or two comments in every 5 posts.
- I have never been nominated for any of the book blogger awards.
- My reviews and posts have never been blurbed anywhere.
- I don’t feel like I am a valued or respected (is that the word I want?) voice in the book community. Like, no one goes “Oh! Blue wrote this awesome review/post you need to read”
I know that a lot of this is on me. I am not a prolific blogger, churning out posts multiple times a week, and I haven’t blog-hopped in ages.
While (tearfully) explaining this to Mr. Blue, he asked me if I would trade my current successes for more notoriety in the book community at large. It didn’t take me long to tell him that no, I would not. That while I am not where I want to be as a blogger, I am still miles ahead of where I started.
And I have you to thank for that. The people who stuck with me from the start. The people who contribute to those 10 views and occasional comments. The people who shared their resources with me as a beginner blogger. The people who told me to get my shit together when I was being an ass. The publicists who took a chance and said “Yeah, give her a review copy” when I had no rapport with them. My gratitude can’t be put into words. Thank you. I love you.
This is starting to read like a goodbye post. But I promise, it isn’t!
With the COVID-19 isolation protocols in place, I definitely thought I would be blogging more. But I am still stuck. I still don’t know what it is I need to do to find the voice that will make people want to listen to me. The voice I know I have somewhere.
I recently switched hosts (thank goodness I am FREE FROM FATCOW!) and paid for another 2 years of hosting and domain name ownership. So I have another 2 years to figure out what I need to do to turn my blog into the success I want it to be. Or to say goodbye, if it comes to that.
Today, I want to know…
- How long have you been blogging?
- What are some of your highlights? (Nothing is too small!)
- What are some goals you still want to achieve? (No dream is too big!)
Stay bookish, awesome nerds ❤