Last night I went to bed very tired and angsty. It had been three long days being online participating in the Book Bloggers Conference.
Did I enjoy it?
Did I learn a lot?
Did I network?
Did I make some new friends or enjoy discussing blog stuff with some old ones?
Yes is the answer to all those questions. In the words of Ron Weasley "That was bloody brilliant!"
Why then was I angsty? Because I was tired? No I don't think so.
Yesterday, a wonderful honest blogger who is nearly half my age wrote that he felt blogging was becoming a popularity contest. Add that to a whole weekend of discussion and reflection on blogging, my mind was set to thinking.
Yesterday, one of my favourite bloggers said she felt that since becoming a blogger buying books was an addiction and it scared her. Familiar anyone?
Well it is to me.
But the thing that has been eating away at me for a couple of weeks is that some people think it is ok to belittle new book bloggers.
Recently I have been offended by an innocent comment. I'm an adult. I should have a thicker skin. I have been a children's librarian for more than 2 years now. I have been reading YA since I was 19. I like to think I know a fair bit about children's literature. The issue for some more established bloggers is that because I have only been blogging since last August, I do not have the right to want to build professional relationships with publishers. Is this about free books? No, certainly not. If anything, I'm nearing a point where I no longer want to accept books for review. I'm not there yet but the day may come.
Why is it assumed that the only reason new people start blogging is to get free books?
And, even if they do, is it such a bad thing? Personally, as long as a book blogger writes good quality reviews then I couldn't care less what their motivation is for being a blogger.
Where is this competitive feeling in book blogging coming from?
I have spent three days sharing thoughts, opinions, knowledge and resources with many bloggers through the conference. We were there because we love blogging and want to improve and develop. It has certainly helped me get clarity. There was no sense that we were competing to get some mystery prize. We were in it together.
Where is this post going?
I'm not entirely sure. I feel like I'm not in control of my blogging. I spend so long commenting that I'm not doing the most important thing which is reading. I still haven't read most of the books I got for Christmas. I don't want to be a slave to consumerism. I don't want to buy books just for the sake of it.
I won't be participating in IMM that much anymore. Maybe once a month. Maybe not at all. IMM is a great way for new bloggers to get involved and get their site out there for other bloggers to find. I don't feel like that's why I'm doing it anymore. It used to be fun. Now it feels like it eats up all of Sunday. I want to read on Sundays. Most people will know the new books that I got for review because the other UK peeps have them too.
I am going to unfollow some blogs and tweeples. Probably not many but I want to feel like it is manageable and that my comments actually contribute and are not just "great review". Feel free to unfollow me if you've been thinking that Bookette posts a load of annoying nonsense and is so far up her own ****.
Blogging is great because it brings people together. For us bookish types, it is about sharing our passion and opinions about reading. There are many great bloggers out there who welcome every new blogger. I'm thinking of Chicklish and Jo @ Ink and Paper Fantasy Reviews and my own introduction to this world was shaped by the lovely Jenny @ Wondrous Reads. I want to make sure that newbies feel welcome and are able to ask any question of me even if *gasp* they want to know how to get their hands on ARCs. This is the type of person that I am and it is the type of person that I want to be.
Time for a few changes. I am The Bookette and I am putting my best foot forward. I am here to support newbie book bloggers and I am proud of it.