Jamie Gets Self Conscious Sometimes

I’ve been doing my whole Before & After blogging series in which I’ve been talking about the big and small ways I’ve changed since becoming a blogger. This post could probably easily fit within that series but mostly I feel like these are just my strange insecurities. I just never experienced these 2 things when I was just a reader and not a blogger that lately have been these things I’m very much aware of.

Disclaimer: I do not let these things influence my reviews or thoughts. You always have my candid thoughts here. These are just weird insecurities/self-conscious thoughts that pop into my head and I have to shake off. Also, this is about nobody nor am I saying things about people who DO these things that make me self conscious. That’s just my problem that I let these thoughts in.

1. The blogosphere sometimes makes me self conscious about liking too many books

This one sounds strange, right? I mean, YAY me. I’m reading and enjoying  books so that’s a win for me! However, sometimes I start feeling strangely self conscious about it if I’ve loved a string of books in a row because there is always a lot of talk in the blogosphere about people who “like everything” or who “aren’t critical enough” because they write a lot of glowing reviews (to which I pull out this).  A lot of times people talk about it like it’s a BAD thing that you’ve enjoyed too many books in a row which does baffle me a bit. I know I am not as uber critical or nitpicky as other readers but there are PLENTY of books, obviously if you read my blog, that don’t do it for me and you won’t find me recommending. There are not a ton of books I HATE (because I DNF them if I feel that strongly) but I do definitely have varying levels of  “not for me” to “it was ok” to “it was good” to “loved it” to “OMG PLEASE HAVE MY BABIES, BOOK.”

I’m sure there are a lot of people really DO just genuinely like most things they read or have chosen to only highlight the books they have enjoyed and can recommend and I’m sure there ARE even a few people who just write glowing reviews because they want publishers to like them (how people read/blog is not my problem — I choose to do what works for me).  I’m definitely not in either of those categories because I don’t like everything, I write positive/negative reviews and I don’t care if publishers don’t like me because I’m not reading for THEM and my reviews are for my readers.

I think, for me, I’ve just gotten REALLY good at picking up books I know I will like or  judging if I will like them from if other friends do/don’t. It annoys me when I start to feel bad because I’ve like the past 5 books I’ve read.


Oh, the horror!

Like why should I really feel bad and afraid that people are going to be like, “that chick is SO not critical and I don’t trust her” or “ look at that bitch actually enjoying books“? SORRY NOT SORRY that I liked them. Reading is my hobby and I’m happy when I enjoy the books I read. And we know after such a long streak I’m bound to have a couple stinkers. I’m critical to a certain point, but for me,  I’m not dissecting literature. I’m telling you whether or not I enjoyed and why or why not and who I would recommend it to. I give my reasons but I’m not actively looking for things to hate about a book.


Thankfully, I just don’t really CARE what people think about if I am not critical enough or too positive or judge me for liking the past 5 books I read…because  uhhh it’s my free time and I’m happy when I spend time reading a book and enjoy it. But I cannot pretend I don’t feel a little self conscious when I’m reading a slew of books I enjoy. Not going to lie.

2. Sometimes other blogger’s reviews make me feel STUPID



Sometimes I will read a review of a book that I LOVED TO PIECES and will read a review ripping it to shreds and pointing out thing and I’m like UHHHH I never saw that or thought of that? WHY AM I NOT SMART?? Especially if they are really thoughtful bloggers and then I read it and totally actually AGREE with what they are saying I just feel so DUMB for not seeing what they saw or picking up on it. I’m like oops. I must have built a bridge in my head over that plot hole. Or hmmm I didn’t pick up on this inconsistency. Or that something wasn’t accurate culturally or historically. I feel like maybe I should have being an English major in order to keep up with some of the things people are able to talk about and pick up on in their reviews because I can’t analyze the way do — like my reviews are forever stuck in the kiddie pool. I mean, on one hand, I’m fine with it. I’m just an every day reader and my reviews are not inherently scholarly or professional. But on the other hand, it makes me question myself because WHY didn’t I see the really smart things they picked up on in a book I loved. And then I’m like WAHHH I am an unhelpful reviewer. SELF PITY PARTY. Logically I KNOW we all see things differently and bring different things to the table but I can’t help but feel dumb when I don’t see things that others doooo!


I HATE that sometimes I get self conscious about these things when I know logically it’s so dumb and I never ever thought about these things before I blogged . Has anyone else ever experienced these things or am I just really too self conscious? THANKFULLY I just THINK about these things and don’t let them really affect me. I AM JUST SILLY AND SELF CONSCIOUS SOMETIMES!!

A Moment Of Truth On The Blogging Front

I’m sitting here today and honestly the last thing I want to do is blog.

Yep. It’s not that I’m in a blogging slump and need help getting out. I actually have tons of post ideas and am really excited about them. I have reviews I’m itching to write for books. I’m not in a reading slump. Not at all. I’m in the mood to read a lot.

So what is it then?

It’s mostly a matter of seeing a whole lot of things (not one thing specifically) about how bloggers should blog, seeing snarky comments about things bloggers do, comments that make people feel BAD about what they are doing, etc. It’s not at all that I PERSONALLY feel like I need to listen to these things. Because I don’t. I won’t. I roll my eyes and move on because you all know I’ve been doing my own thing for a long time. I don’t really care what the blogosphere is trending towards — if I don’t like it/enjoy it/feel right about it then I’m not going to do it. It has to feel right for me because I spend my free time doing this — I’m not getting paid a salary here and who wants to spend their free time doing something that they don’t enjoy? I’ve only got limited amounts of time in this life.

It’s just this whole draining energy I’m feeling from all of that (and other dramas).  That’s not to say the blogsosphere is all negative/draining as a whole — quite the opposite because I have some of the most hilarious or inspiring conversations with you all. There are some amazingly positive people who there who make me happy to know them. It’s just more of this feeling of, “WHEN DID THIS ALL BECOME SO SERIOUS?” When did we decide there was a right or wrong way to talk about books that we read? When did we care so much about if someone writes a short review or a long review or reviews only books they like or reviews only new releases? If someone posts every day or if they don’t? If someone writes a review in a way that best expresses themselves whether it be a conversational review talking about what they liked (even if that is KISSING) or a completely literary analysis?

WHY SO SERIOUS, PEOPLE? I mean, for me, blogging is not a life or death matter. I’m not going to cry in my beer over it. Ok, I did cry when I was moving to WordPress because of stress and I do rant privately to close friends — but in general I’m not going to get my panties all in a bunch about what other people are doing.  And HEY — diversity is awesome. That’s the awesome thing about the blogosphere — if you want recommendations based on literary merit there are blogs out there that write analytical reviews. If you want something more conversation and based on emotional responses, there are those. There are hybrids of that. There is a blog out there for everyone. I promise! I read blogs who do it all differently and they all are equally as fab.  Not every blog has to cater to your personally preferences — I don’t read the ones that don’t do it for me.

I mean I take seriously promoting literacy in many ways, recommending books and the posts I’m putting out every day. I put pride into all I do and really care deeply about this blog and community but this is not my job. I don’t take myself as a blogger too seriously or feel like this blog is the end all be all of my life. I created my blogging manifesto early on and it has helped me to maintain focus with this blog and addresses a lot of these things. I love this blog but this is not my life. I’d imagine that’s the truth for a lot of you. This blog is a space where I am free to be me and talk about something I’m very passionate about. If publishers, readers and other bloggers enjoy what I’m doing…YAY! But I refuse to ever make this a space where I’m not doing what I want just because other people say it’s “wrong.”

I’m always doing it right because I define what is right for my blog (minus you know like plagiarism or things like that. Also “doing it right” doesn’t mean that people are going to like it). And you define what is right for your blog so when someone tells you that your GIF-filled review is WRONG because it isn’t SERIOUS enough you can brush your shoulder off because you know that being serious isn’t in your agenda but rather telling all your feels via GIFs and a conversational tone. Mission accomplished, friend. (And vice versa — someone says your reviews are stuffy? You know that you are providing your thoughts in the way that work best for you and that may be on a more scholarly level).

I know what I want for my blog and when I don’t know I try it out and see if works for me. I write my reviews and sometimes they end up short and sometimes they end up long. I write where my heart takes me. I don’t do blog tours a lot and have to feel passionate about what I’m promoting — even if it is an opportunity from a major publisher. But Im’ so glad that other bloggers do them because they work well with what they want to do with their blog. You won’t see me writing scholarly reviews that are super analytical. I wasn’t an English major and trying to force myself to write that way (I tried early on) didn’t work for me and felt like I was back in school. I find that I like to write conversationally as if I was sitting down with a friend and talk about what stood out to me most in my likes/dislikes. I don’t use many gifs but I find them hilarious in other reviews. I stink at finding THE RIGHT ONE. But I totally read blogs that are more analytical in nature and ones that use GIFS amazingly. I’m so thankful for them all. I probably won’t post every day. I might take off for a  week and not have posts pre-scheduled. I’ve just found in my almost three years of blogging the things that work for me and my blog and I have never felt happier — even if my blog isn’t doing the trendy thing or even if some people don’t like it. I don’t expect them all to.  I’d never want anyone to be made to feel bad about what works for them just because other people don’t like it. And I’m so, so sorry if I’ve ever made a comment that has made anyone else feel differently about their blog — their little corner of the internet.

So, get down with your bad self. Feel free to change up what you do and to tweak it through the years. Remember that you probably started your blog to talk about books and connect with other book readers…and you are doing it right, no matter how you go about it, if that’s what your blog is doing. Have fun, know what you want for your blog and remember there isn’t one way to do anything. And when someone makes you feel bad about what you are doing, remember that you’ve got readers who clearly enjoy what you do and that’s a win in my book. Just like with reading, we bring our own life experiences and interests and what not into our blogs and that’s what makes it so awesome.

As for me and my slump? I’m going to do what I do in other facets of my life when I’m feeling negative energy — refocus, cut out the proble, focus on the good.  I’m probably going to take a little time away from social media this week/cull the blogs who frequently post things that exude the things that are bringing on this slump for me. I’ve been too surrounded by it lately and it’s clouding my feelings toward blogging in general. I’m going to read and hopefully respond to comments and visit the blogs that make me smile. Hopefully I’ll feel like blogging soon with focusing on all the positive things about my blogging life. You guys and your lively discussions here on my blog always do the trick.

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