Okay, I have to start off by saying that I don’t really think I’m blogging wrong (but that got your attention, right?). But I was inspired to write this post because I do sometimes feel under pressure to blog a certain way (or to avoid blogging a certain way) and I start to stress out when I feel like I’m not making everyone happy. And here’s the thing – THAT’S ALL ON ME. Because the reality is, you can’t please everyone. And, honestly, you shouldn’t even want to. What kind of person would that make me if my main focus was on making everyone else happy?
Lately, I’ve seen a lot of talk about the problems with the book blogging community. Now, I have to confess that I’m a somewhat insecure person sometimes, so when I read posts or messages from other bloggers that I admire and trust about things that are going “wrong” I tend to internalize that. I immediately start to wonder if I’ve been part of the problem. I read a post complaining about bloggers who only blog for the ARCs or for publisher contacts, and I think, Wait, I like ARCs, and I’ve mentioned before on my blog that I’d love to have more contacts with publishers. Am I a greedy ARC blogger? Then I read another post that talks about how they don’t like blogs that use giveaways to gain followers, and I think, I have giveaways. And I make following my blog an entry option (sometimes in multiple ways). Oh no! Some people hate that! I read a post about how someone hates spoilers, even if the blogger just mentions something basic like the fact that there is a twist in a book (not hinting at what the twist is). Sure enough, I think, I mention it when a book has a big twist that I loved (or hated). Oh no, I’ve been posting spoilers!!
I start to second-guess myself. I start to worry that maybe I’m doing it wrong.
I have to confess that I really have to fight that instinct – that desire to please all the people. Awhile back, I put up a post about getting followers and following back. After I posted it, I noticed my Bloglovin’ number go down for the first time ever. Can I just tell you that I was devastated. So, the number went down by like four people, big deal, right? But this was tangible evidence that people didn’t like what I had to say in that post – they didn’t like it enough that they actually unfollowed me!! My insecurities went through the roof – I totally said the wrong thing and I made other bloggers not like me! It’s like a people pleaser’s worst nightmare.
(Honestly, I had to force myself to add a link to that post even now because I still have weird fears that people are going to go over and read it and decide I’m the “wrong” kind of blogger. And then I worry that saying I’m a people pleaser and that I want people to like me will make some readers not like me … it’s a sickness. I know.)
YIKES! Insecure much?
But then I started to notice something. Sure, there might be someone who says they hate giveaways, but then I read this other post by someone who says they love them. And maybe somebody can’t stand the least little tiniest hint of a spoiler in a review, but then there’s someone else who actively seeks them out and who is disappointed when a review doesn’t give them any hints about what’s to come. And there’s someone who hates the very idea of ARCs, or blog tours, or challenges, or memes, or commenting back, or GIFs, or follow-backs or … you get the idea. But then there’s other people who LOVE those things.
So, the bottom line is, I can sit here and stress about whether or not I’m doing something wrong, or I can focus on what makes me happy as a blogger. And that will probably grow and change as time goes on, and that’s okay too. I don’t want to over-analyze every move. That’s not the type of person I really am. I also don’t want to let my insecurities start to get the best of me (that one’s harder – you’d think by now I’d have gotten past that completely, but I think it’s a lifelong process, really.) I’m not gonna lie and say that I will no longer care what anyone thinks of me because … well … that would be a lie. But I’m not going to beat myself up over it, that’s for sure!
So, how about you? Have you ever read someone’s blog post about something they hate or they’re frustrated with and suddenly worried that you were doing things “wrong”? Or are you one of those self-assured people that knows what you like and doesn’t care what anyone else thinks? (If so, yay for you!!)
P.S. Ironically, right now, I can almost guarantee that someone is reading this post and thinking, Oh, no! I’ve written a post about how I hate blog tours (or giveaways, or people who want ARCs or …) Sorry if I’ve made you feel like you were doing something “wrong.” The purpose of this post is NOT to say that people shouldn’t have their own opinions or be able to express them however they want – it’s just to say that I shouldn’t stress about other people’s opinions so much! And that, my friends, is a worthy goal.