Here’s a sad fact: I didn’t make my goal for the Discussion Challenge in 2018. This wouldn’t be so bad, except it’s my challenge (along with Shannon, of course). How do I fail my own challenge?
There’s a teensy part of me that worried about this. A nagging little compartment of my brain that said, “You shouldn’t be hosting a discussion challenge if you’re not going to be the ultimate book discusser. Maybe you just don’t have much to say anymore.”
But don’t worry, I told my brain to just shut up already. And it listened (mostly).
Because I LOVE the Discussion Challenge!
(Even when I personally fail.)
And here’s why:
- The Discussion Challenge is a community.
Honestly, I can’t even begin to tell you the number of bloggers I’ve connected to because of this challenge. And I feel like I’m truly getting to know bloggers through their discussions. These types of posts just naturally foster more authentic exchanges and help us understand the writer and their view of the world.
My blogging experience would be a whole lot more lonely if I’d never started this challenge, and I hear from others all the time that their most consistent visitors are also members of the challenge. This seriously makes my heart happy because community is what blogging is all about!
Oh, and I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that the challenge has also brought me a friendship with my amazing co-host, Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight. I couldn’t ask for a better person to collaborate with!
- I learn a lot.
So often, people post discussions about things in the bookish world that I knew nothing about. Through these discussions, I often learn about new trends or hot topics, interesting information about authors, ways to better organize my book-life, facts about bloggers’ home countries … I could go on and on. The Discussion Challenge is a treasure trove of bookish knowledge!
- It sparks ideas.
I’ll confess that I have fewer ideas for discussions lately. After blogging for six years, you start to feel like you’ve covered all the “standard” bases. But it’s amazing how often I’ll be reading someone else’s discussion and it will spark an idea in my own head. Inspiration is everywhere!
- It pushes me to discuss more.
This one should be obvious. Even when I don’t make my goal, I still always know that the challenge has made me post more discussions than I would have otherwise. Sometimes you need that little extra push, and the challenge is perfect for that—a little reminder can do wonders!
Anyway, I just thought that I’d take a moment to acknowledge why this challenge has been so fulfilling for me over the last few years. And I also wanted to say thank you to all of you who participate! You have made my blogging life richer in so many ways.
Do you participate in the Discussion Challenge? Tell me why you love it! If not, are there any other bookish groups that fill your heart with joy? I want to know!
This post is linked up to the 2019 Book Blog Discussion Challenge (obviously).
Nicole you did aim high so sometimes failure happens by a small margin! I am not much good at discussion posts myself but am taking it on in a small way this year, so thanks for still hosting and giving me the opportunity to stretch. I like the Discussion challenge because so many bloggers make me think and when I post I get a response, its like people do respond. Yay you.
I actually did ALMOST reach my goal last year (though I lowered it from the year before). When I first started the challenge, I posted a discussion pretty much every week, but I’ve found that too hard to keep up through the years. But I still love reading discussions and I do appreciate the push to write more!
I love this challenge! I’ve found many blogs too, and it gives me a push to meet new people. I always think of new ideas but never have the right… execution for them lol
Yes! Every year I meet new bloggers through the challenge–that’s a definite benefit.
I love reading posts from this challenge even though I don’t do it myself! I stopped doing blogging challenges and year long reading challenges as I started to fall out of love with them and was sometimes forcing myself to read/post things I wasn’t interested in anymore because I decided to do it. But if I was going to do one challenge it would be this one. I love when I write discussion posts and talking to people in the comments is the most fun afterward. If you’re both still hosting in 2020 I am so going to do it. This year I am trying to churn out more reviews because I have a lot of books I need to review that I am behind on DD:
I’m glad that you still visit the challenge even when you don’t participate directly! I hope you do join us in 2020—I’m sure we’ll still be chugging along. 🙂
I am a fan of the discussion challenge. It’s one of the few challenges I participate in that actually challenges me. It IS hard to come up with ideas, but like you said, inspiration is everywhere. I like the level of interaction as well. People don’t always have an interest in a book you discuss, but they usually have an opinion about things in general and like to share their thoughts on discussion posts.
You write so many great discussion posts! I always look forward to them!
These are all fantastic reasons, and I love the discussion challenge too! (Although I still have to sign up for this year lol.) It does foster a lot of community and actual, well, discussion. And I too have learned a lot from the discussions, about other bloggers’ experiences, thoughts, opinions, etc., and I love that.
I’ve always loved your thoughtful discussions, Kristen, and I’m looking forward to reading even more!
I love the Discussion Challenge! It’s the only challenge I’m doing this year. Every month, I try to click on a few interesting things in the link-up. It is really hard to come up with discussion ideas, though. I feel like I already talked about everything!
That’s the problem I’ve been having too. Even when I think I’ve come up with a new idea, when I start to think through what I’d say it starts to seem a whole lot like posts I’ve already written. I need to get some creative juices flowing! 🙂
I love it because of the same reasons that you do! This is one of my favorite challenges in the bookish community and even though I only write a few discussions a year, it’s one of my favorite posts to read! I love that each blogger has their own view of things. I also get to know what’s happening in the community!
So even if you fail! I hope you and Shannon continue hosting this challenge!
We definitely plan to continue, no worries! I agree that discussions are some of my favorite posts to read.
I haven’t participated….yet. I think about it. But, I’m here and I enjoy stopping in.
That’s perfect. Even if you don’t partici[ate in the challenge yourself, it’s great to reap the benefits of all the great discussions. 🙂
AW I love this post! And YOU of course ??? But it is all SO true, I have found so many amazing bloggers and posts and such, it is such a great thing! And like you (actually probably worse than you hah) I have run out of ideas, and I worried that I wasn’t qualified or whatever anymore, but eh. People who don’t HAVE Oscars HOST the Oscars, right? ?
Ha! Yes, so true. I think it’s probably normal that the longer you’ve been blogging, the more it feels like a challenge to come up with fresh ideas, but I’d say we’re still doing pretty darn okay. 🙂
This is my second year participating in the challenge and I do think it has greatly improved my contribution to community discussions. I love the push to write discussion posts on my own blog, but, like you said, the challenge also really encourages blog-hopping and discovering new blogs. I find new bloggers with fantastic discussions who encourage me to join in on their conversations. Sometimes, I can find it hard to work up the courage/inspiration to comment, but this challenge has helped me be more brave in comments as well as on my own blog.
Thank you for organizing and maintaining the challenge with Shannon! Even if I fail, I know that I am still a part of the amazing, inspiring community and its dialogue!
I’m so thankful for our little community! And I’m glad it’s helped you become braver in your blogging.
So, I feel like you should get a little bit of a pass for not completing the challenge since you do ALL the extra organizing of posts and stuff for the people who are participating! And I love that you host this, even though I haven’t made my goals the last few years. It is so much fun to see what different topics people come up with for this, and it gets me thinking. So keep up what you’re doing! Also, you have been writing some books and working on revising them and doing what you can with that, so you might be a little busy. 🙂
I will just choose to accept your pass. LOL!
As both a reader and a blogger, I really love the Discussion Challenge! I love reading other people’s topics and hearing their opinions. I have also found great blogs to read this way too. As an author, it’s hard for me to find the brain space to also come up with discussion posts, which is why they are so few and far between on my own blog. It’s not because I don’t love them; I’m just tapped out. I hope to have a few on my blog this year! I’m looking forward to figuring out what those are.
I definitely get not having the brain space for discussions. Lately I’m a lot busier, and I just feel like my creative energy has to go toward writing books. 🙂
This just reminded me that I didn’t link up my sign-up post, so thank you. I really hope to do more bookish discussions this year -and read more of the posts too! You really do learn a lot of things and meet new people, which is great.
I’m the worst about linking things up, so I get it. Sometimes I forget to link my discussions up to my own challenge until the end of the month when I write my wrap-up!!
I’ve really taken to the Discussion Challenge this year Nicole! It’s been an amazing January and I so agree about connection with other bloggers. I’ve always loved hearing what other people think and I feel like participating so much more this year has really helped me to get those opinions that I love hearing. ❤️
I’ve loved seeing your discussions over the past year and I’m looking forward to many more!
I love writing discussion posts but they usually take longer time to write. So that is one reason I procrastinate writing them. Your challenge is one of the reasons I have become a lot better doing that.
I’m so glad it’s helped you. Sometimes you just need that little extra motivation, right?
I love the Discussion Challenge! My favorite posts (both to read and write) are discussions. I think that reviews can have a more selective audience because you might not be interested in a specific book, but discussions are pretty much universal. As far as community, I know that as a new blogger, I love how discussion posts introduced me to new blogs, and bring new people to our blog! Great post!
I agree that discussions are relatable to a broader audience. There are some bloggers who review books I’m not particularly interested in, but when they post a discussion, I can almost always make a connection.
I’ve already talked on my blog about why I love the Discussion Challenge, but I’ll talk some more here about it. 🙂 The Discussion Challenge is the main way I go visiting other peoples’ blogs, since it’s a convenient way to round up a bunch of discussion links. I read (ok, at least SKIM) all of the discussion posts every month (even if I don’t always comment). Sometimes I end up following the blogs, sometimes I go down the rabbit hole and read a LOT of the older content on a person’s blog if I really loved a particular discussion post they linked up. And posting my own discussion posts has kept my own blog from being a boring, sterile round of nothing but reviews and blog tours. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR HOSTING! <3
It makes me so happy whenever I read that someone else has had the same experience with the challenge as I have. Making connections with other bloggers is such a huge part of the blogging experience, so I absolutely love to foster those connections!
I often feel like I don’t have much to discuss. I’m not into posting about the same exact thing on my blog unless my comment starts to act like a blog post of its own and/or I feel my readers would also enjoy it. But I do enjoy reading the posts from time to time, because I like how the posts will challenge me or work my brain in a new way. I think that’s what makes the Book Blog Discussion community so valuable for me.
Yes, even when you don’t write your own discussions, it’s great to have a place where you can find lots of them!!