This past week wrapped up Book Blogger Appreciation Week, in which I'm sure many of you participated. In two weeks will be Banned Books Week, in which I'm sure some of you also will participate. I'm also sure that many of you participated, and will participate, with at least a post per day, if not more, on your respective blogs.
Personally, after such weeks, I feel almost burnt out and think, "Why am I doing this? I'm not getting paid for this." Do you ever feel the same way after weeks like the ones mentioned above? If you do, what do you to counter it? How do you keep going? Do you take a break from posts after that, or do you just "soldier on"?
Or if you don't feel burnt out after such weeks, why not? Also why are you a book blogger? From what I've seen and experienced, it's certainly not the fame or the glory that you get. So what is it? Why? Why? Why?
What a timely question that will allow me to engage in some shameless mildly self-pitying navel-gazing! Honestly, I was thinking about this sort of thing as BBAW came to an end and we were asked to consider our goals. I had a great time with BBAW this year. I gave myself some extra time to spend, tried to participate more actively in the daily blogging themes, and it really paid off. I'm sure I discovered a bunch of great new blogs, and I had a great time getting out and about in the book blogosphere all week long.
That being said, though, as much as I enjoyed myself I found myself with a sort of underlying melancholy the whole week long. Even as I attempted to battle the feeling by entering a plethora of giveaways (if you're me, nothing beats bad moods like free sparkly new books!), I couldn't seem to shake it. Whenever events like this come along, I find that along with being excited and engaged, I also feel, well, not good enough. I see everybody's sparkly blogs with their zillions of reviews, their thought-provoking posts, their book reading totals at 100 or above for the year, their thoughtful and numerous comments on others' blogs, and I know I can't keep up, and then I wonder why I bother. What do I have to offer in the face of all that awesomeness? And I think this, and the fact that sometimes sustaining a blog along with all the other things that must be done on a day to day basis just begins to seem like an insufferable chore.
It's at these times that I'm most uninspired to write a good book review or comment on others' blogs. Why bother? I'm never going to have the time to do as good a job at blogging as I want to do, and something in my character just makes me hate doing things or feeling like I'm doing things only halfway. It's on these days, in a fog of undeserved self-pity, that I wonder if maybe I should just pack it in because I don't have anything better to offer here that hundreds of other book bloggers aren't already offering, and both my content and style are both sadly lacking in comparison to what blogs much much younger than my own are putting out. And hey, at almost two years old, this blog is already one of the things I've stuck with the longest of most of my extracurricular endeavors, so it wouldn't be so shameful if....
Ah, but wait, this is not a ploy to gather reassurances (really, it's not!) about the state of my blog and get everyone to tell me how awesome I am, and all that. As a matter of fact, I'd probably feel a little silly and more than a little guilty if you did. This is not a farewell post, not by a long shot, because, you see, I'm about to answer the second question, you know, the one about why I'm a book blogger.
Despite the fact that I don't read nearly enough of them, I love books. I love having them, I love knowing about them, I love making lists of them. I even love trotting out my poor neglected writing skills (use 'em or lose 'em, right?) to write reviews of them. Even so, I could love books all on my own, right? But I don't have to because, as it turns out, I love book bloggers, too. I love that there are all these people that get the same kick out of reading/listing/reviewing/owning books that I do, and I love...love that they're all so nice, and I know that if I really packed it in, I would miss them (you!) all dreadfully.
One book blogger whose giveaway I entered this week asked us for our favorite book blogging moment which got me to thinking, really thinking. I mean, the new bookish friends, the books I never would have read without them, the wider community pulling together in pursuit of bookish goals, are all great. After some consideration though, I remembered the very beginning of of 2008, when my blog was yet young, probably not yet 3 months old, when I posted about a most unfortunate beginning to the year. It had nothing to do with books or blogging, just me all sad and frustrated and ranting at length. Even then, when, if you ask me, people had little reason to care about me at all, a whole bunch of bloggers cropped up in my comments section with an unexpected show of sympathy and encouragement that warms my heart even now. Nobody had to do that. Nobody had to care about me and what I was going through then.
I'm sure we've all come a long way since then, but even so, that is the type of community that we had then and the type of community we continue to have now, the community that crazy weeks like this last one has been celebrate. At the end of the day, when you strip away the stats, the ARCs this or that person got, the reading totals, the impressive giveaways, the pretty layouts, that sort of community is what counts for me and sustains me and helps me soldier on when the blogging blahs come knocking at the door. And, that community *meaningful pause* that is why I have been and will continue to be proud to be a book blogger.