Friday, June 8, 2012
Armchair BEA: The Way of the Future
As Armchair BEA draws to a close today, we're wrapping up a great week by getting and giving some tips about blogging so we can all stay energized and enthused about books and blogging well into the future.
First, I'll dive right in and give a few. Here are the three most important lessons I think I've learned in my blogging.
1. It doesn't have to be all about the books all the time. - Okay, maybe some people are purists about their book blogs, and they never want to hear about anything else. As for me (and others, I've heard), I want to know the person behind the book reviews, too, so if you've got a hankering to tell us all about your bad week at work, the amazing vacation you just arrived back from, the cooking/knitting/quilting project that is your pride and joy, what your crazy Uncle Joe said to you just last week, etc. feel free to share. Books are great, but I love blogs that have books and a personal touch.
2. Don't overcommit. - I'm still working on this one and pretty much failing. There will come a time, if you write good thoughtful reviews for a long time, network with just the right people, and/or just get plain lucky that perhaps your e-mail box will find itself full of review copy offers. Maybe you'll also be slurping up titles at NetGalley at an alarming rate. Bottom line? Review copies are great and a fun perk of book blogging, but there is too much of a good thing. You will be tempted to say, yes, yes, YES! But don't let it get to the point where you feel like you're always reading out of obligation even if the books are great and you've got the best of intentions. Oddly enough, review copies, if not handled with care, can suck the fun and passion out of blogging much faster than you'd guess, and when it's not fun, it's just work, and really, who needs more work to do??
3. Don't forget to hang out with the nice other bloggers. - The backbone and the best part of book blogging is and always has been commenting and community. Don't get so caught up in trying to get a post up every day that you forget to pay your blogging buddies a visit and occasionally go out of your way to discover some new would-be blogging buddies. We all need to feel like someone's reading all this typing, right? ;-) For me, it's easy to drift too far to one side or the other, only reading and commenting or only focusing on a getting content up on my own blog. Never stop trying to find the balance, unless, well, you've already found it, in which case, you should probably draw me a road map to balance in the comments...
And, now, a question for you, good readers. I've been blogging away here with more or less consistency since the end of 2007, and honestly, I'm starting to feel like I'm saying all the same things all the time. Occasionally, I'm afraid I might even be boring myself. Maybe it just feels that way, but it's hard to shake the scary feeling that I'm just...I don't know...beating a poor, dead horse. That said, how do you keep things fresh and exciting? I'd love to hear what you do when you feel like your blog is kind of cruising along on average-y auto-pilot, and you want to breathe a little life into it.