Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Blogging and jealousy and discussing things.

You know, as I typed the title of this post into the title field (words) I hesitated. I almost backed out from writing down my thoughts on this topic at all, because it's not nice, is it? Jealousy is one of those things that I see spoken of in a post and oftentimes I kind of want to avoid, because being jealous and admitting to being jealous and talking of other people who are jealous, it's a big bunch of things that basically say "this isn't a nice thing and look what it does". And Jealousy, with capitals, is not a nice thing. It's bitterness and anguish and pain and hopelessness and hope forsaken.
To me.
For me.

For a human, jealousy can be immense or managable, and for me it's always been the latter, and I hope for it to always be the latter, but it doesn't mean that it isn't frustrating and painful and difficult, overall. Difficult for how it makes you feel and think and for the fact it's there at all, but I don't necessarily think that jealousy is bad. It's something I try to steer away from, personally and when it's discussed, because of how I feel about it, but I'm also interested in understanding why that's my reaction- seeing something someone else has and feeling jealous is, likely, something that has carried people across the ages, and yet I'm intently uncomfortable with the mention, even of it.
In book blogging, jealousies can run high. Book bloggers get hundreds of comments! They get free books! They have amazing support groups! And I think something that also has to be understood, when it comes to those things, is that an incredible level of work has also been put into the reviews and blogs of those bloggers, and even if it sometimes seems a little unfair that you haven't yet reached  that level of blogging prowess I think it's important to understand that it doesn't come easy.

I've been blogging for almost five years and I'd classify myself as having a small blog. I don't get inundated with comments and I've been on top and able to stay up to date with my review tbr for around 6 months, and I'm proud of my blog and where I have taken it. I still want to meet more bloggers and make more friendships, and I want to get to know the bloggers I count as my friends even more, because they're great! But I still do get jealousies, now and then. I'm not immune just because I write via keyboard. I feel left out, sometimes, and it's a bitter, sad thing to feel. But I don't think it's necessary to hate or even dislike myself for that, and, right at the bottom of it, that is something I mentally link with jealousy: Hate. Loathing. And I think, in many cases, it could be more important to try and understand the feelings being expressed or felt on both sides.

What are your thoughts on jealousy? Does it affect you when it comes to blogging? Do you get book envies?

Romi.xx
P.S. INSTAGRAM. I'm there. Are you?

30 comments:

  1. Myesh, no one can say they are completely immune to jealousy, I think. It's a pretty natural, gut feeling to receive. A pretty unpleasant feeling, sure, but one that is natural in all humans, I should think (and I'm sure other animals too). I think I used to get a lot more jealous about other bloggers back when I first started than I do now though. I guess I've just accepted and come to appreciate where I'm at with blogging in my life? Because I can generally realize that most of the big, popular bloggers got to be that way because they put a lot more work into blogging than I am willing to give. I just always want blogging to be a fun hobby for me, and as a result I don't get a lot of cool things from publishers, but I also don't have any of the stress that comes with that either.

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    1. I think it's all about how you deal with it- everyone has jealousy, absolutely, but the way we control it (or let it control us) is the thing that makes each person unique. It's also where it can get pretty nasty.
      So right. I wouldn't have imagined the stress that does come with blogging. Sure it's glorious, but it's time consuming and has moments of being really intense and, whilst not unpleasant, definitely stressful.
      I like where I'm at, too. I'm so glad. xx

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  2. I don't consider myself a book blogger or aspire to be one, so I'm not particularly jealous of my friends who get ARCs from publishers. But I do occasionally envy other bloggers their ideas or their content. When I feel uninspired, it can be discouraging to see other blogs so full of amazing content.

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    1. Blogging is so versatile.You can be a book blogger, a beauty blogger, a personal, travel, animal or inspiration blogger. There are so many aspects, and it's amazing that you can combine any number of the options together to make something your very own.
      Yes! Brainstorming content ideas can be a lot of fun, though, and seeing just how original the ideas out there are is really inspiring. xx

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  3. You are so right about book bloggers working hard. It is so easy to think when you are first starting out or thinking about starting a blog that it will be easy. It takes up a lot of time, and you have to read those free books and write reviews, which in my case can take up to two hours.
    But jealousy is natural but I think it's what you do with that jealousy that is important. I can be jealous a blogging friend got a book I really wanted but didn't get, but I am also happy for them that they got it. You can't let jealousy turn to hate. You need to remind yourself of the things you do have. They may have got that book and I didn't, but I also have a big TBR of review copies I need to get through.
    Great topic for discussion. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

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    1. Absolutely, Rochelle- I was just musing on that! I didn't know much about book bloggers before I became one, but I'd never have imagined the time, effort and energy needed to make this possible. And it doesn't always go smoothly or how you'd like, and you have tough decisions to make all through the journey. It's kind of amazing that so many of us are a part of that.

      Exactly. It's how you control or let yourself be controlled, I think- and something to remember is that maybe you really wanted that book, but what if your friend got it and they reviewed it only to point out a bunch of things that make you feel like you'd rather not read it. That's why reviewing is so fantastic!
      Thanks so much for adding to the discussion, Rochelle. xx

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  4. Congratulations on five years of blogging Romi, I'm only halfway to where you are and that's absolutely incredible! I think in the big scheme of the blogging world, I'm pretty small fry too. I've been blogging for two and a half years now, and although the actual blogging aspect seems easier, it's become far more time consuming for me nowadays. For me, blogging is all about the interaction between the community, that's one of the reason we started up the Aussie YA Group. There;s so many of us now, and we're spread across Twitter, Goodreads, Google Hangouts and Facebook now too. Drop by for a chat poppet, we'd love to see you.

    I still have blogger envy, mainly when I see a blogger with a book that I'm absolutely desperate to get my hands on, and they seem a little meh about reading it. I feel like shaking them and yelling, ARE YOU MAD! I am lucky enough to be sent a lot of unsolicited review copies, and rarely request anything myself. I stopped posting my weekly haul's, mainly as I felt as though I didn't need to show all the books I'd received and now just thank publishers privately now. I must admit though, I've worked hard to get where I am and once I start a family, will be slowing down. As much as we love our blogs, they're only a small part of our lives and if you blog for yourself, then that's all we can really ask of ourselves. Wonderful discussion Romi, really enjoyed it <3

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    1. My goodness, thank you so much, Kelly! I can't really believe it. When November comes I'm going to be uncomprehending, I think.
      Oh, for me, too- I feel like the quality of my blogging is so much greater, but with that I also am intently aware of how much time I put into this, and it's a lot more than ever, even if I'm more passionate about it.

      I'm definitely hoping to come via google chat one of these days!

      Thank you so much for adding to the discussion, Kelly. Your words are really making me think, and it's actually- for me- comes around to a discussion Chiara (delicate eternity) had on her blog recently about blogging and writing. I want to keep blogging as long as I'm passionate about it, but what happens when/if I'm published? Can these two passions both live or is one or the other?
      xx

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  5. I think it's super important to acknowledge it's a normal feeling, accept that you're just human, and then move on. Of course I get jealous of other people/blogs sometimes, but when I realize it's irrational, I try to move past it. Or let it motivate me into working harder! I feel like it's a bit different with interpersonal relationships, but with blogging it doesn't get me down too much. I think mostly that comes from the fact that I know blogging is HARD and all those comments (and free books I guess, but I don't even really care too much about those) come from somewhere. Look at Paperfury for example - Cait gets tons of comments, but she puts SO MUCH WORK into her blog, that I can't even get myself to feel jealous. Great post. :)

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    1. Definitely agree with that, Vlora, and I'm completely thrilled that I didn't back off on posting this because I feel like the discussion isn't only incredibly positive, but... I also feel like I'm getting out something that I'm thoughtful about myself, but that maybe someone needs to hear and think about for themselves.
      Blogging is a lot of work, that's for sure, but our community is such an astonishingly positive one and I'm glad we're so passoinate about what we do and can all come together with that. I know I've felt bad for feeling jealous twinges before, but it's normal. It's life. You can't control the feeling itself, I don't think, but you can control how it develops, and as long as you don't let it control you then there isn't a need to go down on yourself for feeling jealous.
      Thank you so much! xx

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  6. I definitely have blogger envy sometimes. I want to have followers and to be greatly admired and for people to think that I'm awesome, and yet it doesn't happen. I know it deals with the work I've done, and that my worth isn't defined by numbers, but I have those feelings sometimes still. It just takes some time to step down from those feelings. I definitely understand. :)

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    1. I used to get that quite a bit, but I'm really realising just how happy I am, where I am right now. That's not to say I'm always going to be able to disregard jealous feelings or that I'm not going to keep working hard, but I am happy and I guess I am understanding that I don't need what others have to sustain that happiness.
      Absolutely, Heather. Taking breaks and looking at what you do have, where you are- how you feel about your content- it's all so important. xx

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  7. I'm jealous of your well thought out posts, insightful observations, and your awesomeness. I've known about your blog for literally days ( I don't even think it's been a month), and from what I've been able to surmised, you're a pretty fantastic blogger, Romi. I do get where you're coming from, though. I used to be jealous of people who get all the great ARCs, but not anymore. Main reason is that it's nearly impossible to read MY books and theirs. So I just sit and wait to see who'll send me books. Lol. As for comments, my simple rule is reciprocate. I know it's a lot of work, but I find it's the most effective. :)

    You're cool!

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    1. Aw, well the fact you enjoy my blog so much is a huge compliment to me, Joy! I can't believe we've both been around the blogsphere for so long and yet only just found each other out- makes you wonder what else is hiding out in the interwebs, huh? But thank you so much. That really made my day.
      Yes! I definitely know how to take stock of my books better than I used to; it's so important for me to accept that I don't like everything, I won't get to everything, some books I'll probably want to read but might never get to, and some books won't come by me so easily or quickly as I'd like, but if I want them enough I can work for them and *one day*...
      That's how I work comments, too, and I appreciate it so much when I strike up a friendship with someone whose blog I visited comes to my blog and we back and forth. One of the best things about blogging, for me.

      You're incredibly neat. x

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  8. I get blogger envy from time to time. I think it's normal but I usually do not wallow in them, as much as I can. It's especially hard when it's a certain book I desperately want to read. And I so agree with the second part of Lydia's comment!

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    1. That's a good method, I think. Being aware it's there is very important, as is ensuring you don't let it go too far or get out of control. Maybe sometimes you'll have to admit it to the other party, so they can understand what's going on, because keeping it cooped up when the feelings keep on brewing isn't likely to end all that well, but just... being able to acknowledge and stay in control, I think, are the best for me.
      xx

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  9. Five years is incredible, Romi! Congratulations <3

    I think that envy and jealousy come into play with anything you put effort and time into. Anything that is important to you. And most of the time, I don't think it has much to do with the other person and what they have, but what you might NOT have.

    I get a little despondent sometimes when I see blogs that are much younger than mine surpass mine in popularity. I don't begrudge the blogger that, because I think that popularity can be such a hit and miss thing. Rather, I wonder: what am I doing wrong? What haven't I achieved that kind of popularity when I've been doing this so much longer?

    But I try not to think about it like that. Blogging is based on so many things. Free time (to write posts, and comment, and reply to comments), the feel of the community at the time, and countless other things. Sure, sometimes it does depend on the person - I know there are incredible bloggers out there who have gotten to where they are with a lot of work - but sometimes it's just luck of the draw, and timing (although that's not to say that all bloggers don't put heaps of effort in, no matter whether they're popular or not. I think we all put incredible amounts of effort and time and love into our blogs, and in my humble opinion we all deserve that huge popularity that only some really achieve).

    I love my blog as it is, with it's slow moving increase in followers and commenters. Whenever I get a comment, I still get the thrill I had when I received my first comment two years ago. I might not ever be one of the "big" bloggers, but I know that I don't need to be to be happy with my blog, and to love blogging. ^.^

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    1. My gosh, thanks so much, Chiara! I wrote it and I knew it but I'm struggling to believe it, now. So many things happened in 2010 and so many things have happened since. It's difficult to get my mind around.

      Very true- you're putting effort into something you believe in or care about and so are others and... jealousy happens. (My slogan?)
      Exactly. I've felt that (and thought that) too, Chiara. And it can be disheartening, especially when you feel grand and passionate and have been around for years and others who might not have been are surpassing you. I think blog popularity can come from a lot of things and you're so right that we all put so muhc effort into our work and sometimes there isn't a particular reason why the numbers go up in one place and don't in another, and sometimes there is. Statistics. I'm not into them, but how they used to torment me.

      That is a wonderful way to be, I think. Reading through these comments I realise just how thrilled I am, how -happy- I am, with where my blog is now. And that is the best thing ever, to feel and comprehend and just know that. I'll keep working, of course. But I'm really just happy. xx

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  10. Like everyone said here, congrats on the five years Romi! That's a great milestone and I'm proud of you for having come this far! I actually think you're a fantastic person who writes very insightful reviews and discussions. I know the jealousy feeling quite well as I've experienced it before and still experience it every now and then, but that's normal because if we had it our way, we'd all want to read our anticipated books as early as possible. But at the end of the day, I think to myself that it doesn't matter because I'll still get to read those, still get to chat with others about our bookish love, and that I am blogging for myself and not for some competition "WHO GETS TO READ THIS BOOK FIRST".

    I hope you continue being you Romi and that we remain steadfast friends. Your contribution to the blogging world is very very appreciated!!

    Faye at The Social Potato

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    1. AAH! Thank you so much, Faye. I'm speechless and struggling to type anything other than my greatest of thanks- that is a massive compliment and just thank you so much. xx

      Yes! Appreciating the fact that if you're passionate enough about a book you will find a way to read it, sooner or later, is so fantastic and important. And some you'll realise aren't for you, and you'll be a bit glad you didn't get to read them early on. And sometimes we just don't get to everything on our tbr. Such is life with so many glorious books.

      You're terrifically sweet, Faye. I hope for exactly the same, for the both of us. xx

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  11. Wow Romi, 5 years, that is such a wonderful achievement! YES it's too easy to be jealous at ARCs, at comments, at unique features, at lovely co-blogger relationships and all the like, but at the end of the day, everyone has worked hard to get where they are. It's about the work you want to put into your blog, because hard work does pay off. Great post Romi!

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    1. Thank you!
      Totally. There is so much inside of the blogging community, so much that makes it up, and when you feel like you don't have access to all of it or it isn't there for you, well that's a hard thing to feel in itself, but it's hard to keep going and not feel jealous when it looks like others have "it all", even if that isn't really a concept. Blogging requires a lot of dedication, for sure, but if you're passionate, I think, that is the first step to really appreciating where you are. xx

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  12. Hey, I don't think ANYONE is immune to jealousy. Personally, I used to be even more jealous than I am now. it's everything you listed - the love, the fans and the friends. but now I'm like... why should I let that bother me? Granted, i made a great group of friends and somehow that was everything.

    I think that's it's ALRIGHT to be jealous. We just need to know how to remind ourselves that we're better than that. And that the things others have aren't necessarily what we want

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    1. Nup. I agree with that. Jealousy comes and it goes and it isn't something you can really make sure you never feel, you can just decide how you're going to control it and let it affect you. Starting out it can be really difficult, with book blogging, to see the community and not necessarily feel a part of it- it's so welcoming, though, and I love that.

      "The things others have aren't necessarily what we want"- that's brilliant, Nova. It's easy to see something and feel like you deserve that, but... well it's never that simple. And maybe it's better not having it.
      xx

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  13. I'm definitely not immune to jealousy either...*sigh* Even though I hit 4 years of blogging this year (CONGRATS ON 5 YEARS, THOUGH, GO YOU, ROMI!!) but I'm mostly okay with what I do??! STILL. I get book envies a lot, particularly for American bloggers because they have sooo many epic books published in the USA only that I will have to buy not request and since I don't have a lot of money for books, it never happens. It does frustrate me a LOT and I have to backpedal and just enjoy the books I do have. XD But I think jealous can be a good motivator. I used to be jealous people's gorgeous looking blogs, and their photography skills and their copious ideas, so I worked really hard at creating my own. AND IT KINDA WORKED. XD Obviously I'm still learning!! So as long as jealousy moves us towards good instead of stewing in bitterness, it can be actually positive, right?! :)

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    1. Exactly, Cait. No matter where you are, even when you're happy with that place, it can still hit you and that's difficult. (Also: AAW. Thank you so much! You're completely lovely.)
      Aah. BEA, right? I love the recap posts because it feels just a little like I'm there, but I also wish it was easier for me to get to something like that, but at the same time- one day I'm going to work rally hard towards getting there, but I don't know if I'd be able to manage it where I am now. The stress and the pack of people would really make me anxious and I want it to be an amazing experience. And I know being overwhelmed by books is totally a thing.

      Clearly it can be a really good motivator! You've done so well with your blog, Cait, and it's so gorgeously your own, if you get what I mean. You've made it completely unique and recognisable for what it is and the content you produce. xx

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  14. Jealousy is such an ugly word, but it is also such a universal one.
    I have struggled with jealousy all of my life, even beyond book blogging. I always thought that someone else was better, and I had to do everything possible to try to be like them. It took a while to figure out that coping with jealousy like that is exactly what you SHOULD NOT do. I lost myself for a little while and I struggled to be found.
    I also have blogging jealousy all of the time. I have been blogging for about three years and I am still hovering at about 100 followers. Sometimes, it does not seem fair that bloggers with 6 months of experience have the same amount, if not more.
    Then, I really looked into how I was blogging and realized that I was not doing the best I could and I was not really putting myself into the words. So, I started working a lot harder on reviews, discussions, and everything in between. I am still trying to become more of "myself" in my blog, but things are looking up!
    Thanks for the great discussion. I love how you were not afraid to address this topic, even though a lot of people are still touchy about it.
    Tessa @ Crazy for YA

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    1. You describe that really well, Tessa. Ugly yet universal. For me, it was difficult to decide that I wanted to post this because it seems like pretty dark territory and I was afraid of the response and afraid of talking about how I feel on this topic. Well the response has completely blown me away and I really hope that this post has been making people think and helping them (which, at least for the former, it seems to have!). Jealousy is definitely something that's really difficult to cope with when it gets intense, and I'm sorry you had such difficulties with it. I'm glad, at least, that it made you take stock of your blog and think about what you wanted from it. xx

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  15. Meow.

    When you get jealous you should eat a cupcake. And backhand a bitch!

    I dunno...Jealousy...I would be like WHY DO YOU FOLLOW THAT PERSON, THEY ARE TERRIBLE. But they were NICE and FRIENDLY and I wasn't bothered putting in the effort so I guess that's fair enough yes? NO. NO IT'S NOT. THERE IS NO TIME FOR NICETIES IN THIS WORLD ROMIPANTS!

    THE VICIOUS AND VIOLENT INHERIT THE WORLD!

    So momentarily yes, but I am an inherently lazy person and it is far too much effort to clutch on to jealousy and also to do anything about it so it passes quickly. :D

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    1. Now Lauren. I can't say I approve of either your suggestion or language, although cupcakes do sound like a good idea.

      And really... I don't really comprehend what you're getting at, apart from the fact you don't tend to hold onto jealousy. Which is good! Not holding onto jealousy is so important. xx

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Thank you so much for reading my post and, if you care to, commenting! It means a lot to me that you have thoughts on this thing (whatever it may be), too, and want to share them.

Please note, however, that nothing hurtful will be tolerated.

Have a beautiful day.x