On being the blogger I'm not.
When I started blogging, I didn't really have an end goal in mind. I didn't know there were really popular bloggers, and I didn't get the idea of blogger perks, so those weren't things I was trying to achieve. I didn't consider whether I would stick with this for years, which I have. I didn't know if I would meet anyone else, or if it would just be me, talking to myelf about books I loved on the internet. My blog title, which I've never changed, shows a little of my intention, because I am as much a writer as I am a reader and I planned on talking about my books, my words, a lot more than those of other writers.
Another factor, and the only other one I can really put into words, is the fact I wanted someone to talk to. I was lonely and I wanted to meet people who cared about the same things as me, and didn't know what the past three, four years had been like for me.
And I found that. I found a community that came to me, and showed me how to be a part of it, and over the years I feel like I've found other new bloggers and hopefully made them feel at home in this massive, sprawling community that we are.
But things do change. Things have changed for me, bloggers I was good friends with have left, and I myself have considered leaving a number of times because it got the stage, towards the end of 2014 and for the beginning months of 2015, that I didn't find myself enjoying anything but the interaction with newer blogging friends. I turned more to my writing, shared more of it than I ever have before, and that kept me going for a year. And last year was, almost certainly, the best, most enjoyable year of my blogging. I was still a part of the reviewing community, but I was also distanced from it. Reviewing wasn't my full focus, and that has remained true this year. I write discussions, do creative posts, pen out my thoughts and share them, and I also write the occasional book review. This is a mix that works for me, keeps me passionate and enthused, and it's probably closest to the mix I had envisaged for myself when I started off.
It is so easy to get swept up. There are posts telling you how to do this whole thing, and posts telling you how not to do it, and there is drama and there is meanness. And it's hard to write this and know I will post it, becase I'm a part of this community still. And I'm looking it in the eye and saying these are your faults, and I don't like you for them. It is so easy to say well I'm not a part of that, it doesn't affect me so I can ignore it, I don't want to get involved, but know it is the truth. Any community can have aspects you don't like, and being aware of those aspects, and not ignoring them but talking about them is, I think, the way for me to continue doing this. Because for the first time in a while, I actually really care about what I'm doing here. I'm enjoying myself, and I think that matters so much. And I think, for it to keep mattering, I have to be honest with myself. I have to stop being quiet about the things I don't like about this place, because they've been growing and it's starting to make me want to stay away.
Being a blogger is tough. Being a part of this community is tough. There are aspects of it that I really don't like, integral facets and quieter ones, and there are aspects of it that I do really care about. Because people from this commuity were here for me when I needed them, they found me when I was alone, not knowing what to do, on this little blogging island, and I don't want to pretend it doesn't matter to me anymore.
This is definitely a more up-front from me to you than I usually post. Which is okay. It's probably the start of a theme. My question to you is what part of being a blogger is the hardest for you, besides keeping up? And have you ever wanted to leave?