The biggest thing that stopped me from becoming a part of the book community for so long was book blogging anxiety. I was anxious that no one would read my posts, of what those in my real life would say and anxious that I might write something controversial and have lots of online hate sent my way. Deciding to start my blog was such a big decision for me – but guess what? Now I have a space to vent, a space to talk about the books that I really love, and a place to interact with those who love the same things as me!
So for anybody who is struggling with ‘blogging anxiety’ I thought I might write a few tips as to how to overcome it. Of course this is all based on my own experience – feel free to add your own advice in the comments.
Blog About That Which you Genuinely Love
When you blog about what you love (books, in my case) it is a ten times easier to work through any anxiety that blogging might produce. Lose yourself in your hobbies, if you will.
What’s more, rather than just blogging about books, blog about your favourite genres. For me, this means a lot of historical fiction and non-fiction. I was a little scared at first to review these types of books because the majority of the book community seems to be made up of YA lovers. But the more I became a part of the community the more I realised that regardless of genre everyone is genuinely kind and willing to engage with you.
Use Social Media Wisely
WordPress itself can be a pretty distant community in that it’s difficult to talk to anyone other than as a comment on their posts. Therefore, Twitter and Instagram can be a fantastic way to make friends! These are also great places to talk about books if you’re not all that into blogging and/or writing.
On the other hand, social media can sometimes spell disaster for your mental health. In my experience, most especially Instagram.
Bookstagram is often a wonderful and beautifully designed place, but if you don’t enjoy taking aesthetically pleasing then don’t. I know for me at least, writing a post of up to 1000 words in one evening is relatively easy, but taking an aesthetic photo of 1 book? It zaps my energy for the rest of the day (although, I have been getting better at posting over there!). If you’re the opposite, you might benefit from focusing more so on your bookstagram, rather than your blog.
Give Yourself a Break
Have an online schedule that you have to keep to but real life keeps getting in the way? Break the schedule. I promise, unless you’re a really well-known blogger or instagrammer, literally no one will notice. Even better yet, no one will really care. In my experience, people value quality writing over a higher quantity of posts.
Also, request less ARCs. Yes, they’re an amazing way to find new authors and to get in touch with Publishing houses, but anxiety and pressure mounts as your feedback ratio decreases. Not to mention Edelweiss seems like a terrifying place for anyone with rejection issues.
And Finally – Those ‘Real-Life’ People That You’re Worried Will Judge You? They’re Worried You’re Judging Them
It’s the biggest lesson I’ve learnt over the years – people are always more concerned with themselves than you. So, unless they’re a purposefully mean person, they most likely don’t care that you have a blog. In fact, they’ll probably be supportive of you.
The majority of reactions I’ve had have ranged from: ‘You run a blog? That’s cool, what about?!’ to ‘You run a blog? Weird, but okay.’ If anyone does judge you negatively, they’re simply not worth your time.