Misc.

Discussion | My Book Blogging Pressures & Tips to Lessen the Pressure

What’s blogging without chaos and stress?

Chapterlings, it’s time for another discussion post. Honestly, this has been a blog post idea I’ve had saved in so many places. Notion? In all capital letters! A sticky note? You betcha! Several different drafts and saves on pre-typing this post? Oh heck yes! Needless to say, this is something I wanted to talk about for a while now. So today we’re going to do just that. We’re going to talk about some of my blogging pressures and how I manage the stress that comes along with being a book blogger.

For starters, I’m a naturally stressed out and anxious person. I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t stressed, worried, or anxious. Maybe when I’m sleeping? It’s a mystery the world may never know! However, I like to think I’m a person to who has high-functioning stress. I feel like I’m my most productive when I’m stressed. And this includes blogging.

Despite the stress and the pressure that comes along with blogging, I still love to do it. I enjoy planning posts and working on content for my blog or even just in general. But I noticed that over the time I’ve been blogging, I’ve developed some unhealthy habits and in recognizing those habits, I’ve developed ways to lessen the stress and feel lighter when blogging.


1 – Feeling like you have to read all the books and request all the arcs

My #1 stress of all time when it comes to blogging is the fact that there’s a huge pressure to read all the books, request all the upcoming releases, constantly hauling books, keeping up on upcoming releases… the list just goes on and on. Along with all of this, there’s also a huge pressure to read all of the popular books that have or are being released. If for some reason you don’t read them, review them, post or talk about them then you’re not relevant. It sucks, but it’s the truth.

I’ve talked about how hyped books impact me and how I usually don’t touch them with a 10-foot-pole. And if I do, most times they don’t make it over a 3 star rating for me. So I get very hesitant about hyped upcoming releases and even writing reviews for them make me nervous because I’ve seen people get attacked over their reviews for those type of books, and I’ve received that kind of hate just from receiving arcs. It’s freaking scary out there friends!


2 – Consistency and delivering perfect content

It’s no secret that consistency is key to success. If you’re posting consistently, on a regular basis, readers are going to see your content and that’s going to encourage them to come visit your posts and your blog. This results in comments from your readers, new readers who are discovering your content for the first time, and so on.

However, if you’re like me, this can come with a heavy weight to carry. I’m a workaholic at heart and any time I take a single day off from blogging, anytime I decide on a self-care or mental health day, just anything in general that puts me first feels like I’m failing. I talk a lot about how much I love content creation, but the dark side to that is I take it seriously and sometimes I put a lot of pressure on myself for making sure I’m delivering lengthy reviews, making sure my posts are the way I want it, if I make a grammar error it feels like the whole world is shattering.


3 – Having to be everywhere all the time

I love multitasking as much as the next person, but that’s just it… I’m one person. It can be the sweetest dreams or the more terrifying nightmare. I love to comment on blog posts, engage with people, sharing in topics that resonate with me… Sometimes I just can’t do it.

Keeping up with things is incredibly hard especially when fellow bloggers put out more than one blog post a day or perhaps you don’t want to miss a single comment and you want to engage with your community. It is a struggle. It can be the most rewarding, but it can destroy the spoons you have. This is a double-edge sword and where there is good, there is always the bad.


4 – I need to take better care of myself

Recently, in some of my latest posts, you may have seen me airing out the closet about some of my dark truths. Consider this post almost as an extension of all of that. The truth is a lot darker than you think. That wasn’t supposed to be as ominous as it sounded.

I became so obsessed with devoting large amounts of time to blogging and poured ungodly hours of hard work into the blog posts that I was creating. Again, I am a workaholic and sometimes I don’t know when to quit. My physical and mental health hit a peak of just deteriorating, and I got really, really sick. Here’s the thing, when you have chronic illnesses, getting sick is the last thing you want to have happened to you. And it took me a while to fully recover from that and feel 100% again.


How to lessen the pressure

Look, I’m not an expert and these tips aren’t going to be a cure all to the problems you may be facing. If I had all the answers and solutions, do you think I’d be the gremlin the hoodie, hunched over their laptop, trying to get things done? No, the answers is no and I definitely wouldn’t look like that.

However, these have been things that have helped me come back to blogging stronger, has helped preserved my love and happiness for blogging, and just breathe easier at the end of the day.

➼ Make schedules!

Truly, scheduling things and pre-planning things have helped a lot with the pressure of blogging for me. Also, setting cutoff times with your scheduling makes a huge difference! All those hours I’d spend into the dawn of next day has been thrown out the window.

Scheduling can take on many forms. Maybe it looks like planning posts or perhaps this means organizing when you need certain posts to go up and you’re checking when you can devote time to that particular post. Scheduling can even take on the form of when you devote time to respond to comments or even looking at blog posts, engaging with other bloggers.

➼ Take the break!

Sshh ssshhh sssshhhhh! I know this is going to be the thing you hear the most from other bloggers or even those in your personal life. Listen. LISTEN. It really can help. I think this advice gets such a bad rep due to seeing the time constrictions. Maybe you’re thinking I’m going to tell you to take a short break or I’m going to tell you to take a month off from blogging.

Well, you’re wrong. I’m not going to tell you any time restrictions because I don’t think breaks are something that should have time restraints on. If you need to take a break, you take that break, but you come back when you’re ready. And I’m telling you this because this is what happened to me. A lot of people told me to take a month hiatus or just take a short two week break and those time restrictions stressed me out. Before I knew it, I vanished from the book community and blogging for almost an entire you. Only occasionally popping in to fill in some of the gaps. This is one of those gaps. If you take a break, you are the wielder of your time and return to blogging, no one else.

➼ Do things that bring you joy!

This is a really obvious tip. Like, really freaking obvious. However, I think this is one of the most powerful tips I can give you.

Kurt Vonnegut once said, “Enjoy the little things in life for one day you’ll look back and realize they were the big things.” And I firmly believe that. Those little things bring us joy, make a moment more special, make something memorable, and I believe they have the power to calm even the stormiest mind when under pressure.

➼ Read & comment of posts that genuinely interest you!

It took me a long time to realize I didn’t have to comment on every single blog post and that I could respond to the posts that particularly caught my interest. I used to fill myself with so much guilt about not commenting on every single post my favorite bloggers would put out and I would get really twisted up inside.

Making yourself stressed out, filling yourself with guilt for not commenting all the time, or forcing myself to reading all the posts isn’t healthy for you. You don’t have to do this. There are plenty of ways to support your favorite bloggers or interacting with your favorite bloggers without putting yourself in a state of internal guilt or stress.


So… that was a lot to unpack. These may or may not be the pressures you’re dealing with and these tips may not be the cure all to your stresses. Everyone is their own unique self and experience things differently. My experiences are my own experiences and some of these may be normal or even something you don’t have to worry about. A lot of this post is me saying to myself, “You can breathe again.” And in a way, making peace with the old and putting some skeletons to rest. I do hope that some of these tips do help you and maybe make things a little easier for you. Maybe you just needed someone to tell you to breathe and try these tips. ♥

What things stress you out as a blogger? What kind of things do you do to lessen the pressure? Come chat about it with me in the comments! ♥

|GoodReads|Instagram|YouTube|Wishlist|Kofi

Misc.

1 Year Blogiversary Q&A Part Two: Heavy Topics, Mental Health, and Unpopular Opinions

Salutations Chapterlings! Welcome to Part Two of this Q&A! If you haven’t read Part One yet then please make sure you do so. This article is going to be a lot heavier and addressing a lot more personal questions. I will be answering these questions as best as I can without going into too great of details. These are a lot more personal and as much as I like to be open with all of you, I have my limits and boundaries. Now, without any further delays, let’s get into the questions!

Have you had any negative experiences in the book or blogging community?

We’re hitting hard right from the start, huh? The answer is yes. Normally I don’t like to dwell on negative things because it’s really bad for my mental health and I don’t want to keep a space for that kind of negativity. I got into pretty decent detail in my Life Update post, if you haven’t seen that then I recommend checking that out. In short, I was basically being harassed and bullied because I received an arc of a certain 2020 release. These people felt that it was unfair for a small book reviewer/content creator to receive such a highly sought after arc and they made that very clear by making me feel unsafe on all my social media platforms. I took a step back after that.

Why do you put content warnings at the beginning of your reviews?

That’s just a personal preference of mine and I have done since my first experience of reading a book that had no content or trigger warnings. It really messed up my mental health and it took two and a half weeks to feel okay again. When someone reads my review, I want them to know what this book involves and some of the things that will most likely be discussed in my review. The best example I have of this is my review for Sadie.

I’ve noticed when you talk about mental health in your reviews, it comes from a place of knowing. Do you have mental health struggles or just have a wide knowledge of it?

I knew someone was going to ask this question. *Warning, I will be talking about various mental health topics like depression, eating disorders, suicide, etc… Please be aware of that when reading my answer to this question.*

Yes. I actually have mental health struggles. I have quiet a few actually. I guess the best place to start with all of this is I grew up around people who struggled with mental health, severely. As I got older, I developed a lot of mental health challenges. I developed bulimia nervosa at the age of eight because I was constantly surrounded by those who hated my body. So I started to hate my body too. I developed severe anxiety at the age of eight, as well. This was due to a toxic and abusive home life. When I hit my early preteens, I battled depression, self-harm, and attempted suicide. By this time, I also had a drug addiction and an alcohol problem due to trying to find a way to cope with everything happening in my life (those things being people dying all around me and severe abuse). After all of this, I ended up in the hospital from losing weight too fast and my lowest weight being 96 lbs and dropping. Eventually, I was sent to a mental health facility where I learned I have Bipolar Disorder I and PTSD which explained a lot of the things that were happening.

After all of that, I finally started living better to help manage my mental struggles (like my severe anxiety) and to better handle them. Even now, I still have disordered eating, I still have to take medication to manage the Bipolar, and I’m still trying to understand my PTSD to the fullest. And I’m thankful to have a partner who understands the importance of mental health. So when I talk about mental health in my reviews, it comes from a deep knowledge, of having experiencing it, living with it, and experiencing so many things at a young age that no one that young should have to go through. So understand, I take that content very seriously especially when I review a book and if I find that material is doing more harm than good, I will address it in my reviews.

Do you have any recommendations for coping with mental health while reading?

It all depends on the person, in all honesty. Something that may be triggering for me may be entirely different for someone else. For myself, I will have an asmr video or an instrumental video playing on my phone or television when I start reading a book. However, if I feel content is becoming too triggering then I will step away from the book. I won’t force myself to read past that. When I step away, sometimes it’s a few hours and sometimes it’s days. Ultimately, I do what’s best for me and if my mental state is responding really negatively to the content I’m reading, I will ‘dnf’ that book. The best example I have is my review of Things We Lost in the Fire. I will also list one of my favorite asmr rooms as well.

You’re not feminist enough to review books

Originally I wasn’t going to post this comment because it truly is a negative comment and I don’t like inviting that into my space. However, I saw an opportunity with this comment that was just too important to ignore. So this is all I have to say about this.

Misogyny is just as bad as misandry.

If you’re bisexual, how can you be married?

Would you be surprised if I told you that I get this question all the time and on Pride I get bombarded with this question, consistently? Yes, I am married, but that doesn’t change my sexual orientation. The way I always explain it, if I were to get a divorce today or tomorrow, that wouldn’t stop me from being attracted to men, women, or non-binary people. It’s just a part of who I am, it will never change no matter where I go in life, and I will always be very open about that.

What was the hardest part of coming out as bisexual?

I think the hardest part was dealing with the backlash that came from having my relationships with the girls I dated out in the open. It was extremely hard while is school and even harder on those I dated. There were many things that were hard with coming out, but that was the toughest to really go through and watching my partners having to suffer was the worst of it.

How do you respond to negativity or negative comments?

My approach is usually to ignore and delete. I say it all the time, I don’t like negativity in the spaces that bring me joy. I think it’s fine for people to have different opinions and have constructive conversation. However, when things start to turn into heated arguing, saying nasty things to one another, etc… I tend to erase that stuff immediately. If this somehow finds it’s way into my messages, I will report that person and delete the message. I don’t like negativity in my spaces.

How do you cope with your anxiety?

I think this ties in with a previous question, but it varies for everyone. For myself, I listen to a lot of asmr to help keep me calm and relaxed during reading. When I’m at home or out in public and I start to get anxious, I have to do something with my hands. So I usually keep things on me that allows me to keep my hands busy. At home it might be video games or using a stress ball. Out in public I might have a fidget spinner or rubik’s cube. I also tend to keep items with soft textures near by as they help calm my anxiety. If I’m lucky, one of my pets may be nearby and I may go pet them for a while. If you do like asmr, I will leave another link for another favorite asmr video.

Do you have an unpopular opinions?

Yes. Yes I do and it’s a lot.

🌸 Women can play football, backyard or otherwise.

🌸 Mountains are better than beaches. Take a trip to New Hampshire sometime, you’ll thank me later!

🌸 ASMR is amazing and I don’t care what you say!

🌸 Personally, I think Night is better than Day.

🌸 Although I like tea, very much, coffee is better.

🌸 ACOFAS wasn’t terrible and a nice pace changer. I WILL FIGHT YOU ON THIS.

🌸 I will always choose Andriod over Iphones. Stop trying to convince me they’re better, I will list so many reasons why they’re not.


Okay, I really had to stop myself there before I just spent a really long time doing that list. Just know that I have many unpopular opinions, those are the ones that I could think of on the fly. Alright, those are all the personal questions. There are actually a few I didn’t answer because they were just far too personal and I really didn’t feel comfortable answering them. Regardless, I hope you enjoyed Part One and Part Two of this wild Q&A! It truly means the world that you would stick around to read both parts. I truly appreciate all the love and support that each and every one of you give to me. I hope you know how grateful I am and that I hope I can continue to show how much it means to me by the content I put out. Until next time, stay safe, thank you for the love and support, I love you! 💕

|GoodReads|Instagram|Twitter|YouTube|Wishlist|

Misc.

1 Year Blogiversary Q&A Part One: Bookish Questions, Getting Personal and Nerdy

Salutations friends! I can’t believe my blog has officially hit one year old! This wouldn’t be possible without all of you! For believing in me, wanting all of this to succeed, and for loving me the way that I am. You all have made this all possible, inspire me each and every day to create content, and I love you all!

And apparently you all are very, very curious about the person behind the screen! A while ago I put out ways for you to tell me the questions you wanted to ask, literally ask anything, and I was shocked with the amount of messages. So many questions that I actually divided these into two parts. Most of these questions were able to be categorized as something book related and nerdy or something personal and heavy.

So if you’re reading this, welcome to part one of this two parted Q&A! I hope I don’t disappoint with my answers! Just sit back, relax, and let’s answer some of your questions!

Have you learned anything new about yourself?

The short answer is yes. The more specific response is I need a thorough schedule to do everything that I do. I balance my personal life and the things I do for my blog, for Bookstagram, etc… I keep them separate, but I realized I have to stay on a constant schedule otherwise my whole momentum gets thrown off. I’ve learned that there are many people who appreciate the content I create and I have made some truly wonderful friends that I never thought I would have made.

What are your favorite bookish posts that you’ve written?

One of my most favorite posts is my review of Sadie. It was one of the hardest reviews I ever wrote, I get very emotional and personal in that review. I’m extremely proud of that post. My second favorite would be my Wicked As You Wish by Rin Chupeco Blog Tour and Review. Talking back and forth with Rin, I left our conversation with a very deep appreciation for her and the other authors who recognize the smaller bloggers and content creators. It truly was a wonderful experience and I’m glad that I got to be a part of her street team for Wicked As You Wish.

Do you review every book you read or just arcs?

I usually review every book that I read. I take extensive notes. If I have multiple copies of a book, I will use one for my own library and then the others for taking notes, annotating, and discussions. The only time I don’t review a book is a ‘dnf’ book. It’s rare when I ‘dnf’ a book, but it does happen.

What are some of the things that you accomplished because of your blog or being in the book community in general?

I feel like I have come a lot farther compared to when I first started out in the book community. I have been a part of the book community for a long time. I believe 2014 was the year I dipped my toes into getting involved, but I think I truly started feeling accomplished as I started to branch out and develop my skills. I became more of a critical reviewer, I found an aesthetic that makes me happy (which I have a new background that I’ll be testing out on my IG soon), and I really started to carve a space for myself, that’s something I’ve never done before because I never knew how to make a place for myself to exist (that last bit will tie into a on part two of this Q&A). There’s many things I accomplished because of books and I’m very grateful to be where I am right now.

I know your birthday is coming up in May, what are three books you’re hoping to get or do you have a wishlist?

I think I know who this is, May is still a ways off, and yes, I have a wishlist which you can find HERE, but please don’t feel obligated to get me anything. I am very blessed with the books that I have right now and with tbr carts that are overflowing, I shouldn’t be getting more, for now. If I absolutely had to pick three books to receive for my birthday, it would be the ones below.


Overall most anticipated 2020 book release?

In no specific order so you too can check them out too! You can also check out some of my posts that hint to authors I’m supporting and check out my anticipated 2020 shelf!

Do you have a favorite tea?

I drink a lot of Harney & Sons tea, but I also drink a lot of the Yogi Tea as well.

You mention that you game a lot, what are your top five favorite games?

Okay, okay! You’re now a very precious bean and I will protect you at all cost! I love talking shop about games and that’s one of the hardest questions to answer. So all my favorite games will be shown below!

How do you find inspiration to write your articles?

Everywhere and from everyone. Sometimes I get asked a lot to do specific articles like my Sekaiichi Hatsukoi series review. Sometimes I end up with something right on the dot and then I’ll write it down so I don’t forget. Other times it’s usually a lot of coffee.

I read your ‘About Me’ section. You do LARPING?! Can you tell us about your character?!

My main character is an elf mage named Malliumpkin. I play a few side characters with my group, as well. Usually those side characters are healers or temporary encounters. We have even done a few side quests where I have been random creatures such a fauns, spirits, and animal shapeshifters or shamans. Most of my gear was crafted by a dear friend. Other pieces I invested in myself. And that’s all you need to know! Aside from the fact that the next event we do will be our 100th LARPing quest. If you’re looking to get started, I highly recommend checking this article out!

How do you manage to read and blog on top of everything else?

I have a giant calendar hanging on my wall where I write down all my buddy reads, my readathons, when blog posts need to go up, etc… I also use Google Calendar to communicate to my spouse important information like appointments, personal events, etc… With those two tools at my disposal, I can keep track of where my time and energy is being spent. Did I mention I write down the times for all of things? I include the time with everything I do. My days are usually planned to the very last minute before I need sleep. That’s usually how I stay on top of managing my life and then everything with reading and blogging.

What are some books you could put in anyone’s hands right now?

How do you take notes and do thorough reviews?

Oh jeez… My process is very chaotic and all over the place, if I’m being honest. I use a sketch book to take notes for my reviews, I use sticky notes to make side notes inside my books, then I have colored tabs to indicate important information, and then I have pastel highlighters for going back through and narrowing down the information sections. It’s a really chaotic mess and usually when I’m like that my spouse will have to bring me snacks and drinks because I will go at it for hours with annotating, drafting, narrowing things down, etc… It’s just wild and I come out looking like a wildling every time.

A mythical creature you would want to turn into?

Do you have any best friends?

I’m pretty sure I know who sent this and yes I do, I love each and every one very dearly!

Do you have any pets?

Yes I do! I have three cats and a corgi! If you follow my IG then you will occasionally see them pop up in my feed and they even have their own dedicated story header!

Is there anything you want right now?

I feel like this another one of my friends asking for birthday purposes. So please read the question above asking about my birthday and wishlist. If it’s not, I could really go for some sushi and some starfruit right about now!

What color are your eyes?

Many people think my eyes are brown, but they’re actually hazel. My eyes can turn all the way to the brightest shade of topaz all the way to a dark, dark brown, almost black.

How long have you been gaming and reading?

I have been reading and gaming since I was a kid. Six years old is how far I can remember being really focused on reading and gaming. Years later and I’m still focused on gaming and reading!

What would you tell someone who wants to start their own book blog?

I would tell you to just start. My biggest fear was just getting started and I think it helps to hear from someone who was really nervous about starting their bookstagram, starting this blog, and just being more involved in the book community than what they were. It took me a while to work up the courage to start, but once I started, I couldn’t stop and I found some of the most amazing people who I now get to call friends. This community is very welcoming and if you’re looking for someplace to carve out your own space, the book community is a lovely place to start.

What are the top three songs you’re listening to right now?

🌸 The Midnight – Sunset

🌸 PENTAGON – Shine

🌸 Skrux – Devotion


Okay, friends! Those are all the personal questions that were book related, very nerdy, and just stole every part of my heart! If you have any other question, don’t hesitate to ask in the comments below. I do like to be as open as I can be with all of you, so don’t hesitate. Part Two of this Q&A should be happening shortly after this article is posted and this article is going to be much heavier, more personal, and so many hard topics are going to be talked about in that article. So I hope you’re still able to join for Part Two! Until next time, thank you for all you love and support, I truly appreciate you! 💕

|GoodReads|Instagram|Twitter|YouTube|Wishlist|