Detrimental to Your Mental Health? || A Discussion on the Downsides of Being a Book Blogger

Happy Friday, everyone!

Slightly sunburnt and with a bleeding foot – Don’t ask. While carrying my suitcase up the stairs in the apparently most inconvenient way possible, I somehow managed to drop it right onto said foot and stab an artery with one of its wheels πŸ˜… – I am back in my home country and trying to catch up with everything I’ve been neglecting while on vacation. You know, like binge-watching a ton of Locke & Key and Umbrella Academy with my youngest brother. Or finishing the Realm of the Elderlings and bawling my eyes out over its utterly perfect ending. Or simply laying on my bed, staring into space, and not talking to people. You have to set priorities!

Some more impressions of Greece – I am already suffering from severe beach-deprivation πŸ–οΈπŸ˜­

However, while laying on my bed, staring into space, and not talking to people, I’ve also been doing some thinking. Thinking about my life, thinking about my future, and thinking about how blogging fits into all that.

If you’re a regular visitor to my ramblings, you may have noticed that I’ve been neglecting my blog quite a bit in the past few weeks. In July, I went on hiatus and posted almost nothing. These first few weeks of August, I’ve been focusing on enjoying my vacation and, as a result, I’ve been horrible at blog hopping or responding to comments in a timely fashion.

Simultaneously, though, I’m currently happier than I’ve felt in ages! And of course, my overthinking brain immediately started looking for connections. Was there a relationship between my mental health and how much time I spent blogging? Had I gotten so caught up in this hobby that I’d been unable to see that it was bad for me until I took a step back from it? In the almost three years that A Book Owl’s Corner has been publicly available, I had actually never taken a real break from it before. Sure, there was my 2021 hiatus, but I spent every minute of that scrambling to finish my master’s thesis. I couldn’t have blogged even if I’d wanted to.

This July though? I guiltily confess that, had I been so inclined, I could have come back much sooner. Yes, the first two weeks were insanely stressful, but afterwards, I theoretically had more than enough time to write something. But I didn’t. And I’m not going to pretend I regret it.

As much as I love my blog and this community, I will admit that there are some aspects of this hobby that I don’t like very much. Aspects that we somehow never really talk all that much about. So, today, I thought I’d break the silence and share some of my thoughts on the less pleasant sides of having a book blog…

#1 You’re under constant scrutiny.

Having a community to talk to, to share opinions and gush about books with, is wonderful! Ever since I unprivated this site, I’ve come to appreciate that more and more. However, that doesn’t change the fact that having your thoughts constantly be privy to the entire internet’s scrutiny can be exhausting. Especially now that my blog has gotten bigger and has become so google-able that it even shows up when I search for my full name, despite all my efforts of thwarting this. There is just some stuff that I don’t want my friends, colleagues, or students reading. And as much as I value the support of my readers, I don’t need you knowing everything about my life, either.

One of the reasons I love blogging so much, and why I had a blog long before I made it accessible, was because I find it extremely therapeutic. Writing about the books I’ve read and what is going on in my life is such a great way to work through my emotions and to have something to look back on later, when I want to know what I was up to and reading at a specific point in my life. Here’s the thing though: I rarely feel like I can put 100% of my thoughts on a book out there, particularly when I really, really loved it. Because for a book to truly become a favorite, it will inevitably touch on some very personal experiences that I usually won’t want to share. That, however, constantly has me second-guessing my posts. Am I truly being honest? Are my reviews “fake” because I’m only scratching the surface of what I’m actually thinking and leaving out or only hinting at some of the things that really make these books so special to me? Wouldn’t it be better to just record my thoughts somewhere, only for me, when I don’t have to hold back and can openly reflect on all facets of what I’m reading?

And then there are the expectations that come with constantly being in the public eye. You’re supposed to post consistently. You’re supposed to provide witty, charming, creative, and thoughtful content. You’re supposed to write something just as good as that one funny post that your followers are still citing as an example for why they love your blog. You’re supposed to keep up with what all your friends are writing, even when you’ve had an utterly exhausting week and all you want to do is drop onto your bed and sleep for hours on end.

That’s not to say that I blog to meet those expectations, or that I always meet them. First and foremost, I write my posts because I want to write them, because they’re about something I find interesting. I read other bloggers’ posts because I care about what they have to say and know that they’re going to make me think, laugh, and question things. But I also have to continuously push myself to come up with interesting ideas to write about. I have to consciously reserve a bit of time each week for blog hopping. I might not care all that much about being consistent, but, thing is, the internet does. If you disappear for too long, it’s only natural that people are going to forget about you. Friendships are based on interaction, and if you don’t give people anything to react to and don’t react to anything yourself, you’re never going to get past the loose acquaintance stage.

So if I want to be part of the blogging community that means so much to me, I’m going to have to put in the work. Which sometimes means pushing myself to write when I don’t want to. Or working past that paralyzing feeling that nothing I could ever write will live up to what I’ve previously written. Or checking in on what the rest of the community is up to even when I’m tired, knowing that I’d start to miss everyone terribly if I didn’t.

#2 Blogging is extremely time consuming.

Since we’re already talking about expectations, let’s get to the real reason why meeting them can be such a struggle: Blogging takes time.

On the one hand, there’s writing the posts themselves. I don’t think I’ve ever written a blog post in under five hours, and the majority take me even longer than that. And since I’m a huge procrastinator who does everything at the very last minute, that usually makes for very stressful and somewhat sleep-deprived Thursdays… As well as mounting anxiety during the rest of the week while I ponder how long I can possibly delay getting started without running out of time before my next post is scheduled to go up.

The thing is, I actually rarely enjoy writing my posts. It’s a huge chore that annoys the crap out of me. Because think about it – in the time it takes me to write one blog post, I could easily read two novels! I could watch a Netflix movie. I could meet up with friends and do something to relax from my busy schedule. I wouldn’t have to spend even more time in front of my computer screen, when I do so much of that for work anyway. The only reason I push through is because I like having the posts once they’re finished. I like being able to go back and read them. I like seeing you guys’ reactions to my thoughts and being able to discuss them with you. But I don’t particularly like the process of getting to the finished product.

On the other hand, there’s staying caught up with what other bloggers are writing. Like I’ve already mentioned, I value this community and the friends I’ve made through it a lot, and I want to read what everyone else has to say! I want to respond to your posts and share my thoughts on them with you. But writing long comments takes more time than you would think. I simply cannot keep up with everyone. And that makes me feel guilty. However, if I spend too much time responding to people, I’m also unhappy because I start feeling like I’m neglecting my actual life in favor of blogging. I’m already introverted enough as it is, so is it really a good idea to withdraw from my real-life friends to spend more time on the internet? Probably not…

I don’t want my blog to turn into something that I use as a means to escape from real life. I don’t want hours of writing to a far-away audience to stop me from having opportunities closer to home. I want to feel grounded in the life I have and be able to live in the moment, which isn’t always possible when there’s a nagging voice at the back of your mind, whispering that you still have to write a post for tomorrow. July has reminded me of how much freedom comes with not having any kind of schedule determining how you should spend your free time, and I can’t deny that I kind of miss that…

#3 Sharing your thoughts on everything you read influences how you read.

Another thing I miss is being able to read how I used to, without any kind of thought at the back of my mind as to what my opinion on a book was and how I could convey that opinion to other people. I read because I loved reading, only for the purpose of enjoying a story.

Now, it’s more than that. One of my favorite kinds of posts to write are reaction logs – I love preserving my thoughts so that I can look back on them later and so that other people who have read the book can discuss it with me in more detail. But writing them is horribly annoying and time consuming. I constantly have to stop reading in order to take notes, which interrupts my reading flow like nobody’s business. Simultaneously, part of me is always thinking about how I could write down my thoughts in a way that will make them entertaining for other people to read. Which means that I’m no longer focusing 100% of my attention on the story I’m reading.

Which is a problem that also extends to reviews in general. While I’m reading, I’m not completely caught up in the moment because part of me is evaluating how I’m going to rate this book and what I should tell people about it. Plus, the knowledge that any new reading material will be featured in my wrap-up can be a pain in and of itself. I want to preserve my thoughts on what I’m reading, but boy, is writing those wrap-ups exhausting! They basically amount to writing about ten book reviews at once, and getting my thoughts organized for one review is already enough to give me a headache.

Seriously, sometimes, I’m tempted to read less just because I don’t want the additional stress of having to review another book! Which probably isn’t the best mindset for a book blogger to have.

#4 The lack of payoff can be frustrating.

Even more frustrating, though, can be when you push through all the annoyances that go hand and hand with blogging, write something you are really proud of, and are then met with the feeling that you’ve been shouting into a void. I know I said I don’t like the constant scrutiny that comes with blogging, but sometimes, when you pour hours of work into a post and basically no one interacts with it, it’s disheartening.

I don’t blog for views or likes, but that doesn’t mean I’m unaware of them. And when the only comments on your spoilery book reviews are from your loyalest of followers who haven’t even read the book or highly inappropriate spam ones that take you forever to sift through, you sometimes wonder why you are doing this in the first place.

The main reason I have this blog is to gush about books with like-minded people, but if the only feedback I’m getting is “Hey, nice review, sounds like an interesting book!”, what is there to discuss about? Is the pay-off for all those hours I spent laboring over that review really worth it?

#5 You’re in danger of placing too much value on other people’s validation of your work.

Going hand in hand with my previous point, what can be even more embarrassing is realizing that you expect that payoff in the first place. Why does it matter how many people view your post? Who cares if no one else likes it, as long as you yourself are proud of what you’ve written and like having it to look back on? Why should it matter to you how many comments you get?

Back when my blog was private, I didn’t care about views or likes or comments at all. I was happy to just write. But now that it’s public, I find myself checking my statistics in spite of my better judgment. I know looking at those numbers isn’t going to change anything and, to tell you the truth, I don’t even care all that much about them. What makes me happy is when I get long, heartfelt responses, even when they’re only from a handful of people. I’m completely satisfied with my blog’s current engagement and I doubt I’d even be able to keep up with much more.

Why, then, do I even look at my stats? Why do I procrastinate doing things that matter just so I can gaze at some numbers? I feel so stupid for doing it, but somehow, I’m not as immune to their allure as I once thought. And I don’t like it one bit.

So, is it worth it?

Basically, what I’m trying to say is that, sometimes, I feel like my blog is stopping me from enjoying my life to the fullest. Having to get a post ready every single week robs me of a ton of time. Whenever I read something, knowing I’m going to share my opinions on it makes the experience a bit less magical. And then there’s the second-guessing if what I wrote is any good, the constant checking in on how a post is doing, even if I swore to myself that I would never stoop to such lows.

So sometimes, you have to wonder. Wouldn’t it be better to just write something for yourself? To pour all that energy into a novel that will truly impact people, rather than a short essay somewhere on the internet that everyone will have forgotten about two weeks from now anyway? Is blogging really worth it?

Since I’m still here among you, my answer to that last question is obviously “yes”. (At least at the moment. 😜) Thanks to this blog, I’ve made friends whom I would miss terribly if I simply decided to disappear. I’ve found a community that loves books just as much as I do. I’ve encountered people who have opened my eyes to an abundance of stories out there and different ways of viewing them. I’ve been able to interact with authors. To make others laugh and philosophize with me. I have a place that is truly mine, where I can write whatever I want to. I have somewhere to store my thoughts and look back on them. And, despite the costs, I don’t want to give that up.

So yes, blogging is worth it. But I’m not going to pretend that it’s always easy, and that there haven’t been times when I needed a break or even thought about quitting. And I just thought it was high time I shed some light on that, too.

Enough from my side, though – I’d like to hear your thoughts! Am I the only one overthinking things to this degree? Do you relate to any of the points I brought up? What do you think is the hardest part about maintaining a blog, and have you ever thought about quitting? If so, what made you want to continue? I would love to know!

65 thoughts on “Detrimental to Your Mental Health? || A Discussion on the Downsides of Being a Book Blogger

  1. Amaya says:

    This was really interesting to read!! I’m pretty new to blogging, but I understand the obsessing over everything all too well. I agree that it’s really important to take a break, and it seems to simple but it’s pretty hard to actually do especially once you’re in a routine. The points you bring up make a lot of sense, and blogging is definitely more difficult than I originally anticipated, but the community and being able to rant about books with others makes me enjoy it. Wonderful post ❀

    Liked by 1 person

    • abookowlscorner says:

      Thanks, Amaya! I’m really glad you found this interesting and that you agree with me on how awesome our community is! I hope you continue to have fun with blogging in spite of its less positive aspects – ultimately, this is such a rewarding hobby, and we’re happy to have you as a fellow book blogger! πŸ’™

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Line @First Line Reader says:

    Why do you always get some weird injury? I feel like this is not the first time you’ve started a post by describing some crazy accident of yours πŸ˜‚ Anyway, I hope it’s okay and your foot is not about to fall off. And you’ve been watching Umbrella Academy? πŸ‘€

    But to actually comment on the content of this post: I definitely understand your points, even if I don’t recognize all of them in myself or the details vary a little. I feel the thing about being under constant scrutiny and I live in constant fear of someone from my real life finding my blog because then I will literally die. And I’m also constantly considering whether my Lost in Translation posts should stay public because so many Danes are looking at them and what if they think I translated something wrong? Basically, that scrutiny is making me question if I even speak Danish πŸ˜… But besides that, I don’t think I’m feeling it all that much. Maybe because nobody is looking at my blog really, or maybe because I don’t feel like I’m holding anything back like you do. Like, I pull back on the ranting sometimes but I still feel like I’m sharing all my thoughts on the books I read.

    I also rarely enjoy writing my posts except for the ones that are more about me reacting to something (like the zodiac signs post or the commentaries) because that’s just me being me and not me trying to write beautiful sentences or come up with a structure to my thoughts. Like, the stuff I write in those commentaries, I have those thoughts anyway, also for books I’m not writing commentaries for. However, I think it’s interesting that you’re so aware of how blogging takes time away from your real life and the opportunities in that. I can’t say I recognize it because I don’t have a life (lol thanks, social anxiety) and would spend my time at home most of the time anyway. For me, blogging was a way to fill that void and still get SOME social interaction, which is also why I think I’ve never taken a break from blogging. I need it too much despite me still being horrible at commenting on other people’s blogs. Like, one of the biggest downsides for me might be the fact that I’m hating myself for being so bad at that particular part of blogging πŸ™ˆ

    Also, the thought of reading less because then I wouldn’t have to review it is definitely one that I’ve had πŸ˜… However, most often it’s the opposite where at the end of the month, I’m stressing about completing books so that I don’t just have two books for my wrap-up. I sometimes choose to read a book, not because I want to read it that much but because it’s the perfect length. It’s one I predict I’ll be able to finish with one or two days left in the month. It’s really stupid πŸ˜…

    Anyway, I could probably make this comment twice as long but this is already getting embarrassing and we’ve talked about some of it before (like lack of payoff), so I’m just going to say that I’m glad you came to the conclusion that blogging is worth it! 😁 But I also hope you find that balance so it doesn’t feel so much like a chore. Have you considered not having a schedule? So that instead of posting EVERY Friday, you just post whenever you feel like it or have the time? Just curious.

    Liked by 2 people

    • abookowlscorner says:

      I don’t know why I keep getting injured! At this point, I feel like I must be jinxed or something 😫 However, I am more optimistic about this one because at least I am no longer bleeding and, also, after what happened last time, I am paying a shit ton of attention to make sure that wound doesn’t get infected! I am prepared 😁

      I’m gonna have to disappoint you on Umbrella Academy, though – after realizing how utterly confused we were while watching Season 3 of Locke & Key because we had become super hazy on the plot and side characters, we decided to be smarter about Umbrella Academy and rewatch the entire thing from the beginning. We’re currently still on Season 2, so it might take some time to get to that scene of yours πŸ˜‚

      Also, don’t you dare to take those Lost in Translation posts down!!! I NEED THOSE!! 😭😭😭 I do get what you mean about the scrutiny making you question how well you speak your own language, though, because I’m not immune to that, either. My German posts make me way more nervous than my English ones because I feel like someone might come along and pick them apart simply BECAUSE they’re written in my native language. Kind of like some super judgy language police who would want to ensure that anyone claiming to speak that language had better do it properly πŸ˜… And I while I wouldn’t die if some random person who knew me found my blog, I think I would if my family or colleagues did…

      And as for the holding back thing, I’m not sure if I’m explaining it properly πŸ™ˆ It’s not so much that I don’t give you my spontaneous reactions and thoughts, but that sometimes, I won’t say WHY I really like something. Or when I think some experience is particularly well written and therefore means a lot to me. Because then it would mean I’d have to admit to being in a position to judge the realisticness of such a situation which gets super private really fast πŸ˜… So even though I’d technically have a lot more to say than “I really liked this aspect of the book”, I won’t go into detail.

      Also, I kind of get where you’re coming from with the commentary posts – they’re also easier for me to write because I don’t care as much about the beauty of my sentences. (I will never be able to turn those cravings for aestheticism off completely, though 🀣) But they also often end up endlessly long because I can’t reign my thoughts in, which then makes up for the time I save by focusing less on the writing itself.

      And I think one of the reasons I’m so aware of the real-life opportunities blogging takes away from me is precisely because it would be so much easier to just neglect actual people and get that social interaction from a computer screen πŸ˜… I also HATE seeking out people, but after this year, when I moved to a new place where I knew no one and had no friends or family close by, I realized that meeting no people at all ultimately makes me unhappy, too. I don’t need them every week – I still need my privacy! 🀯 – but I’ve realized seeing friends every once in a while isn’t actually that bad. And using my blog as an excuse to not try to make them puts me in a lot of danger of withdrawing even more. Still, if I blogged less, I can guarantee you that about 90% of the time I saved would be channeled into introverted at-home-activities, too 😁

      Also, I kind of feel you on the wrap-up thing πŸ˜‚ I haven’t used that logic for wrap-ups, but when I’m close enough to my goodreads reading challenge goal in December that meeting it is difficult but still realistic , I’ve totally picked up shorter books I wouldn’t otherwise have read πŸ˜…

      Finally, as to your question – I’ve never considered not having a schedule because I know it would be a complete disaster 🀣 If I don’t have a clear incentive to post on a certain day, I will feel no urgency at all to write something and keep pushing my next post. And at some point, so much time will have passed that I will literally never reappear, ever… So a schedule is very good because it keeps me accountable and gives me a sense of organization! πŸ₯° And despite my complaining, I feel like my current schedule is pretty manageable. Even if I did actually consider switching to biweekly posts every once in a while πŸ˜‰

      Liked by 1 person

      • Line @First Line Reader says:

        I’ll continue waiting for your reaction to Umbrella Academy then…

        I didn’t know you needed my Lost in Translation posts but okay πŸ˜… But yeah, when writing in English, I always have the excuse of well, it’s not my first language and people are generally forgiving about English not being perfect. And then there’s also the fact that I’m claiming to know stuff in those posts. I’m not just expressing an opinion but rather stating stuff as facts and only Danes would be able to call me out on it. It’s really nervewracking!

        I do get what you’re saying about not sharing the details of why you like something. I just don’t think I’ve experienced the need myself to go into those details. Like, if I see the trope of a dysfunctional family handled poorly, I’ll say it’s unrealistic and so on, and I’m kind of assuming people know I have personal experience with it without me getting too personal about it. And it’s fine for me for people to assume that.

        And yes, you can’t write short posts, I know that πŸ˜‚ I mean, I COULD make my commentaries longer but it’s really not a problem for me to cut stuff out of them. If a comment isn’t particularly funny or informative, it’s out πŸ˜„

        I also need a schedule so I get what you’re saying. I’d probably just go the other way without one. Like stressing about it being too long since I posted something when it was actually three days and that’s how I’d end up posting twice a week and stressing myself out πŸ˜…

        Liked by 1 person

        • abookowlscorner says:

          Well, if it makes you feel any better, the fact that lots of Danes have read those posts by now and none of them have ever complained is probably proof that your translation skills are excellent! πŸ’™ But I get it. Somehow it’s way more nerve-wracking to have something you’re claiming to be knowledgeable about exposed to a lot of people because there’s always this gnawing feeling at the back of your mind that maybe you’re a huge imposter who isn’t actually as knowledgeable as they think they are. I don’t have it as much regarding my blog, but there are a few math things of mine floating around the internet and I’m always terrified some expert will come across them and find a whole bunch of mistakes that I somehow missed, confirming that I’m not actually good at this one thing that makes up a huge part of my identity. It’s very stupid, but I can’t turn it off! πŸ˜…

          And I guess I get what you mean about the sharing details thing. It’s just, for me, actually exploring those details in more depth makes my reading experience so much more meaningful, and then I feel like I’m withholding stuff by only letting you assume things and not letting you be privy to all my philosophical thoughts on a topic… But I guess that’s related to my inate horror of writing anything short and that you can actually count yourselves lucky my reviews don’t turn out even longer 🀣

          Also, it’s always so interesting to hear about people’s different reasons for needing a schedule! I think I had that overexcited phase where I felt like I wasn’t posting enough for like two weeks at the beginning of my blogging career, but since then I’ve gone back to my lazy ways and am definitely not in danger of ever posting too much πŸ˜‚

          Liked by 1 person

  3. Janette says:

    This was really interesting to read and I can see how blogging could impact on your mental health. I don’t put anywhere near as much of myself into my blog so posts are quicker and easier to write I think. I’m sure that I’ve been guilty of a generic reply too. It’s often when I’ve enjoyed reading a post but can’t think of how to engage fully.
    I definitely don’t review every book that I read. Having to do that would be really off putting and start to feel like work.
    I do love reading your posts and hope that you continue. I want to hear how the move to the alps works outπŸ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

    • abookowlscorner says:

      Oh, I’m definitely guilty of the generic replies every once in a while, too 🀣 Especially when reading people’s monthly wrap-ups – I love them as a way to learn what everybody has been up to and discover new books, but if I haven’t read any of those books myself yet, I just don’t have much too add and still want to show my appreciation somehow! So even if they don’t get me as excited as the long comments do, those replies still put a smile on my face – because I know that people put in effort πŸ₯°

      Also, I wouldn’t say I necessarily put in more work than you – because even though your posts are shorter, you write more of them and they’re still all really interesting! Trust me, I am in constant awe πŸ€©πŸ˜‚

      And I’ll keep you updated on the Alps! I actually signed the papers for an apartment yesterday, so at least that part of the struggle is over πŸ˜‰

      Liked by 1 person

  4. jan says:

    I agree with everything you said!! Especially the part about not being completely honest when writing reviews. I usually become obsessed with something if I relate deeply to it, and I can’t pour out all the facts on here because I do like to maintain some sort of anonymity on here. But in a strange way i also feel like i’m more honest on my blog with people I’ve never seen than the others offline.
    And I do tend to sometimes dwell over stats even though I try to tell myself they don’t matter. I think that’s one thing all bloggers have in common.
    Also, the beaches in Greece look wonderful <33

    Liked by 1 person

    • abookowlscorner says:

      THIS!!! Gosh, Jan, I am so relieved someone else gets it because I was starting to feel like a total weirdo πŸ˜… It’s exactly the same for me. I feel like I’m way more open on my blog than I’ve ever been in my real life – it’s so much easier for me to share deeply personal feelings, to show my entire personality, to gush about the things that get me excited, and to let you catch a glimpse of what I’ve been up to in my life. But somehow, that makes it all the more noticeable to me that I’m not going all the way and still holding things back…
      And I’m also relieved to hear I’m not alone on struggling with trying to ignore my stats 🀣

      Finally, yes, the beaches in Greece are very recommendable! I don’t think I’ve ever encountered water that clear anywhere else! πŸ₯°πŸ‡¬πŸ‡·πŸ₯°


  5. maya rajesh says:

    wow, this post is so relatable! i can understand, i’ve been neglecting my blog too and the validation from comments/likes doesn’t come easily unless you “blog-hop” often… and i just don’t have the time for that any more. well i really loved the pictures you took – they’re SO pretty!! really loved reading this post ❀

    Liked by 1 person

    • abookowlscorner says:

      Thanks, Maya! πŸ’™ Honestly, it’s so relieving to hear that other people relate to this and that I’m not the only one constantly questioning things! But after blogging for several years now, I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s definitely okay to neglect your blog a little bit every once in a while, especially if you have other things you’d rather spend your time on. It’s kind of like you said in your post – you have to find a way to live in the moment and not like you’re working through a checklist of things you’re supposed to do. Still, I’m glad to see you’re back among us and not neglecting Pretty Little Scribbles completely! πŸ€—πŸ˜‚

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Definitely Moi says:

    This post genuinely made me think about blogging in a new light – I’ve been having a bit of a on-off relationship with my blog lately, for reasons I don’t even understand. But oh well, I guess I needed a break. And it’s annoying how many posts I’ve been missing 😭

    On a lighter note, GREECE! The beaches look exquisite! Greece has been on the top of my To Travel list for ages. Did you get to see the Acropolis in Athens?

    Liked by 1 person

    • abookowlscorner says:

      Oh, trust me, I haven’t fully figured out my relationship with my blog yet, either 🀣 That’s one of the reasons why I find it so fascinating to write about topics like these! But what I’ve definitely discovered is that it’s good to take breaks when you need them, so I don’t think you should feel too guilty about what you’ve been missing out on! πŸ’™

      Also, yes, Greece!! It was awesome!!! Even though Athens and the Acropolis are still on my bucketlist as well πŸ˜… I sadly didn’t get the chance to go this time around because we were visiting a friend up north and making the additional trip south would have made things very stressful, considering we were only there for a week. But I did get to see the ruins of Philippi, which was super cool!! And explore the landscape, discover Greek culture, and go to beaches πŸ₯° So I guess not seeing Athens yet is not the biggest loss – I’ll just have to go back someday!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Serefina says:

    Thank you for putting this blog out here, I have experienced all of the points you have made, especially when it comes to keeping up with the community. It’s only in the last few weeks that I have scaled back on posts (I even did vlogs as well).

    I have thrown my old rule book out the window, post when I want to post and write for myself (which is easier said than done).

    I hope you find your ideal interaction with your blog, like you I want to go back to sharing my thoughts and writing about things that light me up.

    Liked by 1 person

    • abookowlscorner says:

      It’s nice to hear you relate and that I’m not alone on this! And I’m also glad you’ve found a way of dealing with some of these issues that works well for you! Even though I think just posting whenever I wanted to and not having a concrete schedule would lead to extreme chaos on my part 🀣 Instead, I’ve found a good balance by having a weekly schedule and putting up with things I still find minorly annoying, but I guess we’ll have to see how long I stay satisfied with that… Still, I definitely agree with you that the most important thing is to write about things you’re passionate about and have fun doing it, so I hope that works out for both of us!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Serefina says:

        Fair enough, I get having a little structure. I just know if it not my full day time job then having structure makes it boring to me (I seriously question my sanity sometimes).

        My fingers are crossed for you that you find something that works!

        Liked by 1 person

        • abookowlscorner says:

          Well, to each their own! I’m glad you’ve found something that works for you! Maybe if my own job were more structured, I also wouldn’t feel the need to organize my blogging habits as much 🀣


  8. Suhani says:

    Ahhh Naemi, this is such an interesting topic to discuss on!! Book blogging is TOUGH at times, and I COMPLETELy related to all of these!!
    And omg those photos of Greece look AMAZING, take us with you if you go there once again hahah

    I absolutely relate to the first point, I always find the constant need to put out something better than my previous post, which obviously may not be possible. And ahaha yess I can’t count the number of times I’ve stayed up late commenting on every post, which is fun but sometimes I’m never in the mood to do it!

    Writing a post does take quite a while and YES I ABSOLUTELY agree with you it seems to come off as a bit more of a chore nowadays – not that enjoyable lol, but I guess the end result is worth it!

    HAHAH My blog post traffic definitely comes from me obsessively rereading it right after it came out just to make sure that there aren’t any typos ooof

    Validation is something I do end up craving as well, even though it’s really unnecessary cause I may or may not end up feeling disheartened at the end :,) ( OH ALSO I LOVE THE MEME FOR THIS ONE)

    adored this unique discussion so much!! ❀ ❀

    Liked by 1 person

    • abookowlscorner says:

      Ahhhh, Suhani, I’m glad you thought this was interesting and that I’m not alone in my blogging struggles! I mean, this is such a rewarding hobby and the community is wonderful, but sometimes, you just gotta vent and let off some steam, you know? πŸ€·πŸΌβ€β™€οΈπŸ˜ The struggle to keep the good content and comments coming is real, and honestly, it’s so annoying how caring about validation sneaks up on you…

      But OMG, you’re definitely not alone on the constantly rereading for typos thing! I already obsess over that before even publishing my posts, so why can’t I stay away after?? When I saw that meme, I just knew I had to use it 🀣 In general, picking out the memes for this was so much fun, so I’m glad they’re being appreciated!

      Also, I’m glad you like the Greece pictures 😊 Although, since I am in all of them, I obviously can’t take any credit for taking them – that was all my mom’s doing!


  9. FangirlFlax says:

    This is such an interesting and relatable read! I find myself focusing on stats a lot of the time, too, which is really frustrating–certainly they don’t mean as much in the moment as meaningful engagement, so why do I keep returning to them, like they’re where I place a lot of my blog’s/blogging habit’s worth? And there’s also a question of what to blog–it’s hard to post something knowing it won’t have as much engagement, because it’s not as hot a topic or searchable a result. Those are usually the blogs that mean the most to me, too, and take the most time, so it’s certainly detrimental to my mental health to count views or likes of them, without risking feeling I’ve wasted my time. (Context: those Midnight Sun Thoughts posts took AGES, but they still don’t have a lot of a views–and yet they’re the ones I look back on and still feel entertained by myself!) No solution, just more thoughts, aha! Thank you for a thought-provoking post. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • abookowlscorner says:

      Oooh, that’s a good point, too! I’ve definitely also felt less motivation to write and post something when I knew from the get-go that not many people would end up reading it… Like, there just isn’t a huge audience for a reading log on the tenth installment in some obscure fantasy series, but sometimes, that’s what I want to write and love coming back to! So I’ll write it anyway, knowing that next to no one will read it, and yet I’m somehow still disappointed when next to no one reads it πŸ™ˆ So stupid, really πŸ˜…πŸ˜‚

      Still, I can’t believe your Midnight Sun posts aren’t more popular!! They’re some of the most hilarious content I’ve ever encountered on the internet, so everyone not reading them is seriously missing out!!!

      Anyway, I’m really glad you found this interesting and thanks for sharing your own experiences! All these comments are really making me reflect, too πŸ€—


      • FangirlFlax says:

        πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ honestly, stupid or not, I find that *entirely* relatable. On the positive side, when I’m pretty sure a post won’t get much interaction (and it doesn’t), every bit that it does get feels even better! A couple of my more obscure freewriting posts got a view this week, and it gave me a little boost each time. So I guess that works both ways πŸ˜‚

        You are SO kind to say that!! And also you have proven exactly what I just said to be correct. πŸ˜… They were a labour of love, even though they haven’t had much interaction, but you saying that has made my day! πŸ’•πŸ’•

        I found your post very interesting! But that’s nothing new. You always write the most thought-provoking content I read on WordPress! πŸ’•

        Liked by 1 person

        • abookowlscorner says:

          True! It’s such a good feeling when someone discovers a really obscure post of yours and you’ve finally found someone to gush about it with πŸ₯° Those interactions often turn into the most meaningful ones, even if there are fewer of them!

          And thank you! That compliment has just made my morning! πŸ’•


  10. powsbooknook says:

    I totally feel you on all these points. I used to have a set schedule and it would stress me out so much if I hadn’t finished a book. Now I only post when I have a book to review or another post idea and it really helps. I don’t have a huge following so I’m kind of using this blog as a way to catalogue what I’ve read and what I’ve thought about it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • abookowlscorner says:

      Cataloging what I’ve read and my thoughts on books in general is definitely also my main reason for blogging. I just love having those posts to look back on! Although in my case, having a schedule really helps – I’m so lazy that I would never get anything written otherwise 🀣 And since I don’t write that many reviews outside of my wrap-ups anyway – I much prefer tags, discussions, and weird ideas that crop into my head from time to time – not having finished any books also isn’t a huge stress factor for me… I see where you’re coming from, though!

      As for the following thing, I think it’s great that you post mainly for yourself! I do, too, but now that my following is bigger and I’ve connected to so many people in the online book world, I do also want to stay in touch with the friends I’ve made. Which inevitably influences how I blog, even if I might not consciously make an effort at that… And sometimes, it can just get a little overwhelming! πŸ˜‚

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Maria @ The Character Study says:

    This was really interesting to read. I feel like we put way too much pressure into our blogging when this is, after all, a hobby. I can’t say I relate to all of your points, but I understand how you feel. At the end of the day, this is something we do for fun and to talk to other people, so ultimately it doesn’t even matter (that might not help you, but it’s kinda reassuring to me πŸ€·πŸ½β€β™€οΈ). Not sure if I’m making sense but yeah…

    Also, please take care of yourself. That accident sounded… Kinda surreal.

    Liked by 1 person

    • abookowlscorner says:

      Haha, don’t worry, I also find the fact that we ultimately do this for fun very reassuring! The mere knowledge that I’m not accountable to anyone but myself and could theoretically take a break whenever I wanted takes so much of the pressure away πŸ˜‚ And, of course, reminding yourself of all the wonderful things about this hobby when you’re feeling unmotivated can really help, too! Still… sometimes it can be nice to complain a bit 😁

      Also, thanks to my clumsiness, I have become pretty good at dealing with weird injuries 🀣 My foot is fine now, I promise!

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Sophie @ Me & Ink says:

    I’m glad you had a nice holiday (although sorry about your foot, it sounds a kind of impressive feat if it didn’t sound so painful)! I missed that beach just from looking at the picture, so I can’t imagine how you feel πŸ˜‚
    I’m sorry I’m late to this post but it really resonated with me and I love that you are talking about these feelings openly. I have felt all of this, then guilty for feeling all of this. It weirdly feels like because I choose to do this in my spare time, I shouldn’t complain but that doesn’t make sense because when is anything in life that simple. All this to say I really appreciate you talking and validating my feelings.
    I have definitely considered quitting blogging multiple times. In fact, it took me a year hiatus for me to decide to come back to blogging.
    It takes a lot of time and energy. The breaks I take are filled with guilt because there is so much more I could be doing for my blog. It could be a suffocating feeling and even though I have a better relationship with my blog balance now, I still need to tell that voice to be quiet sometimes.
    Thank you so much for sharing. I hope you continue to enjoy blogging for yourself and remember to put what you need most first throughout your blogging journey! ❀️

    Liked by 1 person

    • abookowlscorner says:

      Thank you! I guess it is kind of impressive how I always manage to injure myself doing the most mundane tasks… πŸ™ˆπŸ˜‚ Thankfully, though, my foot has almost completely healed by now!

      It also makes me really happy to hear that this post resonated with you! I mean, not that I’m glad you think blogging can be a struggle πŸ˜… It’s just that it feels so validating to hear that I’m not alone on this and that people understand! Before posting this, I was honestly a little nervous that I’d be completely alienting the community by baring my soul and complaining about something that means so much to everyone here… Because yes, I feel you so much on feeling guilty for having these feelings! I chose to have this platform and by some miracle, there are actually people who want to read it. So shouldn’t I be grateful? Am I a fraud for not always enjoying something that I claim is one of my biggest hobbies? Rationally, I know those questions are kind of ridiculous, but somehow I just can’t stop myself from asking them!

      I’m really happy to hear you’ve found a better balance for yourself, though! πŸ’™ Honestly, it’s probably healthy to reflect on these kinds of questions from time to time, just so you remember that, ultimately, you’re writing for your own enjoyment and trying to live up to ridiculously perfectionist ideals leads you away from that, no matter what those voices at the back of your head tell you. It’s okay to take breaks, to put yourself first, and to vent a little when you don’t like something! Because, like you said, life is never that simple and you can still enjoy something even when realizing it isn’t perfect!

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Marie says:

    This is such an excellent post and oh so relatable. Thank you for writing this. ❀ I know that I sometimes put a little too much pressure on myself as well when it comes to blogging, forcing myself to think of content, to be present, to just do more, overall. I'm always having a bit of a hard time relaxing about it πŸ˜‚ and it's always good when that happens, to take a step back, to remind ourselves of why we're really enjoying it and… most of it all, to remind ourselves that we're here because we like it. If we don't anymore, or if this creates so much stress, it's important to take a big step back, too. ❀
    I think I found my pace with that, but I'm forever having a hard time with that validation thing you mentioned. Like, others' validation shouldn't matter…. but it still does a little too much πŸ˜‚
    Loved this post!

    Liked by 1 person

    • abookowlscorner says:

      Thank you so much! πŸ’™ Even though I obviously wouldn’t wish my struggles on anyone else, it’s just kind of relieving to hear I’m not alone! 😁

      I completely get what you mean when you say you’re continuously having a hard time relaxing about the entire blogging process – I also think I’ve found a pretty good balance for myself and enjoy so many things about this hobby, but those nagging thoughts that I could be doing more are always at the back of my mind… And, trust me, I also have to work on the validation thing! It’s like those stats have a magnetic effect on my vision or something – I just can’t stay away! 🀣

      Anyway, thanks for stopping by and leaving such a thoughtful comment, Marie!

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Nehal Jain says:

    Nehal was thinking of commenting something extremely long….

    But she has decided to do it three days from now when she can properly frame sentences πŸ˜‘πŸ˜‘.


    Do await Nehal’s comment.
    With regards
    Her ghost.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Emily says:

    I agree with so much of this post! But I still love blogging, and I also like the opportunities it opens up albeit indirectly– for ex I got a job as an arts & entertainment journalist for my university’s newspaper and the writing samples I submitted were blog articles I had published on my blog

    Liked by 1 person

    • abookowlscorner says:

      It’s so relieving to hear that I’m not alone on this! Although I completely agree with you on the positive front, too – blogging is such a rewarding hobby, and I’m also amazed at how many doors it has opened for me! Although it hasn’t been very helpful jobwise – teachers in Germany are highly discouraged from having public social media accounts, so I’m always kind of terrified my colleagues or students could stumble across my blog πŸ˜… – it’s given me the chance to interact with authors, get free books, and find friends with the same reading tastes as me! That newspaper job sounds super cool, though! I hope you’re enjoying it and generally settling into the whole university experience! πŸ’™


  16. Nehal Jain says:

    The struggle of trying to remember your thoughts on a blog you read three days ago πŸ™‚.
    Okay so, the first point first. The scrutiny thing. I relate a littttle bit but not exactly. I know my blog is also a bit google-able but I’m pretty sure no friend or person i know will discover it just accidentally. And a lot of my friends do know about my blog since they were the first people who knew about it. But if i were you and was kind of hiding such a huge part of my life from people I know for various personal reasons, i would also be terrified of the thought of them finding out. But i just hope you feel that there’s little chance of that happening. And when/if it does happen, we’ll deal with it then. That’s something better left for the future.
    Also seriously try not to feel guilty about not sharing all that stuff about the books you read. I’m sure most people find it hard to speak about books on a too personal level. I, for one, haven’t found one that just hit me and shook me to the core because it was so relatable. The one that came pretty close to it though made me a bit scared. Thankfully i wasn’t enjoying it so I dnfed it πŸ˜‚. But as long as you’re sharing your reviews based on your thoughts with the respect to the book, i guess it’s okay and within your rights that you hold back stuff that you feel is too personal.
    Also the pressure thing- i get it honestly. That Duolingo post you did, i am honestly still amazed at the amount of dedication and commitment. Like i honestly sometimes just think how you handle all this. The kind of posts you do…I’m not kidding when i say that I’m genuinely inspired by your dedication. I now know you’re also struggling or i would’ve thought you’re some super devoted never relenting blogger.
    Also that third point is scary πŸ˜‚πŸ˜³. You’ve felt that you should read less because it was so annoying… honestly you need to put the pressure off you. It’s okay if you don’t review every single book you’ve read in a month. As long as you’re fine with it obviously. I realised that sometimes you just need to know what you want to post, instead of what others want to read. But i also get the pressure. So i hope you find a balance somehow.
    And don’t you just quit blogging. You’re like the one blogger i always think would be right here whenever I’m back from a break or something πŸ˜‚πŸ˜­.
    I know you’re not quitting but also I’m not pressuring you lollll. You just need breaks in between.
    Oof this reminds me of how bad my blog is going currently. πŸ™‚ I’m barely writing. Even my stats have gone down and it’s pretty sad but at the same time i can’t blame anybody because I’m the one whose posting less. And everybody is also getting busier now that the offline world is back.
    Aaaah i hope this all works out. Glad you shared this, Naemi!

    Liked by 1 person

    • abookowlscorner says:

      You brought that struggle down upon yourself! There was no need for me to have that awful picture up for quite so long 😭

      Thanks for this monstrous comment, though! πŸ₯° I’m glad you liked the post enough to gollow up on your ghost’s visit!

      And yeah, I guess I might be a bit paranoid about people finding my blog… I guess it’s not so much that I’m scared they might find it accidentally, but more that I’m worried they might google me and find it that way. Because my classmates and I totally googled our teachers back in the day – one of our English teachers’ facebook profile picture will forever remain a legend! 🀣 But I guess now that I’m on the other end of things, I’m no longer sure whether students should really have this much search engine power πŸ€”

      And some of my friends do actually read my blog! It’s just that there are also others who don’t, and I have a feeling they’d also be upset I didn’t tell them about it and not understand my absurd reasoning for that πŸ˜… I mean, it’s not like I would ever post something I absolutely would not want anyone stumbling across, but, like, sometimes it’s just nice to have a bit of privacy, you know?

      And as for the relatability in books thing – I don’t think it’s so much that I feel guilty for not letting you in on personal stuff, but that I feel guilty for pouring so much effort into posts that I feel are too surface-level to properly do the book justice πŸ™ˆ It’s like, I’ll have all these deep thoughts that I’m itching to analyze in more detail and pour out so that everybody will understand how amazing this book is and so that I can go back and read them later – but I can’t because that would reveal too much. So then, sometimes, I’m just frustrated because I feel like what I’m writing doesn’t portray the whole picture! That being shaken to the core thing you described is one of my favorite things about reading, and it’s like I can never properly convey it in my reviews. And then I wonder whether I should be writing a public post at all, or just noting down my thoughts somewhere for myself… Yes, I realize I’m weird πŸ˜‚

      And lol, that Duolingo post actually one of the easier ones to write, so don’t be too impressed! πŸ˜‚ After all, Duolingo is something I do in my free time anyway, regardless of blogging, so it wasn’t that hard to just take a screenshot whenever some weird sentence cropped up 😁 And then matching the books and writing a little bit about them was fairly manageable! Instead, what I find a pain to write are longer discussions and reviews because HOW ARE YOU SUPPOSED TO STRUCTURE THEM? 😫 I always hate having to organize my chaotic thoughts into an understandable format because it takes FOREVER, and then I agonize even more over trying to find sentences that sound pretty πŸ™ˆπŸ˜‚ Which is why my most hated posts to write are probably my wrap-ups, because I have to organize my thoughts on every single book I read. And yes, I realize I don’t technically HAVE TO do this but I want the reviews to look back on! I actually love going back to read my own wrap-ups (#guiltynarcissistexposed 😎) to see what I thought when I first read a book, and if I started leaving books out, I could no longer do that! And I also love being able to discuss the books with you guys, so in hindsight, I always love having the reviews! πŸ₯° It’s just that getting them is such a pain…

      But yeah, thanks for appreciating the dedication that goes into blogging, I guess, and for letting me whine a little 😁 After all, complaining is one of my favorite evil past times! 😈 I think at the end of the day, it’s just important to remember to put yourself first and also realize that you’re writing your blog for yourself – so if you currently don’t feel like writing or can’t find the time, don’t be too hard on yourself! What matters is that the posts you’re writing mean something to you, no matter how many people end up reading them. And for what it’s worth – I always love your content! πŸ’™

      Liked by 1 person

      • Nehal Jain says:

        If my comment is monstrous then yours is ridiculously monstrously monstrous πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚.

        We Google teachers as well omg πŸ˜‚. Stalking their accounts but aah, they’re usually boring for me. And i guess your fear is valid then. Let’s just keep our fingers crossed.

        That does make sense and you’re not weird πŸ˜‚. But i don’t know what to say either lol. Your evil mind might come up with a solution on its own 😜.

        Okayyyy maybe not the Duolingo one, but you had to use Duolingo for soooo long to be able to do that!!! And there are others too. Like yeah, your reviews that I’ve been reading lately are so long and so dedicated. Also i agree it’s satisfying seeing the results of your own blog and reading it 🀣.

        And thanks so much, it means a lot! πŸ₯Ί

        Liked by 1 person

        • abookowlscorner says:

          See – all of my fears were totally valid! Why is everyone googling people? 😫 I guess I’ll just have to hope my students find me boring as well if they ever come across this blog…

          But good to know I’m not weird! πŸ˜‚πŸ˜

          Liked by 1 person

  17. Pingback: Detrimental to Your Mental Health? || A Discussion on the Downsides of Being a Book Blogger – BBQDAD Survival Every Day
  18. Sophia (Bookwyrming Thoughts) says:

    I agree with a lot of points; this was an excellent post! I’m always fearful of IRL folks finding out or something that I don’t like will go from either direction, even if I’ve gotten relatively comfortable over the years (a little) but I think since I blog under an alias I don’t think of it too much. Additionally there’s also that niggling feeling that I get that I’m not revealing enough, at least with weekly wrap ups, though I’ve since switched to monthly and it’s been working relatively okay.
    I will say that for the longest time I did review every single book I read and at some point a few years ago, I felt like it was annoying and just started blocking Netgalley and Edelweiss. πŸ˜‚ I’m no longer blocking the sites but it’s definitely made become pickier with the books I request so I’m not annoyed with myself and I’ve tried to balance out ones I’ll review and ones that I’m there just for reading (still trying to figure out that balance, but we’re getting there).
    I’m generally fascinated with stats (and sometimes will write a post solely for the purpose of playing around with how it affects the blog) but I’d be lying if I said the validation (or invalidation) sometimes stats will make me feel when a post just dies an early and tragic death quicker than I even write the post itself. 🫠

    Liked by 1 person

    • abookowlscorner says:

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your take on this! πŸ’™ Blogging under an alias definitely seems like a smart move to relieve some of the being-discovered-by-real-life-people panic. Maybe, if I were to start my blog again now, I would do that, too, but honestly, when I first started out, it didn’t even occur to me! After keeping it to myself for so long, I never really considered that people would actually, like, read my blog, you know? 🀣

      And whether to review all books you read is such a conundrum! I don’t accept ARCs due to the very reasons you mentioned – I hate being under pressure to review something I might not even be interested in anymore once I get around to reading it! (Which, since I’m such a mood reader, happens quite often when I make advance reading plans πŸ˜…) However, I do love having a sort of reading diary that chronicles my thoughts on everything I’ve read on my blog. So it’s like there’s this self-induced pressure to keep up with my wrap-ups and make sure my thoughts on what I’ve read are in there! Although I do exclude rereads, which takes the pressure away at least a little πŸ˜‰

      And I also find stats fascinating from a purely mathematical perpective! Although I understand nowhere near enough about SEO or WordPress algorithms to actually be able to analyze how my posts affect mine πŸ˜‚ But whenever other bloggers write something on the topic, I am engrossed!


  19. Malka @ Paper Procrastinators says:

    I’m very much late to the party, but wow is this post fantastic. I really appreciate how you broke down all the little details that us bloggers gloss over about blogging. Or we mention one aspect, but then quickly downplay it. But the reality is, these things do impact us. Pretending that every aspect of blogging is perfect and wonderful is a lie. Like you, I’m still here because I love blogging and the community it makes me a part of. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t negatives to blogging.

    I think one nuance that’s important to me though is to understand when I need to take a step back because blogging is truly overwhelming me, versus the typical annoyances or negatives of blogging that I’m able to push aside and focus on the positives. I think everyone has a point where they need a break because the negatives are too much. I think some people who leave blogging permanently are the ones that ignore the warning signs until there’s nothing about blogging they enjoy anymore because they never reset their expectations and took account of their enjoyment. (To be clear, I know there are many reasons to stop blogging, I just think this may be an overlooked factor).

    Anyways, this was a FANTASTIC thought provoking and validating post that truly resonated with me. I appreciate your honesty and how frank you were about each of these downsides. It really resulted in an amazing post!

    Liked by 1 person

    • abookowlscorner says:

      Awww, thanks for this long and heartfelt comment, Malka! πŸ₯° Honestly, one of the best parts of writing this post was to see that I’m not alone in feeling this way – I love blogging, but parts of it can just be so exhausting!

      I also think you bring up a really good point when you mention that just ignoring the warning signs and never taking the time to reflect on what you might like to change often leads to complete burnout. While I do feel slightly guilty about no longer blog-hopping as much as I used to, I also know that doing more than I currently am would completely overwhelm me. Starting a proper job and moving around all the time has definitely taken its toll on my free time! But even if it’s disappointing that I can’t pour as much time into my blog as I might want to, I’m really glad I’ve managed to stay realisitic in my goals – I know of so many people who were super active and then just disappeared from one day to the next because the pressure came to a breaking point, and I just feel like that’s such a sad way to give up a hobby. I would miss the creativity that comes with it and our community so much! 😒

      So yeah, I guess it’s good to complain about the negatives every once in a while, let off some steam, and take a step back? πŸ˜‚

      Anyway, I’m so happy to hear you liked this post, and thanks so much for stopping by! May the blogging positives continue to outweigh the negatives for both of us!

      Liked by 1 person

  20. Diana @ Thoughts on Papyrus says:

    That’s an interesting post. I love your blog for its authenticity, and I certainly relate to what you say in this post to an extent. I came to book blogging from film blogging, which I started in 2011, and certainly bypassed most of the anxiety you mentioned even if for the fact that it takes less time to view a film and write on it than to read a book and write on it. Lack of payoff, constant scrutiny, I do know where you are coming from, but I think I also tend to think about blogging slightly differently. I like viewing my blog as being not about me, essentially, but about my reader. I want them to be more knowledgeable, I want them to be aware of books or cultures, or some information. If I can introduce one hidden classic to one reader, the pay off is there for me, I believe. I think that thinking along these lines alleviates some of the anxiety you mention. An interviewer asked pianist Marc-AndrΓ© Hamelin how he deals with such a pressure of an expectation placed on him to always produce brilliant work, and he replied, “[my work] is not an exhibition, it’s an offering”. I think it is great for mental health to think along these lines too.

    Liked by 1 person

    • abookowlscorner says:

      That’s a really insightful way of looking at things!

      For me, though, I think it’s more of a mix? I started my blog as a creative outlet and a way to record my thoughts in order to have something to look back on later, and even though I have since made it publicly accessible, my blog being about me is still a huge part of why I love this hobby so much. In a way, that’s also very freeing – what matters most to me is that I’m proud of my content and happy with it, not how many views it gets – but on the other hand, it also means the scrutiny can be exhausting…

      However, I definitely get what you mean about your blog being for your readers, too! Ever since I became part of this community, I’ve loved being able to give something back, and when people tell me they found a new favorite book because of me, it makes me so happy! So I guess I should try to remember to think of my blog as an offering in the future, too 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  21. Nefeli @BiblioNebula says:

    Naemi, OMG, I know it’s been so many months, but I hope you had a wonderful time in Greece πŸ₯°

    This post is honestly something I could have written to explain the reasons why I took such a long break apart from life and all it brought. Blogging at some point did, in fact, affect my mental health for all the reasons you mentioned. The constant worry that what I write might be criticised negatively or that it’s not good enough, the comparison with other bloggers’ posts, this pressure to post often and be present to interact a lot in order for the blog to gain some traction, and of course the amount of time it takes to write a good post. I realised at some point that these all made blogging feel like a chore. It started to feel like something I was forcing myself to do as some sort of duty rather than the fun, relaxing thing I wanted it to be.

    And that’s why I took a step back. And amidst all the chaos of life, and after overcoming the strenuous situations I had to face, I felt the original excitement for blogging reignite, finally reaching the point when I felt I was ready to get back into it again. So, I say to you and anyone else that might be feeling this way that it’s ok to take time off, recharge and come back whenever you feel ready. Blogging is too much fun to be doing out of obligation.

    The same goes for blog hopping and socialising. I still struggle with it a lot, but sometimes I feel that it’s better to leave some posts unread and come back to them later than write a half-hearted comment. We are all in the same blogging boat, I think we all understand that sometimes it’s hard to keep up with everything.

    Great post, all in all, it really spoke to me ❀️

    Liked by 1 person

    • abookowlscorner says:

      It might have been months, but I still look back on my time in Greece really fondly! πŸ₯° I loved how warm and welcoming everyone was, and I’m also supremely jealous of your landscape… My mountains just can’t compete with beaches, I guess πŸ˜‚
      And although I can’t exactly say I’m happy this post resonanted with you and so many other people – I wouldn’t wish the kind of anxiety I described in here on anyone! – I also kind of am? It honestly felt really good to open up about these things and see that I wasn’t the only one struggling, but also to be reminded of why I love this hobby so much in the first place. The excitement I have for blogging and the love for our community is definitely still real, so sometimes, it just takes a step back to see that you don’t need to push yourself to the limit to be able to appreciate it. I actually took quite of time off from blogging during the latter months of 2022, and I came back feeling so much more refreshed and inspired! So yes, I wholeheartedly agree with your pep talk! πŸ’™
      We’re also very much on the same page concerning the socializing aspect. I’m definitely using WordPress’s „save“ option way more compared to when I started out because I also believe that a post I truly loved deserves a worthy, heartfelt response instead of something I wrote in a time crunch. Sometimes that may lead to me forgetting and never returning, but ultimately, I’m trying my best and just hope people will forgive me and know that I still care even if I’m a little chaotic and disorganized from time to time πŸ˜…
      But anyway – thank you so much for dropping in here and giving your own perspective! I’m genuinely so happy to see you around again!!! But of course, I’ll still wholeheartedly support any future breaks of yours, should you decide you need them ❀ Because we definitely shouldn’t sacrifice our happiness for something we consider a hobby!

      Liked by 1 person

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