Do we put too much pressure on ourselves to produce “quality” content? // BLOGGING IS HARD, OKAY.

Blogging is many different things.

WOW, HOW OBVIOUS INSIGHTFUL, ANALEE.

It can be fun! It can be a way to share our thoughts! It can be also be stressful! Or a step towards dominating the internet! All or none of those things!

But for it to be all of those things, we need, of course, CONTENT. Yet within content comes my dilemma, because within content there’s the question of TYPE of content and within type of content there’s the question of is it good enough or will others enjoy it?

Because as much as this blog started off as a place for ME and my thoughts, it has expanded to where I think about it as a place for me to TALK TO OTHERS, and others to talk to me. Without the community, truthfully, I probably wouldn’t have continued blogging for so long, you know?

Which is why I started thinking more on content and what people enjoy reading and responding to, and the idea of “quality content” which swirls around in my head quite a lot.

HENCE THIS POST.

SPOILER: This post is going to be kind of all over the place but I HAVE A LOT OF FEELINGS.

What is considered quality content?

I’m going to be repeating quality content quite a bit throughout this post, even though it’s VAGUE as heck. I don’t even know if we can define quality content, honestly, cause it can be so subjective. For me, I would say it:

  • makes you think
  • makes you think AND/or laugh
  • is well written?
  • makes you go #relatable
  • you enjoyed writing?
  • includes cats rolling over

Personally, when I think of posts from other bloggers that I consider as “quality content” or posts that I am happy with myself, those are the things that come to mind. FOR ME. And the type of posts I personally enjoy reading.

(But spoiler quality content actually cannot be defined by these characteristics at all)

So far, so good, yeah? Okay, good, cause I’m completing changing the focus to stats in like two seconds but it’s RELATED OKAY I SWEAR.

Bear with me, this post is low-key a mess but  ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

The relation between stats and quality content

BECAUSE IT ALWAYS COMES BACK TO THE STATS. *muffled screaming into a pillow*

See, there’s this idea I have for my blog, that so-called quality content (above) = better stats. Or for better stats you need quality content. Either one.

Aka ALL POSTS must always be super well-written, funny and/or insightful and that NOTHING ELSE works for the stats and hence must be avoided at all costs.

(Slightly hyperbolic but you know what I mean.)

Ughghghghghgh this kind of thinking is so problematic!!

I wouldn’t want anyone else to feel as if they were held or forced to very high standards for themselves when writing posts; so why is it okay for me to do so myself?

Answer: IT’S NOT.

Not all of it is bad, of course. I myself ENJOY writing “quality” posts that are relatable and fun! I think they share a lot of my personality, and allow me to be creative and share my thoughts, which is what I aim for. The fact that I choose to write more of those because stats are higher for them (aka people seem to enjoy them more) doesn’t make that post any less genuine

So sure, wanting to write quality content, or things that people enjoy, based on stats, isn’t necessarily a bad thing!!

But the part that posts that don’t work for stats are neglected more often? Yeah, that’s been a part of writing posts, too, not gonna lie.

And spoiler: it’s not great. Because for me, it’s built up this RIDICULOUS notion that if the stats aren’t as high or don’t reach the “usual” for a post, it’s not “quality”, or popular, content.

WHICH IS GARBAGE.

Why? Because stats can be totally random!! Sometimes there are posts I am SUPER confident in, posts I write that I’m happy with, that I enjoyed writing and that maybe even fit my “usual quality” type of post… but still a flop in terms of stats. And then I post something similar another time and it becomes super popular. WHO KNOWS.

If a post doesn’t reach or surpass the usual number of stats, it’s not really your fault?? Because it’s not like you can control it? Yet I still feel that disappointment, that feeling of failure, associated with that post EVEN IF I loved writing it. And that freaking sucks!!

why can’t I be more chill about blogging oh my god

I completely derailed from where I intended to go with this post, but my answer to the original, titular question: A huge, fat, YES. I can’t speak for everyone, but concerning my own blog, I definitely put too much pressure on myself to post certain types of posts, or writing a certain way in order to have “quality content”, whatever that may be.

But what’s ridiculous, is that I BRING IT ON MYSELF. That feeling, that pressure I feel, to post things that are of “good quality” comes solely from my own insecurities and ambition(maybe?). What if my posts are not as good as the ones as [insert name here]? What if people don’t enjoy this post because it’s too [insert adjective here]? What if, what if, what if…????

Let me ask: Is there anyone out there policing whether or not something is quality content (apart from ourselves)? NOPE. Is there really even any definition to what type of post is quality content? NOPE.

Therefore the pressure is IMAGINARY and we need to breathe and chill* and write whatever the heck we want, OKAY???? Okay.

*I need to take my own advice, geez.

Basically, to sum up this whole mess of a post:

  1. Wanting to please your audience with “quality content” being posts you enjoy writing, isn’t a bad thing!
  2. Not posting something you want to post for fear of it not being “quality content”/getting lower stats IS problematic though because IT’S YOUR BLOG, and you should have the freedom to post what you want, yes? 🙂
  3. Regardless of the pressure we may bring onto ourselves, a post doesn’t HAVE TO be well-written, funny, or anything, just something true to your heart and something you enjoy writing.

What are your thoughts? Do you put pressure on posting certain types of posts due to stats? How do stats affect your posts; do they influence what you produce, or not really? Have you ever held off on posting something for fear of receiving a negative response or less stats? 

Even after all that “don’t put pressure on yourself” and don’t worry about stats talk, I’m super self-conscious about this post because it’s unlike my recent, more fun and happy posts??? Less organized, more cluttered, not at my usual time, but this has been SO REAL for me, on and off and I wanted to share my thoughts. 🙂

I hope you’re happy and having fun eating, sleeping, reading, life-ing, doing whatever!! ❤

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Staying organized: 10 bullet journal spread ideas for book bloggers!

FACT OF THE DAY YEAR: Bullet journals are awesome.

It’s a fact, okay. Proven by me, myself and I, which is obviously reliable and not at all biased.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the bullet journal system, you can check out this link to learn a bit more, which is the creator’s site, and there are also tons of videos on YouTube, posts on Pinterest, about it as well! (How do I know this? Hahahaha I haven’t spent hours watching bullet journal videos on YouTube, what are you talking about? Though I’d recommend not going straight to YouTube if you’re new to bullet journaling because it can get quite overwhelming.)

To me, it’s basically a notebook you can design/customize to suit your needs. Whether that be a daily planner, a shopping list, or a thought-tracking journal (LOL aka a diary), doodle pad, whatever. ISN’T THAT GREAT? Any blank notebook (lined, grid, etc) works, though I personally use the Leuchtteurm 1917 dotted A5 journal*!

I’ve previously made a post on my bullet journal back in May last year talking about how I use my bullet journal for book blogging and I really loved writing it, and since my bullet journal has changed so much and it’s a new year, I thought I might share another (hopefully somewhat) helpful and more detailed post; 10 specific spreads (pages) you can use to keep your bookish and bloggish life organized! 

SPOILER: Is this post my excuse to not-so-secretly rave about bullet journalling? Yes, yes it is. Am I also trying to convert you all to bullet journals? Yes, yes I am. I WILL SUCCEED. (Maybe. Possibly. A girl can try, okay.)

*Because I’m basic. But it’s not necessary at all! There are tons of alternative options that works just as well. 🙂Read More »

How to make a book blogger’s day! // BECOME THE SUN.

Alas, it is difficult to BE the sun.

There’s the small details such as you might, I don’t know, BURN, oh and that we’re humans and it’s impossible to physically be a sun?? (I mean, you could glue neon lights to yourself and blind others, that’s pretty similar. Oh, and wear a heater too.)

BUT. Theoretically, you could be a sun by lighting up someone’s day (wow so cheesy oopsies)! Specifically, a blogger’s day!

See, we all know bloggers and book bloggers are fabulous! And who doesn’t want to make someone happier? Spread joy! Spread happiness! (My only wish is that the rest of the world follow this mantra toooooo honestly if the world was as lovely as the book blogging community, it would be a wonderful thing. *cries because the world isn’t*)

Tis a simple thing, to shower someone’s day with happiness!! BE THE SUN. Theoretically. Here are some things that make my day as a blogger!

1. Tell them you love their blog design!

I mean, duh? Book blogger who pours time and effort into blog to make it nice for people + Person who acknowledges time and effort spent on blog by saying it’s nice* = Happy book blogger!!

Obviously, you should mean your compliment too! Don’t give out empty compliments! And honestly, the book blogs out there are so fabulous, it shouldn’t be hard to be sincere.

Me @ all the pretty blogs (and books, obviously) out there

I’m telling you, from experience, it just means SO MUCH, and I’m not just saying that! Literally reading each and every comment makes me so happy, but ones that tell me they love my blog/blog design has me squealing incoherently while my sister tells me to shut up overjoyed?! (THANK YOU to all of those who’ve said something like this before *cries because I don’t deserve such wonderful followers*)

*Or any other flattering adjective. Obviously.

2. Follow their blog!

I’m not going to commence on the whole value of followers and whatnot, but if you like a person’s blog and want to read their posts, give them a follow! Of course, there’s the whole thing about inactive followers who don’t actually ever visit your blog except when it’s a full moon*

BUUUUT all the same, it’s nice to see those numbers!! Like, “ooh my blog is actually reaching more people other than my dog and fellow minions**??? #win

It’s pretty simple, really. Like blog = follow blog = insecure blogger who feels validated and happy because we* are LIKE THAT.

*WHEREWOLF??? I mean werewolf. Not ‘where is the wolf’ abbreviated. (I used to think I was funny??? Somebody help me.)
**AND YOU GUYS TOO. Reading this post. Ahem.
*Did I say we? Okay fine, I meant ME. SHHH.

3. Tell them you read and loved a book they recommended

The amount of happiness I get from a friend/blogger reading a book I recommended is UNREAL. Oh my gosh.

It is one of the best feelings ever??!

Because then I get an excuse to fangirl all over again and also I get super happy knowing they listened to my recommendation?? LIKE WOW I’m apparently trustworthy? :))) MORE VALIDATION. And happiness.

I also feel super guilty if someone reads a book I recommended and DIDN’T like it but thankfully that hasn’t happened often…but I’m always super paranoid about that what if?? WHAT IF my recommendation wasted their time and they secretly hate me?? WHAT IF they didn’t love it as much as I did???

RELIEVE THESE WORRIES. Tell that blogger you loved that book!! They will for sure be happy to fangirl with you and give you tissues or cake if needed and who doesn’t want that?

4. Leave a [thoughtful/passionate/another adjective] comment!

Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate and cherish and coddle and feed grapes* to every comment I get but I ADORE and feed chocolate** to the wonderful people who leave a super nice comment???

LIKE THANKS PAL FOR BEING A KIND HUMAN. 

Honestly, there is nothing I love more than opening my notifications and seeing a comment from someone who enjoyed my post and is just super sweet and/or passionate or just took the time to write something NICE. *squeals into pillow uncontrollably*

What did I do to deserve you?????? Can I just squeal and hug you and give you chocolate please okay thanks i love you ok bye ❤

*Pff, comments don’t mean that much to me?? Also I have a bowl of grapes besides me okay.
**Chocolate > grapes. ICYMI.

(I’m making too many footnotes and I NEED TO STOP.)

5. Fangirl with them about a favourite book

Let me just tell you the three biggest things you need to know about a book blogger:

  • We love books
  • We fangirl about said books as easily as WE BREATHE.
  • And duh, we LOVE FANGIRLING.
  • (Yes, I’m referring to myself again with the we, but you all know this applies to you too??)

WHICH MEANS!! If you ever see a blogger mention your favourite book, or if you’re stuck on what to say, fangirl with them!!

You guys can become like these two minions and duh, they’re #goals??

Okay, but really. I LOVE finding someone else who loved the same book as me and considering the amount of book bloggers I know who started this blog as a way to share their love of books with other people??? THEY WILL LOVE IT TOO.

6. Share their posts

Of course, you don’t have to do this AT ALL!! (Which applies to this whole list, really.)

But if you enjoyed a post, sharing that post (via a pingback in a blog post, in a wrap-up post, Twitter, reblog, anything you’d like) is such a nice gesture??? So many bloggers put SO MUCH time into their posts and having them shared is just such a lovely feeling. (VALIDATION. AGAIN. I swear I’m not this insecure all the time. xD)

7. Give them chocolate/cake/food.

I just spelled food backwards on Google and searched DOOF.

I SWEAR I DID WELL IN ENGLISH.

:)))

But just look:

Anyone remember this gif?? ;)))

I’m only partly joking for this one?? Give blogger food = Happy blogger!!

I mean it’s FOOD. 10/10 will make someone’s day AWESOME and 120% better.

8. Pat their heads and offer comfort in their bookish times of need!

Let me define times of need: a) they have finished Crooked Kingdom or They Both Die at the End or a Heartbreaking Book and are DYING OF SADNESS AND THE FEELS, b) they have NO BOOKS* to read, or c) they have run out of chocolate/ice cream/food and are screaming in pain!!

BECOME THEIR SUNSHINE! Ahem:

a) show them adorable pictures of cats/dogs/favourite animal or FOOD and shove the most cutesy contemporary book you can find at them
b) give them more FOOD and leave piles of your favourite books at their doorstep
c) run before they beg you for your chocolate and you are left screaming in pain** (JUST KIDDING :))) Mostly.)

*Don’t you even try to point out their bookshelf or TBR
**Yes, I just told you to give them food for a) and b) and now am telling you to run away with your food. Your point is…

AHH I hope I helped BRIGHTEN your day??! (*wink wink*) I am in no way trying to dictate what you should do haha, I just wanted to make a fun post about some of the things that have made MY day and give you all a sort of huge imaginary hug??!? There’s no special occasion, no nothing, but I was just overwhelmed with how AMAZING this community is. Honestly, you guys have the whole “being the sun” thing down. 😉

But now you tell me: what are the things that have made YOUR day, as a blogger? Do we have any of these in common? Isn’t the community just the best? CAN I GIVE YOU A HUG? AND ISN’T THAT COOKIE GIF AMAZING???

Much love (and sunshine*)!!! ❤
*Except not literally because I have an aversion to direct sunlight okay anyway byeeee!

Books I’ve loved this year and other things I liked! // Mid Year Book Freak Out Tag 2.0 – 2017 Edition

Thought of the day: We’re halfway through the year, HOW???

I can’t be the only one who thinks someone fast-forwarded through this year? If someone did can I ask them to fast forward to future book release days thanks.

Sooooo we’re now at the end of June, halfway through the year, and I thought it would be fitting to do the Mid Year Book Freak Out Tag! I did one for last year I think? I wasn’t tagged by anyone this time but psh, rebel here.

Oh and I’m also going to be linking up with this week’s Top Ten Tuesday prompt for “Best Books You’ve Read in 2017 So Far”!

LET’S DO THIS.Read More »

Parallel universes, family bonds and saving worlds | A Million Worlds With You

A million words would not be enough to express how much I want to visit the millions of worlds in these books. 

Hahaha I’m so good with words, guys. Probably best in all the worlds. 😉 Right?

Okay, I’ll stop now.

Hi everyone! I hope you guys are enjoying your Saturday! (I know I am, my god, this week has been so long.)

Okay, it’s been SO long since a review, partially because I haven’t read many books over March, and partially because I just haven’t gotten around to writing any for the books I *did* read haha. It’s April now though, and I’m trying to get out of the slump I’d been in for March, and so far it’s going well! I FINALLY READ A BOOK GUYS. *cue celebration* (Hence I am now dying trying to figure out what one book out of the 145678 books I should read next. Even though I already have a tentative list of books I need to read asap?? #nologic)

*NO SPOILERS for this book! I wouldn’t say there were many major spoilers for the other two books, either to be honest, but skim if you’re really worried about that haha*


A Million Worlds With You by Claudia Gray

Publication Date: November 6th 2017
Publisher: HarperTeen
Genre(s): Sci-fi, Young-Adult
Series Status: Firebird #3
Page Count: 419
Source & Format: Owned, hardcover

Synopsis from Goodreads:

A million universes. A million dangers. One destiny.

The fate of the multiverse rests in Marguerite Caine’s hands. Marguerite has been at the center of a cross-dimensional feud since she first traveled to another universe using her parents’ invention, the Firebird. Only now has she learned the true plans of the evil Triad Corporation—and that those plans could spell doom for dozens or hundreds of universes, each facing total annihilation.

Paul Markov has always been at Marguerite’s side, but Triad’s last attack has left him a changed man—angry and shadowed by tragedy. He struggles to overcome the damage done to him, but despite Marguerite’s efforts to help, Paul may never be the same again.

So it’s up to Marguerite alone to stop the destruction of the multiverse. Billions of lives are at stake. The risks have never been higher. And Triad has unleashed its ultimate weapon: another dimension’s Marguerite—wicked, psychologically twisted, and always one step ahead.

In the conclusion to Claudia Gray’s Firebird trilogy, fate and family will be questioned, loves will be won and lost, and the multiverse will be forever changed. It’s a battle of the Marguerites…and only one can win.

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Dimensional travelling and all the wanderlust (!!!)

Four words: Travelling. Through. Parallel. Universes. IS THAT NOT AWESOME?? (An enthusiastic yes is the right and only answer by the way.) An infinite amount of parallel universes where even one alternate choice/outcome leads to a whole different future. Above the characters or the plot, the concept of this series is what drew me in first and foremost, and definitely what I loved the most.Would it be greedy of me to say I wish the worlds had been developped even more though?? LET ME TRAVEL TO ALL THE PLACES please, thanks. Bye, Marguerite, it’s my turn now.  In the previous books, I loved exploring this concept, and the third book was no exception, I just loved the idea and world Claudia Gray created. I feel like the scientific aspect of it was explored more as well, which was great! (but maybe that’s just me holding on to anything that could make this parallel universe come true.) Now I just need people like Marguerite’s parents to create a Firebird for me?? NOW HIRING, people!!

“Every single world we’ve visited isn’t just random—it’s the result of countless choices, all of them combining to create a new reality.”

Basically: this world is fabulous. 

Snackable-themes of family and dark sides.

(Snackable is totally a word, hush children and auto correct.) Pause on the squealing-about-parallel-world-travelling things! My memory is terrible and so I don’t remember in detail what I loved about the previous books*, but in this one, I certainly appreciated the focus on familial bonds, among other things. Marguerite’s parents’ love for their children had so much depth, I feel, explored in the different worlds we visit, shown through different lives, different aspects of the characters. I really loved how this book explored family; how they were practically always present (could it be we have a normal family???!), and the way it showed how much family can impact your character and your choices.

*No, of course I am not too lazy at the moment to open my review on the previous books…

As for the DARK SIDES. *cue music* It’s not as sinister as it sounds, I promise. I think what was really interesting to read in this book was the exploration of a person’s true character. I’m going to say straight up; I didn’t like Marguerite that much. But, what this book did a great job of is making us think about–made Marguerite think about–is the potential anyone has to be, well, evil, or a bad person. Through these alternate worlds, we meet different versions of the same character; multiple Marguerites, multiple parents, Pauls, and so on. Apart from making for a thrilling story, the main Marguerite (and Paul, Theo, etc) is really forced in this one to confront that despite how different she may be from those Marguerites, they are still a part of her. And I think it was really important for Marguerite to see that.

Okay, deep thoughts almost over! Can I mention Paul though??! I don’t particularly care about him and Marguerite as a ship anymore, though I used to, I’m much more interested in Paul as an individual character! Poor Paul. He, too, was forced to confront the reality of his different versions. But for him, unlike Meg, acceptance came a lot harder, and a lot differently. Paul was a whole lot more broken emotionally, causing him to question everything that he used to believe in and it was heartbreaking–but also very necessary to see that.

“But just because something’s been damaged doesn’t mean it’s ruined.”

DEEP THOUGHTS OVER GUYS. But, next, what I was not a fan of…

Where is Theo? (Also, byeeee love triangle)

We have Marguerite (sadly), Paul (poor broken soul), and sure, we had Theo… but I totally would’ve loved more page time with him. Theo is such a precious cinnamon roll!! In previous books there was also Theo and Paul’s bromance that I loved, but this book was lacking that as well, which is SO SAD. Plus side, there is less of a love triangle in this one! Down side, I am disgruntled that Theo is still pining for Marguerite… (I won’t consider that a spoiler because it’s very very obvious who Marguerite ends up with since the first book.) He deserves so much better, and honestly is overlooked so much. #moretheoplease

“Because I want you to be happy. With or without me, whatever it takes.” Theo sighs. “That’s the difference between wanting someone and loving them.”

Special Snowflake syndrome

I think this aspect has been from the very start of the series, but I definitely think I was more aware and less accepting of it this book haha. Maybe my slump has made me too critical? A year since reading the second book has made me less emotionally invested? We may never know. But Marguerite was SUCH a special snowflake, and I think that definitely had a part in me not liking Marguerite as much. Her attitude, the way everyone makes her seem so much better than she really is? Got on my nerves, won’t lie. BUT. What really took the cake was how little repercussions she faced from her decisions. There were things she did in previous books that were not right at all, and I really wished there were more consequences rather than it being glorified. Ugh.

“But this role doesn’t need an adventurer as much as it needs someone who can… look at each world with fresh eyes. Who can perceive things deeply. Not an adventurer—an artist. You were the one we needed all along.”

Lackluster ending…

It was perfectly acceptable, to be sure, and I was definitely invested till the very end, but, at the end, I think I still wanted more than what I got. After all the tension, the excitement, it just seemed all too quick and just… lackluster. I was warned of this in advance though… So there’s that? It made the disappointment less hard to take, I think, and allowed me to still appreciate the other aspects of the finale. It was still perfectly fine though! I know a lot of people who loved it, and if you like definite endings as well, this one is perfect. Open endings can be torturous for me sometimes haha, so I did love how everything was tied up. My heart went through so much though, the book overall was definitely a thrilling read. But, the ending still left me wanting more. The classic case of “it’s me, not you?” perhaps…

Overall… (3.5 stars)

Things I loved:

  • The world (PARALLEL UNIVERSES YES PLEASE)
  • Parents and characters being evil beans
  • Paul being a broken little ball
  • THAT COVER IS SO BEAUTIFUL I COULD CRY. (Seriously, the whole series is so beautiful all I want to do is sit and look at them all day)

Things that could’ve been better:

  • Marguerite. Marguerite. Over and over, MARGUERITE. Even if she was more bearable in this one.
  • More Theo time?!
  • The ending

Verdict: An enjoyable read! I really did like it, problems aside. It was a solid finale, despite leaving me wanting more in terms of the ending and some of the characters. If you like sci-fi, action and romance, I definitely recommend picking this series up! And if you’ve already started the series, I think, unless you *really* hate Marguerite, reading this finale has the potential to be a good one for you.


GOSH THIS REVIEW. I literally worked on this for so long, I know it’s lengthy, sorry about that! But what do you think? Have you read this series, do you plan on it…? (Anyone else want to go on a world-travelling journey with me??) Let me know in the comments! Hope you have a lovely day! ❤

Signs You’re in a Blogging Slump + How to get out! | Book Snacks Babbles

Oh. my. gosh. It’s been SO LONGGGGG since I last posted–or was last alive, to be honest. The past couple of years weeks have been busy (like, really busy), yes, but I also must admit it was also due to pure laziness tinged with exhaustion that this blog went abandoned for such a long time. I might be exaggerating about the length of my unplanned hiatus, but not really..seeing how I don’t usually take such unprecedented hiatuses for this amount of time? But whatever. Life and school..and life, but mostly school, has been unmerciful on me and I was absolutely swamped these past couple of weeks, by either tons of work or bouts of exhaustion and moments of utter zombieness. I had tons of post ideas in my head, but I just couldn’t find the a) time-common excuse, I know, but true–b) motivation, c) strength, or d) the will to get away from my chocolate bars, you know? #sorrynotsorry

SO. All that combined to a very unsuccessful March, in terms of blogging, AND reading too. Le sigh. *cue internal sadness* *grabs chocolate to cure sadness* But I have missed you guys!! I’m currently really really slow with catching up with all your blogs but I am trying, I swear. I spent time yesterday blog hopping (which really cheered me up, actually) and if I have time today I’ll definitely be doing so again. 🙂

Though moving on to the real purpose of this post: having been in a kind-of blogging slump these past two weeks, and finally attempting to restart my inspiration and motivation to blog (so kind of getting out of the slump), obviously I consider myself a total expert* on this subject! 😉 So I’ve decided to become a helpful little chocolate bar–as I always am, of course–and give you guys a list of signs you’re in a blogging slump. If you know the symptoms you can better ward them off, after all. Kind of. Or at least recognize them? And I shall also advise you on how to get out of a blogging slump–you’re welcome.

*Major exaggeration here, folks. Pff, me, an expert? But still. It sounds better this way, sooo. Oh, but I need you guys to correct any of my mistakes! Add your own ideas, tell me what you think, etc etc. Chocolate for you if you contribute! 😛

Signs You're in a Blogging Slump


Reasons We Fall Into Blogging Slumps

Let’s go through some background info. What causes the dreaded blogging slump to present itself? Here’s a quick list (because lists are fabulous–Cait‘s list loving tendencies are contagious!)

  • Life gets in the way 24/7. Blogging is something that takes TIME. And boy, does it take lots of it. In an ideal book blogger world, life is merciful and stress-free, and does not try to prevent you from doing the things you actually enjoy. In the real world, well… life is more likely to attack you with a truckload of things you have to do–and it doesn’t include blogging.
  • Stats are low. Although everyone repeats, time and time again, that stats don’t matter, to some people they might be quite a large factor in their enjoyment of blogging. To me, I feel concentrating on stats doesn’t really get you anywhere other than down the road of sadness and disappointment, but sometimes low stats can get to be quite discouraging–which, of course can cause a slump.
  • Too much pressure. When you start feeling like you have to blog, as if it were a job, it makes it a whole lot less fun! And then the pressure of having to blog (when you might not be feeling like it or in the mood for it) definitely doesn’t help matters.
  • You feel like you have no more interesting post ideas. Although in basically all situations this is 100% false in reality, when in your head you feel as if you’re out of ideas, well, you’re not going to want to reach out to your computer to blog. (And so then the slump occurs, obviously.)
  • Not enough time. A seemingly empty excuse (and a common one at that), this is definitely one of the big reasons why someone might fall into a slump! Like, sometimes life just gets really busy, and when that continuously happens, there’s just not enough time for you to blog. There just isn’t. (*cue sadness*)
  • Tiredness. Sometimes, even when we do have time, simply exhaustion or laziness after a long day causes for us to not reach for the computer to blog. And when this tiredness continues to occur often, well, say hello to the blogging slump. (Erm, I’m kind of guilty of this.. I blame school. And life. But mostly school.)

  • Expectations are not being met. Whether this be in terms of stats, or comments, or anything, really, any expectation that someone may have had for blogging, when it isn’t met, it can be very discouraging (much like the low stats thing). And we all know where that can lead.
  • We run out of chocolate and therefore spend many many days huddled in a corner and crying. (This is totally legit, what are you talking about?)

I think those are the top ones? At least that I could think of right away. I know there are tons more though–so if there’s a reason (or several reasons) you fell into a blogging slump that I haven’t listed, TELL ME. Because I must know all the reasons and become an all-knowing blogging slump master. Yes yes.

Anyway, moving on to the actual…

Signs that a blogging slump is on the way or has reached you

  • You start to be constantly ‘not in the mood’ to blog.

Omg. #1 sign, I tell you. #1. Or at least in the top 10. When you keep making those same “I don’t feel like it” or “I’m not in the mood to blog” excuses, you know. And if you didn’t recognize the sign until now, well, you’re welcome.

Tip: Read blogs that inspire you! Your favourite blogs, favourite posts, whatever. Even if you don’t feel like blogging, looking at other posts that you like might help you to become back in the mood to blog. It’s simple in theory, and most of the time, it also works.

Tip: Taking a break from blogging is 100% okay when you’re feeling overwhelmed, stressed, or just don’t have time. It really is. You don’t have to be worried about taking a break. But when you stop blogging for reasons that are more based on laziness or moodiness, well.. my one tip is to push yourself a bit more to blog. Not so much that it puts tons of pressure on you, but enough so that you

  • You’re having more fun doing anything except blogging.

It’s a fact to most people that blogging is hard work. Yes, it can be fun, but the amount of time and effort that has to go in to make a good, quality post is insane. Most people know this yet they still continue blogging. Why? Because they enjoy it. When you no longer enjoy blogging, well, you won’t feel like doing it, now will you? When that happens, you know what it means..

Tip: Taking a break can definitely help in this situation! Though that’s just a temporary solution. To really cure this, one of the things I recommend doing is making a list, or reading a list, about the things you love about blogging. When you focus on the positives, maybe it will help you enjoy it once again. Do what you enjoy about blogging, instead of focusing on what you don’t really enjoy.

  • Blogging becomes a chore/an unwanted reminder of something you have to do.

*SIGH* Blogging. Right.

It’s never a good sign when the thing that was supposed to be a fun, light, hobby, and what used to make you happy, becomes the thing that makes you frown or sigh in frustration. Never!

Tip: Really, I feel like the same tips can help with multiple things. Finding things you love about blogging (mentioned above) can really help for this. When something that was previously associated with positive ideals, becomes associated with negatives, it really helps to have a reminder that the thing (in our case, blogging) isn’t truly something that bad! It’s hard, but it’s generally something we love to do, no? I hope all that made sense, oops.

  • You purposefully spend your free time doing other things even if that time could be spent blogging.

“Oh, I finished all my homework/household duties/whatever other requirements you have! Hm, I think I’m going to go surf the channels on TV, even though I know there’s nothing good on.” A bad example (but maybe it’s possible?) but you get what I mean! This is definitely another obvious sign that a blogging slump is either on its way or has reached you.

Tip: Push yourself a bit more to use that free time to blog! I doubt there’s ever going to be a time where after you write a post (instead of watching boring TV, for example), you’re going to be like, “I wish I had watched that old TV sports show that I don’t like!” or something. You know?

  • You no longer prioritize blogging or really care so much about posting on time/at all.

Another very obvious sign that you’re soon to be a victim of a blogging slump, this one can make it hard to get back into blogging once you fall into a slump. When you stop making blogging a priorty, or really caring much about it, well, you have more of a ‘it doesn’t really matter’ attitude, you know? Which can make things difficult.

Tip: Try and find new post ideas! Inspire yourself. Motivate yourself so that you’re able to get rid of the ‘I don’t care’ attitude, because, let me tell you, that ain’t gonna help anything. This seems like a very ‘bad’ thing to fall into, but all it really is is an effect of falling into a blogging slump. If inspiration just isn’t coming to you, then sometimes also just taking a break, being disconnected from the blog and everything, might help. Chances are the bookworm in you (if you’re a book blogger) won’t be able to resist squealing about the newest 5-star book your read. 😉

Last minute babbling…

I will forever back the statement of taking a break when you need one. (98% of the time, at least.) Sometimes it’s what it takes for you to get back your blogging game, you know? However, I also believe in a good balance. Yes, life can be a real bully to us little people, and yes, so is time. It is SO DIFFICULT to blog when we have to constantly battle the force of real life. I get that. I really do. But sometimes, another part of it is just us sitting around and choosing not to do it–which leads to being a blogging slump most of the time rather than being a productive hiatus. Lol.  Sometimes it’s good if we push ourselves a bit more. I’ve been in a blogging slump for almost 3 weeks now? It was tempting to just leave this post in the drafts, along with all my other ones, but I found that when I finally pushed myself to write up a post, it really felt good and satisfying. Reading other blog posts and reminding myself what an amazing journey blogging has been for me is two of the things that pushed me out of my blogging slump–so I definitely recommend those two tips the most! Blogging slumps are seemingly impossible to get rid of, but if you try, I promise it’s not that hard. 😉


Okay, so that turned out to be a lot more rambling on my part than I had expected–sorry for all that, guys. I do hope it all made sense.

But now, I’d love to hear your opinions! I’ve missed talking to you all SO MUCH, so please don’t leave me hanging, lolll. Have you ever fallen into a blogging slump? How did you get out? What other reasons are there that cause blogging slumps to occur? Has anyone else felt the pain of running out of chocolate??!! #honestquestion Oh, and what helps you the most when attempting to escape a blogging slump? Leave any of your thoughts below!

Until the Next Meal, Analee

Things I Wish I Knew/Did as a Newbie Blogger — Newbies, take notes! | Book Snacks Babbles

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It’s been a long day, without you, my friends.

Sorry, that song has been stuck in my head for some reason. But hi, hello! I know it’s Tuesday, and I swear, I had really meant to do a Top Ten Tuesday post, but it’s felt like a while since I posted the last discussion, so I thought, why not write up another one? I promise I will be doing Top Ten Tuesday posts once again sometime, but today is not that day! As the title dictates, for this post, I’m going to be talking about things I wish I knew or did back when I was a newbie blogger. In many ways I still consider myself to be one, to be honest, (there’s new things I learn everyday!) but I suppose technically, since I’ve been blogging for a year now, I’m not as much of a newbie anymore–at the very least, I have the basics of the whole blogging thing down. 😉 But back in the day, when I first started blogging, there were many things I didn’t know! So, now, to walk down memory lane, I’ve decided to think about those things and reflect on the things I know now–that I wish I had known before. Oh, also, warning: this is a no judgement-zone! Mine is a fragile ego. XD (LOL jk but entertain me, why don’t you.) If you judge you shall get no chocolate. And that’s a horror you don’t even want to consider, right? Right. Exactly. *nods*

Alright, now that we got that cheerful little thing out of the way, let’s get on to it, shall we?

Agh, sorry for the terrible image. I totally rushed this! I'll be editing this later, haha.

1. I don’t have to post everything on one single day.

Erm, I hope I’m not the only one who thought this? Back when I first started blogging, I was under the impression that I had to write several posts in one day. And can you guess? I wrote many posts, for one day. Uhhhh, nope. I was most definitely mistaken! Firstly, there’s no requirement for anything. If I wanted I could post nothing on a day, or 10. Who knows. Secondly, there’s really no point in posting everything in one day (though if you wanted to, of course, that’s all your choice). So. Once I noticed that I was just wasting time posting so many posts in a day, it became much better, yes yes. Which brings me too the second point:

2. There’s this magical thing called a scheduling button.

Okay, so I knew I had the option of scheduling posts, like, many weeks (perhaps months, I dunno really) after I started blogging? (Hush hush, no judgement here, remember?) But I (in a move that boasts of utter ridiculousness, to be honest) kind of ignored it for.. oh, I dunno. Months, definitely. Lots of months. I don’t even know why? Maybe it was just paranoia that it wouldn’t work, or… I really don’t know. Once I actually took the big step and used it (like, 10 thousand years later. Well, slight exaggeration, but whatever.) it turned out to be great and quite useful! So yeah, I most definitely would’ve wanted to have use it before. XD Again, I don’t even know what kept stopping me from using it? What can I say, I’m a confusing person. We’ve established this.

3. I don’t have to be worried about putting my personality out there.

I think it’s kind of natural, at the very start of blogging, that our personality isn’t, perhaps.. as clear? Okay, okay, I know that explains nothing whatsoever, but like, I mean.. aghhh sorry excuse my moment of utter failing-at-lifeness there. Basically what I’m trying to say is that I feel like when I first started blogging, in the back of my mind, I might’ve been more reserved in terms of letting my voice and my personality show through my writing. Now, as I am more comfortable with blogging and everything, I think I make more of a conscious effort to be ME in my posts, and show more of who I am than before. And I love it? It makes the blogging experience so much the more genuine and I wish I hadn’t been so worried about my voice and personality and what other nonsense had been going through my head back at the start, lol. 😉

4. Creating graphics is nothing to fret over!

Back when I first started blogging, I had been in awe of all the amazing graphics I saw on other people’s blogs. When I saw that the blogger himself/herself created the graphic, I was in even more awe! Yes, I know I know. Hush children. No judging, remember? XD Come on, I can’t have been the only one in this situation, right? But anyway, yes, I was in awe. And then I became confused as to what I would do in terms of graphics. I love design and appreciate art (though I’m terrible at art like drawing, music and the like) After all, pictures always make everything so much the more interesting! But as I discovered later on, creating graphics is not too difficult! After searching online (because duh, Google has basically all the answers. LOL) I found many helpful graphic design websites, like PicMonkey, Canva, among others. My only wish was that I took the initiative to find out how to make graphics much earlier! It’s not that difficult, really, when you have the right tools.

5. It takes time to get successful stats and followers.

Although the definition of success depends from person to person, the universal key to remember is that everything takes time–especially stats and followers. Building up a successful following takes a while (most of the time). Having the types of expectations that you’ll get 100 followers in a day sadly holds no weight and will get you nowhere. For me, I wouldn’t say I had such an expectation, but it did take a while to accept that I won’t be receiving tons and tons of likes, comments, and followers in just a little bit of time. 😉 I did end up accepting it in the end (it might’ve been hard to find amusement in blogging if I hadn’t) but I do wish I knew this when I first started blogging! The first couple of weeks can be tough (lol), when you kind of find that no one is actually reading your posts and you’re talking to yourself. XD But the important thing is not to be worried or stressed out! It’ll happen eventually.

6. It’s okay if I have to go on hiatus.

This is something which I still don’t like to do very much, LOL, but it is especially something I wish I knew back when I first started blogging! I was in grade 11 when I first started, and at times (lol, who am I kidding, almost all the time) it became tough to juggle so many things at once; school, reading, blogging, there’s only so much time you have to spend for each. And sometimes taking a break is what we need to balance everything, you know? I know that now, but it would definitely have helped if I had known that before. 😀 I think, it felt like if I took a hiatus and didn’t blog, for, I don’t know, even a week or something, I’d lose followers, and people would forget about my blog, and whatnot. It’s a worry that’s long gone now, but as a newbie, I couldn’t help but think that way, lolllllll.

7. Other bloggers don’t bite!

As a newbie in the book blogging community, where I was surrounded with a bunch of other bloggers who had so many more followers than my humble, like, 10 (lol I don’t actually know how much I had back then) it definitely could be intimidating to actually find the courage to talk to them! Now, I know it’s ridiculous to think that way–bloggers don’t bite! They’re just as human and just as friendly as the rest of us, and it’s 100% okay to talk to them. Thank goodness I ended up talking to other bloggers in the end after all; or else I’d be quite a hermit and quite lonely, lolllll. XD Talking to these bloggers back at the start, and even now, created such lovely friendships and it’s the greatest. Truly. ❤

8. It is impossible to read each and every single blog post that appears in my blog feed.

Truer words have never been spoken, if I do say so myself. I mean, have YOU been able to read every blog post that arrives in your Reader? Didn’t think so. But back then, I tried quite hard to do so (and comment too!) which, proved to be quite futile in the end save for the posts I actually did manage to read and comment on. I followed quite a lot of blogs back then (and even more now!) and there were SO MANY posts appearing all the time. It’s impossible to read them all! Don’t fret if you can’t read/comment on each post; I doubt it’s even possible unless you follow, like, less than maybe 10 blogs. Which I doubt is the case? I did (and still do) put an effort into commenting and reading at least some of the posts that appear in my Reader, but it would’ve definitely saved me a lot of time had I not attempted to read all, or almost all, of the posts that I find. 😉

9. It’s okay to be different.

Whether it be in terms of what you post, what your blog looks like, how you talk and how you fangirl, it’s okay if it’s not like everyone else. Normal is overrated! Be unique, be yourself, and that’s all that matters. I think, when I first started blogging, I wanted more to be like the other bloggers? Kind of? A smidge? Not that I was afraid to be different, but more that I felt like I should be like everyone else. Wrong! Totally wrong. There is no need whatsoever for you to be like everyone else, and when I accepted this, it became so much more fun for me and more, I don’t know, free. It’s partly the reason why I’m still holding on to the theme I currently have (light text on dark background), despite thinking about changing it. It’s a lot more uncommon, as far as I’ve noticed!

10. I’m blogging for MYSELF first and foremost.

Perhaps one of the most important things I wished I knew as a newbie blogger, this is one that I still remind myself about. When blogging gets tough and we get caught up in the stats game and it becomes, you know, less of a hobby and more of a job, this is the best thing to think of! We blog for ourselves and no one else, and that’s what matters. (LOLLLL notice how all the other ones I ramble about FOREVER yet this one I spare three sentences. This says nothing about importance or anything! I’m just lost at what other things to say. :P)


Alright, so that’s it for this post! The 10 things I wish I knew as a newbie blogger. Don’t leave me hanging; do let me know your thoughts in the comments! ❤ I’d love to know which of the YOU wish you knew as well, when you first started blogging. Feel free to let me know all and any of your thoughts! I’d love to chat. Oh, and just a little note; I might be disappearing, in and out for the next couple of weeks! It’s getting super busy and it’s incredibly difficult to keep up with blogging sometimes. But I will still be around!

Anyway, I hope you guys are enjoying your Tuesday! ❤

Until the Next Meal, Analee

 

Where I share awesome bloggers and cool blog posts (and other stuff..?) | Spotlight Saturday #3 (January 23rd)

Yay for the weekend! It feels like it’s been forever where I actually get the whole day off from school and just life in general. *SIGH* So, it’s been a while since I did a Spotlight Saturday post, so I figured I might as well do it for this week! It’s a super fun meme hosted by Josie @ Josie’s Book Corner; here’s the official blurb of it from her blog!

Spotlight Saturday is a weekly feature, created by Josie at Josie’s Book Corner [aka, moi], dedicated to spotlighting and pinpointing some of the things over the week that have caught my attention more than usual, things I’ve particularly loved, etc.

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Spotlighted Blogger

Blogging has been made such an incredible experience thanks to MANY amazing people, but for now, I’m just going to spotlight a few who I’ve admired and interacted with for a while—almost since the beginning of my blogging journey.

This girl has such an amazing blog. Her posts are always fun to read—not to mention I can almost always count on her recommendations. 😀 Her reviews, discussions, etc. are always so insightful. Go show her some love if you haven’t already!

Another lovely blogger, Becca is so inspiring! She’s genuine, funny, and her blog posts are always great. 😉 Her reviews are also definitely something I love to read! (And her graphics are pretty cool too!) Again, go and show her some love, because she deserves it.

Summer’s blog is one of the firsts I started following! One of my first memories of her and her blog is when we first talked about the VA series by Richelle Mead, LOL. We both came such a long way since then and I’m so glad to have met her!

I know I’m repeating things here—but what can I do if so many bloggers are so wonderful?! Bhramori is another fabulous blogger who has always supported me and her comments are so lovely! She’s such a fun person and great to talk to.

And, also, a few bloggers that I would absolutely LOVE to get to know more…

I actually had been following Tanaz for quite some time I think, but only recently really talked to her! And I’m sorry it took so long, because she and her blog are both absolutely lovely. ❤

I only recently discovered Brigitte’s blog, but I’m so glad I did! This blogger has been super nice to me and her blog seems great. So go ahead and show her some bookish love!

I’m not exactly sure for how long I’ve followed Prima over at her blog Panda Hearts Books, but one thing’s for sure: I definitely want to get to know her more! She is lovely and her blog is great. 🙂

Again, I don’t exactly know how long I’ve been following this blog, but this blog and its owner is fantastic. I’ve only recently started to actually talk to Cait, but she is SO NICE and her posts are always so much fun to read. (Also, her discussions are simply on point!)

A LOT more bloggers come to mind but alas, I cannot spotlight all of you (uhhh, let’s see, that would be around 500+? JK, but you know what I mean. :P) All of these bloggers are amazing though and I’m so glad I came across them in the blogging world.

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Spotlighted Blog Posts

Yay, blog posts! There are so many floating around the blogosphere these days, it’s hard to keep track, but here are some you should definitely check out!

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Spotlighted Book

Guess what book I recently started?! Yep, I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson. How could I not? After seeing SO MANY amazing reviews on this, I finally gave in and I’m reading it. 😀 And so far, I’m really liking it!! ❤

I'll Give You the Sun

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Spotlighted Moment

Huh. I’m not exactly sure about this one! Nothing exciting really happened, to be honest. Mostly just work, work and more work. Oh, and school. And work. And studying. -_- Although I was planning on going to watch The Fifth Wave yesterday (the day it released here in North America), unfortunately things got in the way. I hope to watch it soon though! It seems really good!

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Spotlighted App

Same old, same old…nothing new for this one either! LOL I’m so boring sometimes. XD

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Spotlighted Song

Hm.. I kind have been listening to I Know What You Did Last Summer lately? I think? I actually haven’t been sticking to one song, so…

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Spotlighted Quote

Quote

Am I the only one who thinks this quote basically represents half the characters in books? The right path for them is almost always not easy, lol. But this could just as well represent real life, yes? 🙂


So that’s it for this week’s Spotlight Saturday! My week hasn’t been that interesting, but oh well. What to do? This was still a lot of fun to do and write though—don’t forget to check out some of the spotlight bloggers and blog posts! I’m sure you won’t regret it. ❤ How have your lives been? Are any of you as bombarded with work as me? Let me know whatever thoughts you may have below. LET US TALK!

Until the Next Meal, Analee