Being a Book Reviewer and a Blogger : The Good, The Bad and The Ugly
It has been about a year since I started blogging.
It has been about 6 months since I decided that the route I wanted to take with this blog is towards reviewing and talking about books. Well, not all about books. But most of the time, yes.
And I think, your girl has reached that point in blogging where : I kind of know my shit, but at the same time, not really.
Thus I think, the time has finally came where I can finally share my piece of wisdom on the good, the bad and the ugly sides of blogging. Because after one year, I finally have now mastered everything there is to know about blogging and nobody is better at it than I!
Just kidding. That was sarcasm y’all, if you can’t tell.
Anyways, I thought of this amazing idea. It is kind of like journaling. Where I do a check in, every year, about how I feel about blogging. Because I would assume, as people grow – and we grow daily – our mindset and way of thinking also changes. Which means that, the feelings and the struggle I go through today, the things that weigh on me heavily today, might not be so important a year or two down the road.
So I think, what better way to measure my growth than to write it down? Because when I get older and look back, it might be interesting to see how much I have (or have not) grown. A time capsule of sort.
The Good :
Self-expression in Writing Form
When it comes to blogging, I must say that a lot of positives changes has come from it. My writing, for one, has evolved in more ways than I realize. It has become a whole lot more structured and organized compared to how it was a year ago.
I have also found out that as the time goes on, I type faster without making a whole lot of mistakes. As well as being more able and capable to express myself in in words.
Give Lesser Fucks, Be A Happier Bean
I don’t know when this whole thing started, but I used to care a whole lot about what other people think of me. Whenever I come up with a idea that is even a little bit controversial, I would re-think so many times about even mentioning that thought to other people. For the sole reason that I do not want to be judged, or being seen as “weird” or “odd”.
Thanks to having this blog, which in return makes me feel as I have a voice. It made me able to speak my mind freely without fear of judgement. I take solace in the fact that no one really know me well enough in this big internet world to judge, causing there to be a sense of safety in anonymity.
I use this voice, this chance, to freely speak my mind. It started slow – like most things – with me slowly exploring other topics that I would like to talk about and work to put it into words. Slowly but surely, it kept building and adding into my self-confidence. I eventually understood that actually, nobody really cares. You think they do, but they really don’t. Because they too, have things in their lives to worry their minds with. They too, are busy trying to cover up their insecurities.
So it eventually boils down the realization that, I really can do whatever it is that I want to do. Say whatever I want to say. The sky is the limit when it comes to the things that I can achieve and do. And if doing, saying, thinking about certain things make me happy, who’s to say that I can’t throw my everything into it?
Ideas : Overflown With Them and Never Happier
I come up with ideas easier these days. I don’t have to force myself so hard to come up with ideas like I used to. It could highly be because of the fact that I have trained my mind to always constantly look for new ideas that it has eventually gotten used it. But you know, your girl would always choose to believe that she’s just special and her mind is just more creative than most.
Low Cost Therapy, Baby
I don’t know how much you paid for your weekly therapist session, but I am willing to bet that my way of therapy is way cheaper.
I have mentioned again and again that writing is also a form of therapy. Not only for me, but for a lot of people out there as well. Isn’t that one of the reasons why people journal and have diaries?
There is just something about having the ability to write down your feelings, and process it on your own pace that is so liberating and freeing. Sure, on the surface level, this blog is mainly about books and movies and tv shows. But there has also been a lot of instances where I just write my heart out on this blog. I cannot even begin to tell you how much writing it out has helped with my mental well-being as a whole. If you have never tried journaling, or just simply write down your feelings, give it a try. It might not work for you – and that’s okay – but if it did, I promise you it will be life altering.
Still A Procrastinator at Heart, But Not Really
If you haven’t already know, I am a procrastinator at heart. I just love procrastinating. I enjoy it, and I am good at it. I mean, I’m very good at it.
I believe it is something about the rush of having to complete things on the very last minute that pushes me to be more creative. I just enjoy working under pressure because I thrive under it and that –– what I just said was utter bullshit.
To tell you the truth, I’m just a lazy potato. That’s it. Telling you that I enjoy working under pressure are just excuses so I can procrastinate for longer, in style.
But since I now have a blog to run, it means I also have a schedule to keep. Which means I have to churn out them ideas, 3 times a week and also whip them posts into shape. So even though I am still a proud procrastinator at heart and still wait till the last minute to start writing, at least I’m a disciplined procrastinator?
Comfort Zone? What is That?
Okay. Let’s be honest here, there are 2 ways to do this. I can be all poetic and ladylike and tell you that thanks to having a blog, I am pushed to try more new things. Things that I have never thought to try before.
Or, I can just be honest, and let you know straight up that most of the time, the reason why I push myself out of my comfort zone to try and experience new things is for one thing and one thing only : Content.
There are days where you just simply run out of content. So for the sake of still posting a blogpost on time, your girl admits that there has been times where I just simply have to push myself out of my comfort zone and try new things. Because it will result in good content.
The Bad :
Hours and Hours and Hours
I will let you in on another secret here, since today is all about secret sharing. Writing a blogpost takes a lot of time. I am not saying this to scare away future blogger so that I can have all the pie to myself – cue evil laugh. No, I am simply telling you the truth.
Writing and editing a post, which takes a reader no longer that 10-15 minutes to read, can take up 2 to 3 hours. Not to mention, if on that particular day I am feeling a little bit more adventurous and creative, there has also been times where a post can take up to 5 hours to create.
Becoming Very Critical
Have you ever heard of the saying : you are your own worst critic?
In this particular case, that saying applies to me. I found out that the more I blog, the more I care about the quality of my content. When I first started blogging, I am more easily satisfied with my content. If I think it’s good enough, I publish it. Simple.
These days, I don’t simply publish a so-so content. After I write a post, I go over it. And again, and again and again. Until I cannot find any more flaws to it, then I publish it. While this is a good thing, sometimes it makes me feel as if I am being overly perfectionist when it comes to blogging. As if I am holding everything with an iron fist.
There has even been times where a post is done and ready to be published, but because of the fact that I am not happy with the content, I decided to scrap the whole thing and start from scratch.
Looking From A Different Eye
Before I choose to review books, movies and tv shows as a side hobby, I used to be able to enjoy said movie or book as is. As a means of entertainment, and that’s it. I don’t go looking for flaws, or dissect a scene to look for deeper meaning.
However, now that I have been doing this as a “part-time job” for a while, I find that it is hard to see things from just a consumer’s POV anymore. It makes it very difficult to enjoy a movie or a book when you constantly push yourself to be critical and are trying to find faults in what you are reading or watching. Not to mention, being a reviewer isn’t all about finding the faults and looking for imperfections.
It has gotten better with time, as I got myself to let loose and enjoy what I am doing. But there has been a time where all I did was literally trying to find faults in every single books and movies.
Knowing how important contents are, as I started blogging, I realized that I am always pushing myself to hop from one book to the other, from one movie to the other. Somehow, I feel as if I don’t have a current book that I am reading, or a movie that I’m watching, I am wasting time.
It had gone to the point where I would just continuously push myself to read more and more and immediately reviewing it without allowing myself sometime off. Which had eventually led to burnouts, and a creative burnout was never fun.
Ever since then, I have learned my lesson to give myself all the time I need to enjoy a movie or a book without rushing through it. In return, I find myself also diversifying my contents in other ways as I take my time to enjoy said book, or movie. And so far, I am not complaining about this deal that I have made with myself.
The Ugly :
This is by far my biggest and hardest struggle to this date.
I dont know about other bloggers, or creative content creator (ain’t that a fancy name), but this happens to me quite often. More often than one would think, actually. While my highest high comes from writing, unfortunately, the same goes with my lowest low. There has been days where all I was able to do was to sit and stare at the blank screen. Wanting so badly to write, yet couldn’t find the will to do it.
When it first happened, I was really stressed about it. Worried that maybe this is it. This is the end. I have come to the end of blogging and I have finally ran out of ideas. There is nothing I can do about it now but accept my fate.
But of course, that is just me being my dramatic ass self.
With time, I learned that burnouts are normal. Everyone is bound to go through them. Because without the lows, how will you ever know to appreciate and cherish the high?
And one thing I have learned when it comes to burnouts : you’ve got to live through the pain. Oh boy, let me tell you. Burnouts are brutal. But as with most things, time heals everything. When I feel a burnout coming, it is when I know I have to slow down. That inner me is screaming to have some time off to just laze around and do nothing.
Which is totally fine.
If you need to take a time off, do it. One thing I have learned is, if you are going through a burnout, always make sure to listen to your body and your own mental wellbeing and take the time needed to get back to your 100%. Because if you ignore it and push it back for later days, all it will get, is worse.
Other posts :
- Up Close and Personal : So Apparently I Am A Butterfly
- Quotes Galore : Call Me By Your Name By André Aciman