Jul 25, 2016

What's in a Blog?

I've been struggling with blogging for a good chunk of time. I'm just not feeling it. Blogging has become something that feels less like fun or a hobby and more like work (that I'm not getting paid for) or a dreaded school assignment I procrastinate on. This could very well be a case of It's not you, it's me. I'm not breaking up with blogging--I love the community too much, even if I see most of it on Instagram and Twitter and probably nothing would even change if I did quit. But I think it's time to revive Beauty and the Bookshelf and give it something...more. And to make myself more of a presence.

I'm not going to worry about posting a Top Ten Tuesday every Tuesday or a Waiting on Wednesday every Wednesday. I'll participate in TTT when I really like the topic, and those weeks I'll also do a WoW.

Reviews...those have been so hard to write. They're like an essay. I don't want to write them, but I have to. I'm debating revamping the format and seeing if that helps, or figuring out what I can do in my reviews that's unique. It would really help if I wrote a review after I finished a book. (I have yet to write reviews for A Darker Shade of Magic, Winter, A Court of Mist and Fury...) I've considered switching my reviews to YouTube--I already do the Ninety Second Novel there--because it's so much easier to talk about a book than write about it, but I don't know if people would actually watch those videos, and I like having those thoughts in print. I don't even want call it a review--or a discussion a discussion--but I am constantly stumped on what else to do for names. (Is a blog post title that doesn't state exactly what it is--review, discussion, giveaway--okay, or do you like it to say exactly what it is?)

Speaking of YouTube, I really, really want to use that more. It's fun. Right now I just use it for book hauls and the occasional Ninety Second Novel, but I'm thinking I might also use it to review/discuss rereads. I'd like to think of something else that's fun to do with YouTube, but I don't have any ideas yet.

Back to this here blog...I have discussion ideas. I've had a draft of a post about there being multiple editions of a book (and how much it sucks for readers) sitting for a few weeks, but it may need some rewriting. It's awfully ranty and could use more eloquence. I want to write about my bullet journal (which I'm also horrible at using), and maybe do some arts and crafts and things with food. I don't like to get deep and personal, but I'd like for this blog to be a sort of reflection of myself, awkwardness and all.

One thing I really want to bring back is Be Our Tattooed Guest. (Examples here, sign-up form here.) I looove tattoos and books, and this feature was a great way to combine the two and let people show off their tattoos (and make me want several myself). I've been thinking about doing a Sunday Post--or something of the sort--where I recap the past week on the blog and foreshadow the next one. The latter might help keep me accountable, which could come in handy. Maybe I'll find a way to link back to bookstagram, too, because I love it.

I don't want to worry about my blog, but I still want to use it. I need to put more time and effort into it. I need to read other blogs and comment on other posts. (I am so, so bad at that.) I don't want my blog to be boring in the slightest; I want it to be fun and interactive and something people want to read. I want it to be whatever I want it to be, but also something that appeals to readers (otherwise I'm speaking to an empty room, you know?).

But I want to know: what do you want to see on Beauty and the Bookshelf? And on blogs in general? More of this, less of that? I don't know! But your feedback is very much appreciated. In the meantime, I'm going to try posting at least four times a week and give you posts that I hope you'll like. But first: Brainstorming! (And hopefully you'll notice an improvement in this blog over the next few weeks.)

Tell me: how have you felt about blogging lately?


  1. I get all that you said. I feel the same way sometimes. i wish I did reviews right after fininshing a book but I don't . i am not always in a place i can or i get too tired when I finish. I feel all my reviews are the same and boring. I really don't know how to liven them up. I like to see on blogs dicussion posts, tags, and reviews. I love all that stuff and like a mixtured. I have not ventured into anything other than the blog. I have a bookastram.... well my blog does my daughter runds it.. I have a twitter. I just don't know how to utilize them well. So i get it. I like the tattoo guest idea. I love those posts that aren't really just all about books.

  2. I'm feeling the same way. Like blogging is becoming a burden/chore. I actually enjoy Twitter and Instagram, but blogging feels like a pain sometimes. I feel like I'm only doing tags and TTT and T5W. I know my readers probably want reviews and discussion, but like you said, writing a review is like writing an essay, and I don't want to write essays. I've thought about maybe stopping for a while and just focusing on my Twitter and Bookstagram, but I don't want to disappoint people either. And it's not like I don't like posting about my monthly tbr and wrap-up, and tags and stuff. I like that stuff, but not so much reviewing books, which makes me feel like I'm not a proper book blogger.

  3. I know how you feel! As I get busier, I seem to have less energy when I sit down to blog and it can feel like a chore at times.
    I sometimes find reviews difficult to write too! Sometimes I just don't have a lot to say about a book and other times I can't find the right words to say what I want to say. One format that I always go to when I'm feeling stuck with a review is "five reasons to read ___" that provides a template for my thoughts and helps a bit. Perhaps something like that could be helpful for review motivation/organization.
    Mallory @ The Local Muse

  4. I think you should do whatever the hell you want to do. If you want to blog about a recipe do it. If you want to talk about a new product you tried do it. Your blog is a reflection of you and while I love my books, I also like to know the blogger behind it all and dabbling into other areas of your life is a great way to show your personality.

  5. Do whatever feels best for you! If you need to cut back and take a breather, you'll feel better about blogging in the long run if you do that. And as for having the post type in the title, I usually only do that for memes and reviews. I don't title discussions as such, just because it feels weird for me to do that.


I've been having s-to-the-pam issues, and I wasn't thrilled with Disqus, so sorry about the CAPTCHA!