I know, I know, this is NOT the best confession to make on my BLOG, but let me be clear here, being great shouldn’t be my end goal as a reviewer anyway.
For a very long time I was stuck in this endless cycle of trying to be great and competing to stand out in a world inundated with new bloggers daily. After 2 years of feeling like a failure, I’ve finally figured out that great isn’t what I wanted to be at all.
It’s very hard not to get competitive when you’ve immersed yourself into a world that relies on making yourself stand out in a giant sea of same. I berate myself daily about how I’m not doing anything to stand out, about how nobody is paying attention to me as much as they are that other girl, or that other one. I’m not great at making graphics, I don’t take fabulous pictures for Instagram. I’m not a shouter or a squee’r. My reviews are subpar and my marketing skills are null.
I’ll never be a great blogger for many of the same reasons I’m probably not a great friend. I struggle with making and maintaining connections. I don’t message authors when I love their books because why would they care about me when I’m sure they are getting hundreds of messages from other readers. Just another place I have to try to stand out amongst more of the same. I want to be noticed but I’m scared to death of being noticed. My greatest fear is being invisible but it’s also of being visible and having nobody care that I am.
I’m an observer, I see EVERYTHING but I say NOTHING. I remember little details but not the details that probably matter the most, or when I’m put on the spot, I forget everything. Authors, I want to tell you that your book was heartbreaking and beautiful, that it pissed me off but brought out a passion in me that I didn’t know was there. What I end up saying is, “Your book was amazeballs, I loved it. It’s SO GOOD!” Authors, readers and fellow bloggers, I want to tell you how sorry I am that the bad/sad thing happened to you, but surely my words won’t make you feel better, or what if they make you feel worse? I want to say congrats and great job on that cool/nice thing that happened to you but I’m sure I just come across as fake. I just want to talk you about anything and nothing, but what if what I say is stupid or irrelevant? What if what I say doesn’t make sense to you the way it does me?
I feel like I’ve gone off track here, but what I’m trying to say here is that my anxiety has a lot to do with why I won’t ever be great, but it also means that I’m pretty sure that I don’t want to be. It’s a lot of pressure to be great, isn’t it? Surely it must be exhausting to keep up with? I don’t know if I have that kind of stamina.
I’ve also noticed that the harder I “try” to be a better blogger, the further I find myself from enjoying the thing that made me a blogger in the first place. I used to devour books because I loved getting lost in new worlds with new people. Now when I pick up a book I can’t help but focus on the idea that I HAVE to review the book when I am done. Not only do I have to review it, but I have to come up with something clever in my review to make it stand out. I get it, I shouldn’t be writing my reviews for anything other than to write them and share my view of books with other readers, but it’s really hard not to think about what will happen when the author reads my review, or even another blogger, and for it not to mess with my head.
Over the past year I think this has really been my downfall. It’s apparent in my reviews. The last thing I want to do is lose my passion for reading out of some stupid internalized obligation to write fabulous reviews but, unfortunately, that’s where I see things headed. So every day I decide that I’m going to take a step back and refocus. Every day is the day I’m going to quit. Every day is the day I convince myself to stick this out because I know that I’ll miss it. Every. Day.
So on this day I’m going to decide that I’m not great and even better, that I don’t want to be. I just want to be honest. And happy. And lost in a great book that I’ll get to talk about later with my friends.
*This is not a statement or judgment against any other bloggers/readers out there. There are a lot of people who are awesome at all of this. I’m just not one of them.
My favorite romances to read are friends to lovers, second chance romance, and lifelong love stories. I read mostly YA, NA and contemporary but I've been known to enjoy a good erotica romance now and again. I enjoy sex in books but it's not required for me to enjoy a story. Too much sex can be worse than none, in my opinion.
I don't really enjoy books with love triangles and/or cheating, and I don't read a lot of paranormal/fantasy or suspense books.
On any given day you'll find me camped out on my couch with my Kindle in one hand, a Mountain Dew in the other, the tv on in the background (Food Network or Hallmark Channel) with one or both of my kids and my husband trying to get me to answer them about when we might eat again.