Friday, January 1, 2010

A New Year

A New Year. Hell, it's a new Decade! I'm not one for resolutions. I've always felt that making New Year Resolutions is setting a person up for failure. Too much pressure to make drastic life changes. Besides, failure depresses me. My mind set is a little different. Especially since I have such a hectic schedule right now. I just try to live my life day to day. I don't think that turning a page on a calendar should be a catalyst for inspiring change. If a change is needed, then do it.

All of that said, I've been looking back on my year in blogging and can see that a change is in order. This past year, I posted less than I have in any of the preceding 3 years. And I stressed about it. I have enough stress in my life without throwing blogging into the mix. I'm through with feeling stress over it. I'm not going to pressure myself to make sure I post a certain amount per month. Blogging started out being fun, and I'd like to make sure it stays that way. I will try to post more. I feel like I have neglected my blog and my blogging friends this year. I do have lots to say, and I would love to be able to broadcast it all. I'm just not going to feel bad if I don't accomplish it.

This past year there were so many conversations about "top-tier" bloggers. I gave up on popularity contests in high school. I. Don't. Care. There. I said it. I will state for the record that I realize I'm not a "top-tier" blogger. I don't have hundreds of followers or thousands of posts. I don't have thousands of hits a day. So be it. In the past three years I have carved out a tiny little niche for myself in the blogosphere. And I like it. As far as I'm concerned, there is plenty of room in the book blogging community for everyone: from the biggest blogs to the smallest; from those that post multiple times a day to those that only post a couple of times a week. I blog for me. To keep myself from going (completely) insane. The jury is still out on whether it's working or not. I know I will still check my blog stats. But I'm not going to feel bad if they never change. I'm happy just being me.

I'm not going to pressure myself to read more ARC's. Or more Classics. Or more non-fiction. I've come to the decision this year that I'm happiest in my reading when I don't have to "force" myself to read a book. It's not fun, and I don't enjoy it. But I like joining challenges and trying to stretch myself in my reading. I'm just not going to put any undue pressure on myself to complete a challenge or read something I won't enjoy.

And finally, I'm not going to use my blog as a crutch. This past year, I've whined about my life way too many times. I have fallen back on using this blog as a release for all the bad stuff that builds up inside me. I don't really like doing that. Yes, it's great to let things out sometimes. But I don't want anyone to think they NEED to comment on something I've said or feel sorry for me.

The point of this post? I probably won't change how I blog. I probably won't change how I read. What I want to change is how I FEEL about it. I'm not putting pressure on myself to do something I dislike. I'm not going to feel bad about not reaching the exceedingly high expectations I usually place on myself. In essence, I'm not going to try to change my habits. I'm just going to be. I know: very Zen, isn't it?? I'm hoping this approach will bring the fun back into something I have loved for the last 3 years.

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas. Mine was perfect. I received a few wonderful presents from my wonderful blogging friends. I received a few wonderful presents from my wonderful family. But most of all, I spent time with the ones I love. And it was wonderful!! (Sorry. Should have busted out the old thesaurus. But wonderful just seemed to work, ya know?)

Here's wishing you a beautiful and blessed New Year. Peace to all of you !!

26 comments:

Literary Feline said...

Good for you for throwing the stress out the window! Blogging is supposed to be fun. Do what you can and don't feel guilty about it, is what I say. I know, easier to say than to believe.

I've made the decision to be more positive too. I've been complaining and whining too much and it's seeped out onto my blog.

For the record, you do have hundreds of followers. And that's just on Google Reader. Not that it matters, but I thought you might like to know. :-)

By the way, did you ever get the book I sent you? You won a giveaway of mine months ago, but I never heard from you one way or the other. Just want to make sure.

saveophelia said...

I love your blog just the way it is. Sporadic posts and everything. Blogs are there to help us look back over our reading, to see the great books that have affected us. It shouldn't be stressful.

And if you want to rant about life, please do. Sometimes it is nice to see the human side, outside of all of the bloggy business.

Marg said...

Here's to a fabulous, stress free blogging, 2010 to you!

Some times I think we need to remember that this blogging thing is supposed to be enjoyable!

Stephanie said...

Wendy - Thanks! And yes, I did get the book. Note to self: Another thing to put on my list of "non-resolutions". Be better at keeping in touch, if only by email. I've been pretty lax lately.

Lena - Aw...thanks!! You are right. It shouldn't be stressful. I'm making it that way, and I hate that.

Marg - Thanks, old friend!

Bluestocking said...

Hello fellow non top tier blogger! Don't stress. Blogging should be fun. Lol sometimes I have to confess to treating it like a job.

Chris said...

That was wonderful ;) I think a lot of people are saying that now. Blogging and reading shouldn't be stressful.

And hey, you are top tier to the important people :)

Amanda said...

Niches are good. I like mine, and I like yours. :)

raidergirl3 said...

Have a wonderful year, enjoying your wonderful family and reading wonderful books.

great post too, with a great attitude.

Kristy said...

Well said Steph. I think in ways blogging helps my reading, but it can also get in the way if I let it. Both should be fun. We aren't getting paid any other way here. As far as not being a top tier blog, well, we have job(s) and lives. I might have a shot at it if I had neither, but that's not why I blog. Also, don't worry about venting if you need to. We all do it and need it. There are worse ways to release your feelings. Have a great 2010!

Debi said...

I think the idea of giving up "the pressure" is positively the best "resolution" you could make, Stephanie! I'm not sure why it is, but I think we always expect sooooo much more from ourselves than anyone else expects from us. Everyone loves you for who you are, and I think it's obvious that everyone loves your blog no matter you have to say or however often you post. Don't forget that, okay Stephanie?

Iliana said...

I agree, blogging for me also has to be about fun and not a competition at all. I blog to share in my love of reading with my fellow bookworms.

Here's hoping you have a great reading year!

Chris said...

Can I just give a big "AMEN" to this post :D I love it Steph!! I'm happy in my own little niche too! I've always tried to make blogging just about blogging for me and whatever I feel like writing about and that works. I just wish I made more time for me...it sounds like we're kind of on the same page right now, huh? Anyway, I'll always be here to read whatever you write because I love hearing from you...whether that's about a wonderful book you read, whether you need to vent a little bit, or just blab, I love it all :D Happy New Year to you my dear!!

Kailana said...

Happy New Year, Stephanie!

I hope you have a wonderful 2010! Good luck with all your goals. Blogging is supposed to be fun. :)

Nymeth said...

Hear, hear, Stephanie. No pressure - this is for fun, after all. But one thing: don't feel that we only leave you supportive comments when you post about your life because we feel we have to. It's because we care about you.

Happy New Year!

Hazra said...

Good for you! Blogging and reading should never be stressful, and it did become a little hectic for me last semester, but now I have a system figured out which will give me time for reading, blogging, schoolwork and give me some free time too. Hope it works :)

Happy New Year to you too, and a happy blogoversary!

Ladybug said...

It sounds like your making all the right decisions that will make you still enjoy blogging and reading in the year to come. It's not a good thing when you're feeling pressured.

Wishing you and your family a wonderful, happy and peaceful 2010!

Anamika Joshi said...

hey you unknowingly helped me out is throwing away my stress too....sometimes i thin k of days when doing a thing was fun for me..now most of the tasks that i do is to show myself that i can do it...like now i notice how many books i have read in two months..if its 2-3, it makes me happy..if just one, i waste a whole day flipping a book which i am not at all interested in..Now after reading your post, i will switch back to my old fun attitude and just order online my fav book from sites like a1books.co.in and read it as and when i like :) :) :)

Amy said...

Happy New Year! You're tops to me.

Melody said...

Happy New Year, Stephanie!

Blogging is suppose to be fun! I love reading your blog BTW. :)

Ladytink_534 said...

I hope 2010 holds all kinds of wonderful reads for you!

Eva said...

I feel the SAME way about the popularity stuff. I hated all the conversations about blogging and stuff instead of about books and reading this year.

Your approach sounds wonderful! :) I hope 2010 is marvelous for you!

Aarti said...

I like your approach and your lack of care about popularity. Honestly, I don't think ANY book blog can be in "the popular crowd" as most people don't read across every genre and thus can't appeal to that many people. I prefer the niches myself :-)

And how refreshing to see someone NOT promise to read non-fiction or the classics unless it appeals to her! Way to go, Stephanie!

Susan said...

Dear Stephanie, you are popular! I think though sometimes, that being too popular (and this is always in the eye of the beholder) means a different kind of pressure - at least, the few times that i've had many people in my life, I've found it hard because of expectations. So, like you, I became more zen. So I say good for you! And your blog is fine, and it's incredibly difficult what you are going through too.

I wish for you lots of everything good, and especially, more of what you had at Christmas :-D Happy New Year, Stephanie!

Michelle said...

Honey, top tier my ass. You are one of my very favorite bloggers, and I invariably add every single book you read to my TBR pile. I'm even considering reading The Stand because of you (and I don't do horror...at all)! You have influence and a sweetness that leaps off the page, even when you are letting off steam.

And about that - please do not consider giving that up. If writing it down keeps you healthy and happy and makes it easier to face everything in life, then we, as your FRIENDS, are hear to listen. Or not. Ultimately, this blog is your blog, and you can do what you want to do with it. No pressure, no broken promises. Faithful readers will follow you no matter what or whenever you post.

So, here's to a fabulous 2010!! It will be YOUR year!

Lesley said...

Here, here! (Or is it, hear, hear!?)

I'm definitely not a 'top tier' blogger but then in the scheme of things, who really cares? My goal this year with my blog is to have more fun with it but I try never to let it stress me out. Totally not worth it!

Tif said...

Wishing you the best and loads of fun in 2010! You said it better than I ever could. It should be about the fun, not the popularity! Just a reminder as to why I keep coming back to your site!! :)