Redefining Me

Posted October 8th, 2013 by in Uncategorized / 10 comments

When I had the idea to co-write Once Upon a Chapter I had no idea the vast and varied world of book blogging even existed. Memes, hops, followers, review requests, interviews, giveaways, HTML, and so much more were new to me. I thought we’d have this blog and maybe a few people would find us; then again, maybe not. As with most new shiny things, the shiny newness of it all kept me motivated. At the time my husband and I barely saw each other due to conflicting work schedules and Once Upon a Chapter was a way to keep me busy while he worked. It was also because I needed people to talk to about all these fantastic books I was finding.

Before I really knew what was happening Once Upon a Chapter had become a monster comparable to the Kracken. One thing bloggers don’t talk too much about is the self imposed pressure that comes with blogging. I am a perfectionist with a side order of OCD. It got to the point where if there wasn’t a post Every. Single. Day. I had a small crisis on my hands. (I should mention here that I’m a perfectionist until things start going downhill and then I ignore it until I can ‘to stand it anymore.) Then there is the pressure to “measure up ” to other bloggers. I just felt that if I didn’t have x reviews a week, discussions, memes, giveaways, interviews, blog tours, and every social media outlet then I wasn’t doing my blog or myself justice.

I’ve been battling the decision to close down Once Upon a Chapter for awhile now. I kept going because I had obligations, and let’s be honest, how do you walk away from four years’ time devoted to book reviewing? Not to mention the financial investment! It’s a horrible decision to face down.

I had a few epiphanies yesterday afternoon. I was thinking about a bit of opinion that I had read by a blogger I admire. You can find it here. The thing that struck me and stayed with me is that no one cares more about your blog than you do. That is a 100% fact because no one else has invested the time, money, and other resources into your blog. That thought lingered in my mind while I tossed around the idea of quitting again. I just kept coming around to walking away and how hard it would be. I still want a place to write. I haven’t written a review in over a month and I’ve been reading like crazy. It felt good.

And just like that the solution presented itself. I think deep down I have always known it. I am a reader not a reviewer. I have never been a good leader but I am a damn awesome follower. I don’t have to bleed and not enjoy my favorite pastime because I am a reviewer. I can keep my piece of the Internet and make it what I want, not what I think is expected of me.

My game plan is to basically show you what I’m reading, do a wrap up post with some of my thoughts and ratings, and do the occasional book haul post. I was inspired by the way that About Happy Books runs her blog. This way I still have a place in the community for participation but it will free up so much time and ease the majority of my stress. I’ll probably close up some of the social media sites that I don’t utilize and I’m sure I’ll lose some followers over time and finally I am just fine with that. πŸ™‚ I hope people stick around because honestly who doesn’t love discussing books?



10 Responses to “Redefining Me”

  1. Danielle D

    Stephanie, I feel your pain….we closed our blog awhile back ago. It’s not as easy as it looks to keep a blog going day in and day out.

    • Stephanie @ Once Upon a Chapter

      It really isn’t. I don’t want it to sound like book blogging is an impossible job or that it’s not worth the effort. There are people out there who do it fantastically well and I will follow them and be social on their blogs. I’m just not one of those people. πŸ™‚ I’ve been reading a lot more so I think this decision was the right one. πŸ˜€

  2. Vikk @ Down the Writers Path

    Stephanie, I think your blog post title says it all. You’re going through a period where you are questioning and redefining what you want to do and how you want to use your blog, or as I often think of it, your publishing platform. Sounds as if you’ve made a healthy decision that will work for you right now. It’s not always a do or die situation. There are alternatives and options.

    I’ve been blogging since late 2002. I’ve never shut my blog down but that doesn’t mean it hasn’t been in a continual state of evolution as I’ve gone through the last ten+ years. Life happens.

    Remembering why you started blogging is a great way to rediscover the reasons why you began, why you continued, and why you may or may not go further. Sometimes we get knocked off track. Sometimes our interests flag or change. Sometimes we just aren’t able to maintain our original priorities. That’s okay. The thing, it is your blog. It’s your voice. It’s your publishing platform. It serves you.

    In the early days the idea that you had to have a blog post each and every day meant true success or blog death. That isn’t how it is today. It’s not how often you talk but what you have to say that is important. Sounds to me like you’ve made a decision that works for you — for now. And that works.

    • Stephanie @ Once Upon a Chapter

      It took me quite awhile to realize that it isn’t always do or die. There’s been so many expectations that I have placed on myself that I keep missing so rather than continually setting myself up for failure, I’m changing the way I play the game. Not every one will like it, but that’s okay. I’d rather have quality than quantity and I am not capable of producing both. πŸ˜‰

      Now back to my books! Lol.

  3. Kristilyn (Reading in Winter)

    I love sharing my thoughts on books and that’s why I started my blog … that and so I could remember what I was reading! I’m so happy to have found such a great community and I have some wonderful commenters on my blog … but you’re right. It can be so hard to think that you have to measure up to everyone out there! I’ll be undergoing a major life change in a few months with a new baby and while I’ve scheduled a lot of the new year, I know things will eventually change. I might grow a lot more lax with my posts and not feel like I have to constantly be putting out content. My favourite part is the interaction. As long as I can try to keep that up, I’ll be happy.

    I’m glad you decided to stick around! πŸ™‚

    Kristilyn (Reading in Winter) recently posted: Book Hoarder’s Selection (36): Dani Noir by Nova Ren Suma
    • Stephanie @ Once Upon a Chapter

      Exactly! I don’t have any big life changes going on like you’ll have on your hands but I just feel like it’s the right time for a change. The community is the number one reason I had such a hard time just walking away from it. You meet some truly fabulous men and women, boys and girls, who you would have never met otherwise. It makes our vast big world just a little more cozier.

      Congratulations on the little one! I’m sure you can’t wait for him/her to get here! πŸ™‚

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