Tuesday, 18 November 2014
Changing Things Up on the Blog
I started this blog four and a half years ago, and it has always been a book related blog. I wrote my early posts during my first year of being a fully qualified teacher, and it was a way for me to switch off from the chaos of having my first class, and devote time to my favourite hobby of reading. I was delighted to discover that book blogging was a thing, and to slowly build up a community of readers to share thoughts and recommendations with. For a little while I did get distracted by stats and review copies, but this blog has always been foremost about having a community of blogging friends, quality interactions rather than numbers.
For a few years, I just posted reviews. It was rare for me to take part in memes or post hauls, and I kept my personal life strictly off the blog. My motto in this regard has always been to never post anything that I wouldn't want the parents of the children I teach to see, if they happened to stumble across my blog. I am a bit jealous of bloggers who have more posting freedom, but at the same time I wouldn't want to be someone who put everything on the internet for anyone to see.
As the years went by, the more I realised that what I enjoyed about blogging wasn't necessarily writing reviews, but interacting with other bloggers, that I had come to regard as my friends. I opened up a bit and started posting weekly personal updates, as well as experimenting with Twitter and Instagram. Again, I still have to be very careful about what I post, but I love that I'm now actually getting to know other bloggers, rather than just talking about books. Talking about books is great, but getting to know other bookish people is so much better.
Ever since having my baby boy five months ago, I've been struggling with my blog and where to take it. Part of that is due to time restrictions - I simply do not have the same amount of time to read and review any more. When I return to work, I suspect I will have even less time, just snatches of time in the evenings when Giles has gone to bed and my planning/marking is completed. I'm also finding that reading is taking up less of my mental space; I'm still a big bookworm and suspect I always will be, but I haven't got the mental energy to keep book blogging at the pace I was.
But I do still want to blog. I love having something that is just for me, and the creative outlet of writing posts is good for me. So I've decided to open up my blog even more. I will still be posting about my reading (although maybe not one dedicated review per book), and reading related topics, but I'll also be writing about whatever takes my fancy too. There might be baby posts, cookery posts, posts about my cat, or photos from trips we have taken together, or just random ponderings. The only thing I won't ever post about is teaching. I hope that this way I can carry on blogging and keep in touch with everyone that I've met through my blog.
Have you ever considered changing the way you blog?
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Ever since coming back to blogging after having my baby I made the same decision exactly for the same reasons! I also decided to write shorter and more chatty reviews, saves time and it encourages more interaction.ReplyDelete
People told me that having a baby would change everything, but I didn't believe them until reality hit! I'm glad you managed to find a way to balance blogging with your life, Alex.Delete
I much prefer sharing with readers book reviews but like you I find time precious and from time to time must resort to photos/quotes to keep in touch with readers. There is always an opportunity to change the concept of a blog but I refrain to share private information with the world. In the end, I find books are my only strong point. So I'll keep on because I'd miss blogging I realize very much!ReplyDelete
Enjoy that beautiful baby boy!
I like photo posts as well as reviews, so it's a good thing that your blog is a mix of different things. Is there anything apart from books you would feel inspired to write about? I don't think I will get too personal, but I can see myself posting about cooking/baking.Delete
So happy to hear you're trying a change in direction rather than closing up shop! I am struggling with what I want to do with my own blog and am not yet sure what I will end up doing. Looking forward to whatever you choose to post about -- non-book posts are sometimes even more fun, because heaven knows we all have enough books on our TBR lists already without adding more :)ReplyDelete
It's amazing how being pregnant changes your outlook on everything, isn't it? I always like reading non-book posts on other blogs, and my TBR pile is most definitely mountainous enough!Delete
I'm looking forward to whatever you decide to write about. (And I can tell you from experience that eventually, you'll find more time to read again... and not just children's books.)ReplyDelete
I'm already reading more than I did when Giles was a newborn, which feels nice. And luckily I'm a big fan of children's books :)Delete
I was so glad to see your posts back and it's great that you're expanding your blogging horizons! Writing purely about books can be a bit much sometimes. Once you've developed that little community of your own on the web its natural to want to share more as the people genuinely start to feel like your friends!ReplyDelete
I look forward to see all that you have in store for us!
Side note: I take my hat off to anyone who can juggle baby, work and blog. I barely manage baby and blog... And occasionally the house. Haha!
Bits & Bobs
I'm not looking forward to adding work to the baby, house & blogging mix! I enjoy my job, but it's a very time consuming one.Delete
personally, I don't like to share personal stuff out there, so I think my book blog will remain for the most part a book blogReplyDelete
I can understand that. I'm not sure yet of how much I will be sharing, but definitely nothing too personal. I'm only going to write about things I don't mind the whole world knowing.Delete
Blogging is very personal so it always is about YOU :)ReplyDelete
Good point :)Delete
It's lovely to see you back in me feed and I'm glad you're going to continue posting :) I'm still trying to figure out what I want my blog to be, though I know that book reviews are going to be rare now. I look forward to reading what you come up with!ReplyDelete
I'm going to try to continue posting, although Giles has other ideas sometimes :PDelete
I'm glad that I'm not the only one with an evolving blog, hopefully we will both figure out how to slot our blogs into our lives.
I feel like I've slowly changed over time more than made big changes. I was like you at first--I never shared anything personal, even my first name. I slowly began sharing more about myself, but I always remember my students (I teach college students, which is so different!) and my colleagues may read my blog, so I'm careful what I share. I'm a believer in letting your blog continually evolve--it should be a joy rather than a chore!ReplyDelete
Teaching does make it hard, as it's so important to be professional even when you aren't at work. I can't imagine teaching college students as opposed to seven year olds!Delete
I used to post more about librarianship when I started my blog, and although I still discuss those topics with friends and coworkers I rarely post about them. I stick to books, though I have tried to include more posts recently that are book-related but not reviews. It's a lot of pressure to have reviews every week! I still read a ton, but I just spent two months reading War and Peace so it was nice to find some other things to post about since I had so few books to review. (And I always enjoy photos of vacations and cats, so bring 'em on!)ReplyDelete
If you don't mind me asking, why did you stop posting about librarianship? I enjoy reading posts about books which aren't necessarily reviews, so I don't think you should feel review pressure. And cat pictures are always welcome :)Delete
I think I stopped posting about librarianship mostly because by the time I post on a topic, I feel like I don't have anything to say that hasn't already been said elsewhere. Posting takes a lot of energy and focus for me, so it can be tough enough to even churn out content about the books I've been reading. (I'm completely petless these days, but when I get pets again there will definitely be photos!)Delete
I think you should blog about whatever you want to in this particular season of life! While not blogging about teaching seems like a good move, I think we are better (and more productive) bloggers when we write about the things we want to instead of things we feel we have to write about. I look forward to reading all of the things you write!! :)ReplyDelete
Thanks Lindsey. I'm sure my blog will keep on changing as things in my life change.Delete
I'm a new follower (and a fairly new blogger) but I like your approach. I hope you can stay in touch with your blogging friends even if it has to be on a different schedule. Having a baby is so all-consuming and can be isolating, but it's wonderful to have a supportive community!ReplyDelete
I am definitely going to change some things about my blogging habits - I just don't know what yet. I am hoping to just go with the flow now and see what intrigues me and what doesn't. I like your new approach and that's probably where I'll head but I need to see how much time I have for blogging first.ReplyDelete
Yes definitely. Over the years of blogging, I've made my blog to be a bit more personal, but mostly geared toward books. I think you're doing wonderful changes here, and it's always nice to interact with people on all forms of social media.ReplyDelete