About a year ago (I think? I honestly can’t remember, but it’s been a while), I started a separate blog dedicated to my quirky book reviews, called Erlebnisse. I started it because I’d written a few reviews on this site, though they didn’t really follow your proper review format. More like ravings and rantings over how the book made me feel (hence the name Erlebnisse). After writing those and how much fun I had in doing so, I thought, You know, maybe I should do this for every book I read.
So, Erlebnisse was born.
I loved writing these reviews, especially because I wasn’t following any templates or making sure I talked about the characters, the plots, the pace, any of that. I just wanted a space to talk about the book in any way that I needed to talk about it. And it was really fun to write them, especially as, I’ve found, that my reviews tended to mimic the voice or style of the author (was it ever successful? No, probably not, but it was still really fun to try). If it was a positive review, I’d usually tag the author on Twitter and it was always such a pleasant surprise to get a response, whether it was a retweet or a shout out. It was also cool to realize the positive impact reviews had for authors, so I began posting my reviews to Goodreads, too. I started following over Book Review blogs and it was really, really neat.
But it slowly became…not so much.
Blogging on Erlebnisse and writing those book reviews, well…it felt like a job.
I’m not sure what really triggered the switch in my brain, where it switched from fun to work. I think it’s because I lost sight of why I started that blog in the first place. I got so caught up in the idea that I could connect with authors, potentially, by writing honest reviews of their books, so I was constantly wanting to write better reviews (and I still do always want to write quality reviews). I got caught up likes and shares, comments and retweets. I continually got bummed that I’d hardly be getting any traffic. I kept comparing, looking at other book review blogs, at their traffic and the amount of interaction they got from the community and how frequently they posted, and looking at how little I’d post, so I started participating in book tags like Top Ten Tuesday or Waiting on Wednesday, both of which I really enjoyed, but trying to post them every week was becoming a little difficult to balance, on top of everything else.
It wasn’t until I was writing out my To-Do List a few weeks ago and I was listing out everything I wanted to accomplish, for both this blog and Erlebnisse; and feeling overwhelmed, already, at the thought of trying to write two posts here, both those tags on Erlebnisse, plus a review and actually read and comment on blogs I like. It wasn’t until I started at that To-Do List that I thought, You know, you don’t have to write those posts, if you don’t want to. It’s your blog.
Talk about a “duh” moment.
Don’t get me wrong: I really like participating in book tags or memes. I love writing my quirky reviews and hoping they connect with readers enough to make them interested in reading that book or telling me how they felt if they’ve already read it. Or even making the author of the book smile, knowing they made some random reader stay up until 3am or running late to work (again) with their story. Sure, I love interacting with other bloggers and the community and I love it when a post does well, traffic wise.
But I shouldn’t get so caught up in all of those aspects that I stop enjoying writing those reviews in the first place.
And I have been.
The purpose of Erlebnisse has never been to become this book blog that rivals all others and gets a ton of traffic daily. It’s never meant to be a blog that becomes so big, I get ARCs of the books I’ve been waiting for (though how neat would that be)? I follow some awesome book review blogs that are at that level and guess what: it takes work to get there. A lot of work. It’s not that I’m not willing to put in the work.
I just don’t have the time.
That’s totally okay.
I’m going to keep writing book reviews and posting them at Erlebnisse when I have the time. If there is a week where a book meme has a topic I’m really interested in, I’ll totally participate. But I’m not going to stress as much as I have been about posting consistently at Erlebnisse. While it’d be cool to be a contender in the book review blogging world, that’s never what the aim of Erlebnisse has been. I just want to talk about all the awesome books I’ve read and be unorthodox about it (the more dragon GIFS, the better).
So, that’s what I’m going to do.