Ask the Bloggers: The Hidden Challenges of Book Blogging and Moving Lamentations

askthebloggersSometimes prayers get answered much quicker than expected and life gets turned on its head.  The past two weeks have been a whirlwind of finding an apartment in the “big city,” sorting and packing through stuff…so much stuff, and finally, this weekend ~ the big move.  And with the move comes getting all of the utilities and internet connected. . .and relying on their schedules rather than my schedule ~ as if they don’t know I have a blog!  It’s a conspiracy to keep me from blogging! *just kidding*  Sometimes it helps if one would actually call and get the internet set up!  That chore kind of fell to the wayside in all of the chaos of moving.  Sooooo, I’m sitting in Starbucks with my iced caramel macchiato 5 pump {yes, I like it extra-sweet}; trying to catch up on a week’s worth of no internet when I should be unpacking.  Priorities, right?!?  And you Lovely Reader is a priority!

Enough of my lamentations!  Just know I’ve missed you this week.

Now, last week I posted a new feature that I am so proud of and hope that it helps us book bloggers and shares a little bit about this world with the readers who are not bloggers.  I love to learn how others do it ~ where do they find the time, the voice, the ability to dedicate so much to running a blog?  If we were all a bit honest I think we could say it becomes an incredible outlet, almost obsessive in that we get a bit twitchy if away from the internet for any length of time *wink, wink*  {yup, that’s me ~ all twitchy this week!}

So, more confession time. . .this time, we have three incredible ladies whose blogs I have come to love and admire.  They are dedicated in their individual blogs with giving you lots of tips, great reviews, and personal insights, not to mention each one has a truly beautiful layout and blog.  This week I asked for some confessing; let’s get real and talk about the challenges to this thing called book blogging that we are all so devoted to:  If you were being completely honest, what would you say your biggest challenge is to book blogging?

Shannon from River City Reading   I think my biggest challenge with book blogging, and maybe blogging in any niche, is finding a balance between wanting to grow my audience and make improvements without compromising content or losing sight of the reason I started blogging in the first place. It can be easy to get sucked into the lure of competition, stats and numbers, but that only seems to lead to burnout after a while. While I always hope my blog will gain traffic, I try to keep my focus on reaching and retaining readers, not just getting hits. I’m still fairly new to the blogging world, but I hope that in the long run this will help keep me from fizzling out early.

Julie from ChapterBreak   My biggest challenge as a book blogger is managing time constraints. There are so many amazing books out there that I would love to read and review, but between family time and work obligations, at best I only have time to read one book a week the “traditional” way, and one a week on audio. I have been balancing writing reviews with other features like a weekly discussion, memes (one we run and those we participate in), book tours and author guest posts. 

Rebecca from Love at First Book   Balance.  I love books. They are, and have always been, a huge passion of mine.  But sometimes it is so difficult to find the proper balance between reading the books, writing the reviews, and finding time to maintain my blog (responding to comments, reading and commenting on other blogs, promoting on social media).  I’m working really hard to find that proper balance that fits my lifestyle, and I think it all starts with remembering my passion and why I started blogging: my love of books.

I would echo Rebecca, Julie and Shannon ~ my biggest challenge is life gets in the way of blogging ~ and oh my gosh are there so many books out there I want to read!  I learned early on in my blogging days that finishing a book I absolutely do not like is a definite waste of time.  I hate for it to sound so harsh but some books just don’t appeal to me ~ Life is too short to read a bad book.

So there ya have it ~ the dirty secrets of book blogging and how we try to overcome.  Balance is the biggest thing ~ finding and retaining that balance is the key to success ~ in any role.  Right?

What challenges have you had blogging?  Do you have a unique way of overcoming?  

How about book lust? How do you keep from becoming a book hoarder? 

  • http://chapterbreak.net Julie S.

    Oh dear I know what you mean! I’m busy packing up everything too, and tonight I will start sleeping in the new house, but the internet people aren’t coming until TUESDAY. So, yes I will be going through the same blogging/interwebz withdrawals heh.
    Thanks so much for including me in this feature :) Look like we all struggle with balance and time constraints.
    Julie S. recently posted…Name Dropping In BooksMy Profile

    • http://loveatfirstbook.com Rebecca @ Love at First Book

      We’re all moving! I move in less than 2 weeks! :D
      Rebecca @ Love at First Book recently posted…Magnetic Bookmark DIYMy Profile

    • http://thenovellife.com Stacy

      Oh Julie I feel your pain! I’m in the clubhouse of the apartment complex trying to cram in a bit of time on the computer before duty calls to finish unpacking! AND I’m in jeans and sweatshirt rather than my favorite yoga pants with holes and bleach splatters. . .what a crazy time, huh?!? I’m hoping your move goes smoothly and internet gets connected soon on your end!
      Stacy recently posted…Ask the Bloggers: The Hidden Challenges of Book Blogging and Moving LamentationsMy Profile

  • http://bermudaonion.net bermudaonion (Kathy)

    I didn’t realize you were moving! Now I’m wondering what “big city” you’ve moved to.

    I agree with all of three bloggers – balance is difficult to find. At some point, you just have to figure out how much time you are willing to devote to blogging.
    bermudaonion (Kathy) recently posted…At the movies: Labor DayMy Profile

    • http://thenovellife.com Stacy

      not too far Kathy ~ we have a small apartment in Atlanta; downtown nonetheless! first time I’ve ever lived in a mid-rise much less an apartment! so strange taking this girl out of the country, but definitely interesting!

      finding balance in every area of our lives takes finesse ~ but especially balancing this thing called blogging ;-)
      sometimes my family ask why I would want to do it when I’m not getting paid or getting anything out of it; what they don’t see is that I do get so much in the friendships, the incredible books, the outlet ~ it’s not always about money {my boyfriend would disagree with that one – maybe that’s where we balance each other} do you ever have that problem come up?
      Stacy recently posted…Ask the Bloggers: The Hidden Challenges of Book Blogging and Moving LamentationsMy Profile

  • http://girlxoxo.com Tanya Patrice

    Definitely my biggest challenge is finding the time to get it done when life things happen. I tend to just roll with it though. Living life comes first (I guess :-)
    Tanya Patrice recently posted…#BloggingTips {Links #4}My Profile

  • http://www.sarahsbookshelves.com Sarah (Sarah’s Book Shelves)

    I love Rebecca’s comment that finishing a book that she “absolutely does not like” is a waste of time. Now that I blog, I feel the pressure to finish every single book I start so I can write about it…even if I don’t like it. I think I will be taking Rebecca’s advice to just let this go :) As a relatively new blogger (1.5 yrs), I love this series – thanks for hosting!
    Sarah (Sarah’s Book Shelves) recently posted…Brain on Fire by Susannah Cahalan: Book ReviewMy Profile

    • http://loveatfirstbook.com Rebecca @ Love at First Book

      Aw yay! And Sarah, I’m also a 1.5 year old blogger, too! :D
      Rebecca @ Love at First Book recently posted…Magnetic Bookmark DIYMy Profile

    • http://thenovellife.com Stacy

      I’m so glad you’re finding this series helpful! And you both seem to have it so together! I’d have never guessed you’ve both only been blogging 1.5 years!

      Sarah definitely don’t struggle to finish ~ i’m going to create a bookmark that says “life is too short for bad books” and send you one! ;-)
      Stacy recently posted…Ask the Bloggers: The Hidden Challenges of Book Blogging and Moving LamentationsMy Profile

  • http://www.thesteadfastreader.com April @ The Steadfast Reader

    I love this feature! Also, I so know what you mean about moving and being away from the internet. I almost lost my poo this week because we had some problems with our service (we’ve been perpetually moving for six months) and it took almost two days to get it all resolved. I felt like an addict that needed a hit! Thanks for linking up!
    April @ The Steadfast Reader recently posted…Spread the Love Linky Party 2.0: Week OneMy Profile

    • http://thenovellife.com Stacy

      oh no! We need a support group for bloggers who are moving ~ it’s difficult, nerve-racking and has caused me to lose all of my nails to biting ~ and I can’t stand nail-biting! A 6 month perpetual move would have me in the nutty house ~ how have you stood it?!?

      and I hate that you understand but I’m also so glad you understand ~ “felt like an addict that needed a hit!” ~ it’s almost funny the way we get ourselves so worked up isn’t it?
      Stacy recently posted…Ask the Bloggers: The Hidden Challenges of Book Blogging and Moving LamentationsMy Profile

  • http://foundbetweenthecovers.wordpress.com Sherrey Meyer

    Great idea for a special feature. I enjoyed hearing from all three bloggers as they echoed my sentiments and challenges.
    Sherrey Meyer recently posted…HFVBT Review | Isabella: Braveheart of FranceMy Profile

  • http://www.talesofwhimsy.com Juju at Tales of Whimsy…

    You moved to a big city? WOOOOW! Congrats!!!!!!! Why the move? A job? Your honey bunny?

    GREAT post. I think balance is definitely what I struggle with too. If I wasn’t a serious minimalist I would be such a book hoarder.
    Juju at Tales of Whimsy… recently posted…Itty Bitty Bookmark CutieMy Profile

    • http://thenovellife.com Stacy

      How did you do that?!? be a serious minimalist??? I keep trying and trying and have given away so many books but I still have them coming out of my ears!

      Yeah the sweet honey sold the home {in an effort to downsize/minimalize!} and now we have a small apartment in the city and a small place in the mountains ~ total square footage altogether is less than a modest house! So I’ve got to pair down more of my books and he’s got to pair down . . .well, all his guy stuff!
      Stacy recently posted…Ask the Bloggers: The Hidden Challenges of Book Blogging and Moving LamentationsMy Profile

      • http://www.talesofwhimsy.com Juju at Tales of Whimsy…

        I have been a minimalist believe it or not since I was like 12. I’m the only one in my family like that too. I think it came from us moving a bunch when I was a kid. I basically have very few emotional attachments to belongings. :)

        Ooooo a small place in the city and a small place in the mountains? DREAMY!

        Good luck pairing down. :)

        I would suggest buying ecopies of your favorite books and donating your books to a great organization. Like one that takes books to the elderly or sends them to servicemen and women.
        Juju at Tales of Whimsy… recently posted…My Lil SproutMy Profile

        • http://thenovellife.com Stacy

          Our library has a volunteer-run bookstore that supports the library so I’ve been giving them boxes of books. I’m also a huge military supporter and the VA hospital has received many a boxes from me. . .I need to take some to the nursing home/senior centers as well ~ great idea Juju!

          Do your minimalist tendencies carry over with sweet Baby Whimsy? My best friend is a minimalist and she’s found that having her first has been a challenge keeping everyone from giving the baby so much stuff. I try to just give kisses and hugs and only a few cool toys ;-)
          Stacy recently posted…Ask the Bloggers: The Hidden Challenges of Book Blogging and Moving LamentationsMy Profile

          • http://www.talesofwhimsy.com Juju at Tales of Whimsy…

            Oh right on! :) Great minds think alike.

            Regarding Baby Whimsy: Oh most definitely. It’s amazing how much she accumulates and how quickly. People are always giving her stuff. I’m constantly paring down her toys and giving away or reselling her stuff. Let’s see how hard that is to sustain as she grows older. I’m hoping to encourage her to donate as she gets older by taking her to organizations she can visit and see the good she’s doing.

            I will say this: I almost never get rid of her books. That’s one avenue that I let her hoard. :)
            Juju at Tales of Whimsy… recently posted…Some Picture Books Are For Mama TooMy Profile

  • http://guiltlessreading.blogspot.com Aloi (guiltlessreading)

    Really enjoying these posts! I have swung from extreme to extreme, trying to find balance. I think I’m pretty good in that respects these days.
    Aloi (guiltlessreading) recently posted…#BookmarkMonday 2014 (6)My Profile

    • http://thenovellife.com Stacy

      So how did you do it? find that balance? Was it because you DID veer from one extreme to another? Any special tips you don’t mind sharing when it comes to reading v. blogging v. family v. work?
      Stacy recently posted…Ask the Bloggers: The Hidden Challenges of Book Blogging and Moving LamentationsMy Profile

      • http://guiltlessreading.blogspot.com Aloi (guiltlessreading)

        Yes, I think the fact I tried the extremes really helped. I don’t recommend it though, it can be exhausting and an aching arm does not bode well :)

        I wanted to see if I followed all those tips out there, which ones would actually work at growing my blog: I tried having one post a day (sometimes TWO!), and I pushed myself in book tours so far that I’d have one review out a week! The books kept coming and I kept reading and reviewing.

        I don’t really have any tips. I think everyone has a different tolerance to how much they can blog without overdoing it, so I’d simply say: Do what feels good for you, what makes you happy.
        Aloi (guiltlessreading) recently posted…Cook the cookbook, before readingMy Profile

  • http://nisefunpages.blogspot.com Nise’ (Under the Boardwalk)

    I hope your unpacking does not interfere with your reading! LOL. Waiting for utilities is so frustrating. Most of us can relate to all three blogger’s challenges. I have tried to keep my goal of writing my thoughts on the book I just finished BEFORE I start another one. I so agree about putting a book down that you are not liking, if it is not working, it is time to move on. It doesn’t mean you can’t pick it up again later. Is being a book hoarder a bad thing? ;o)
    Nise’ (Under the Boardwalk) recently posted…What Are You Reading?My Profile

    • http://thenovellife.com Stacy

      AWWWW Nise’ a lady after my own heart “Is being a book hoarder a bad thing?” !!! I confess ~ it IS when you go from having a dedicated book/blogging room to a teeny tiny apartment! Then it comes down to who do I love the most!

      And believe it or not I actually did get a book read yesterday! Well, more like last night when I passed out in bed from exhaustion ~ then my mind wouldn’t shut down long enough to fall asleep so I read til about midnight then got up to do it all again today. The bloggers who work all day and then read and then blog have my utmost respect!

      I like your determination to write your thoughts about a book BEFORE starting another ~ I make that vow every new year and then blow it very soon after. Now’s the time while waiting on internet service to write down some of those reviews i’ve been needing to catch up on ~ fantastic idea, thanks!
      Stacy recently posted…Ask the Bloggers: The Hidden Challenges of Book Blogging and Moving LamentationsMy Profile

  • http://loveatfirstbook.com Rebecca @ Love at First Book

    This post is awesome and so are all of the comments!!! It’s super valuable to hear what everyone has to say!
    Rebecca @ Love at First Book recently posted…Magnetic Bookmark DIYMy Profile

    • http://thenovellife.com Stacy

      Thank YOU for your great tips, especially the reminder to find your blogging niche. The times I’ve thought about branching further out into more of a mommy blog or some other kind gives me hives! I like what I’m doing and it shows that you like what you’re doing! I’m so happy to have made your acquaintance ;-)
      Stacy recently posted…Ask the Bloggers: The Hidden Challenges of Book Blogging and Moving LamentationsMy Profile

  • http://booksandbeverages.org Jamie Lapeyrolerie

    Glad all the major move stuff is done! Praying for you as you unpack and set everything up – such a process a lot of us seem to know too well :)

    It’s so hard to say no to books! But I’m learning more and more to be real with expectations. Until someone wants to pay me to read all day, I have to accept the fact that I can’t get them all!

    What helps me a lot is that I have time blocked out to get certain parts of my blog done (writing, social media, etc). That helps me keep my sanity a little bit!

    Great questions and answers!
    Jamie Lapeyrolerie recently posted…Walking Dead 409 or as I like to call it “The time I lost 9 lives.”My Profile

    • http://thenovellife.com Stacy

      aw thanks Love! need all the prayers I can get right now :-)

      I’m with you girl! It is hard to say no to those books especially when it’s hard to say “no” period! Learning how to be assertive and protective of my time has been such a necessary learning experience.

      I’d love to know more about how you block out your time! Right now mine is hit or miss, especially being without internet ~ but I do need to put myself on a better schedule. Love learning so much from my fellow bloggers!
      Stacy recently posted…Ask the Bloggers: The Hidden Challenges of Book Blogging and Moving LamentationsMy Profile

  • http://happyprettysweet.com Akaleistar

    Balance does seem to be the key :)
    Akaleistar recently posted…WeMy Profile

  • http://gravatar.com/stacybuckeye stacybuckeye

    Haha. I think I’ve made it obvious that I have no clue how to manage my ‘blogging time’. After 6 years you’d think I’d have that ironed out!

  • Pingback: ChapterBreak.net Feature Follow Friday- Feb 14, 2014 | Chapter Break .net

  • http://bookjourney.wordpress.com/ Sheila (Book JOurney)

    Great post! I think it still surprises me how long it can take sometimes to write a post or a review… I dont know how often I have thought “oh I will just write this up before work” and leave the house in a hurry and the post in draft mode… GAH!

    And like so many say here – the balance between life and reading and blogging… it can be tricky at times :)
    Sheila (Book JOurney) recently posted…Morning Meanderings…. A Couple Of Winners :) My Profile

Copyright © The Novel Life / Design by: The Nectar Collective