Revelations, a call for books, and an overall life update!

Saturday, July 2, 2016

If there's one thing I've learned since moving cross-country (I'm a midwest gal living in California), it's how to be me. Sort of.
I'm not saying I'm 100% at ease with who I am. There are some days when I wish I could be more outspoken, other days when I wish I was more thoughtful. But I've definitely gotten to know myself better. Not socializing with anyone your age for 3 months, then keeping a close-knit group of friends, really gives you a lot of time to yourself. I've been slowly getting into the groove of blogging and reviewing, which I didn't think would take this long because there's not much to it. In the beginning, I just based what I knew off of what I've seen on other blogs. But I've come to realize that, though blogging is pretty straight-forward, everyone has their own little niche. There's different review styles and post content. Some people strive to post as often as possible while other people prefer once a week.
So, as I've slowly come to this realization, I've been noticing my tendencies. As I tried certain approaches to blogging, I learned what I did and didn't like. It's been pretty interesting, since it completely changed from the beginning. I thought I had realized how I liked reviewing and spacing out my posts, but it's changed in the past couple of months. I'm not sure if it's because I started college, so I don't have as much time to post as often, or if it's because I'm coming into my own. Who knows? This'll probably all change in a few months, and my blogging tendencies will flip again. But what's important is the present and what makes me feel like I'm running my blog that way I want to run it, not somebody else's. So, here are a few of my realizations.

I don't like posting more than 3 times a week.
Hell, I almost don't even like posting more than once a week! Obviously, if I have a multiple reviews scheduled for a certain week, then I'm just SOL and it's my fault for not looking at the dates. Or if things just happen to align during a single week, that's fine. But to me, I want to post quality reviews, discussions, or monthly recaps. I don't want to whip out posts that are just 'eh', just for the sake of having new content all the time. Quality over quantity, my friends.
The issue with this though, is my weekly "Happy Monday!" post. If you just stumbled upon my blog, "Happy Monday!" is a weekly post I do on (you guessed it) Monday's that feature what I read the week before, what I'm currently reading, my TBR for the week, music I was loving, posts I uploaded prior, etc. It's basically the Sunday recap post I see a lot of people do, but I just choose to do it on Mondays. For the sake of my sanity, I'm just going to throw that out and cram all that in my monthly recap.

I'm not going to review every book I read.
You're probably thinking "What?! You review every book you read?" YES. I DO. It didn't even occur to me that people didn't do this! What's funny is that I only noticed this in the last month or so. I remember I was looking for a certain review on someone's blog, because I had seen on their Instagram that they had read the book, and I was confused on why they hadn't written one up yet. I write my reviews pretty quickly after I finish a book because everything is fresh in my mind. I'm still (usually) drowning in the feels and need to write my thoughts down. So, as I've been following more and more people on Instagram and seeing what they're reading, and then seeing their lack of reviews, I was puzzled. It really hit me when I was stalking Grace Smith's blog and noticed how little reviews she had, considering she reads 200-300 books a year. It was literally a smack to the face: people didn't review every book they read??? Oh my god. Then I asked on twitter if everyone formally reviewed every book they read, and literally every person said no. I'm still stunned.
It's going to be really hard to break the habit. It literally makes my cringe, since I just have a natural tendency to let everyone know my feelings on every book I read. But a) that won't work with my one-post-a-week revelation, and b) that seriously won't work with my one-post-a-week-revelation. My one comfort in this is that I can post smaller reviews on Goodreads. I rate everything on there as it is, so if I don't want to write up a full blown review, I can just write a small thing on there and link it in my blog. Or I can do a post on a bunch of mini-reviews. There are possibilities, Mariah, and either way, people will know your feelings. CHILL. BREATHE.

My taste in reading material is broadening.
I find myself yearning to read non-fictions, biographies, poems, and basically every genre all of the sudden. I love YA dearly, and this isn't me saying I'm growing out of it. Hell to the no. Go look at my TBR bookcase and the huge ass pile of YA books that can't fit on it, and dare me to say I don't love YA. But I want to read more and learn about everything. I'm even reading about the news and politics, which before, I could barely stomach to do. I just thought it was too depressing and stressful. But I'm sick of being unaware. I don't want to be ignorant to the world, because it's real and scary and important. Knowledge is power, which is apparent when I'm informing my own mother of things happening in the world and I feel a sudden sense of strength, like hell yes I (kind of) know what I'm talking about!
So, please, please, PLEASE comment down below any favorite poems, non-fictions, historical fics, biographies, and basically anything else informative and interesting. For example, I'm reading Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain, and am absolutely loving it. So cool!

Don't stress over blogging.
This is a huge thing. A couple weeks ago, I wasn't in the mood to read. It wasn't a book-hangover, or even a book slump (though, at the time, I called it that). I just didn't want to read. Instead, I watched the entire first part of season one of Outlander (and it was amazing). I called it a book slump just because that was my natural reaction to this feeling of not wanting to read, which is a little ridiculous, as if something was wrong with me.
If I don't want to read, that's OKAY. I had to realize that. At first, I struggled with not forcing myself to read because I knew it would set me back on my Goodreads challenge. Then I worried that I wouldn't have any blog posts for the week, and stressed over that for a couple hours. I had the whole week off from work, so I had lots of free time, and it was amazing how guilty I felt just because I wasn't reading. I need to get "BLOGGING IS A FUN HOBBY," tattooed on my forehead. Also, "IT'S OKAY NOT TO READ SOMETIMES," and "JAMIE FRASER IS A BEAUTIFUL."
I think my quality over quantity mentality will really help in my quest to not stress over blogging. So what if I don't read anything? So what if I don't post something in a week? So what? Blogging, when it comes down to it, is for me. No one else. There's just an added bonus that I have followers.

Don't stress over blogging pt. 2
It used to bother me that I had so many more followers on Instagram than I did on here. I've seen other people do this sort of comparison, and it comforted me knowing that other people shared this insecurity. But I've come realize that that's just what makes me... me. I'm better at taking pictures, writing a short caption, and letting it fly free on Instagram than I am blogging. It's more personal, which is definitely something I'm very good at controlling. Blogging is more professional, and I'm not quite there yet. There's a lot more that goes on behind the scenes of a blog than there is in an Instagram post.

Course it's not like anything is going to really change. All you're gonna notice is that I'll be posting less (ish). But I wanted to get this out there just in case things are a little wacky at first, since I'm still settling into these new revelations. I also have some super exciting things going on that I can't wait to talk about, so stay tuned! Thank you guys for being so amazing and kind and understanding.

Let's chat! What are your favorite non-YA books? Have you ever struggled with anything I've mentioned? Are you also drowning in your TBR pile? Because SAME.

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