There is a meme for book blogger confessions started by Tiger's All Consuming Media & For What It's Worth. I have always wanted to participate but haven't followed it closely enough, so I'll be posting my ten confessions without their prompts. I hope you enjoy and/or can identify with my honest-to-God confessions :D.
Christina Reads YA? Meh. It's fine, except it's not all that original, it doesn't allow me to review the non-YA titles I read, and it doesn't really accommodate for other reviewers. Sophomore year of college, two of my friends and I were going to create a book blog between the three of us and started throwing out names for the blog. All the titles I thought of were shit, but I didn't expect how much it would hurt when they told me just that--and when they didn't offer titles in return. I was frustrated with them. I didn't think either was serious about the project, so I did it on my own and told them I had done it. (I'm a real joy to work with on a group project lol.) And now? Of course I don't regret creating my blog, but I was a bit hasty. What if one of them had ever wanted to post here? What if I wanted to get another reviewer to help me with the blog? Who would that person be? The "non-Christina?" Yeah...
2. I wish I was more involved in the blogging community.
When I first started blogging, I would return every comment people left me. I would participate in memes and actively search out other blogs. Now? Not as much. I was struggling to balance college with blogging and writing and then I just stopped caring. For a while, I was at that point where I still expected people to comment even though I didn't. Hypocrite, much? Lately I've been trying comment more, trying to reach out more (though I'm still not as active as I'd like). I (do/)did read posts, yet I wasn't commenting on them; why not take that extra time to comment and let the blogger know that? A few of my 2013 goals include returning all the old comments I have and also visiting more blogs on my own. This is going to happen, though I'm sure I still won't be as active as I'd like.
Vickie of Comacalm and I hosted live chat read-alongs when we both had relatively low numbers of followers / were new bloggers. We had to cancel them after a while because (I think) both Vickie and I started to lose enthusiasm and also because we didn't have enough people who came to our live-chats. But they were so fun, the few chats that we had. And I love seeing what features other bloggers co-host. Also, what posts they write together. I would love to do something with another blogger.
4. I wish I was as enthusiastic as I was when I first started blogging.
This is like #2 but more. Did you know that I used to post almost every day? In the beginning, I used to feel like if I posted only once a week, I needed to apologize for my absence. Then I read an advice post from another blogger (I don't remember who) that said that I really didn't need to apologize. That often times, people wouldn't even notice if I hadn't posted as much as usual; people aren't as focused on my blog as I am. While I think that helped with my stress levels in regards to the blog, I also think that gave me an excuse for my waning enthusiasm.
Oh, god, twitter. I am very, very paranoid about my privacy. Even though I love my old roommate, I hated the mere idea that there would be a time when I wouldn't feel comfortable in my own room because she would have someone over, friend or not. As I write this post, I am sitting in an isolated room of my house because my brother brought his friend home, and I was watching Harry Potter 7 Part I in the room he's in now, and the idea of going back there makes me feel uncomfortable. (Probably also because I woke up like an hour ago, my hair's a mess, I'm in my pajamas and bathrobe, and I'm not wearing a bra. Oops. Did I just write that ;)?). (Also, I blame my mother. All those lessons on politeness... ;)).
So twitter. You can imagine how uncomfortable sharing any details of my life there makes me feel. (And how much happier I've been since I deactivated my personal Facebook account.) And I don't want to tweet only about books - only about my blog links and others as well. What's the point in having an account then? I don't really know why sharing these details here makes me feel more comfortable than if I did the same on twitter. And it's not that I am unfulfilled in my life; I love my life. It's... I don't know. Point being, you can tell that I'm not too good at engaging other people; if they engage me in conversation first, that's great, and I love the conversations I do have on twitter. Otherwise...
6. I wish I had started blogging sooner.
Do you ever get those moments when you wonder what you did earlier in your life? Like in middle school. How long could it have taken me to finish all my homework? Why didn't I read more often? I have no effing clue what I did with my life after school, in middle school, in high school. My parents are very overprotective, so I didn't go out a whole lot. Did playing basketball take up more of my time than I thought? Everquest/Dark Ages of Camelot/Starcraft? Jewelry making? As I've grown older and my work load has increased--and I'm sure it will continue to increase!--I've wondered: what did I do with all that time? Free time is a commodity. I wish I had used mine, when I was younger, to become a more prolific reader and to find my niche in the blogging community sooner.
7. I wish I had my own feature.
And I don't mean variations on the kind of features that are out there but something that's uniquely mine. Top Ten Tuesday is fantastic. Follow Friday? Yep. And Waiting on Wednesday? Hello, what a great idea for publicity for a book and for visiting other blogs! The creators of those features have pure genius, IMO.
8. I wish I felt this free to discuss my opinions in real life.
I am an introvert. I'm not good in large groups, and you've already read what I wrote about twitter. If you predicted that I'm that quiet girl in class--the one whose thoughts you don't know because she doesn't speak much--well, then, you're probably right. One of my English professors last semester told me, "We need to find a way to make you feel more entitled to speak up!" Entitlement is one thing. I don't feel like I should speak up unless I have something valuable to say. It takes hours of reflection for that to happen. So why should I impose my jumbled thoughts on other people? This is the attitude I generally take to giving my opinion about other issues. Rarely do I feel as though I am experienced or know enough about a topic to talk about it at large. Of course I will with my close friends, maybe with my family. Others? Meh.
With books, I know how reading them made me feel. I know what I would have changed if I were the author. I know what would have made a book more pleasurable for my reading experience. The only room there is for that kind of "experience" is if I need to reference other titles. Like when some people say, "Oh, this sounds exactly like X and X," but I haven't read X and X. But oh well to that. That will change as I read more books.
In life, you don't have that luxury. Giving your opinion is crucial at times. Even psychological studies show that people who talk more are often perceived as being smarter. (If you're interested in this topic, try Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain.)
9. I wish I felt more confident when I post negative reviews.
That being said, I still feel wrong when I post negative reviews. Sometimes it's the guilt, the concern, the part of me that asks, how can you dislike this book when X and X liked it? When so many others liked it? (And no, I don't have low self-confidence; I do, though, need to understand other people.) That guilt plays doubly for me because I know how much it can sting to have a harsh criticism on your writing; I briefly wrote about that before. Usually, though, I push that away, as I had eventually disregarded the tone of my friends' criticism. Still, writing is so subjective. What I will find well-written, others may not, you know? And that's not just negative reviews; it's any review. What makes my opinion any more valid than that of another person?
10. I wish I had reviewed my Netgalley books.
Lol. Netgalley. I have a terrible review ratio. When I first started, I didn't realize that there was a time limit on galleys. One time, I was auto-approved for 5 different books and I forgot to download them! onto my computer before they were archived. Whoops. The same thing has happened again and again though. I tend to forget about egalleys before they expire. It's not that I'm not interested in the book, it's that I am a kind of forgetful person unless something is RIGHT in front of my eyes.
Any of my confessions similar to yours? What things do you wish you had done? What things you do worry about re: your blog?