Thursday, April 30, 2015

My Attempt at Bookstagram & Questions about Blogging

What is this Bookstagram you speak of? Good question! Here's an introduction post by the lovely Jos├ęphine Simone of Word Revel (if you want to drool over book porn, her account is highly recommended. Always gorgeous work.).

Essentially bookstagram = books + Instagram, but with a lot more subtlety than just that phrase. I actually have an Instagram account, but I'm definitely not very successful at making it bloom.

Do you ever have that feeling where you think that various things in blogging are sucking you in?

So, here's the thing. I know that I can be a better blogger. I know that I can be a better booktuber. I know that I can do so much more with everything book-related, but to do so is falling into that pit.

A photo posted by Christina (@chbreadsya) on

I could be better at blogging in so many ways. I could do what others have and post less so that I'd comment and interact more. I could take any one of the ideas I've had for infographics and follow through, or hey, what about all those discussion posts? I have so many ideas for how to improve this blog and get it to a place where I'd feel more invested (really, it's quite remarkable, the spreadsheet full of ideas), and the same goes for booktubing, especially on the interaction. I had a lot of ideas for videos I was going to film, and I was commenting on different videos and trying to interact with different people I'd subscribed to, and then March came along and I fell behind in everything, and now I find these doubts that I have increasing more and more.

I don't know that I want to be better. To be better is to work harder. To work harder means more hours spent on this hobby. Is it worth it? If I'm having that question, should I even be blogging?

An example of this is actually bookstagram. I really like and admire photography. I've always regretted not taking more photography classes (the only one I really took was in high school, at my local college, and it was mostly about Photoshop. For my surrealist collage, I had a chicken on a wall fighting against a giant robot astronaut looking dude amid plumes of colorful smoke (y'all I was such a deep high school kid, what can I say?).). I could probably find some good guides online too -- and I want to, but then it's that rabbit hole. Am I doing this for my general knowledge in photography or am I getting caught in that blogging spend-all-the-time-here phenomenon?

It's actually fairly recent that I even have a few bookstagram photos. I took some photos while I was home in March/April because I figured, okay, maybe I'll actually try for once. I've seen people taking pictures with books in nature, and here there are some nice spots whereas I'm much less likely to do any of this once I return to NJ.

Except I don't really know what I expect(ed). So I took some pictures. It made me a little happy to take them, but I'm also real lazy sometimes so I don't know that I would do it again. (Did I care enough?). So then, what does it matter? Was I, like, expecting more likes and followers? Who am I asking for validation? This is my major issue with most social media. This is one of many reasons why I don't like it - I don't need validation, and it brings out parts of me that I don't like, that start asking these questions and yes, I was a shy child, so of course I'm start getting obsessive over whether people actually like it blah blah blah blah.

So really, why the fuck do I care?

It's like with those MBTI infographics. To this day, they're one of my most popular features here. People still comment on that post, sometimes telling me that I'm an idiot and that of course blah blah isn't an INFP and the like. And I like that I made something pretty and discussion worth. But it also took over eight hours to create, and what does it matter? Was I really doing anything I would actually admire - I mean, some of the people who focus on those MBTI infographics do the exact opposite of what I'd hope, and like, actually focus only on the label and get sucked deep into that. And so why does doing that matter? Why does a review matter? Yeah, I like making graphics, and yeah, MBTI had helped me at one point in my life, but is it all really worth that much TIME?

A photo posted by Christina (@chbreadsya) on
A photo posted by Christina (@chbreadsya) on

This is why I sometimes don't post bookish rounds every week. I get annoyed with myself. I mean, I do it for myself, all this bookish news and trying to keep up with it, but also have the benefit of others looking at it. But still you've already read about my time constraints.

Do you ever get these doubts? Do you ever consider cutting back? Sometimes I think the issue is that I'm so spread out in different areas, but I think that it doesn't really take me that long to link posts and reviews to Goodreads, Booklikes, Pinterest, and the like. Cutting one account there is nothing, since my major "engagement" with people is here, at the blog, occasionally on twitter or other accounts, and often through email. And sometimes there's that voice that says, hey, you don't need to do this. You can still interact with your friends - the ones you've made while here - without really needing to do any of this. Except that also triggers the part of me that's like: you can't quit no no no!

So, that's where I'm at. Ha, how about you?

(these are the moments when I'm like, god, being a perfectionist sucks.)


  1. I think everyone can be a better blogger. If you cut down your sleep, your hobbies, your time with family and friends, your work; if you fully commit yourself 24/7 hours to your blog - and even then you can still be better. We all have to face the fact that we're not perfect and there is always something we could work on :)

    What you said is the keyword: HOBBY. You should never pressure yourself to put more work and effort into something if you don't feel like it - and if you question it. You should spend the right amount of time on it; it should make you feel happy.

    I never have any doubts about my blog. I stand behind everything I post and I have let go of stressing out over posting X times a week. The only thing I sometimes worry about is content, but that's just my own insecurity talking. I do what I can, even when I had to cut down a lot. It's no longer commenting all the time or writing posts. I have tons of ideas, but at the moment no inspiration to write the right post, or the time or energy to attempt it. And that's fine. I am human, so I have my limits.

    Perhaps you should cut down on some social media and focus on what really matters to you. Shut down your Instagram if you aren't feeling like making photos or quit with something else if you feel like you don't benefit from it :) As long as you stay around somewhere I can find you - and preferably also on your blog ;)

  2. I am in the same boat with you. I feel like I am at the make or break point in my blog where I can either work really hard and just do everything from managing ten billion social media accounts, posting everyday, and commenting on another ten billion blogs, or I can do nothing and watch as my blog that I worked on for two years crash and burn. Recently, I have upped my posting frequency to three times a week, with is a lot higher than earlier (I was lucky if I posted once a week) but I still feel like it is not enough.
    I see every other blogger excelling at everything while I am struggling to post frequently.
    So yeah, I know where you are coming from.
    BUT, I also think all of this is worth it. If I quit blogging now, then you and I would not be having this wonderful conversation right now. I would not have the satisfaction of having a little spot of the world wide web that is solely my own. I would not have an outlet for all of my bookish thoughts, and they would slowly drive my insane if they were kept bottled up in my brain.
    Even though blogging is nerve-wracking, scary, time-consuming and just plain hard, I will continue to do it until I stop loving to read (which is never going to happen).


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