One of her expectations and the reality she discovered is:
I thought I couldn’t “make it” as a book blogger.
“Making it” has so many different meanings, depending on how you see it. Can you really “make it” in the sense of being rich and famous, having books every day in your mailbox, billions of followers and talk-shows and such? No. Making money as a book blogger is hard, controversial at times, and not the question I want to tackle here.
Truth is, without talking about money here, you can totally make it. You can be the best book blogger you want to be without money or fame involved, just with you. By setting and meeting your own expectations, whether they are statistical (getting more visits, trying to get more followers) or bookish (reading more books, getting out of your comfort zone). You can make it by loving it every single day, despite the struggles. You can make it as a book blogger by being proud because it takes a whole lot of time and work and you are doing it anyway.
That has definitely been my experience with this blog. My expectations have changed over the 12 years or so I have been blogging.Originally, this had been a space to comment on blog posts I read and to interact with other educators. I was successful in that I enjoyed blogging about these topics and people on occasion responded to my posts. I learned a lot from the exchanges. I read a lot of blogs on a regular basis, and I felt like I was part of something much bigger than myself. That was all I needed to feel successful.
Then I went to work teaching in a prison. I couldn’t really blog about the work I did there, and I kind of lost my momentum.At the same time, there was a lot going on in my life, and I couldn’t focus much on blogging. So I didn’t post often, and I didn’t feel the least bit successful.
Once I quit working, I found I wasn’t as interested in the education/technology bent that had dominated this blog for 10 years. Reading and writing became more important to me in my life and in my blog. I have never recaptured the almost daily blogging I did in 2005, for example, but I have increased my posting again.
Marie’s last two sentences in the quote above describe where I am at. I don’t post every day, obviously, but I love it when I do. I love putting my thoughts out there for people to read. I know that there are not many people who follow this blog or stumble across it and read it from time to time, but the numbers aren’t really very important to me. It is the writing that matters. And it is difficult to be a blogger, to find something to say and then to strive to say it as well as possible. But it is worth the time and effort.
I plan to be blogging for a long time still. More and more it will be about the books I read, I suppose. So I am thinking about what, if any, changes I want to make to this blog. Should I do a review of everything I read as I read it? More, shorter posts would be the result. I don’t know. For the time being, though, just expect 2 or 3 posts about my reading each month and a few other posts as things come up. I’m not ready to rush into anything new. Not yet, at least.