So… Hi. It’s been a while since I’ve just sat down and written a blog post out in one go but tonight I felt a sudden burst of energy and immediately felt the need to write down what’s going on in my head at the moment and why my blogging is so sparse currently, even if this makes no sense.
Let me just start this off by saying that I love the book blogging community. I really do. I’ve made a number of amazing friends in it and it’s just generally a wonderful place to be but… I’ve begun feeling out of place in it A LOT. There are many reasons for this and I’m going to be as frank as possible about it all.
I’ve realised that I’m not your typical book blogger. I don’t stick to trends and hyped books. I’ve realised that blog tours are not my favourite things in the world. I don’t really do bookish tags. I don’t stick solely to talking about books (I know that many bloggers talk about other things. But I feel like there seems to be a ‘set list’ of ‘approved other interests’ that everyone in the UKYA community is into and talks about). I’m not a regular poster with a schedule (besides my monthly wrap ups which I think are mainly for me).
I used to stick to the normal mainstream way of blogging because I enjoyed it but for the past year or so, I haven’t been feeling it. Most blog tour posts have begun to feel useless, reviews seem like a chore and tags feel repetitive so I just don’t blog as much anymore. This lack of drive within me has been represented in my blog. The amount of people who read my posts has gone down as has the number of tweets I get about my posts. And the most frustrating of all is that publishers stopped getting into contact.
I know that it’s stupid to measure your ‘blogging worth’ based on publishers and review copies but it’s hard not to. It really hurts when publishers who used to contact you and that you thought had a good rapport with suddenly stop talking to you. Recently, a bunch of people tagged me in a WHSmith post saying that it would have been great if I had been included as one of the bloggers in it and my heart swelled. The thought that so many people had thought of me was amazing and I sat there irritated that I wasn’t included in the WHSmith blog. But then I realised that I did nothing to deserve to be on that list. I haven’t written a ‘proper’ blog post in a while. I’m no longer a prolific blogger in the community. Fellow bloggers, publicists, publishing houses etc all started unfollowing me on twitter. So many people don’t know who I am anymore.
The thought that I had suddenly lost all of the support within the community that I had been building for years really upset me. It broke me into pieces because I loved blogging. I still do but I had ruined 13 year old Sofia’s hard work and I didn’t know what to do to get that status back.
I’ve always felt like an outsider in the community – I’m a lot younger than everyone else in the UKYA community and I am of course a hijabi. I don’t stick to trends in terms of what I’m reading and I talk about Bollywood a lot on my twitter.
I think the big change in me and my blogging status came with the re-introduction of Bollywood into my life. Before that, I subscribed to this ‘approved list of other interests’. All of a sudden, I had another interest in my life which probably takes up about as much space in my life as reading does now. I’ve always been very apologetic about my love for Bollywood but why should I? It’s what I like. My blog is mine and I can write about what I want but for some reason, as soon as I post something Bollywood related, I immediately feel bad. When I’m watching a Bollywood movie, I feel bad and I hate this feeling.
Honestly, as loving as our community is we have to think about how sometimes it can be very cliquey. It’s hard to get into it – I don’t think I ever felt like I was fully accepted. Unless you’re a white adult who lives in London, the UKYA community is hard to enter. Actual teenagers are alienated in every aspect of this book blogging/book reviewing world and this actually sucks. It’s not the fault of bloggers, at least I don’t think so but it just seems to have worked out that way.
So to summarise, my brain is a mess at the moment. I don’t know how I feel about anything blogging related which is why there are hardly any posts coming out and I’m sorry about that. I don’t know if any of this made any sense whatsoever but this is what my brain is like at the moment so even I’m having trouble understanding what I want and need to do. So give me some time? I’ll figure it out, I hope…