little talks

Am I in some blogger prison or something? Why, no. At least not really. By blogging freely I mean:

free·ly  adverb \ˈfrē-lē\

  • of one’s own accord
  • with freed from external control
  • without restraint or reservation
  • without hindrance
  • not strictly following a model, convention, or rule

(Thanks for the apt definition, Mr. Webster!)

So.. What am I trying to get at?

I’m going to be honest here. Sometimes, I feel like I’m not blogging the way I want to. Not of my own accord, I guess you could say. I feel like I’m limiting myself to what I usually do on the blog. I feel like I’m just doing what everyone else is doing. I feel limited by formats, categories, and the features I have. I feel hindered by my own lack of good post ideas and failed attempts at organization and schedules.

As of late, I’ve been pondering deeply about the way I blog. I’ve come to the conclusion that blogging should feel like writing in your own personal diary: freeing and liberating. For me, it’s important to blog freely because you’re doing what you want and you are being who you really are, without inhibitions to hold you down.

Recognizing all this, I’ll be changing the way I blog from now on. I’ll probably be constantly changing and that’s okay because that means I’m allowing myself to blog freely and do as I think I should, right? Anyway, I have some reminders for myselfthat I thought I might share:

  • Break away from rules and routine – It’s okay to have them but it’s also okay to detach yourself from them. You don’t have to only post discussions on Thursdays.
  • Hakuna matata – Don’t worry about stats, about having to be interesting or quick-witted with the way you blog. Don’t worry about whether you’re doing a good enough job as a blogger- you are because you’re trying.
  • Different is good – You need not follow what everyone else is doing or whatever the trend is. Change things up and try something new.
  • Run wild and free – Be yourself.

Have you ever felt like you’re not blogging the way you want to? Do you blog freely? Why do you think this is important? How do you go about it? Let’s talk!

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Hazel @ Stay Bookish

Hazel Ureta is an advocate of stories. She is the blogger and Editor-In-Chief of Stay Bookish because she loves talking about books. She enjoys reading Young Adult novels the most and writes them too.
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  1. Kyla on August 20, 2014 at 8:53 am

    I feel a lot like I’m not blogging the way I want to, too. I also found myself doing what everyone is doing because I think it’s the right thing and I’m afraid that if I would not do what they’re doing, they might criticize me but then I realized, it’s much better if we are our true to ourselves and it’s good to be different. Now I know, there’s some people out there who feels the same way as me. Thanks for posting this Hazel!

    • Hazel @ Stay Bookish on August 21, 2014 at 12:41 am

      I agree- it’s nice to know I’m not alone on this too! It’s much more easy to follow what everyone is doing but the real challenge is doing your own thing! I don’t think I’ve felt afraid that other book bloggers might criticise me if I was too different, it’s just that it’s also hard to find my own groove when I’m also held down by my own self expectations. I’m glad I’ve let all that go now. :)

  2. Kevin on August 20, 2014 at 9:05 am

    This is perfect Hazel! :D

    I used to have this notion of following the format of others because of the fact that it is “tried and tested.” Nowadays I just blog if I feel like it and I do whatever the heck I want with my blog. I don’t pressure myself to review all the books all the time. I finally got a grip of my own blogging rhythm and I am happy with it. Hakuna Matata indeed!

    • Hazel @ Stay Bookish on August 21, 2014 at 1:03 am

      Thank you, Kevin! Exactly. I used to think the same too. I’m glad to hear about your carefree way of blogging and that you’re enjoying it! :D

  3. Ashley on August 20, 2014 at 9:14 am

    Great post! I actually scheduled a similar one. Well, kind of similar. I kind of had an epiphany about categories. I feel like as a book blogger we get drawn into “features” and using too many categories. Then I wind up with a ton of categories with only one post. As book bloggers we have categories for like:

    * Author Interviews
    * Book Events & Signings
    * Waiting on Wednesday
    * Stacking the Shelves
    * Book Review
    * Giveaway
    * Top Ten Tuesday

    And I realized that with the direction my blog is moving in, I don’t want tons of super specific categories and feature names. I’m thinking of doing a huge overall and starting over with vague categories.. things like:

    * Books
    * Life
    * Design
    * Reviews

    And just keeping it really simple!

    • Hazel @ Stay Bookish on August 21, 2014 at 1:38 am

      Looking forward to that post, Ashley! I loved your post about being unique and beautiful, actually! It was one of the posts that made me rethink the way I blog! :D Yes to keeping things simple! :)

  4. Mel@thedailyprophecy on August 20, 2014 at 9:28 am

    This is something I’m going to address in my upcoming Fairytale News. There is something about my blog I want to change, because I want to make it feel even more like ‘me.’ I think it’s important you can do whatever you want, because your blog is your space. Those stats really don’t matter to me, I hardly keep track of it.

    • Hazel @ Stay Bookish on August 21, 2014 at 1:39 am

      Oh, yeay! Looks like a lot of us have been thinking about the same things! I’ll be watching out for your post then, Mel! :)

  5. Chyna @ Lite-Rate-Ture on August 20, 2014 at 9:39 am

    Sometimes I feel like I’m limiting myself…when I was still a newbie I copied everything my friends did because I had no idea what to do so I just kept the flow. But I learned how to think for myself and now I love my blog even more. I’ve learned that the more you put yourself into your blog the more you’ll love it and the more other people will read it.

    • Hazel @ Stay Bookish on August 21, 2014 at 4:33 am

      I do remember being a newbie and checking out other blogs so ‘I’d know how to do things.’ Now I understand that what’s really important is that I do my own thing. I totally agree with you about putting yourself into your blog, Chyna! :)

  6. Tracey @PrintedWordsAnd on August 20, 2014 at 9:40 am

    I love this! It’s such a nice thing to read before going to bed and to realise that I really enjoy blogging for what it is, not what I think people want it to be. :)

  7. Anatea on August 20, 2014 at 11:24 am

    I have been thinking about it a lot lately too. I’ve considered moving to wordpress (I’m on blogger now), and changing my blog name (Anatea’s Bookshelf) to something less limiting. I feel like, even if I did post something else, it wouldn’t fit in with my blog. But since I’m really busy now, I’ll give that idea another thought in a month, and maybe I even do it.

    • Hazel @ Stay Bookish on August 21, 2014 at 6:42 am

      I do get the feeling that I’m limited to only posting about books sometimes. But from now on, I’ll post about other things too whether or not it’s related to books. :)

  8. Lucy on August 20, 2014 at 12:52 pm

    Always have the confidence to blog freely; usually it really shows when people are relaxed when writing!

  9. Leigh on August 20, 2014 at 2:55 pm

    I totally understand you, Hazel! Whenever I feel like this, I’m just like ‘what the hey’ and post whatever I want to post. I’ve been really good at posting freely ever since the start of 2014 because I want book blogging to be like my personal bookish diary (lol idk what to call it). I don’t have any schedules anymore…in fact, I changed A LOT ever since I started blogging. I remember my first year of blogging, I was that blogger who went crazy on scheduling posts, making sure they are all formatted the same way, making sure I posted the “right” post on the “right” day. But now, all I care is that I don’t post more than 1 post on the same day and that I post every other day or every other 2 days. Idk, I just like having my posts spread apart. Other than that, I feel waaay better and blogging (for me) has been more fun. Wow, I hope I made sense lol I just woke up.

  10. Ebony @ Paperbacks & Protagonists on August 21, 2014 at 1:11 am

    Perfect post, and I definitely understand what you’re feeling, Hazel! It’s hard to get stuck in a rut with blogging, so I can’t wait to see your lovely new blogging style. :)

  11. Jen on August 21, 2014 at 1:20 am

    THIS POST. Yes, Hazel! I was a pretty constrained/very organized/strict (to myself) blogger up until last year, but this year I’ve really been doing whatever the heck I want. I have certainly been blogging freely! I think it’s definitely really important for bloggers to remember that they are not required to follow any rules when running their own blog! Thanks for the reminder and this well-written post :)

  12. Trish @ Between My Lines on August 21, 2014 at 2:31 am

    I know exactly what you mean. I blogged myself into a slump earlier this year as I trying too hard to follow a schedule. Now I don’t care and just blog when I’ve something ready. And it feels so much better. I don’t feel under pressure and I’m not even posting less posts but I never feel I have to produce something just because it’s a certain day.
    I hope going freestyle works just as well for you Hazel.

    • Hazel @ Stay Bookish on August 22, 2014 at 4:20 am

      I think the way we blog is what sometimes gets us down and feel all slumpy so I’m trying this carefree blogging style now! I already feel much better about myself and my blog too. :D

  13. Aimee @ Deadly Darlings on August 21, 2014 at 10:02 am

    FABULOUS POST, HAZEL! *two thumbs up*

    I’ve always been the blog-however-you want person, particularly because I just can’t stick to schedules, so I always only post when I feel like it! (ARC deadlines aside, of course.)

    I hope you don’t feel like you NEED to be organized and on time for us readers–we love reading your blog BECAUSE it’s YOUR blog, and we want to see how you WANT to blog. <3

    • Hazel @ Stay Bookish on August 22, 2014 at 3:37 am

      Thank you, Aimee!! And for your kind words about my blog too. :’) I did notice that y’all at Deadly Darlings do your own thing as well and adore you gals because of that. :D

  14. Alexa S. on August 22, 2014 at 9:27 pm

    This is definitely a good mindset to have! I really think that sometimes, we put too much pressure on ourselves to follow a certain format or style or “requirements”. You’re absolutely right in thinking that we should learn to blog “freely”, to not let these things hinder us and instead find our own individual style and do what works for us. Cheers to blogging freely!

  15. Nikki @ The Paper Sea on August 23, 2014 at 3:02 pm

    I’ve been struggling with this a lot lately. It hasn’t helped that I’ve been away on holiday this week, and working a lot building up to it. I feel like I haven’t really had a lot of time to dedicate to blogging so I’ve been falling back on the tried and tested techniques, the memes and features that don’t take a lot of thought and thus don’t take a lot of time. I feel like my creativity has suffered for it, and I really need to start blogging freely, in the way you described!

  16. Weekly Recap| Aug 17-23, 2014 | Oh, the Books! on August 24, 2014 at 1:02 am

    […] Hazel talks about blogging freely. […]

  17. Amber @ Books of Amber on August 24, 2014 at 1:55 am

    Hakuna matata is the best advice ever.

  18. Iris on August 24, 2014 at 10:03 am

    you just pointed out exactly how I’ve been feeling the past few months. I didn’t really know what it meant yet, but it’s incredibly spot on. I’ve been trying to think of ways to become less ‘standard’, because -sadly- I feel like that’s exactly what my blog has become…

    • Hazel @ Stay Bookish on August 25, 2014 at 8:00 pm

      Iris! So nice to see you around. :D I definitely understand how you feel! I don’t think your blog is anything standard at all though! Your posts are definitely some of my favorites to read. :)

  19. Lina on August 24, 2014 at 7:59 pm

    What’s really interesting is that I’m a newbie book blogger (approx. 3 months or so) and I’ve decided to roll without a schedule, and I’m still trying to create my own memes. I feel like I’ve been blogging freely without necessarily meaning to, and I think it’s great (though a tad more organization would do nicely).

    Meanwhile, I’ve been feeling a lot of outside pressure TO schedule posts, memes, and post more and more. It seems like every other blogger out there does, and always talks about it. Some even go so far as to say that they don’t follow blogs that “don’t post x number of times a week” or something. It feels weird to be pressured like that!

    And on the other hand, there are so many bloggers like you who find that this hectic, rigid schedule, etc. hasn’t worked for them, and they are trying to de-escalate. So I can’t help but feel like I’m making the right choice by sticking to my way of blogging, and I’m glad that you;re changing to feel better with your blogging, too.

    • Hazel @ Stay Bookish on August 25, 2014 at 7:58 pm

      That’s awesome, Lina! Don’t let the pressure get to you! I’m sure others only mean that they just want a blog that’s updated from time to time- not necessarily regularly. Definitely stick with how you’re doing because you’re doing just great! :)

  20. Finley Jayne on August 25, 2014 at 9:15 am

    Timely post for me. I’ve definitely been moving in this direction over the past few months. I’ve changed some things on my blog-from my blog title to my features, to reflect more of a personal blog than a book blog. I love books but I also want to blog about other things as well. I’ve lost a few followers since I’ve started making the transition, but I’ve also gained a few new ones too!

    Just found your blog and I’m a new follower through bloglovin :)

    • Hazel @ Stay Bookish on August 25, 2014 at 7:53 pm

      Thank you for the follow, Finley! I have to admit that I’m also scared this new blogging outlook of mine might result into a loss of followers. As much as I love book blogging and writing reviews though, I feel I need a more personal touch to my blog as well! :)

  21. […] of Stay Bookish shared her thoughts on blogging freely, and this is definitely something I need to take into account […]

  22. Jessica on September 12, 2014 at 3:51 pm

    YES YES YES. For the longest time, I wanted to blog a certain way because everyone else was but blogging on my own terms is just so freeing. I find so much more things to blog about and I don’t feel compelled to blog only about certain things.

  23. […] Hazel @ Stay Bookish reminds bloggers that they can blog how we want, when we want. […]

  24. Lucia @Reading Is My Breathing on January 14, 2015 at 3:51 pm

    I came across this post accidentaly and I am glad I did! I have been kind of neglecting my blog last year because the role of “promo blogger” wasnt making me happy… but I decided to change it all last month and I am starting sort of anew. And this is exactly the kind of encouragement I needed :)

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