RhiReading News

Dear readers,

Hi Rhireaders! Check out the latest events in the sidebar! Thanks for visiting, be sure and follow me on social media for MORE awesome content.

Did you drop by to request a review or tour stop? I am currently OPEN for review requests for review requests. I have promotional openings for August through November open so please reach out. Just please drop me an email with a polite request and if I'm interested I will reply.

-- Rhi


7.08.2011

Weekend Reading [07/08-07/10] :: Your Voice as a Blogger (+giveaway reminder!)

Lately I've been getting frustrated by the restrictions and demands people put on others. Going along with the crowd certainly has its advantages but I just don't do well with buying into and following the expectations and desires of others.

In my personal life I'm stressing my trip next week. One of the major issues I have with visiting certain relations is their constant need to push their 'facts' onto others. What to eat (or not eat). What cleaners to use. How kids should be raised and not allowed to do/watch/eat certain things. Complicating the matter is that the only people I find it difficult to boldly disagree with and confront are my kin. These are people whom I love and admire. I don't want to disappoint or anger them.

Online I find it causes me to bristle when anyone says there is a 'wrong' way to do something, blogging specifically. One of the pleasures of blogging for me is that I can essentially make my own rules. Be myself. Share my passion with others and enjoy their enthusiasm for theirs.

Just as in publishing success there are multiple paths, I feel that there is more than one way to be a successful blogger. Who am I to tell another blogger that their writing style or methods are bad or vice versa? Certainly there are ways to gain followers or increase traffic or acquire ARCs that are tried and true, that are more effective than others. But if conforming to the expectations of the wider book blogging community requires the expense of losing/softening/changing one's 'voice' what's the point?

I was sitting down to comment on another blogger's post a few days ago. Adam happened to pass by and look over my shoulder at that moment. This blogger happens to share what I call 'Man Candy' and the sidebar happened to have some up. He immediately asked if that was my blog I was looking at. I laughed and told him no it was not. His reply was that he hadn't thought so and that he thought the blog owner must be single. As it happens the blogger is not and while I've never felt comfortable posting 'Man Candy' on my blog I can certainly appreciate it when I come across it. All that to say that I think it is important to be your authentic self, or at least true to the persona you've created for your blogging self, without worrying that someone won't like it.

Of late I find myself viewing the book blogging community with almost a wariness. It's like high school all over again. There are the same cliques and clubs, teams and stereotypes but we're all sharing the same school, the same teachers, the same classrooms. I've always been one who tends to like everyone so finding a single social circle never came easily for me. I was a social chameleon if you will. I have no problem blending in with others but just as a chameleon can't become a cat or a horse I'm not going to change who I am, censor or alter or refine my voice to be counted as a popular kid in the cafeteria that is the blogosphere.

In chatting with another blogger a while back we both noted that at times we feel like the pressure to conform to the unspoken (and sometimes spoken) standards of blogging is disheartening. But as I'm preparing for my trip and contemplating how best to deal with the 'facts' of others being poured down my throat I keep coming back to the very reason I love fiction. Without protagonists who refuse to conform… who fight for their own way, rights, love, etc. there wouldn't even be a reason for me to blog. In fiction ordinary people stand up for whatever it is they believe to be right, they don't give in and they don't conform… they aren't always right but they see whatever their quest is through. Brilliant huh?

So if you've been feeling that frustrating, disheartening pressure to be like another blogger just to gain followers or to post 'Man Candy' to get comments or some other thing that others are doing that isn't true to you just remember that only YOU can decide when and how your blog is a success. :)

Would you rather have fifty comments on a post about the latest author snafu or one on a review you worked really hard on? Would you rather have ten followers who occasionally comment or a thousand who never make a digital peep? Would you rather know that the review you shared of a book you bought with your own hard earned cash helped fifteen readers or that your reviews of fifteen free review copies helped only one reader?

The lovely thing about it is that the choice is YOURS! Find out what you want from your blogging experiences be it friends, free books, author interaction, learning about publishing, to help other readers or a bunch of things and try not to worry about doing it a certain way. Find your voice and sing your own song (so to speak), blaze your own trail and only change courses when YOU feel it's the right thing to do. Just like people often say they'd have not been as afraid to be themselves in high school if they'd known then what they know now... I think you've got to try and believe it's a thought that can apply to blogging too.

I won't name names but a handful of my favorite blogs often don't even review books I have much interest in. But what I enjoy about them is that the bloggers are genuine and try to be original, don't chase the latest trend. When I read their reviews their passion shines through. They're memorable for the flaws and freshness, they're doing what they want to do without worrying about their follower count or if they are getting comments and freebies. I hope I can be like that.

But enough of my getting all deep and talky... I'm trying to get so much done this weekend and all I wanna do is sleep because my trip will not involve much of it. lol What is this thing called vacation and how do I get one? I've picked up Embraced by Blood by Laurie London as my first book for the Sizzling Summer Reading Challenge so hopefully I can relax a little with that one. I also finally found my copy of Rob Thurman's Deathwish (on the hubs' shelf, go figure) so I'm gonna try and get started on it too.

Don't forget to enter my giveaway of Break Out (Blood Hunters #1) by Nina Croft which ends on Sunday!

And on that note I am off to plan and pack and panic and read. Have a freakin' fantabulous weekend, let me know what you're reading! -- Rhi

2 comments:

M.A.D. said...

A refreshing, insightful post! May we each be the best *light of the world* we can be~ :)

Rhianna said...

Thank you for your comment M.A.D. :)

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