Book blogging, Discussion, Guest posts

Are We Being A Little Too Organized As Bloggers? Is It Killing Our Steam? Guest Post By Andrea @ Little Red Reviewer

Hey everyone, today I have an interesting guest post on the blog! When Andrea @ Little Red Reviewer tweeted a mysterious tweet in what was probably November about a secret project of hers, I caved and asked for more info – I am truly a cat, what with my curiosity. And so I’ve been sitting on this little secret ever since! Now I’m finally allowed to tell you, and I think it’s very exciting! Because it will serve as a great motivator to all of us. It’s that Little Red Reviewer is releasing A PRINT BOOK of HER BEST REVIEWS! (And here’s the Kickstarter.) How awesome is that? There’s just something absolutely magical about our fangirling about books hard work becoming an actual print book – it’s like making a full circle. I can’t quite describe the spark, but I’m sure you know what I mean.

So because Andrea needs to somehow deal with and express her own excitement at this project, she’s been doing a lot of work – writing guest posts, doing interviews and such – all related to her kickstarter. I’ve invited her here today to talk about a topic that’s important to us all – a topic that’s especially relevant now, when we’re all making our 2019 resolutions. And it’s about… being an organized blogger. Or being a little too organized and stressing ourselves out. Ring any bells?

I relinquish the stage for Andrea @ Little Red Reviewer!

andrea little red reviewer

Hey, book bloggers, let’s play two truths and a lie. You know, the game where I tell you three things about myself, two of them are true, and one of them is a lie, and you have to guess which one is a lie.

Here we go:

  1. I’ve been blogging at Little Red Reviewer since 2010
  2. I’m over the moon about my Kickstarter for a print copy of The Best of Little Red Reviewer, a print book that showcases my best work
  3. I’m super organized

Which one is a lie? Well, I know the first two are true! So that leaves number three. Which is the biggest lie I’ve ever told. I’m the least organized person I’ve ever met. My bookshelves aren’t organized, my closet isn’t organized, my e-mail isn’t organized. And don’t tell my boss this, but my desk at work isn’t organized very well either.

So how have I kept a book blog going all this time, and not been organized? Don’t get me wrong, I love all the blogging organizer tools out there, the calendars, the idea that with enough planning and enough willpower, you can be the bloggiest blog that ever blogged! Those things are really neat! They just aren’t for me.

I got a secret for you:
You don’t have to be organized to be amazing book blogger.

A GIF of Marilyn Monroe, shrugging and smiling

Got five or ten books in your TBR? You don’t have to read them in the order they came into your house, you don’t even have to read those specific five or ten books if you don’t want to.

I’m loving this meme that’s trendy right now, where people are slowly clearing out their Goodreads “Books I want to read” list. Good for you for decluttering a virtual list! Big secret? You can just delete the entire list if you want to.

I’m a little obsessed with 2009 movie Up in the Air, which starred George Clooney and Anna Kendrick. Clooney plays this guy who makes his living as a motivational speaker, and on the side he is an HR downsizing consultant (fancy word for he helps your company lay people off.) In his motivational talks, he talks about “what’s in your backpack”? What are all the things that are weighing you down, and why are you letting them weight you down? Just take them out of your backpack, so they aren’t weighing you down. His characters takes his own advice way, way too far, but still, it’s an interesting idea. (Up in the Air is a great movie I highly recommend, especially if you were a fan of Anne Hathaway in The Devil Wears Prada. I even wrote a blog post about this!)

All the things we kept getting told that we have to do, to be a successful blogger? All the ways in which we are supposed to be organized so we can be successful? The need to post more content more often than someone else, or get more ARCs, or write more book reviews? I took those things out of my backpack a long time ago.

All the things we keep getting told we have to do to be successful #bookbloggers? Being organized, posting more content, getting more ARCs? @redhead5318 has taken those out of her 'backpack' a long time ago. Read her guest post… Click To Tweet

Blogging for me is a little like doing yoga. I’m only competing with myself.

Writing a book review is like taking a 1200 word photograph. How am I feeling about the book, right this second? If I am a mirror, how am I reflecting my experience of the book? If the book is a mirror, what image of the world, of me, of my experience, is the book reflecting?

I guess what I’m saying is don’t worry so much about if you are organized enough, or organized in the right way. Blogging is a journey, not a destination.

Thank you, Andrea, for the post! I must say, I could use Andrea’s advice – although for me, being organized is the way to stay sane, because otherwise I start panicking and feel insecure. People are different. So maybe planning and organizing everything is also what makes you feel better about things like it does for me, but we can still use Andrea’s advice – and stop stressing out about it when we fail to stay true to our plans (cause let’s face it, it happens a lot! At least for me.) Make your plans, but don’t eat yourself up about not posting enough, not having enough views or follows this month. Don’t become your hobby’s hobby! You are the driver of this vehicle – not your blog, not your views, not your responsibilities. And nobody should be able to tell you how much or how little you need to be organized about your blog – not even your peers or trends!

And on a side note, you can stalk Andrea’s Kickstarter progress here:

the best of little red reviewer

How important is it for you to be organized in your blogging? Do you stress out about it? Or do you let it go, when you plan but sometimes fail, because real life happens? Or maybe you don’t plan at all?

I’m Evelina and I try to blog about books that matter, with a bit of fun there too! Disability and equality will be topics you see a lot, but there’s also a lot of scifi, fantasy and… GIFs. I’m also the proud founder of #ARCsAnonymous.

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J R Lynn
Guest

What an amazing post! Thank you for this because I am constantly worried about not being organized or not having enough books in my TBR. It’s good to know that I don’t have to be super organized, or read more books/post more reviews, etc… to be a successful blogger. Thank you so much for the advice and good luck with your kick-starter!

Tanya @ Girl Plus Books
Guest

*stands up and slow claps* Yes! Thank you saying this. That line about only competing with ourselves… I want to give you a virtual fist bump for that one. I see all these posts about how to be a more organized blogger, posts about how you have to be on All The Social Media in order to be a “successful” blogger, and on and on. And I just have to laugh. Success means different things to different people. And – newsflash – blogging is my hobby not my job. 🙂 I refuse to stress over a hobby. LOL I’m rarely… Read more »

Andrea J
Guest

Hi Tanya, Thank your for your kind words! i’ve not figured out bookstagram yet. or booktubing. for me, “stress-free” = success. I’m a little jealous of people who are good at being organized, i wish i was organized sometimes.

Norrie
Guest

Love it!
I can’t say i’m organized at all. So far the universe hasn’t collapsed yet, so it might be ok 😀
Good luck with Kickstarter!

Andrea J
Guest

hi Norrie, thank you! The Kickstarter is going really well so far. yay for new projects! 🙂

Ivyclad Ideas
Guest

I did delete my whole TBR list a bit ago. For a while I was careful what I added to it again. Not so much now…’:) I like to post twice a week on a regular basis, but I’m not going to tell you it always happens.

Andrea J
Guest

did it feel good to delete it? #AskingForAFriend

Rachel @ In Between Book Pages
Guest

Thank you for this, Evelina! I needed to hear it from someone else. Lately, I’ve been feeling like I’m not doing enough for my blog because it’s not growing at the rate I wanted it to. But I guess it’s just another case of me being hard on myself.
As for organizing, I’m only semi-organized…like I write quick bulleted points of what needs doing (doesn’t just apply to blogging, I do this to my other stuff) The finer points of it, well, I don’t really write them down that much. 🙂

Lisa @ lilistarreads
Guest

I loved this! I’m hella unorganised when it comes to blog stuff, I only write posts the days I post them and sometimes only pick the topic when I’m typing!

Kate @ The Backwards Bookshelf
Guest

Although I’m loving being more organized with my blogging, I gotta say that the quote “blogging is a journey, not a destination” really resonated with me. Gonna keep this post in my mind for whenever I start feeling that my organization and plotting is really stressing me out!

Stephanie Jane (Literary Flits)
Guest

Great ideas here! I love that Andrea is printing her own book, must be such an amazing experience!
I think I am pretty organised as a blogger, but I try to leave enough flexibility that if one or two things don’t work out, it’s not a disaster. I used to be much stricter and that was just too stressful!

Aj @ Read All The Things!
Guest

I think I’m moderately organized. I have a calendar where I plan out blog posts and a spreadsheet for tracking my TBR and finished books. That’s all I need. I try to remember that blogging is a hobby. If I’m stressed out, I’m doing it wrong. If something doesn’t work out, I’ll try again later.

Lydia Tewkesbury
Guest

I love this! I suppose it depends a bit on what you’re blogging for. If you’re hoping your blog is going to make you money (lol), then it makes sense for you to take a very organised approach, but if you’re just doing it for a hobby then there’s really no point in getting super wound up about the whole thing.

Laura Thomas
Guest

I sure enjoyed reading the post. I’m an on and again off again organized blogger. Some things I keep to a firm schedule and the rest of the time I kind of wing it. It does add some to stressing about schedules but I’m one of those that over thinks things anyway. LOL

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Kate Kenzie
Guest

A perfect post and much needed one for this time of year. I have surrounded myself with blogging must dos, and tips it has the potential of avalanching on top me and no blogging will get done. It is time for me to rummage in my backpack and repack it so I can enjoy this year’s journey.

Ruby @ Ruby's Books
Guest

YES!! I agree with both of you. I am the least organized person ever, and while sometimes that works for me, I also feel like I *should* be more organized to sound more professional or something. I do try to organize my time a little bit better, because I do see the benefits of doing things in a more structured way vs improvising things as I go, but it’s still a hard balance to find between having fun and being strict and harsh with myself, which is what happens when I try to be more organized than I really am.… Read more »

CG @ Paper Fury
Guest

Ooh this was really interesting to read! I confess I am NOT organised I have a vague idea when an ARC is due or if I’m on a blog tour, I’ll make sure I’ve read the book in time and am scheduled…but otherwise I just have days of the week I post and I don’t schedule very far in advance. It does stress me out a lot?! I wish I was more organised. But I agree that it’s important to make blogging work for YOU and to not do things just because you think “all bloggers have to do such… Read more »

Cee Arr
Guest

Slightly ironic that this is on the PRoFF’s blog (Evelina is secretly a Productivity Robot From the Future. #TrueStory.) Also, it’s not organisation that stresses me out, so much as rush-writing posts the day before they go live! (Chaos? Me? Pshaw! Pshaw I say! *shifty glances*) I don’t feel the pressure to be organised, b/c I know it’s not gonna happen! XD

Sophie
Guest

Pfew I feel better all of a sudden! Because I am organized but …not too much. Feeling guilty sometimes LOL

Andreea
Guest

This was an amazing and inspiring blog post since I always worry about not being able to be an organized blogger – I tried, really! Until a few months ago when I simply gave up and decided to just blog whenever I feel like it (which for the past month is every day – it’s crazy, but fun).

Thank you for this guest post!

lafemmelivresque
Guest

I try my best to stay organized in certain areas of my life because otherwise nothing would get done and I would be either bingeing something on Netflix or stressing out so much that I’d just go to sleep to give myself a break from all the panicking. I like to stay organized when I can but it’s not always a sure thing..