Has blogging affected your reading in a positive or negative way? If so, how?
I would say that blogging has affected my reading in a mostly positive way. I’m much more organized in the way I read now because I need to match it to my blogging schedule, so certain books take priority over others. Having a structured TBR and tracking both reading and blogging statistics has also reduced the number of reading slumps I go through in a year because I can now make sure to not focus on one genre for too long. The one negative way blogging has influenced my reading is that I’m more focused on new books and have to make a conscious effort to pick up backlist titles.
Do you think the pressures to produce content can result in a bad relationship with books?
This is definitely a possibility. Between review requests, ARCs and feeling pressured to read and talk about books that are being hyped, not to mention the actual time that goes into putting together content, it’s very easy to start slipping up on one or the other. The pressure is the worst in the initial months of blogging in my opinion, when you’re still working to build up follower and view counts. It might be tempting to try and post more to get better statistics, but it’s very easy to burn out at this stage too, which in turn could lead to a lack of motivation to pick up a book.
How do you balance blogging and reading?
The important thing I make sure to remember is that I blog as a hobby, and the minute I feel like writing a review is an obligation, it’s time to take a step back and reassess my blogging strategy to make it fun again – and even take a break if needed. I’m at a stage where I’m seeing a slow but steady growth on my blog and I’m quite happy with the pace at the moment. I generally read for atleast 2-3 hours each day (unless I’m in the middle of a really good book when I’ve binge read for up to 5) and work on blog content for about an hour. Putting content together is much easier for me because I have things planned out at least a month or two in advance and the framework is already set up. I also try to write down my thoughts and observations about a book while I read in as much detail as possible, so it makes things faster later on.
I only request ARCs I’m really interested in, and the same goes for review requests. I’m also very particular to never take review requests around the holiday season or when I know I’m going to be taking some time off work. I usually prefer comfort reads or revisiting some old favourites around these times, and try to keep blogging commitments to a minimum and have those ready as far in advance as possible. I also like to take some time away from blogging immediately following things like Blogmas to decompress. It’s also important to account for the time spent on social media promoting content and interacting with other blogs. I generally open up Twitter 2-3 times a day for short periods of time during the week and a little longer on weekends to catch up on other blogs.
Do you think you would have started blogging if it weren’t for books or vice versa?
I’ve been a reader for as long as I can remember and it’s hard to think of any other way. But yes, it’s entirely possible that I might have started blogging if I was not a reader, but I imagine my content would be along very different lines, maybe a travel blog.
Has blogging affected the way you read or vice-versa? Share your thoughts in the comments below!