Saturday, June 01, 2013

Keeping It Real, Yo! (Armchair BEA, Day 5)

What does keeping it real meannnn? Well, for me, it's quite literally being real. When bloggers contemplate the way they want to blog or they consider a change in their blogging style, many deal with the quandary of loving to write about books but feeling a lack or a sense of being pigeonholed. Sometimes this is the result of years spent blogging about books. Other times it's the result of an extended reading slump or other "life stuff" that takes away our bookish blogging mojo. I've gone through it myself.

While Estella's Revenge remains mostly book-centric, there's plenty of the personal, and that's what it means for me to "keep it real." If I'm not reading, I write about not reading. Or I give myself a free pass to blog about something else. Back in 2011 I was on fire for a lot of things, and reading wasn't one of them, so I decided to do a "stuff week." I posted about stuff that was on my mind other than books. And that was a great experience! There was some good conversation. And I don't even know if I got all the way through "stuff week" before the urge to blog about books came back.

My son Greyson and our #ItAlong nose.

My fiance, David, at a work function where we got all dressed up.

Greyson's third birthday, cheesin'!
On the whole, I find that most bloggers enjoy getting to know the person behind the computer screen nearly as much (if not more) than just reading book discussion posts or reviews. It's my thought that reading is quite personal, in that it can reveal a lot about us: our interests, hobbies, and passions. So why not give those other interests center stage sometimes?

Earlier this year, I went through "The January Cure" via Apartment Therapy. A month of deep house cleaning and organizing. You can read about that HERE.

I also regularly throw in FOOD.

I'm also realistic enough to know that not everyone cares about my personal life. Get on with the books already! So I tend to title purely personal posts with the very creative "Personally".

What would you, or do you, blog about besides books? 









24 comments:

  1. Like you said, I think writing about books just naturally ends up telling at least a little about who we are as people anyway. And it's just icing on the cake to get to read personal posts too. I love that more and more people seem to be mixing it up. Though at the same time, I certainly don't think anyone should ever feel like they *have* to post about more than books if they don't want to. And I think that's the bottom line, you have to let your blog be whatever you personally want it to be, or what's the point, you know.

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    1. Amen, Debi! And I was really afraid when I started incorporating more of my personal life and other interests besides blogging that readers would tune out. And I'm sure some do, and I don't blame them. But you and Trish and some other great blog friends gave me the confidence to widen my scope, and I think it's helped me be a more consistent blogger -- especially when I'm not reading so much. And I'm a happier blogger!

      And yes, at the end of the day your blog has to be a reflection of you and your goals -- whatever those may be. :)

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  2. My post is over at http://estellasrevenge.blogspot.com/2013/06/keeping-it-real-yo-armchair-bea-day-5.html

    I write a mixture on my blog - books, genealogy, food (weekend cooking meme, although I have had a few weeks off), days out and photos etc.

    It keeps the blog alive, personal and real.

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    1. Thanks, Julie! Same here. Having a little more leeway in what I blog about really keeps me energized. Especially during those times when I'm navigating a reading slump.

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  3. I mostly only write about books, but I try to be personal in my reviews and share anecdotes and personality. Every now and then I'll write a post about something else, but it's pretty rare.

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    1. Grace, that's awesome too! I don't always write purely personal posts but try to infuse some personal flavor in reviews when it's appropriate.

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  4. I also really appreciate the non-bookish, personal posts. I love learning a bit more about the blogger, and I like to blog about stuff other than books sometimes. It really does keep things fresh :)

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    1. Glad to hear it, Sarah! I like getting to know folks because I'm really so much into the community part of it. Amen for freshness!

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  5. I don't post many personal things. I think it's because my blog is just for me? My family is in every other aspect of my life, ha ha.

    I do hope that my personality comes through though!

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    1. LOL, I can understand that, Jennifer. And part of the reason I started doing it was because if I was slumping, I wasn't reading, and I wasn't blogging! Have a slightly wider scope helps me keep it up, too.

      Your personality definitely comes through.

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  6. For the longest time, I was one of those book bloggers who tried to keep my personal life completely separate from my blog. But that meant that when I wasn't reading, I wasn't blogging (or I wasn't blogging well), so I took the plunge this year and have started a couple features that show some of the other things I might do that aren't reading. I've actually got a post about my latest Pinterest projects going up soon!

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    1. Same here, Kelly! That was such a big thing! I hated not blogging because I wasn't reading. I'm looking forward to your Pinterest post!

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  7. When did Grayson get so big?!?! *sigh*

    That's a lovely photo of you and David.

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  9. Your voice is so authentic, it's wonderful. I love reading both your reactions to books and all the other stuff.
    My natural position is reserve, so it is hard for me to do the personal. Also, my years as a journalist made me keep that stuff out. But I maybe I'll get a little more adventurous.
    That all-dressed-up picture of you and your honey warms my heart!!
    And Greyson of course is darling, darling Greyson!

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  10. I blog what I know and love. Fiction writing is a huge part but I add little nuggets of real life when it's fun to share. I like your pictures!

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  11. I love getting a glimpse of the person behind the blog. You do it very well! I try to share small bits of myself on my blog and will occasionally post something non-book related - I think it keeps things fresh to break out of book mode once in a while.

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  12. Great post! I haven't hit a blogging slump yet, but I can see where one might come in the future. So yeah...just taking some time to focus the blog on whatever I'm interested in at the time--even if it's not books is kind of a relief. Good ideas.

    Sandy @ Somewhere Only We Know

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  13. Some of my favorite blogs are ones that combine personal interests with a love of books. For myself, I decided long ago that blogging only about books would bore me to tears so I mix in a few other interests too. Gardening, nature, food, whatever. I post Weekend Birding and bird photos every Saturday and I figure anyone who doesn't like birds can ignore me one day of the week!

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  14. I love reading about a blogger's (yours) life. It makes them so real to me, as if we really are friends. Love these photos, and I'm so glad to know he's your fiancé! Somehow, I missed that. There's only one problem: your pictures of Greyson make me so miss my own boy! :)
    xo

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  15. It's funny how sometimes we believe so much that we need to get our personal stuff and our blogging separate, when I've seen a lot of people say that some of their favorite post ARE the personal post. I love a mix of the two!

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  16. I don't write a lot about myself because I feel like I don't have much to say! My life is kind of boring. Reading and reviewing books gives me something to talk about.

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  17. I like reading about people's real lives, where they live and what's happening and little glimpses into their families - not because I'm a voyeur or insatiably curious and just so you know, I hate those kinds of reality TV shows. It's more because it makes me feel like I know the blogger more, in a more personal way, and knowing them in a more well-rounded way makes it easier to talk to them and know what to say (and what I should censor myself on). And because we're readers too and we have lives! But I especially love it when it's all mixed in with talk of books. ;) Love the photos too!

    That said, I don't do personal posts, I only talk about my life on the Monday meme in small bits, and I talk about myself as a person, where I've been and where I'm at, when I talk about books in my reviews. I'm that kind of reviewer! :D

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  18. It really is fun getting to know the blogger behind the blog. I love reading those posts, but I am so bad at writing them for my own blog. I should make that a priority.

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Thanks for taking the time to comment! Blogger has been a beast lately, so I hope you do not have any troubles leaving your thoughts.

 
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