Firstly, I hope you have all had a lovely Easter break? You may have noticed it has been a bit quiet on here, or you may not of course, and have been having a bit of a break myself. My intention when I was in London last week was to do ‘live’ posts from all the events, both bookish and personal, that I went to on my mad non-stop whirlwind of meeting publishers and authors, seeing the sights and catching up with friends. In the end I just got too caught up in, for the most part but more of that shortly, having lots of fun and simply enjoying myself, and the idea of blogging weirdly (and most unlike me) felt a bit like reporting back.
I didn’t think much of it at the time yet when I got back there was no desire to report back or even really blog about the books that I had been discussing and I think part of this might have been the fact that I had a lot of book overload, I didn’t read whilst I was away either. You probably all get this on occasion, sometimes when you hear lots and lots about lots and lots of wonderful books your head wants to explode a) at the prospect of the amount of reading joy ahead b) because you start to freak out thinking ‘how will I ever read all the books I want to read, no really, how?’ So I think that was all a lot to compute and added to it. I also think I got a bit blogged out.
I have loved blogger meet ups in the past and getting to know both new and older bloggers. I have made friends, and I mean ones who visit and I visit as well as those I talk to online, and it has in the past been a real joy. I have never noticed any divides between the new ones and the old ones and indeed, and I think I am counted as old school but who knows, I have encouraged new bloggers. Its all been lovely. So I was really excited about the various, there was more than one, blogging events I had lined up. Really excited.
Yet last week I felt there had been a change. I have seen the ‘grabby’ attitude of some bloggers on twitter when they simply demand they get the latest book, only its every book not one or two, yet to watch people simply walking through the door at events and taking double/triple copies of a proof almost had my jaw hitting the floor – well it did when the event had finished and I went to have a mooch as I had been chatting to bloggers, authors and publishers during the breaks in the event. Also over hearing some discussions like ‘did you know I get XXX stats, I bet its more than X blog’ and ‘I don’t care if I offend the publishers or authors on my blog’ (this was said in front of two authors and a publisher who was hosting the event) and then to be greeted with ‘I’m X, not that you would know as you don’t follow me on Twitter’ left me a little bit bemused, saddened and disheartened. After the incident on Twitter last week when I discovered that a few bloggers, though I don’t know which, had said to publishers that ‘Simon of Savidge Reads said’ they could have proofs of a book just bothered me more and more.
I know that this was only a select few in a much bigger group, and indeed as I caught up with so many lovely bloggers it almost counteracted it, yet the thought niggled in my brain almost constantly. Not only that but I started to wonder as an early blogger, though I know not one of the very first, but it has been six years, if I had in some way created this level of ‘expectation’ that seemed rife? Actually, not expectation – entitlement! Did the fact that I shared pictures of the books I got be they an occasional ask or unsubmited (like some of the books above), which then a blogger or two emailed the publisher and said I had said they could have copies (this happened before I went but had really annoyed me as I am sure you understand) mean other people expected the same? Had my enthusiasm come across as entitlement?
It got to the point where I was questioning if people might be questioning my motives. I hope people see this blog as, a personal diary of sorts, mainly filled with books and bookish thoughts, from someone who just loves and enthuses about books and would keep doing it if all the free copies stopped coming in and no one read it anymore, so basically like the first few years I did it. I won’t lie but I went into a real fog about it this weekend and have been mulling whether I want to be a part of the community or not anymore and even if I wanted to stop blogging full stop. No navel gazing honest, this was just pondering. Though a few bloggers I have discussed how I have been feeling with with said they didn’t think I should (partly as some people might get pissed off, partly they worried I might get a lot of grief – sod it, this is all from a nice place), I have decided to post about how I was feeling, not to tell tales or cause a stir or offend anyone but because it was on my mind and I like to be upfront with anyone who pops here and not be shy of saying what is bothering me.
So what is my solution? Well, I just have to carry on as I was though I think it might be a bit less, partly because I keep saying I will read more (and have spent an hour writing this when I should have been reading Joanne Harris) and that needs to happen, also I need to get the social/work/blog a bit more equal and also because I want to hone the blog, its contents and my writing, a little more in different ways. I also have Gran’s health, the Liverpool Literature Festival, The Readers and You Wrote The Book! (which if you love Patrick Ness you might just want to hear the latest episode of) to do as well as my freelance and spending time with The Beard and the cats. Phew! So I guess everything is the same really, but a blogging wobble has helped me regain my focus on the blog and everything around it. I think. We will see. I needed to say something though, maybe it does make me a bad blogger, but positive from negatives I always say…