the secret to being a happy blogger

Do you ever feel like a Queen stuck in a dank ditch? You KNOW you should be ruling with an iron fist, and frolicking through sunny field...

Do you ever feel like a Queen stuck in a dank ditch? You KNOW you should be ruling with an iron fist, and frolicking through sunny fields of success with a radiant grin plastered on your ruler face... but blogging just isn't playing out that way. Younger bloggers are more successful than you. You're stuck in a rut. You can't get followers. You feel like you're drowning, and you just want to be happy with your work. You try and try to no avail. 

You hear "blog for yourself" so often, but what does that even look like??? For a long time, I've been feeling like blogging is homework. A job. It's HARD but not in a fulfilling way. I want to rule, but no matter how hard I try, I just drool. 

If you are a haggard blogger feeling like you're going nowhere, well then I have some secrets to share with you.

Before I share the secrets to being a happy blogger, let me make it abundantly clear that these are MY secrets. I'm not saying it'll work for you, but this is my method to being happier with my blog. Not necessarily successful, but definitely happy. And I felt the community as a whole could benefit from what I've discovered.

This is this biggest breakthrough I've stumbled upon. For the most part, people aren't paid to blog. It's a voluntary pastime. It's a hobby. It's fun, but you know what? It's also work. You have to plan posts, write posts, read for reviews, promote, comment...etc. After a while, this constant producing of blog related subject matter can wear you down. If you feel yourself getting tired, take a break! I have to take a week off at least once a month or my attitude about blogging and my content will go to crap. Treat yo self to some down time.

When I started blogging, I was under the impression that I needed to copy the style of my favorite bloggers. They were successful. I wanted to be successful, so I followed directly in their footsteps. You think blogging should be modeled after these select successful few, but when you think about it, they were just being themselves. You were drawn to them, and thought they were unique because they were themselves

I think of Cait from Paper Fury as I write this. Her posts are so uplifting, and FUN and ridiculously laugh out loud awesome with pretty graphics and lists. I love all of these things, but I'm not Cait. I am SJ. I am not a happy go lucky down to earth funny person. And that's okay. You know why? Because somebody somewhere out there in the galaxy needs me. Somebody needs my brand of humor. Somebody needs my quirky tone, my voice, my thoughts. Somebody is going to resonate with what I have to say. If they want somebody like Cait, they will find Cait. But somebody will need to hear what I'm writing. Even if that somebody is only me*
Pretending to be someone else all the time is exhausting. If you be yourself, and write for yourself, and stop trying so hard to impress everyone, your blog will be much more fulfilling. 

*by "only me" I mean that I'm writing for myself. Blogging is cathartic to me. It's good for me to get all my thoughts out. I need this blog. And if someone else should come along and find my thoughts are something they agree with, then it's a happy surprise for everyone. 

For the longest time I had anxiety over all the posts I thought I had to do. I had to write a Top 10 Tuesday, Waiting on Wednesday, or a Swoon Thursday, or a review, or a tag, or some other weekly meme thing. And you know what I realized? Those posts are a hassle, and I don't even read them. Unless I'm subscribed to a blog, and I like the blogger, I will skip Waiting on Wednesdays all the time. I don't care about them. I don't want to read them. I don't want to comment on them. I just do not care about that weekly post. So you know what? If I wouldn't read it, why should I expect somebody else to read mine? And on top of that idea, I realized that I don't even like to write those posts. Why in the name of sweet baby Jesus would I continue to put myself through the hassle of writing posts I hate that nobody is going to read?
So I cut it out.

A big point of happiness in my blogging life is when I realized that none of these posts are being graded. None if this is homework. I do not have to post if I don't want to. I blog what I would read on somebody else's blog. I blog what I want to talk about. And I feel unburdened, and that's just downright delightful.

 This last secret kind of ties secrets 1 through 3 together. A while back, I read an open letter to the blogging community written by Ranu. Something that Ranu wrote really struck a chord with me. Our community isn't perfect. I think we all forget that in the grand scheme of things, we are human beings, and we're complicated and full of joy and sorrows, negativity and positivity. Human personalities are vast and complex. Our blogging community should reflect who we are. There should be variety. Otherwise, we're all just reading the same things every day on every blog. Your blog should reflect who you are. You are in control. This is YOUR blog! Blog like nobody is reading. Nobody will be there to judge you. YOU WANT TO BE A NEGATIVE NANCY? GO FOR IT! YOU WANT TO BE HAPPY CLAPPY? RAISE YOUR HANDS IN THE AIR AND SPREAD THE POSITIVITY! Curse, do lists, do great graphics, do crappy graphics, use lots of gifs, use puns, complain, be goofy, post copious amounts of discussions, write long ass reviews, dedicate whole posts to the joy that is Nikolai Lantsov.


Somebody once told me that I shouldn't complain because nobody said blogging would be easy. Blogging is work. And that really struck me as wrong.Blogging isn't easy by any means but at the same time, it's not some oppressive job you have no control over. You choose to blog. You choose your content. You choose what you do and do not want to post. You are the boss. This is your project, your baby, your platform, YOUR VOICE. The moment you realize that it's all yours, and you take back control of your domain, you will be crowned queen. 

A Queen has advisers, but only she has the power to rule her country.
Take back your crown. Only you have the right to wear it.

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  1. SJ, this is such a great post! We really need to keep this in mind all the time!
    Taking a break is a marvellous idea - but don't take too long of a break am I right?? I once took a blogging break...that lasted for almost two years! SO lesson of the story is - take breaks, but don't get burnt out and overdo it like I did! :P
    You're definitely right with the "blog what you want to read" tip - I used to do a bunch of promos, a bunch of blog tours, and I just realised, I WOULDNT WANT TO READ THAT, WHY AM I POSTING THIS? IT MAKES ME SAD.
    SO anywayyyy tldr - what you say is truth and you should preach it haha :)

    1. Two year blogging break??? Honestly at that point I'd call it "packing up and moving away" xD But you're so right. You got burned out to the point where you NEEDED two years. Thank you for commenting! I'm so so incredibly happy that you agree with me ^_^ you put a big ol' smile on my face.

  2. Can I just say that I love this post?! This is so great and inspiring and I LOVE IT. You mentioned all the important details and I believe this would've helped me a lot in the beginning ... heck, I'm sure it'll help me RIGHT NOW too! I'm always thinking a lot about what I should or shouldn't post on my blog but maybe I should just stop. Like you said, do whatever I want.

    Thanks a lot for this great post! <3
    Yvonne @ A World Between Folded Pages

    1. You can totally just say that! *flails* thank you thank you! I'm so glad you liked this post ^_^ But yes definitely, do what you want. It's good to have influences, and try to stay relevant with your posts, but in the end... it's all YOURS. Put energy and time into the things you want to write. Things you'd want to read. You don't have to feel obligated to pour so much energy into posts you don't like :) And you shouldn't have to censor yourself on your own platform. Hope you do whatever you want this week! haha it's rather liberating xD

  3. Oh, SJ, THIS POST IS SO AMAZING!! *hugs you because you are an amazing little bean* Honestly, ALL your blog posts lately have really struck me, but this, this takes the cake. Everything you say is so true. Please never stop being you because we love you! That somebody who needs you is NOT only you, and even if no one else does, I DEFINITELY need you. Thanks, love, for featuring my post, and just let me tell you, this post is awe-inspiring. Please keep on doing you, SJ, because you are wonderful! <3

    1. Aaaahh!! *bear hugs* THANK YOU for sharing that with me :') It's really nice to hear that what I'm saying is affecting someone positively. You've blessed me. Thank you. AND I LOVE YOU TOO! Your blog is really amazing, and it's definitely one of those blogs I would have tried to emulate xD You are truly a great person, and your blog reflects that :)

  4. Oh my gosh, this post is so on point. Every point you made has been something I've learned over my blogging years and it's the best seeing it all summed up nicely with the best GIFs. And sometimes I need reminders too. :) Let's do us *defiant stance*

    1. *dons a crown* I feel like if we just stand up and be happy with who we are, we can rule the lands haha :) I'm not saying being a happy blogger is the key, but since i've started being happier with blogging, I've gotten more confident, and the more confident I am the stronger my blogging has become. And like you said, it's good to have reminders :) I'm glad you found this post on point! Thank you for commenting

  5. Quote:
    "Unless I'm subscribed to a blog, and I like the blogger, I will skip Waiting on Wednesdays all the time. I don't care about them. I don't want to read them. I don't want to comment on them. I just do not care about that weekly post. So you know what? If I wouldn't read it, why should I expect somebody else to read mine? And on top of that idea, I realized that I don't even like to write those posts."
    LOL, this is SO me. I've always kept my participation in memes to a minimum, but then I cut them out entirely. They felt like a huge chore without a real purpose.

    All you said resonated with me. I've been blogging for 3 years and a few months now. We must refuse to turn it into a "job".

    1. EXACTLY! For the most part, they are chores without purpose. The big meme that I love to participate in tho is Top 10 Tuesday xD I read those on everyone's blog. I love to write them. I love to read them! But every now and then it's like.... I don't want to do this. I'm bored with this. I'm tired. SO I SKIP IT! Because again, it's JUST a meme.
      I'm so very glad you liked my post and that it resonated with you :)

  6. Best.Post.Ever.
    (I'll just be over here in the corner clapping enthusiastically).

    I fell into all of these pitfalls with my last blog which led to frustration, stress and big time burnout. That led to me deleting my blog and walking away from the book blogging community, swearing off blogging forever! Of course, a year later I'm back because blogging really is a ridiculous amount of fun IF it's done the right way, which is whatever way that makes you happy :)

    1. haha i'll just be over here blushing and grinning like a fool xD Thank you for commenting! But you're so right- if you fall into these pitfalls blogging will become a huge source of stress, you'll be frustrated and get burned out. I'm sorry you experienced it to the point of deleting your blog :( but i'm glad you're back! And I hope you stay happy with blogging ^_^ I'm loving your blog so far.

    2. My thoughts exactly! SJ you're a QUEEN. It's sad that most of us have to learn these things the hard way, through trial and error. However, these kind of posts help newbies and old bloggers too remember what's important :)

  7. Such a lovely post! It's always important to remember that we can't ALL be our favorite bloggers. We gotta embrace our own voice, and imitation isn't fun! DO YOU! <3

  8. OMG I LOVE THIS POST I CANNOT EVEN. (I have saved it to share in my next recap because I 10000% agree with what you're saying.) *nods* I think the most important thing for a blogger to learn is to BE THEMSELVES. Like this can be anything they want to be...I don't believe you have to be like totally restricted by your own personality? (Bc IRL I am a hermit, haha. Ahem.) But you need to blog in your own style/voice or you get burnt out. Plus when you copy other people, it's really frustrating for them because then THEY are not special/unique anymore, right? And most people work really hard to make their blogs stand out.
    bUT THERE IS ONLY ONE YOU AND YOU GOTTA BE YOU. (Is there a Dr Seuss quote about that somewhere? Idek. It sounds Suessy. xD)
    And blogging is hard!! :P But worthwhile. But I don't think we should underestimate that we put a lot of time and effort into our baby darlings and mostly the only benefit we reap is the satisfaction of writing/sharing about the topic your passionate about. So you gotta have fun at the same time. *nods*

  9. Oh goodness, I SO GET THAT QUEEN FEELING. I am MEANT to rule this world DARNNIT XD. Kidding, obviously... XD BUT THESE RULES ARE LIFE, WE SHALL LIVE BY THEM *cough cough* I think I need to abide by these rules more often XD. I pressure myself to much, I STRIVE too much to be the BESTEST ever, even if I'm not the BEST at everything I do... I am looking at YOU MATH, I BLAME YOU FOR KEEPING ME FROM WORLD DOMINATION XD.
    But you and your blog are amazing SJ :) keep happy ^_^!

  10. I once wrote a post about how I wished I was funny like Cait (or Shannon at It Starts at Midnight). It's hard not to want to emulate a style you love. But, yeah, I realized that that's just not me. I can only be me, right? So, you go, girl! Be SJ!! (We love her, by the way.) :-)

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

  11. I think I needed to hear some of these things today. This is a great post, and I appreciate your honestly and encouragement! :) Especially the part about taking breaks, and running your blog in a way that is true to yourself, because somebody will resonate with you in a way that they won't with someone else. Thanks for that. <3

    Gabi @ Let's Gab About Books

  12. Yes to everything here! I get so sick of seeing bloggers complain about how they are so burnt out and blogging is such a hassle. I mostly see this on facebook groups that are full of newbie bloggers that have run out of steam. This usually comes from trying to hit some standard or be like someone else. I love to blog, otherwise I wouldn't do it. I only do things I love on my site and would want to read.

  13. Ohhh this is gooooood! So here's my malfunction: I cannot allow myself to take breaks. I ummm may need help from the Queen, because I am going to actually drive myself insane someday. Like, tomorrow. See- I totally get that it isn't a job (because what job do you get paid zero dollars- actually, you SPEND money- and work ALL the time?) but I also love doing it. It's such a damn conundrum!

    But the other stuff, SO much yes. I used to kind of emulate in the reverse way? Like, I tried to be... professional? (Bwhahah that didn't work out so well.) I guess I'd see other reviewers like, not cursing, and not using muppet GIFs or whatever, and I thought that was how things were "supposed to" be- but like you said, I didn't even want to read the crap I was writing! So screw it. If some publisher doesn't like the muppets, that's on them.

    FABULOUS post!

  14. This post is fantastic! I've known since its inception that my blog was, broadly, a book blog, but it took me a long time to work out what that meant for me. Half the time I don't even bother reading the memes/tags on the blogs I'm subscribed to, so why on earth did I try participating in them? I've finally realised that the posts I most like writing, and some of my favourite kinds to read, are slightly long-winded discussion-type posts (that'd be my English major coming out ;) ). So that's what I write.

  15. I love this so much! I definitely have to keep these in mind. Thank you for such an awesome post!!!

  16. I totally get what you're saying. I'm a newbie blogger myself, and Cait is the one who actually encouraged me to start : )

    Sometimes I'm afraid I'll copy her style, but I'm trying to just BE MYSELF, as cheesy as that is. When I'm writing, I try to just write like I'm talking to a friend (albeit with less 'um's and 'er's). So hopefully I'm just being myself, or at least I'll learn to.

    Great post!

    Cheers, Em