It’s about time I got some stuff off my chest. If you didn’t know the other day a shitstorm broke out on Twitter about a post that had been written by some book bloggers. Since then I’ve read and seen post after post subtly or even directly calling out these bloggers for a range of things (most of which are untrue). Their post has been interpreted in a bazillion different ways and I need to add my two-bit in. I don’t normally get involved in anything remotely ‘drama-ish’ in this community, but I’ve been rattled. I’m disappointed and angry at the responses from their post, but I’m mostly disappointed in the way that a lot of bloggers are treating the bloggers involved. They’re our fellow bloggers, friends to a lot of us – do they really need to be treated like this?
As a community, we’re all about having ‘safe places’ to voice our opinions, to talk about the problems with this community without judgement and fights (because as much as we’d love it, we aren’t all sunshine and rainbows), but as soon as we voice those opinions, they’re shut down. I don’t agree with everything that was listed in this post, and I’m not going to pretend to. I’m my own person. I have my own thoughts and opinions. But do I think they should have posted what they did? Absolutely. It’s their opinions, and it’s their blog. All the blog posts I’ve read so far have criticized the girls about their views on paid blogging, and said that bloggers should be able to blog how and about whatever they want to, without judgement… so I’m having a hard time dealing with these double-standards. You don’t have agree with everything everyone says on their blog. If you don’t agree with the post’s content, don’t comment, don’t involve yourself. I think a lot of bloggers have handled this cowardly. Being spiteful and plain old rude isn’t the way to deal with disagreements. Do we all have to go back to primary school and relearn manners and how to deal with conflict? It isn’t hard to agree to disagree agreeably (something my religion teacher says all the time).
But getting to the point of my post: in their post the girls talked about everything they love and loathe and get annoyed by in the book blogging community, and today my main focus of this post is that I want to do something of the same.
I haven’t been in this community very long, maybe a year or two, so I don’t remember the “good old days” like some of the bloggers that have more experience talk about… But I want to. I want this community to be less drama-prone. I want it to go back to being about the books were reading and sharing our feels. I’m lucky that I haven’t been effected my any of the major dramas, but I feel like as a community were getting less and less about actual reading. We’re turning into selfish promotional sites where we brag (to various degrees) about our publishing/author friends, about the gazillions of ARCs we read, about the “famous” friends we have. In the last few months we been shaken by scams, an upsurge of plagiarism and is it just me or are the trolls on a rampage lately? I’m getting spiteful/hateful/downright nasty comments on my Goodreads review because I wrote a negative review. When did we get so petty?
We’re caught up on this ideal of what it means to be a successful blogger but we have to remember that we’re all here to blog, to talk, to share our love for books. I don’t want to be hated on. I don’t want scroll my Twitter feeds and be bombarded my bloggers friends criticizing my other bloggers friends or just being spiteful. And while I encourage everyone to post about whatever the want to (as long as it’s not rude/mean etc.), it makes me sad to check out my favourite blogs and see a tonne of promotional posts and publisher-sponsored questionnaires/unboxings/whatever. When did we start getting so scared of our individual voices? I want discussions and hilarity and opinions and books. I want to read about bloggers! About books! I want open a post and hear what you have to say. If you can work out a way to be paid to sell something you probably don’t even care about, kudos for you being able to amke something you love into a job that pays (I’d do it in a heartbeat myself)… but don’t be scared to go write your own stuff. Don’t think that this is the only way to be, that it’s the way to ‘get popular’ or become a ‘big blog’. Your blog is yours, your outlet, entirely your own space on the internet. Choose what you want to post and never, ever be afraid to let your uniqueness show.
All I want is for us to be freer and less conflicted as bloggers and readers. I want us to break down the walls and unite as a community, really unite – to take a stance and promise to just be ourselves instead about wondering what our image is like, whether we’re popular enough, our blog is impressive enough, whether we get enough attention… I wish more of us could see what we’re becoming and fight it.
I know I’m guilty of some of this stuff myself, bBut I’m making an effort to be a better blogger, be a better person. I’m moving away from the drama. I want more for our community. We have so much to offer each other. We just need to take a step back and see what we are really doing. Do we need to be the way we are now? I don’t think so, so why not make that our aim for the year? Let’s move on, pass this phase. We have a lot to offer. Let’s make the most our what we, and only ourselves, can bring to the table. Let’s start promoting uniqueness, not uniformity.
I’m only this far away from deleting Twitter altogether so let’s not let it get that far.
Best of luck everyone. I know we can do it.