In Which Bee Questions if Her Voice Still Matters In This Community

Posted April 12, 2018 by Bee in Discussion / 33 Comments

Hey guys, I’ve been struggling with something lately. It might be that my pregnancy hormones are playing up or the fact that I’ve been reducing my meds for the sake of the baby, but I have been feeling very insecure about everything. Not just about myself and my body but also about my abilities and my place in this community.

See, I just decided to take a step back from writing. I shared my reasons for this on Twitter but basically I’m just not feeling it anymore and I’m too afraid to put my story out there these days. I have no mojo or inspiration to write whatsoever and with so many people hunting writers with pitchforks for bad or no rep, I just lost all my confidence. Sharing my story seems like an impossible task. So those people have kind of scared me away from writing, sad to say.

But now I’m also questioning if my voice still matters in this community. Does my opinion matter? Am I still heard? I know it’s wrong to compare, but I can’t help it. It seems like a lot of my blogger friends have reached more goals than I have. I have been blogging for more than 5 years now and I feel like I haven’t gotten anywhere. I know blogging is a hobby and it shouldn’t be for the books or the contacts with publishers or the pageviews and followers. But it’s hard not to look at that. I rarely get invited to online events organised by publishers. Or never, really. I have a good approval ratio on Netgalley but still don’t get as many books as others. I don’t reach half the followers or pageviews other bloggers get. I barely get responds to a poll and when I tried to do a Q&A, I got exactly zero questions. I have to work really hard to get comments on my posts otherwise I don’t get any.

It just feels like I haven’t gotten anywhere and it’s making me feel horrible about myself. It makes me wonder if I should keep going or just give up on everything at once, which makes me incredibly sad. This might all be me just feeling sorry for myself and bitching about unimportant things but I just wanted to get my feelings out there in the open, for those that care to read about it.

Sure, blogging is a hobby for me and it should stay one. But I can’t help but feel bad about all of this. Because what is the point of putting myself out there if it doesn’t have any effect on anyone? I started blogging to feel like I’m a part of something. A group of people that understands my love for books. And in the beginning I did. But lately, with all this doubt… I don’t feel like I belong and I feel more and more like I’m invisible in the whole community.

Sorry to be such a downer guys. I just needed to vent a little.


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33 responses to “In Which Bee Questions if Her Voice Still Matters In This Community

  1. Of course, you matter! Each voice is unique and comparing yourself to others can be frustrating. Ask instead, what have I accomplished? What do I love about books, blogging, and the community? Sometimes taking a step back gives you perspective. I will be the first to admit I visit blogs that stopped by each day and only a few who don’t. My time is limited and I try to pay back first. {{hugs}}

    Kimberly @ Caffeinated Reviewer recently posted: How to Claim an Undead Soul by Hailey Edwards
  2. Aww! I get you as well – I’ve been blogging for as long as you have and I feel the same as well sometimes. I guess the most important part is blogging for yourself, but it’s really hard when there’s so many people who reach their goals so quickly. I’ve been busy lately, so I’ve abandoned all of commenting, but I’M BACKKK for the summerrrrr. *cackles evilly and throws heart confetti around*

    Love you though. <3

  3. Teresa Twomey

    I think being insecure about your writing (whether the insecurity focuses on whether it is good or whether it matters) may be part of writers’ DNA. That said, if this level of anxiety and despair is new to you, it very well may be biological and related to pregnancy. I would encourage you to look at books about postpartum depression (which should really be “perinatal mood” because they can occur during or after pregnancy and be more anxiety-related than depressive). Also, mood issues during pregnancy can be a strong predictor of postpartum mood issues. There is some GREAT news here – all perinatal mood issues are identifiable and treatable – often through means other than medication. One good book on this is “Postpartum Depression for Dummies” by Shoshana Bennett. It is a little bit dated, but still one of the best comprehensive resources. By the way, writing is much like having a baby – they both require great leaps of faith.

  4. We’ve all felt like this at some point, especially since so many newer bloggers are getting noticed every day. Still, you’re an absolutely wonderful woman, Bee, and I’m glad I’ve met you. You’re incredibly strong, too, and I know you’ll love yourself as much as we love you. ♥ I can’t speak for others, but your voice definitely matters to me!

  5. Honestly, I think ARC decisions and stuff are sort of random. I see tons of prime ARCs go to bloggers who hardly ever do reviews. Maybe they just name drop the title or take a photo of it. You’d think that ARCs would go to bloggers with a track record of writing thoughtful reviews/doing great Instagram marketing or something. But probably the people who make these decisions don’t actually have time to read hundreds of book blogs and choose the best ones. Maybe if you send in your page views and follower count and they seem high, they just give the ARCs at random until they’re out?

    At any rate, I wouldn’t compare yourself to other bloggers. Some spend hours commenting around just to boost traffic, but not all of us have hours to do nothing but comment! If you have a job, or school, or a family, it’s just not feasible the same way it is for someone who isn’t working or going to school, or who isn’t raising two small children, or whatever!

  6. I feel like this all. The. Time. You are so not alone. I’ve been doing this 6 years and feel like I haven’t really gotten my foot in the door much at all. But you do matter and we are here reading your thoughts! Sometimes I only get to it once or twice a week but I check them out!

  7. Unfortunately, it’s SO hard not to play the comparison game when it comes to blogging. We don’t want to, but we all do it to some extent. The problem is, it can make you crazy. How many ARCs does so-and-so get? How many comments on that post? How many followers? I’ve sort of learned that there will ALWAYS be people who are doing better than I am in the blogosphere, and that’s okay. I’m really trying hard to focus on my own priorities and not worry about that so much. It can be really hard though, so I feel your pain!

  8. Greg

    You do matter! I have enjoyed your posts in the past and will continue to, I’m sure. I know what you mean though, it feels a little treacherous out there with all the expectations on writers now. It’s not just about writing what you feel or telling a story, it seems like there’s all these requirements now. That can be hard to get past. I actually think Chuckles’ comment makes a lot of sense too- I feel the same way but like how she said it. 🙂

  9. Leah

    Bee, your posts are always passionate and entertaining. Thanks for always putting your thoughts into words for us.

  10. Nathan

    Your voice does matter! I am sorry you have self-doubt right now, I try to comment when I can, but sometimes I don’t know what to say, but I always read what you write. I consider you a friend and friendship is one thing I have gotten by following blogs like yours. I take your recommendations into consideration on future books. You are heard and you have influence. P.S. If you ever publish your writing, I would give it a shot even though it is outside my comfort zone, because you wrote it and it looks good.

    • Nathan

      I forgot to add, you have achieved more than I have. You have a blog, you finished University, and your starting a family. I currently, don’t know how to make a blog, am in University and have not started a family or come anywhere close to that. You don’t realize just how much you have achieved. Many of us have our own challenges and your actually doing very well. Believe me, you really have gone far and I see you going farther in time.

  11. I read your posts all the time, but I’m horrible at commenting! Your voice is absolutely still relevant and you absolutely matter in this community!
    I’m sorry that you are struggling with this right now, I’ve been in a similar place and I know it’s not easy. For me, I just have to go with what’s in my heart… and for me, that always brings me back to the blog.

  12. Sorry you’re dealing with so much self-doubt. If it makes you feel any better, I’ve NEVER gotten an ARC from a publisher or been invited to an event. I think everybody in this community matters. Also, keep in mind that a lot of people are reading and not commenting. I read a lot of your posts, but I don’t always comment because I’m supposed to be working, or I’m reading blogs on my phone. I hate typing comments on that thing. You’re probably reaching more people than you realize.

  13. I’m so sorry you’re feeling this way! I’ve definitely been there and have taken time off from the community to reevaluate. I also rarely get invited to anything by publishers and don’t receive many ARCs in the mail. It’s hard not to get discouraged. Ultimately, I decided that I love being part of the community more than I wanted to be away from it. This isn’t an unimportant thing and you have every right to bitch if that’s how you feel! I definitely think that you matter here and I love seeing you around! I may be awful at times about blog hopping, but I always love reading your posts when I hop over to your blog. I really hope you don’t leave the community, but I know it’s a very personal decision. I think your voice is important and I hope you stay around! <3

  14. You’re not alone in feeling that way. I know for a fact that if I don’t comment, no one will comment on my posts. Views have been down compared to last year. I’m trying not to worry too much about it but instead focusing on forging friendships and talking books with people on Twitter. I’m with Inge. I may not always comment, but if your posts are on my feed, I’m reading them.

  15. Your voice is important!! I am sure that you’re self -doubting is perfectly normal for someone who has put so much into your blogging. Maybe just take a short break-like a Spring Break from your blog-and pamper yourself!! I am a follower and subscriber, and every time I visit your posts are always well done, even if I don’t leave a comment, I still see what you did write. Sometimes stepping away for a bit helps you. Alot of the stronger publisher-(and I am guessing) wait to see what blogs are staying around and which ones aren’t. (And again I am guessing) they may like knowing that your steady,consistent, and that you have comments!! Commenting is probably the hardest thing about blogging. I hope this helps you.

    Joann Downie recently posted: WHY? WEDNESDAY #3-Discussion Post
  16. I think it’s important to enjoy your own blog first, posting things that interest you but still keeping it as varied as possible within that constraint. I don’t do things just to please others. I make sure I’m posting things I like to write about or it can become a chore. I don’t much care about blog stats or how many followers I have. I concentrate more on connecting regularly with the followers I have, answering their comments on my blog and leaving at least a comment a week on theirs depending on what subjects they post about and how regular they visit me. I find if you don’t comment on other blogs much, people lose interest in following but if you comment regularly on theirs, most will return the favour. People have limited time online and will concentrate their time on those they feel are responding. The other way to find new followers with similar interests is to join popular memes and look at others who link up. Sometimes I find a new friend that way. I’m not greatly bothered about being popular as long as I enjoy what I do.

  17. I think a lot of us have kind of lost our flair for commenting — I know I have. So know that, while I don’t always comment, I read a lot of your posts, and I value your voice. ♥

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