the weekend I passed my sixth year blogging as Beth Fish Reads. As I
often do, I like to take the time to reflect on where I've been and
where I'm going in the blogging world.
First, however, I have a question:
Is there any point in trying to find a balance between my online and offline life?Seriously. I have spent six years chasing this elusive dream. I'm beginning to think there is no such place, and yet I haven't quite given up. Still, something always suffers. My current issue? I'm reading blogs on my tablet, which means I haven't been clicking through to leave a comment. No big deal, until I realize that I've barely been commenting at all. I'm going to work on that.
To make it worse, I've been spending Sundays offline (for the most part), which means I'm missing the immediacy of everyone's Sunday Salon posts, which are always so much fun to read. By Monday morning, I feel that I'm already behind. What to do, what to do?
If anyone has tips, suggestions, answers, or stories, I'd love to hear them.
The biggest change over the last year is that I've gotten over my need to have a new post up on the blog every single day. This has been a huge relief. I love having that self-imposed pressure off my back. Going by my steadily rising stats and traffic, my readers seem to be fine with this too.
The other major change is that I've written many fewer serious book reviews. Although I intend to return to longer, more in-depth analyses of at least some of the books I read, I needed the break. My reviews had lost a bit of their personality because I was falling into a formula instead of letting the book guide my writing. I have embraced my Bullet Review format, which sometimes appears as Today's Read (with Quick Facts and a teaser) and sometimes as a straight bullet list. Judging from my stats, you like the shorter format too.
Weekend Cooking has lost some its original contributors, but other bloggers have stepped in, so although the group has changed, the intimacy and camaraderie are still there. I love that it attracts book bloggers, photography bloggers, and food bloggers. I look forward to my Saturday post every week and love reading all of yours. For those of you haven't participated yet: Remember, you don't have to cook--share a food-related quote from a novel, a photograph of the farmers' market, a great meal at a restaurant, or whatever is remotely foodie. Note too, you do not have to post on the weekend, just link up on Saturday.
I have posted more than 300 Wordless Wednesday photos and have never missed a week since I started. I'm still very active on Instagram and love the photography community. (All the photos that appear here were originally posted to Instagram.) I even had the nerve to write a camera review post.
I have a couple of new regular features in the works for Beth Fish Reads. There are so many great books out there I want to talk about and write about, even if I can't manage to read everything that comes into my house. I did some brainstorming and am excited about the results. I've also decided to revive some features I've let lapse, like Stacked-Up Book Thoughts.
The new format of Imprint Friday (which also recently included a look at a small press), is my first step in this direction. For example, I simply couldn't wait to tell you about some of the 2014 releases from Twelve Books (posted last Friday), and I liked writing about them even though I haven't finished reading (or even started) all of the books yet. Why wait?
So look for more book talk in the coming year to supplement my reviews.
You may have noticed an abundance of book-to-movie posts lately. This is a reflection of movie industry trends on the one hand and the fact that I'm now working with several publicists who deal primarily with movies, both theater and Blu-Ray releases. I hope to have some more great giveaways and other movie news in the coming year. Note that some of my movie posts are going up on my Tumblr blog and Facebook page.
You can also expect to see more Sound Recommendations, reviews of graphic novels, entries in my The Emerging e-Reader series, coverage of the Scholastic Mother-Daughter Book Club, and--of course--plain old reviews of what I've been reading.
It's been said hundreds of times, but it never gets old. The very best part of blogging is not the opportunity to do fun things but the friendships I've made both online and in real life. Through those friendships, I've gained much more than expanding my reading horizons. The connections are real and strong, and I thank you all for more than I ever thought possible when I hit that publish button on September 13, 2008.
I plan on being around for a long, long time and I hope you all will be too.