BBAW: Community

BBAWFor Day 4 of Book Blogger Appreciation Week, we discuss my favorite part of book blogging – community! Our prompt: How do you stay connected to the community? Examples: social media, regular commenting, participation in blog events, etc. Tell us your faves!

For me, blogging began and continues to be about friendship. I started blogging when I was a stay at home mom of three small boys with little adult interaction. Social media was how I survived that time, and discovering that there was a whole world of online bookworms just blew me away. I started without worrying about stats or page views or posting schedules, all those details that tend to consume, and instead focused solely on community interaction. I had long conversations with fellow bloggers in their comment sections and my own comment sections. I participated in events, got involved in reading challenges, went to conferences, became active on Twitter, accepted books for review, and advocated for various causes.

Most of that enthusiasm died away when I hit my burnout wall (discussed in tomorrow’s post). I dropped mostly out of sight for a few years, wishing to be invisible to everyone except the handful of good blogging friends I’d made over the years. These days, I still consider myself to be on the fringes of the book blogging community. I don’t know a lot of the newer blogs. I haven’t taken a book for review in years. I rarely participate in events, with a few notable exceptions, and I don’t really go out looking for new blogs and bloggers.

Part of this, of course, is that my life has changed drastically. My boys are teenagers now, so I’m not quite tied at home full-time, and I strive for a lot more balance between my interests now than I did back in the early days of blogging. Part of it is that I’ve made many good friends, and keeping up with those friends is more important to me than widening the circle. Plus, I simply don’t have the time that I had back then! I can’t comment on fifty blog posts a day anymore, and that was the main way I kept my toes in the proverbial pond.

blogger meetups

(just a few blogger meetups from my blogging years)

Still, though I don’t feel like I’m really in the thick of the book blogging community as a whole, I enjoy my personal little blogger community, with all my lovely friends around me, on Facebook and Twitter and Instagram and GoodReads, every bit as “real” as my “in real life” friends. The best part of this community for me over the years have been as each of these online friends become in-person friends as well. These meetups bring me great joy, and I hope to have many more of them in the future!

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About Amanda

Writing. Family. Books. Crochet. Fitness. Fashion. Fun. Not necessarily in that order. Note: agender (she/her).
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26 Responses to BBAW: Community

  1. chrisbookarama says:

    When I started blogging my daughter wasn’t even in school and now she’s a teen! So I hear you about not being tied to home as much. I don’t spend nearly as much time online as I used to. There is so much to do! I do miss those old conversations though.

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  2. Trish says:

    I can relate to so much of this, Amanda! I’ve had three kids since I started blogging–there’s no way I have as much free time as I used to have and still I find myself being really unforgiving of myself and my inability to stay connected. I’m grateful to have met and connected with so many great bloggers who are still here and there…even if not quite as much. Sometimes it feels like book blogging has changed so much and I’m overwhelmed by all of the newer bloggers who are coming in. Those early years were a blast, weren’t they? Your comment yesterday about Coraline made me a little nostalgic for readathons of the past where you could still visit all the participants many times in one night. But…I love the friendships I’ve formed and am SO thrilled that I got to see you again last fall. 🙂

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    • Amanda says:

      It’s really crazy to think how much has changed for all of us over the last decade. I think back to those early days, and how many of us couldn’t imagine ourselves still blogging ten years later. Ha!

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  3. Yes – I love this! And can relate in many ways.

    I’ve been in and out of the book blogging community, but the friends I made originally are still there today even on a whole new domain. I’ve never met anyone who I’ve gotten to know from blogging, but I love my own personal little community.

    Book blogging is big business now and so, with anything really, it’s important to find the people who you can connect with the most.

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    • Amanda says:

      Yeah, I think I fell by the wayside when it became big business to be honest, because I was never much interested in galleys and such. Still, I’m glad to have a whole pile of lovely blogger friends!

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  4. Yes! My blogging’s definitely changed as my social life has. I was feeling rather isolated when I first started blogging, and even though I didn’t necessarily anticipate that blogging would become a social outlet, it REALLY did. And now it’s less of a necessity and more of a fun thing — I can’t let go of all these book recs OR all these relationships, and it’s fun to be part of this community still (even if it’s in a small way).

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    • Amanda says:

      I was exactly the same, that feeling of isolation that drove me to social media and eventually to blogging. it’s been a wonderful way to meet friends! Sometimes it can be hard to find like-minded people in person.

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  5. I love that you’ve met so many blog friends IRL. I’d love to do that!

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  6. Jeanne says:

    It is the best to meet blogging friends in real life!

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  7. Hold on, I have something in my eye. (dab, dab). This topic is giving me the warm fuzzies.

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  8. Kay says:

    I think we all have to do what works for us, at whatever stage of life that we find ourselves. I do comment a lot, but I don’t do other social media. And I don’t have kiddos at home. I’m very happy in my little corner of the blogging world. 🙂

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  9. “Part of it is that I’ve made many good friends, and keeping up with those friends is more important to me than widening the circle.” I’m on the same page (no book-related pun intended!). At this stage, most of the new-to-me bloggers I encounter come via bloggers I already know, and I’m fine with not exerting myself to find more. The return of BBAW has introduced me to a few without much effort on my part, and that works for me!

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  10. Beth F says:

    Friendship is truly what’s it all about — yeah there are books, but the friendship is the glue.

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  11. I identify with this so much. I still like to meet new bloggers and stuff, but I really don’t have as much time as I once did to comment on blogs. I miss that a lot so I have been trying to do that more. And isn’t it awesome to have made friends through this? One of these days I am going to drive cross-country and meet you, too!

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  12. Kristen M. says:

    I absolutely agree that the friendships I’ve already made are more important than just following as many blogs as possible. I sometimes feel a tad guilty about not being more sociable but I don’t want to neglect the people who I already know and care about either. I am thankful every day for my blogging friends though — so much so that I consider a trip to Texas every once in a while, something I have never wanted to do before. 😉

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  13. Trixie says:

    I’m disappointed we didn’t get to meet up when you were living here on the East coast, Amanda! I’m glad to hear what you have to say about this topic because we’ve had some really good conversations in the comments, and I’m glad they’re as important to others as they’ve been to me. I blog just for the community and while I am struggling with my own stuff now, it’s nice to have friends online as well as in person friends who share the same interests.

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