The Sunday Salon – In which I ramble about a lot of things, all of them vaguely related to books

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Hey, bloggers, we need to talk.

Yeah, that’s right, I said it.  So let’s talk.  

I’ve been blogging for 6 & 1/2 months now, and when I began blogging, I posed a question to you all.  What is your advice for having a successful blog?  I still don’t know the answer to that question, I’m not even really sure if I’d count my blog as “successful.”  I’m also not sure that it matters.  Technically, my page hits have stayed steady, though most of them come from Google image searches for Coraline, for some odd reason.  I’ve have been steadily climbing in subscribers (thanks guys!  I appreciate it SO much, it’s the one way that I know people are really listening!!), comments have stayed steady.  Things are looking pretty even just about now, and I’m a-ok with that. 

One day, a few months ago, my roommate thoughtfully said that people blog to hear themselves talk.  At the time, I was kind of offended.  UM, hello, NO, I blog because I want to engage in conversations with other bloggers!  How dare you insult me!  was basically my response.  But, it’s kind of true.  I like to make my posts sound well-written, but at the same time conversational and just a little bit funny.   And I like it when people react to them, so she’s right, in a way.  I think accepting that is the first step, the first step to making this more about communicating with other readers out there than just listening to myself talk about books.  Because, that’s really why I started this, I wanted to talk about books with people, since I couldn’t really join a book club in my area.  Yes, I like to hear myself talk, but that’s only half the conversation!  It’s all about the communication, and sometimes I’m worried that I’m not the best communicator.  So, I’m going to try to be a better communicator.  Okay?  Okay.

So is this an existential blog crisis?  Not really, just thoughts on blogs and blogging in general.  I don’t really know what my blog is, or why it exists, and I don’t really know how to make it better.  Do you have any more suggestions on how I can make it better?  Do you like my reviewing style?  Would you like to see something else?  Please tell me!

Other than following through with giveaways… I need to catch up on that, I know!  If you won or entered a giveaway and have not received the prize yet, DO NOT WORRY, it will get to you at some point.  In the future.  I hope it’s the near future.

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So what has made me think about all these things?  Just this little thing called Book Blogger Appreciation Week!   It looks like a blast, and I’m really excited that Amy @ My Friend Amy’s Blog is hosting this opportunity for all the great blogs out there to get some lovin and also a chance to get your name out there.  This will be my first time participating, and so far it looks like it’s going to be great.  

Have a book blog?  Haven’t signed up yet?  Go here!  

Read book blogs?  Vote for your favorites here!

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I guess I’d better talk about reading, in some form today!  First, let’s all jump around and be happy because I’m finally out of the reading slump I fell into the last couple weeks.  I have about 7 DNFs to my name, but I’ll just let them live in my car for now.  I might go back to them some day. 

I just finished Broken April  by Ismail Kadare, which was for my A-Z Challenge, the Orbis Terrarum Challenge, and the 100 Books Personal goal.  

I’m halfway done with Widdershins by Charles de Lint.  After reading The Mystery of Grace, it’s nice to read de Lint when he’s in his prime, really working with the characters he knows well.  Has anyone else noticed the similarities between Widdershins and American Gods by Neil Gaiman?  Very similar themes, but completely different, too.  I love it, and with only half way read, I highly recommend it.  

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Interesting links at blogs this week: 

  • Does race matter in speculative fiction?  It’s just a made up world, right?  Wrong.  Nymeth, as always, has an incredibly thoughtful post on race in speculative fiction.  
  • I’m really intrigued by the concept of Read it Forward.  Anyone interested in swapping, or just collecting some books from me?  I’ll put up a list in the next week or so, if you are interested.  
  • Alyce just joined Shelfari.  Do you have a Shelfari?  If that’s the case, then let’s be friends.  
  • God, this thing is so cute!!!  Like cute videos of baby animals?  Good, you’ll love this.

Have a great week everyone!

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11 thoughts on “The Sunday Salon – In which I ramble about a lot of things, all of them vaguely related to books

  1. I was thinking about this very question this past week. I never expected to become a blogger. I never expected to like blogging and reading others’ blogs so much.

    Your blog is lovely. Just keep on doing what you are doing!

  2. I suppose, if you really, really want to figure out whether you want to change something about your blog, you’ll have to find the answers to what your blog is, why it exists (and also what you want it to be). The general concensus of blogging seems to be that it’s supposed to be fun, so if something you’re doing on your blog doesn’t give you that sense of enjoyment, something is wrong.

    Personally, I like your blog the way it is, though I know I’m not a very diligent commenter. (This too is part of the blogosphere and something I’ve had to come to accept.) Point is – don’t change on my behalf (or anyone’s behalf) if what you’re doing doesn’t make you happy.

    Also, for what it’s worth, you’ll find this question pop up on all blogs every so often. Trouble is that the answers depend entirely on the person blogging, so all we can do is give you our interpretations of what blogging is about and indirectly help you work through the questions (until the next time they come up).

  3. Lu – You have a wonderful blog. I started blogging because I wanted to share my thoughts about the books I read. It has turned into much more than that. I now spend time reading other blogs, commenting on them and getting involved in “conversations” about what we are reading, what is important in books and how to deal with some of the big questions out there. It is a beautiful thing.

    So don’t fret about having a “successful” blog. You’re not just talking to yourself, you’re an important part of a larger conversation

  4. uhm, hello, i love reading what you think about which is actually kinda creepy now that i think about it. i don’t think you should change a thing because you’re amazing. also, i will be in your near future soon… dun dun dun. also also, i hope you realize who this is because if not, i will feel like the hugest, HUGEST creeper which is saying a lot for my already huge amount of creep-i-tude.

    p.s. : i feel like that was a very werehousecat thing to say, but i wasn’t sure.

  5. Shanra’s right. If you haven’t already you should figure out why your blog exists,what you want out of it, your niche,and all the other details. I was going through a blogging crisis a few weeks ago and it took some serious thought and talking to other bloggers to figure out why I blog and what I want to get and receive out of it.

    Regular Ruminations is one of my favorite blogs. I like your writing style.

    I would love to swap books with you. Maybe then I can read my own faster. 😉

    Have a great week.

  6. Shanra said it perfectly. My definition of successful is “that which makes you happy”. If you like your blog the way it is, that’s all you need. For the record, I love it the way it is. Also, we all have these existential crises every now and again…must be something in the air 😛

    Finally, thank you for the link! ❤

  7. blogs evolve. and I think it’s rather interesting that I’ve met so many varied different personalities that blog that one just can’t lump all bloggers into a category. I take a so-what attitude when a non-blogger has an opinion on blogging: WHATEVEH.
    The best advice for whatever activity you embark on: HAVE FUN. I’m having fun so I blog. I like to yap about books and with a blog, I don’t have to bore my husband so much. ha!

  8. I get strange hits on my blog too. And it’s for photos too, I think. People will type in search terms that aren’t even spelled correctly, but they end up coming to my site haha

  9. I can relate to not being a good communicator. My husband teases me over the amount of guilt I feel for not commenting on all of the posts that I’d like to. There are so many great posts and reviews out there and my own struggle lately has been with realizing that I’m going to have to be ok with not commenting on everyone’s blogs as much as I’d like because I have a husband and family that need to see more of me than just the back of my head while I’m typing on the computer.

    Anyway, thanks for letting people know about my Shelfari account!

  10. I think there’s some truth to blogs being a way for people to speak, even if we want them to be about conversation. I mean, the blogger sort of has the upper-hand in the conversation — you write the post which sort of sets the conversation. And comments, except on very controversial sorts of posts, tend to be from the commenter to the blogger, not to other people in the comments. So, it’s not so much a conversation, which I tend to think of as multiple people engaging each other, so much as a discussion with a leader (the blogger) conversing with others. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that, just that it sort of supports what your friend said.

    I dunno. I think it’s important to take some time every once in awhile to think about why you’re blogging and what you want out of your blog. I should do that soonish, but for now I’m pretty happy with how things are. The blog is at a level that I can manage it, mostly, without feeling overwhelmed. But don’t let your blog questioning worry you too much — it looks like you have lots of readers that you communicate with well and enjoy reading your blog (I know I do!). Just remember to have fun (something I have to remind myself constantly when I get stressed about blogging).

  11. Oh Lu! I’ve been blogging for over two years and I’m still asking myself these questions. I’m convinced that blogs are really successful when people spend 24 hours a day blogging. 🙂 And since that’s impossible, I’ve decided I’m just going to do the best I can do.

    You do a great job–just keep it up.

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