2017 has been my first full year of blogging as a book blogger. I started blogging on March 5th, 2016 so it was quite near the start of that year but I wasn’t actually blogging for the whole of the year unlike this year where I’ve been a plague on the community spreading my often foul-mouthed and sarcastic sickness for what will be in a couple of weeks the entire 365 days of 2017.
Getting through a whole year of blogging is an achievement. Sure, we all have our own separate blogging anniversaries from when we started our own blogs that we celebrate but for us all January 1st is the start of the year and December 31st the end and for those of us that have been blogging for the whole of 2017 I raise a glass and congratulate you all on the achievement as blogging isn’t always easy. Likewise, for any bloggers who started this year I raise a glass to you too as you’ve made it to the end of the year.😀
2017 has been a weird year blogging for me, some ups, some downs, some wins, some fails, some laughs and some give a fucks. For most of 2016, I was trying to find my feet, I jumped into a blog with no real prior knowledge and would have either sank or swam and somehow I managed to flail around and just about managed to keep my head above the water. I only posted a couple of discussion posts on ARC’s and then a couple of fantasy related posts near the end of the year and my blog was mainly memes, reviews and poetry.
My blog still is memes, reviews, nonsense and poetry but this year in 2017 I found my blogging voice and put more of my own personality into my posts. Posts about author harassment, bloggers being real readers, starting a book blog, the pressures of blogging and some fun and light-hearted posts about charging for reviews and author etiquette when dealing with bloggers. I even wrote a post about swearing in reviews and started swearing (occasionally) in my own blog posts. Yeah, it’s only a little thing and insignificant but the previous year I wouldn’t have sworn in a post and had to censor myself not because I didn’t feel comfortable using the words, hell, I love me some foul-mouthed fucking filth but because I thought that it would be frowned upon by my fellow bloggers and I didn’t want to alienate them. Whereas this year I finally realised that my blog is my blog and I should be able to post what I want, when I want and to be able to write my posts in the way that I want and how fits my own personality too. Obviously, those of you who read this and follow my blog know that I have my own style of writing. It’s informal, sarcastic, foul-mouthed and often with bad jokes, puns and innuendo in it too and that’s me. It’s how I am in blog post form and it meant that The Tattooed Book Geek actually felt more like my own blog in 2017 than it had in 2016 as I felt comfortable being me and while some people won’t like it that’s fine, you can’t please everyone and I’d rather be me than pander to the masses just to be popular. I’m not popular it goes without saying that my blog wouldn’t be popular either and that’s cool, fuck anyone who doesn’t like it. The issue isn’t with me and how I write my posts, the issue isn’t even with them, just means my blog and style isn’t for them. But, hey, what I write amuses me so it’s all gravy baby! 😉
Good luck with your future endeavours, don’t let the door hit you on the way out. I realised that my blog is my own little part of the book blogging community. It’s ‘my blog, my rules my voice‘ and that’s a win.
I even started a couple of my own memes this year. Nothing groundbreaking but I started 200 Words or Less which is a meme where I offered my thoughts in you guessed it, 200 Words or Less on books I read before I started blogging. However, due to procrastination, it has been months since I actually posted one of these posts! I do actually have a few drafted and I really should get around to drafting them up as blog posts and post them, maybe in the new year. I guess I’ll class that as a fail!
I then started Music Monday later in the year which again, the naming gods were shining down on me when I chose that inventive name, not!😂 Yep, you guessed it, it’s music shared on a Monday. Simple really and while it’s not popular (massive thanks to those who take part in it) I enjoy it as I’m a big music lover and really, that’s all that matters. I’ll class this meme as a win!👌
I was also privileged near the start of the year, at the end of January to get Nicholas Eames on my blog for an interview. This was around the release date of his exceptional debut Kings of the Wyld – which I was also lucky enough to be one of the first to review. I loved it and subsequently praised it to the masses for its awesomeness. I shouted loud and proud to all that it was fantastic and lo and behold, most people agreed with me! The Tattooed Book Geek was one of the first to feature what is one of the best fantasy releases this year in Kings of the Wyld and I class that as a resounding win.😀
It’s not all good though and you have to take the highs with the lows and the good with the bad and in March I considered quitting blogging. I’d passed my one year blogging anniversary and by the end of the month, I had become jaded and fed-up with blogging. Luckily, I got over my slump and though I’m not as ‘into‘ blogging as I once was I have stuck with and continued blogging ever since and still think that having a book blog is cool. I’m not sure if that’s a win or not as it means those of you that read my posts still have to put up with me!😉
In April I had some (delicate flowers please avert your eyes from the following filthy word) cunt troll one of my reviews on Amazon. It was my Red Sister by Mark Lawrence review, lots of positive feedback on it and then I got a troll comment on Amazon. Fucking filthy dirty troll. Now, did I do the mature thing, rise above it and ignore the troll?! Nope! I took the childish and immature route and wrote a blog post where I trolled the fucking troll!😂 So, epic fail for me on being a mature and responsible adult but an epic win for me on writing a fucking hilarious post that burnt that (delicate flowers, again, avert your eyes) fucking sad cunt.
In May I wrote a post about depression. It was a very personal and open post and one that I wouldn’t have dared post the year before. Partly because I’m not a very open person but also partly down to not knowing what type of response I’d receive from posting it. This year though, I had the courage to open up and post and also had the mindset of fuck it, you’ll read it or you won’t and if you choose to unfollow my blog due to it being a personal post and not book related then it’s your choice (somewhat surprisingly it was massively well received and had many comments from other bloggers who wrote about their own issues too). In other words, I didn’t care what people thought, see, as I wrote earlier I found my blogging voice and the ‘my blog, my voice, my rules‘ mantra. Same could also be said for a recent post of mine, 8 Years Ago Today which I posted on the eighth anniversary of my father’s death and ended up being a diatribe about cancer being a bastard. Personal posts aren’t always easy to write and so I call that a win for me. Though admittedly with the names of some of my posts I think that naming posts is most definitely an epic fail for me, I mean, c’mon, even this post has the boring and bland title of ‘Blog Reflections 2017‘ seriously, my post naming sucks!😂
In June I wrote a blog post on the pressures of book blogging. I think it’s my best post and it’s definitely my most popular post by a country mile amassing over 250 likes and it continued to receive comments months later. A definite win there for me as I wrote a popular post and as I generally always think that what I write is shit it was amazing to see a post be so well received by my fellow bloggers.
I still struggle with my reviews and I honestly think that for as long as I remain blogging that it’s something I’ll always have an issue with. I’m not confident in my reviewing and I think my writing sucks. I’m a firm believer in my blog, my rules and as such I know that we all have our own reviewing style that is unique to us. My style is informal and is written in far a more conversational style than that of an essay but I see so many wonderful, eloquent and elaborate reviews from a vast majority of bloggers and yeah, I shouldn’t compare especially as I’ve just written that we are all different but I know mine don’t stack up. Another fail for Drew there! One part of reviewing where I do feel that I have improved is in my review length. I used to stress that my reviews had to be a certain length and that I was expected to write a certain amount of words for it to be seen as an actual review. Now, I just write whatever I want, 400 words, 800, 1,000 or even 1,500 words it doesn’t matter and I don’t have to conform to some supposed notion that a review should be a certain length. If I say all I want in 400 words then that’s cool and likewise, if it takes me 1,500 words then that’s also cool. So I’m classing that as a win for me in reviewing but I still think my reviews suck!!
Confident in my blogging voice? Yep! Confident in my review writing? Nope! How can I be confident in one and not the other you may ask? Fuck knows! I’m weird!😂
There’s often nonsense that goes on in the book blogging community on Twitter and in FB groups too and when book bloggers are bashed and bad-mouthed I like to think that I’m vocal in support of our community. I’m not going to paint a perfect picture of blogging, never will and if people disagree then that’s cool, alas, you are wrong, there are cliques in blogging and some bloggers who think that are better than others even if you don’t want to admit it. But if you disagree then I ask you this, how can there not be cliques or (again my delicate flowers please avert your eyes) cunts in blogging when bloggers are people and there are cliques in everyday life and lots and lots of (again my delicate flowers) cunts. So, no, blogging isn’t all happy roses and everyone holding hands whilst skipping in the sun together! But, I represent for our community, front-line bay-bay! We do this for our love of books and reading and we don’t deserve any shit over it. I’m giving myself a win for community spirit and supporting book bloggers, hell yeah!
I fully understand that people don’t want to focus on the negative but to say it doesn’t exist is wrong and it should be acknowledged to give a full picture of the book blogging community. Nothing in life is fully positive, likewise, it’s not fully negative either but you need balance and there has to be both.
I do feel that at times, it’s unfair when people voice negative opinions and then get pulled up on it, hated on and vilified. Yeah, sure, there’s whinging just for the sake of it. However, when people genuinely have an issue and opinion then even if it’s negative then it’s still valid as it’s how that person feels but they get moaned at for being negative and having a negative view. To me, that’s wrong and unfair and perhaps, the fact that people choose to hate on those who voice their negativity shows that there is actually negativity in the community as they sure aren’t being positive and supportive of that blogger and their views. Oh look, people bitching about people being negative is oh, wait for it……..negative! Shocker! So, the people who dislike negativity and say there isn’t any are in fact being negative themselves.😂
Drew dropping pipe bombs like C. M. Punk!😂
Ignore it, rise above it, don’t care, haven’t encountered it, all perfectly reasonable choices and views to make but you can’t deny that it isn’t there, it has to be as it is in every aspect of life, the good, the bad, the ups, the downs, the wins, the fails, the positive and the negative, it’s called balance and seeing the full picture.
I’m giving myself a win for saying it how it is! Freedom of speech bay bay!
I’ve also got to give myself a win for banter and having a laugh on Twitter, it’s an awesome place for fun nonsense.😂
I did a series of posts on fun book covers and titles that have been quite popular. The posts definitely aren’t highbrow and intellectual but they are funny, good for a laugh and never failed to make me smile while I was drafting them up. Sadly, I doubt there’ll be many more/any posts in the fun and inappropriate book covers series as there’s only a finite amount of book names and covers that suit the post and I’ve used most of them.
The fun and inappropriate book cover posts led me to discover some rather strange genres out there, dino porn and monster erotica! Yeah, they are proper genres of books with a vast amount of books available. Thanks, fun and inappropriate book covers for making me privy to the fact that people write about dinosaurs having sex with women! I don’t even want to know how the authors do the research to make the books scientifically accurate. I guess that we already know dinosaurs have small brains and obviously, they must have small dino dongs too otherwise how would they fit?!? Taken by the T-Rex, T-Rex’s are huge, humans aren’t, it doesn’t make any sense! Old Mr Rex would break her in half! Sorry, let’s not discriminate, Drew is an equal opportunity offender and likes to piss everyone off!😂 If Mr Rex got amorous with a dude then he’d split him in half too. Male, female, front or back, anything could happen in the genre and wherever Mr Rex ends up stick it, it is bound to leave a mark!😂
Fun and Inappropriate book covers was a cool idea and concept though (or at least I think it was) and were something a little different so I’d class that as a rather immature and classless win.
This part of the journey isn’t over yet folks! Those damn covers led me to monster erotica and the curse of the free kindle book and to parody the old saying ‘curiosity killed the cat‘ well, ‘curiosity got the better of Drew‘ and I ended up downloading, reading and reviewing a wondrous free title by the name of Creamed by Cave Creatures! Yes, it’s as good as the title suggests! Anyone else read and reviewed a monster erotica book on their blog? Yes? No? We’re all friends here, no one will judge you, fess up! I’m not sure this is either a win or a fail, to be honest, and it is probably more of a WTF! Ah, screw it, no, that’s not a line from the book, I’m classing this as a win, I took one for the team to tell you what the genre was like. Again, not a line from the book, the MC didn’t take one for the team, she took one from the team! The team of rampant cave creatures where any hole was a goal and they scored over and over again!🤢
Hhhmm…….I really think if I’m judging myself on maturity on my blog then this post shows that that is often non-existent and I’m like an immature and crude man-child!😂 That’s an epic and catastrophic fail for adulting!
I’ve had a couple of issues with authors in the past few months but it can’t be helped and it’s unfair to pigeonhole authors in general for the behaviour of the minority and hey, I got a couple of sweet blog posts about the relationship between authors and bloggers and what’s expected of them both from a couple of great authors after my issues and both those posts were really well received on my blog so that’s a positive out of a negative. After all, they are people and not all people are decent and upstanding pillars of the community so it goes without saying that there is bound to be a few authors (and bloggers) out there who aren’t decent too.
The majority far outweigh the minority though and the multitude are fantastic and a pleasure to work with but of course, focusing on the negative is often natural. Especially as we do this for free and don’t expect to get grief over it. While bad experiences do tarnish, annoy and make you consider working with authors it’s better to look to the positive and all the decent authors that are grateful and appreciative of our help and support. My own experiences with authors are far more positive than negative. I’ve been on a couple of sweet blog tours this year (A Gathering of Ravens by Scott Oden and Blackwing by Ed Mcdonald – one of the best books out this year) and had many great indie authors on my blog over 2017. I’d like to think that they’d class my blog as a decent place to appear and me as a decent blogger to work with so I definitely give myself a win for working with authors and a win for standing up for myself and my blog against jackasses!
Books is another emphatic win this year for me. There have been some absolutely fantastic books released and it’s been an absolute pleasure to read them all. On top of being a mood reader, I’m also quite picky about what I read and it has predominantly worked out really well this year too. A couple of misfires but on the whole, I have thoroughly enjoyed most of what I’ve read. It also still surprises me that I’m on a couple of publisher mailing lists and that I somehow manage to receive ARC’s so I’m classing that as a win too.👌
Unfortunately, I’m still a slow reader so managing to get through lots of books is sadly, a fail for me.😞
Blog hopping for me is a fail this year. I tried to constantly visit blogs and like posts, before I had my case of blogger burnout earlier in the year and while I was never a huge commenter I always made sure to like posts and visit blogs. Sadly, since I became jaded with blogging I decided to cut down my blog hopping. I’m a slow reader and reading blogs meant that I wasn’t getting hardly any reading done and I lost the love of both reading and blogging. The solution was to cut back on blog hopping and blogging in general and it worked, I’m still blogging months later. Though, I admit that my stats have suffered as a result of not visiting blogs constantly and I get fewer likes and comments than I did at this time last year. It’s a case of you get what you give and you get out what you put in so that’s fair enough and massive praise to those who blog each and every day, all the time, it works for you, you are dedicated and deserve your stats and popularity. I have to say, I do see some bloggers who never like, comment, share or interact at all and yet they are insanely popular and respected too.
We can’t all blog 24/7 and just because me or other bloggers don’t do that or miss a few posts here and there you could still visit our blogs, if you only liked our posts because we liked yours in the first place then, well, blogging isn’t about that and you should be reading posts because you want to not simply to repay a blogger who visited your blog giving a like for a like. It doesn’t make us bad bloggers for not blogging constantly, yeah, maybe we aren’t as dedicated as you but we aren’t ‘bad‘ for that. No, we are just having to manage our time and find the right balance that keeps us blogging as let’s be honest, blogging isn’t always easy. So, yeah, a fail for me with blog hopping, stats and interaction this year but a win for finding a balance that suits and is better for me.
Side note: I don’t like the term ‘bad blogger‘ and don’t like to see it bandied around. Yes, those who charge for reviews are bad bloggers but they are book hookers and anyway, they might want to ask themselves and then tell us why they deserve to charge when they have fewer followers and stats than others, hmmm?!🤔 They might also want to tell us why they get free books from publishers and then try and charge indie authors for reviews especially when they go about it in underhand ways too?!🤔 I call shady unclean dealings! I definitely get a win for my vehement disapproval of book hookers who charge for reviews.😂
Yes, I am sure that they have their reasons and own life circumstances for charging and that to them they are valid. However, I am sure that there are countless other bloggers out there who could all cite the exact same reasons and life circumstances and yet choose not to charge!
But, no, there are no ‘bad bloggers‘ and it’s unfair to call people that solely based on what you personally perceive to be the right and correct way of blogging. Just because it’s right for you it doesn’t mean that it is right for others, we all have to do what is right for us individually. If you think about it, perhaps those bloggers who call other bloggers ‘bad bloggers‘ simply for doing things differently and for not being so dedicated to blogging are in fact the bad bloggers themselves because they are bad-mouthing their fellow bloggers when with the other hand they preach community, community, community! Ooohhh, I’m on fire with this and probably offended the high horse brigade, get off your saddle and un-bunch your panties as we’re all the same!😂
I wonder if it’s a fail or a win for offending people who read my blog?! I guess that depends on whether or not I actually want to offend people?! Hhmmm….if people aren’t offended, is that a fail or a win? Likewise, if people are offended, is that a fail or a win? I don’t know! It’s confusion! What say you all? Do you think I legitimately set out to offend people?🤔 Answers on a postcard to Does Drew give a fuck!😂
There are different bloggers who do things in different ways, that is all, no bad bloggers. I’m not a bad blogger just because I’m different and I don’t blog as much as others, it’s called balance. If you want then please, call me out as a bad blogger and tell me why you think I am! Yeah, I’m inviting the chance of myriad bad comments with that!😂 I’ll probably get a fail for being polite and a win for being mouthy on my blog and I’m cool with that.😂
Hhhmm this post is rather long and it’s not quite finished. That’s definitely a fail for me for writing short, concise and to the point posts. I’ve also gone off on tangents about book hookers and bad bloggers too, another fail for focus there! Forgive me, I’m old, my mind wanders!😂
Trust me! I’m getting near the end! Just like the T-Rex in Dino Porn, I’m building to the climax! – in other words, the post is nearly finished!
Well, there’s certainly been some ups and downs this year whilst blogging but overall, it’s not been too shabby and at times it has been a fun journey. So, yeah, on reflection I’ll give myself a win for blogging in 2017 and here’s to 2018!
I know that come to the end of the year that many people set out their blogging goals for the following year. For me, I don’t really have any as no-one knows what the future holds.
I’d love to be quoted in a traditionally published book, either on the cover or in the interior, it would be truly wonderful and something amazing! However, I can’t really see it happening and I’m realistic so I’m not expecting it to occur anyway. It would be nice, sure, but it is something that is out of my control and in the fate of the book gods.
I guess that my only goals are to continue being me on my blog, to stick with a balance that suits me and means I enjoy blogging and finally, to keep blogging in 2018.
To those who follow my blog, like, comment, read and share my posts. I say this, from the bottom of my heart, with sincere gratitude and no sarcasm intended, thank you, I appreciate your support in joining me on this blogging journey.
So, what do you all think?? I’ve given myself a win for blogging this year but do you agree?? What about yourselves?? Has blogging this year been a win or a fail for you??
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