I’ve had a few posts about making bookish friends in real life, or how to balance real life and reading/blogging, but have always seemed to neglect this discussion post. It wasn’t until I posted a discussion about friending and following people on Twitter and Goodreads that I had a few questions come up from readers:
It seems that we’re all fine talking about blogging with other bloggers, but when it comes to our real life, do we talk about blogging with our family and friends? Do our family and friends check out the blog and comment? Or are we stuck in our own little world of blogging, where it’s only acceptable to talk about blogging with other bloggers?
I am a HUGE reader. I can talk about reading with anyone, even if it makes me come across as a crazy person. My husband isn’t even a reader and I’ll go off on tangents about books to him while he gives me that “You’re so pretty” look. But when it comes to blogging, I don’t talk to him too much about it. I’ll mention things I have on the go, or posts I have to write, or maybe talk about a review book I have to read, but I don’t expect him to check out the blog. I think the only time he’s seen it was when I was redoing the design and the header and I showed him the final product. To me, it’s not something I expect from him.
The same goes for family and friends. Of course, it would be AWESOME to have family and friends check out the blog, comment on posts, or pick up books based on my recommendations, but it still seems like something so new – something that I just don’t talk about. I know blogging has been around for a long time, but sometimes it seems like other people view blogging as throwing your personal life out there for all the world to see (something I’m used to, being a musician and all), but when it comes to book blogging, it’s more about sharing a love of reading with people. Surely, these are two different things right?
So, I went to some of my favourite bloggers to get their opinion on this, asking the following question:
Do your friends/family know about your blog? Do they read it? Is blogging something you openly talk about IRL?
Amanda says: My friends and family know about my blog. I don’t think I told my family until I was nine months or so into blogging, but the boyfriend and my friends have known from the start. Blogging has become such a huge part of my life that it’s hard for me to not to talk about it. It’s not something that I talk about a lot, though, primarily because reading and blogging aren’t activities that my family or friends do a lot of. My guess is that talking about books and blogging to the boyfriend is a lot like when he talks to me about video games. I listen because I love him and he loves video games, not necessarily because I have any interest in them. I tend to talk books with my mom, the boyfriend’s mom, and one of the boyfriend’s brothers, but that’s about it. I have no idea if my family or friends read my blog, though. It’s possible that the boyfriend’s mom does on occasion. But I’ve never felt like they have to read it to support my blogging endeavors.
Alexa says: One of the initial reasons that I started my blog in the first place was because there weren’t too many people IRL that I could talk about books with (the only notable exceptions being my fiance Macky and my cousin Carmela, who are just as obsessed with books as I am!). Imagine my surprise when my family and my friends started reading my blog to see what books they needed to check out! Apparently, Macky has been telling a few people and so has my mom (of all people), so I do have readers who I actually know IRL. It always catches me off guard when one of my friends tells me they like my blog and started reading books because of it!
I do talk about being a book blogger when the subject comes up. Most people are curious about what it means, what it entails and what I’ve learned from it – and I’m always eager to share about this amazing community that I’m a part of. I don’t mind talking about my blog, but I’m not usually the one who brings it up in a conversation.
While we like to have family and friends’ support for our real life endeavours — jobs, kids, health, etc. — I find it interesting that blogging is such a solo activity. Like Alexa said, one of the reasons she started her blog was because she didn’t have a lot of people in real life she could talk to about books. I feel the same way. There are some people I talk to about books, but not in great depth. This is one of the nice things about blogging — we can get the discussion we want when it comes to what we read! Rather than having that one bookish person act so ‘meh’ about a book you love, you can find bloggers who love it, too. Or even that blogger who hated the book and starts a discussion with you about it.
I like what Amanda says, how talking about the blog to the boyfriend is like him talking to her about video games. The same thing goes for me. I feel like the husband listens because he loves me, just like I listen to him talk about Family Guy and golf because I love him. We get a type of support, even if it’s not support that’s clearly visible.
But do we really need support from real life people when it comes to blogging? There are plenty of real life activities that I do that don’t require everyone knowing about them. Sure, it’s great when someone in my real world visits the blog and tells me about it, but I don’t go around saying, “THIS IS MY BLOG! EVERYONE MUST VISIT IT!” Instead, I’ll share it on Facebook once in a while when something really interesting comes up, or talk about it when someone else brings it up, but I guess part of me is also selfish. I like the blogging world and the community that I feel like I want to hoard it for myself.
Of course, THAT being said, there are also some people out there who will think that everyone you meet and everything you do online is sketchy. I mean, it’s ONLINE. Alarm bells ring for some people — the people who don’t seem to realize that this is such a popular way of socializing for some people. These days, it’s so common for people to meet other people online. There’s online dating, which is so popular, so why not find friends on the internet and share the things we love?
Personally, I think so long as you’re being smart about it, you can make some great friends online. Though, for some, the internet will always seem like a dangerous place and no matter how much you try to convince them, you won’t change their mind. Really, real life people can come across just as sketchy as people online! I think with ALL relationships, we need to be careful.
In the end, for me, blogging isn’t something that I bring up with a lot of people — if they ask me about it, I’ll talk about it. I’ve managed to meet some bloggers in the real world, which was awesome, and when people ask where I met them, I’ll tell them the truth — through blogging. My book blog is something that I’m proud of and while I might not shout it from the rooftops, I’m still happy to share it in certain situations. I know there are some people who still don’t understand book blogging (I think it comes across as silly or insignificant to some people), but maybe those are the people I wouldn’t want reading it anyway.
How does book blogging work its way into your real life? Do you tell your family and friends? Are you embarrassed to tell real-life people that you’re a book blogger?
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