Confessions of a Tea Sippin’ Blogger: Everything I Did Wrong & Right in 2017

Another year will soon come to a close. But this past year has been different for me due to a variety of reasons. One of those being, my first full year as a blogger!  It has been a lot of fun and I have connected with some amazing people. Blogging is a journey I look back on with no regrets, but…confession1

I made quite a few mistakes. Most of them may have went unnoticed and plenty were not visible to followers and friends (thank goodness). But that does not change the fact that they still happened. And no, they were not detrimental. I am not losing sleep over them. They were often necessary, teaching me and helping grow and hopefully improve. But as everyone begins to talk about blogging goals for the upcoming year, I find myself reflecting on the ones from last year that I failed to meet, and the ones I should have probably set. After all, this is how I will establish my future goals. And while blogging might be a hobby, it is one I am severely passionate about and invested in. So I do have plenty of goals!

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My Bad…

A little list of some of my personal  blogging blunders during 2017.

  • Remaining in groups that I did not request to be a part of due to the guilt of leaving because a friend added me – this actually caused me a lot of stress throughout the year for reasons I will share in a later post.
  • Bookmarking Netgalley – Easy access to a multitude of “amazing” titles led to a significant list of egalleys that I really was not up to in the end.
  • Accepting review copies even though I stated I was closed in my policy – this was a huge problem. Again, guilt led me to respond to and even accept requests that I should not have even received. My own fault.
  • Accepting every friend request I received from a fellow blogger on Facebook – this is a touchy one, but I am admitting it. Just because you like someone’s blog or share an interest does not automatically make you ideal friends. It is awkward when you discover how constantmy negative or crass they are and then have to delete them or unfollow to try to hide them in your feed.
  • Allowing myself to feel obligated to post and respond at the same frequency as others – this not only resulted in a period of early burn out but soon led to a huge flare up in symptoms due to the strain of forcing myself to continue when I needed rest.
  • Listening to other bloggers too much – I know this sounds weird, but it is truth. There are a lot of posts circulating that will tell you write and wrong, how to and not to, there are just as many bloggers willing to do the same. And while helpful advice can be good, there are limits and differences. I found myself doubting my own posts and social media presence. Not good..
  • Last but most important, taking it all too personal at times – I will be the first to admit I wear my heart on my sleeve. When someone pokes fun at me or says something negative about myself or my work, it weighs heavily on me. I allowed comments and remarks that should not have mattered to affect my experience and time as a blogger. Wrong move!

The Good…

I did manage to do a few things well enough 😉

  • Diversified my reading – I am forever thankful that blogging and my new friendships as a result of it, have expanded who I am as a reader and person ❤
  • Improved my writing and review skills – Okay, so this one is technically subjective, but looking back, I feel I have evolved tremendously as a writer!
  • Gained confidence – Yes, in spite of the above, I have grown significantly in terms of my abilities to approach others and seek out opportunities I desire. The positive feedback and relationships I have acquired have fueled me to aim higher.
  • Developed incredible relationships – For every odd Facebook request or email, there has been an equally rewarding one. Some of my closest friends (which I know talk to daily) began as blogging acquaintances.
  • Gave up on feeling obligated, unsolicited groups and requests! –  I have finally removed myself from unwanted groups, cleared some clutter, deleted or said “no” to the review requests and learned to find a healthy balance. Yes to all of that! *fist pump*.

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So with that said, my new goals for 2018 are pretty simple! Remain closed for reviews so that I may read off of my own shelves, continue to maintain balance, and share more creative posts.

If you look back at 2017, do you feel there were things you could have done better? What are some of the things you feel you actually did rather well? Maybe you had goals going into 2017 that you did or did not hit. What has this year in blogging taught you?

Let’s chat!

Danielle ❤

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54 thoughts on “Confessions of a Tea Sippin’ Blogger: Everything I Did Wrong & Right in 2017

  1. Oh you should never have doubted yourself, you have a wonderful blog and you’re such a good reviewer! I’ve learned to avoid a lot of stress by not requesting too much on Netgalley and not doing a lot of blog tours anymore. I guess I’ve become much more selective instead of jumping on every opportunity :-). If I just read on my own tempo I’m happiest and I get there too :-). Lots of good came out of it too and that’s really great!!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks ❤ You said it best with "being selective". It really saves a lot of time and frustration. I think we are so eager to get our feet wet when we start that we feel we must grab every opportunity, but that doesn't work to well in the end 😉 Netgalley is all about that self control bahaha.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I think I’ve experienced pretty much all of the good and the bad you’ve listed above. Blogging is a wonderful thing, I love it but the mistakes I’ve made and the sleepless nights I have given myself at times when things haven’t gone how I thought.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Bwahahahaha!😂 on FB “how constantly negative or crass” that definitely sounds like me Madame Tea!😉 Not many bloggers friend request me on FB so it’s all good. I’m like the loner in the corner.😂

    FB is a weird one, I get your point about being added to groups. Lots of people don’t like being added anyway, I’ve seen that mentioned before by others and honestly, if you aren’t part of the in crowd in some FB groups you are ignored anyway so there’s no point in being in them.

    I definitely get you about certain points on the post. I can’t attest to the guilt part as I don’t feel guilty over ignoring review requests at all. They ignore I’m closed, I ignore them. It’s just how it is and everyone is different in that regard. That’s definitely an issue though now you mention it (I hadn’t thought of it before) but bloggers accepting reviews at times due to the guilt over declining. It’s certainly not your own fault, it just shows you’re a decent person but again, it makes you question authors who ignore when bloggers are closed to requests and makes you wonder if they consider it makes the blogger feel guilty if they don’t reply or decline.

    I totally agree with listening to other bloggers too much. As you say limits and differences and what works for one won’t work for another. I think at times a lot of it is how the posts are worded. There’s lots of great advice posts out there that state they are offering advice and there’s no right or wrong way of doing things and then then you get the other type of post which consists of the blogger stating ‘I’m awesome, I do it this way, my way is the right way and if you don’t do it my way you are a bad blogger’. Sigh and groan and moan.😂 I like moaning.😂 That’s not a term I like ‘bad blogger’ and it annoys me. No one is a bad blogger for choosing to do things their own way and I don’t think that there are bad bloggers only different bloggers.

    Taking it personal. Yep, got to agree with you. I trolled the troll over a troll comment on a review of mine. I take most things personally, it’s just the type of person that you are. Some don’t, some do and while they shouldn’t affect us they do.😞

    Responding and posting too. Yep, agree. I agree with a lot that you are saying, this is weird!😂 I post when I want, some weeks far more than others and comment when I want to (which is often why I comment at silly o’clock as I reply to comments before work at times). I’ve also cut down my blog hopping, my stats have dropped as a result but it is what it is and I was spending too much time blogging instead of reading and I lost the enjoyment out of it.

    Healthy balance is key and glad you learned to delete or say no to requests.😉

    Fantastic post. We all make mistakes, if I listed mine the list would be rather long this year and I’m not sure about any positives either!😂

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I am sure you have plenty of positives for the last year! I think your blog is a huge success in my eyes. You offer brilliant reviews.

      You are one of the FB requests that I am happy to have accepted haha. There have been a few I ended up deleting afterwards and prayed they did not notice. I also recently left all groups aside from like 2 or 3. I have a post drawn up for that.

      You are certainly right about no “right or wrong” just different. Seems we agree on a lot of things 😉 I am very happy with the changes I made this past year. I am sure my stats have dropped some to as a result of not being to hop like I used to (and for a while I felt huge guilt) but health and balance first. Those who enjoy my blog or appreciate me will get that and support it 🙂

      You really hit the head on a lot of my own feelings with your comment. I appreciate that! Here is to a great 2018 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Ha! I know you have a post on the groups, you mentioned it ages ago!😂 Fully understand that you want to wait until the right time to post it though, totally understandable and hey, you’re a GoT fan, like me, we know waiting!😂 I do have to say that with the FB groups, I often feel uncomfortable in them, not posting, that’s just sharing whatever blog post I’ve written but commenting on threads, I’m very wary of that and I just don’t bother now with it, too much hassle when people take offence.😞

        Lmao!😂 We agree on a lot of things, I’m not sure that’s a good thing for you as some of my views aren’t the same as most.😂

        Seems unfair if your stats have dropped due to not being able to blog hop as much. I mentioned this to Sproggy/Jazz when she wrote something about the same thing and not being able to blog as much. If people want to visit the blog then they will and should continue to do so even if you miss some of their posts. All it means is that they only bothered with your blog because you bothered with them and blogging shouldn’t be like that, you like my post, I’ll like yours, no, not how it should be. Not everyone can blog 24/7 and if people leave because of that then it’s their loss, you have plenty of bloggers who still follow and support anyway.😀

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Thanks so much Drew! It is a shame, most of my friends and followers have taken the time to understand my trials and why I disappear at times, but there will always be those who feel it is personal or take offense if you cannot make the same rounds you did once. It is ok. I don;t hold it against. I think I am more comfortable knowing those who visit get it and accept it, like yourself. That means much more 😉

          Yeah the post is finally ready. I wanted to address the hurdles I had with groups but it kept coming out too negative. I didn’t it to read like a winded rant against groups, just a discussion. I am hoping it will be seen only as such 🙂 This week will tell.

          I will be hopping today or tomorrow and you are one at the top of my list! Hope you are having a chill weekend. I am still playing Zelda and reading haha.

          Liked by 1 person

  4. I can relate to mostly everything you’ve said, Danielle and made all the same mistakes. It’s definitely a learning curve and thankfully I’ve learned to politely refuse unsolicited reviews, leaving time to read the books from my bookshelves. Blogging is an individual process and finding what best works for you is the way forward 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I am glad you are feeling much more confident. I am also amazed that you have so many platforms you are active on and yet are still going. Personally, I tend to think of you and your site as one those “seriously dedicated” bloggers.
    So a fist bump of solidarity and may 2018 be really good for you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aw shucks! Really? I feel like a total slacker to be honest. My health has drastically limited what I can do. So your words just made my day (especially coming from yourself, as I really have a lot of respect for your blog and how you manage it)! Here is to hoping we both have a very great 2018 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. And see, you see your health as limiting what you can do. From my perspective, you are still blogging despite your health. That speaks of perseverance and a will to overcome.

        So yes, here’s to a great 2018!!

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Awesome post!! I’ve definitely tried to stay away from focusing on stats this year, which I think went pretty well. In 2018 I want to work on responding to comments in a timely fashion…. I always get around to it so late! 🙂

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    1. Oh that is great Holly! I should have included that on my list of positives as well. I did stop looking at numbers this past year and it liberated me so to speak 😉 Don’t worry, I totally get being late to respond. It happens to me as well. That is life keeping us busy!

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  7. Wonderful post! I am preparing my 2017 reflective post for next week, and I too have some things that I feel I did wrong, but I also hit some of the goals I gave myself. Isn’t that life- you take the good and bad together and hope the good outweighs the bad. Love your blog!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Love this post!! I can totally relate to a lot of these, the good and the bad. Something I let get to me this year was the guilt of how I acquire books- I would buy nearly every book I read, but then discussions of how some people don’t have the money for that made me feel guilty. I recently got a library card, but even then I’d see posts or tweets about people who live in places with bad libraries and libraries with poor selections , and I’d feel guilty for that! But then I was like ENOUGH, SELF!! We’re all book lovers here, we all get our books different ways, and I can spend my own money how I want to. Books are a privilege but I want to enjoy that privilege, not stew in guilt over it. Though I am very happy I got a library card- it’s one of the best changes I’ve made this year, and I especially love how its given me access to audiobooks.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That is an excellent point to mention! I think about it now, and the blogging community does tend to place a lot of emphasis on how books are acquired! The library is one of the best sources if available in my opinion. It is such a valuable tool for the community and by utilizing it, you help support it ❤ I get a ton of audio through my library's Overdrive.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The library has really changed how I read! I’ll usually force myself to finish books even if I don’t like them if I bought them, but since I spend no money on library books I don’t mind DNFing so much…it’s really made me lighten up about DNFing and how I spend my reading time.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Is it already time for year-in-review posts? Eek! I’ve barely thought about that! Anywho. Yay for learning! Yay for finding balance and new friends! I hope 2018 is a smoother year all around!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah 2017 sort of managed to get away from us huh? I cannot remember if I even share a yearly recap last year. I was still pretty new 😉 I am excited for what 2018 brings. I think I have learned enough to make it an easier year (I hope haha). And cheers to new, good friends indeed 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Fab post Danielle and I found myself nodding at every point you made I must admit I now very much do my own thing on my blog review what I want when I want I tend to avoid blogger posts giving advice I think there isn’t a right way of running a blog or writing posts it’s down to us as individuals to find our own way even if that means making mistakes and I’ve made plenty of them 🙈😘

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I love this post, can totally relate to a lot of the guilt, hiding from people on FB, hating saying no etc and did I mention the guilt!! It took somebody actually being straight to the point and telling me I am in the fight of my life against cancer so put it into perspective DON’T feel guilty about not managing to review or post .. but the little voice in my head still nags me that I am a blogger so should fulfil my commitments. Silly isn’t it? 😦
    One of my highlights has been ‘meeting’ you so keep up the great posts, I always read your blog when I can. Happy 2018 xxxx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Ali! And it is silly, but I completely relate to what you are saying! ❤ I am guilty of doing the same to myself when I have more important matters to focus on. You just care and that is one of the first qualities I noticed that drew me to you. It resonates in your personality. And even with all you are fighting, you continue to offer me support and strength! Ever grateful for you and always sending you love – xx

      Liked by 1 person

  12. I had to pretty much stop getting review books so I could read some of what I was buying for myself-I didn’t feel guilt over it though! Thankfully I’ve never been that bothered about how to be the perfect blogger or reviewer so that kind of thing doesn’t affect me much! it is easy to get worried over blog content and how many posts etc…I do have that!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That is great! I think that I jumped in so clueless that I was looking for some direction and then allowed myself to become overwhelmed with the opinions and advice of others. While most meant well, I soon realized I just had to do my own thing 🙂 I am remaining closed to review copies going into 2018. I will still request a few here or there if it is something I specifically want and continue to work with a few authors or publishing reps I have a relationship with, but my shelves are calling 😉

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  13. This is a great post and I can probably agree with most of the points you made when looking at things from my POV/.. the things left over from the list, I do not disagree with, I mostly just don’t care about them- like, the blogger guilt? I am so over it 😀 I have been over it for a long time… OK.. actually, let me rephrase this… I have no guilt when I have no time to read/post.. I do feel guilty, a bit, when I have no time to visit others! hahaha…

    I have been slightly more active in a couple of FB groups, but honestly? as someone lurking mostly in the background and as a late arrival, it’s hard to get into the group, if you get what I mean.. I recently asked for kids book recs and got nice feedback and I was happy with that… I do tend to roll my eyes a bit when all that goes on in some of the groups is moaning… about a review, about an author, about this, that and the other… I know- it’s good to have an outlet but I am wondering- when will people finally realize that we’re all different? we all see things from our perspectives and their truth isn’t necessarily everyone’s truth? ah… anyway, that’s why I like you… you’re honest, you respectful and your reviews rock! You truly are a decent human being and even with health conditions, you’re still here! ❤

    I think your 2018 goals are absolutely wonderful and fair and good luck with that trigger finger on NetGalley 😀 hahaha… I haven't requested in a while … and honestly, since NG broke into the co.uk site I haven't really found anything that catches my eye either… hmm…

    My own goals for 2018? Do the same as I did in 2017- take my time, read when I can, not let work take over all of my free time and probably try and fit in a couple of nonfiction titles and classics! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I think continuing to do the same will work rather well for you 😉 I really admire your ability to just do and not dwell on it all. You are always honest and fantastic at what you do, but refuse to ever let any of the drama or pressure (that should not exist) catch up to you ❤

      I am over the guilt finally! I am now like… meh.. move on then. I spent the first half of the year dealing with it. I think I was just trying so hard because I was still so new to it all and not sure of what direction I wanted to take. But now I get it. It is just something I do.. read and share. I love it and will continue to do it, but I do it for me above all else. No one sets rules and I am allowed to be sick when I am and allowed to be involved in real life. I know who will be here when I get back 😉 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Aw man, Danielle. This was such a wonderful post. It must’ve been quite therapeutic to some degree to reflect on the year and write up all the good and bad things. I’m quite happy that you still made a list for all the good things on there, cause no way I would’ve pressed that “like” button otherwise!!!!! I don’t think I can stop repeating myself that I am super glad to have met you and stuck around your blog! I know life can be quite the b*tch at times, but I am even happier that you took the necessary time off in order to focus on yourself and your family. You can add “Being the best.” into your list of “The Good” too. I wouldn’t know how to show my gratitude for all the kind words you’ve shared on my content and the discussions we’ve had over the year. I know that you’ve made me a better person just by being around whenever you could. 😉 I do hope you’ll have an amazing 2018 and that you’ll be able to do everything you want to do too. That includes saying no to review requests and deleting Netgalley from your bookmarks!!!! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aw ❤ You are making my eyes cloud over with tears. You always do this to me. I could easily add "following Bookidote" to my list of the good as well 😉 Your support and constant encouragement and feedback are one of the very reasons I have been able to do as much as I have. Seriously. There have been times that it felt like too much or I was concerned I couldn't keep up and then there you were, reminding me of exactly why I do this! I hope you have a wonderful year ahead Lashaan! Thank you for everything.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. I very interesting post to read, Danielle. I agree with you that everyone who likes your posts isn’t necessarily going to be a friend or someone that you have an affiliation with. I guess it is the same with virtual friendships as it is for real ones.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. I can really relate to the whole adding friends on fb because I have so many people I don’t really know on there (that’s more of a real life problem though, cos I don’t connect to it on my blog 😉 ) I feel like it would be pointless anyway cos I use my fb account every few months now and every time I go on there my feed of reminds me why I stayed away 😉 annnd that’s my social media rant for the day done 😉 I totally get what you mean about listening to bloggers too much- a lot of the time I’ll also read a post and see a critique that *I know* I’ve done and start to feel guilty. Don’t get me wrong, I love all the advice out there, but sometimes I need to learn to not take it all so personally… which means that, yes, I definitely agree with you about the commenting thing 😉
    I *love* your list of all the things you’ve achieved- you rock! I especially liked that it’s helped you grow in confidence! And I *love* your reviews!! Here’s to an amazing 2018 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aw shucks 💕 Isn’t social media such a dluble edged sword!? It brings us together but also manages to bring out the worst in some. I suppose some people don’t need sounding boards haha. Or dare I say, shouldn’t have them 😉 Blogging advice is great and plentiful, but also a thin line to walk. It is too easy to find yourself being “told”. Not surprised at all that we see eye to eye. I am looking forward to 2018. Also happen to be a huge fan of your reviews 😉💕

      Liked by 1 person

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