The Sunday Salon – thoughts on writing and respect

Lately, I’ve been slow on the blogging. A writing slump is mostly to blame but there are a few other things bothering me; bloggy things that have in their own little way kept me from writing.

First, and I’ve said this before but to be clear, the books I review are books I purchase, borrow from the library, and a few are ARC copies that I’ve either asked publishers to send or have been offered and accepted. I do reviews for another online site called The Book Reporter, which I started doing reviews for before I decided to get into the whole blogging thing. I don’t get paid to write review for The Book Reporter although they do send me the books for review. So the reason for the previous sentence is to point out that I’m not doing this for money or for free books. I don’t get many free books and turn down more than I ever thought I would have the opportunity to turn down. I do this because I want to read and talk about my books — the books I buy, the books I borrow from the library, and the books I have discovered on my shelves. I want to be able to read whatever I want and say whatever I want about that book. I don’t love or even like very book I read but I try hard to be honest and fair. I don’t see how anyone can do this any other way.

There was a little kerfuffle about bloggers getting paid this week and, while I don’t care about what other people do or how they make their money be it on their blog or by any other means, it was slightly annoying to read that people think this is a normal practice. I’m a book blogger, yes. I read and write about books, and yes, some of those books are given to me for free, but I’m not getting paid in any way. I don’t talk about anything other than my opinion about the book. I like helping readers discover new authors and books. That’s why I do this. I’m not getting rich off it. In fact, I’ve never made a cent. Not a single one. There are many others like me in that category. Making money is not a bad thing but I don’t do this to make money.

I guess maybe where I’m going with this rather inconsistent post is that I think the book blogging world is changing and I’m not sure what to think of it now. While I still feel it’s a very vibrant community, and there are many people I talk to and share books and thoughts with, it just feels different in a way that’s causing me to be a little sad about it. Everyone these days is so quick to point out things they feel are wrong and what ends up is a mess of hashtags ridiculing people. I can’t get with that. It’s wrong. All I’m saying. People aren’t always right but they deserve a chance to explain and we all need to move on with other more important things. Life is more than books. Really it is. I can attest to that.

There are many things going on in my life right now and the time I would normally spend blogging seems to be getting slowly chipped away at. I need to find a way to mesh blogging with everything else that’s going on. You see, I want to continue writing about books and I will but I also think I needed to get these thoughts on paper so I don’t feel so weird about the blogging thing. I’m not sure that’s really helped other than forcing me to write which may have been part of the big plan anyway in getting over the slump.

Sorry for the ramble today but it was nice to get words down. Sometimes we just need to write for the sake of writing. Maybe that’s what I need to do more of. I’ll call it Zen writing from now on and if you happen to see posts like this from me every once in a while, please bear with me until regularly scheduling programming returns.

Thanks for reading and listening. It’s appreciated.

Happy Sunday. I’m off to go hiking.