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January 6, 2015

Gush & Gripe: 2015 Non-Resolutions (Gripes Ahead)


Towards the end of 2014 every social media outfit including the blogsphere is ridden with posts about top picks and 2015 resolutions. It sure got me started on making my own list but then gave up at some point because it just got too stressful. Too many favorites, too many goals, reasons not witty enough, bah! So I decided to do it differently instead:

2014 Wins & Challenges
  • Blogging Solo: I thought it'll be an impossible feat and obviously I survived! It sure was challenging, even maddening at times, but totally doable. I just had to make certain adjustments to make the task realistic for me and I think I did a good job at it. 
  • Static Content: Now content became an obstacle for me. Reading was no problem but reviewing became mechanical so I felt my content got stagnant. One can only read so many reviews in a day and incorporating "fun" stuff became a challenge mainly because it entailed deadlines which I can't cope with atm. I had to do things according to MY flow and not what the author, publisher, or tour organizer dictated. 

  • Not mine

  • Readership: Since Talk Supe's early days, my focus has always been readership with followers coming a close second. What's the purpose of writing up posts if NOBODY is reading it right? You can have a LOT of followers but if it's not balanced by page views then it sort of defeats the purpose. I hit the 1M page view mark before 2014 ended and I consider that a big deal since Talk Supe doesn't have a huge following compared to other blogs. That's very encouraging on my part.
  • Following: This has always been a struggle. Talk Supe's been around for 3.5 years and I must say gaining followers has always been a challenge. Hopefully 2015 will be a kinder year on this front for me.

  • Reading Goals: I met my Goodreads goal with flying colors!
  • Diversity: I feel I didn't diversify much last year.  

  • Social Media: There's so many platforms and outlets out there I may need to get my own social media expert just to manage my accounts. My ineffectiveness in this front is a toss-up between disinterest and being overwhelmed (or probably I'm just not cool enough). I'm still at a loss at this point on how to handle my Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Goodreads, and now tsu, without being redundant. So for now, you'll see/feel me more via the blogosphere than anywhere else until I figure this shit out.
  • TBR: It's still crazy and I don't think I'll ever conquer this beast for as long as this blog is alive.
Not mine


Plans for 2015

I'm not going to draw this part out because all I know at this point is the what and I'm still working out on the how
  • My Blog, My Pace: I found doing things at my own pace and preference helped me enjoy this hobby again so you won't see a huge resurgence of tour stops and what not here. Also to help balance my read:undread ratio I will do my best to be more choosy when it comes to requests and to only get the same (or less) amount of books I read the previous week.

  • Partners: I looked for co-bloggers late last year and though it was hit or miss, I'm intent on finding one to work with. It's not so much as getting a post up, it's more on offering a different kind of content for you out there. I'm sure y'all are tired of me.

  • Old and New: I plan on reviving some of the old memes and use it sporadically and coming up with new ones that's more reflective of ME versus what I think y'all want to see here.

Admittedly I got roped in to the pressure in the past but you know what, I realized that despite what other bloggers are preaching, it shouldn't be a competition. I'm not getting paid to do this, accumulating free reads to last me several lifetimes, getting invites to participate in fun stuff, and getting blurbed in a few books is enough compensation for me. To me it means that my voice was heard, some people liked and/or valued it, and some even think I have a certain influence.

I don't have to reach out or feel the need to be friendly with every author whose work I like/love or be impulsive to join their streat team or what have you because it's unrealistic to begin with. It's better for me that way anyway because I dislike getting defensive emails/comments/messages from people because I don't seem to "get" their work. It's that sense of familiarity we have that makes them feel comfy enough to correct my review. Guess what, your books are like art, there's a million different ways readers can interpret it because you add emotions to your book and humanize your characters regardless if they're animals, aliens, people, or whatever breed you chose them to be. I can be sobbing my heart out over some scene while some other person is laughing their asses off. Leave it alone and just be GRATEFUL someone took the time to read your book, thought about it long enough to review it, and used their resources to get it out there. If you're not pleased with the feedback then you should either write a textbook or stay out of publishing. Get over yourself, there's no way everyone is going to "get it" exactly as how you envisioned it much less like/love it. Stop controlling the masses opinion and filtering what should and shouldn't be on review sites and blogs, and maybe, just maybe, that kind of energy will lead to more people buying and reading your novel. That said, there are some exceptions like responding to rudeness which I don't condone however I don't think responding the same way will help the situation. I don't mean to gripe hard about this but with all past incidents regarding behaviors in this sphere I'd hope by now people won't be as clueless.

Not mine

Lastly book blogs are a dime a dozen and the "next big thing" is rounding up the corner, it might be a new blog, an existing one that had an inspired season. Bottom line is followers are as fickle as technocrats, they want to be herded by the newest, coolest, and latest thing and I just have to be at peace with where I'm at and do my own thing with much sincerity and drive. I want to enjoy what I'm doing and hopefully that enjoyment inspires me and seeps through Talk Supe and becomes affecting in that way. 

This is it for now, sorry for the extra ramble towards the end and really if you want the super short of it I say FUCK IT!  2015, so help me God, you're going to be my bitch. Cheers!








59 comments:

  1. You really do need to enjoy blogging, and when it becomes too much of a job, that's no fun. I think your goals are great. I think you do so much which is awesome, but we will all still come back if you did a little less or shared the responsibility. I might have to do that one day to. For right now, I may skip one day of the week and not post anything. It's like my little break. I get such low traffic on Sundays no matter the post, so taking that day off makes sense to me. So I know what you mean when it comes to changes.

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    1. I take my breaks either on Mondays, Fridays, or Saturdays, depends on what my sched looks like. We do need that one day to just step away from this crazy hobby.

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  2. Congrats for your Goodreads challenge! Yeah... for the TBR pile, it's a living thing, sure thing. I'm also looking for co-blogger, I'll post surely tomorrow to see if someone is interested. Good luck for this new year.

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    1. I'll help you get the word out, I know how challenging it can be.

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    2. thank you, that's nice of you.

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  3. You know, if its not fun, then why are we doing it. We have real jobs, this shouldn't be another that we aren't getting paid for. That has always been my number one goal, keep it fun and don't get stressed. Good luck this year! :-)

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    1. It took me some time to really see it that way and I'm thankful I have that mindset now. Thank you, Melanie!

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  4. That's a lot of my attitude towards it too Braine. Gotta love what you're doing and just be you and not worry about what every other blog is doing or if you're doing it "right". I was a lot happier once I put that in place for mine.

    Good luck with your 2015!

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    1. Amen, sister! The world is big enough for all of us :)

      Thank you, Anna!

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  5. 1M for page views is a huge deal! Huge congrats on that and all your accomplishments this past year.

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    1. I know! It took a lot of hard work to get me that 1M view! Thank you for helping me get there :)

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  6. Whoop!

    I'm just happy I survived blogging in 2014. It was such a struggle for me.

    I rarely get upset about scandals but last year did bother me. It took on a scary vibe. Authors aren't only upset but feel the need to fight back which just makes me sad.

    I *think* I've found my happy place. I barely accept anything for review. I don't review everything I read anymore. I post when I feel like it, take breaks when needed. My following/page views have gone way down but it's either do it my way or quit so….

    Karen @ For What It's Worth

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    1. Oh it was for me too! I had several days where I thought of just shutting this down then I realized it felt like a chore because I'm not doing it for ME anymore so a little attitude change helped HEAPS!

      I don't think these author issues are going to stop especially with social media enabling ALL of us to just rant or rave. But once it's out there it's out there and it's hard to take it back even if you delete the post.

      I like your style Karen, you'll see me doing something similar to that this year.

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  7. I hear ya. I my blog has been around for just a little over three years and I have gone through plenty of ups and downs. This past year I learned to let go a bit and not stress so much and it felt good. I am tired of stressing over followers and stats, it doesn't matter. I just want to read and have fun and that is what I am going to do. My blog, my way. Enough said.

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    1. I guess we have to go thru shitty stuff sometimes to gain a little perspective

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  8. First of all, I think you have GREAT content and your reviews are fun, informative and entertaining. I think you're nailing it right now. Also, I hit a million views halfway through 2013 and so you're actually doing well on views since I've been blogging 6 years.
    I definitely think that people should do what they WANT to do on their blog. And it would be good if more remembered that and didn't cave to the pressure.
    Good luck with everything!

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    1. Thanks Candace, that means a lot coming from you :)

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  9. Great goals and you made me lol, yes 2015 is gonna be my bitch too! :) Do not mess with me 2015.

    I have seen many bloggers come and go. Some taking it too seriously and burning themselves out. Some stressing out over silly things etc.

    While I, sure sometimes I feel all meh over writing a review and want to try a new style. But I am not tired of blogging itself for I do not take it seriously. it is supposed to be fun

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    1. Hi5! Lets make this a menage!

      Very true, I love interacting with y'all and gushing and griping over the same stuff. And you're absolutely right, its not that serious so an attitude adjustment is needed to make it enjoyable again

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  10. I agree, blogging shouldn't be a competition. Do it YOUR way, do what makes YOU happy. Period. If you don't like it, if it's not working, then don't do it.

    Congrats on hitting 1M page views. I've been around over 4 years and still haven't hit it. :D

    I hope 2015 is a GREAT year for you!

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    1. So true, I realized that albeit a little late, doing things my way will make my content unique because its an extension of myself.

      Thanks Bea, it took a lot of experimenting to get that 1M mark

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  11. <333 Girl, I love your blog. Just be you and do it how you enjoy it. That's all you can do.

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    1. Thank you! You don't know how much I appreciate your almost daily comments. At least I'm comforted by the fact that at least one.person read what I wrote and its enough.

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  12. I'm so thrilled that going solo didn't bury you last year. I know it must have been tough much of the time. I love your individual voice through your blog and particularly your reviews so I'm glad that you're embracing that.

    I appreciated all of what you were saying here and share much of your sentiments- the scope of your blog, keeping up with social media, blog personality, author/tour host expectations...sigh, yes.

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    1. Social media is the first thing I let go simply because its waaay more.time consuming than blogging itself. I don't have it in me right now to start or follow conversations. I'm more effective with comments LOL

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  13. Matey, Happy New Year!!

    I have been solo for the great part of 4.5 years blogging. My partner simply disappeared on me. Eh, these things happen. I never griped about it, I just managed it. I never think of what anybody else is doing. I am at nearly 1100,000 views and that is awesome, but bottom line it is a hobby, I don't get paid and I read for myself.

    I am in no competition with anybody or else where is the fun in blogging. I have publishers send me books, I read and review when I can. Sure there is an underlining pressure that sits there all the time, but I have one head. I want to write the best review I can. I borrow from the library, I read old series. I am one of the few bloggers that will read an old series because I want to . Hehehe. Blogging is about my enjoyment. Sure I should read more publisher latest books, but I mix it up all the time. I read all genres and most age brackets. Blogging has never been about competing, it has purely been about me and my enjoyment.

    It is bloody hard work doing it as a solo person, but I haven't lost followers doing it at my pace, I haven't lost views per month, in fact it increased exponentially when I started letting it be what I wanted to do. I cut as many pressure ties as I could a couple years ago. I found mixing up age brackets and genres created a much wider audience. That is how I got into reading NA Contemp Rom and Adult Contemp Rom. I widened my reading and I feel it really brought more of an audience. Well proof is in the pudding.

    Sure I still feel the pressure as I care greatly about my blog and it is always underneath the surface whether I have read enough of each publishers books, but I simply have one head.

    Just let it ride. I do the blog purely for myself and with it comes views. Lately I have only been writing reviews and that's it as I needed a break from all the constant promoing. I feel guilty for not doing it, but at the same time it has been refreshing bringing it back to the basic of hobby blogging.

    Things can ride our shoulders and guilt too quickly. We have lives and interests and families. So chin up, you ride your groove and it will all feel like a whole lotta fun. I am only doing a few posts a week, but the balance is working well and I have enough posts there for views to still be in the tens of thousands a month because readers are reading the older reviews etc.

    Nobody expects too much from us, it is ourselves who expect too much.

    Bring on 2015!! xxx

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    1. p.s I virtually don't blog on Saturday or Sunday, that is my base rule, because it is my time off. I might write the review behind the scenes, but it is my time off. :D

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    2. I started letting go of some self imposed pressure last year and it felt good. It just took time to find my groove after that adjustment. I just didn't feel very creative last year so all I did was read and review. Looking back it didn't reflect me at all, there's more I want to share and talk about but I was hesitant because my readership was built on books, reviews and what not. This year I want to switch things up a bit and introduce new things here and hopefully its a step in the right direction. Sure this is a hobby but I guess its safe to say it has become a craft for most of us so to speak. Thanks Matey and happy 2015!

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  14. Hooray for doing our own thing! That's exactly what I've been doing. I've stopped worrying about having the latest hot book on my blog, or getting publishing contacts so I can host awesome giveaways. I just so what I do. :D

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    1. Keeping up is the worst IMO! That's going to change for me this year I promise!

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  15. you go, girl! i'm so happy to have found your blog in 2014. we've fast become friends (I can only assume), and though we don't really have the same tastes in books, i like discovering new things from your blog.

    you're awesome!

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    1. Me too! I love snipping around yours just to see what you're up to. Opposites attract and yes, we are friends!

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  16. In all of this, you have to be YOU! don't live up to what others think blogging is or should be. It's your space, your thoughts and your time...do YOU in 2015.

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    1. oh and you know I love your blog...I'll follow you until you decide to stop blogging (you betta not, lols) <3

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    2. I love you!

      Its bloggy friends like you that keeps me moving forward. We've been in this co dependent relationship.for year's now and that in itself is special! Thank you!

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  17. The most important aspect is your enjoyment. That is the bottom line...loved your rant. I love your rant..and admire your success and goals.

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    1. Thanks and coming from you that means a lot

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  18. Well said Braine! BTW, I commend in the awesome job you do by yourself! I'm happy for you for all you accomplishments, and I wish you to reach any goals you set for yourself in 2015. Yes blogging should be fun...I will stop doing it when stops being just that. I love the interaction with other readers the most, and that keeps me going when I think I don't want to do it any more.
    Cheers!

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    1. You nailed it! Its the interaction that is the most rewarding. Reading comments and seeing how people respond is the best feeling there is!

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  19. YOU SAID IT ALL BRAINE! I went through a similar thing that you did in 2014, I strived to be the best blogger and gain followers, ARCs, do all the reviews, etc. but in the end, I got so pressured and stressed that I jumped into looking for a co-blogger, and we all know that didn't work out! 2015 will be similar for me as well, wind it back down and keep it in control as a hobby, and blog how I want to instead of pursuing followers, etc. And you are totally right about the authors thing.

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    1. We get caught up in that bubble because that'd the other side of this thing: some people showing off and enjoy being envied. Not for me, its so insincere and cold.

      I hope you find your balance this year too Jeann!

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  20. Oh Braine, you make me smile!! I just love you and you should know that I (and I'm sure everyone else) will always be here for you because we love what you do here...it makes me laugh and smile and that's greatness! :) Congrats on doing so well is 2014. And I just *know* 2015 IS going to be your bitch!! <3 ya girl!!

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    1. I love you too Brandee! So happy we connected because you're truly amazing, one of the most sincere and kindest blogger ive come across thus far.

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  21. Congrats on the 1M mark, that must make you very proud. You've made so many good points and who knows that the next "big thing" will be, it's anyone's guess and a lot of luck. All the best for this year Braine, I hope you achieve your goals.

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  22. Love this post! I firmly believe that blogging should be fun and no pressure. Just go at your own pace and do what makes you happy. We all get caught up in the crazy sometimes but I always say that once the blog feels like a job, it is time for me to let it go.

    Teresa @ Readers Live A Thousand Lives

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    1. Id rather have fun than let TS go! LOL

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  23. Happy 2015, Braine! I think you're doing really well, and you're right on all your points! Blogging is a hobby, you really should have fun with it :) Doing things when you feel like doing them is also important so that your hobby stays something fun to do.
    I think having people who stop by to comment and say hi is much more important (and fun!!) than getting lots of hits with no comments.
    *hugs*
    Lexxie @ (un)Conventional Bookviews

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    1. True, affirmation that someone took the time to read the post. Of course if I can have both then it would be better that way.

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  24. Exceptionally well said, my sister! We stagnated hard last year in terms of new followers and page views, and I'm not gonna pretend like it wasn't tough for an overachieving perfectionist like me to take. But, I had to be brutally realistic about how much time I was willing to invest in blogging without it feeling like a chore and getting burned out, and really, the interaction with other bloggers (like you!) is priceless to me compared to the stats. All the best to you in this new year- love ya! :D

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    1. I'm well aware of your struggle last year, so.proud of how you handled it. No meltdowns or drama, thank God! LOL

      As much as wed love to, real life takes precedence. Thankfully we have our blogs to fall back to when we want to decompression. Its truly a great feeling to talk about needy stuff with equally needy peeps!

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  25. God, I'm SO with you on this!! Al of it. Let's make 2015 our b!tch xD

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  26. Fuck it! and high five to you, Braine! :)I came to that realisation in 2013 and since then has been blogging about what I like and not worrying about new followers. I'd rather interact with those that are already there and have more fun. I think you did fantastic and put a lot of hard work into your reviews and events on the blog. I am enjoying reading you, especially your steampunk sundays, immensely. *hugs*

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My reviews are subjective & does not reflect that of Talk Supe's followers.

Also I LOVE commenting back so if you're checking out a post, leave a line or two and I promise to visit your blog back. Let's feed each other's blogger soul!