Book bloggers are incredibly negative about themselves.
I see this all the time, but Bout of Books brings out this tendency in full force. Maybe because I’m actually paying attention. During #boutofbooks 9.0, I started the phrase “Flailing, not failing” to combat some of the negativity I saw.
Full confession: I hate listening to people talk about how they’ve failed. It makes me want to throw things because 99.9% of the time, they’re not failing. They’re just being negative because they didn’t get to do what they wanted to do. Stop putting so much pressure on yourself and have a little fun.
But that’s not what this post is about.
This post is a demand to stop putting yourself down
Stop saying, “I’m a bad blogger” because you didn’t post when you wanted to.
You’re not. You’re a blogger who decided real life or relaxation took priority over blogging, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Because sometimes you need to take time for yourself or you’ll burn out and hate blogging.
Stop saying, “I’m a slow reader” because someone reads more books than you.
When did it become a contest to see who could read more books? Some people read faster. Some people have more time to read. Stop comparing yourself to everyone else. It’s not a fucking contest.
Stop saying, “I’m the last person on earth to read this book.”
You’re NOT. There is not a single book on earth that every person but you has read. (And let’s not forget all the people in the world who can’t even read.) Saying this makes a huge deal out of something that isn’t. On that note…
Stop saying, “I’m a terrible reader” because you haven’t read the latest book “everyone” is talking about.
There’s no list of books you’re required to read if you want to call yourself a “good reader.” Read what you want. Put a book on your library list or wishlist if you think you should read a book. Get to it when you have time. And DON’T feel guilty for it.
None of these statements builds a positive, happy community
When my Twitter stream is full of people putting themselves down, all I want to do is stop interacting and start reading a book. Which is fine for my TBR pile, but not so great for my relationship with the book blogging community.
Who wants to listen to a bunch of people whine about everything that isn’t going the way they want it? I don’t.
How you talk about yourself affects how people perceive you
I often see people talking about how they wish they could X or they wish they had more time for Y. And that’s fine. I get that we often don’t have the time or inclination to do something.
But the more you express your wish for the same thing (e.g., I wish I was more organized) and never do anything about it, the more it looks like you’ll never accomplish it. That you’re all whiny talk and no action.
In other words, stop talking about what you want to change. Just change it. If you can’t (if you’re just not organized and never will be), embrace it. You’re not like everyone else and that’s a GOOD thing.
More importantly, how you talk about yourself and the world affect how you perceive the world
If you want it to, the world will always shit on you. By focusing on the positive—by finding something to be happy about in any situation, even the not so great ones—you’ll be a happier, healthier person. You’ll find the world doesn’t shit on you; it throws you down a certain path to teach you a lesson that’ll help you later in life.
What’s something about yourself that you’re proud of? Go on, celebrate yourself.