Thursday, 2 October 2014

Doing What Makes You Happy

"Do what makes you happy" is a line which has been said to me a lot over the years, and it's a line which I've said to other people too. It really does seem like the key to a good life. Obviously, there are going to be times where you can't do what makes you happy, but if there's ever the opportunity, do it. I left my old school in the middle of an important year, even though I knew it would mean leaving my friends behind and having to pick new, less-awesome subjects for my exams. I quit my old blog which I'd had for years to start this one. They were both huge decisions, but I have never regretted either of them.

When it comes to blogging, other bloggers will probably agree with me when I say we love getting feedback. Chances are you've seen lots of us doing surveys where we get to know what you really think. I did too, and the results were really interesting. Most were positive, there was one extreme negative, and a few pieces of constructive criticism. Most of the constructive criticism was really helpful, but some really wasn't. For example:

"Your reviews are too short. You should make them longer."


I appreciated the feedback but I don't want to flesh out a review with unnecessary words just so I can reach a certain word count. How boring would that be? I can just imagine someone sat there reading it and thinking, "Come on, get to the point." Similarly, if anyone has ever told you your reviews are too long and you should make them shorter, don't listen to them! If your reviews are long you clearly have a lot of thoughts on the books you read, and that's so helpful when trying to decide whether to buy a book or not. Basically, write how you like - that's the important thing.

There's also a lot of pressure in the blogging world to join in with memes or have your own feature, but you never have to do these things if you don't feel like they're for you. You never have to do anything in book blogging and no one should be forcing you into doing posts about this or reviewing books like that. Just do what makes you happy, write about things you would like to read about yourself, and have fun doing your own thing. Who cares about doing what's popular, or what someone else thinks you should be doing? Any awesome person will respect you for doing what you want to do, and being yourself means you'll get completely like-minded people reading your posts. Yay for like-minded people.


Now this post has a Friends GIF and a Dan and Phil GIF, I think I can wrap this up. Primarily, you are always blogging for yourself. It's freaking amazing that other people decide to read your opinions on things too, but if you're not writing what makes you happy then you're not going to have a good time. And this post doesn't just apply to blogging, either.

I just realised how deep this post turned out to be, so here is a random cactus to inject silliness because now I feel awkward. I don't know if anyone else will agree with what I wrote but hopefully it will resonate with at least one person.

And now I'm going to go, because I've rambled.

29 comments:

  1. I agree with this post SO much. You hit everything right on point! Don't feel awkward, your words are inspiring (even though I like the cactus too).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! I was kind of expecting people to hate this post haha. :)

      Delete
  2. I joined a "thing" called Armchair BEA for bloggers who couldn't go to BEA in NYC. Each day we had a different blog post topic and linky. Well, the day we did "Things I want to do in the future with my blog" all hades broke loose on my blog. I had two bloggers tell me if I wanted to be successful to come and look at their blogs and copy them. Three or four bloggers told me I needed a more specific "theme", I guess YA/Adult fiction isn't specific enough. Another told me to stop reviewing movies (I have never reviewed a movie on my blog, ever). Another person told me people don't like to follow links, so never use them, and one of them outright called my blog ugly. Lol. I know now never to ask for advice in general. My reviews are really informal, chatty, like if friends were sitting and having coffee together. A lot of other bloggers think that is awful, but I have gotten great feedback from every single author. I agree that your blog needs to reflect you and your personality. Great post idea. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Whaaaaat? That's awful! How could anyone feel like it was okay to say those things? Especially about your blog. :/

      Delete
  3. I blog for me! I do what makes me happy because this is a hobby. I don't need a second, unpaid job. Good advice. Also, write longer reviews? That's unexpected feedback.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! And I know, I was a bit confused when I saw it. Some of my reviews are short but some are long... It really depends on what I want to say about the book. :)

      Delete
  4. What a coincidence that you should have written such a great post about doing what makes you happy just as i came across an old blog i used to write about making dolls house kits. The writing in that old one was so much more natural than anything i do now on my present one. I wonder if i enjoyed making them more than i do reading! scary thought. Thanks for another awesome post Amber, your blog really is the best.
    Gill x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's the same with my old blog too, although I'm not sure if that's just because I've grown up a lot since then or if I enjoyed it more. That's interesting to think about. Thanks for the lovely comment, Gill! :)

      Delete
  5. Excellent post!! I did a survey type thing on my blog a few months ago, and I kind of regretted doing it. A lot of the comments were nice and constructive, but some were just silly or not applicable. Some people told me that I do too many memes/blitzes. Uhhh, I don't do any of those X_X At the time I did maybe 1 every 1-3 months.

    After doing the survey I just wished I hadn't done it. I realized I didn't really care what people thought of my blog. If they want to read it, THAT'S AWESOME! But if there are things they don't like about it, that's okay. They don't have to read it. But I'm not going to change my style or anything based on what other people want.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Ashley! Someone said the same thing to me actually, but I haven't done memes for years and I used to do blitzes every few months but haven't done for ages. It's odd. Makes you wonder if they've actually read your blog recently.

      Anyway, I came to the same conclusion as you. I put off doing a survey in the first place for ages because I liked doing completely my own thing, but then I got tempted, and now I'm back to not caring what people think haha. I actually asked 'If this was your blog, what would you change?' which was a huge mistake because it's my blog so why should I care what the answers to that question are anyway? :)

      Delete
  6. I always say that if you don't like what you're doing, don't do it. You can only go for so long, right? I think at the end of the day, there are only two things that matter: 1) that you're doing what makes you happy, and 2) what you're doing doesn't hurt other people.

    Thanks so much for this great post, Amber. :)

    - Joy @ The Bookshelf Intruder

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's so true and they're great things to live by. :)

      Delete
  7. I think this is something I want to do more of in the next year. You know some of the stuff that's happened to me and I'm gradually making everything better. I'm trying to cut people out and do more for myself. It's a slow process, but it's great.

    Something else that I'm gradually leaarning is that I don't need to please everyone. Like your reviews!

    As Tyler Oakley says. You do you!

    P.S YESSSS DAN AND PHIL <3

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's what I've been doing too and it feels so good, like a huge weight has been lifted. :)

      YOU MENTIONED TYLER. This is officially the best comment I've ever received. <3

      Delete
  8. I understand how you feel - as we discussed a while ago, the month before you did, I moved schools in that crucial year and I will never regret making that decision because whilst I'm not HAPPY happy, I had to do that to be happier than I was. I realised that when I changed Lost in a Library into a book blog, before that I was doing posts to please others and that wasn't making ME happy at all. Bloggers should have the freedom to write what they want and feel proud! :)

    ReplyDelete
  9. Wonderful, wonderful post, Amber! I feel like we always think about our audience when we write things and sometimes can neglect thinking about ourselves. This is such a great reminder post and one that I will be referring to when I have doubts about my blog. :)

    ReplyDelete
  10. To each his own. I personally prefer shorter reviews that get to the point. So like you said, do what like! Sure your audience matters, but if you're not writing what you're writing, it's gonna feel forced and unauthentic! :)

    Amber Elise @Du Livre

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If we all did what everyone else wanted, people would complain about it being forced and unauthentic, like you said. So really, doing what you personally prefer is best for everyone :)

      Delete
  11. You have an awesome outlook about blogging and you're 100% correct :) Blog they way you want to blog, don't feel pressured into doing things you don't want to do, and have fun with it!

    ReplyDelete
  12. I totally agree, Amber. What's the point of making something you don't enjoy?

    My husband has a channel on Youtube (about soccer), and he loves it – he'd made so many friends, and he always find the time on his super busy schedule to record the videos and chat with the guys. But there was this guy emailing him twice a week, telling how boring the videos were. Serious?? So I told my husband to reply him just as this: it's my channel, if you don't like it, don't watch it! Simple as that. And block his email, of course.

    That's what normal people do – just read, listen and watch things according to their taste, right? I can't understand all these freaks around internet criticizing people, it's nonsense.

    I read your blog because I think it's awesome; otherwise, I wouldn't waste my time. You're on the right path – do what you love and like-minded people will find you. Always.

    Cheers!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can't understand them either. It's like the 'thumbs down' option on YouTube. Why would you want to do that? Just click off the video and forget it. :)

      Delete
  13. I'm so tempted to do one of those surveys but I assumed very few people actually ever do them. I'm still tempted! But great post! It's nice to know there's some of us on a corner of the net that are supportive and can offer constructive criticism without being troll-like!!

    Ps. You've changed the colour of the zigzags haven't you?? Lol

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have ;) You're the only one that notices when I change that! :D

      Delete
  14. lol at the random cactus. I totally agree with you, you should always blog for yourself, although it may be hard sometimes. My reviews vary in lenght, it just depends on how much I have to say, I can't really force a certain lenght. I also try to follow this advice in real life, even though it's hard sometimes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It really does depend on what you want to say, you're right. Some of my reviews are 400 words, some are 900 or more, and that's okay :)

      Delete
  15. I HAVE LOTS OF QUOTES TO MENTION:

    JUST KEEP SWIMMING, SWIMMING, SWIMMING. JUST KEEP SWIMMING ALL DAY LONG.

    DON'T WORRY, BE HAPPY.

    HAKUNA MATATA. WHAT A WONDERFUL PHRASE. HAKUNA MATATA *SINGS* AIN'T NO PASSING PHHHRRAASSSEEEE. IT MEANS NO WORRIES, FOR THE REST OF OUR DAYYYSSSS. IT'S OUR PROBLEM FREEEEEEE, PHILOSOPHYYYYYY, HAKUNA MATATA.

    ReplyDelete

Feel free to leave me a comment. I will get back to you as soon as I can! :)