Tag: blogging

Feb 19

BBAW: Fighting Blogger Burnout (Revised)

Blogging, Book Blogger Appreciation Week 51

Happy Friday, Bookworms!

We’ve reached the end of Book Blogger Appreciation Week *tear*. Our final topic is Fighting Blogger Burnout, which is something that every blogger I know has struggled with at one time or another. I am prone to existential crises, so periodically I get a case of the “does anybody even read my blog”s and “I am never going to get blog famous why do I even bother?”s and “this blogger is so intense- I am much too lazy that is probably why nobody reads my blog”s. It’s like having a case of the Mondays, only weirdly specific.

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I’ve rewritten this particular blog post four different times because I kept going off topic or whining or just vomiting words all over the place. I’m going to try to distill my thoughts into a highlight reel. This is the sort of stuff I try to remember when it all feels like too much and that I suck at everything ever. And if you’re feeling lazy and don’t want to read it, it boils down to Amy Poehler’s brilliant mantra “Good for you. Not for me.”

  1. You do NOT have to read every buzz book and award winner. It’s OKAY just to read what you want.
  2. It’s okay not to LIKE every buzz book and award winner. I have a horrendous track record with Pulitzer Prize winners.
  3. You do NOT have to accept for a review a book that sounds boring. If it doesn’t sound like your thing, pass. If you’re too busy, pass. If they’re offering you an unholy sum of money probably pass too, because that is not a thing that happens and you’ll probably end up having your identity stolen.
  4. Just because some bloggers offer insightful political and social commentary doesn’t mean you have to. If you don’t feel up to the inevitable debate, it’s okay to opt out of it. If you’d rather absorb things, learn quietly, and form thoughtful opinions in the privacy of your own head, that’s fine too. (That said, if you HAVE THINGS TO SAY, then SAY THEM, by all means!)
  5. It’s okay if you don’t totally know what you want out of blogging. (Don’t let Ryan Gosling tell you otherwise.)
  6. goslingIf whatever you’re doing makes you miserable, it’s probably not worth it. If you really hate a book, put it down. If you need a break from the blogosphere, take it.
  7. Avoid the comparison trap. Nothing good ever came from constantly comparing yourself to other people. You have no idea what goes on behind their scenes. You only see what they choose to present to the world.
  8. Embrace the friendships you make in blogging. Your blog friends will probably relate to your struggles and can help you out of the inevitable slump.
  9. Even though the friendships you make on the internet are real, the negativity doesn’t have to be. Do you even KNOW the person behind that tweet or comment? Will you EVER have to avoid eye contact with them in the grocery store? The real world is a thing too. Remember that. Live in it.
  10. Have a little fun. Blogging doesn’t have to be a serious business full of how-to lists. Being serious all the time is really, really boring. Own your quirks. Do what you like. Take selfies in penguin sweaters. You’re more interesting that you think.

That’s right, kids. Until you fully mature into the superpowers I have no doubt you will someday develop (and I REALLY hope mine will be teleportation!) just admit you’re not a superhero. When you hit the blog wall, remember my sage wisdom… Or don’t. I mean, I just told you to ignore how-to lists and do you own thing, so who am I to judge? Just… Be kind to yourself.

Now come on in, here, Bookworms. Give me a big old weird internet group hug. There’s room. Squeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeze! Any whispers of insight you’d like to share are welcomed.

 

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Sep 15

Excuses, Excuses: Top Ten Tuesday

Blogging, Personal, Top Ten Tuesday 39

Howdy Bookworms,

It’s been a while since I’ve made a Top Ten List for the Broke and the Bookish. This week’s prompt is a freebie so I’m going to tell y’all a little about WHY I have been such a terrible blogger lately. I haven’t been keeping up with anyone else’s blog, I’ve barely been keeping up with writing mine, and I figure you all deserve to know the reasons. Even if they’re terrible reasons.

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  1. I’m extremely lazy. Sometimes I’d rather lie on the couch in a semi-comatose state and watch terrible television than read or blog.
  2. Adult coloring. It’s super fun, and when I think “I should treat myself to not blogging” it usually ends in me coloring for hours and hours during blogging time. It’s addictive.
  3. I’ve been pretty bummed out. For reasons. Of course, those reasons seem worse thanks to crappy brain chemistry. In any case, I keep cutting myself slack when I don’t feel like doing anything, which is a bad idea because doing nothing always makes me feel much worse. R&R is apparently not the cure for what ails me. (Seriously, don’t worry. This too shall pass.)
  4. I’ve been exercising a lot. It’s is a good and healthy thing to do, especially for the chronic mopeys. However, by the time I get home from work and the gym and shower and eat it’s kind of late. Then coloring happens.
  5. Hair bows. My Sister-in-Law and Brother-in-Law just had a baby girl. I was feeling crafty, and now I’m obsessed with Pinterest and ribbons and hot glue. I don’t even know myself anymore. Crafting? ME?!
  6. YouTube. My husband has become obsessed with watching The Tim Tracker. They’re a husband and wife daily vlogging team who live in Orlando. They go to theme parks a ton which we love because Disney World and Universal are made of magic. They also have two really cute dogs and have somehow managed to make dull daily chores entertaining. Plus, Tim has the jauntiest mustache in the history of ever. They’re like imaginary friends, who are real, only we don’t know them and they have no idea we exist. Hi Tim and Jenn! We love you in the least creepy way!
  7. Work. It’s busy there.

That’s it, you only get 7 excuses. Par for the course, really. At least you know what I’ve been doing while being a half-assed blogger. Sorry, y’all. You deserve better. I’ll try harder, really I will.

Tell me something, bookworms. What’s the best excuse you’ve ever used for being unproductive? 

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May 28

My Dysfunctional Relationship With Social Media

Blogging 52

Good Day, Bookworms!

It’s still Armchair BEA time and today we’re talking about social media. I have FEELINGS on the subject. Firstly, I am BEYOND grateful that I grew up before Facebook because having a record of every stupid thing I did or said while I was busy being a tween/teen would be highly upsetting. I’ve made enough faux pas in the social media world as a grown-ass woman. Sheesh. From a blogging perspective, I am pretty awful at social media. I thought I’d give you a glimpse of my social media profiles in case you have no desire to ever look at them. Behold!

dysfunctional

Twitter: It’s complicated. Like, if Twitter and I were dating, I’d be the mixed signal sending ex. Twitter and I will have a mind-blowing weekend of 140 character glory and then I won’t call. For weeks. Poor Twitter subsists on auto tweeted fluff until I get bored and decide to take it out for a spin again. I’m such a jerk, Twitter. I’m sorry. Not sorry enough to change my behavior, but sorry. Ish.

Instagram: Hey look! A selfie! Virtually all I ever post are selfies, and a shocking number of them are of my headless (fully clothed) torso. I don’t have easy access to a full length mirror in a room with good lighting, so any shots of cute outfits or accessories tend to be of, well, my boobs. Eh.

Facebook: I’m not talking about my personal page here, because lord knows I’m all up in that mug, but my blog page? Facebook made it nearly impossible for anybody who likes my blog page to actually see anything. I’ll put something up when I have a new blog post, but I’ve stopped bothering with anything else. Who even cares? Nobody sees it!

Pinterest: I don’t get it. I mean, I get it if you’re super crafty or like to cook or create amazing things, but I am not one of those people. On the rare occasion I do something crafty, I check out what Pinterest has to offer but I do virtually nothing blog-wise with it. Because I don’t get it, I’ve decided that Pinterest is responsible for all the world’s ills. Bento boxes and extravagently themed birthday parties were sent by aliens to destroy the planet. I’m cool with diaper cakes, though, because that is the only craft I can pull off with aplomb.

Goodreads: I literally only use this to track the books I’ve read. Seriously. I do absolutely nothing else on Goodreads. My star ratings are completely arbitrary and mean nothing. I’m the worst.

Talk to me Bookworms. What are your favorite social media platforms? Any bloggers out there using these things successfully? 

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May 27

Getting to Know You: Armchair BEA Intro

Q&A 20

Greetings Bookworms!

It’s time for my favorite virtual book nerd gathering that coincides with an actual convention since ever. Pull up your armchairs folks, it’s time for Armchair BEA. Book Expo America is going on in NYC and those of us stuck at home are going to party like it’s 1999. Crank up the Ricky Martin and live la vida loca with a bunch of book nerds on the internet! I’m going to kick things off by answering five questions off of the official Armchair BEA questionnaire. Shall we?

ArmchairBEA LogoExample

 

1. Tell us a bit about yourself: How long have you been blogging? Where are you from? How did you get into blogging?

Allow myself to introduce…myself. I’m Katie. I’ve been blogging here at Words for Worms for nearly 3 years now (my blog is a threenager! No wonder it’s been so tantrum-y lately…) I live in the part of Illinois that isn’t Chicago. The middle part. With all the corn. I got into blogging after watching some friends having a ball in the blogosphere and realizing that nobody in my real life cared much about what I was reading.

2. What is your theme song?

This is SUCH a good question! Over the years, I’ve had a number of songs I’ve referred to as my theme song. I’ve been known to insert my name “Katie” into any number of songs in place of “Baby,” so I can make pretty much any song about me. If I have to narrow it down to a single song, though, I’m going with “Kate” by Ben Folds Five. I’ve never gone by Kate, always KatIe, but I love the image of seeing daisies in my footsteps.

3. What book are you reading right now?

I’m triple dipping, y’all. I’ve got The Dog Stars by Peter Heller going as an analog book, Whiskey and Charlie by Annabel Smith on my kindle, and Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist by David Levithan and Rachel Cohn in my earbuds.

4. Share your favorite blog post on your blog.

I’m a huge fan of my Literary Love Connection posts. Snaponine, Scarcliff, Minurtagh, Arigo, and Jeanster Valprynne are the greatest fictional celebrity couples that never happened.

5. Share a photo of your bookshelf. Don’t mind if I do:

Exhibit B

 

*If you make a purchase through a link on this site, I will receive a small commission.*

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May 22

Flattered and Flummoxed: How I Became a Resource

Blogging, Personal, Uncategorized 20

Hidey Ho, Bookworms.

By some internet witchery, it seems I have become an expert resource on all essay questions regarding Lois Lowry’s The Giver Quartet as well as an opponent of book banning worthy of quotation. My search terms recently have included an awful lot of “what is the symbolism of XYZ in The Giver/Gathering Blue/Messenger/Son” and “why was XYZ book banned?” I can only assume these searches are being performed by students, because I’ve yet to meet another casual reader who is overly concerned with the underlying themes of middle-grade novels, though, in fairness, I’ve been known to google the reasons for book banning. Sometimes they’re hilarious. People are weird.

I’m both flattered and flummoxed. I’m stoked to think that my blog has managed to gain so much traction as to come up in searches like this, but I have some concerns. First, it seems to me that kids who are googling essay questions are kids who haven’t read the book. I’m having serious guilt over the idea that I might be helping some kid out there skate out of doing their reading. It’s the stuff of nightmares, I assure you. Kids, if you’re reading this, READ THE BOOK. Especially if it’s anything written by Lois Lowry. She’s awesome. (If it’s Moby Dick, you have my permission to use Cliff’s Notes. Shhhh, don’t tell you mom. Or your teacher.)

expert

A few months ago, I got an email from a student asking my permission to quote my blog in a research paper regarding banned books. I suppose an opinion piece is simply that, opinion, so it’s not entirely necessary to have credentials to be quoted, but it all seems so weird to me! When I was a wee one writing research papers (particularly in middle school and high school) the internet wasn’t typically an accepted resource. I was expected to sift through encyclopedias and scholarly journals. Made of paper! You know, stuff written by PHD’s, not random weirdos. I have zero credentials that qualify me to write literary criticism. None! I’ve only got a Bachelor’s degree, and it sure as heck isn’t in English Literature. I’m literate and enthusiastic. That’s it. And yet. I’m now a source! This is some Twilight Zone level weirdness, y’all. I can’t even.

What do you think, Bookworms? Has my blog turned into a cheat sheet helping kids ditch their reading, or am I just THAT awesome? (Don’t answer that honestly. I probably can’t handle the truth.)

*If you make a purchase through a link on this site, I will receive a small commission. Since I’m an expert and all, I’ll use the proceeds to buy more books. Because that’s not what I already do with all my proceeds or anything. Wait…*

 

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Mar 13

It’s An Honor Just to be Nominated…

Blogging 39

Greetings Bookworms,

I’m bursting with excitement, y’all. While I was away on vacation, I was notified that I am a FINALIST in this year’s Annual Weblog Awards. That’s right, kids, Words for Worms is up for Best Book Weblog! I am completely honored (and a little flabbergasted) by the nomination. I’m in a category with some really fantastic blogs (Book Riot, The Novel Life, My Little Book Blog, and Coffee and a Book Chick) but I sure would appreciate your vote if you happen to enjoy my corner of the internet.

bloggienomineeIf you click riiiiight HERE you can go to cast your ballot. And while you’re there, I’ve got some pals who are nominated as well who’d be tickled pink if you’d check out their offerings! Pocketful of Joules is nominated for Best Kept Secret Weblog, That Ash Girl is up for Best Canadian Weblog, It’s a Dome Life is nominated for Best Art, Craft, or Design Weblog,  and Quirky Chrissy is up for Best-Designed Weblog. It is an honor just to be nominated, but as Amy Poehler says, I WANT THE PUDDING!

Thank you my darling Bookworms! You make this crazy blog journey worthwhile. I love each and every one of your brilliantly nerdy brains! 

 

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May 26

Armchair BEA 2014 Introductions!!!

Blogging 56

Hello my lovely Bookworms,

It’s everybody’s favorite time of year! Well, everybody who’s a crazy bibliophile, at least. The fabulous Book Expo America is going on in NYC this week. For those of us who aren’t able to attend the big show, the amazing crew at Armchair BEA puts on a digital event so we can celebrate ANYWAY! Yaaaay!

Please tell us a little bit about yourself: Who are you? How long have you been blogging? Why did you get into blogging? Where in the world are you blogging from?

Hey y’all! I’m Katie! I’ve been blogging about a year and a half now. I started it up because… Well. I read a lot and I was bored one day. I feel like I should have a better reason than that, but it’s the truth! I’m in Central Illnois, ye olde Land of Lincoln. You know, the part of Illinois that isn’t Chicago? Yes, there is a state south of I-80. Swearsies.

Describe your blog in just one sentence. Then, list your social details — Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc. — so we can connect more online.

In one sentence, eh? Words for Worms is an irreverent book blog for the masses. That was my tagline when I had a tagline, and it’s apt, I think. A little something for everyone and moderately inappropriate. It’s good times. But I’m not just here, I’m EVERYWHERE! I’m on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, G+, and I occasionally hang out with a partridge in a pear tree. So yeah, connect with me! It’s good fun.

Well. My "newphew" thinks I'm good fun. And he likes penguins. So yeah.

Well. My “newphew” thinks I’m good fun. And he likes penguins. So yeah.

Spread the love by naming your favorite blogs/bloggers (doesn’t necessarily have to be book blogs/bloggers). 

Ooooh this is tough! There’s so darn many! Ready??? Non book bloggers I love include Filing Jointly…Finally, Pocketful of Joules, Quirky Chrissy, It’s a Dome Life, That Ash Girl, and Psychobabble… You know, the cool kids. Book nerds I dig include but are not limited to The Relentless Reader, Sarah Says Read, The Well-Read Redhead, Love at First Book, River City Reading, Fourth Street Review, Estella’s Revenge, Capricious Reader, Life Between Books, A Lovely Bookshelf on the Wall, The Steadfast Reader. A whole lot of amazing in the book blogosphere, believe you me!

Share your favorite book or reading related quote. 

Yay! I actually have one! I even made it PRETTY for you. I’m endlessly amused by Picmonkey.

cicero

If you were stranded on a deserted island, what 3 books would you bring? Why? What 3 non-book items would you bring? Why? 

That is a horribly unfair question, but I think I’m going to have to go for length on this one. Let’s go with Les Misérables, The Stand, and War and Peace (because that’s probably the only way I’d ever read War and Peace .) Non book items on a desert island… I’d need something sharp, like a big bowie knife… Also, a bunch of fresh water, because hydration is important. Finally, I’d bring a genie. Because y’all know I don’t want to hang out on that damn island longer than I have to.

Anything else you want to know? Ask me ANYTHING. I might answer. I probably will. I have so little shame…

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Mar 25

Top Ten Tuesday: My Bookish Bucket List

Top Ten Tuesday 64

Happy Tuesday Bookworms!

The ladies of The Broke and the Bookish this week have tasked is with a doozy of a list. They have asked us what items are on our Bookish Bucket List. I haven’t honestly given this topic a whole lot of thought in the past, but I can put one together. I mean, why in the heck not?

bookishbucketlist

1. Go to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios. I’m super super jealous of the trip Jen at The Relentless Reader just went on! (Check out the details here!)

2. Attend BEA one of these years. I believe 2016 will be in Chicago. Who’s going with me?

3. Do something OUTLANDISH! With the show coming out this summer and my over-the-top love for all things Jamie and Claire, I think it would be fun to do something inspired by Outlander. The only problem is that, uh, most OUTLANDISH activities are kind of gross. I mean, I GUESS I could give someone a black eye and then stick a leech on the bruise to reduce the swelling, but ewwwww. Plus, you know. Assault is frowned upon in polite company.

Hello, gorgeous. I can't wait to read you!

Hello, gorgeous. I can’t wait to read you!

4. Meet another book blogger! I’ve got some AMAZING blog friends that I’ve met in real life, but none of them are book-specific bloggers. It’d be nice to meet one of these crazies face-to-face, you know?

5. Increase the traffic Words for Worms gets. That’s not so much a bucket list item as an ongoing thing, but it’s my list. I can make it vague if I want to.

6. Go to a book signing. You guys. I live in the middle of nowhere. We don’t have amazing authors coming into town all the time. The last signing I wanted to go to was totally within driving distance, but on a weeknight. The full time job is a blessing, but occasionally inconvenient. Thankfully, Quirky Chrissy and the amazing Bloggess were able to make my dreams come true from afar. (The whole story is HERE if you’re interested.)

Luckily, my friend was able to make it so I was practically THERE.

Luckily, my friend was able to make it so I was practically THERE.

7. Start a meme. I know, it sounds ridiculous, but I think Top Ten Tuesday is super fun and I’d like to come up with something as awesome. Of course, I’ve been toying with the idea for quite a while and I’m still lacking a concept. Ah well. Bucket lists aren’t supposed to be realistic.

8. Visit some bookish locales! How fun would it be to go to Scotland to get my Outlander on? Or, what about chilling on Prince Edward Island and getting in touch with my inner Anne (with an E!)

9. Throw a book themed party. This one might actually get off the ground. My IRL book club has a member expecting a teeny tiny bookworm! Bookish baby shower, anyone?

10. Read EVERYTHING on my bookshelf. Everything. That includes all those classics I purchased while feeling ambitious only to allow them to languish on the shelves…

What about you, Bookworms? Do you have a Bookish Bucket List? What’s on it? 

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Jan 07

Top Ten Tuesday: New Year’s Resolution Edition

Top Ten Tuesday 47

Howdy Bookworms,

I know it’s been 2014 for nearly a week now, but it’s not too late for a few resolutions, is it? The ladies at The Broke and the Bookish certainly don’t think so. Let’s talk about plans, shall we?

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1. I committed to read 100 books again this year in the Goodreads Challenge. I made it in 2013 (with a book to spare!) I’m going to see if it was a fluke or if I can do it again. Mmmm books!

2. Write more posts in advance. This is a new one for me, but this whole “scrambling to put together a post the night before it goes live” thing has been wearing me out. As for how long it will last? Probably not very. But I’ll give it a shot anyway!

3. More vlogging. I had a lot of fun putting together the first two video blogs for the site, and my husband isn’t annoyed at helping me with them yet. In fact, he keeps coming up with ideas (mostly really random jokes that nobody gets) that he thinks I should incorporate.

4. Be more organized. This is a perennial resolution for me, but it’s become clear to me this year what a mess I’ve been. If a post of mine goes live in conjunction with the release date of a new book, it’s been pure luck thus far. Organization has never been my strong suit, so this will be a challenge for me!

5. I would really love to come up with some new features around here. I’ve been mulling some ideas for a while, but so far nothing has stuck.

6. Tackle the TBR stack. I know, I know, this is everyone’s resolution, but really. I have a big backlog I’d like to work through.

7. Participate! There are so many awesome challenges out there, I’m going to try to get involved in more of them.

8. TAME THE BEAST. Much as I loathe to admit this, the green-eyed-monster and I are well acquainted. I see other book bloggers coming up with brilliant ideas and/or having lots of success, and while I’m happy for them, there’s usually a little gnawing in my stomach going on. Why didn’t I think of that? Why am I not that cool? Will I ever match that brilliance? It’s not a productive use of my time. Be gone, monster!

What? 8 resolutions isn’t enough for you? Fine, then give me some of yours. No really… What are your resolutions?

 

 

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Nov 14

My Life According to Books 2013

Blogging 34

Greetings Bookworms,

It’s been a slow reading week, my friends. I’ve been working on Rebecca for The Fellowship of the Worms next week and I’m a little behind schedule. What else is new? Anyway, Rory (from Fourth Street Review) turned me onto this post from popculturenerd.com and I’m enamored. Using the books I’ve read so far this year as a guide, I’m going to complete the following sentences. It’s like a cross between Mad Libs and a list and chaos and I LOVE IT. Ready?!?!

mylifeinbooksMy to do list looks like: Someday, Someday, MaybeAs in, Someday, Someday, Maybe I will accomplish something?

If a peeping Tom peeked into my bedroom, s/he’d: Tell The Wolves I’m Home. I mean, someone needs to tell them. The wolves, they worry.

If Martians met me they’d think: Why Do Only White People Get Abducted by Aliens? Sorry guys, Ilana Garon really set me up for that one.

My doctor is always telling me: Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls. That’s actually kind of a lie, because my doctor is typically more concerned about exploring my nostrils with the light up thingie, but we’re going to roll with it.

The weirdest thing that happened to me this week was: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time. It turned out to be just a regular incident of a dog barking at a raccoon. Not everything turns out to be a mystery.

I often daydream about: The Walking Dead: Rise of the GovernorSeriously, I do. I spend way too much time thinking about the natural decomposition rate of the human brain and how long it would take a zombie to die a natural death. I have issues.

If I won the lottery, I’d: Blackout. Seriously, I’m remarkably unlucky. I think a little swoonage might happen if I did win a big jackpot. And then I’d buy a big house with a designated library and sliding ladders!

My superpower is: Between You and Me. I don’t want to blow my secret identity, yo!

I knew I was a book lover when: I fell head first into The River of No ReturnBooks are addictive that way.

Any of you Bookworms want to play along with a statement of your own? How is your life according to books this year? (And BTW, don’t forget to email me your address if you’d like a holiday card and Words for Worms bookmark. International addresses welcome!) 

 

 

 

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