Trying To Find My Voice

Hey, (mood) readers!

For some reason, I felt like my blog needs a personal touch – especially now that there are almost 400 of you (THANK YOU!) that (hopefully) look through the things that I write in this little corner of the internet. So, here I am.. attempting to start another mini-series, where I get real and share with you the things that I am experiencing while I wade through the (intimidating) bookish community.

I have to admit I love taking my time and participating in blog tours and writing book reviews. But I tend to hold back on posts like this because I never know the right things to say. Sometimes an influx of thoughts and ideas come to me. But when I try to write, all of the words leave me.

Whenever I scroll through blogs, bookish twitter, and bookstagram, I feel overwhelmed with how ‘smart’, ‘educated’, and ‘woke’ everyone seems to be. Then, when I look at myself, I see that I am just me. And most of the time, I do not think that I cannot even fit that criteria.

I try, emphasize on the try, to write book reviews. But I tend to be very subjective and focus on the book’s impact to me and how I feel about it.

I know I am going off tangent but this is how my book journey looked like. Because maybe you would like to know… maybe?

I remember how I began – I started sharing my thought on Goodreads in 2012 to 2013 – and then I was gone for 5 years. I left the book community because being in university is so intense that I felt like giving up that part of my life. I was still reading – but I stuck with AO3 because frankly I was broke and cannot buy any books.

When I graduated, I was pushed through the real world where I had to work the graveyard shift for a few years, commute 3 hours each way, and I just had no energy to even dare grab a book. Or maybe that time I haven’t had the urge to attempt to.

Fast forward to September 2018, I do not know how and why, but, I was warped back to reading physical and ebooks, browsing through bookstores, and becoming a hungry bookworm yet again. I remember devouring 57 books for that 4 months and being very happy about myself.

When the summer of 2019 came, I was bored and tried to research about Netgalley because I just kept seeing it on Goodreads. I discovered I made an account in 2013 but never used it – maybe young me felt lost. I went on a request spree because I thought I never would get approved. (Spoiler alert: I got approved for a lot and now I am cursed with being stuck at a 45% feedback ratio)

Because of how much I enjoyed reading and reviewing at that time, I decided to establish my blog. Eventually, I encountered Bookstagram. I enjoyed that and created Bookish Twitter as well. Now, I have to admit, I am struggling with balancing all of these bookish accounts.

Anyway, I got a little lost there. When I was exploring the bookish community, I was surprised with how many people actually are actively talking about books. I did not know that there are people who are as passionate as I am. To be honest, most of them are a thousand more passionate, as well.

Eventually, I also was awakened with how unaware I was with the state of the publishing industry. Aside from not being able to read all the masterpieces published from 2014 to 2018 (How will I even be able to catch up?), I was also never considerate enough to look at diversity and representation in the books that I read.

Sometimes, I celebrate seeing Asian characters here and there, even when they are at the sidelines… but I have to admit it was just trivial and not something I push for. Seeing the passion of many Asian bookish creators made me realize how much I was missing and how I can do something about it.

There are days when I think if I should do the same. Should I devote my time in championing diverse reads to help all under-represented authors and readers in the community? But, sometimes, I wonder if I have the right to – when there is so many things that I do not know.

What I do know is that I am more committed than ever in reading more diverse books – especially books written by Asian authors. Though I know it will be near impossible to catch up because I am buried by adult responsibilities, let it be known that I will die trying.

There is also a part of me that feels scared to make reading feel like a chore. As a mood reader, I have always been a person who just pulls a book from the genre that I want to read when I feel like it. This is why it is sometimes hard for me to commit to ARCs and review requests. At the end of the day, just like what my name is, my mood controls my desire for reading.

I have even noticed that I have turned into a mood reviewer, too. When I don’t feel like reviewing, the words just do not come, and maintaining my book blog is sometimes pushed back.

For instance, as of this writing, I have about 18 books I have yet to review. Though this is influenced by not being in the mood. I also have no time to write reviews because of  my Work From Home set up turning into Work All The Time set up.

I hope you don’t get me wrong. I love how my blog gave me a voice. I love that it connected me to authors, publishers, and readers like me. I love how I help keep the industry alive by the shout outs that I give – the tweets, the photos, and the posts that I share.

But, sometimes, when I think about it… what do I want to identify myself as? I love reading books in the young adult, new adult, and adult age groups – and I am lost on whether I should focus my voice on just one age group for my blog. I love reading romances, realistic fiction, and thrillers. But, does it mean that I no longer dip my toes in other genres, as well? How do I really want to use my voice?

These are questions that I still do not have answers to until now. Because if there is one word to describe myself: it’s indecisive. For now, I would like to think that I want to stick to reading what I want, sharing what I want, and posting about things that I feel strongly about.

So, (mood) readers, you can expect that I would share with you my journey while I am finding my voice. Every once in a while, I would post random musings, like this. I would be sharing my thoughts and seeking for your thoughts on them, as well. I would be branching out on the content that I will publish and talk about the life of a reader/reviewer in this weird yet fun world.

Before I leave, here is a final request. Being away from the bookish community for a considerable amount of time, there are many issues I have missed and problematic books or authors that I do not have an idea about. If you see me making misinformed, misguided, or offensive statements, please let me know. My email and social media accounts are always reachable. Please help me become more educated – I would love nothing more to be more knowledgeable, especially if it is on things that can hurt or offend others.

If you have reached this part of quite a long post, thank you so much. I hope you can let me know what you think in the comments!

Copy of Budding Trio - Canva Banner (2)

yna

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2 thoughts on “Trying To Find My Voice

  1. Thanks for sharing! The concerns you’ve raised are very relatable and we’ve all likely wrestled with findIng our comfort zone, our voice, and our balance. I’m always tweaking and readjusting! You’re doing great just the way you are! Last year I put myself on a strict netgalley diet until I reached 80%!! Now I’m very very careful! But there are many people who live below 80% and are just fine!

    Like

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