On which I write about the books I read, science, science fiction, fantasy, and anything else that I want to. Currently trying to read and comment upon every novel that has won the Hugo and International Fantasy awards.
Book Blogger New Year's Challenge of 2014 - What Are Your Pros and Cons of Blogging?
What Are Your Pros and Cons of Blogging?
This is my highly idiosyncratic list of Pros and Cons of blogging, presented in no particular order other than the Pros being separated from the Cons.
Blogging helps organize my reading. Reading with a purpose gives me a figurative road map to follow when deciding what to read when. Blogging isn't actually necessary for this, as I suppose one could formulate and execute a reading plan on their own without the spur of blogging, but writing a blog is how I accomplish this.
Blogging helps me remember what I have read. Before I started writing about what I had read, I had a tendency to forget, and more than once found myself unintentionally rereading the same book because I had forgotten that I had read it the first time. The act of contemplating a book deeply enough to write a cogent review about it, for me, serves to cement the book into my memory. Once again, I suppose one could do this without blogging, simply by writing a personal journal about the books your read, or something similar, but blogging is the method I have chosen.
Blogging helps me be less annoying to my family and friends. I have a tendency to want to talk about and analyze the books I read and movies, and television programs that I watch, while many of the people I interact with do not. So instead of driving them up the wall, I can write about the media I consume on this blog.
Blogging has spurred me to go to conventions and meet authors and other creative people.
Blogging has introduced me to many good books and interesting authors that I probably would have missed otherwise.
Blogging provides me with a large volume of reading material in the form of review copies sent to me by authors and publishers. I could, if I chose to, never read a book that wasn't a review copy provided I accepted every book review request that showed up in my e-mail inbox. I don't do that, because quite frankly there are a lot of really bad self-published books being produced. Fortunately, I have become reasonably skilled at identifying which books are likely to be really bad, and so most of the books I do accept as review copies are at least decent, and some are excellent. (For the record, if your inquiry e-mail is badly written, I take that as a sign that I don't really want to read an entire book written by you).
Producing a good blog is a lot of work. To be honest, producing almost anything good is a lot of work, and a blog really is no different than that. But a blog is a project that is never finished. Or at least, you can never say you have finished it unless you decide to abandon or close down your blog. There are always more books to read, more formatting tweaks to make, and so on. Writing a blog is like running a marathon that never ends.
The pressure to read and review books can turn reading into a chore. Although I love reading, and most of the books I choose to read for blogging purposes fall squarely into the categories of fiction and non-fiction that I enjoy most, the expectation's, mostly imposed by me upon myself, to grind through and review sufficient numbers of books to provide content for the blog can be wearying.
The pay is terrible. This isn't really fair, since I don't currently have much in the way of advertisements of other money generating elements on the blog (other than the Amazon Affiliate links), but the salient fact remains that my time spent blogging is for the most part unpaid labor. I suppose one could say I am being virtually compensated when a publisher sends me a review copy gratis, but the ratio of hours of work that I do compared to the value of said review copies means that I am being paid well under minimum wage to create this blog. Writing a blog is, for most people, a labor of love. The fact that I do this essentially for free does, however, make it somewhat grating when an author throws a hissy fit over a review of their book.
Blogging is incredibly frustrating at times. More than once I have written something that I consider to be well-polished and insightful, only to have it almost completely ignored when I publish it on my blog. Conversely, I have put up some posts that I consider to be merely adequate which receive large volumes of hits. And I simply have no idea why this occurs. I seem to have almost no ability to tell what people will respond to and what they will simply pass by. This is very frustrating as I watch what I consider to be my best work go mostly unnoticed, while the merely average gets all the attention.