How Book Blogging Helped Me Gain Confidence

Posted August 12, 2013 by Stormy in Blogging / 25 Comments

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It’s a large claim to make, but it’s true. One of the best acts I ever did for my confidence and self-esteem was to start this blog. Let me set it up for you: I’m not a very confident person. At all. And. . . I don’t always have the best self-esteem, and for me, the two are definitely related. This was a side-effect of blogging that I didn’t see coming, but I’m SO, SO glad it did. I’ve been blogging for about 8 months now, and it really HAS given me more confidence than pretty much any other 8 month span in my life(except one, but those were unique circumstances).

How has blogging helped my self-esteem, you might ask?

1. It’s help my confidence in certain skills & learn what I’m good at doing.

I’m not the best book reviewer in the world. I know that. BUT I’m pretty proud of how far I’ve come. I’ve also learned that my strength lies more in writing discussion post & features, and I’m okay with that. Blogging has helped shown me I CAN be creative. I like to say I’m creative, but I’m not always sure I can back that up. Now I can! I’m not naive enough to think every post I’ve written knocks it out of the part, but there are some post & features I’m pretty proud of. I really like my “A Letter To” feature, and my discussion about romance, YA, and growing up. These are things I’ve written & accomplished, and I think it’s OKAY to like that.

2. It’s helped my confidence in what I like.

At heart, I am a people pleaser. I don’t want to say anything to make anyone feel uncomfortable. This means I’m constantly analyzing every bit of information I share, even when the question is just, “What kind of books or TV shows do you like?” Blogging has helped me realize that these “guilty pleasures” are silly. I’ll OWN what I enjoy, thank you very much. And furthermore, I’m not going to PRETEND to like what I don’t. There’s just not time for that when I could be reading or watching Doctor Who.

3. Similarly, it’s given me confidence in my hobbies.

This point is a bit different from the last–that one was more just about what I enjoyed, but this is about what I actively DO. Yes, I spend a LOT of my free time reading. And yes, I spend a lot of my free time writing about what I read. And YES, I think that’s awesome for me! This is my hobby, and it might not be the most normal hobby, but blogging and reading is what I’ll love and I don’t mind sharing that anymore. I don’t specifically bring up my blog in conversation, but I’ve mentioned it once or twice on Facebook and if a friend brings it up to me, it doesn’t even bother me even more(I use to feel a bit uncomfortable about it). You want to talk about my blog IRL? I’m not sure why, but I’m good with that! And yup, I love all those fantasy & sci-fi nerdy books. This is me, and for once, I’m FREE about it.

4. It’s given me OWNERSHIP.

I own this blog. It’s MINE. I paid for the hosting, the domain. I wrote the content. Sometimes I get jealous’ of other people’s blogs, don’t get me wrong. I sometimes wish I was good at graphics like they are or could write insightful reviews. But no matter what this blog is–creative, uncreative, well-written, poorly-written, etc, it’s MY thing. It’s something I developed naturally, on my own(I mean, lots of support from the book blogging community, but every decision has been mine to make). And I think that’s translated over into other areas of my life, as cliche as they might sound. So often, I read tweets that say something like, “It’s your blog! Blog what you want!” So true! It’s my blog AND it’s my life, and the decisions are mine to make.

5. Blogging has made me face my fears.Β 

Um, interact with people I don’t know on twitter? LEAVE A COMMENT ON A BLOG POST? Are you crazy? I’m not a daredevil, here. These things once made me anxious just thinking about them(and trust me, I only wish I was exaggerating). NOW these things don’t bother me at all(I’ve even got the courage to @reply authors). And the feeling that these things don’t bother me anymore. . . it’s a bit EXHILARATING. Like, these fears might not seem like a big deal to people who are naturally outgoing, but I get really anxious in social settings, and interacting, especially online, is hard for me. It’s putting myself out there, just a little bit, and I’ll be honest: I’m afraid of rejection. To be able to converse with people and realize it doesn’t MATTER if they reject me or not is an awesome feeling, and I hope everyone who has the same anxiety as me can feel it.

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25 responses to “How Book Blogging Helped Me Gain Confidence

  1. End of Year Book Survey | Books, Tea & Me

    […] each week). But one post that sticks out to me the post is from Book.Blog.Bake. She wrote about how book blogging has given her confidence and I think it’s one that we all can relate […]

  2. Week in Review (4) | Books, Tea & Me

    […] Blog, Bake tells us how book blogging gave her confidence (It’s such an amazing post, […]

  3. Bookish Recap: August 11th – 17th | A Bookish Heart

    […] Stormy @ Book. Blog. Bake. says that book blogging helped her gain confidence. […]

  4. OMG! This is the sweetest! And hell yes, it’s been the same for me! It’s good to hear about the positive effects of blogging from someone else. I wish everyone had a hobby as fulfilling as blogging.

  5. Blogging did the same thing for me. I had no idea it would help me be more outgoing in real life but it did. That fear of talking to strangers that you mentioned was a big one for me. But once I got used to making small talk online with comments and twitter, it kind of went away. And it translated into real life. I like that it helped you own what you like. That’s so awesome. I really love this post. Thanks for sharing it.

    • stormydawnc

      I’m not sure mine’s QUITE ventured that far out in real life yet(I still hate small talk), but I definitely feel more confident in general!

  6. Number 3 is particular true for myself as well. I felt weird among my non-reader friends reading so often, and sometimes they would call me out on it, but now it doesn’t bother me and I realized that they weren’t doing it to be rude, just doing it because they were trying to figure me out. I’ve realized my strengths more in blogging as well, but it’s an ongoing journey. To me, blogging is a creative process, not something static. Great post! πŸ˜€

    • stormydawnc

      Same! Whenever people talk about books in real life I used to think they were judging me, but I think it was similar to what you were getting at–they were just trying to understand what I liked! I just felt too insecure to realize that. And I think an ongoing blogging journey is the best. I think if I ever get to the point where blogging feels TOO static, that might be the time to take a step back and re-evaluate–not just blogging in general, but trying to challenge myself more.

  7. I feel the exact same way! Before I started my blog, I NEVER commented on posts that I read and I NEVER interacted with anyone on Twitter. I have gotten a lot better in my year of blogging, although it is still hard for me to jump into a conversation on Twitter but I’m trying πŸ˜€

  8. Yay, great post, Stormy! I love to see that book blogging has been a positive force in your life. I mean, taking on a hobby that lets you embrace something you already love — and joining a community that is so welcoming and excited and open — is just awesome. I’m so glad you’re a book blogger! πŸ˜€

    • stormydawnc

      Thanks Kelley! I partially wrote this to remember when blogging gets “hard”(because of drama, or life, or whatever). it’s definitely a hobby I want to keep embracing!

  9. Awe, I loved reading this post <3
    It's wonderful how much one can grow by simply blogging about something they love, but I've seen it in myself too. I also used to freak out at the mere thought of commenting on a blog or replying to a tweet — what if I sound stupid? What if they don't like what I say? What if they laugh? What if, what if.
    But I'm so happy to see you taking ownership of your blog, your thoughts, your opinions, your loves, and your life. It's a hard feat, but you're doing it every single day. A blog is never just a blog. It’s so much more than that, and I hope more people read this post and see themselves in you.

    • stormydawnc

      Great point–blogging really is never JUST a blog. There’s a lot of stuff that just COMES with it, and I like the impact it’s had on my life! That’s why I wanted to share–so people could think of the impact it’s had on them as well.

  10. Blogging is great, isn’t it? I’ve always been a reader and sometimes when growing up, I had the idea it was something I needed to hide. Being a ‘nerd’ had a foul taste, but now I own that title and I wear it with pride πŸ˜€ I don’t care anymore if people think reading is boring. Blogging has also made me realized that there are so many readers out there – and I love that. It’s like we are one family spread over the world πŸ˜€

    • stormydawnc

      SAME. I use to hide my bookish/nerdy side as much as possible(which, let’s be honest, I didn’t do very well because I ALWAYS had a book in my hand).

  11. YAYYYY I love hearing things like this! I think it’s really boosted my confidence as well. I never thought people would even read my blog (although I hoped they would) much less finding so many awesome people to talk to on a daily basis and getting review copies and talking to authors. It’s SUCH a morale boost to do what you love and share it with everyone else who is just as excited about it!
    I’ve totally started to develop “ownership” of my blog and my ideas and my hobbies… And being a little nerdy! I love wearing my “Keep Calm and Read On” shirt in public. YES, I love reading. YES, I have a book blog, and (depending on how comfortable I am with you), YES it’s a YA book blog.
    Go, you! So happy to hear that blogging brings people confidence! It’s the best!!

    • stormydawnc

      The first time I told someone in real life that I had a book blog was SO liberating. It came up in conversation naturally(don’t remember how, but I DO know it’s not something I’d typically bring up myself), and I was like. . . Oh yeah, THIS is what I do for fun, and I’m cool with that, so I’ll say it out loud!

  12. So much of what you said in this post resonated with me. I’ve struggled with low self-esteem all of my life, but I think I’ve been making some slow but steady progress since I started blogging. There are still many times when I’ll spend a good fifteen minutes composing a single comment on someone’s blog or a reply on my own because I worry about saying the “right” thing, and reviews sometimes take me forever to write. Lately I’ve been trying harder to take both the “Blog however you want” and “Read whatever you want and be proud of it” philosophies to heart, and it’s been quite liberating. Thanks so much for writing this post!

    • stormydawnc

      Thanks for sharing! I definitely still have insecurities but when I look back at the OMG SCARED! feeling I had when I started blogging, I think I’ve definitely come a long way.

  13. Asti (A Bookish Heart)

    Love this post! So glad blogging has had such a positive impact on your life. I think we need more posts embracing the positivity of the blogosphere! It really is an amazing community and awesome hobby that can help you really just be you, and love it.

    • stormydawnc

      Thanks Asti! Yes, it’s definitely one of the positive things about the blogosphere–the fact that when you start a blog, it’s YOURS. It can be whatever you want it to be about! It’s a good feeling.

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