Let's Talk: Challenging Yourself as a Blogger or Reader

Friday, May 24, 2013

Let's Talk is a new weekly feature here at i swim for oceans. I think it's important that we all have our say, and there's something to be said for raising our voices. Simply put, here on the little old blog, I like to host some of my very own discussion posts because, well, I like to converse with you all.

And so, Let's Talk will feature questions or prompts, which I will answer, too. Love it or hate it, weigh in or don't, it's my hope that Let's Talk will at least get you thinking...and maybe even get you discussing with the rest of us!
What would you like to challenge yourself as a blogger and/or reader to do this year?

This is one question that I posed to myself when I decided to start the blog up again after a nearly 8 month hiatus from the blogosphere. When I stopped blogging in November, I was burned out physically and emotionally, and the thought of writing another post or another comment really just didn't sound even remotely appealing to me. As someone who prides herself in delivering meaningful content in a timely manner, it weighed on me that I was starting to slack - simply because my heart wasn't in it.

This year, I've set a few pretty decent and attainable goals for myself as both a reader and a blogger. While the two go hand-in-hand for me, I felt it was important to separate them out so that they'd be comprehensive and really outline why it is that I continue to blog 3 years after starting.

My goals as a blogger this year: 

 - Have fun and be yourself. If you're not enjoying it, don't do it.
 - Take your role seriously, but don't take yourself too seriously. Embrace your quirks.
- Post as frequently as you feel is reasonable, but don't overdo it. 
- Set limits and don't overburden yourself with requests for reviews that just don't interest you.
- Build the Let's Talk feature because I love it when bloggers discuss things openly.

My goals as a reader this year:

- Read more books for the sheer purpose of enjoyment, rather than reviews.
- Expand your reviewing horizon, and don't settle for self-imposed limitations (ie: contemps).
- Try more books on my e-reader...I got it for a reason.
- Step outside of my comfort zone more often without bias, if possible.
- Learn to read a bit slower. Speed reading, while a great skill, is not always the best. F'reals.

What about you all? What do you want to do this year to better yourself as a reader, or blogger, if anything? Do you even set goals for yourself? Let's hear what you've got to say!


  1. I adore your new design!

    Great question as always.

    You seem to have the same feel of goals as I do. Take it slower and enjoy it more. Sometimes blogging can become a cloud of obligations instead of a hobby to be enjoyed.

  2. As a reader, I always want to read more every year, but there's only so many hours in the day and so many other things that demand attention. A book a week is now my aim, with an extra two or three a week on holidays. My hat goes off to you book bloggers who do the reading and then write the reviews! I guess the important thing to remember is that it's supposed to be enjoyable, not stressful, so when it starts getting close to the latter, take a little break. Glad to have you back here, Melissa!

  3. Hey Melissa,
    I appreciate you stopping by my blog! I've followed you via GFC since your so close to hitting 2000. I really love the idea of this blog hop. It's really deep and meaningful!
    Good luck,
    My FF
    Music Plus Books
    - Laura

  4. Hi Melissa! I completely understand about the hiatus you took, as I had to take one myself. Got some things taken care of and now I'm back. Glad you came back! I love your new design and I love this new feature! Will definitely be participating! Kat

  5. I followed back. This looks like a great feature. My reading goal is to widen my horizon to steam punk.
    My blogging goal this year has been to get back into the swing of things.
    Great topic.

  6. HA! That "learn to read slower" plan of yours is one I've told myself in recent weeks. Of course, then I look at my TBR and feel the need to read even faster so I can "get through" all those fabulous books. There is something to be said about the art of savoring things.

  7. These are some great goals Melissa, and some I definitely think I should consider following too. My own physical reading pile is insanely out of control and I so want to make more time to read my own books. I also agree on posting too, sometimes you feel obliged to have lots of posts ready because of books release date, but sometimes this can become really overwhelming at times. I think for the next couple of months I'm going to try and just have fun with the books I read and posts I schedule. Thanks for sharing your insightful view with us! :)

  8. Love those goals Melissa! I think my biggest one is to put less pressure on myself. I have a crazy calendar with all the books I need to read listed and when the reviews/tours are scheduled, and that often causes me stress because I feel like I HAVE to get things done rather than simply wanting to get them done. I have been better about reading a lot of "for fun" books in between review books, and that's helped keep me out of funks, but they of course still happen.

    And yay e-reader! I'm obsessed with mine, you need to get obsessed with yours:)

  9. I definitely agree about setting limits when it comes to review requests! It can be easy to get overwhelmed with those. And I also agree with reading more books for enjoyment - I'm trying to find more of a balance between "fun" books and review books.

    Great topic :)

  10. " Learn to read a bit slower. Speed reading, while a great skill, is not always the best." I absolutely concur! I am a speed demon and can read through two books in one day, but I think sometimes I miss out on the enjoyment of it all because I get in and out of the world so quickly.

    " Set limits and don't overburden yourself with requests for reviews that just don't interest you." I love this one. I have had to stop signing up for so many book tours lately because I feel like I'm better at picking out books that interest me versus the ones that pop up for review. Ya know?

    "Build the Let's Talk feature because I love it when bloggers discuss things openly." YES! I love this feature and I know I have been slacking on it! Just starting in June I am doing a overhaul on all of the features and such that I decide to too. Let's Talk is definitely my priority.

  11. I always want to do way too many things at once. I need to figure out a way to fit it all in without going too crazy.

    Mei @ Diary of a Fair Weather Diver

  12. I am overwhelmed with reviews right now. I feel guilty that I don't have more time to dedicate to reading and/or the ability to read faster. I'd like to feel less guilty. The world won't implode if a book doesn't get reviewed or it takes me a few extra days to get something done.

  13. Melissa, so many of your goals are my own too! I'm going through a really tough year with my classes, so I've taken the pressure off myself to post daily or even read and review ALL the books I read. I really want to maximize my time with GOOD books, so I've been DNFing a lot even though I used to feel really guilty about it. AND I've been adopting a lot of mini or series reviews since it takes so much tension off from reviewing EVERY book in-depth. I also love just being myself here in the blogosphere and I'd hate to have to leave because of the stress it brings, so I'm just enjoying it, really. Great goals, dear, and I wish you the best of luck in keeping up with all of them! :D

  14. Have fun is a really important goal for me this year-sometimes I stress out so much over my blog and it is just so wrong, I know but I do it! These past few weeks, I've tried to have more fun and it's really improved the way I feel toward my blog.


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