Book Blogging + Anxiety

Simply put…anxiety sucks. I really hate how it gets in the way of things I enjoy doing. I’m a book nerd who doesn’t have a lot of bookish friends in real life. It really is amazing that I can turn to the internet and find all of you wonderful people who love & enjoy the same books I do. That’s why book blogging & bookstagram are two of my favorite hobbies in addition to reading.

You’d think that being a step removed from seeing you in person would help with anxiety but it doesn’t always.

It’s occasionally nice to have the space to step back and think about how to respond to a comment or to have the time to leave meaningful comments on other blogs.

Other times, it’s absolutely overwhelming when you see what everyone else is doing and somehow it feels like what you’re doing isn’t “good enough.” Other bloggers/bookstagrammers have beautifully designed blogs or feeds, host fun events (read-a-thons; buddy reads; tags; awards), dozens of comments or likes in a matter of a few hours, or lots of exciting opportunities or partnerships.

I don’t think there’s a magic answer for how to manage anxiety with book blogging or bookstagram. I’ll share what I’ve learned that works for me in the 8+ years I’ve been in the book blogging community.

Do This On YOUR Schedule

My first time blogging I loved everything & had a lot more free time. Therefore, I wanted to do ALL THE THINGS. I was able to read a lot more so I could post reviews fairly quickly. I put together ‘real’ posts, interviews with other bloggers, reviews, & other types of posts. I was posting about 5 times a week. That’s great for my blog readers but got to be exhausting for me. As a result, I got tired & slowly burned out before walking away altogether. This awesome, fun thing I was doing in my spare time started to feel like a job & one I was starting to hate.

This time around I’ve been taking my time. I probably could post a bit more but I like the slower pace. I can put more thought into posts. I can plan things better. I’m just as proud of my 3 posts a week as I was of my 5+ posts a week.

DO NOT follow what others are doing. Don’t ever feel the need to crank out posts/content like a machine because that’s what other people are doing. Take your time and do what works for you. It’s fine if you post once or twice a week. You’ll still find your people.

Schedule, Schedule, Schedule

This have been the biggest time/life saver for me since I now work full time. I don’t have endless free time to sit around & work on content.

I love that I can work & be creative on my own time when I’m in my best head space. I can have a really productive afternoon or evening and get posts scheduled for several weeks. You no idea how helpful that is when you have ‘bad’ days or weeks where you have absolutely no desire to write or work on posts or even digitally socialize. If you have anxiety, you know how awful it is to be ‘forced’ into doing something.

Try New Things Slowly

It never ceases to amaze me the creativity there is in this community. You can never replicate someone’s success or aesthetic so don’t feel like your account has to look one thing. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed when comparing your blog/bookstagram to a bigger account. You can try small things at your own pace though.

  • Create a new type of post inspired by another blogger (give credit if needed).
  • Take time to work on blog graphics to make your blog feel more professional.
    • Canva is an easy tool for those (like me) who have little graphic design knowledge.
  • If the idea of blog hopping & ‘talking’ to dozens of new people makes you a little sick, try leaving comments on one or two blogs a day.
  • Experiment with new bookstagram set ups that inspire you.
    • You never have to post them if you hate them.
    • Deleting photos is always acceptable.
  • Treat yourself to one new bookstagram prop.
    • You might not ever perfect the art of the gorgeous flat lay but you might be able to work with a new set of fake flowers, crown, dagger, or other fun prop.

Doing small changes or trying things slowly makes evolution seem within reach.

Don’t Stress Yourself Out About Comments

Thank you all so much for comments. I really love & appreciate them. They just stress me out sometimes.

The type of comment that always weirdly stresses me out is the one that really doesn’t need a proper response.

  • “Good luck”
  • “I love this book”
  • “Great post”
  • “Thanks for sharing”
  • “I love this”

So on and so forth. You know the type of comment I’m talking about. I do appreciate the time & effort people took to leave a comment! My brain tells me that my repeated generic (or attempted custom) replies to these comments are “annoying” or something equally ridiculous.

I’ve started giving myself permission to just ‘like’ or ‘heart’ these comments. It’s simple. It acknowledges that I appreciate their thoughts. When I leave those type of comments for others, I don’t want or need a response. I know exactly what they’ll say!

This frees me (& my mind) up for comments that need more thinking. The longer form comments that are actually designed for a conversation. I’ve also given myself permission to take longer to reply to those comments. If I can’t put together a decent response until the next day, that’s absolute fine.

Now about leaving comments for others…that can be tricky for me. I do try to make at least a few comments on photos or blogs a week. Usually only if I have something meaningful to contribute.

Here’s the thing though, there is another way to show that you love a post if you don’t know what to say!

  • Share the post!!!
    • For bookstagram posts, stories are a great way to share that you love a particular pic or call attention to the caption if it’s really great.
    • Maybe you have a bookish Twitter or Facebook, share the post there.
    • Pinterest is another great option if the post has a great graphic.
    • Share it on your blog.
  • Refer back to their posts.
    • Once upon a time, WordPress used to have a wonderfully easy option to add similar blog posts to your blog post.
      • For example: At the end of my book review, WP would recommend some similar posts (which were typically other reviews of the book). It took a few clicks & I was able to refer my readers to other reviews.
    • You can manually do that now if you have the time.
      • If you’re writing about a particular subject, it’s always worthwhile to highlight other perspectives on it.
    • This can be helpful when dealing with books you haven’t read.
      • “Oh, I haven’t read X book yet but here’s Y’s review on it”
    • Or topics you’re not familiar with.
      • “X has a great post on how to approach a publisher for a review.”
      • “I followed Y’s advice for setting up a Pinterest account for the blog.”

People Like You And WANT To Be Your Friend

By in large, the book community is wonderfully kind & supportive. Yes, you might stress about what to say or worry about liking too many posts. I guarantee the other person doesn’t care. They’re probably smiling a bit when they see the notifications.

Maybe you don’t get an explosion of likes or comments when you post. That’s totally okay. I can guarantee there’s at least one person who smiles when they see a new post from or who looks forward to your next post [hint: it’s probably me 🙋‍♀️] .

So go out there. Engage on your own terms. You’re doing an awesome job.

What advice do you have about anxiety & book blogging or bookstagram?

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22 thoughts on “Book Blogging + Anxiety

  1. I struggle replying to some of those comments, too, even though I know they just wanted to leave a nice comment and didn’t want to write a novel to me! I go with something really generic like “Thanks” or “Glad to hear that” and stress I’m not being insightful enough or something.


  2. I can relate to how you feel, Alison – especially the points about interacting with other bloggers! I used to be so worried about being annoying liking and commenting posts when I first started blogging, but it’s like you said – most people just want to talk to you 🙂. And sometimes it can be overwhelming trying to reply to posts/or replies on my posts as genuinely as possible, and I do find that I get a bit worried that I’m replying robotically 😅. I think that’s good that you’ve allowed yourself to leave things to a like haha, and sharing posts on other social media accounts is one of my favorite ways to other people’s posts now when I don’t want to say 🙂!


  3. Sorry to be one of those people to post this comment but, I love this! 😄 It’s a great reminder to allow your blog to be a source of happiness rather than stress. I think we all could use a reminder now and then. ☺️


  4. The scheduling tool is my lifesaver! I usually sit down once or twice a week and get out all the posts I want for the week or upcoming week. Or if I finish a book late and write my review I can schedule it to go up whenever. It really helps me out too. And I feel you on the comments. Sometimes I don’t know how to reply so I just . . . Don’t. I feel bad for not replying but I just don’t know what to say.


  5. Love this! I’m also really bad with replying to comments because of my anxiety. Sometimes I don’t post because of my anxiety. I just remember that this is my site, I do whatever I want. No one can make me do something I don’t want to on my own domain


  6. I am new to book blogging. It was my way to help destress from “real world” issues. This post is super helpful because being new, there does seem to be this internal pressure to not only produce posts but posts that would be more in sync with other bloggers…thus producing its own type of anxiety. These are great tips.


  7. Thank you for the tips. This has been so helpful. So far I can only manage 1 or 2 posts a week and I always feel that it is not enough. Not to mention the self-doubt that always creeps in before hitting the publish better “Is it good enough” “Will I get more likes/followers”
    It started off as a fun hobby and I can see how it can become a cause for stress. I’m trying to not be too harsh on myself and know that it takes time. Honestly, it’s just good to know someone else feels the same 🙂
    (Don’t feel compelled to reply to this comment)


  8. This is such a great post. It’s been bugging me whether my late replies to comments, especially the longer comments which require greater thought, have been deemed rude because of the lateness, but I’m finally learning to cut myself slack and recognise that I can only do and respond how and when I feel. I’m going to take you up on the simply liking comments that are fairly shorter! I’m finding that I’ve been asking myself recently what do I want out of my book blog? Do I really need what other bloggers need? Especially when I see other book bloggers churning out more content than I am and I have to remind myself that I need to take a breath and not rush myself just for the sake of putting out content. Otherwise, it honestly will feel like you’re back in school again trying to fit in.


  9. I’m still very new to book blogging, but I’m already starting to feel kind of overwhelmed by all the information out there about how to book blog, book blogging tips, and all that. I started this blog as something for me, because like you, I don’t have a lot of bookish friends in real life!

    The advice to try new things slowly is really good. I don’t mean this as a call out against other book bloggers, but I find that many posts about the logistics behind book blogging are geared towards people who are seeing their blog as more of a potential business venture. Lots of stuff about optimizing SEO, driving traffic, and all that. It’s easy to get lost in that and forget to take care of yourself. For some people, blogging is their business and that’s okay, but it doesn’t have to be a business for everyone.


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