Book Blogger Hop, Memes and Tags

Book Blogger Hop: Do You Ever Look Back…?

Book Blogger Hopย is a weekly meme with a prompt featuring a book related question that runs from Friday to Thursday, hosted by Billy @ Coffee Addicted Writer. The hopโ€™s purpose is to give bloggers a chance to follow other blogs, learn about new books, befriend other bloggers, and receive new followers to your own blog.ย 

Book Blogger Hop (Final)

Week eight of my Book Blogger Hop adventureโ€ฆ I’m already back for another week! This month this was the only prompt I thought I could answer so here I am… and a lot less depressed (thank goodness!) And this is the perfect prompt to get the upbeat feelings rolling!

-Q-

Do you ever go “way back” to when you first started blogging and look at your old review posts? Do you see any differences from then to now?

(submitted by Elizabeth @ Silver’s Reviews)

-A-

My reviewing history… I started reviewing on the goodreads site. At first I only kept track of my read books. Then the day I finished them… then the day I started and finished… Finally I started writing reviews… just how I felt and what stood out to me… They were terrible!! (And still there in all their glory…) Later I would write my feelings in my status updates as I kept track of page numbers. Then I read a post about how to review and realized I never wrote what the book was about, lol… This is around the time I started blogging and posting to my blog… That makes you want to be more comprehensive in your reviews… It took me 2 years to get to this point!

Now I try to go back to old books I remember reading to see if I have enough of a review to post to my blog and mainly no… ack! It makes me want to cry how bad those first reviews were… Here on my blog if you go back I got really technical in each review… Like massively so… NO READER wants too much about the craft in their reviews… so now I write tighter reviews with a lot about how I felt while reading it. I still have a technical aspect since I have a perspective as a writer but it’s not nearly as comprehensive.

I sort of want to go back and read ever book I’ve ever read up to now and re-read it so I can write a review (and a proper one at that…) but there isn’t enough time in the world and I AM NOT A speedy reader… I feel like I need to stick to the here and now. I’ve learned as a reader AND writer that no story needs to be perfect for readers to fall in love with it. The MOST important thing as a writer is to FINISH writing it. Of course edit it and do re-writes but FINISH first!

As a reviewer I want to increase my instinct as a writer so that there will just be less mistakes AS I WRITE… that means using critical eyes to develop that instinct. The point isn’t to trash the book but to learn from others mistakes! Don’t we all want that kind of learning?!

Dani Signature

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32 thoughts on “Book Blogger Hop: Do You Ever Look Back…?”

  1. I feel like we must ‘let go’ of our older reviews… I’ve looked back once or twice and was so surprised at how different I thought they were ๐Ÿ™‚ yeah, I don’t like my old reviews now, I don’t think anyone likes their old ones. I try to focus on making the review fun to read now… I wonder how I’ll feel in another year or so ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Good philosophy to try to make reading your reviews fun! I didn’t think about reviews in that light… since I’m a writer it’s honestly all about what I can learn to improve my own writing and I hope others learn something too. I need to think how I can do that better โ™ฅ๏ธ I have incorporated gifs and tropes a reader could relate to… Thanks Evelina!

  2. I honestly never reread my old posts- I feel like once they’re done, they’re done and I don’t think about them anymore- although this is making me think that maybe I should ๐Ÿ˜‰ I do think about what I can change and evolve and I know I have different habits, but I think beyond that, I don’t know how much attention I want to pay to them. But since you’ve brought it up, I now actually feel like rereading an old review!

    1. Edit: Okay I had to look this up my old reviews out of curiosity and (aside from noticing the lack of polish and various flaws) I ended up just psychoanalysing myself thinking “huh I have a high disgust sensitivity…” (maybe this is cos my first few reviews were all negative ๐Ÿ˜‰ but still…) So yeah, now I *really* know why I don’t normally do this ๐Ÿ˜‰

    2. LOL! Yeah Since I stopped blogging back in 2014 and came back at the beginning of 2017 I guess I’m in a unique situation to have grown a lot between the two and yet want to talk about similar interests. Looking back is great for contrast but I love your attitude of keep moving forward โค

  3. Oh my, I personally have an extremely tough time opening up a window with my older reviews. I’m almost 200% certain that I’d be frowning and cringing at how I wrote and at what I had to say hahahah If anything, blogging is a journey and it is one that will always be in constant evolution. We explore different books, have different things to say and find different ways to say them. The fun is always in what you’re composing right now, and what you’re going to compose in the future. The past… well.. the past is just a lesson. A lesson that I just don’t revisit hahahha Great answer though. ๐Ÿ˜€

    1. You know I love your perspective on this Lashaan! I’m actually a future person and would rather look ahead.. I’ve taught myself to look back only to gauge how I’m doing as I move forward… but really you are so right… if we keep looking forward and concentrate on what we’re doing now, we’ll get better, no need to double check!

  4. You’re so right! It’s definitely about learning from mistakes and moving on. I think this not only applies to your lens as a writer reviewing books and learning from other author’s experiences but also as a blogger. It’s important to look back sometimes and see where we’ve grown in our blog posting, what we like and don’t like, and be willing to make a change!

    I really enjoyed learning about your journey, Dani. Please keep up the great work! I love reading your reviews and posts. ๐Ÿ˜€

      1. For sure. For example, I used to include photos in my blog posts. I realized that I was spending hours trying to find and make photos which were safe and legal for me to include. In the end, I’ve come to terms with my complete lack of photo/image skills. It’s not worth the time and effort, so I’ve just stopped trying. It’s not important to me.

        And I’m about to do it again– I feel like I’ve been struggling with writing my reviews lately. I just don’t sit down and write them. I love reading reviews and I am reading so much– so I need to take time to reflect on what isn’t working for me and what is repelling me from my own passions. A critical eye is important for forward progress!

      2. Don’t I here you about the photos! I do love making my banners and it’s going good so far but I can’t do an instragram lineup for every review or most reviews! Actually I love the quotes you do instead and how you use them like line breaks by making them a bright color!

        Honestly I also understand about reviews I’ve been working for the last 3 months to get my back reviews done and I’m under 10 waiting for me to review… WOOT! I am trying a new thing where I have categories to talk about… sometimes I’ll just write a sentence or two and sometimes a couple paragraphs depending… I’m seeing if it helps me jump into my reviews faster and easier. Reviews are such a chore sometimes…

        What kind of posts are lingering in your mind right now? Or what thoughts about books or blogging? โ™ฅ๏ธ Feel free to bounce stuff off me if you like! You really helped me this last month!!

      3. D’aw. Thanks! I worry about that sometimes– the colors… do you think they are legible? I feel like the purple works, but perhaps the teal isn’t working as well… But that could just be me being overly critical. O_o

        What do you use to make your banners? I love their look!

        I appreciate you being willing to be a sounding board! As mentioned above, it’s the colors and how I space out my reviews. But it’s also– are my posts too long? Do I need to provide them more structure (e.g. plot ,characters, setting, etc.)? What is really the thing which makes me blog unique and my posts worth reading to me and my intended audience? Who do I want to have as my intended audience?

        SO MANY QUESTIONS

      4. I love the purple Jackie… now I may be biased as its my favorite color but it’s a great contrast to the stark white background… I agree that the teal doesn’t work as well… It’s not bad and I can see why you chose a more subdued color… Do you have an option to do a special quote feature within your post? Like with an enlarged quote mark like my posts have? That might be a different option for the quotes inbetween (though not as large as my quotes sometimes they are so huge!)

        As for spacing I agree that your paragraph spacing is a little tight… Is that the default for your style? Your paragraphs are a great length and you keep your review on point, it’s just a little hard to read. I read on a mini and sometimes I struggle due to other bloggers font but I don’t get eye strain from your site. So these are just subtle design issues I think. You seem to have more control over your format that I do?

        I agree that I struggle with the same questions of length and structure. Sometimes I have less to say and sometimes more… I am working on a more structured review though so that I feel like my reviews are more consistent since my POV is as a writer reader. I love your Death by Tsundoku POV… is there some way you can highlight that more? It really is a unique idea that applies to everyone… if that makes sense ๐Ÿ™‚

      5. Thank you for all these constructive feedback! My theme is restrictive when it comes to the paragraph line spacing (yup, that’s the default) and how my quotes from the books are displayed is typical for the special quote feature. That said, I can look into some format changes. I like the structure of my overall theme (the “bookshelf” on the main page, the two headers, how content is displayed on the sidebar and bottom bar.. etc), but I do have a self-hosted blog. I’ll look into making some more tweaks as far as the display is concerned.

        Tell me more about highlighting my Death by Tsundoku POV. Can you be a bit more specific about what you’d like to see?

        Yay for constructive working with friends! Thank you! I’ll fuss with this some over the weekend…

      6. I figured most of the tiny little things that bugged me were out of your control. (And I’m extraordinarily picky! Your blog really looks great!) I searched far and wide and found a theme I mostly like, lol, so I know how that goes… and all those things you like look great to me too…

        I don’t necessarily want to see anything more from you. You are a great blogger. You have an accessible POV and many intriguing thoughts to express it! I was just thinking about when I go searching for your site (and a comment by you isn’t high up on the list) I love your name because I can always remember it for the search engine!

        It would be cute I thought if you expressed in each review a little of that Tsundoku POV. I’m not really sure what that would be exactly because I’m not sure what lead you to that name, etc. And if there is a unique angle you can apply to every review…

        It could be a simple noting of how long the book has been on your TBR (if you hit up books that have been on there for a long time). (This was my first thought at your question, not sure if it really fits but I thought t doesn’t hurt to share it either way.)

        Really though your posts aren’t lacking anything! And I’m not just being nice about this either. I like to tweak and add all the time, lol, so my brain is wired that way, but it doesn’t mean change is necessary! โ™ฅ๏ธ๐Ÿ˜โ™ฅ๏ธ

      7. D’aw. Thanks. I tried to mess with the CSS to get my paragraph spacing to be a bit wider, but something in my theme is blocking it. Of course. I’ll keep digging. Maybe this is really about changing the color scheme more than anything else, since that’s what I can control. I’ll futz with it this weekend. ๐Ÿ˜€

        I’ll also ponder more on the Tsundoku PoV. I like the idea of noting how long a book has been on my TBR… but my mission is also to help people identify what books are worth their time and what aren’t– to help other people slim down their own TBR through my reviews. So, perhaps it’s more of the idea whether I will buy my own copy (almost all my books are from the library), re-read it again in the future, once was fine, or never encourage anyone to read this? Hmm. So many things to think about! I appreciate you challenging me in this way. It’s nice to have a sounding board.

      8. Hi Jackie! I tried messing with changing the size of text using code so I can have a small sentence in the midst of the default paragraph size but could not get it to work… so I understand your struggles… I’ll just have to leave my paragraphs as is…

        I’m LOVING your idea of adding whether you would buy your own copy, etc… actually I was thinking to do something similar after I get my review format nailed down but with a little graphic and a tag so I can make a list somewhere, lol… I was thinking the re-read and own for home library but especially for the picture book reviews… I love the others you thought of though! You could do a whole page with links to a list of those tagged as need to own, once was fine, etc! (And I read ARCs or from the library too!) โ™ฅ๏ธ

      9. CSS is far more complicated than I want it to be. I really need to learn a thing or two about coding, but I don’t want to put the time in. I’d rather be reading. Right? Right.

        Thank you! Great minds think alike, I guess? Because I’m lazy, I think I would use tags for all the different Tsundoku levels so I don’t have to manually maintain the page. Instead, I can just create a page with a search collection for that tag. Simpler. ๐Ÿ™‚

      10. Pft, I wish I had your passion for banners and photos! I am so in awe of other people’s work that I just never brave it. It seem like I’d have to put in a lot of time to make something half as awesome. I don’t have a good eye for aesthetics.

      11. To be honest Jackie it does take a lot of time… and a LOT of trial and error. โ™ฅ๏ธ not that YOU couldn’t do it!!

        There are a handful of free apps that have templates that you can use to make patterned banners with. You just upload a photo you get from the internet or took yourself and can choose a box to go over it for the words to make them more readable. You just use that template each time with different photos and text.

        The real thing is learning beforehand what size of banner/photo would fit your blog best… Size matters, lol. There are a ton of free picture sites too that you can snag photos some just need attribution but you don’t have to worry about a lawsuit for copyright theft.

      12. And what you have listed above is about all I know. There is a lot of research, trial, and error involved (As you mentioned)! And I can barely find enough time to write my blog posts as it is. It’s definitely something I’ll be looking into for the future– but I don’t have a good artistic eye, so I know it would take quite a bit of my free time. Or, what little I have left! O_o

  5. I’m pretty new to your blog so I can’t really say anything about your first reviews but what I do know is that your recent reviews and post were just perfect and it seems you found the balance between a writer and a reader in reviewing.

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