Saturday, February 6, 2010

The Sunday Salon -- You May Want to Make BEA a Priority

Book Blogger Convention


This week was one of those long difficult weeks where I wondered why in the world I blog. I felt tired and discouraged, not for any particular reason except that I was, in fact, tired and discouraged. I felt strongly tempted to throw the towel in, I had vivid images of my hands chained to my computer in my mind, and I fantasized about what it would be like to just say good-bye to it all.

This happens every so often to me. Most of the time, I very much love every second of being a blogger, but there are times when I wonder if it’s just too much. Before you start telling me that I should stop if it’s not fun anymore, I want to reassure you that I fully expect to feel this way time to time about anything I love, anything that requires discipline and commitment. I think it’s just a part of life.

But I also want to tell you that if you’ve felt this way or even a fraction of this way, you’re not alone. Our discipline of book blogging is an intense one, there’s no doubt about that. And the world of blogging about books is so huge that it can sometimes feel very easy to get lost. Maybe you’ve only just started into this wacky crazy loveable world of telling the world how you feel about the books you’ve read and you’re amazed at just how much is going on out there. Wherever you’re coming from, I want to tell you about the single best thing you can do for yourself as a book blogger.

Go to Book Expo America.

It’s expensive, yes. And it sounds intimidating, yes. But let me tell you something, there’s enough fuel to light your blogging fire for a very long time there.

The thing is that you work hard during the year on your blog. And while there are many daily benefits to doing what we do, when you go to BEA, you’ll reap the benefits of your daily labor of love in a big huge way. Why?

Imagine with me for a second this: a conference full of people who love books. Booksellers, educators, librarians, publishers, and then a few other random people. And not only do all of these people love books, they love to talk about books. And not only do they love to talk about books they love to talk about new books that haven’t yet come out! And also maybe give you some of them. And imagine a day where it’s possible to do nothing but go around and get books signed by authors, where every time you turn a corner you bump into a friendly bookish face, and where your evening plans include, you guessed it, bookish friends and bookish talk.

That’s BEA. And this year the incentive is even greater because we’re having the first annual Book Blogger Convention! This is going to be loads of fun, have you checked out the panels? This is going to be A WHOLE DAY ABOUT US. Book bloggers. And it’s a long time coming, I tell you!

What you do matters. It can be so hard to see when you're just pounding away on your keyboard, when you're feeling overwhelmed by your review schedule, when you write a review and no one comments. When you go to BEA, you'll see...you'll see that what you do matters when an author's eyes light up in recognition when you hand them your business card. When a stranger tells you how much they enjoy your blog. When people are eager to talk to you about your blog. It matters. And you deserve to know that.

So seriously, if you love what you do, if you love books, and if you ever feel lonely and like no one understands, if you are excited to see the forthcoming titles, if you want to meet others just like you, who love books with a passion that doesn’t make sense to so many other people—then I’m telling you….make coming to Book Expo America a priority. You won’t regret it.




Amy

27 comments:

Lenore said...

I'm so glad you encouraged me to go last year!

Juju at Tales of Whimsy.com said...

I'm a relatively new blogger. I started June 2009. So I just heard about this conference a couple of days ago. I can't make it this year but will definitely go next year.

I really like your blog and hope you find the muster to keep on going.

Sandy Nawrot said...

I didn't really need to be convinced to go...I've been wanting to go since the day I started my blog a little over a year ago. Still, I don't make income from this, and it is hard to justify the expense to my husband. One of these days, I'll figure it out though!

Heather @ Book Addiction said...

I'm crying into my coffee over the fact that I can't go. :( (not actual tears, don't worry). I am so bummed! But you guys are all going to have a fabulous time, and one of these days, I'll meet another blogger in person!

bookjourney said...

A great post and good points for attending. I am going to BEA and BBC and am thrilled to experience everythink you mentioned here! I have a checklist of what to bring and am more ready than I think I have been for any vacation I have ever taken (when I usually pack the night before).

rachel said...

I tend to disagree with your first statements only because this is a chosen pastime for you --- and not a necessity. Like other things in your life you cannot control as easily ( work, relationships, etc.,), I really think that if a hobby or pastime becomes too much you can definitely step back. As you mention, the book blogging community is large and easy to get lost in--- I am sure your readers would understand if you took a hiatus until you rediscovered your passion.

Just don't look at it as so much of a commitment; rather than something you want to voluntarily share with the world... with that perspective it can become a better part of the "life" balance in your work/life balance....

L. Diane Wolfe said...

As soon as they start rotating the location again, I will go. I've been to the DC one, but NY is a little too far and too scary to attempt by myself.

Amanda said...

I have not yet (knock on wood) had a blogging burnout. I've had some reading burnouts so I end up blogging less, but I generally put up 5-6 posts a week and have no problem doing that. I imagine one of these days I WILL run into burnout, though, so I'm so glad I'm going to BEA. We're going to have a blast.

bermudaonion said...

I'm so looking forward to BEA again this year!

Heather said...

So glad you do blog! I just found you recently and I am enjoying all your posts. I started blogging this year, more as a Mom blogger--but books are my first love and I am doing more and more reviews...it makes me happy:) Anyway, Thanks for the info. maybe I'll show up in NY this spring.

Amy said...

I will definitely miss those of you who can't come. ;)

rachel, quick clarification. I didn't meant one shouldn't step back. I do take breaks, and don't really do anything I don't want to. What I meant is, that when you go to something like this and see that the world is much bigger than just your little blog it helps you when you get in a funk. So I felt down this week, but if I had quit I'd be disappointed in myself because I already feel better. Because I know in flesh and blood now several of the people I interact with here, I know that this can, if I want it to, go beyond just something I do for fun.

And I disagree. No, I don't get paid for this but it is a discipline. Which means it won't always feel fun. And yes if that goes on for an extended period of time it's something I should consider, but for the off week, or the days when I'm having challenging dialogue with others? No, I'm not going to quit over that.

Beth F said...

I finally bought my train tickets for BEA! I'm so excited. Last year was a blast.

Lu @ Regular Rumination said...

I will be there in 2011. Right now, it's just impossible, but I WILL GO ONE DAY. :)

Wendy said...

Amy, thank you for this post...I've been where you are from time to time (discouraged, tired, wondering if it is worth the effort), and always find that going back to why I decided to do this is what helps me out of the doldrums. I will be going to my first BEA this year, and I cannot wait. You are so right - we work hard on our blogs and we deserve to reap the benefits! Can't wait to finally meet you :)

Stephanie said...

Excellent post! I too feel a bit overwhelmed once in a while while I try to juggle family life, volunteering responsibilites, household stuff AND blogging! Every time I'm ready to throw in the towel, I remember why I blog in the first place - because I LOVE writing, discussing and reading books!!

Jen - Devourer of Books said...

This was a great, honest post, Amy. I'm super excited for BEA and Blogger Con, and I can't wait to hang out with my friend, Amy again. I think Daniel's sad he can't come with me and see you.

Katiebabs a.k.a KB said...

*grumble* can't go this year, but 2011 will be a must! There better be a BBC next year.

The Story Siren said...

Amy, you were truly speaking to my heart here. I've been enjoying the tour and all the tips, I've been lurking, but I just had to comment because I've been contemplating what you've mentioned for months. It's not that i don't love blogging because i do, but I've been overwhelmed in my feelings of discouragement lately...

BEA is one of the things that has kept me "excited" I think I'm more excited in meeting my fellow bloggers than the event itself.

I so very admire you as a blogger and I'm glad that you've worked through what you've had to, to keep doing the things you love in your life!

Solvang Sherrie said...

If I lived on the East Coast, I would be there! But I like what you said about the blogging being important. We all get down in the dumps sometimes. It's good to remember that in some small way it matters.

Jennifer said...

I truly wish I could attend BEA and Book Blogger Con, but unfortunately no matter how much I want it, no matter how much knowledge I could and would gain, attending is an impossibility.

Florinda said...

I will be missing out on BEA and the Book Blogger Con because of a prior commitment to another conference - less bookish, more bloggy. But having said that, I think you make a very good point. One reason I'm going to BlogHer again this year is that it IS energizing and inspiring to be around people who GET blogging, who love blogging, and who want to improve blogging - regardless of what they blog about!

I'm hoping for another Book Blogger Con in connection with 2011 BEA...and will hold off on committing to another BlogHer till I know whether it's happening! I'm sorry to miss it this time around.

heidenkind said...

And how much does all this cost?

Well, I agree with you that I deserve to go to BEA (~_^), and I would definitely love to be part of the first book blogging conference, but monetarily speaking it's something of a concern. Maybe if I get a real job....

S. Krishna said...

CANNOT. WAIT. :-)

carolsnotebook said...

I so wish I could go. I know you'll all have a great time.

Serena said...

great post. thanks for sharing with us your thoughts.

DelGal Reviews said...

Thanks for the positive thoughts :) I'm newish to all this and glad to hear that my first attendance at the BEA, while a bit expensive, won't be wasted.

avisannschild said...

Just wanted to let you know that this post definitely contributed to me deciding I had to go to BEA this year! (Thank you.)

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