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.