Let’s Talk: The Green-Eyed Book Blogger

Let's-Talk-Blogger-Envy-Blogging-Green-Eyed-Blogger

One of my biggest, most glaring, most annoying flaws is how very prone I am to comparison. I’m not proud at this at all, but I’m extremely guilty of looking at what other people own or have achieved and finding myself seriously lacking. I’m always not smart enough, not pretty enough, not ‘put together’ enough, not productive enough, not creative enough… et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.

Sometimes it’s also not just about who I am but also what I haven’t done. People traveling to places I haven’t been? Envy. People eating meals I haven’t eaten? Envy. People doing fun things I haven’t done? Envy — and yep, even when I actually wouldn’t have wanted to do those things in the first place.

This, of course, translates to my blog: my posts aren’t interesting enough, my graphics aren’t as pretty, my stats aren’t as high or don’t increase as fast. Sometimes I manage to cast these negative, unproductive thoughts away and think: of course they’re better, I’m still learning; also what I’m feeling right now is TOTALLY normal. Other times, however, I just want to wallow — at least until I successfully pull myself out of that self-defeating headspace. Here’s what I found works for me so far. 🙂

1) Limit your exposure.

I think this is the sure-fire way to avoiding blogger envy — or really any kind of envy in general: simply avoid looking at things that makes you feel envious. Simple, hey?

I used to think that it makes me weak that I have to put myself on a social media diet. I used to think: God, Reg, can’t you just be happy for someone else? Do you really need to avoid it? But then I think: why does this make me weak? Why shouldn’t I stop doing things that make me feel bad? Am I a smarter, better person when I force myself to look at all these things making me envious? Am I learning something from it?

Well, I don’t know about you, but personally speaking, no. No, it doesn’t make me weak, and I should stop doing things that make me unhappy. No, I am not a better person when I force myself, and no, I really don’t think I’m learning anything from it. There is absolutely no shame in choosing to do what’s good for you.

2) Recognise your own achievements.

A wise man (OK, Theodore Roosevelt) once said that comparison is the thief of all joy. I agree — but only to an extent. In my experience, comparing yourself to other people is always a lose-lose game, but comparing your present self to your old self can be quite reassuring.

An easy way to do this is to look at how far you have come. Browse back to your first five posts and compare it to your most recent ones. Look at the numbers, if you need to. If you’ve consistently worked on your blog, I’m sure you’ll see an upwards trend overall. Make a list of the mistakes you’ve made and the lessons you’ve learned from them. Here are some quick examples from my own blog:

  • My review banners initially looked like this one, this one, and this other one. My more recent ones look like this: one, two, three. An improvement, don’t you think?
  • My original book looks images don’t actually include the book cover on them… kind of defeating the purpose altogether, hey? But voila, look at what they look like now!
  • I didn’t use to bold sentences until I realised doing so would improve readability, so some of my older reviews (one, two, three) are kind of boring-looking and lend themselves extremely, extremely skimmable.

You don’t need to share this list, but I would actually encourage you to. I strongly believe that it’s good to take note of your own achievements, to share that knowledge with other people and to open that forum for a wider discussion. 🙂

3) Accept that there are people ‘better’ than you.

Duuuude, what kind of advice is this? What do you even mean?! 

I know, lovely. I know. But sometimes the best way to combat negativity is to just, well, to stop thinking about it. You can’t really control your feelings, but you can control your thoughts (to an extent) and actions, and you can do this by telling yourself, very simply: OK, I am not going to think about these things.

The very simple truth is that there are always people ‘better’ than you. In the blogging world, this means that there will always be bloggers who are more talented, who work harder, who have more time, who have more connections, who get more ARCs, followers, views, et cetera. The even simpler truth to that, however, is that it’s your choice how you deal with that knowledge, which brings me to my next and last point…

4) Learn from what you admire.

I can’t speak for everyone but my envy is usually grounded in admiration, just packaged in a very negative, unhealthy way. I admire people who work harder than me, who seem to have their life together, who seem to have done so much more with less resources than I have. I admire the skills that they have acquired and see them as some sort of a goal.

So this is what I try to do: I go out. I take a walk. I bake a really delicious cake. And then, when I’m feeling better, I look at these people I envy, these people I actually admire, and take them as inspiration. I look to them for motivation, and I try to do meaningful, productive things that help me get closer to my goals. Mind you, success doesn’t come immediately, but trying is certainly half the battle… and that to me is more than good enough. 

Do you experience blogger envy? What have you found to be effective when dealing with it? 🙂

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91 thoughts on “Let’s Talk: The Green-Eyed Book Blogger

  1. Without a doubt, there are a lot of bloggers out there who I am quite envious of. However, my biggest mantra I always say to myself and to others is: don’t compare, but aspire. See the “better” blogs and look at what you can learn from them instead of putting down your own blog. I try to celebrate every milestone from 100 WordPress followers to hitting 1.5k Instagram followers. This is such an important post, Reg!

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    • I like your advice, and you put it so eloquently! It’s definitely one of the most important things we all can learn as, well, not just bloggers but people, really. Celebrating every milestone is important as well – I really should get on that train. 🙂

      Thanks for reading and the comment, Jess!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Ooh, some great tips here! I know I definitely experience some blogger envy – and following some of these tips has really helped me combat it 😀 Especially the one where you accept that there are going to be people out there better than you! I once read some quote about how it’s best not to be the best at something in the room – that way you always have something to learn!
    Geraldine @ Corralling Books

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    • Thanks, Geraldine! It seems to be more common than I’ve originally thought, haha. And thanks for sharing that quote, I think it’s definitely very true – there’s always something to learn from those you admire or envy. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Never have I found such a relatable post. I’ve always faced this problem, especially when I see bloggers who’ve started around the same time as I did and now are light years away! Recently, I’ve just decided to give up comparing myself to others because I know I can never be like them and I feel much better after doing that. I should woman up and try to learn from others instead!

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    • I’m glad you could relate! There are definitely some bloggers that I look up to, especially those that start around the same time (or even earlier) and are ‘ahead’. I think it’s good to entirely give up comparing – I wish I’d learned how to do that – but hey, baby steps. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Love this post, and I agree , especially the third point. And I think it is very important to be aware of how much time you can devote to your posts and the variety of posts you put up and the frequency of posts. And based on that, have realistic expectations of how many views and comments it will translate to.

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  5. Great Post Reg!
    I am definitely guilty of this, I definitely need to recognise my own achievements and stop comparing myself to others. I shouldn’t make myself feel down, but I compare myself to everyone and everything. It’s hard not to, but I am getting better 🙂 little by little at least!

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    • Thanks, Hannah! It’s definitely easier said than done, haha. Baby steps is the key – you can’t make huge chances in a day, after all, and personally speaking it’s kind of ingrained in my personality to compare myself to others. :/

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      • Yes exactly! I can tell myself not to compare myself to others, but soon I always do. I’ve actually been thinking of deleting my personal social media accounts like facebook and instagram etc. I’m nosey and like to see what everyone else is doing but then I keep thinking, all I do is compare myself to these people and make myself feel bad.

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        • I’ve been thinking about deleting my Facebook and Instagram too but Facebook is how I keep in contact with some of my overseas friends and Instagram… well, I’ve posted some pics and I like them there, haha. But I feel you! One of my friends actually deleted her FB maybe a year ago and she’s very, very happy with her decision. 😛

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          • Yeah when you’ve got overseas friends then it’s definitely worth keeping it 🙂 It’s a shame that if you deactivated your account, you can’t go back and just have it start back up again. Like facebook does 🙂

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            • I didn’t know that! I’ve always thought that if you deactivate your FB account you can reactivate it without losing anything, but deleting it will delete it permanently and you’ll have to start over. D:

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  6. I just started a 3 part discussion series and was very proud of myself for including an image. Even though I didn’t edit it or do anything to it, it was an improvement that I included it all. I really struggle with graphics. I want my blog to be as pretty as all the other blogs.

    This is funny, since I am the oldest sibling in my family and I am always telling the younger ones that it isn’t reasonable for them to expect to be the same place in their lives as us older ones.

    My Most Recent Discussion: Hasn’t Killed Me Yet: Living with Chronic TBR Overflow

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