My Blogging Problems is another discussion feature which pops up sporadically on my blog. I am also posting all of these as part of the discussion challenge. The only reason I give these discussion posts different names is because they are pure blogging related things I think of like reviewing, different posts you write and basically things to do with being a blogger. My Thoughts is all about general bookish thoughts. Should I have come up with a post title which incorporates both? Probably, but where would the fun be in that?
Look, I review books on my blog for fun. I read a hell of a lot of books. I spend a lot of time writing my thoughts about them (well, depending on the book) and I’ve been doing this for three years next month. As such, I can forgive myself for having a few reviews on my blog that can come across samey. There are only so many words in the English language and there are only so many angles you can look at a book. But sometimes, normally when I’ve gone a review spree catching up on my review backlog, I worry I get repetitive about what I’m saying about the books. Does anyone else feel this way? Do you notice?
I mean, sometimes I’ll be merrily typing away with my thoughts and then I’ll pause for a second and think ‘I’m sure I said that about the last book I read’ and it puts me in a tailspin. I don’t want to be the same and have unoriginal thoughts about a book. I don’t want to be able to switch out names in a review and find that it could apply to X Y or Z books. I want to think I am actually reviewing the book.
I decided to think of a few ways to try and mix things up:
Do Something Different
One way I review books I really loved is to do my ‘Five Reasons To…’ feature for a book and list some of the reasons I loved it. It means you have to think about a book for a while and pick out the parts which stuck out for you. Sure, there might be lots of reasons why you loved it but finding a way to encompass it all in just 5 points isn’t always easy and makes you get creative.
Get A Thesaurus
I am terrible for using the same words and phrases over and over again. I remember at school they used to drill into us not to use said for speech in our English class because it never conveyed tone properly. Do the same with your reviews. Don’t say you loved something constantly (I am very guilty of that fact) instead use a synonym. All you have to do is google a word or phrase and you get a good alternative. Originality is not all about finding different angles, it’s also about using different words!
Don’t Feel You Have To Fill A Page
One of my biggest issues when I first began blogging is I felt I needed to write a big long list of points about the books and get critical about everything and sometimes you just don’t have all that many words to say. Don’t feel like you have to write a certain number of words to have a decent review. Fewer words can often be better because I know I am guilty of being daunted by long posts from time to time. If you feel bad about only writing a paragraph create a post with a few reviews on for those books you just don’t have much to say on.
Basically, get creative!
You don’t have to have a long wordy review to put your thoughts. Maybe you work better with visual things and you create a mood board to highlight the imagery which stuck out to you and then just say a few words. Reviews don’t have to be like what we see in newspapers. We’re on the internet and we’re meant to be having fun so do it. If you like writing reviews, fine but if you don’t do something different to highlight the books you loved.
Does anyone else ever feel the same? Do you feel like you’ve written the same review for different books and don’t know how to get out of that rut? And what do you do to mix things up with your reviews?