Book Blogger Appreciation Week - Community

Somehow Book Blogger Appreciation Week is here - and halfway over - without me doing much to commemorate the event. The theme this year is Cultivating a Community of Bloggers and Readers. Today's prompt says,
"The world of book blogging has grown enormously and sometimes it can be hard to find a place. Share your tips for finding and keeping community in book blogging despite the hectic demands made on your time and the overwhelming number of blogs out there. If you’re struggling with finding a community, share your concerns and explain what you’re looking for–this is the week to connect!"
I suppose I'm not sure how to respond to this one.  I certainly feel like I've found a community within book blogging but I haven't been as involved in that community as others seem to be. Her Book Self isn't currently on Facebook and I haven't yet put time or effort into figuring out Twitter.  But I don't see those as community outlets so much as ways to network.  I know I have a decent number of Google Friend Connect followers and I know I follow way too many blogs than I have time to read.  Yet within the group of all the blogs I follow - and within the group of all those that follow me - I feel there's a bit of an inner circle of those that really read my posts.  They're usually the ones that take the time to leave a thoughtful comment.  And I do the same for them because they're the blogs that make me smile a little when I see them come up in my massive blog roll because I'm actually excited to see their posts. 

I don't have any tricks or tips to contribute here because I don't think there's a how-to guide about finding blogs you like to read.  It's going to be different for each person, but I know when I do find blogs I like, I'm quick to comment and even quicker to follow.  When those bloggers reciprocate - either responding to my comments or commenting on my own blog - I feel a sense of connection.  It's validating to have people care about what I write.  

And of course, cultivating community online can be most difficult in busy seasons.  Right now I've been struggling to keep this blog updated as two family friends were diagnosed with cancer within a week of each other.  These are the times when I feel like giving up this blog altogether because real life seems too demanding.   But at the same time, I love the creative outlet that blogging provides.   Reading keeps me sane and blogging keeps me reading.  So how do I maintain community when I rarely have time for my own blog let alone time to keep tabs on those I enjoy most?  Like good friends that can go years without seeing each other and still fall into intimate friendship, I appreciate comments and posts from bloggers in my community, even in their periods of inconsistency and I can only hope that same grace extends from other bloggers to me. 

Whether you read every post I publish, one a week, one a month, or one a year - I appreciate you taking the time to hear me.

I write for myself, but I hit "Publish Post" for you.

9 Response to "Book Blogger Appreciation Week - Community"

  1. Erin says:
    September 14, 2011 at 2:43 PM

    I do think it's a very personal thing, finding blogs you connect with and building up whatever sort of community you're looking for. And I love this: "I write for myself, but I hit "Publish Post" for you." That's so true!

    I'm so sorry to hear about your family friends. Sending positive thoughts your way and theirs.

  2. Sam says:
    September 14, 2011 at 3:17 PM

    I'm not into Twitter/Facebook/Goodreads either, I want to be blogging and reading blogs rather than networking.

    I'm sorry to hear about your family friends, I'll be thinking of them.

  3. Beth(bookaholicmom) says:
    September 14, 2011 at 5:11 PM

    I am sorry to hear about your family friends. I will keep both you and them in my good thoughts.

    I am on Goodreads but use it more or less to catalog my books and to be involved in the book groups. I don't think Twitter and Facebook are my cup of tea. I would rather visit someone's blog than catch them on twitter. I love your last comment!

  4. Megan says:
    September 14, 2011 at 7:13 PM

    I'm sorry to hear about your family friends. I'll keep them in my thoughts and prayers.

    It's definitely hard to keep up with a blog when life gets crazy, but what I've loved about the blogosphere is that other bloggers *do* stick with you even if you can't be as consistent as you might like to be. My blogging career has definitely been one of major ups and downs in terms of consistency, but I'm happy to say that I have a good many blogging friends who have stuck with me (and I with them!).

  5. Grace Fonseca says:
    September 14, 2011 at 7:16 PM

    Blogging was one of the best things I ever decided to do, i love it a lot more than I thought. Got to meet some incredible people and bloggers. New follower. Come visit me over at Livre De Amour-Books of Love.

  6. Trisha says:
    September 14, 2011 at 9:28 PM

    I think we have a lot in common when it comes to the book blogging community. I follow more blogs than I can possibly keep up with every day, and much of my decision-making regarding who to read has to do with who has shown an eagerness to be a part of the "inner circle" by commenting on my blog. Dang that was a long sentence. :)

  7. Man of la Book says:
    September 15, 2011 at 5:03 AM

    Sorry to hear about your friends. I know that when my father was diagnosed with cancer and the next two years in which he fought the diesease were difficult, but sometimes I think that my blog was the only thing that kept me sane.

    http://www.ManOfLaBook.com

  8. lisa :) says:
    September 15, 2011 at 10:04 AM

    Thank you all for the comments and the outpouring of support. I think this is really representative of the meaning of "community" within the book blogging world.

    For those that left notes here from blogs I'm not currently following, I look forward to discovering your work and thank you again for stopping by!!

  9. Bailey (The Window Seat Reader) says:
    September 16, 2011 at 2:58 PM

    Sorry to hear about your family & friends. I really appreciate your post because I think lots of people mistake community for networking. Lots of people just want there blog to become a big name site with lots of visitors, but that's not true community, I think. I'm trying to keep blogging for the love of reading and the love of discussing great books!

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