Hi friends! 👋🏻 Recently, I have been thinking and reflecting on book blogging a lot and how my experience has been affected by numerous different factors, and I think the biggest factor has been that I am Autistic.
I was finally diagnosed in 2017 after years of hunches and those hunches not being listened to by school and doctors, and unfortunately, it took going to therapy to finally get an assessment and a diagnosis. Blogging is hard for everyone, but today I want to talk about how being Autistic makes it more difficult for me.
Autism is not a mental illness, and every Autistic person is different. How my Autism affects me is not exactly the same as how it affects another person.
Just a wee note: I am not looking for sympathy or pity. I’m not fishing for comments from people who feel sorry for me because there is nothing wrong with me. I just want people to understand how Autism affects me as a book blogger.
If you want another perspective, here is a post by CG @ Paper Fury!
I think we can all agree that writing posts is a difficult task at times. Something that doesn’t really help me is that I’m not very good at coming up with post ideas on my own. I have several “book blog post ideas” posts from other people bookmarked in my browser for whenever I’m stuck for ideas because I am not really the kind of person who just gets flashes of inspiration out of nowhere. Although I wish I was because then I would actually write fiction and work on my abandoned WIPs that have been sitting around for three years.
My Autism causes me to be a bit of a scatterbrain so while I’m writing a post, I have a few other things open at the same time. I could be replying to comments, making graphics, looking through social media, and reading other bloggers’ posts all while a draft is open, so I’m constantly jumping between all of them. This makes the writing process a lot more time consuming than it should be, but I just can’t help that.
Oh boy, this is the toughest one. I have always been the absolute worst at socialising with other bloggers outside of leaving comments. I don’t have any blogger friends and I never have, and it’s all because of my social anxiety, which directly comes from my Autism.
Also, I’m not going to lie, but some book bloggers are absolute sweethearts on their blogs, but once they hop on Twitter the claws come out and they become so mean for almost no reason whatsoever. It’s extremely offputting for someone who actually wants to make friends with other bloggers but is scared to because they don’t want to get chewed out for having a differing opinion.*
*when i say “differing opinion”, i don’t mean being a bigot, i mean actually innocuous opinions, like liking a book that has not aged well.
I will never be one of those people who can read 100+ books in a year, and that’s perfectly fine. I can’t even read more than one book at a time because my concentration will be all over the place, but it’s not a big deal because there are no right or wrong ways to read a book. No matter what Twitter will tell you. They’re your books, read them however you want because it doesn’t harm anyone. Just don’t be a jerk.
There are Autistic people out there who are able to read tons and tons of books, more than one book at a time, and can easily spend all day reading without doing much else, and I have a lot of admiration for those people, but I will never be one of those Autistics because of how my brain is wired. I can’t do anything for long periods of time without getting restless and needing to do something else, but it won’t kill me and it doesn’t make me a lesser reader because of that.
As I’ve gotten older and mellowed out over my blogging career, I’ve come to realise that it’s important to know my limits. When I first started blogging, I was reading two chapters of a book a night, and then I amped that up to reading two books a week, but once I got to university I was down to one book a week and that is where I have stayed since then. Beating yourself up over not reading as much as other people is not very healthy because what’s important to book blogging is reading in the first place.
This is the biggest thing that takes a hit when it comes to blogging. And it’s not just an autism thing, it’s a mental health thing too. I don’t talk about my mental health very often here or on social media because it bores me to constantly say “sorry I’m not posting I’m having a bad mental health day”. I have so many bad mental health days that it becomes redundant to constantly explain myself.
But anyway, in my entire blogging career, I have been known to just disappear and take unexpected hiatuses without announcing it or even explaining what’s going on when I come back, and it’s always because my motivation has taken a huge hit. Autism fatigue is a thing (whether people believe it or not) and I feel it so often with blogging that often when I finish writing up a post, get all of the graphics done and schedule it, I feel the need to take a week-long nap because it’s so much work.
Long before I got diagnosed I used to try to post every single day of the week with no breaks and would be so hard on myself if I missed a day because everyone else was so good at posting every day. I’m glad that that isn’t the norm anymore because we all put so much more emphasis on quality posts than the number of posts that you can put out in a week.
talk to me!
Which aspects of blogging are difficult for you? What do you find easy?