A few short years ago, I used to be a total stress ball. I would constantly worry about every little thing there could possibly be to worry about, and it was awful. It took a long time for me to shed that buzz kill habit, and in all honesty, it’s not 100% gone. But I like to think that I’ve made significant progress and am now in a much more positive and healthier head space.
Something that really helped me reach this point was to not take myself so seriously. I felt that laughing at myself and just being comfortable with who I am, made a huge difference in my outlook on life.
Starting a blog definitely played a role here. By putting myself out there, especially with my dislike for being in the spotlight, the floor opened up for me to just be me. And I love every second of it!
So today, in the spirit of not taking ourselves so seriously, I felt like sharing a little moment of lighthearted self-roasting by exposing the 5 times I sucked at Bookstagram…
*It goes without saying that I don’t claim to be any kind of expert. I love what I do on this space and I like to believe that it shows. *
1. MY FIRST BOOKSTAGRAM PICTURE
If I look at the very first picture I posted I can’t help but cringe! It was taken at night after a long ass day at work and the lighting was rather terrible. But I remember that night so clearly – I was excited to be joining a community of people who loved books as much as I did. I got a total of 30 likes and I was stoked! Seriously! There are still times when my husband would look back on those days and recall how excited I was that actual-real-life people double-tapped my lousy shot.
I am embarrassed to say that the only book series I’ve completed is Twilight. I plan to fix that though, so I picked up Cinder by Marissa Meyer today. Hope I love it as much as everyone else did since I’ve never read anything like this before! #booknerd #Biblio #bookseries #bookish #bookstagram #instabooks #bibliophile #bookworm #booklife #ForTheLoveofReading
Starting on Bookstagram was all about sharing my passion for reading and being part of a larger community, with bookish folk from all around the world, who geeks out the same way I tend to. Right from the start, I had an absolute blast! So even though this picture makes me cringe, I just don’t have the heart to remove it from my feed – it reminds me of where it all began and for this I love it!
There were a few times, especially this year, where I disappeared without a trace. In June, my husband got sick and was eventually hospitalized which was really scary (of course, this fell during the month of Ramadaan, which is a busy month all on its own.) It took him a while to recover, and through this ordeal, I had absolutely no energy to blog or take photos. My heart was poured into praying for his health, helping him get back on his feet, and being there for him in any way that he needed me. Thankfully, he is doing so much better and is back to his old self.
Shortly after my husband’s recovery, I fell into a massive slump. I found myself unpacking books, fixing up some tea, preparing for a photography session, with no end result. I hated every single picture I managed to capture and lost the momentum that I’d built up at the start of the year. It was awful! I had zero inspiration and everything felt forced. So I unintentionally took a step back from posting until I once again found a rhythm that suited me. Yay!!
3. NOT RESPONDING TO COMMENTS
Okay, so this is a big one for me, and to be fair, it isn’t entirely my fault. While I MIA I lost touch with what was happening over on Instagram, and the changes that were made behind the scenes. Some of the updates really messed me over, and to this day I still don’t know if this is a problem on my side – a few people I follow said they’ve been experiencing it too so I don’t think it is. For some reason, I don’t get notified when comments are made on my posts. This leads to me not responding for weeks on end, only discovering these comments when visiting those posts.
When I realized this was happening I felt like I was failing at Bookstagram big time! I hated thinking that those who commented felt like I didn’t appreciate their support and input. It still makes me uncomfortable thinking about because I’m so grateful to each and every person out there who took the time out of their very busy lives to leave a comment on my post.
4. ANNOYING CAPTIONS
During my early days of Bookstagramming, when I was still finding my way, I used to post really awful captions. I thought that it was all about snapping a picture and posting it immediately. I didn’t realize that you needed to create content that people could engage with. Looking back at those posts makes me feel a little nauseous because WTF?! Take the time to put some thought into your caption, damn it!!! (That’s present-me screaming at past-me, btw)
Hope you’re having an awesome night 🌃🌌🌛 #books #bookstagram #booksofinstagram #bookaddict #bookaholic #booknerdigans #booknerd #bookmark #bookish #booklover #bibliophile #reads #readabook #readstagram #readabook #readandseek #SAreaders #southafricanblogger #sablogger #bookblogger #bookphotography #bookporn #vscobooks #vscoreads #cupcakes
So yes, I would post a mindless picture just for the sake of posting, and not spare two seconds on the caption. It’s embarrassing! I’m relieved to say that this never happens anymore, so I think I’ve seen the error of my ways… Now, I’d rather not post at all, than post something that I hardly put any effort into.
5. POOR PICTURE QUALITY
Okay so when I started out, I didn’t know what the heck I was doing. My picture quality was really crappy, mainly because I was taking photos at night after coming home from work. Also, I didn’t have the best camera at the time and had no idea how to edit. This resulted in grainy photographs, weird angles, and yellow tints that just don’t look good.
August Book Haul – these are the books I got this month. Cinder is missing from the pile because my sister-in-law is busy reading it. I got Scarlet yesterday because I NEED to know what happens next! #instabooks #instareads #booksofinstagram #bookstagram #bookhaul #Books #biblio #bibliophile #booklovers #booknerd #bookworm #bookish #ILoveBooks
Along the way (in an effort to improve) I learned how to edit my pictures outside of Instagram. I started playing around with tools such as ‘temperature’ and ‘tint’ to get crisp, white images; and really came to appreciate natural light when shooting. I completely dropped the use of filters and even stopped adding watermarks to my images. Today I can say that I am happy with my feed, but I am constantly looking for ways to improve and better my skills to put my best work forward.
So, let me know of some times that you totally sucked at something you love… Comment down below!