PSA: Blogging Jealousy

Here I sit. On my comfortable couch. In my nice warm condo. With Mrs B sleeping away in the other room. Having just devoured a Wild Mike’s Ultimate Pepperoni Pizza. And a Rockstar Pure Zero coursing through my veins. With November being the best blog month I have EVER had. And you know what is going through my head? How jealous I was of another blogger, 2 1/2 years ago.

I was reading some old posts and saw one of their comments and it all came rushing back. They’d been online less than a year, had more followers than me, were more popular, got more comments while having less than a 1/10th of the book foundation that I had or blogging experience. What makes it particularly ironic is that I really liked them as a blogger. I was happy for them and their success and yet, not that far down, I was really jealous. I couldn’t even think about it at the time because I knew if I dwelt on it that it would sour things on my end and I did NOT want that.

Now that time has passed, I can look a little bit more dispassionately at it and analyze it a bit more, disinterestedly? I actually started this post out as a joke entitled “Po’ Lil’ Me” where I bewailed what a wretched lot I had in life.

Once I started typing though, I realized just how deep this had run back then and it got me thinking. I intellectually know that other bloggers have felt the same towards another blogger. But I have to admit, I’ve never seen it in action. How does blogging jealousy even manifest itself? For me, it was nothing more than an internal feeling that was suppressed so as to not allow outward actions.

Thinking about it, I saw myself as this:

What this other blogger did was make me realize the reality was much more like this:

I suspect they would have been horrified if they had realized what I was feeling. Hence why I kept quiet. I was jealous because I wanted their success, their ease of getting along with others and that indefinable something they had that attracted other bloggers to them almost effortlessly. Part of it was also me not having the confidence here on WordPress that I currently have. I also hadn’t settled completely in my mind just what my goal for blogging was.

On the positive side, being jealous really made me think what I wanted from my blogging experience. Did I want a big audience? Did I want lots of like or comments? Did I want other people to indenture their children until the age of 25 so they could carry my glorious name? (I mean, that’s a given, but still….). Once I sat down and put into concrete form what I wanted intellectually, emotionally and in terms of entertainment that allowed me to focus on a goal instead of on what someone else had.

Of course, there are times when I see “someone” get 100 likes for putting up something “relatable” and for about 30seconds I am jealous again. Then I just shrug it off. I am not that person. I am me. I have strong opinions on many things that run counter to most popular or even generally accepted, culture. I am not a group person trying to please others. In the last 3 years I have grown emotionally in that I have truly accepted my boundaries and decided to work with them instead of bemoaning them. It also helps that Psychic Grandma showed up and began toughening me up, like a piece of leather, hahahahaaha.

And I think that does it for me and this Public Service Announcement. What about you? Have you been jealous of another blogger? What did you do about it? Have you seen blogger jealousy in action? If so, tell me about it. Tell ol’ Uncle Bookstooge, he’s got a sympathetic ear …..

101 thoughts on “PSA: Blogging Jealousy

  1. I’m totally jealous of a legendary American blogger who writers about novels with titles like Sandworks of Jaggeroth Chapter 9; The Ragewars of Lord Vadram. Or Charles Dickens and Jeeves and Wooster. Why do people read his blog and not mine? I’m calling for a DOJ investigation….

    Liked by 3 people

  2. salonimore1702 says:

    Oh goodness, I’ve felt jealous of so many bloggers! Especially the newer one who somehow have, like, 500 followers. Even though they started their blog a month ago. Like how??? How does one manage to do that??? I go through a cycle of contemplating whether I should buy a domain, create a Twitter/Instagram for my blog etc. But I always come to the same conclusion: that this blog is meant to be mine and I started it for myself, not to appease hordes of book-lovers on the Internet. Also, I guess it’s somewhat reassuring that if I make a huge slip and accidentally offend a group of people, not many people will be there to witness it.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Bookstooge says:

      Hahahahaa. I know that exact feeling of “huh?”
      It also makes me aware that there are whole realms of blogging that I am barely aware of existing, simply because I have no interest in Subject X. Like knitting for instance.

      I am glad you’ve made the decision you have. spending time and money is a huge commitment that really isn’t needed for a blog. Hobbies should be fun. For us, the blog creators. So here’s to writing and satisfaction in blogging, no matter what that looks like!
      * clinks glass *

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I was jealous of how many replies you get, Bookstooge. Almost every blogger has more likes and replies than me. But then again I am not very active in replying to other people’s posts or in engaging other bloggers in any way. I post my thoughts because maybe 10 years from now someone will google for a review for some old book and they end up on my site. I’m building a review collection, that’s all. And since the burnout, my stats have dropped like a meteor but I stopped assigning value to that. It’s never enough, and therefore it’s not important.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Bookstooge says:

      In all honesty Jeroen, you can thank Ol’10 for those comment stats. He and I are absolutely terrible 😀 To the point where Akismet told me my commenting was like a spammer 😀

      My findings, in terms of numbers, are very similar to yours. When I don’t post for (even) a day, the numbers drop wicked dramatically. Thankfully, I like to write posts, and since it’s not a “have to” thing, the words just flow out of my fingers. Yeah, sometimes it is stupid posts, but the words are getting out and not staying bottled up.

      I like your mentality of thinking of your site and building up a review collection. I think long term blogging helps mitigate the jealousy factor somewhat. I know that the mere fact that I’m still around while others have flamed out gives me confidence that I’m doing something right 😀
      And I haven’t said anything on your blog, but you totally bucked the odds by coming back and I am impressed beyond measure. People do not come back and yet you did. So great job on that 😀

      This year I DID look at my numbers, every week. That was a mistake that I plan on rectifying in ’21. I’m just not sure how to get around not looking at them, as wordpress seems intent on shoving them down our throats. I want some long term data (ie, at least monthly, nothing sooner) for ’21 but am just not sure how to properly mine for it.

      And to end this huge ass comment. You are right that it is never enough. Being grateful for what we do get goes along way towards making this hobby more fun 😀

      Liked by 4 people

  4. A huge ass comment for a huge ass blog! hahah!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Wakizashi says:

    Ok, I’ll admit it. I am so unbelievably jealous of you and Ol’10 and all your comments, posts, Netflix deals, and ironed socks. I’m doing my best to get labelled as a spam-bot, but I don’t have a chance.

    On a more serious note, I used to worry about likes and comments. But I stopped. I am very thankful for the interaction I currently get on my blog–it’s exactly what I need, and it’s all very encouraging. We all have a voice and I am happy to have this platform to express it. Even with the new block-editor and all it entails.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Bookstooge says:

      Oh dear lord, the *&^%$ block editor. Now THAT is something I’m going to be writing about in my Year in Review.

      I’d be jealous of Ol’10 and me too. Our humor just clicks. I mean, no one else has ever told me to go guillotine myself and then put my head on a pike. And I’ve obviously never told another blogger to do that. But man, I laughed my head off 😀 I don’t think you can replicate that kind of thing mechanically. It either happens, or not. Hopefully, it inspires others bloggers to go comment more though. I’m all about more comments 😀

      Glad to hear you are content. That is one of the biggest factors in mitigating blog jealously. It also has the bonus of affecting you in real life. Being content and grateful does wonders online and in real life 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  6. bormgans says:

    Good question! Honest soul searching, I like that.

    The main issue I’ve had (still have) is a kind of envy/spite towards blogs that get lots more likes but are generally of the feel-good-kind: those that have practically no critical reviews, thinking all contemporary books great, and generally write very superficial reviews about the next generic product. It’s sometimes dishartening to notice there seems to be less demand for in-depth, critical analysis. It seems lots of people just like to be on the social hype train instead of discover truly good books. (That’s why I don’t get people that only read/review new titles – most of those will be forgoten in a few years.)

    I don’t want to sound elitist or disgruntled either. I get it that some people put in tons of work following & commenting others, and build succes that way (and that’s totally okay obviously), but sometimes all that makes me feel like the actual reviews aren’t that important to some.

    I’ve made peace with it: I can’t change who I am, I’m not going to do all the social work nor read more recent titles to get better stats. I used to try, but I’m glad I stopped. My blog is what it is, and like Jeroen, I’m just building a review collection, and I’m actually quite proud of it, so the jealousy has disappeared most of the time. (See my comment on Wakizashi’s recent existential blog post for more reasons to blog.)

    Liked by 3 people

    • bormgans says:

      What also helps my puny hurt feelings is the fact that it just takes some time to build a reader base. The last two years my stats are really decent imo, this year I’ve passed 20.000 views a few weeks ago, and that’s more important to me than likes. Most potential readers are off platform anyhow.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Bookstooge says:

        Yeah, time. I just hate the fact that I’ve had to rebuild multiple times. First blogger, then Devilreads, then Booklikes and now WordPress. I suspect I’ll stick with WP out of pure inertia 😀

        And congrats on passing the 20K viewmark. This whole year has been a banner year for me. I don’t know if it was covid or not, but I’ll take the extra stats.

        Liked by 1 person

        • bormgans says:

          Covid gave me more time to read, hence more reviews, hence more views. But either way I think even if my reading slows down a bit afterwards, overal views won’t necessarily drop I’ve noticed during periods of three weeks without posting. Obviously a new review gives a spike, depending on the popularity of the book. It’s about hitting critical mass.

          I’d never have the stamina to rebuild on another platform.

          Liked by 1 person

    • Bookstooge says:

      I get the whole contemporary thing 😀 Speaking as a snobby blogger myself, I don’t even think of those blogs in my consideration. Just like I don’t consider cotton candy when I’m thinking about what pizza to eat for dinner, hahahahaa 😀

      I used to say I wouldn’t follow someone who had more non-reviews than reviews. Now, with my own content being 50/50, I’m a bit more lenient. But not by much 😀

      Glad you’ve made your peace. Once your own mind is settled, all the rest kind of settles into place. I just wish it hadn’t taken me so long. One of the side effects of moving from site to site I guess 😦

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I’ve not had the jealousy thing happen, I only have a little blog, well 3 little blogs actually, don’t follow many and not many follow me, been doing it 8 years and loads of bloggers who haven’t done it that long are way beyond my stats. I can’t be arsed with promoting myself, that’s not what its about for me. I like the banter and convo’s with my ‘regular clientele’ and that’s enough.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. S.D. McKinley says:

    So, as a lot of you are probably wondering. “What’s this indie author rebel doing on our book review blogs?” I realize that I may slightly taint any future interactions with you about my book, but I don’t care. I’d rather have some solid interaction with people than to push my book in people’s faces, which aside from the occasional mention, I try not to do. While I’m glad to accept any number of sales for it, that’s not why I’m interacting with you guys. I find 9/10 people in my life don’t care to talk about artwork. I start talking about a book or some painting and how it possibly affected society as a whole and I get blank stares and if I’m lucky I get a “mmhhmm” and then a conversation subject change. Please don’t mistake me for whining! 😉 So, here I am as a human, then as an artist, then as an appreciation for art, then of course I want to interact with you guys and we can joke and learn about each other and have community. Because after it’s all said and done, we as people are literally nothing without each other. Cheesy as it may sound, it’s the truth!! Happy Saturday from Georgia, USA.

    Now, on the subject of jealousy. I don’t really find myself all that jealous and if I do I usually try to put that energy into doing something constructive about it. I’ve had a blog before with 700 something followers and it was a chore, let me tell you. It was a technology blog and I would get ripped apart on somethings that are speculations anyway. So, while I do continue to strive for progress and a boat load of money to fall out of the sky, at the end of the day I just like giving and taking about these art mediums.

    Hoorah!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Bookstooge says:

      Hurray indeed! And personally, I think we all strive for boatloads of money to fall from the sky on us 😉

      I’ve never had a big blog. This is the biggest I’ve ever been. So I don’t know what the dynamics are like. From your description of your old tech blog it sounded more like a battle than a mutual conversation. One of my goals here is for people to feel comfortable, within reason. And I’ll be a tyrant to keep that 😀 hahahahaaaa.

      I thank you for your continued patronage, even while you have the self-control to not endlessly hawk your own novel. I don’t envy you the fine balancing act it requires to be a blogger AND a writer. I know I couldn’t do it.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. You have 70 comments on this post. 70! I am jealous.

    I don’t come here ONLY for the repartee between you and Ten Seconds, but it helps.

    Also, there is NO SHAME in being that baby knight.

    Now, I think your particular brand of popularity is achieved by being a curmudgeon. Counter-intuitive, but it works. Sometimes when something is made more “exclusive,” it becomes more desirable to many people. Reminds me of a Dave Barry story that is too long to tell here.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Bookstooge says:

      And I feel that I worked for everyone of those comments 😀 Hahahahaa. But seriously, comments ARE what are important to me here and so I try to foster an environment that encourages that. From having open comments so even anonymous people can comment to staying out of conversations between 2 other bloggers on my posts (except where lines are crossed and I have to step in). I want people to comment 😀

      Sometimes I think I should be paying Ol’10 more than that 1 anchovie a month salary he’s been drawing. But then he accuses me of stealing ketchup from Wendy’s and well, then that 1 anchovie seems like a LOT. It’s a delicate balancing act.

      I do feel like I’ve grown up a bit. Maybe into this guy:

      I would concur with you, even if it harms my curmudgeonly theme I’ve got going. While I definitely play up certain aspects of my personality, if you were to meet me in real life, I wouldn’t be that different. I’m not a 14 year old girl pretending to be a 40+ man, hahahahahaa.

      Dave Barry is great. I’m thinking about adding some of his books to my ’21 rotation just to keep my spirits up.

      Like

  10. So, my goal with blogging was part of wanting to publish my books. But I like blogging, too. I have lots of thoughts. I never imagined that I would have so much to say about Neanderthals, but it just got away from me, I dunno. And more obscure is better, like with you and ironing.

    For me, what really gets my endorphins pumpin’ is when I find a like-minded blogger in an unexpected place. I have found a few such precious friends.

    Now that a few people are reading my first novel (far fewer than read your blog), I realize this kind of exposure is an uncomfortable experience as well. To have people who have known me for years reading about my characters’ love lives and death scenes and heartbreak … Well, it feels very … Naked, if I think too hard about it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Bookstooge says:

      While I am not a fan of “authors as people”, when I do run across you, I genuinely wish you the best and don’t envy you at all. How do you blog with people like me, and promote your book and keep most people happy and….and….and….. you get the idea. At least with my blogging, all I’m doing is blogging. You have a nasty tight rope to walk and I am NOT jealous at all. More power to you.

      It is always nice when you make that “click” with another blogger. Some bloggers are on the edge of your radar, some are fully on it. Others are pretty close to center. Then you have those who are in the control room with you watching the radar!

      You know what is funny? while more people read my blog than your book, our combined readers are less than 10% of certain big bloggers. Then you have bloggers in areas that simply don’t intercept with our bookish zone and there are entire bloggish worlds out there unexplored by you and me. All with their own big and little fish.

      What you describe at the end? That is one reason I’ll never be a writer. Nobody casual gets to ever be that close to me. Nobody.

      Thanks for both of your comments. This post has been a cornucopia of ultra-long comments and I have been in Blog Heaven most of the day. Considering I whipped this up at 11pm last night, I’m pretty happy with the results 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Ola G says:

    A cool post, lots of navel gazing and examining one’s entrails – love those! 🤣

    Seriously though, I never really felt jealous of other bloggers (but of the books or comics they get – sure! 😀) – we never really intended to conquer the world with our blog, it was a place to keep our reviews and conversations, like Jeroen and Bart say – a library of reviews for everyone’s use. And it worked, even half a world apart – and many more like-minded people from around the world joined in, so I’m very happy!

    Liked by 3 people

    • Bookstooge says:

      It just wouldn’t be a book blog without some navel gazing posts, now would it? 😀

      That is cool that you’ve never really felt the jealousy bug. I think it says something about a person who does/doesn’t feel that way.
      So I’m guessing you’re a replicant who is here to sow chaos and disorder, paving the way for the Lizard Overlords. Don’t worry, your secret is safe with me 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      • Ola G says:

        LOL you’ve found me out! 🤣🤣 I’m in cahoots with Bill Gates the main Lizard Overlord (I wish! ;))

        Truth be told, I think my ambition regarding the whole blogging thing was not big enough for jealousy. So, basically, I’m lazy 😉 And you offered us a helping hand right when we realized we need it, so that was great – thanks! 🙂

        Besides, as you well know, I’ve got too much righteous anger directed at authors and publishers and pop culture in general to have any space left for jealousy 🤣🤣🤣

        Liked by 1 person

        • Bookstooge says:

          If Bill Gates was all we had to worry about, I suspect we’d be living in a Utopia.

          Ambition. That is a good thought. Maybe I’ll tackle that idea another day. Let my collection of navel lint build up first though 😉 I am glad I could be of service. I don’t remember helping out, but if I did, I’ll gladly take the credit!

          Dudette, if you don’t have enough space for anger AND jealousy, then we need to talk about getting you some therapy. OR it simply confirms my theory about you and the Lizard Overlords. Your choice, hahahahaaa.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Ola G says:

            LOL, “Dudette,” love this! 🤣🤣

            I’ll be looking forward to your next navel gazing posts… though I’d appreciate no photos of your lint 😛

            I’m forced to admit it’s the Lizard Overlords. They bungled the job and I’m not entirely conforming to human norm 😛

            Liked by 1 person

  12. Oh I think many of us have experienced something similar at one point! I don’t know if I ever got intensely jealous of anyone, but I definitely felt blogger envy. I thought how wonderful it must be to be able to read books early, and not only that, but for publishers to send books to you just out of the blue! That was an unbelievable, almost magical concept to me at the time, haha.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Bookstooge says:

      Hahahahaa! So I guess you’re living the dream now, eh?
      Or is it a nightmare? * twilight zone music *

      Like

      • Haha, as they say, be careful what you wish for…

        Seriously though, once I became “established”, there have been new stresses to deal with, stuff I had never considered like deadlines, too much choice, and not being able to mood read anything anytime I want. Still, I can’t complain too much, getting unsolicited review copies and being able to read pre-release books is still pretty awesome 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

  13. Your post made me think and I realized that I do suffer from a form of blogger envy: when I look at the sheer number of books read by my fellow bloggers, and compare it to my yearly puny 50 to 60 amount, I do envy them the ability to put so many books under their proverbial belts and wonder where I waste most of my free time when I’m not reading… 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • Bookstooge says:

      There is definitely a whole host of variations on the jealousy theme that could be explored.
      I know for me, a LOT of time is spent here online on WP 😀

      The whole numbers game is one of the reasons I began tracking page numbers as well. 1 Sanderson tome is worth about 4 Howl’s Moving Castle style of books. I just feel pages is more “accurate” even while I realize that the Big Number is always going to be the numbers of books that get plowed through.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. I have definitely known jealousy towards other bloggers in the form of advance review copies at least a year after the beginning of my blogging career but then it quickly died down when I realized that I largely preferred being able to connect and share my thoughts with like-minded people than anything else. I am, however, very grateful for where I am right now, especially with my whole comic book side of things. I do prefer seeing any hint of jealousy as a challenge towards reaching higher levels of “success” in terms of blogging but I don’t make it a goal anymore, considering how limited I am in time. Great topic for a post though! To this day, I think the only things that I react to are bloggers who can get 100 likes and just as many comments on EVERY post and those who receive love from publishers/authors yet do zero BLOGGING work (e.g. interact with bloggers and whatnot).

    Liked by 3 people

    • Bookstooge says:

      At some point a blogger becomes a self-fulfilling machine. To me, that seems like the death of blogging. I like the interactions.

      When I first started out using NG I was jealous of the UK people who could get Neal Asher’s stuff and I couldn’t (geo restrictions. stupid things!) but once I switched over to only reading completed, or almost completed series, even that went away. And since I’m years behind any new releases, it is no longer an issue for me. For which I am very thankful 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  15. I remember when I first started the thing made me a little envious was seeing so many ‘I received this book in exchange for an honest review’ starts to so many reviews. But that envy died pretty soon as my rational side took over and told my irrational side that you don’t get everything all at once.

    I’ve come to prefer having a circle of people I regularly interact with and occasionally having said circle widen for short periods.

    I find I enjoy myself when I just focus on me rather than other folk. Still, I”ll occasionally see a review that took zero effort and gets over 100 likes and I’ll sit there thinking ‘what the …?’

    Liked by 1 person

    • Bookstooge says:

      Does being in the UK affect your netgalley choices very much? Or were you referring to non-NG arcs?

      I’m a pessimist, so whenever I see MY circle widen, I know that someone is sure to leave soon. Sometimes I think bloggers are their own worst enemies 😀

      I only follow one person who regularly gets over 100 likes per post. Everyone else is more “my size plus a little”. Once someone gets to a certain size, I think they can’t maintain that size if they treat everyone on a personal level. For me, that would be a nightmare.

      Like

      • Yea, I agree with you on that. I think, even if I had thousands of followers I’d still only really interact with the same small circle regularly.

        In the UK we either get the choices off the netgalley.co.uk site or, as I found by accident, we can log in on the US site and get those arcs too.

        But yea, it was for physicals I meant mainly as, back then, I had no clue Netgalley existed.

        Liked by 2 people

  16. savageddt says:

    I tend to get sad when i know how many hours i had to sit with a certain post and it garners no likes at all, then Salty McDave releases a post and people just love him. I do not know if that counts as jealousy, but it does get me thinking at times, am i missing the target audience or does my posts just go up when everyone has less time to sit and read through it. I know its a personal problem to me, but ive grown past worrying too much about it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Bookstooge says:

      What you describe is a little bit of why I use the name and picture that I do. When I left devilsreads in ’13, I was able, and willing, to invent my online self. I didn’t make as big a change as between you and Salty, but I definitely “tweaked” certain aspects of my personality that I show here.

      You also don’t have the time to put into this hobby called blogging like I do. I mean, I’ve never worked 60hrs a week (ok, not true. I have once or twice when doing security, but I was just sitting around 12hrs a day reading, so it doesn’t seem to really count) and you seem to be doing that kind of workload often enough 😦

      Anyway. Thanks for sharing and sorry for blabbing myself so much. There are times I wish I was a better listener for my blogging buddies.

      Liked by 1 person

  17. Excellent post Sir Bookstooge! I wasn’t jealous of anyone specific but wanted more followers when I started out. Now to be honest, I don’t much care about likes and stats and stuff and I’m happy with my small blog-less work and hassle!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Bookstooge says:

      What we want definitely changes as time goes on. For me, I never knew just how therapeutic writing a blog was until wordpress screwed me over with the block editor and the writing became a chore.

      speaking of hassles and blogs. How is the moving of your stuff to goodreads going? Is that still a thing or have you decided it was too much work?

      Like

  18. Nicci @ Sunny Buzzy Books says:

    I wouldn’t say I’ve been jealous, exactly, but upon reflection… Maybe I have been? I’ve often seen some bloggers success and been mystified about what they’re “doing” that gets them so much attention and popularity but I don’t think I’ve ever particularly wanted that for myself… I’m happy being me and doing my thing over in the corner.

    However, one thing that always gets me about blogging is when people share their “favourite blogger” lists – and they’re people in my “blogging circle” – and I’d consider them my favourite peeps but I never make their lists, lol. I’m often left feeling rejected – not jealous. It’s like that feeling at school when you never got selected for teams or invited to the birthday parties, lol.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Bookstooge says:

      Thanks for sharing Nicci.

      I had to laugh, because I know what you mean. It’s one of the reasons I don’t do “fellow blogger” lists. And because I don’t actually follow that many. Right now I think I’m at around the 40mark? That is really about my limit now.

      Thanks for dropping by 🙂

      Like

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