I️ don’t know how it took me so long to jump on this bandwagon, but have you SEEN the beauty that is #bookstagram? I didn’t know it existed until about a year ago, when I was so desperately trying to avoid getting my grad school application and writing samples completed. I stumbled upon some gorgeous photos of books laid out with props and pretty backgrounds and I fell in love. I decided to set up my own bookstagram account exactly one month ago, so I’m gonna share some of my inspirations here and soon I’ll share how I got started and what’s been happening since.
I honestly don’t remember what I saw that first prompted me to look into this. I just saw a few cute photos and then got lost in the bookstagram tag. My initial response was to be a giant book snob who thought that focusing on the aesthetic appeal took away from the depth of the reading experience. I had also noticed that most of the featured books were YA or genre fiction, and I know, I know, there’s nothing wrong with that! People should read what they feel inclined to and I totally see the merit in those kinds of books. They’re just not l usually my cup of tea. I was still up on my high horse thinking that the only thing that matters are the classics and contemporary literary genius. Ironically, this was the year after graduation and I had read almost literally nothing since. Maybe four or five books in the whole year? Reading something—anything, honestly—is way more important than something your old professors would want you to read (although preferably, a little of both).
But then I started noticing a trend. Book reviews! Book blog links in bios! These are people not just reading, but talking about books?! With other people who care about these books?! I was starting to feel it. At this point in the application process, I had started reading quite a bit more. I took a few book-themed pictures (although nothing very fancy) and would post them occasionally on my personal account, but my audience there are mostly personal accounts with only a few with an actual interest in what I’d been reading.
The final deciding factor was when I decided I want to give freelance writing a go. I started researching this pretty heavily (more on this later), and everything I read encouraged this advice: You MUST treat yourself like a client.<<
at means a regularly updated blog, social media accounts reflecting your niche, that kind of stuff. This is where it all started coming together. I wanted to share my grad school experience, discuss the books I’d been reading, talk about writing, and (most importantly) tell stories. I wanted my social media to reflect those things and to represent myself as writer, not just someone who reads and writes sometimes. I’ll write more on getting started in freelance later (when I’ve actually done more stuff…)
Then, out of nowhere, I decided to go for it. I had a blog post idea (and it would be my first post since I went on an unspoken hiatus for a couple months), so I wanted to have my new insta ready to post that blog. Ironically, my first post wasn’t even of books. It was of my cat. My next two photos were a box of books leading to a blog post that explained my big life transition and hiatus. The third was a book and a mini-review, which would set the tone for how I reviewed on my bookstagram. For the rest of the month, I sort of flowed into what would be my “style” (I guess). It takes a bit to get into a flow. I still don’t necessarily think that I’ve found one, but I’m really enjoying figuring it out. But even more than getting into an aesthetic flow, I found myself getting into a reading and writing flow that I didn’t expect. I had been in a bit of a funk, barely keeping up with my reading and writing schedule for school. Talking to so many people about books actually made me want to finish my reading so I could squeeze in books I’d had on my tbr for ages and forgot about. I went from being totally behind last month to ending up ahead of schedule this month! Booksta has already become a very valuable motivational tool for me. Come back Sunday and check out my first month experience of creating @Tabithatypes!