Friday, 5 July 2013

Don't be afraid to be brutally honest

Before I go any further I’d just like to clarify that this post doesn’t encourage negative behaviour of any sort. It is about being honest with yourself and embracing change. There will be complete transparency on my part in the hope that you can learn from my mistakes.

The story starts in 2010: I was fourteen and had just decided that the rest of my life would be dedicated to writing. It was around this time that I had begun to explore the internet, discovering things that I hadn’t known existed before. Blogging was one of those things.

Naturally, I set up a blog. It had no structure, no set schedule, no definite future. In basic terms, I had jumped into it with little consideration. At around the same time I started on Twitter and for some reason I had a fairly large following. One or two were writers and that, ladies and gentlemen, sparked my next idea.
I began to consider interviewing writers. I contacted the few that had followed me, they agreed. I posted the interviews. Then I realised that if I was going to do this, I was going to do it properly.

I deleted that blog entirely and started this one. I got a flood of emails about interviews and I was delighted! It was around December that I received my first review enquiry. I had that done within the month. But In the months that followed they kept coming in like buses – all at once. I kept blindly accepting them.

Can you see where this is going?

Skip forward to this year, 2013, and I have a sizeable amount of guilt pushing down on my chest. In the previous two years I have been through a lot of changes. When I say a lot, I mean the same as every other teenager.

But that’s the problem: I hadn’t finished growing up. I took on a huge responsibility by opening my services up to a world of writers before I’d even taken my exams. Growing up, finishing school, beginning college and surviving my first year at sixth form has ruined this blog.

And I probably shouldn’t say this, bad publicity and all, but I still have several books to review from two years ago. I just can’t seem to get round to them, and the poor authors are kind enough to be patient. I feel like I owe them a house or something.

Hold on, there is a point to this all. I promise.

All of that growing up over the years has allowed me to realise that I set myself up to fail. I didn’t research how to go about blogging effectively, manage my time, or limit my workload. I allowed my list of requests to span several pages because I had no clue what I was doing. I was just grateful that so many people had heard of me!

I’ve had to be honest with myself this year. Brutally honest. I’m going to have to set this blog straight and limit what I do (more details will be provided in a future post). It won’t be easy.

So learn from my mistake and take a step back before it’s too late. Be honest with yourself about what you can do and how often you can do it. Otherwise, you’ll find yourself dreading the coming days.

Have you ever rushed into something that’s come back to bite you?


  1. Great Post Zoe...and yes, rushed in far too many time without considering all the responsibility that goes with it. Your post shows you're considerate and while you're still a teen, you don't carry the typical apathetic view of "oh well, moving on."

    You're transparency is a beautiful sight. :-)

    1. I'm glad you think so Tom. Thanks for commenting! :-)

  2. I've rushed into a few things that've come to bite me, painfully. I've learned the hard way to try to limit what I do and to wait and think before I act. I'm still learning some of these lessons. Balancing socialization with friends, networking with fans and peers, marketing, blogging, writing, my family and my job sometimes burns me out so much so that I end up spending one entire day staring at a wall. Things are getting better, and I hope you find your balance too! :) Best of luck to you Zoe! :)

  3. Very mature outlook. It's more admirable that you've tried so much so early... Mistakes to be made, reputations to be earned, and Somebody who isn't making any mistakes probably isn't doing much.

    1. Thanks, Dave. I think you're right there. If I remember correctly, there's a famous quote along those lines. :-)

  4. My honest opinion is that you are really nice and the book world isn't. Everything that a business person does is based around ROI = return on investment. We live in a continually accelerating and mutating attention economy. Every attention bite or byte has value. That's my view in a nutshell. Good luck and can you review my book? Just kidding. xx

    1. Haha! Thanks for the comment. You definitely added a splash of humour to this blog, Marilyn. :-)


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