Do Whatever The Fuck You Want

Note: There are cuss words here. I swear like a sailor.

So, the other day I was teaching a class on relationship violence for at-risk young adults. We were discussing scenarios and came across one scenario where a girl wore a short skirt despite her boyfriend asking her not to. I will never ever forget what one student said in response to this scenario: ‘Did she pay for her own clothes? Did she spend her own money on those clothes? Then she can wear whatever the fuck she wants.” I love that. And yes, those students do curse when I give my presentations — I pick and choose my battles. But that answer kind of struck a chord with me, because of course it made me think about blogging.

Ron Swanson I Do What I Want GIF

Honest to god, why do people give a shit about what other bloggers are doing? Why do people care SO MUCH that someone posts an early review? Why do people care SO MUCH that someone posts a book haul? Why do people care SO MUCH if reviews are critical enough or not? Like seriously, there is an X in the corner of most tab browsers, if you don’t like what you see, don’t let the X hit you in the ass on your way out. I am sorry for all my swears but I am heated up. One of those things that really gets on my nerves is when the ‘book blogging police’ start prattling on and on about how bloggers SHOULD BE doing things one way or they SHOULD BE doing things the other way. Or OMG OMG SOMEONE IS WRONG ON THE INTERNET.

Really guys? Really. I just don’t get it. WHY DOES IT MATTER SO MUCH WHAT OTHER PEOPLE ARE DOING. And yes, I am angry enough to yell and capslock.

Straight up, I pay my hosting fees. I pay my domain name fees. I pay my own postage. I pay list price for those signed books that I give away. I spend my own free time reading books sent for review when I could take up a second job and make more cash money. I spend my own free time writing reviews. It kind of really chaps my ass when people start proclaiming that EVERYONE SHOULD NOT DO THING X BECAUSE IT IS EVIL TERRIBLE AND BAD. I am of the mind that if you own your blog, whether you spend a lot of money on it or not, you should do whatever the fuck you want.*Obviously don’t plagiarize, that’s not my point. Moving on.

I guess I am really just posting this because it kind of sucks when people take it on themselves to point fingers at other people for not doing things their own way. The way I see it is that I will be goddamned if someone makes me feel inferior for not conforming to their own personal standards. That’s sort of the way those posts come across sometimes – as totally condescending. And I get it, I get that people love dispensing advice from on high. Like, good for you bro that you are a blogging expert. I am proud of your doctorate in book blogging and for making sure people stick to the book blogging rules and regulations. Note, I am not talking about blogging tips – those are awesome. I love learning new things like why Livefyre is cool or why you should check out hootsuite or why captcha might discourage comments.

I guess I am getting super convoluted about my point. My whole point for those who are all TL;DR is this: on your book blog do whatever you want. Post early reviews. Post GIF filled reviews. Post long reviews. Post short reviews. Post memes. Post contests. Post discussions. Post rants. And hell, even post rants about what other bloggers do that piss you off. I don’t care. I just think that we should all feel good about what we post and how we promote reading and literacy instead of feeling like we are WRONG OMG OMG for breaking some secret blogging rule.

Sorry guys, I just had to get that off my chest. By all means rant on about the behavior of others, just on your own personal blogs, do whatever makes you happy — even if it’s the subject of someone else’s rant.

About April (Books&Wine)

April is 28 years old and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. In her free time she can be found reading, working out, or eating junk food. She often wears her sunglasses at night.

Comments

  1. I’ve been of the do whatever you fucking want mindset since the creation of my blog in 2009.

  2. I’ve never had this problem, personally, but I can understand how it would be frustrating, and I agree that when it’s your blog, you get to make the choices. I’ll post what I want to, when I want to. End of story.

  3. *hi5*

  4. When I first started out I listened to a couple of those pieces of “advice” and it just didn’t work for me. I hate conforming to some standard that someone sets. I can’t be who I’m not. So I just did my own thing.

    And no, I’ll never be a big blog because of it. But I like doing what I want to do. It’s my blog. And I like when bloggers do what they want to do. Well, aside from theft. I tend to have issues with that.

    Everyone should do what they like to do – whether that be all promo all the time, or all positive reviews, all negative reviews, all memes. Whatever. As long as they’re not pushing me to do something they have every right to blog as they please. I totally agree with you.

    It’s like those people who b**tch about a TV program or “shock jock.” Change the channel.

    There are plenty of blogs to read out there that will fit you, as a reader’s, interests. So, I totally agree with your stance about doing whatever the f**k you want, aside from stealing, that is.

    However, I’m all for advice. Sometimes it is good to know certain bits of information before making a leap.

    Great post! And I love that your students can speak so freely!

    • Me too — regarding the pieces of advice. It’s much more invigorating to set your own standards and be yourself.

      I actually think of you as a bigger blogger — funny how perception works. I love that you do what you want, it makes for an authentic blog.

      Agreed! All the way! People can do whatever they want, doesn’t mean I have to subscribe though.

      Hah — love the shock jock comparison.

      YES! There’s like a million book blogs, it’s not exactly a challenge to find one that works for you.

      Advice is awesome.

      Thank you so much– yeah, it’s nice teaching older students/adults because they can just speak their minds and be honest with me.

  5. If everyone did the same thing, it would be so boring. I like the variety! Yes, publisher like reviews closer to release but there is nothing wrong with early buzz! It often brings interest to so many others who might not have heard of it before. Long reviews or short reviews, it doesn’t matter. As long as I am happy with what I post and am doing ME, than that’s all that matters. It sucks when people try to act like there is something wrong with that.

    • I love variety as well — it’s so much fun! See, it really depends on the publisher like with Penguin, they say tweet us your review more than one month before release and we will maybe RT it. Like, I know Bloomsbury doesn’t like reviews more than 1 month, but they state that clearly. I also know too that S&S’s president of children’s publicity straight out told us at the sponsored lunch that as long as you can preorder it, they don’t mind reviews being up.

      YES! It’s all about being yourself and there’s totally nothing wrong with that. <3

  6. Word, darling. The book blogger police should start focusing more on their own blogs. Maybe they would get more hits then.

  7. thank you for this, i say sincerely. sometimes i feel like i do have to follow the rules, however nebulous and sketchy they may be, because i don’t think i am as good as/as popular as some other blogs and i don’t want to be seen as the “bad seed” if you will. but, fuck that! it is my blog and i can do what i want. isn’t that the whole point?

    • <333 I think that as long as you do what you want you'll be fine. And you know it takes time to build up an audience/be popular. You just have to find what works to you.

      YES! That's the attitude.

      Thanks for commenting, Daphne!

  8. You are my hero – rock on!

  9. I love you, April. Sure, there’s a lot of bloggers where maybe I don’t like what they post–I just don’t read those blogs. I know a lot of people don’t like that I post such a random ass conglomeration of books–meh! I’m not here to cater to a certain crowd, so what do I care if I post for adult, YA, and MG books. Anyway, pretty much.

    • <3333

      Word, I totally don't read blogs where I don't like what they post - what's the point in getting my blood boiling every day.

      I love your random conglomeration. Variety is my favorite, ha ha.

  10. A-freakin’-men! And can I just add that people don’t HAVE to follow a blog that irritates them or upsets them or “breaks” whatever rules they feel bloggers should follow.

    There’s been so much bitching and gleeful trolling around the book blogosphere, it’s bringing me down, man. I much prefer my rose-colored world and hanging with people who do their thing happily, letting it all hang out. My kind of people. Like you! 🙂

    • It’s kind of funny how some people act like a gun is being held to their head and they just HAVE TO FOLLOW a certain blog. Like really, who cares if someone does something you don’t like — there’s people who will do things you do like.

      Yeah the amount of vitriol lately seems to be on the rise. I like hanging with people who are totally themselves as well.

      <333

  11. I’m commenting from the point of view of a person who just reads book blogs to find the next great book to read. Don’t really understand the drama that goes on so my comment is minimum but it sounds like too much politics, everyone in each others business. Maybe when a business is made out of something people love they forget why they originally started reading in the first place, to step out of reality and see life from another point of view. Break rules, be yourself, sounds good to me.

    • I like Tammy’s comment here. I was in the blogging world as solely a blog reader for over a year, until this past December, when I created my blog. I noticed, during that year, that people would start off blogging really well, and would be really in touch with reading and reviewing and interacting with other people. As the blogger got “older”, and had more experience and stats, the blog became less of what it used to be (something promotional and communal) and more of a business, as Tammy said. I honestly think that some book bloggers are too uptight, and only care about certain things (*cough cough* ARCs!), and lose sight of what book blogging really is.

      So, April, I think you are spot-on. Good for you, girl! 🙂

      Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!

      • I like the point you make Alyssa about people kind of losing touch. I know that with my blog I started off reviewing books that I borrowed from the library and purchased — my reviews were all over the place. And now, most of my reviews are of ARCs which okay, I like, but it lacks a bit of my beginning variety.

        Anyways, yeah there’s no fun in being so uptight.

        Thanks for commenting Alyssa and welcome to the blogging world, with that awesome attitude, I am sure you’ll go far. 🙂

    • I love getting the point of view of readers/non-bloggers. It’s probably bizarre to see all of the drama that goes into blogging about books. I think that yeah, sometimes we lose sight of why we love words and reading so much when we focus on what everyone else is doing.

      I love this – “Break rules, be yourself, sounds good to me.”

      Thanks for commenting, Tammy!

  12. I’m with you, chica. Guess I was out the day they passed around the ‘secret blogging rules.’ REALLY sorry I missed out on that. Because that’s just what I need in my life: more rules. 🙂

  13. I love this, and I love you. You tell it like it is!

    I see so many bloggers get wrapped up how others are doing things. Who the fuck cares.

  14. Wait, there are rules?

    I want to take the opportunity to mention that I actually love GIF filled reviews. It’s my dark secret.

  15. Awesome point, April. I couldn’t agree more. People should create their blog (book blog or whatever kind of blog it is) however they want to. And seriously, who created these “rules” anyway.

    I just don’t understand why people care so much what other bloggers are doing. I mean, if it ain’t hurting anyone, they why do they care? If they don’t like how someone is running their blog, like you said, click that “x” and finding something else to read. Why do they care? Or, I guess as you pointed out, some people like to be little pain in the butt know-it-alls. Seriously, if there is anything more annoying than a know-it-all, I don’t know it.

    Also – hell yeah to that answer about what clothes someone wears!!!

  16. Bless you for writing this April! I find it so annoying when my Twitter feed is full of bloggers 1) telling other bloggers what they should be doing, 2) passive aggressively talking about how bloggers are doing something wrong (the implication being they are doing it right, of course) and/or 3) shaming someone individually for their reading selections/blogging choices. So annoying!

    I’d rather hear more about their thoughts on BOOKS than their thoughts on what everyone else is doing wrong. I actually unfollowed one blogger on Twitter finally, because she was always complaining about early reviews, book haul videos, people using too many Rafflecopter entries, and gif reviews. It’s like, WHO CARES? Mind ya own business. Don’t like it? Don’t read it.

    It doesn’t even have to be something we do on our site for me to get pissed, either—if I see sweeping complaints about what bloggers are doing wrong, it just irks me to no end, because newer bloggers might actually listen to that garbage.

    LOVE that gif, btw. 🙂

    This is pretty much my attitude about our blog:

    http://bloggindirty.tumblr.com/post/34714479313/what-to-do-when-another-blogger-lectures-you-about-what

    Now I will also point people to your post in the future for a summary of my feels on this. THANK YOU 🙂

  17. So, when I was a brand new blogger, I made kind of a joking comment about my blog name being the same as another blog on a “book blogger tips” post and the blogger TOTALLY handed my ass to me. I mean, I was so shocked that anyone would care that much about there being more than one blog with a common book related name. I realize now that some people view their blogs as businesses, so I was encroaching on her brand,essentially, but that was my first taste of the sort of book shaming, blog police that exists, and it has really stayed with me. I need those book hauls! I have too much shit going on in my non-book related life, so if people aren’t showing me what they’re getting, I have no CLUE what to look out for, you know?

    Of course, now that I was asked to write some posts about starting a book blog, I’m worried that I came off as telling people how to do things. I tried really hard not to because I agree with you 100% – your blog, your space, your choice as to what you put up there and how you present it. Great post!

  18. LOVE THIS! When I first started blogging, I tried to be just like everyone else and I didn’t have a lot of fun doing it. Now that I’m doing my own thing, I’m so much happier! It’s kind of nice to have my schedule, but not stick to it if I don’t want to, or have a week where I post only reviews, or a week where I don’t post ANYTHING. It’s my blog and I’ll do what I like!

    Like another commentor said, it would be so boring if we were all the same!

  19. Preach. This is the kind of crap that makes blogging feel like high school.

  20. Well damn, April (commenter above) said exactly what I was going to say!! But hell, guess I’ll just say it anyway – and I’m not plagiarizing!! So here it is:

    I love this!! And I love you!!

    Like Tammy, I’m not a book blogger, just a bit of a blog-stalker (but only cause y’all are so darn creative and help me figure out the chance that I will or won’t like a certain book!). And I don’t know who you’re talking about or what instance you’re talking about. But I DO know that some of the conversations I see back and forth on Twitter, I’m just like…really?! Did she really just say that about another blog/blogger?! I jusr don’t care for folks who are high and mighty, at all. (And as a follower, I can tell you that I HAVE un-followed blogs before because of that kind of talk.) Now, I’m not the spring chicken that many of y’all that I follow are, BUT believe me when I say youth does not excuse this – I never would have acted like that at 28 or 25 or even 18!

    So anyway, just wanted to say a” hells yeah!!” in support of you and of this post 🙂

  21. BRAVO BRAVO!! Awesome post, and by far the BEST ADVICE I’ve ever read lol!

  22. I love this. I haven’t been privy to these criticism but I think this is the perfect response! Also, this post was kind of hilarious. I especially love the Ron Swanson GIF!

  23. I really want to encourage people to post reviews replete with GIFs because I love looking at those-it’s not my writing style at all but variety is the spice of life and I love reading all kinds of reviews.

  24. Doing whatever the fuck I want is my number one rule. My number two rule is: we don’t care what other people think/say about us, as long as we make sure we treat others with respect (at least treat people with respect until they prove they don’t really deserve it).

    And I apply this to everything in my life. Nobody should tell me what I can’t do! (YAY, I was able to quote John Locke from Lost) just as I won’t tell other people what they shouldn’t do.

    I love this rant! It is so true, April – we should all do whatever the fuck we want, as long as that is not hurting other people (knowinlgy).

    So you keep on doing your thing! (even if I know you don’t need anyone’s permission, heck, you do whaterver the fuck you want, right?).

  25. Hell yes. My blog is just that, MY blog, so I can do it however I like – I put the work in, the time and the moolah so I can post what I want, when I want.

    Great post lady!

  26. Agreed. If you don’t like something on a blog, don’t follow it. Rules would be impossible to impose anyway, there are too many circles and who knows how many blogs there and whether everyone is part of our definition of the community or not.

  27. Okay, I think I just fell in love with you for this. ;p Also, fuckfuckfuckFUUUUUUUUCK! Aaaallll the cuss words, FTW !!!!!!! :))

    Preach it to the choir, sista! <333

  28. Oh man, that student is fabulous. Also, I want one of those permits.

    “if you don’t like what you see, don’t let the X hit you in the ass on your way out.” <- Preach it, sista!

    OMG, if someone commented on this post and said that "Do whatever the fuck you want" meant you were endorsing plagiarism, I would lose my shit. You're smart to put that in there, but, holy crap, the fact that someone might do that is just beyond crazy.

    Good work. You do what you want, and it's all awesome. As you know, I love this blog and I would not want to see it change one iota, unless you want to go somewhere different with it, and I w0uld probably love that too.

  29. Couldn’t agree more. I’ve never let it bother me much, (I’ve also never been personally targeted about doing something “wrong”) but I often come across pretentious posts and think, “Really? Who cares?” Generally I just make good use of that x and move on. Why can’t others? Awesome post. 🙂 With ya all the way.

  30. I really can’t say anything more to this than that I love it, and I absolutely agree! I have always said I blog for me, and I do the things I like, skip the things I don’t agree with, and get on with my life. Great post, I couldn’t agree more!

  31. You rock!!!! 🙂

  32. I totally agree with you, lady! I mean, isn’t that the point of blogging — to showcase who you are and what you do and do not like? If people don’t agree then let them start their own damn blog. I wasn’t aware that there were blogging rules (short of courtesy-type stuff). Sounds like The Plastics made their way into the book blogging world and if you don’t wear pink on Wednesdays, you can’t sit at the table. So childish.

    Besides, if we all adhered and did things the same way we’d essentially have the same damn blog and who wants to read 100 of that over and over again? Not me. Freedom of speech, man! It’s the only way to go! So rock on and keep not giving a shit! It’s why we adore you!

  33. rules are stupid :)-

    seriously though – great post!

  34. “I am of the mind that if you own your blog, whether you spend a lot of money on it or not, you should do whatever the fuck you want.”

    Amen.

    This was an amazing post. I totally loved the Ron Swanson gif, he’s one of my TV heros.

  35. I think this must be much less an issue with blogs talking about books for younger kids….or else I am totally out of the loop. I am a little sad that as a result I can’t share properly in what seems like righteous and invigorating reaction!

  36. I think this is LITERALLY my favorite post ever. I’ve been a part of the blogging world for about eight months and every single time I see one of these posts and something on twitter I get SO angry. I have this thing where I hate when people tell me what to do no matter what situation it’s in, but then when it comes to hobbies? HELL NO. People think they’re freaking experts of this stuff when there’s not even such a thing. Like you, I’m totally ok with tips. I love those! But when people act all high and mighty I’m like no thank you.

  37. Fantastic post! I couldn’t agree more!

  38. Thank you for sharing your feels!

    Also, that Ron .gif is the highlight of my day.

    Also also, I agree with you. Like, all the way. Sometimes I get all like “What the hell does she thinks she’s doing?!” and then I’m all “lulz unfollow” and my life moves on. The end.

  39. Wow, that is an awesome student. Also, I agree! I do love a good advice post, but am not interested in reading anything where someone comes off too high and mighty. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

  40. WOOH!! Bless this blog.

    Lol I think I know what blog post you’re ranting about…maybe. As a new blogger it’s super intimidating knowing there are all these unwritten rules and regulations out there, and if you trip up, people will be all judging you. Not fair. We just all want to talk about books. Can we not just DO that?

    Plus ranting is fun times.

  41. Word. I haven’t read many of these policing posts, but I do agree with what you’re saying. Each blog is its user’s personal space and no one should feel pressured in how to manage it. With that being said, I do think that bloggers still need to be conscious of rules and guidelines set by publishers/authors if they want to establish a good rapport with them. Never other bloggers though.

  42. This pertains to all facets of life, not just book blogging. I hate how people push their values and beliefs on others. It’s all the same damn pot of shit, in my opinion.

    I am with you. Blog how the hell you want to blog. Being different is what makes people stand out, and that is what we want to see! I’m not a fan of the Stepford Wives blogs. Give me something different. Give us you personality! Go against the current.

    Now I want to write a post about this topic. I feel ranty.

  43. HELL FREAKING YES. Never feel bad for doing what you love to do! And I love that gif. Oh man, sometimes I’ve THOUGHT things, but I’d NEVER EVER EVER impose them on other people because I know sooner or later, I’m going to change my mind or I’m going to do that thing I once thought I was against. I mean, not in a hypocritical manner, more of a “That’s actually not a bad idea” way.

  44. SO true! I know that lovely feeling when you put so much energy, time, and money into blogging and then someone comes and has some stupid snarky comment. Secretly on their twitter account (I wouldn’t mind them telling me directly in a polite way, I would actually think about it!). But they enter your giveaways anyway! 😛
    Oh well.

  45. I love this. So hard.

    I do my own thing. Always have. That’s probably why I’m small {or maybe not….}. I’m OK with that because I want to do things the way I want to do them.

    If I want to take a break, I’ll do it. Will it screw with my stats? You bet. Do I care? Nope.

    Hate the blogging police. Police you’re own blog instead of mine. Ya know?!

  46. This is brilliant. Nuff said.

  47. I think you’re just awesome for saying this. I totally agree that the “blogging police” as you call them just suck the fun out of blogging. And I bet you’re a kickass teacher. 😀 😉

  48. I know this is waay late & I am sorry, but I agree. I am not a big blogger in any sense of the word. Some days it bothers me a lot, others I say “Fuck em all”. Who ever “em all” is.

    I once had a literal crying, snot sniveling, breakdown because I wasnt getting “popular”. Hell, I was in the state of mind to find the “Supernatural” Cross Roads Demon and do a deal..I was like “WTF?! why am I such a damned loser?!””why cant I move up the cool blogger ladder”?!
    It feels like a popularity contest.

    (I tend to rant cuz I am emotional I guess.
    Thats what the shrink says 😉 )

    Anywho, I decided I needed to “do me” and screw “em all” if I am not good enough for them. Whoever “them” and “em all” is.
    I get comments, I love them. I freaking gush and I always respond to them. I will see new bloggers and go leave sincerely nice comments and compliment them too.I find good in every blog. Unless all they post is weird demonic chants.

    A mean, sarcastic, pushy, know it all blogger, is not cute or snarky in my book. Snarky. A way to say a persons sarcastic nastiness is “fun” “cute” and “acceptable”. I know there’s other ways its used & used properly, but its often warped.

    So I accepted my fate in the world. I am not EVER going to be that “cool kid” & I am fine with it (on most days) As long as I am nice and keep my core values in tact I can die a happy gal. I dont wanna “sell out” for a bunch of stupid ARCS. They are fun as hell to get and lets face it- a status symbol, but with each ARC comes great responsibility. lolz

    My open invite to all: Come see my boring(?) blog and say hi. Ill say hi back. Promise. 🙂 Hopefully you’ll like my foot scrubber thingy review!

  49. Well with regards to this point:

    “Why do people care SO MUCH that someone posts an early review?”

    I care just because if someone does that, then 9 times out of 10 they’re DIRECTLY going against what the publisher asked for. Almost every big publisher I’ve seen says they don’t want reviews posted sooner than 1 month before release date. So when I see someone going against that, I see someone who accepted a free book and couldn’t be bothered to follow the requests of that publisher, which makes me feel icky about them.

    But other than that, I totally agree with you! I’m all for giving help and advice, but I see it like this:

    * Offer help and advice for people to absorb.
    * Then I think it’s up to everyone else to read your advice and decide whether or not to follow it. If they do follow it, that means it clicked with them and that’s cool. If they don’t want to follow, then that’s totally fine too.

    Basically, offer up advice, but do so knowing that people don’t HAVE to take it and that’s okay. But it’s cool to give people the OPTION of taking if it they want, you know?

    So offer up advice, just don’t be all snotty and bitchy if someone doesn’t want to take it. Don’t act like it’s something people NEED to follow.
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