105 Ways to Give a Book

Bloggiesta Mini-Challenge: Be Brave

I hadn’t intended to do a mini-Challenge for Bloggiesta, because I was swamped with Girl Scout stuff this week. It’s the end of the year and we need to wrap up the accounting and bridge over to a new level and reflect on the year and all that jazz. And as I reflected, it came to me in this real moment of clarity that my personal philosophy in running a troop is to stretch our comfort zones within a safe and supportive environment. Because it’s in that space where we grow as people — in testing our limits, trying new things, and taking the opportunity to be brave.

And it hit me that bloggers can sometimes use that push too. It’s so easy to go along, talking nicely about books or people or recipes or kids. And that’s not a bad thing. But are you stretching? Are you growing? Are you taking chances? Are you being brave?

Your mini-challenge is to be brave. Write a post that takes a stand. Allow yourself a negative review, not for snark value but to be honest. Reveal something personal about yourself. Start the online challenge or contest or project you were afraid to put out there. Try something totally new.

You don’t even have to post it yet to enter for prizes in the mini-challenge. I’ll take your word for it that you’ve drafted something; I won’t even hold you to posting it. I just want you to get that feeling of writing something that scares you a little bit. Let me know in the comments when you feel that you’ve met that challenge, and I’ll pick a winner (or winners) at random and send a couple of books as prizes. Plus a spy pen!

47 comments:

Carina said...

Definitely got this one down! I'm starting up a new feature and a new challenge, and I started emailing bloggers for interviews! :-)

MotherReader said...

Oh, that was a good, brave one that I didn't even think of - asking for interviews. Excellent!

homebetweenpages.com said...

I'm emailing publishers for review copies for the first time. Everything I've been reading and reviewing so far has been from my own collection, so taking that step and asking for ARCs or finished books is a big step for me, especially since I'm afraid that I don't have a big enough audience to support those requests. But the only way to grow is by being brave right?

Thanks for the push :)

Milka said...

Thanks for the challenge!
I was drafting some e-mails to send for some authors so I could have their guest blogs at my blog.

I also send some e-mail to some publishers since what I've been mostly reading since now is my own books and books that I've won.

ABookGeek said...

This is a great idea, however, I may have to put it on a list of things to be done in the future. Just starting a blog was a tough decision.

Gwen said...

Oh my, you don't know how much I needed this challenge! I have had a post sitting in my draft section for a few days now that I wasn't sure if I should actually post or not.

It isn't a negative review of a book, but a negative review of reviewers of one particular book.

I am going to post it next week. If it bombs, can I blame it on you? LOL.

Jen-Girls Gone Reading said...

I recently wrote my first negative review. Today I am writing the agent back who sent it to me to let her know that I cannot do the giveaway she wanted and that the review was not positive. I am scared, but being honest.
Thanks for the push!

Wallace said...

This is what scares me the most! Thanks for the push in the right direction. That's what blogging is about, right? Having our own opinion. I get bogged down worrying about whether I'll lose readers, etc. if I say something they don't like.

I'm planning on working on author interviews (which I've been too scared to do) and asking some of my favorite bloggers to do guest posts (which I'm nervous about in case they say no!).

Kate said...

I drafted some letters to local bookstores to connect with my blog and work together on supporting independent booksellers in my area. I hope to reach out to them sometime this month. I can be very shy so this is a huge leap for me! Wish me luck!

Buffy said...

This is a excellent idea. I definitely want to do this. I want more posts of substance in my blog.

Allison said...

I've been kinda shy about doing guest features and guest posts in the past. Your post inspired me! I signed up for a blogger spotlight at Bookworming in the 21st Century and agreed to do a big guest post for another blog also. I feel really good about it! :)

Cat said...

Great challenge and it goes well with I've just written as my long term goal. I tend to hide behind memes and reviews and need more posts that reflect my own thoughts and opinions.
I've noticed some of the Bloggiesta participants asking for guest bloggers so that sounds a good place to start this weekend.

melissa @ 1lbr said...

This will sound kinda lame, but all my reviews to this point have been very much the same - format and everything. Rven when I did a joint review with my hubby it was quite similar to my regular ones. Now, I'm doing a compare/contrast book review for two books that had similar storylines. We'll see how it goes. Hopefully posted by tomorrow! Thanks for the push.

Lydia said...

I actually challenged myself to do this - and recently had a book that I could not find one positive thing to write about.

I debate on taking that review down -every single day- but I haven't. My challenge is to further this and post all my reviews on Amazon - no matter how many "no" votes I might get. Just because an opinion is unpopular does not make it less valid an opinion.

Chelle said...

I'm taking a poll for my next giveaway this summer. A poll different for me - I hope to see what people actually want!

Tracee said...

I have also contacted some authors to see if they would be willing to do interviews on my site. And, I am going to work on making my reviews REALLY reflect who I am. Thanks for the push!

Buffy said...

I was originally thinking that I would would a personal & transparent post about myself -- maybe thinking about my failings in an honest way, something like that -- something with substance.

But I thought of another potential idea. I just started my blog in March and I've been pretty hesitant about spreading the address around -- more so with people that I actually know than strangers -- which makes perfect sense to me, but probably doesnt' seem very logical. In fact, some of my first posts focused on my ambivalence about blogging.

So now I'm pondering a different kind of bravery -- posting my address on the online (but local and almost all of my local friends come from this group) parenting group I'm a part of and/or on facebook. If I put it on my parenting group I think I might put it in my signature line and try (gulp) to leave it there. If I put it on fb, I might consider deleting the post after the weekend is over (but it seems like a fair bit of people would still have seen it by then.)

What do you all think? And MotherReader, how about you?

Sarah said...

I just hit 60 Followers so I have a contest planned that I will post this week. I am really nervous because this is my first contest. After reading some other comments, I am also going to email other bloggers to ask about guest posts and participate in some blog spotlights. I have been nervous about doing this as well, but I am going to give it a go!

-Sarah (My World of Books)

Michelle said...

I joined There's Books' "A Bit About Me" meme that allows us to discuss the more personal aspects of ourselves. I also put something out there this week that was very personal and could be construed as whining - but I didn't care. In addition, I e-mailed a publisher to request a book for the first time ever. Uncomfortable but worth taking that initial step. Thanks for this great challenge!

writerjenn said...

I'm not officially Bloggiesting, but I have been thinking about a certain post that would meet this mini-challenge. I've wanted to blog for a long time about a certain topic that could be controversial. I'm pretty sure I'll post it someday but I'm not sure when.

emeraldfire said...

I took a stand for myself questioning the interest in Twilight

Sheila (Bookjourney) said...

I wrote my post and have it in the draft zone. :)

Thanks for the challenge - it was kind of fun to do!

journey through books @ gmail dot com

Shan said...

I was recently approached by a publishing company that publishes a lot of books that are outside of the mainstream publishing world. When I started my blog, I was sticking to more well-known books, I'm still not sure why I was hesitant to take on smaller publishers and lesser-known authors.

But I decided to accept this publishing companies request. I'm going outside the box with the type of books I choose to review.

I also want to start contacting publishing companies myself, maybe even authors myself and attend some author book signings. I used to think that authors and publishers didn't care much about my little blog but I'm starting to see that they do!

Vanessa Book ♥ Soulmates said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Vanessa Book ♥ Soulmates said...

Wow! I'm REALLY looking forward to this one! I know that one of my weaknesses is writing reviews. I feel like I need to be nice in case the author reads it. I don't want to hurt their feelings ya know? I'm not saying I'll be mean or anything... just... honest.

Thanks for hosting this challenge!!

I'll keep you posted :D

Vanessa :D
Book ♥ Soulmates

jacobsbeloved said...

Does it count if I did a very scary thing on/with my blog two days ago? I stood up to a publicist about how they badly handled my review of their book, which I've never done before. I posted a blog post about the incident, when I was not sure (and still not certain) of the ramifications with my readers and my chances of securing future ARCs with other publicists should they read about it, or hear about it from said publicist. Gawd it still makes me nervous, and it's pretty much over and done with!

Vicki said...

I love all kinds of books and it really doesn't take much to make me happy. For that reason most I love most of the books I read. But every once in a while there is the exception. In fact, I just posted a negative review today as part of my "catch up on reviews" goal for Bologgiesta.

You can find it http://www.readingatthebeach.com/2010/06/still-midnight.html

Vicki said...

I love all kinds of books and it really doesn't take much to make me happy. For that reason most I love most of the books I read. But every once in a while there is the exception. In fact, I just posted a negative review today as part of my "catch up on reviews" goal for Bologgiesta.

You can find it HERE

Kailia Sage said...

I posted a negative review! Which is something I'm not really used to doing!

Kristin Glasbergen said...

Great challenge! I've just sent off my first guest post. I am a little bit terrified but also thrilled that this chellenge pushed me to get it done.

Jan von Harz said...

Well, I took the advice and got brave and did a negative post about comments. Just hope I am ready for the fallout I am bound to get from this one.

stilettostorytime said...

I am definitely getting better about being "braver" with posts...I am even starting to tackle more controversial topics, I might have shied away from when I was just starting.
I am also creating my very first reader's challenge for the summer. This will be my first ever sponsored challenge...wish me luck!

Courtney

Andi said...

I'm drafting two new bloggy projects. One is a specialized reading group and the other involves author Q&As. They're set to unveil soon, and it's good to be pushing my limits again. I used to do stuff like this all the time, and then life took over. :)

http://estellasrevenge.blogspot.com/2010/06/let-bloggiesta-begin.html

Emily said...

I emailed two authors I admire asking them for guest posts. Who knows if anything will come of it, but it's something I've wanted to do for awhile. Thanks for the challenge!

Jacqueline C. said...

I've come up with a discussion post on a touchy subject in YA lit. I plan on posting it either this Tuesday or Wednesday. Thanks for coming up with such a great mini-challenge!

Charlotte said...

Hi Pam!

I took your challenge, and put up my very first poll:

http://charlotteslibrary.blogspot.com/2010/06/poll-for-those-who-have-read-demons.html

and wrote the author a fan-girlish email letting her know!

thanks for the inspiration!

Kristen said...

I'm being brave and hosting a readathon next week and my goal is 50 hours of reading and nearly 20 books.. I know. I'm insane. :-D

Thanks for the great mini-challenge!

Buffy said...

Pam,

Thanks again for a great idea!
You motivated me to do a lot of thinking about bravery in this realm.

I just e-mailed an amazing author to a)tell her (again) what a cool person I think she is and b)say that I'd love to review some of her books, interview her, or have her as a guest blogger.

I also now have a list of "real" topics to consider for future blog posts, and have been pushed to do a little more thinking about being brave with sharing my blog address with those I know....

IntrovertedJen said...

Let's not call this an entry because I don't know if I'll do anything, but this is a great challenge. My husband is the one who usually gives me the push and the reassurance I need to get something done. It seems like every week or two I'm pushing myself to do something that might seem like a small thing to someone more outgoing than me but that feels like a scary-huge deal to me! I recently emailed a publisher asking for a review copy, I met an author and gave her my blog's website, and going further back I did my first blogger interviews, asked publicists for review copies, wrote my first negative review of a book I received from the author, and wrote a love letter to a character as part of a bloggy event! "Big scary things" that I need to push past now are continuing to request books from the people who have them, buying some blog business cards and actually giving them to people, and, if I get really, really brave, approaching my local independent book story about the Crazy Book Lady's "Get in bed with a blogger" idea. Those are going to take lots of bravery on my part and I honestly don't know if it will ever happen.

Shelley said...

I don't know if you want to count this as an entry, and that's okay by me, but this whole weekend has been a brave venture for me. When I've participated before, I've just caught up on reviews, but this time I forced myself to just focus on the technical mumbo-jumbo. And a lot of it makes more sense to me now. Yay!

Hank said...

I love your mini-challenge! It never hurts to use a little outside motivation to get things rolling and being challenged to write a post that takes a stand is a good kick in the a**!

Thanks for the positive posts.

SpitFire said...

I'm too late for the challenge but I thought I'd let you know anyway. You inspired me to do something I've been considering do, but have been afraid to actually pull off. I'm a former victim of domestic abuse, and I thought about creating a blog with other former victims.

Kim said...

I have a draft written tackling my views on the new "cleaned up" version Mark Twain's Huck and Tom. It was difficult to write because I think it is a controversial subject and I hate to stir up controversy! I think I will be brave enough to publish it next week.
Thanks for the challenge!
*Smiles*

socketbulbs said...

I just wrote a post that may cause a stir with my in-laws. How's that for being brave? It's scheduled to publish just before midnight tonight, after I publish my Bloggiesta summary.

http://blog.socketsandlightbulbs.com

Liza.

SpitFire said...

Okay this is going to sound really silly, but I'm drafting a series right now. I've never done a series of posts. Ever. And I'm just hoping I can keep my thoughts cohesive & consistent. And I'm nervous! lol...but I did it.

Juju at Tales of Whimsy.com said...

Being brave is tough! Good call.

Lady In Read said...

am going to be brave!
did send out a request for an author interview for the first time recently and got a response so will have that post in the next week or so..
but definitely need a more 'be brave' challenge soon