This post is specific to my experience on Bookstagram but it applies to anyone who’s ever felt something similar.
I’ve was never satisfied with the way my page looked. There were brief moments of satisfaction but it never lasted. Seeing other pages, I always felt like I didn’t take good pictures, or I never had enough books or props or the talent to make it look as good as others did. When I got tired of taking photographs of books at the bookstore (because I didn’t own the physical copy), I turned towards editing pictures on Canva. I loved the new feed, but soon it started looking inorganic to me.
I kept reading or seeing about how other bookstagrammers put so much effort into their feed, I felt like I could never measure up to their efforts with the photography, the aesthetic, and such. I felt guilty that I wasn’t doing enough. I felt insecure that my page wasn’t as beautiful as theirs. I felt guilty I wasn’t reading enough books or that I wasn’t posting frequently enough. I took multiple breaks over the course of my time so far on Bookstagram because it felt mentally pressurizing to post, make it look pretty and engaging that I forgot what it was all about: books.
It took me some time to realize that it was okay that I hadn’t figured out what I wanted my feed to look like or keep changing themes. It was okay if I didn’t have a lot of physical books or props. I could post with what I had and be happy with it or I could edit pictures the way I wanted to. It was simply and only about books.
I put pressure on myself (that I didn’t have to) because I was too busy undermining myself to focus on my interests. I don’t have to be perfect at everything because people have different talents and abilities. Looking at other people’s pages is still intimidating to me, but I keep reminding myself that I don’t have to mirror their feed. I decided to try clicking pictures again with the promise that if it becomes too overwhelming, it was okay to take a step back without feeling guilty.
After all, the bookstagram community is all about the books. Doesn’t matter if you’ve read 1 book a month or 20. Doesn’t matter if you have physical books, ebooks, or audiobooks. Doesn’t matter if your feed doesn’t look like that of others. You do you. It’s all up to you, your style, and whether it makes you happy. Push out the pressure of perfection that makes you feel like you’re falling apart. There’s no need to compare yourself to others. It’s hard, I know. But what you do is good enough. You are good enough. We’re all similarly different. We’re a paradox.