Let’s Talk Bookish is a weekly meme that was originally created and hosted by Rukky @ Eternity Books starting in August 2019, and was then cohosted with Dani @ Literary Lion from May 2020 to March 2022. Book Nook Bits has hosted since April 2022.
October 14th: Can you write whatever you want?
Prompts: Can bloggers just write whatever they want? Or are there boundaries they should respect even on their own platform? If a blogger is called out for something they post, are they obligated to respond?
I think to a point bloggers can write whatever they want. With the condition of course that they cannot break the law, aka make untrue accusations that could be seen as libel, or writing hate speech, etc. I admit, I don’t think the majority of book bloggers I know would do such a thing, but it’s important to note with a question like this.
I also think it depends on what your aims are with your blog. I am quite comfortable, for example, posting ‘ranty’ reviews for books I disliked. Others might not be, and that’s totally fine. Similarly, I touch on other topics here, whether it’s TV shows I’ve enjoyed or films, or other things outside the world of books, but another blogger might exclusively talk about books. But largely, a blog is your platform, and a place for your thoughts – a blogger shouldn’t feel confined in what they want to talk about.
For bloggers being ‘called out’, again this is dependent on what they’re being called out for. If an author ‘calls out’ a blogger because a review of their book was negative, that absolutely does not require a response – authors, after all, shouldn’t be reading their own reviews! (And don’t tag authors in them, folks). If, however, the blogger has said something in a post that could be seen as bigoted, and that was not their intention, I think it’s absolutely appropriate for the blogger to respond, apologise if necessary, and maybe amend the post.
To sum up, I really think this is one of those questions that is completely dependent on the blogger themselves! I can definitely say I feel comfortable posting whatever I want to post on here, and have done for a long while, but I’m really intrigued to see what others have to say about this topic too.