Yesterday, I finished reading Turtles All the Way Down by John Green. As you can see from my five-star rating on Goodreads, I loved it. This book enchanted me the way so few books do: I couldn’t put it down, couldn’t leave my dorm unless it was tucked in my backpack with the knowledge that I could read a few more paragraphs in Aza’s story at my convenience. I all but had a countdown leading up to this book’s release, waiting for the signed copy to appear in my mailbox. I love John Green, and his long-awaited return to writing thrilled me.
And then I finished reading. In a blur, I’d consumed all of Aza’s story in two short days. I closed the book with such an incredulous look on my face that my roommate looked at me and said, “that must’ve been a good book.” She was right: it was a good book.
And today, I sat down to write my review. I opened the tab and prepared to write about Aza’s impact on my life and perspective and how John Green is literally the only writer with the capacity to move me to tears. The review sounded fabulous in my head, but when it came time to put it into words, nothing happened.
Here’s the deal: I’m not going to write a review of Turtles All the Way Down. And here’s why that’s okay.
The blogging world is small, per se. In the grand scheme of society, there aren’t too many of us sitting at our computers typing away and gushing about fantastic literature. We are small but mighty, and we all love the same thing: books. So when a book so monumental as Turtles All the Way Down comes along, we all get kind of obsessed.
My Twitter feed is oversaturated with Turtles All the Way Down, and I’m sure yours is as well. Reading all the buzz has been fantastic, but like an overplayed song on the radio, reading the same things about the same book can start to drone on and on. The reviews are stellar, the praise is of the highest caliber, but there’s more than plenty of it to go around.
I can’t knowingly contribute to this buzz. I have thoughts in my head other than how much I enjoyed Turtles All the Way Down to share with you, and I want to focus on those thoughts. Everything I have to say has been said before.
As a blogger, my self-induced profession is to plaster my thoughts all over the internet. The more views our post gets, the better. The more Twitter followers we amass, the better. We strive to share with others, to create meaningful content worthy of being read. But sometimes, we must strike a balance between sharing and keeping.
Blogging can feel like a fish bowl sometimes. We pressure ourselves to tweet and share and like and post everything we think and feel because there’s instant gratification in oversharing. We like when people like us, so we share more of ourselves, giving other people more things to like. It’s cyclical. Once you put something online, it belongs to the people who read it.
It should be this way: we as content creators want to create meaningful content for our audiences. However, creating for the people is different from creating things you like for people who also like it. It’s a fine line, but it’s there.
Sometimes, it’s okay for our thoughts to be our own and no one else’s. There’s nothing selfish about letting ourselves love books and wanting to keep that love as our own. We don’t have to constantly release our analysis to the masses just to stay liked. My love for Turtles All the Way Down doesn’t have to be broadcasted to exist. I can gush over this book without letting you know that I gushed. My love for something is valid even if it isn’t consumed by others.
Blogging is the art of plastering your thoughts on the proverbial wall and telling people to come take a look. We thrive in situations when people hear what we have to say, but we don’t have to confine ourselves to these practices. It’s also okay to not write anything down and put away our pens, unused for the time being. We as bloggers can record what we want and nothing more, which I think is incredibly freeing.
What do you think about sharing thoughts versus keeping thoughts?