Tuesday, 19 April 2016

Bookblogging: what happens when reading is leaving you feeling burnt out.

This might just be the most honest blog post I've ever written, over the past almost five months GPI has changed a lot, over Christmas and New Years I experienced something I wasn't acquainted with when it came to reading, being a speed reader I've always been able to read quickly, even at that speed I've been able to take every word in, digest it, ruminate on it, comprehend it, but over New Years I found myself struggling to connect, to become invested, reading felt more like a chore than the joy it had previously been, for the first time in years I found myself staring at the television screen instead of having my nose stuck in a book. I changed up what I read, I took a break from heavy, emotionally taxing books, I drifted toward the light and fluffy and for a while it was enough. I instigated some other changes, I cut back on beta reading, I disabled private messages on GPI's facebook page, I made a conscious effort to focus less on promotion, and more on the books I was eager to read, I stopped accepting ARC's or review copies unless it was a book I had already pre-ordered and was desperate for, whether it be via author, tour company or publisher invite.  I wanted GPI to be a reflection of my personal tastes, I wanted the readers who follow my blog and reviews to know that anything featured was because I loved it, read it, reviewed it, or couldn't wait to get my hands on it, some followers loved the changes, I created a reader group - GPI Wine Bar for those who love reading the way I do, for book discussion, for promotion of the aforementioned books, I wanted to carve out a little space of the interwebs to connect with readers just like me. Again for a while it worked, I found myself loving reading again, I was discovering new books, new authors, I fell in love with some of my old favourites again, and I loved reading again, I found myself desperate to get back to my book, devouring pages.

I bet you're thinking that's great, you're fixed... only I wasn't, again those feelings started coming back, I'd already cut back on signing up for blogging tours, and yet those restless feelings were definitely there. Between some health problems, stress at work, helping to plan a signing, making arrangements to attend a signing overseas, and trying to fall pregnant and making arrangements to begin our IVF journey... I was exhausted, both mentally and physically,  I've heard about people being burnt out before, but until now I never really understood what they meant. I do now.

The changes that started to come into effect will continue for the foreseeable future, to be honest, feeling less harried is something I'm enjoying, it's helping to alleviate some of the stress I placed on myself, when I started this blog it was to create a place where I could talk about the books I loved (without regaling my husband with my next favourite book) I wanted somewhere I could promote the Authors I adored, somewhere along the line it became about maximising followers, getting better reach, and I guess what I realised is as long as I'm chasing that I'm loosing track of why I started this journey. I recently created a blogger support group if you will, with a blogger I admire and respect, we wanted a place where we could vent and talk about our blogs, and the struggles we were facing, and the most common one is juggling reviewing and promotional posts, networking and building an audience, responding to messages and emails, handling requests, this is part of the reason I'm writing this, because I want to be honest about where I am, and want other bloggers to know that most of us will experience those moments where we struggle to remember why we started this, will find themselves drowning under blog commitments and trying to be everything to everyone, I've always been an exceptionally honest person, writing reviews can be intensely personal, so this post is just an extension of that, if you yourself are a blogger and want to join our support group the link is posted below.

Book Bloggers United

Until next time...

1 comment:

  1. Blogging is supposed to be fun, and when it isn’t fun anymore, it’s time for a break. I hope you start feeling better soon.

    Aj @ Read All The Things!