Tuesday, February 28, 2012

the longer explanation behind my short explanation

Yikes. I need to stop saying things like "I'll explain things later" in one post and then not follow through until a lot later... o_<;  Let me clarify what I meant in this post I wrote weeks ago.  I mentioned my reading slump as well as my lack of having a computer (thankfully that situation was fixed soon after that post went up) and I mentioned at the end that there were some other things I wanted to mention but since I felt that post was getting too long already, I decided not to go any further and instead throw in a picture of Matthew Crawley from Downton Abbey (and if you have not watched that show, I'm telling you RIGHT NOW to click out of this page and WATCH IT.)

So back to what I was talking about... since I've been in this reading slump for a while now, I hesitated to say anything since I thought I could pull myself out of it fairly quickly. I assumed that my "real life" responsibilities like going to school, focusing on getting a job, etc. were getting in the way of what has been a daily ritual for the past twenty years. (Gosh, I feel old.) But as the weeks turned into months, I didn't feel myself changing. I honestly didn't feel the need to read every single day. I felt guilty about this because I LOVE to read and because I knew if I wasn't reading as often as I had, I wouldn't be blogging as much either.

But I realized that I had changed my habits because I needed to change; my interests are much more different than what they were five years ago as well as what I consider important. What I'm trying to say is that reading is not the top priority of my life anymore. It used to be. It was all I did back then but things have changed. I still love reading and I still make time for it (despite all the deadlines I have looming over my head) but I'm finding myself pulled in other directions-I keep staring at my old sketch pads that I abandoned, my dusty violin case sitting in the corner and the journals I used to spend hours writing in. I used to be in this constant state of creativity and I remember my burning curiousity to learn. At some point I slipped away from that place and I long to be back. So I'm trying to find my way back to that happy place...and that means more time offline than online.

Since I'm mentioning this, I must also confess that I've had some concerns that I never shared with you guys. I think my blogger buddy Jenn voiced them eloquently--far better than I could have ever done. When I started this blog three years (!!!) ago on a whim, I wanted to do everything I could to have a great blog: I followed blogs, I left meaningful comments, I pushed myself to read more and write better reviews, etc. Once I got to interviewing authors, I felt really, really good. I had more goals that I wanted to accomplish but I either never got around to them or I started to, but then stopped. I beat myself up for it but then I had this ephiphany that I didn't have to push myself so hard because there are no concrete rules to blogging. Everyone has their own style and they should be free to blog as they see fit. (Of course, there is this unspoken etiquette that most bloggers follow but I don't want to get into that that's a wholeeee other blog post.)

I fretted constantly over how to write reviews and in the beginning, I was very clumsy in how I expressed my thoughts. I'd like to say that my reviewing style got better over time; I became more analytical and my reviews became longer because I had more to say. But then school became more difficult: I was in college so I didn't always have time to read or write long reviews so I started doing mini-reviews...and that worked for a while until I grew discontent with my style. I've waffled back and forth on how to handle this until I finally decided that I'm going to relax and not worry myself on how to be a "good blogger".  (Whatever that means.) So now my reviews will be more laid-back and not systematic; I'm also scaling back on review books because I barely have time nowadays for them and as for tours and interviews, I'm not actively seeking them like I used to. This means that my posting will be sporadic from now on but I think my readers have noticed that I tend to do that anyways, lol. I never could follow a blogging scheduele...

Long ago, I strived to have a book blog that ALWAYS had good content with the latest news, nicely written reviews, informative yet entertaining interviews, etc. I'd like to think that I succeeded at some level but I've realized that I can only do all of these things in small doses; I can't constantly crank out five reviews a week or scheduele and then conduct a bunch of interviews at once. But there are some amazing blogs out there (look at the ladies behind FYA and The Book Smugglers) that do, and I greatly admire and respect them. They are able to consistently write up fabulous, informative posts and they manage to be witty and vibrant at the same time. That takes a lot of dedication and talent.

So if you've read my long, rambling post I thank you because it probably took you the same amount of time to read it as it took me to write it, LOL.

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