This isn’t going to come as a surprise to most. I’m sure there’ll be one or two people who’ll sit back, all smug, and think, “I knew that this blog would start up again. I knew there’d be new reviews.” The same ones who expressed mock surprise when I’ve posted a review or two this past while.
You know, like I didn’t say that very same thing months ago.
I took a break from blogging because the stress had become too much. I set myself too rigorous and uncompromising a pace, and I found myself struggling to meet it. I ended up sacrificing other projects and passions to that pace, and I found that I really just wasn’t that into it anymore. There were books I wanted to read that I constantly felt had to be shunted to one side to make room for new and upcoming books, which is a common blogger burn-out complaint. Plus somewhere along the way, probably due to talking with many prolific readers and reviewers, I’d gotten the idea into my head that more reviews was a good thing. If I could do 2 a week, I had to. Because how else would people take me seriously as a reviewer if I couldn’t compete with even the posting schedule of others?
…I never claimed I didn’t have self-esteem and insecurity issues.
I expected I’d still post reviews now and again. I said that right from the get-go. I expected I’d probably end up returning to regular blogging at some point, too, though I admit that I didn’t expect it to be quite so soon. I figured I’d likely end up being gone from regular posts for at least half a year. But allowing myself an open-ended hiatus allowed me to really feel refreshed, instead of feeling pressed for time and essentially spending my days saying, “Oh crap, I only have 2 months left of not posting, I have to hurry and read all the things I wanted to before I go back to blogging, I can feel the days just ticking away and I need more time.”
See previous comments about self-esteem and insecurity.
But I do feel refreshed, and I do feel like I can get a better handle on things now. So starting in March, I’ll be back to regular reviews.
…Hold the applause. It won’t be like it used to be.
For starters, I’m not going to aim for 2 reviews a week. Instead, I’m shooting for 1. That’s a pace I know I can keep up with without getting stressed, and it will allow me to not only focus on reading and reviewing books that are soon to hit the shelves (or books that have just hit the shelves), but will also allow me to read more things for fun, stuff I don’t feel like I have to review in order to keep up content. There may be weeks when I write 2 reviews instead of 1, but that will be an exception rather than a standard practice.
Besides, 52 books reviews in a year is still nothing to sneeze at.
Secondly, I’ve come to like the mini-reviews I’ve been doing in end-of-the-month wrap-up posts, books that I’ve read and have some comments to make but not enough to stretch out into a full-length review. So I’ll probably keep doing those every once in a while, too, whenever I’ve come across 2-4 novels that meet that criteria. That won’t be a regular feature, and will probably only pop up every 2-3 months, but I like the idea and there’s no reason to stop it.
I don’t really have any plans other than that, really. There are other things I’d like to do, for sure, but I don’t want to say, “I’ll do the thing,” because then I get roped into a tighter schedule with less room for compromise, and that was what got me all stressed out in the first place. So no. Stuff will happen when it happens, but for sure there’ll be a review each week, and that’s a good place to start.
It’s not just the stress of a schedule that makes me want to be a bit more lenient with posting here, though. One of the projects I’ve started recently demands a fair bit of time. Not full-time “40 hours a week,” but enough that I know I can’t do it and return to the posting pace I once had and still keep my mental health in check. I could drop reviewing entirely, but I miss it, and I enjoyed it (and still enjoy it on the few occasions I’ve written reviews in the past few months), and besides, I already paid for the domain name, so I may as well get more use out of it. And I don’t want to drop the other project because it’s fun and I’m tired of feeling like a one-trick pony. Branching out and doing a new project that incorporates some of my other hobbies (video games, filmmaking, being weird) is good for me.
Plus I still want to write actual fiction than someone might actually want to read someday. Got to make time for that.
So that’s where it all stands. Back to regular reviews in March, and hopefully feelings of accomplishment will follow. Thanks to those who have continued to support me over the years, as always!