Some Changes to the Blog (and Some Reflections on Burn Out)

OK, so this is a pretty uninteresting title, but it’s plain English that at least gives an idea of what the post will be about! As it suggests, my blog is going to change a little. I doubt you’ll notice much change, but I felt it was worth laying out the change and the reason behind it (and a brief behind-the-scenes in the interests of honesty.)

The Change

As of the last month, I haven’t been posting negative reviews, or even neutral reviews. Instead I’ve shifted toward only posting positive reviews. My Goodreads still gets all my reviews, the good, the bad, and the ugly (partly because I need to write it all out to work out why I feel the way I do about a book.) This is because Goodreads is not my primary platform and also I believe that’s a site where a range of opinions is good.

But why discontinue the negative reviews if you think a range of opinions is good?

I want to be an author. I’ve wanted that for a while, but as I’m about to head into querying my second book, I’ve been thinking a lot about transitions and the future. Now, querying is a very long way from being published (and it can take many, many books) but I believe in being prepared.

I personally don’t think reviewing is a space for authors. I think reviewers need the space to be utterly honest about books and having authors in that space restricts that. I will stop reviewing before I become a published author, but that’s unlikely to be any time soon, so instead I’m looking to transition to a model that will be easier to stop once I hit that stage.

There’s also the fact that published authors will one day be my colleagues, so I’m looking to shift mentality a bit, be ready to build those relationships on a different footing (aka author not blogger) and I think not using my social medias to be all “I didn’t like this author’s book” is a step toward that for me.

Also, being positive on my social media channels just sounds like a really good way to feel more positive. My time and feed can be more positive, and frankly I’d like that. Why waste SM time on something I didn’t like when I can spend the promotional/algorithm management time (which I don’t enjoy) at least shouting about books I did enjoy.

This is entirely my opinion on the relationships and platforms and purpose of bloggers and authors on social media, based on what I feel comfortable with. I know there are lots of other blogger and authors with different opinions of what’s right for them.

Some Reflections on Burn Out

This section name is a bit useless, but I can’t think of a better one (which I think might come clear soon.) The long and short is I’m pretty burnt out. There’s a big combination of things that play into this (intensive edits on the book I’m about to query, finding a house and moving, starting a PhD, having run two events that struggled to get traction), but it all comes down to just feeling very tired and also not enjoying reading as much.

Add onto this the fact that, since about June, my schedule has been almost entirely packed with tours and new releases. Which is wonderful and I am so glad I am at that stage where I have that many opportunities – and I am so grateful that I am here as I put a lot of work into arriving here. I am not taking that for granted or saying that it’s a bad thing, because I recognise that I am lucky to be in a place where I have the opportunity to get books from publishers.

However, it does mean my reading is very controlled with no room for mood reading or devouring things I am super excited for if there isn’t already a pre-existing agreement of posting. To put this into context with some numbers, out of the last 50 reviews posted, only 14 were not review copies (and one was a book club book.)

And I am behind on the review list because if I didn’t agree a date, it’s got pushed aside. There are books I want to read and think my help with burn out but I can’t really read them. And I feel stressed about generally keeping atop of the review schedule.

Which means it’s taking longer to read, which doesn’t help me feel better. Which doesn’t help the feeling of ugh around burn out. It’s a nasty cycle, but I know it will pass if I give myself some time.

Unfortunately, it means I’m running through my post buffer pretty fast. I typically have a buffer of 2-3 weeks of scheduled posts for this very reason, to take the time I need to recover without pressure to create content.

However, I am hitting the point where I’m starting to worry about running that buffer down to nothing. And by only posting positive reviews, I have less reviews I can post. So I feel like I put a lot of effort into reading and then don’t even have content for the blog (which adds to the ugh feeling generally.)

What does that mean for the blog?

I honestly don’t know. I might have to drop the daily posting schedule, leave some gaps. I am trying to rearrange my schedule in some way to give myself a bit of mood reading space. I may post more tags and lists because that doesn’t require me to read as much. We’ll see.

Thank you for getting to the end of my ramble of “I’m stressed and making changes and maybe doing those while stressed wasn’t a good idea but hey!” and I hope your reading is going better than mine!


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