So many of you may have noticed that I was not very active in August. That was because I reached a really low point in my blogging. Over the past several months, I have been feeling detached from this. It had become a second job. I was losing site of the reason I started this in the first place, combined with no matter how many wants of others I gave into, few to no one seemed to appreciated it (not saying no one did, just didn't seem like it). After taking a partial hiatus, I have decided to continue this blog but there are going to be some small changes
So what helped lead to this level of detachment?
--Tours, blitzes, etc. These took a lot out of me. I actually stopped these almost entirely over the past 3 months. I was tired of posting a stop, even if the post was mostly ready made, and no one made a single comment. Not a visitor or even the author or tour host to say thanks. did anyone notice the post? Did it help the author? Was the author grateful? I have no idea. Then review stops. I would submit my interest in the tour, hear nothing back until a week before they expect me to have the review up. I would have to sop everything and make that book my number one priority. It was not healthy for my personal life, nor fair to other books I was reading. I needed books more in advance and time to read some weeks.
--Then there is Arc and general reviewing pressure. I get a book, even unsolicited and less than 3 days after getting the book I have the author or publisher asking when I will have a post up, what I thought of the book, etc. Again, I cannot just stop and read someones book when it suits them alone. I have lots of books to review and then when I inform the author or publisher that is is going to be a few weeks, they would send a nasty email reply. Very depressing. I don't even ask for arcs anymore outside of Netgalley or Edelweiss. I just have too many and the time pressure is too much.
--The latest and greatest hyped titles. I love introducing new titles to people. While I live the next Hunger Games as much as the next people, I love finding hidden gems of the books world. When I started this blog, I shared a mix of new, old, popular, Indy, etc titles. Now it is almost all current (within the past couple years) titles, or high popularity with few exceptions. I never cared if the book came out last week or 20 years ago before. Now much of my time is spent keeping up with the newer titles and I my older, unread shelves have become extremely neglected.
--Other wantings of others. The biggest thing I heard the people wanted after the first year was a change in my blog layout, them, header and backround. I am NOT a tech savvy person. What few computer skills I have are self taught. I didn't grow up with them as a regular part of my life. I didn't use them in school even except for the rare printed final reports needed in high school. I have never even used photoshop or many other common programs. So things that take coding and such is a no go. I spent an insane amount of time and favors just to get the header I have and the color coordination and legal backrounds, etc. So changing it is not an easy task to ask. I happen to like the colors and backround (except that it isn't quite even). I even use the dragons for my rating. So to change it, changes everything. That is a lot of work and it is NOT something I enjoy. But still the request for change kept coming. So 3 times over the past year, I asked for help. Who or where can I get a header for free with no skill. Anyone willing to help? No answer there. Just more of "You need to update and keep with the times."
--Lack of involvement. Outside of memes or giveaways, no comments or involvement from anyone. If I didn't do giveaways or memes I honestly wonder if I would even have 2 comments a month on anything. I tried more discussional posts, or asking questions. Even offered to do interviews of fellow book bloggers her to promote some cross traffic. Nothing. Silence....This is probably the most depressing aspect. Am I posting to myself? Honestly I cannot express enough how much simple comments can mean to show that what I am doing matters on some level.
So all these things have just been piling on more and more lately that I was having a hard time seeing the good in it all. Granted, it is partly that I am not a very social person. It is difficult for me to ask an author for a guest post or interview. I don't chat much in forums. I was getting better and being more social in other blogs but then felt I neglected my own. On average I was spending 30-40 hours a weeks creating posts, responding to comments, trying to keep everyone happy, etc. And I ended up failing on all accounts. I chased my own tail so often that I wasn't even reading much anymore. What was the point of a book blog if you hardly ever read?!
Now none of this is saying this fits or involves all of you. I know there are several of you who like and appreciate this blog. And you are the reason I intend to continue. So those of you who have stuck with me through the past, who visit and comment regularly, a huge THANK YOU!!! You're involvement is what gives me hope.
But to certain aspects, I am saying screw it. I will read what I want, when I want and share it here. If people read it and get something out of it, great! If not *shrugs*... Don't misunderstand, I still love this blog and want it to be an amazing place to share and learn about books. But I cannot live on this site. I have family and other interests and I cannot continue to exclude them to try and keep up with the status quo. I run and operate this blog alone and it is a lot of work. But it needs to be fun for me again too, as well as the rest of you. If this offends anyone I apologize but these things must change.
I will still do some tours but not very many. I will still take on some review books but not nearly as many as I was. You might get a new released title or you might see a review for a title written in the 80's. It might be a bestseller, or something that only 10 others have even heard of.
I am not doing major changes to this blog. I might update sidebars or something once in awhile or add fancy borders when I have the time. Otherwise, what you see is what you get. Unless you are offering do do the work, accept this blog the way it is. I like the colors and I spend the most time having to look at it.
Stacking the Shelves will likely be every other week. I will start putting forth more effort for guest posts or interviews once in awhile again, but that probably will not improve much until 2016. Fall is a really busy time for me.
I will try to share a bit more about me as a person and might through up a completely non-book related post just because. Be it to share something I find cool, share a bit of my life or just share what is on my mind. I will work harder to be more social on goodreads and other blogs again. Basically I would rather have a few loyal bookish friends than a ton of followers who never actually look at what is happening.
I am still willing to here feedback but I ask that you help offer a solution or if I do what you want, respond and be involved! Without involvement, chat, etc this will simply become more like a bookish journal the public can view.
On the plus side, I did get better buttons this summer for connecting with me. Also,I have been spending time updating the archives here. They are still way behind but should be up to date by the end of this month. Then I will get back to comment responses. Hopefully by January things will be caught up completely, and kept up and this blog will have a better flow once more that I can love once more and that we can all still find new amazing books!