No More Book Blogging

books-1015594_1280Last week I wrote a short paragraph in front of a book review about the fact that I was no longer going to be book blogging.

In retrospect, I don’t think it was fair to the author to write it there, so I apologise Ed James, plus I don’t think I was particularly clear on my reasons or where I plan on taking the blog from here. So, I thought I would address it in a full post, which I should have done in the first place.

For as many years as I have been blogging, I have been reviewing books. At first, I was adamant that I wasn’t a book reviewer. I was simply sharing books, with my blog readers, which I had read and loved. But, over time, I was given books by authors and publishers, I joined NetGalley and it turned into proper book blogging/reviewing. It morphed without me having really wanted it to.

As a writer, I hadn’t wanted to give opinions on other writers’ books. I just wanted to share great books I’d read in my spare time.

With the growth of the book blogging side of the blog, I began to feel under pressure. Time was becoming a precious commodity. I had piles of books to read and then to write reviews for. And yet, I had books I needed to read for research purposes or simply because I wanted to read them for my own pleasure and I couldn’t get to them because I’d agreed to read and review other books and I couldn’t let people down. This was leading to a lack of enjoyment. Yes, the books are great that I’m being given, but the joy of choosing my own books, that had gone.

So, with the lack of time and some of the joy missing, it was already feeling like it was time to bring it to a close – and that was last year!

Roll forward to this year, I’ve released my second book, I’m going to be releasing a novella in about six weeks and I’m now working on the first draft of a standalone novel before going back to Hannah Robbins 3. You can see, I have my hands full as a writer.

And, this is what I want to focus on.

I only have limited energy every day as I battle my own body, living with a chronic debilitating genetic illness, so I have to prioritise.

I want to focus on my writing career. I want to write as much as I can. I want to read the research books I need to read – at will. I then want to pick up any old book, to relax with when needed. And then when I have some energy reserves back again, I can write some more. Not worry about the toppling TBR pile and the people I am letting down because I’m not getting through it fast enough.

So, what of the blog?

I’m still going to blog. In fact, as mentioned some time ago, it’s getting a whole new facelift. I couldn’t do it myself, so I had to ask someone else to do it for me, and it should be going live very soon. It’ll be a website with a blog as a part of it. I’ll blog as I do now, about three times a week – hopefully.

Monday’s will be the crime series – either the policing section or the fun facts.

Wednesday’s will be personal posts or anything of interest I want to put in there.

And Friday’s will be the writing series. Finishing off the First Draft series and then moving to the Revisions series.

But, I won’t be feeling pressured to read particular books, in particular timeframes (which I was never good at anyway) and think about how to say what I think without giving away the plot or twist or bad guy. If I love a book I’m reading, I’ll just share the love on Twitter or Facebook. I’m a natural reader. I just don’t want to do it as a role.
Are you a book blogger, do you ever feel the pressure and fancied a break?

32 thoughts on “No More Book Blogging

  1. This really resonated for me – my blog has sort of evolved into a book blog and the TBR pile has turned into a TBR mountain, at the expense of books that I’ve bought months ago and not had time to read due to blogging commitments. All of which has been self-inflicted.

    I do wonder about hiving off the more personal blog posts into a separate blog sometimes too.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I really respect your decision to make of your blog what you want it to be, Rebecca. And you’re right about keeping a focus on your writing. I’ve found if I don’t do that deliberately, it simply doesn’t get done. I’ll look forward to your blog no matter what you do with it, but it sounds as though you have a good plan.

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  3. Good luck going forward, whatever you choose to do should be fun and not a chore. With so many books and so little time there comes a point when something has to give. I only review books I don’t have time for other blog posts and tours etc, yet I’ve got a mountain of review copies (admittedly self inflicted) and no time for personal reading. Once you’ve entered the blogging arena it seems to develop a momentum of it’s own which sometimes you just have to reign in to regain control.

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    1. That’s it exactly, the momentum of its own that it gains and once it starts you don’t seem to be able to control it. So, doing a complete stop feels like the only way to go. I tried cutting down and it didn’t happen AT ALL. So, it has to be this way. And I’m loving the writing so much that I need to find more time and energy from somewhere. Thank you Jill.

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  4. Even though I am a blogging newby I can totally understand your reasons. I started blogging in June when I made the decision to pursue a career as a professional proofreader, which obviously didn’t happen over night! I made the rooky mistake of accepting most books offered in the genre I read and now my TBR is massive and I am starting to get proofreading work coming in. That has to take precedent as it’s paid.

    Your blog is brilliant and I can only imagine how many review requests you receive!

    You have to do what is right for you and we’ll done for taking that step.

    Wishing you all the best and will still be keeping an eye out for your posts x

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    1. Thanks Emma. I was like that when NetGalley opened – requesting like it was a sweet shop. I soon learnt. But yes, it just snowballs. Books come in faster than I can read and review. Wishing you all the best with blogging – it really is great fun as you know – and your new career proofreading.

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  5. I completely understand and support you in this decision (although there is always a selfish part of me which will miss your posts). But your own writing has to come first and there are only so many hours in the day and so much energy you can put into any kind of writing (and reviews do take up much more time and thought than we give them credit for). I really have to follow your example, but at the moment there is so much non-writing stuff going on which is impinging upon my writing, that at least via blogging I feel that I am getting something done. It’s an illusion, obviously…

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    1. Thank you Marina, for the support and for missing them! Yes, giving it up will hopefully give me some extra energy and time that I can put towards my writing. It’s have so much enthusiasm and ideas running through me at the minute I just need the energy levels to match them. I hope your life settles so you can soon start getting into a routine you’re happy with xx

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  6. Totally get where you’re coming from, my own blogging experience has spiralled out of control which I’ve had to rein back over the summer to prioritise other things. It makes me feel a little disheartened though given the time I’ve put into it to build up a readership and my stats reflect that….but what can you do, there’s only so many hours in a day!
    Best of luck with your writing and at least we still have your other blogs to read πŸ™‚ xx

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    1. Blogging can really take up so much more time than you realise can’t it? Your readers will stay with you. Once they realise you are back again. Don’t be disheartened. You have a great blog. Life has to take precedence sometimes. Xx

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  7. Yes, I’ll miss your thoughts on books too, but I totally understand your thinking here. Book blogging has a way of pushing more and more into your life. I think many bloggers stop for a second and think ‘how did I get here’! When it is no longer pleasurable, it’s time to take a break or make a change. I’ll look forward to what you have to say going forward and wish you good luck with your writing and researching. I have done this myself – stopping the review machine – and I feel so much better for it. Take care, Rebecca!!

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    1. Thank you Kay. It’s amazing how it really does just snowball into something quite massive and overwhelming. I’m looking forward to writing my last review and it being over now. I’m counting the books down. To freedom. And to the freedom of choosing my own books. πŸ™‚

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    1. Thank you! Your support means a lot. I didn’t know how this post would be received but the positivity is really heartwarming. I think because everyone knows just how time consuming it really is! You deserve a break, take one, you’ll enjoy the freedom πŸ™‚

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  8. I can totally relate to what you’re saying. As an author myself, I am very grateful to other authors who feature me on their blogs and try to return the favour whenever possible. I only review books that I would have read anyway, but this is time consuming and sometimes I find myself trying to reach a deadline instead of working on my own writing. I know my writing has suffered. I should have finished revising the book I’m working on at the moment months ago, but I just don’t get enough time to do everything. My blog has become more of an ‘author promotion’ blog than anything else (for other authors) and I don’t feel I post my own articles nearly often enough. I don’t want to give up promoting other authors and I’m not sure what the answer is. I am cutting down on reviews though but not entirely because I feel if I want people to review my books it’s only fair to do the same for others. It’s very difficult and I think you are doing the right thing. If it no longer feels ‘right’ it probably isn’t!

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    1. I’ve been doing it for at least five years now and I’m exhausted. My health isn’t good and I need the spare energy to write. I’ll still enthuse about other authors when I’m reading, but on social media so it’ll be off the cuff rather than organised and time consuming. It was time I prioritised my time and this was right for me. You’ll know what’s right for you πŸ™‚

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  9. Good for you, I’m only one novel in and six months of blogging under my belt. On the blog I’m being so severe about not posting more than once a week and sticking to writing just my own stuff that I suppose it could be seen as unwelcoming or standoffish. That’s not intended in the least, but there are only so many hours in the day and the second novel must take priority or it will get lost in a sea of (mostly wonderful) social media interactions. So I wish you luck and space. It’s not as if books are going away any time soon!

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    1. Thank you Jessica. You’re right, there are only so many hours and like you I want to put them into writing. I have plans and I’m setting myself deadlines. I know I’m not going to stick to them but I’ll be close and it’ll help that I’m not going to be book blogging any more. Well – this first deadline won’t be met but that could be because I am still doing it as I finish off the books I have! But not really, I’m just being optimistic. I’m enthusiastic about my writing at the minute so it’s a good time to stop the reviewing.

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  10. Totally get where you are coming from as recently have taken far too many books on and am struggling and its at the point where im not reading for pleasure it feels very much like work so trying my best to rein it back in again. I really need to be a lot more stricter and remember theres no way i can read every book and help every author out, not without it having a knock on effect in my personal life as well as my health, as since blogging I now need glasses as i read so many books and recently my eyes have been hurting as well as getting constant headaches, so i really need to get it under control. xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, don’t make yourself ill for it! It’s supposed to be fun. Are you getting headaches reading on a kindle? I alternate between kindle and paperback to stop headaches. I get headaches if I read too many in a row on an electronic device. If I am headaches I’m finding audio is relaxing but they’re my own books now (not review books). So I’m not straining my eyes on anything. But say no to a couple. Allow yourself time to get back on top. It needs to be fun not a chore. Remember why you got into it. Because you loved reading. Xx

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  11. I can relate. I’ve cut back on my reviewing and blogging this year. Last year I posted every day. I’ve cut back to every second day this year, but might need to cut back again.

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  12. Love the columns/focuses you selected. I think your crime knowledge is invaluable and lends credibility to the procedural parts of your novels.

    Me, I do a lot of book reviews, but never feel pressured. I happily refuse requests for book reviews which I don’t have time to do, with a kind explanation as to why (I hope it’s read as kind and nothing else). I do know when I select a book from NetGalley, they expect a review, but they don’t approve all of my selections so that seems to moderate it.

    Good luck with this new direction!

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