27 April 2013

Crunch Time - Reevaluating Who I Am


At the beginning of April, I wrote a post about A Day in the Life Of a Book Blogger, partly because I wanted to see just how much time I dedicate to reading, blogging and social media connected to my blog.  And since that post, I seem to have lost a little bit of my mojo - I'm reading less, posting less and spending far less time than I ever have in visiting other blogs or chatting on Twitter - and it's forced me into a revaluation of everything.

Yes, real life is busier than ever with work, summer is coming and making me want to go out and enjoy the (patchy) sunshine and I'm also trying to plan a massive trip back to Australia, but I've also been actively avoiding the things I'm most passionate about - reading and talking books.

I've realised that I need to reevaluate a lot of things.  When I started blogging I was reading almost exclusively adult zombie and post-apocalyptic books and I loved working with independent authors.  As in life, things changed, and now I'm reading almost exclusively Young Adult books and only those published by 'big' traditional publishing houses.  But then I started thinking about why my tastes have changed so much, and if it even adds to my enjoyment of reading and blogging and I'm now going to put it all out there and say that I'm actually not having as much fun as I used to.

One thing I'm definitely not doing is putting down YA books, or traditional publishing at all.  I've read some books in the last 18 months that I would never have come across without blogging and I honestly can't imagine not having read them.  I just feel like I've lost my way a little bit, and that I'm bowing to a pressure to be one of the 'cool kids' and read what everyone else is reading, even if it's not what I'm really passionate about.

I contemplated an extended hiatus, and even to stop blogging all together, but neither of those are the things that I really want.  So it's time for a change, a spring-clean, a shake up.

The first, and most obvious, thing is a blog redesign.  I loved the purple, I loved the black cat and all the fun icons, but it's not really ME.  I wear a lot of black myself, I love simplistic design in both blogs and life, so this feels a lot more like a reflection of myself.

Secondly, I'm going to stop worrying that I'm not reading what everyone else is.  I don't have to read all the popular up-coming releases to have something important and interesting to say, and even if no one comments it's OK because I'm reading what I want, when I want.

Thirdly, I'm not going to post for the sake of posting.  If I miss a day, or two, or even three, that's just the way it's going to be.

Finally, I'm going to read more independently published authors.  I've discovered amazing independently published books, and I want to find more and give them the exposure they deserve.  I understand that a lot of people don't like independently published books for a myriad of reasons, but I love the thrill of discovering hidden gems.

I really hope all these changes will be for the better, and by being more comfortable in my own skin, I'll be able to get that passion back.

32 comments:

  1. I think we all lose our way a bit thanks to hyped up books. I've certainly been victim to it, but I'm trying to get back on track also.

    I'd love to see more blog posts focused on indie books! I'll definitely be interested in seeing what you think about them and hopefully growing my never ending to-read shelf!

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    1. It's really hard not to get caught up in the hype.

      I'm so excited to get back to reading more indies!

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  2. I like the black and can completely understand where you're coming from in wanting the change. I love seeing your independent reviews. I've found many new books from them.

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  3. A lot of the mainstream reviewers don't seem to actually read a lot of the books they talk about. They are always talking about what is coming out, and not what they have read. Gisselle is an exception, but note that she seems to have burned herself out by reading mainstream dystopian fiction.

    Mainstream fiction is better edited, but most contemporary fiction (mainstream or not) follows the fashion of the moment within its niche. I think this makes it easy to get burned out.

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    1. It can all be very same-y. I was trying to read a book the other day that I would have loved a year ago but now it just feels like I've read it before, just with different characters and place names.

      Variety definitely helps.

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  4. Get ready....I'm going to tackle hug you through this screen! Ouch!!! didn't quite make it lol but the intent was there :-)

    I SO felt this way last year and almost gave up but then I realized I was reading books just to be reading and reviewing what I thought other people would want to see and ended up hating everything!

    Blogging has opened up genres to me that I wouldn't' have read otherwise and I'm grateful but I kept reading books I didn't enjoy just so I wouldn't miss out on anything.

    There's so much more I could say but basically I ditto your post. I'm looking for a simple design too & I love yours.

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    1. Thanks Karen! I always take some inspiration from your posts, as I know you've been through something similar and came through the other side!

      I love playing with design, it's really made me feel more energised!

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  5. These changes sounds amazing. AND I absolutely love the new design.

    I love that you are going to read what you want and post when you want. I have been beating myself up over the past month because I have not done enough reading and/or posting. But life happens. And sometimes priorities have to change.

    Love, love this post, Kat!

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    1. Thanks Ashley! We really shouldn't beat ourselves up about reading - it's supposed to be fun, and I don't want to lose that.

      And sometimes priorities have to change indeed - and I'm feeling much more positive now :)

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  6. Good for you. Do what makes you happy and not what everyone else is doing. :) I've been changing things this year too. :)

    Enjoy getting back to what you love most.

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    1. Yay! Change is fun sometimes, it can be really liberating!

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  7. Do it girl.....love the changes and will continue to follow.

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  8. Your new blog design is great! :) If you are happy with the changes, we are going to be happy with them. It's all about having fun!

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    1. Thanks Mel! Nothing like a bit of spring cleaning ;)

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  9. I love the redesign and feel it suits you much better. It feels like we're seeing the real Kat, if that makes sense. I believe you should do what makes you happy and you have made a good point that you don't have to do what everyone else is doing to be 'cool'. Be you because you totally rock at it!

    I love reading your reviews and think you have amazing opinions to offer on a plethora of books I would have never discovered without your thoughts and reviews. So, this is one follower who will keep on following.

    Good luck with everything, be happy, be you, and keep the awesomeness coming!

    Wendy @ Wendy's Musings

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    1. Thanks Wendy, that means a lot to me :)

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  10. I love the new changes and totally agree with the independemt authors topic. You will definitely not lose a follower in me.

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    1. Thank you so much :) I'm really looking forward to getting back to more indies!

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  11. I loved this post. It was so honest. And I am happy to hear that YOU will be more happy now. I cannot wait to discover all the goodies you bring to us.

    I LOVE the new blog changes. Total Win.

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    1. I'm excited too, I've read two books in a day just from feeling more free!

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  12. I love this post! Good for you. Seriously. I love that you are taking the time to assess yourself as a blogger and make sure that the direction you take is right for you.

    I've been thinking about this myself lately as my summer will be busy. I'm glad that I'm not the only one who thinks about these things.

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    1. It was seriously overdue. I'm already feeling much more energised and ready to get stuck in again!

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  13. I think the changes you're making are great, you should be having fun while blogging. It's easy to succumb to the hype, sometimes I feel like I should read a book I have no interest in just because so many people love it.

    Looking forward to your book features on more independent author and any future changes. :)

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    1. Thanks! I'm looking forward to it too, it's going to be a lot of fun!

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  14. Amen, sister! First of all, your new design is absolutely gorgeous! Secondly, I'm pretty much in the same boat, because I reduced my blogging by at least 40% few weeks ago and have never felt happier about it. I've cut down my time on Twitter and commenting and reading other blogs to only weekends and it doesn't take much time to catch up at all, but I find now that I'm actually really enjoying reading absolutely random books and even binge reading the whole series.
    Good luck with everything, darling, I think you are making a great decision :)
    *hugs*

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  15. I definitely thing that you should follow what makes you happy rather than trying to stay up with the crowd. It's easy to get wrapped up in trying to follow the crowd and I've struggled with that as well. But I think you'll get the best response from others and enjoy yourself much more if you follow what makes you happy. Good luck.

    Somewhere Only We Know

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  16. This is great! I'm so happy that more bloggers are starting to do this, I ended up doing the same at the beginning of this year as well. The blog was beginning to feel like an obligation and not something I enjoyed, so I pulled back...and now I'm actually reading more and have more posts because I'm enjoying it. So good for you! Read the books you want and post when you want! Also I really like the simple design for your blog, it's clean and crisp.

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  17. I think most of us can empathise with how you feel, Kat! That's the thing about blogging... there's always the pressure and you just need to know your limits and how to get it in check. Blogging is supposed to be enjoyable, it should never EVER feel like a chore. When it does start to feel that way, just know that it's okay to take a step back and re-evaluate things. Sometimes a good reprioritisation is in order --- it's cathartic and good for your mental/physical well-being. We're all here because we're your friends and we'd totally understand if you needed to step away for a while. We support you NO MATTER WHAT!

    Basically, do what feels right for YOU because nobody can decide what's best for you other than you. Go with your gut, it's usually right. And LOVING the re-design by the way. You are just too cool for school. ;P

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  18. Great post Kat! I think all bloggers go through this especially ones that have been around for over a year...there's a lot of pressure we put on ourselves when we look at what other bloggers do. I went through a "meh" stage with the blog for about 6 months and I'm just starting to be more involved again. Taking a break from blogging even for a day or two is great. While I hope you never stop blogging (I do love your posts!) I just want you to be happy and have fun doing it :). Do what's right for you and we'll back you no matter what!

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  19. This is an awesome post and exactly what I needed right now! I believe most bloggers find themselves in a similar situation. I personally always have that problem that I list all those books I still want to read and buy some of them and then they are all on my shelf and I think...okay, am I really that excited about them or did I just buy them because everyone seemed to be reading them? A few months back I had a huge pile of dystopian novels on my shelf off of which I only really wanted to read one or two. Something that helped me a lot was - for one - a new design for the blog, as well, and then not buying any more books for... I think it's been two months now. In the meantime I just made my way through those 20 - 30 books that were unread on my shelf, so that I can start fresh and only buy and read the books I feel strongly about.
    I do understand that you didn't go on a hiatus or stopped blogging entirely - as of right now, I couldn't even imagine that :) I think it helps sometimes to just go back to reading the way I did before blogging and forgetting about all the new releases and the hyped up books for a while :)

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