For What It's Worth

Friday, January 8, 2016

Friday Fast Five: Five things I did to get my blogger groove back

First it was the Great Reading Slump of 2014 – then it was The Great Blogging Slump of 2014/15. Thankfully, I got over the reading slump which was terrifying! Who the hell am I if I don’t read???? I used to love it! The blogging slump took longer to get over but I think I’m there – here are a few things that worked for me…
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Five things I did to get my blogger groove back

#1

ARC Gut-check

This is just my own opinion - but I think so much blogger burnout is due to ARC’s. The quest to get them. The pressure to read/review all of them. The jealousy of being left out. It all stems from ARC’s. Which takes all the joy out of blogging and strains the connection that the community used to have.

I took a long, hard look at my desire for ARC’s. Did I actually get to them all? Did I even like most of them? Did I die if I didn’t get them? The answer was a big resounding NO to all of those questions.
Do I still accept ARC’s? Yes. But I try to stick with what I think I will like – not request a book just because all the cool kids are reading it first and if I don’t I WILL BE LEFT OUT.

I request two at a time on Netgalley and no more until I read/review.

This isn’t a judgment on anyone – if you can read and love all the ARC’s go for it! I’m just talking about when it turns you into something ugly or you feel so overwhelmed that you don’t know if you can blog anymore. So much of that is self inflicted pressure that has an easy solution.

#2

I stepped away

I pretty much gave up all of my old hobbies for blogging. Ignored my husband and dogs! (I can never ignore Figment (my cat) because he won’t let me lol) There’s no time! I have posts to schedule damn it! People need to know what I think! Um…no they don’t. The world keeps spinning, people keep reading without your opnion.

Now I take breaks when I need to. I started watching more TV, got out in the yard to play with Indy & Beau. After a few days I miss the blog and reading and I come back refreshed with even more to talk about. But on my own terms - not because I think I need to.

I’m not sure why blogging comes with so much guilt. I think all of us understand when *other* bloggers take time off. We’re still there when they come back – so we should go easy on ourselves too.

#3

Mini Reviews

I love writing and reading mini reviews! They feel spontaneous - which is a relief when I’m totally burned out on reviewing. Writing and formatting reviews can kill my blogger soul.

#4

PicMonkey/Variety

I’m about as un-creative as it gets but I can spend hours on PicMonkey making new headers, SN icons, buttons…I know I don’t get professional looking results but I’M HAVING FUN and that’s all that matters.

Sometimes For What It’s Worth will be a book blog – then it might be all music and dogs for a month. I don’t know and I’m not worried about it anymore. I started this for fun and it’s finally feeling that way again – once I stopped trying to fit it neatly into a blogging rule box.

#5

ZIP IT


This should probably be #1 or #2 in level of importance because next to ARC's the constant negativity is so exhausting. I use Tweetcaster and they have a zip function that includes zipping #'s. Saved. My. Sanity. Fights, book hype, spoilers, scandals, haters, assholes - ZIP THAT SHIT UP.

I unfollowed everyone that feels the need to jump into every online drama. I may even agree with them but it's so damn draining after awhile and skews how we view the community - as if it's all negative - and it's not.

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I do know that while so many others have quit – I’m not ready to. I haven’t found another platform that allows me to meet so many cool people like blogging has and I love talking to all of you. I just need the obligation part to go away. lol

Have you ever been in a blogging slump? How have you gotten out of it?

23 comments:

  1. I tend to write while watching tv, though sometimes tv wins ;)

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    1. I can't blog while watching TV but I read with it on. Weird. I know.

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  2. Quote:
    "There’s no time! I have posts to schedule damn it! People need to know what I think! Um…no they don’t."
    LOL.

    Poor dogs...and poor Kevin. He must be very patient and understanding!

    ARCs can be a two-sided sword. One does anything to secure a certain book because - HYPE! - and then their face falls when they actually get to read it. Also, one is reasonably sure that many more people are going to read a review if it's about an ARC, so it basically sounds like the key to blogging success...if success has to be measured by numbers, that is. Or if success is needed at all...Because if one is looking for like-minded friends (or maybe not, since we rarely read the same books, for example...) and attentive ears, ARCs are not a requirement in order to get them...

    I'm not sure I'm making sense LOL. Being a little uncoordinated today!

    Anyway, I've noticed I fall into a slump every time I feel like I HAVE to post something, lest too much time passes between one post and another. Oh the irony.

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    1. You're making perfect sense! My most popular posts were always YA ARC reviews. I feel like that's the bread & butter of top bloggers - unless you have a niche (like romance, UF...)

      For me, I just couldn't blog 7 days a week anymore or read things I wasn't enjoying just to have it on the blog. My page views are WAY down because of it but at some point I had to make a call. Blog for fun or blog for popularity (& I'm not saying I wouldn't' take both - it sucks to write posts no one reads!) & if I stuck with worrying about numbers I would have quit.

      Blogging is hard work and no one really tells you that. I also don't like how it brings out feelings of envy and failure - when it's just a hobby. I'm ok with the level of effort I put in right now and the results. But it's up to each individual. Some people thrive on goals, numbers and there's absolutely nothing wrong with that.

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    2. Quote:
      "Blog for fun or blog for popularity (& I'm not saying I wouldn't' take both - it sucks to write posts no one reads!)".
      Ditto...or posts that only a few friends read...I mean, it's awesome, but let's face it, every single blogger dreams to be able to make a difference. Then again, blogging is hard work but at the same time it's not a job! and it would be probably sad if it were...You know I'm a radio host, don't you? well, I had so much more fun with it when I did it as a hobby...

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  3. I love mini reviews! I've done a few lately because I don't feel like 'properly' reviewing a book; there's just not much I want to say. But at the same time, I want the world to know that THIS BOOK WAS AWESOME (or not). So once every few weeks I might just throw 3-5 books up in one post and write a few sentences about each. :)

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    1. Yeah - that's what I do. Their, easy and fun to write and everyone seems to get the idea in those few sentences.

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  4. Well I'm glad that you did all that ...But like you blogging wasn't fun. I do have 1 review for this year that I plan on doing. I've been doing my reviews at Goodreads and I like that ...I keep them simple and I'm enjoy reading now.
    I also started working and going to school. That helped alot :)

    I realized too that getting that ARC like the one that others got..I wasn't green with envy at all. While I have yet to read book 2 due to hype or maybe I hyped it up too much ..I will wait to read them.That also includes some other books I have but have yet to read. I do go crazy on edelweiss & Net Galley but I do leave reviews :)
    I need the fun read along with school work :)

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    1. Do you mean TWK? If so, that's one of my favorite series & I didn't get the arc and I don't care even one bit. I do want to read it but I'll get to it when it comes out. I will live lol

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  5. I can't tell you how many posts I have read this year where we all commit to getting control of ARCs, requesting less and reading more of what we want as well as stepping and back and blogging for ourselves. I am the same way. I am in my fifth year now and I no longer let the blog run my life. I even cut back on the number of books I committed to read. It already feels better. I stay off social media because I don't have time for it and I don't need any negativity.

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    1. I hate that so many people feel so overwhelmed that they quit because cutting back means we failed in some way.

      Letting go of the ARC's was the first step to regaining clarity and enjoying this again.

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  6. I totally understand and you know what we are all very supportive to other bloggers so of course that will come back to us when we need a break etc. I agree on the ARC's. I started only saying yes to one's I truly was interested in. NetGalley I went only when I was in the mood to choose and read that one right away.

    Last year I tried a book club which was a terrible decision book wise but it made me realise how fulfilling blogging and networking was.

    I think I will try mini reviews this year. There are 4 books I didn't review last year that I still regret, maybe I will try it.

    I only blog, no twitter, no facebook because that is opening myself up for negatively and I don't have the time or energy. I also found it within the YA genre which I don't read, maybe 1-2 a year so that helps also.

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  7. I started doing mini's last year. I pick a few books and write 2-3 lines for reach one. I need to do one soon for a few books I never got to last year too.

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  8. I actually spend less time on social media b/c of the negativity so I usually end up missing all the hoopla... I don't mind. :) I know what you mean about giving up the other stuff. I'm getting back to crafting so I'm incorporating it a bit more into the blog (which is what I had intended before the book part took over). So you get crafts on occasion if people want it or not. LOL It's my blog and I'll do what I want (I totally just heard that in Cartman... via SouthPark's voice). Eek! :D These are great pointers especially for those just starting out and don't realize it will take over a bit.

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    1. Respect my authortay! lol

      I love your craft posts!

      I think we all start assuming no one will read us so we don't care. Then we either do better than we expect and drown trying to keep up or watch others who start the same time as you take off and wonder why we aren't.

      It's really a hobby you need to do for yourself - unless your goal is to take advertising etc - then that's different of course.

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  9. I love every single thing about this post!
    This will be the first year in a while that I'm not going to BEA, and while I'm sad to miss out on the fun, I need to spend a year reading all the books that are sitting on my shelf that I was once so excited to read until the next shiny arc came along. I'm going to spend more time commenting because the one thing I love almost as much as books is our community of book lovers, and that's my reason to keep jumping back into blogging time after time. ;)

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    1. I'm going to ALA instead because it's here in FL but even at BEA last year I cut WAY back on what I picked up and read ALL of the books. I was proud of myself.

      I found there was way less commenting last year as everyone (including myself) just tried to keep it together enough to do their own posts and stay blogging so yeah - the community feeling has slipped because of that.

      But I also think the mood is changing and we're getting back to the fun part!

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  10. YES YES YES! I agree with every single one of these and not just because I practice every single one. Though I gave up my NetGalley again---I just couldn't deal when I went back for a bit. Works better for me to be just disconnected LOL

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    1. Netgalley doesn't bother me but I never really went there and browsed or anything. I get a request and say yes and grab the widget. I can go months without ever looking lol

      You are one of my blogger role models Felicia! You're doing it for all the right reasons and take whatever time you need off without worrying about it, blog about whatever you want. You have definitely shaped how I blog so thank you!

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  11. You've been blogging for a while now you've "earned" whatever it is you want to do. I'm freestylin' myself this year with ocassional tours to support my favorite authors. But like you, it's the ARCs and reading all of them in time that stressed me out and took out the enjoyment of reading.

    I freesyled November last year, still doing it, and I'm loving my flow. I'm excited for new books again.

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  12. "I’m not sure why blogging comes with so much guilt. I think all of us understand when *other* bloggers take time off. We’re still there when they come back – so we should go easy on ourselves too. "

    Yes! Definitely. I always feel super guilty when I take long breaks, but when I come back I feel refreshed and ready to blog! Definitely doing it more often.

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  13. I'm glad you got your blogging vibes back :D I've managed to keep solid. Early on (around 7 months) I put my foot down with tours and said nope no more. I'm doing blogging how I want to do blogging. Not worrying about others or if I was doing things the "proper" way. And man. After deciding that it was way more fun. I'm glad you've gotten refreshed and ready to tackle everything how you want :D

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  14. Great tips, Karen! :) I've been taking plenty of breaks in the last few years, because life gets in the way and there is no point stressing out about it :) Same with the amount of ARCs. I now very rarely accept any review request from an author I don't know and as a result I only read books I enjoy and wished for in the first place. I am very glad you are out of reading slump, and am enjoying all the new looks your blog gets. They are all very cute. x

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