Saturday, 10 March 2018

Back From Hiatus


It has been a while since I posted here on my book blog - well over a month - and whilst initially I didn't intend to take a full on hiatus from my bookish corner, a feeling of disconnect followed by a mini blogging break soon turned into one. 

Something wasn't sitting right with me and Reading with Jade; my inspiration & content slowed, and I felt so unmotivated to be a part of the book community - not only was I not posting, but I wasn't keeping up with blogs and I was seldom reading too. Having been so inspired at the start of the year, with new content ideas and passion, this slump stumped me in many ways... Until I stepped back and assessed that is.

My greatest hobby (books) and all it encompasses for me (including blogging & writing) had come a source of stress and overwhelm, largely induced by myself. This is nothing new in the book community, and definitely nothing new here on my blog. I was determined to bring that joy back however, even if that meant stepping back for a while.

Returning to reading and my book blog, I knew changes needed to be implemented in order to not feel this way again. I've decided to make three main changes going forward with my book blog... 

1. I am no longer accepting books for review from outside sources
2. I won't be (& haven't been) tracking my reading on Goodreads anymore
3. The format of my book reviews will be changing

BOOKS FOR REVIEW
One of the many privileges of being a book blogger is review books - I have always been incredibly grateful when contacted by a publisher, independent author, or approved for a book on Netgalley - however I will no longer be accepting review books of any kind, including taking part in blog tours. Being provided a book for free, whether with a commitment attached or not, leaves me feeling obligated regardless; I can't help that. That in turn adds an element to blogging that I don't want - pressure. For me blogging is fun; coming here and talking books with other like minded readers is something I enjoy, a hobby, and I've come to learn that having books for review takes that away for me personally. I don't want to feel obligated to read something, or review something, or share a blog post - I do those things because I want to.

GOODREADS
I don't know about those of you who track your reading via Goodreads, but I have had so many problems with it for many, many months to the point that I just stopped adding books... I would go on the website and be annoyed because of a formatting issue or some other difficulty with adding books. I know that is such a little thing (a first world problem many would say), but it was also a stress - I like to know what I've been reading for many reasons and tracking via Goodreads was just no longer working for me. I now track my reading with pen & paper and will be continuing with my new 'Reading Record' series.

BOOK REVIEW FORMAT
Talking about books, especially those that I've come away loving, is one of my favourite things about the book community, however writing (coherent) book reviews doesn't seem to come easy to me. I still want to share my thoughts on books, and so from here on out my reviews are going to be more like little notes & snippets as opposed to a paragraphed review all laid out and well formatted. 

I'm aware I could have made these changes without updating and simply just returned implementing them, however I want to keep regular readers in the loop - you take the time to read my words and so I'll continue to share in an honest and open manner. Essentially, my role as a book blogger was causing unnecessary strain and pressure on my (already fragile) mental health, and so I took a step back, returning in a good head space: feeling refreshed and ready to share once more.

I'm happy to be back here in the book community and definitely won't be leaving long term (I've been updating Twitter throughout this hiatus)... I've also really enjoyed sitting down to write this post. I've missed blogging. I've missed my little community - and am ever grateful for your continued support!

Tell me, what have you been up to lately? And, of course, what are you currently reading?
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22 comments

  1. Welcome back!! I think your changes sound great- I hardly ever use Goodreads (and I'd like to more, but who has time for everything) and I seem to do just fine without it lol. Also more informal reviews- sometimes those are more fun to read! So good for you. :)

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    1. Thank you!!

      I was terrible at keeping my Goodreads current with updates anyway... As you say, who has time for everything?! Instead of trying to keep up with all different platforms, just do what works for you.

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  2. I'm with you on this! I've always loved the idea of free books for review, but so far I've resisted accepting any because I felt like it would add too much pressure. I'm glad you're stepping back from that if it's providing too much stress. And Goodreads annoys me, too, although I haven't really had problems with the website, just the app. It can be very frustrating sometimes!

    Glad to be reading your words again! :)

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    1. I love the idea of Goodreads... Just not Goodreads itself. Ha! I never utilised the site fully anyway, so it is pretty easy to record what I did there in other ways. Sorry you have some trouble with the app!

      Thank you so much for your kind words - and it was lovely to return & see your good news!! :-)

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  3. Good for you, for understanding you needed a break and for taking steps to decrease the pressure & stress. I so understand. I feel the same way and have taken some of the same steps as you - I stopped accepting review books (except audios) many years ago, for the reasons you cite and I recently shortened my reviews from full-length to just 3 short paragraphs. Still, it's hard to keep up and I am always behind!

    Good luck with your new approach - I hope it helps & your passion comes back!

    Sue

    Book By Book

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    1. I think it is such a common thing within the blogging community - bookish & otherwise - to need to step back every so often.

      It sounds like you've previously been in a similar boat; finding what works for you is key to blogging really.

      Thank you so much!

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  4. I was so happy to see this post in my feed today :) :) I'm really glad you took a break that you needed, but I'm happy you're back too! I love the changes you are making -- #1 and #3 are things I have done and I enjoy blogging so much more because of them, so I'm pretty confident they will help you too :) I'm still using Goodreads myself, but I'm also trying other tracking methods and I've stopped trying to catalog all of my books on Goodreads which was stressing me out -- So basically I use GR for the parts I like about it and I'm learning to let go of the rest :)

    The best parts of blogging are the books and the community so whatever works for you to enjoy it again, I say go for it! :)

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    1. Ahh, thank you Christine!

      The final sentence of your comment pretty much summed up the gist of my entire lengthy post in one sentence. Haha! I'm so happy to have returned to the community, and in a way that works for me.

      Thank you for your kind words.

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  5. Welcome back. Do your blog how you want to do it. Hopefully you will start enjoying it again.

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  6. Welcome back! I hope the changes work well for you. I also don’t accept ARCs or books for review. There’s less stress when I can read what I want, when I want.

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

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    1. Thank you, Aj - and I totally agree; there is a definite joy from being able to read at your own pleasure.

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  7. Welcome Back! I am glad you found a way to make it fun again - blogging shouldn't be stressful. :) It's good to see you blogging again! :)

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    1. Thank you so much, Erin - it feels good to be back!

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  8. Welcome back Jade, you are one of my favourite bloggers, so I'm glad you are back. I think we all go through this journey of blogging. It is very different for me from when I first started and more enjoyable, not stressful. I do want to network more so I'm slowly getting back in. I like Library Thing more then Goodreads, but GR does have all the widgets etc that are better. I like that I can put notes in LT.

    I have had a great year of reading so far, not as many as before but I'm getting there. I'm also going to give up my book club, that is just not adding to the joy of reading for me anymore.

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    1. Ah, thank you Marce!

      I've heard some good things about Library Thing before, although never used it myself - it sounds like it has some fun extras compared with Goodreads.

      Happy to hear you are working your way back to reading & books also, as well as (like me) recognising what brings you joy as a reader and what doesn't.

      I hope the year is being kind to you so far, bookish & otherwise. And once again, thank you for your kind words.

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  9. I'm glad to see you back and it sounds like your hiatus was productive. It's definitely easy to lose the fun with blogging and easy to put stress on yourself. I take books for review though I primary accept from publishers. It puts less obligation on me somehow though there are times I wish I hadn't gotten started. It's nice to just read what you want to read without worrying about pub dates! I hope you've found the joy again with blogging!

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    1. My hiatus was gave me a good amount of thinking time, and I think I've 'found' my happy blogging self again, which is great! Thank you!

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  10. Welcome back! I understand needing a change. Reading is supposed to be enjoyable, so you do what needs done!

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  11. Welcome back! I think it's wonderful that you were able to figure out the reason for your slump and have put together what I think is a great plan for moving forward with your blog. I recently changed my review format for backlist books that I don't have as much to say about and it has been such a timesaver so that I can focus more on other aspects of my blog.

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    1. It's nice when you figure out something that works better for you.

      Thank you!

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