Tuesday, February 1, 2011

In Which I Explain. And Ramble A Little, Too.

So I posted this. And I promised to explain why I did. This is that explanation.

Let me first thank everyone that commented. It was awesome to here that a lot of bloggers feel like they want to quit sometimes, and how you guys tackle it. And the comments saying that they didn't ever feel this way were helpful in their own way, too.

Also, let me assure everyone that Shut Up! I'm Reading. isn't going anywhere. Not now. But I have thought about it more and more often lately. Why? Well, I think I've figured it out.

I tend to throw myself into things I love completely. When I decide to become a Superman-obsessed ten year old, you best believe I'm gonna buy everything Superman related I can and learn how to write my full name in Kryptonian. When I decide that I want to become an actress, I read about acting whenever I can and take acting classes nonstop for years until any Wizard of Oz song makes me involuntarily gag. When I get into Webkinz, like just about every other 8-12 year old in the 21st century, I buy CRAPLOADS of those fuzzy little beasts until they practically suffocate me in my sleep.

So, when I discovered I had an intense love of reading, it makes sense that only a few months after that I'd take it a step further and dedicate a whole blog to it, right?

Thinking back on it, maybe I started the blog a wee bit too early. Don't get me wrong at all, I love this blog and all I've learned because of it. But I see all these teenagers who walk into the library and half an hour later walk out with a stack of books taller that they are, and I think: I only did that like, twice. And me being at least well over 5"6 at the age of 11 is only part of the reason for that. The other part of the reason is that my review pile had gotten truly huge, and I felt like I couldn't take any more books, especially stacks of books.

It is thoughts like this that make me occasionally loathe blogging. It's when I think, "I can't read this book that I bought when a publisher sent me a book," or, "My review pile is getting HUGE, I really need to read faster," or "I have to read this book."*

Notice the underlined words? Yeah, those words can kill your blog faster than you can say "Sam Roth is Jessica's boyfriend, not mine, and I'd never dream of stealing him from her." This is because it will turn you from a reader, into a blogger. And, yes, there's a difference. Being a reader is when you just love reading, and maybe there's some blogging, but it's more of a side-gig. Being a blogger is where you feel like you have to read, because if you don't then your blog will die.

See? Difference. Huge one.

Earlier in the month, I will fully admit that I was leaning towards being a blogger. Then I realized that I was one and stopped. It was shockingly easy for me to return to being a reader, thank God.

But this past week or so, it's mostly just been the tours** that have been killing me. It was having to review them by a certain date, and the book after that having to be reviewed by a certain date, and the one after that too, and possibly the one after that. This stresses me out. And unfortunately, I get stressed out way too much and way too easily sometimes.

It's when I get stressed out that I'm reminded of those teenagers who get those giant stacks of library books on a whim, and that I can't do that, and I miss those times when I could, and wow is this blogging thing really worth it? (Hey, I never said that I wasn't a complete spazz.)

But I've calmed myself down. And, after I finish up these last 3 tour books, I will probably try something new. I think I'll worry about what I want to read instead of what I need to read. Because this blog isn't a job. It's a hobby. I think I forget that sometimes. It's a hobby that I really love. Well, when I don't over-think it, that is.

So I don't think I'll over-think it anymore. I'll just...enjoy it. :)

(Phew, sorry, for the length and rambliness of this post. I kinda got carried away and dumped everything on you guys...well, those of you that actually read this, anyways.)

*I don't mean to sound ungrateful for the review books I get. I'm very grateful. I'm just very behind, which is completely my fault.

**Also, I don't blame the tour site runners in the slightest. I just got carried away with signing up for them. See? I'm just a nutcase who takes on way too much.



  1. I completely agree with everything you'd said here. I think you've voiced what most bloggers feel at some point. I love getting review books too (thankfully, the amount I get is manageable) but I do miss the spontaneity of going into the library and picking something I'd like on a whim. Also, with lots of school work, finding time to read and blog can be a challenge. Taking a step back and just enjoying is a very good idea :)

  2. That's why I decided long ago to practice the art of saying "no thanks". Good luck. Hang in there. And don't be afraid to say enough is enough :)

  3. Don't feel bad for dumping, sometimes you just have to and you gotta dump on the people who will understand what you're talking about, so it had to be us. I think you solved your own problem and answered your own questions, so I'll stop myself before I say to moderate your reading and remember to have fun because you've already come to that conclusion.

  4. God, I'm in exactly the same boat right now! I've put off my author/publisher-sent reads until I'm literally stalling out with everything else I want to read. And I feel like my blog's suffering because of it. Because of me. Well, no more. I'm sitting down with this book tonight and getting it started/read.

    Thanks for the rambling, it helped a lot!


  5. Great post, is all I have to say. It sounds like you've got some important things figured out.

  6. Wow, you summed up exactly how I've come to feel about blogging- on and off- when I feel overwhelmed. Right now I'm pretty happy about blogging and reading and posting a lot of reviews. Sometimes though it's just like; wow I'd like to save time and read this book that I wanna read and NOT review it and nothing else :P

    Btw, I'm from a review blog. Books4Hearts. And I'm also homeschooled. :)

  7. I have two thoughts about this.
    1. Blogging is supposed to be fun. I hard another blog before this one and it became a chore (ironic b/c it wasn't nearly as successful as this one is). When I started this blog, I told myself that I'd only do it as long as it was fun. And 8 months later, it's more and more fun even though I spend enormous amounts of time on it. But when it isn't fun anymore, I'll stop. Because hobbies are supposed to be enjoyable.
    2. On the other hand, try to stick with it. Things go up and down. If you give it more time - maybe another few weeks or another few months - and it's still a chore or the review obligations are too burdensome, then give it up. Maybe it's just a funk and once you cheer up, you'll go back to loving it again.

    Good luck!


Your comments feed the greedy comment-addicted blogger inside of me. Thanks for keeping me going.