So, if you’ve read my Because Everyone’s Awesome Giveaway post, you knew this was coming. I’ve not been secret at all about the fact that I’m taking a break from blogging. If you follow me on Twitter, you’ve probably seen a few tweets such as the sentiment below.
Here’s the honest to God truth: I’m tired of book blogging. Like, SO tired. I’m tired of the ARCs, of the pressure, the competition, the petty drama, the stress, and the fact that I care too much about how others think of my blog. I have tried so hard this month to post, but to be honest? Ever since I announced that comment in bold above on Twitter and decided to take a break, it’s like I gave up. Like I shared a secret that had been weighing me down and I was finally free. That pressure eased, the stress over ARCs was nothing compared to how August had been for me. From summer courses to stress to health problems, blogging was not at the forefront of my mind. And my blog has suffered so much because of that. But, here’s another truth: I’d been losing my spark long, LONG before all of that.
It started around June, and it just kind of got more intense. I’ve written only one full review in the last month. I wanted to read a lot of ARCs in August for the challenge, but I basically just gave up on it all. A lot of this personal. Like, 90% of it at least. But the other 10% is the community in general. It feels toxic. So much so some days I just don’t get on Twitter very much at all. And it’s not because of something that is a Big Deal. It’s because of petty, childish antics and this whole drive to one-up other bloggers. To put so much stock in names and ARCs and popularity. To care more about the connections with authors and publishers than with the people in the blogging community. Which isn’t to say that none of that is SO bad, but it kinda makes you wonder if someone is blogging because they genuinely love books and want to share their love for them, or if they’re just in it for the “perks” so to speak.
But let’s move on from that. I have so many more thoughts on how the toxicity keeps building, but it’s not the ONLY reason I am taking a break (and not the point of this post). I also feel so uncreative. I feel like my posts have become generic and boring and common. I can’t remember the last time I wrote a post that was super different from what I’ve been blogging about. I haven’t even written a discussion post since May. I HAVE had ideas, but again, I haven’t found the desire to write any of them. And because of that, because of the lack in creativeness here, I feel like I’ve kinda hurt my blog in that people don’t have much to say when they read my posts anymore. I just feel like I’ve lost so much of why I started in the first place. I feel like I’ve let you guys down. And I just, I don’t know what to do anymore. I don’t know how to make people WANT to comment, I don’t know how to entice my audience. I don’t know if I’m even doing a good job with what I’ve been posting lately. And I know I should be blogging for ME, and I am, but I still care about wanting to make this a place people enjoy visiting. After all, what’s the fun in having a one-sided discussion with yourself? As much as my blog is for me, it’s for you guys too.
I don’t mean to complain/rant about everything. I just wanna explain what my feelings have been like with blogging over the last few months and what happened to the blog in August. And let you guys know WHY I’m doing this because I feel like you deserve to know.
So I need a break, and I hope this helps more than harms. I hope it refills my creative well (I heard this expression from someone else and just really loved it, it’s so great). I want to spend this time figuring out what I want to change about my blog, and how I want to branch out. Because I want to branch out! I wanna get more creative. I wanna incorporate more hobbies (like my TV show binging!! I don’t know why I haven’t done that yet). I wanna spend more time commenting and visiting others’ blogs, being more interactive with people on here, and bringing in collaborations. I think setting my own blogging aside will give me more time for all of that, and that will in turn, help The Fox’s Hideaway grow. I don’t need 10,000 followers or all the comments in the world. But I want people to WANT to comment on my blog, you know? I want to write more posts that invite discussion and conversation. And I want to make this as much fun for my followers as it is for me! No, it hasn’t been very fun right now, and again, that is almost 100% because of personal shit. But it’s definitely been a major concern for me while watching interaction on my blog plummet. Like, pageviews haven’t gone down at all (they’ve actually gone UP a lot), but the lack in comments has really made me think my posts haven’t been that fun to read (which is definitely the negative/pessimistic side of me taking over, but with stats being like the only way you can really tell if your blog is growing, watching things plummet doesn’t feel all that great). I also contribute a lot of this to the fact that I haven’t made time for others’ blogs, so like I said above, I want to spend much of this time doing just that!
Many of you don’t know that I’ve been *so close* to quitting over the course of the summer. And there have been SO MANY reasons why; these negative feelings toward my blog and the community have just been ONE of them. Edit: so basically here's what I think of the blog right now: my content has not been up to par with the past and it's nowhere near where I want it to be for the future. But here’s the thing, I’m not finished here yet! I’m not okay with quitting before I’ve given it the best shot I can. No, I’ve never been so close to giving this up before, but I have WAY more in me to stop now. I just need that time to step back, and ask myself some important questions such as WHO is my audience and HOW do I want to change the blog. And mostly, I want to figure out what’s working, and then change the things that aren’t. Also make my posts more creative and ME than they have been!
I know that was very long-winded, but I had a lot to say! Okay, so plan on a VERY slow blog from today until December. I’ll still post here and there, hopefully (I have a blog tour stop this month so I'll definitely be back for that!). But only when I WANT to, and when I have time. I don’t wanna push myself to blog. I hadn’t been doing that in August, obviously, but I felt bad I let it go with no warning or even a general statement somewhere on here. So that’s why I’m making this an “official” break. I don’t wanna feel guilty about not getting posts up, and I don’t want people to think I’ve just given up on this. Edit: And I wanted to let you know ahead of time so you won't be alarmed if I only manage to publish like 4 posts this month (of course I'm hoping for more than that, but you never know). :) I’m going to be working extremely hard in making my blog better, but my last semester of college comes first. So, I’m sure you’ll see me around on here a bit, but not a lot. But don’t worry, I’m NEVER leaving Twitter! (I can't believe people even THOUGHT I would be breaking away from Twitter too). :D Feel free to follow me on there if you still wanna chat/interact!
But hey, let's not end this on a negative note. Go forth and enter to win some of the books I got from BEA! Good luck, happy reading, and I'll talk to you soon. :)