Book Blogger Appreciation Week: Day 5

What a fun week this has been! I’m super keen for more people to go and answer the questions I set on Day 2 – I’d love to know more about how you discovered this corner of the blogging world, and your favourite books – but today’s question is…

One of the unfortunate side effects of reading and blogging like rockstars seems to be a tendency toward burnout. How do you keep things fresh on your blog and in your reading?

It is one of the sad things in blogging, when bloggers disappear. Particularly when they do it without any warning or any other means of contact: one can’t help worrying about them. Others keep to various social media channels, but decide their time of blogging has come to an end – which is, of course, up to them entirely.

I see this less nowadays, perhaps because most of the blogs I read are those I’ve been reading for years, and people who’ve last five years (say) are likely to keep going.

What I noticed a lot was that the 18 month mark was telling. People either left the blogosphere, or changed how they went about blogging. I certainly changed. It was at that point that I decided only to read and review books that I wanted to read. Before that, getting review copies had been such an unexpected delight that I read all of them, and StuckinaBook started to not reflect my taste.

So, how do I avoid burnout? I stick to reading and writing what I want to write. When I have bigger ideas, I jump at them – before I might have been a bit anxious that nobody would join in, or nobody would be interested. Now, I say “Let’s do the 1924 club!” or “Why not start a podcast?” and I see what happens. I also have no targets on how often I’ll blog.

As for keeping things fresh… well, I suppose that’s not for me to say. I take a month or so away every few years, to have a bit of time to myself, and I certainly don’t do everything I can to become the biggest book blogger out there. Regular readers of StuckinaBook have become such a loved group, I treasure you all, and it is wonderful to bring together like-minded people – here, and in the comments sections of all the blogs I read of a similar mindset. Who’d think, as we go about our everyday lives, that there was a place we could retreat to where people have heard of Rose Macaulay, E.M. Delafield, Denis Mackail, etc. – and who know precisely which Elizabeth Taylor we’re talking about.

So actually, thinking about it, my answer to ‘how do you avoid burnout’ is pretty simple. It’s you guys.

8 thoughts on “Book Blogger Appreciation Week: Day 5

  • February 20, 2016 at 11:52 pm
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    I think you’re spot on about writing about what you want, when you want. I’ve not been blogging as long as you but I did find it was getting a little distracted with challenges and review books at one point. Really, it needs to be something you love and enjoy doing, and as long as the blogging is fun and the books are ones you like that’s all that matters. I shall continue to enjoy reading your posts!

    • February 23, 2016 at 10:17 pm
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      And so say all of us! (And thanks :))

  • February 21, 2016 at 3:03 am
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    Being true to yourself is such an important aspect of blogging. I just wouldn’t feel at home if you started writing about science-fiction, Simon! It’s also one of the many reasons why I enjoy your podcast so much. There’s any number of podcasts about mainstream fiction but listening to you and Rachel discuss classics, re-issues, and inter-war novels, makes me feel engaged in conversation about the books that I love so much.
    And I know what you mean about keeping ex-bloggers in your thoughts. I think about P Smith and Paperback Reader and miss their posts.

    • February 23, 2016 at 10:19 pm
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      Aww, thanks Darlene, that’s lovely! And yes, I so agree about Paperback Reader – and Books & Cooks is the one I always think about. I wish I knew where Tara went.

      Funny you should mention sci-fi, though… ;)

  • February 21, 2016 at 2:35 pm
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    I think a common problem. You start out all full of energy and ambitions and with time, well, it tends to overtake you.
    Like you, and other bloggers commenting here, I have come to the point where I write something when I feel like it. Since I seem to be blocked as soon as I promise to read a book, or promise to write a post, I try not to promise anything and let the inspiration of the moment guide my blogging.

    • February 23, 2016 at 10:20 pm
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      We have to be all about guilt-free blogging and enjoying it, don’t we? When we remember that it’s fun, and not our jobs, then we’re on the right page :)

  • February 21, 2016 at 3:52 pm
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    Lovely! I think I managed to avoid burnout on my book blog because I started sooooo long ago and the main focus of my reviewing is STILL my handwritten notebooks rather than my blog – it’s very rare for me to write on the blog before writing in the notebook, even if my reviews are quite different.

    I have gone slower on my business blog – because that was taking up too much of my time, and I have to make time for exercise and – most importantly – reading!

    And I’m lucky in that I don’t get offered many review copies (except for lovely ones for Shiny which always match my taste anyway, mainly because I select them!) so I don’t have that worry – and most of those I am offered, I turn down if they don’t match my taste. Looks like I’ve accidentally saved myself some burnout there.

    I do get downcast every now and again when I think no one reads my blog, but I’m gradually getting more likes and comments, so that’s not so bad now!

    • February 23, 2016 at 10:21 pm
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      I love the idea of your handwritten review notebooks! I try to write down bits about what I’m reading in my diary, but it mostly stays on here. And I definitely know what you mean about feeling down about reader numbers, but we have to remember that readers always outweigh comments!

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