Hello, Sunshines, I hope you are all well. I little bit of a different post today, just a quick note – think of this as a like a notice board post-it. There to read than after a quick glance easily forgotten – that’s what this post is, my quick news post-it.

Photo by Markus Winkler on Pexels.com

You all may have noticed I have been particularly quiet lately, not just on the blog but also on my social media, I have not been very active and not a very good blogger for the last few weeks, scheduled posts – blog tours, reviews and pre-arranged book spotlights have all been rather neglected and not posted when promised. I do seem to do nothing but apologize for my tardiness these days, but to be honest I do have genuine reasons for my lack of respecting promises and letting folk down.

I have had a lot going on in my personal life, since Christmas it’s been one thing after another; multiple household appliances breaking down and having to be replaced (Christmas day of all days for the Fridge to die on us) ill-health (parents & pup) plus other factors which I won’t bore you with, not to mention my inability to say no to every review request I receive – honestly my TBR is now Mount Everest proportions. I will admit that it did get to me and I was feeling overwhelmed by everything happening all at once and I wasn’t enjoying the blogging process or at times the reading/reviewing process as much as I did.

So, a few weeks ago I did decide to stop accepting new review requests, and stopped putting my name forward for every blog tour I was offered which has cut down my workload and finally freed up my calendar – I now have a calendar that isn’t crammed, I can actually see the date in the little box. Then last week I took off social media and the blog completely, yes I missed more scheduled blog tours, reviews and book spotlight something I do feel awful about, I always feel guilty when I let people down but my own peace of mind and my happiness is far more important.

I had a full week of nothing but walking the dog, painting, watching the birds and basically breathing the fresh air – not a book in sight, unless you count the puzzle book beside my bed, no blog, no social media (except the occasional Instagram post) and I feel better for it. But, I did miss reading, so Saturday after over a week of book-celibacy I picked up my kindle and started reading and you know what?…. I thoroughly enjoyed reading without the pressure of reading to a timeframe.

I am back from my mini-break, but things will be different this time around, I now know I can’t allow the blog to take over my life as it has done, so I have put a few changes in place. I will still be blogging and reviewing, but now it will be at my own pace and on my own terms.

Firstly, every future blog tour I have already signed up for will go still go ahead and those books will be reviewed, but after those I will still participate but I will be more selective as to which tours I review for, as for tours with other content such as Excerpts, Interviews, Guest Posts and Spotlights, Book Blitz’s and Cover Reveals – I am more then happy to continue to participate with those.

All tours with which I had signed up for and unfortunately missed, all those reviews will be posted in the coming weeks.

I won’t be accepting new review requests from any author until further notice!!!

I know a lot of my regular authors who I have reviewed for, for many years have contacted me and said it doesn’t matter when or if a review is posted, or if I want to review their book at all as they want me to have a copy of their books as gifts, but I still feel bad that these amazing people have entrusted their precious work to me and I have failed in posting my reviews (even worse, when I have actually written those reviews but haven’t been able to post them).

So, to not let further people down, my reviews are closed, keep an eye on the blog as I will let you know when my review requests are open again, but this doesn’t mean that I am barring all bookish content from the blog, I am still more than happy to host book spotlights, guest posts and interviews for any author.

All books which I have already received and accepted to review will be reviewed but it may be a little longer to wait, apologies about that. I am once again reading at my own pace and enjoying not stressing about the blog, all reviews will be posted eventually, but I am now going to post and review at a more leisurely pace.

I won’t be on social media as much, in fact, I have taken the decision to close my Facebook page, as I am never on there it seems a waste and I prefer Instagram anyway, so if you do follow the page do follow me on Twitter and/or Instagram so not to miss out on any of my posts.

I think over the last few years, I have been so focused on pushing the blog to be something it isn’t, wanted to post as many reviews as I can and to be on every blog tour that I was offered, I think the thrill of having my blog’s name everywhere went to my head. I forgot the reason I started the blog in the first place, and that was to share my love of books, and that’s it, those early days were all about getting a book from the library, or off my bookshelf enjoy the reading process in my own time and then sharing the love of that book.

That was it, simple!

I lost my way a little, I went off track, but after my mini-break and new insights into what makes me happy and what was stressing me out, I now know the ingredients of a happy blog and that is to go back to basics, which is what I intend.

So, I will repeat my new rules once again – more for myself then you intelligent people reading.

  1. I am not accepting new review requests until further notice (I will update the blog when this changes, so do keep popping by)
  2. All outstanding books which I have accepted as a review request from the author will be reviewed but at a later date than originally scheduled.
  3. Blog tour reviews I have missed will be posted in the coming weeks.
  4. I will participate in blog tours, but I will be very selective over which books I review, but I will happily participate in blog tours with Excerpts, Guest Posts and Interviews.
  5. I am still more than happy to participate in Cover Reveals, Book Blitz’s, Book Spotlights and I always welcome any author to contact me if you would like your book to be featured in a Spotlight.
  6. I will be cutting down on my social media, and closing the Chicks, Rogues and Scandals Facebook page, do follow me on Twitter instead and Instagram.

So, there you go the reason – more or less – for my absence and for the tardiness of my reviews of late, I actually feel a huge weight off my shoulders having opened up. I may have gone through a bit of a blip with certain things going on behind the scenes which at times made me want to give it all up, but stepping back even for that week made me see that I do love the blog, I missed it in that week I was away and even though I will be cutting down a little I will keep going waving the book love flag.

Thank you for reading right to the very end, stay well and safe and happy!

11 thoughts on “A Quick Post-it Note!

  1. I’m so sorry that you’ve been stressed, but really glad that you’ll be focusing on regaining your balance. Reading should never be stressful especially when it’s something you love. Thank you for all your posts.

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  2. Dearest Frankie,

    I’ve been undergoing a major lift shift myself — for all eight years of my blog’s life but more recently five years ago when my Dad had his bilateral moderate stroke I became his carer whilst Mum worked outside the home. She was working in the home health field until early Feb 2021 where she was burnt out and needed to change careers. Since then, her and I have been working as essential workers in a different field than her previous one and that work/life balance hasn’t been mine at all for the past several weeks. I had to just walk out of my blog but I did get the few scheduled posts up by some kind of graceful mercy – I didn’t get to do them all the way I originally intended but they all ran as I blogged a bit before/after work – but I respect the fact you just walked away to come back stronger.

    Mostly as I had this same talk with myself approx. six years ago? I was getting too many blog tours, too many review requests and my blog’s backlogue is massive – I’ve been trying for six years to reduce it and erase it and then, in December (2020) I devised a new dice game to help me read my backlogue — only to have as you said one life adversity after another strike and there hasn’t been time for reading much less reviewing. So I get you on that!

    My advice is to follow your instincts – you’ll find your own pace and find peace with what you can give and what you cannot you just have to let go until a day comes you can give more or just know you can’t do it all. I had to realise that myself esp after my Dad’s stroke – as that was the second life shift we were going through at the time. Then, fast forward as I said – Mum and I are now both working full-time and we had to readjust how to care for Dad as well as just find a way to both be working at the same time whilst not falling ill from all the recent changes and the added stresses of sorting out a new job, etc.

    I truly always understood you as a book blogger and as a fellow carer for her parent(s). You were the only other blogger I found who was caring for a parent whilst balancing being online and that gave me strength when you didn’t even realise you gave it to me. I have faltered a lot over the years to find my own way with balancing life, reading, blogging and by extension who I am as a writer as that part of my life has been on the backburner for so long but like you – I never give up the hope of what tomorrow brings but I am trying to remain truer to what I can give and what I can do in this online space of ours whilst not feeling burnt out or frustrated by the ways in which life interferes with the plans we make for ourselves.

    Remember to be kind to yourself – find solace in the process of finding better balance and never ever feel guilty if you have to delay a review or a post – especially knowing how much your life and mine mirror each others’ there are things that happen in our lives that others may never understand and that’s okay. I get it and I get your life because I’m living it myself. Let’s stand strong together and find the right path forward for both of us.

    For me — I had to find a better work schedule with hours that made it easier to care for Dad whilst giving me some downtime where I’m not working such long shifts without having any breaks for anything outside of eating/sleeping as sometimes new jobs are a great blessing but they can take everything out of you!! This is my first week back to my blog and back to sorting out where I was in the books I was reading whilst finishing drafted posts – so in a way, we’re both renewing our blogs and our lives this Spring 2021!!

    I pray your life and mine find a smooth keel before the end of Spring and where we both feel we’ve reached a better place in our private and online worlds. Sending you loads of hugs and support.

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  3. I’m sorry you have been stressed out. It’s okay to take break. I have stopped accepting review requests for more than a year now and only sign up occasional tours for review as I get tons of NetGalley widgets and I can hardly manage with that alone.

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