Happy New Year, I hope everyone had a lovely Christmas and is set for a brand new year!
I have something a little different today, just a quick note – think of this as a; Notice Board Post-It. There to read then after a quick glance easily forgotten.
You all may have noticed I have been really quiet lately, not just on the blog but also on my social media. I have been a pretty shoddy book blogger over the last few months (or should that be a year?) No matter how well I planned, things never quite went to plan – scheduled posts, eg; blog tours, reviews and pre-arranged book spotlights were mostly neglected, some being posted days, weeks and even months later and some – rather shamefully – not posted at all. Eeek! In 2022 I seemed to do nothing but apologize for letting folk down, and yet when I was in good form I could knock out four maybe five posts a day.
I have to be honest, 2022 wasn’t the greatest of years, but I am pleased it’s done with. There has been a lot going on in the non-blogging life in the last year (or so) it’s been one thing after another; damp and broken things in the house, the cost of living crisis, trees coming down in the garden, rows with neighbours, bitter arguments within the family, ill-health and accidents all around (which didn’t help alleviate the tension) even the dogs have been little sods (TBH that’s nothing new with my two, they are naturally demonic LOL). Not to mention my inability to say no – and basically being too nice!
I will admit that at times everything got on top of me and a few times I felt overwhelmed by everything happening all at once, plus constant guilt brewing up inside that I have been letting people down so the last year I didn’t enjoy the blogging process as much as I once did. And yet my reading during all of this has gone up, I reading more than I have in years, which feels a little contradictory to what I have just said. Fellow readers will understand, I think!
In 2021 I decided to stop accepting new review requests and stopped putting my name forward for every blog tour I was offered which did help. It really helped, I got my zest for blogging back, I cleared my calendar and for the first time in years, my blogging time was completely free with posts and reviews at my own pace. Only, that didn’t last long and I once again fell back into old habits! Eek!!
Halfway through 2021, I was jammed, by the time 2022 came along I was once again up to my neck in tours and reviews. Honestly, I really am too nice, I kept seeing all these books wanting some love, and I couldn’t help myself. By December 2022, I had only posted half of what I had signed up for – something I apologise for!
I had a quiet few weeks over Christmas, and it was peaceful I had long walks with my two demon boys and watched a little TV though I am finding myself turning off the box more and more, preferring to read, crochet or paint. I have grown to love the quiet things in life. Though we did have a few downs, whacking my head on the open kitchen cupboard – I will certainly be closing all cupboard doors from now on and a good friend has been given some terrible news, but we are hopeful. Check your boobs ladies!!
So this year I refuse to be swamped as I was last year (and the year before) life is way too short to put such pressure on yourself, so I will be stepping back away from the stress of having to post on a certain day, the pressure of writing a review for books I only got from a blog tour becasue I can’t say no. This year I intend to do things a little differently, or should that be I’m going back to basics?! I won’t allow the blog to take over my life again as it has done over the last few years, 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, any blog tours (well the two) I have already signed up for will go ahead but I will be more selective I may not even take part in tours, who knows! Maybe I have to be less nice and say no!
I won’t be accepting new review requests until further notice!!!
I have had a few of my regular authors who I have reviewed, for many years – and who I would like to class as my favourite people in the world – have contacted me and say it doesn’t matter when or even if I review as they wanted me to have a copy of their book as a gift. You can’t believe how much that means to me and how incredibly humbled I feel by of their generosity, thank you (you all know who you are) I will continue to read and review your work as your books have been by my side through some difficult times.💖
But to all other authors my reviews are closed, keep an eye on the blog as I will let you know when my review requests are open again. This doesn’t mean that I am barring all bookish content from the blog, I am still more than happy to host guest posts and interviews for any author. You can contact me anytime HERE do read my Review Policy before contacting me HERE
My Free Book Promo will from now on be exclusive to Instagram and Twitter, this is because I am running out of storage space on my blog and at the minute unable to upgrade to add more. I apologise for the inconvenience!
I think over the last few years, I have been so focused on pushing the blog to be something it isn’t, I’m not one of those blogs/reviewers who thrills in having thousands of followers and wants my name in lights, I am a normal woman who has a love of reading! I think that has been forgotten over the last few years, 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! Simple! Those early days were all about getting a book from the library, or pulling one off my own bookshelf then enjoying the reading process in my own time and then sharing my love of that book.
That was it, simple!💗
I think I have led astray slightly and felt pressure to be a part of the blogging crowd when I really didn’t need to. I have never followed the crowd in my life, so why I did where the blog is concerned I don’t know. But I have seen how damaging that has been for me personally and how following the crowd and trying to compete changed me as a reviewer (and a person) and to be honest I didn’t like it. I much prefer letting all other reviewers and bloggers race together, and for me to step back and go back to the basics, of reading for me!
If you are a fellow book blogger/reviewer, never feel pressured to follow the crowd of what other bloggers are doing or jump on every blog tour that’s offered to you. I know from experience how damaging that can be for your happiness and your enjoyment of something which was initially a hobby. It’s OK to step back and go at your own pace!
But that doesn’t mean I won’t be challenging myself, I have decided for the first time ever to do a ‘Book Challenge’ this year. I have been seeing the £2 in a Jar challenge thingy (not sure what’s really called) around for years, where you put £2 in a jar after reading a book off your back list. So my challenge for 2023 is;
I hope to read 10 books from my book trolley (more if possible) and each of those £2’s will go into my learn to drive fund. I am actually excited about this, I have so many old and new books sitting on my book trolley and in the last year I haven’t touched any of them, so this is the year!
Wish me luck, people!🤞
Oh, anyone who wishes to join in with the £2 in a Jar for every book read off your backlist thing (really need a new name for it🤣) then let me know, and we can follow and support each other.
So, I will repeat my new rules once again – more for myself than you intelligent people reading.
- I am not accepting new review requests until further notice (I will update the blog when this changes, so do keep popping by), except for a handful of authors who I regularly review for. You know who you are!
- I may or may not take part in any blog tours (I haven’t decided yet), but if I do choose to I will only participate in tours with Excerpts, Guest Posts and Interviews. (Except for the two I agreed to last year).
- I will be cutting down on my social media, I much prefer Instagram anyway so I hope to see you there, but will still be staying on Twitter even if it’s just to share straight from the blog. I love that schedule post button😉.
So there you have it, the reasons (in a fashion) for my vanishing acts and for my shoddy blogging. It feels good to get all of this off my chest! Closing the door on some things and opening the door on new challenges all the while re-kindling my love of books!
Until next time, have a lovely weekend, 💗
7 thoughts on “A Quick Post-it Note!”
Oh Frankie! So many hugs to you ❤️ I am always here if you want to chat. I had a shocking 2022, with toxic people gaslighting me and a knee injury where I am still unable to walk properly unaided. We can help build each other up this year. I am doing the £2 jar thingy too xx
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Thank you for the kind words, Zoe!💖 Firstly, yay on the £2 jar thingy challenge, we can spur each other on!
Oh, my goodness, how awful for you, people can be horrible, I hope you have managed to get rid of the toxic people? I had my fair share of online harassment a few years ago and it hurts, I hope 2023 will be better for you and that your knee starts healing for you, big hugs! 💖
I stopped accepting new requests (unless it’s from author I know or publisher) or posting promos or participating in tours for almost two years now. Promos take lots of space and it takes lots of energy to keep up with full calendar and everyday posting. It’s the fast way to get burnt out and lose the love for blogging. Now I read at my own pace and don’t chase any timeline and I enjoy it so much, I don’t want to go back to old habit.
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Thank you for the kind comment!💖 I am now planning on doing the same, I stopped taking review requests since December except for a couple of favourite authors who I read anyway. I am planning on doing the same now by stop doing blog tours and not posting promo posts, I do that on Instagram anyway, I agree promo’s do take up so much space and energy it’s not worth it. I think that is what happened to me, I had taken on so much that I had lost all love of blogging. I hoping this year will be the year I get that love back by just reading what I want to.
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Take your time, changes are never spontaneous and easy. I hope you get back blogging mojo. I suggest with writing posts you love and it shouldn’t be long.
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Thank you, great advice! 💗
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My heart goes out to you, dear friend! I know I’ve been neglecting visiting my bookish friends the last few years. When I went back to work full-time in 2021, it reset my hours and days. When I picked up a second job in October, 2021 and finished 2022 working two full-time jobs (one by day, one by night) it reshifted everything *again!* And, I’ll be honest — I didn’t quite post nor read as much as I had in the past during both years. I was still having a load of stress IRL (we share that in common) but by October, 2022 my life took a decidedly different trajectory when we lost our 18 year old cat as it set forward a series of events.
By years’ end, I lost two cats and nearly lost my father. If you read my current blog post (The Sunday Post from this past Sunday) you’ll catch up on everything that has transpired. We always shared that bit in common being caretakers IRL for our loved ones and in the last few months since the end of November, Mum and I have been fiercely advocating for my Dad’s health. Even up til last Thursday, we weren’t sure if he was going to celebrate his birthday today (he’s 78) and to be here now, marking that special day is a big blessing. He still has a ways to go yet as he’s recovering from a multitude of medical issues and/or emergencies, but he’s progressing and we cherish the moments we can spend with him.
Like you, I’ve had loads of guilt over the years but I had to table it all. I knew when I can, I’ll get the stories that still appeal to me and I will still be featuring and reviewing them. The ones I can’t get into simply weren’t meant to be and I’ve accepted that as what else can we do? I’ve also scaled back over the years. I progressively started to accept less and decline more — in regards to blog tours, reviews and other featured posts. I also fell in love with NetGalley (strictly for audiobooks) and the LibroFM ALC programme as well as borrowing audiobooks from Scribd and/or my local libraries.
I’m still sorting out my ‘new normal’ in regards to balance and my blog, but I’m in a better place this January with it all than I have been in a long while. I decided to keep Twitter but I might reconsider Insta in the future as well, as I’ve come to understand it better through co-hosting @WyrdAndWonder. Plus Canva is a saving grace with making our own graphics, etc, as you know as well. For now, I’ve added you to my Twitter Circle as I wanted to keep those persons in the loop better with my posts… not all of the posts, but the more personal ones or something that struck my fancy really well bookish wise. I’ll send out the first link for that circle most likely this coming Sunday when I give a new update about my Dad.
Until then, know I’ve missed our conversations and have hoped your life was a bit less stressful than my own. We’re each re-working how we read and how we share our bookish lives online. Here’s to a better and healthier year for us both. Many blessings to you and your family; be well Frankie!