Beating The Reading/Blogging Slump

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As of late, I’ve been aware of the fact that an opulence of bloggers have been complaining that heaps of the other blogs they follow have been missing in recent weeks, at least from the blogosphere. Having been dubbed a ‘slump’, I myself have noticed that a sundry amount of the blogs I follow have been querulous about having caught it—some read and yet, have lost the impetus to blog, and some people blog, but the number of books they read during a given time have been dwindling perforce. Still others have gone altogether, and much uprightly, I love what I do, and can’t imagine ever feeling dissuaded from books and reading. It genuinely scares me to think that maybe the blogging process itself contributes to this retrogression, and vice versa, though in the interim, I couldn’t quite pinpoint a stable connection between either. Based on research, however, it seems that few prominent antecedents lead to this particular state:

designReading seems like an obligation instead of a hobby. Which is why I’ve decided to give up on ARCs altogether. I hate feeling as if I need to read something I don’t want to, at least at the moment. However, the crushing pressure to transcribe an idea is existent, and in perpetuum, and no matter how many times we try to convince ourselves that we can only hope to meet our own expectations, we are, in truth, blogging for the community, and therefore cannot totally claim that an external notion doesn’t matter either.

Recent reads have been lackluster. Maybe the fault in your stars is that no visible path has been discernibly paved towards the one book that could change your life forever (or at least motivate you to keep reading on). Sometimes, it just feels as if the genre you’re into has nothing else to offer, or that all the impressive books are just out of your reach at the moment. Either way, you’re looking for a page-turner, and it just so happens that you don’t have one.

ughUgh. Just UGH.

If you can’t seem to find it in you to read, you feel as if there’s nothing to blog about. You book blog for a reason—you love to read. But now that you’re too languorous, or too apathetic, it’s as if there’s no point left in blogging. If you don’t want to read books, then there’s even less of a chance that you’d want to confabulate or discuss with the public. At this point, you have succumbed to not one variety of slumps, but two. Ohgods help.

Writing reviews can seem like a hassle especially when no one seems interested in them. You invest lots of time and effort into writing reviews, and at the end of the day, they generate the least traffic, get the least attention, and you’re starting to feel as if all your previous travails have been in vain.

lonelyWHERE IS EVERYONE?!

Post ideas have been running out. You look at all these blogs that spew creative vomit and you start to feel sorry for yourself. Your blog is all about memes, reviews, and tags, and you’re starting to lose the voice you came here for in the first place. You just can’t seem to think of something original and cutting-edge, and it’s frustrating. In addition, you’re running out of ideas for discussions and other bookish topics, and it scares you to think that maybe one day you’ll drain yourself completely of ingenuity.

The blogosphere is filled with drama. Your relationship with authors is off its rocker, and you’re starting to feel jealous of other bloggers who have overtaken you. You came here to make friends and share thoughts, but now it doesn’t feel as if you want reach out at all.

There are other more important things to look after. As are the reasons why lately, I’ve been missing in action. Suffice it to say, I’m not the only blogger wrestling with various other obligations that keep me preoccupied more than I dare to believe that they do—school, work, family, and in the recent weeks in my case, volunteer work by packaging relief goods to send out to the parts of my country that have been left in utter devastation by the typhoon. Whatever it is that one does during their time separate from the blog, one has been overrun and maybe, isn’t even sure of whether or not they can preserve their own blogs under the given circumstances. Which, as it is, is pretty scary.

ScaredAAAAH.

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And now for the dreaded question: Have I ever considered giving up on my blog?

If truth be told, yes I have, and just recently. However, I have never plucked up enough of the intent or resolve to ultimately quit, because my blog is something that I have struggled to bring into play, and I have made a prevalent count of friends during my stay, all of whom I am not willing to abandon. Therefore, despite recent absences, I will still be around for the time being : )

And if you are undergoing a bit of a slump (openly admitted or otherwise) here are a few of the tips and tricks I utilize to help me beat the tension.

Reread your favorite books, and scour your recommendations. This will, hopefully, remind you of what you love about books in the first place, and inspire you to probe on books that may similarly suit your fancies (try maximizing the Goodreads recommendations in this case!)

Request only for ARCs you’re hellbent on reading. Never request on a whim for a book you don’t have enough of the predisposition to submit feedback for, because believe you me, you won’t be able to if you’re half as busy as I am. And you and I both know that this will hurt your chances of getting approved for the books you really do want to read, which of course only serves to distress and discourage you the further.

Ask your friends about books to try out. I myself do this ALL of the time—whenever I’m not sure of what book to read next, I ask others for help. If your friends are the people you share your interests with, then chances are, you’re going to appreciate most of the books that they do.

friendOh, friend.

Consider reviews and ratings. Embrace the popular opinion no matter what the status quo dictates. If you like going against the metaphorical gradient of society, try and adjust your mindset. The average rating is sure to give you an idea of the general impact of a certain book, and, unless reviews tend to cloud your judgment, and lest you possess a preternatural fear of spoilers, don’t hesitate to read up on reviews, such that you are, in the least, aware of what you’re getting into.

Blog for yourself and not for your numbers. This is of paramount importance. If you blog exclusively for the views, the likes, or the follows, then don’t expect any real motivation from the reviews you make, because they don’t usually get the most attention. Instead, keep in mind that your reviews are in archives, and may be revisited at any time by any one person in need of your opinion, and that at one point or another, they help other netizens out. If you’re not into giving, then I am a big believer in your not receiving, either.

Stop comparing and find your voice. Strive towards becoming the best version of yourself, and not a substandard copy of someone else. Though a jaundiced eye is hard to control at times, especially when you’re burdened by insecurities, challenge yourself into changing this psyche. Don’t look at haul posts if you can’t appreciate them. Don’t peruse the statistics of other blogs, or your own for that matter. Take a breather and give yourself time to think of new features, which will come if you give the thought much scrutiny. Discussion posts won’t hurt, and if you’re out of ideas, draw inspiration from blogs you follow, or try Asti’s guide out if you don’t want to (she’s a genius).

rightYes, yes, consider it.

Post at your own pace. I’ve said this before and I will say it again: You don’t owe the world a new post, so don’t pressure yourself into making one if you have neither the necessary ideas nor enough of the time. Prioritize your outside life if it, indeed, is more important, and never forget that if your viewers and friends truly appreciate the blog, they would understand your decision not to show up for a day or two. After all, it’s the quality and not the quantity that counts.

Quit only when you’re a hundred percent sure of not regretting your decision to. 

And if by chance, you do regret it,

notsorry

Kidding. WELCOME BACK, MATE!

But what do you think? Have you ever been in a reading or blogging slump? What did you do to beat it? Tell me in the comments below!

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41 thoughts on “Beating The Reading/Blogging Slump

  1. Ahh Jasmine, to be honest I’m in a blogging slump AND I don’t have enough time to read so I’m taking a break now until next month. It feels so good to just hang out with friends without feeling worried or guilty for not reading and not having anything to post. I still love reading but as for blogging…it seems like I’ve lost the passion because my energy is all worn out…blame school for this. Thanks for the suggestion, Jasmine! I’ve only posted twice — or thrice on rare occasions — for the past few months. I admit that I do feel jealous of other bloggers who could spare time to blog but I guess we all have different situations. I truly can’t wait for Christmas break! 😀

    • Aww well I definitely don’t blame you for wanting to embrace a more relaxed lifestyle with no obligations to blogging, and while I do miss your posts, I think it’s alright that you’re taking a break 🙂 I hope that when you find new inspiration to read and to blog, I’ll see you more often around here! I can’t wait for the holidays either! Have a good one 😀

  2. For me, blogging has never felt like an obligation. I’ve always done it for myself and for no one else. Also, I always just read whatever books I felt like reading, I tried not to stick to a schedule because it gets annoying and old. For me, I love book blogging more and more everyday unlike the obvious number of people who have been in a slump. I think the important thing is knowing who you are and building your blog around that, not around what other people do. Thanks for sharing and if I ever need a little reminder of why I shouldn’t give up, I’ll come here! 🙂

    • Oh I think it’s great that you’ve already adopted that mindset from the get go! Kudos to you Shelly 😀 And I love how you blog and read at your own pace, and never let anyone dictate what you’ re going to do. I think it’s important that you stick to a schedule as well! And I hope that you’ll never be in need of a reminder not to give up, because you’ll never even think about it XD But thank you so much for stopping by ❤

  3. I’m feeling a bit of in the slump because I can’t seem to get more people to follow my blog 😦 But when I saw your post it made me understand that blogging should be for fun, not fame :D! Thanks for cheering me up, mate :3 ❤

    • Yeah I think for a lot of bloggers new to the scene, it’s all about the follows. But I love how you’ve opened up, and I still do hope that people follow your blog because it’s amazing 😀 And you’re welcome as well 😉

  4. I’m not sure if I’m in a blogging slump exactly. . . I still want to blog & enjoy writing stuff, but something feels a little off. I guess I’m in sort of a mini-blogging slump. I want to add more variety to my blog and sometimes I don’t feel like I have much creativity, so that’s been draining me a bit on the blogging front. I’m pretty good about not feeling an obligation to blog, which really helps when things get tough. There has to be some balance, I think, for blogging to remain enjoyable for me. Most of that time I feel I hit that balance pretty well, but there are definitely moments when I’m not doing so great on that front.

    • Well I do hope that you get over that, but if it’s any motivation, I still really really love your posts! ❤ They're well thought out and pretty inspiring 😀 And yes to striking a balance, because I think that we shouldn't always feel as if we HAVE to blog, but at the same time, we have to keep it updated and original as well 🙂

  5. I LOVE the gifs you’ve used in this post, they’re brilliant. 😀 I’ve recently just clambered out of a reading slump, and the thing I found helped me the most was just reading what I wanted to, when I wanted to. Just having the luxury of being able to read what I wanted really helped me rediscover why I loved reading so much! I try and remove as much pressure as possible from blogging and make it as fun as I can, and as you said, blogging is for fun, not for fame and followers. I just post what I want to post, when I feel like I should post it, otherwise I know I’d be in a constant blogging slump!

    • HAHA thanks Hollie ❤ Tumblr + Google Images for gifs all the way XD And boy am I glad that you got to get over your reading slump! I guess it really IS important that you don't constantly pressure yourself into reading and just go at your own pace 🙂 As for blogging, it's ALWAYS about fun and interaction, and I'm glad that you've adopted that mindset too! Kudos for beating it, Hollie 😉 Thanks for stopping by~

  6. When I’m in a reading slump, I just set that book aside, watch a few episodes of the TV show I’m currently at, and then start a new book. It refreshes my mind and I feel clear. I plan to follow your ARC instructions! I requested far too many recently and I can’t get into them!
    My blogging slump routines are different though. I set aside a few posts, ready to publish, so that if I’m in a blogging slump, I can just take that out! Or I come to my favorite blogs! 😉 The discussion post by Asti would help!
    If you ever feel like quitting blogging, just come to me, anytime, and I’d fix you right back! 😀

    • Oh hey those are some nice tips as well Lillian! 😀 I’d definitely have to try out drafting early posts and just visiting the blogs I adore. And THANK YOU for letting me come to you during slumps! I’ll take you up on that offer to be my blogging guru of sorts XD

  7. I’ve never been in a blogging slump and I don’t have the idea I’m in one now. I’m actually pretty happy where I’m going with my blog 🙂 I’ve never worried too much about numbers/followers/stats, because I do it for one thing: fun! And that’s what I’m having, despite all the drama’s I’ve seen. Because, drama’s aside, this is one awesome community and I’m happy to be part of it 🙂 But if you are in slump, I think you’ve gave some great solutions!

    Mel@thedailyprophecy.

    • Ohh that’s great to hear Mel! 🙂 I think that blogging should always be about having fun and just doing what you want to do, not worrying about your numbers, though yours are quite impressive. And for good reason! Anyway, thanks for stopping by! I sure do hope neither of us will have any use for these tips soon, though XD

  8. Such a great post, Jasmine! 🙂 Honestly on my trip away with no Wi-Fi, I was sort of weighing out my options; whether I should quit altogether or just post periodically because I feel like I just cannot be so fixated on this because right now, my life is so hectic!! Then reading your post last night, I realized that really wasn’t the answer, and so now I’m changing my game plan!! I’m trying to come up with new ideas, and seeing all your tips, I really think I’m going to follow that and enjoy my reading. Because the base of my blog is for joy, and for fun! (Jack Frost!!) But anyway, thank you so much for this perk me up post!! 😀

    Emily@FlutterealFlight

    • AWWW YAAAY I’m so glad to have helped you in some way 😀 I do understand that life can get hectic, some of the time if not for most of it, and to hear that you decided not to quit and change your game plan really makes me happy, and more than you know it 🙂 Well anyway, I hope to see more of you in the near future Emily! Blogging IS for the joy and the fun, isn’t it? 😀

  9. Fantastic post, Jasmine! You really touched on the reasons for my reading slump
    1) Reading seems like an obligation because of ARCS
    I just feel so bad about not finishing them because I requested them for review. But I’ve recently stopped requesting for them. I would rather read a book later than others than be forced to read a book.
    2) Lackluster read
    You are so right! I am a fan of urban fantasy. But it appears as if there aren’t that many great new releases. And it’s boring to always just read the same old series and authors 😦

    • Well, I hope that some of the tips I gave can help you out of that reading slump in the near future 😀 I really think that it’s important to be reading what you want to instead of what an external factor would dictate and I hope as well that when you scour the bookstores next, you’ll find something of interest. Urban fantasy is a little evasive, but there are lots of things that YA has to offer that are quite similar if you ask me 😉

      • Thanks so much for your tips! They’re like the light at the end of the tunnel. I feel that it is right for me to read what I want. Thanks so much!

        Ooh, are there any books you would recommend? I would love to read some of those books!

  10. I’ve been blogging for a while now. I don’t know why but it kinda started to feel like a job now. When I started my blog, I didn’t even create a Review Policy for weeks, but everyone says that a book blog, should have one. So I created one, as soon as I did that it felt kinda wrong, it felt like a job. Like, I was doing that to lure authors to send me a copy of their books. *sigh* and even requesting e-arcs, reviewing them, feels like a job. *big sigh* I don’t want to get caught up with these things but… it’s the blogging world.

    • Aww well I do hope you get to sort things out soon, Marie! The blogging world shouldn’t feel like a job, because it’s where we all come together to have fun and voice out our thoughts. If your review policy makes you uneasy, take it down and instead tell others that you only review when you feel like it, so the policies are unnecessary. You can try staying away from eARCS from a while too if they make you feel as if you’re being forced to read something you don’t want to 🙂 it’s always your choice NOT to get caught up in the professional world of blogging and instead choose to stay where it’s all a passion or a hobby. That’s what I do at least! I hope my tips can also help you in some way! 😀

      • It really does make me uneasy. So, I decided to remove it. Also, I made a promise to myself that I should stop requesting eARCs for now (even though some of them are really tempting) and focus on my own TBR list. Thank you so much for your advice!! 🙂

      • Well, I didn’t actually remove it. I just stated that I won’t be accepting any reviews because it feels like a job. haha

        I hope so too! 😉 There’s one thing though, I really loved about blogging, meeting new people with the same passion, interest, love with books. It’s AH-Mazing. 🙂

  11. Easier said than done. But maybe I won’t pressure myself to post, mostly because I have so many other things I want to do and shows to watch.

    But I didn’t really realize that everybody else was in a slump! >.< But truthfully, I'm kinda feeling the slump myself, mostly because how it doesn't feel like anyone's reading the blog.

    • HAHA yeah I know it is. But someone’s gotta have the drive to do it! 😀 of course, no pressure 🙂 and like I said, you’re still starting out, so of course it’s gonna be harder to bring in an audience at first. But soon, you’ll get there 😀

  12. Yes, it is mostly because I am commuting two to three hours a day..I get up early and have no energy when I am home from work..I miss blogging but it is hard finding time! Good news I am starting to get back to reading again!

  13. Just flawless. This post is everything I’ve concluded in the last few days! Thank you for posting Jasmine!

    I’ve fallen into a slump, actually quite quickly, burning out on blogging and reading within a period of about three weeks. I was actually going to post about this tomorrow! Basically, I’ve realized that I need to blog for myself, and not for others. And I’ve decided to give up on ARCs and tours too, unless they’re something I really want to do, not one that I do just because it’s there.

    And even though I haven’t implemented my new plan yet, I already feel better, and more refreshed. I love blogging, and don’t want to stop, and with the new freedom I’ve given myself, that love is back.

  14. I actually posted this morning about my recent robotic slump. I’m pleased to know i’m not the only one who has gone through this. I made the decision along with my partner (as he could see I ended up moaning about “needing to finish this review” everytime he wanted to do something) to give up on ARCs, they were great to start with and bought a lot of new authors on my radar but I started reading out of obligation instead of fun and I’ve managed to really stack up my physical and kindle shelves with hundreds of books that I actually want to read yet I still haven’t opened the majority.

    Having deciding this I do feel refreshed and I have one or two things I’d like to share. Thank you for sharing this post.

  15. I was in a blogging and reading slump a little while ago for various reasons, some of which you touched upon. I think since I’ve started blogging, I’m become more prone to reading slump just because I’m reading more. With the volume increase, I read a lot of books that I really love, but I also read a lot of books that I don’t or just feel okay towards. I try to only request books that I feel that I’ll like but still just because I think I’ll like a book doesn’t necessarily mean I will. I just decided to read when I want to and not to force myself when I don’t. Blogging is a hobby and I have to treat it like a hobby and not a job.

    Aly @ My Heart Hearts Books

    • You’re very right about that Aly! Blogging is supposed to be for fun, and the bloggers themselves should acknowledge that 🙂 I think it’s important just to work at your own pace and try as much as possible to read only the books you want to, though you’ll never be sure that you’ll like them (which is part if being a reader, like you said, as we can’t expect EVERY book we read to be agreeable!) But I’m glad that your mindset is proactive now, and I sure do hope that you get out of that slump soon 😀

  16. Oh gosh, I freaking love your advice! Seriously! I need to work on the post at your own pace part and blog for yourself and not for numbers. I just feel like blogging is a competition sometimes. 😦 It’s so sad saying this right now, but I feel the pressure of my blog having to be ‘popular’ etc. I think this is why I’m in a blogging AND reading slump. I just feel like no one is even going to read my posts so why bother? But it shouldn’t be that way! I started blogging because I LOVE books and it should always stay that way. Thanks for the tips, Jasmine!

    • Aww I am glad that you do, Leigh! And I understand that blogging can feel like, and even be a competition for views and followers, but the reason why I’ve stopped caring about those is because I’ve stopped trying to look into them, even into my own! I realized that it’s way better to lessen the stress I put on myself, because the blog is mine after all 😀 I’m glad that in some way I could help change your mindset 🙂

  17. This post is brilliant! I definitely agree with a lot of things you pointed out. I noticed that blogging although I love it sometimes I feel kind of frazzled by it. All of the R&R requests get a bit overwhelming especially since half the time they’re not books I’m interested in reading. It does make reading seem like a chore, which is so NOT cool. And although I’ve found some really great books like chance I also haven’t found anything that I’m like wow just wow. I think if I just start venturing out on my own and finding and reading more books that I’m interested in, I will be happier and maybe even wowed. (I’m totally sharing this post BTW)

    • Aww thank you! I’m glad that you liked it 🙂 And you’re right! I think it’s a great idea to venture out on your own and find books you’d be interested in, instead of just sticking to requests and the like– it’s helped me LOADS to just do things for me 🙂 I hope it helps you out too!

  18. I needed this so much right now. I’m in the worst EVERYTHING slump I have ever been in and I have no idea why. It’s been, like, a month since I’ve wanted to read and, honestly, blogging (and doing other blogging related things) is so low on my radar. I don’t want to quit, but I just am not feeling it right now. I wish I could pull out of this already. ):
    Thanks for the tips. I’ll definitely try them and see how it helps (:

    • As a matter of fact, I’ve been wrestling with the reading one too, and sometimes, the blogging slump threatens to catch up with it D: But I did formulate these tips for a reason, so I hope they help the both of us in SOME way! Thanks for stopping by Lisa, hope you pull yourself out of it too 😉

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