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:
Reading 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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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,
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!