Well, we are half way through January and this is my first blog post of 2019.
It is also going to be a very honest and frank post to you all.
I have just not had the motivation to blog and am finding it hard to find my voice. I see other people doing it at an alarmingly impressive rate. People I know are reading and blogging and tagging and sharing and retweeting and reposting and I’m not.
On New Year’s Day I sat and looked at my screen and ten minutes later the only thing on it was a blinking cursor. For the past few weeks, all inspiration and desire to blog about books have deserted me.
I get very few views of my reviews and all of a sudden I started to wonder what on earth was the point? Who really cares if I wax lyrical about a novel, or share a blistering review of something I have loved. I just didn’t see the value in me reading and blogging anymore.
It’s hard to admit that you just can’t be bothered. I had become almost a reading machine, desperate to keep up with everyone else, and to be ‘seen’ to be reading at an alarming rate, somehow believing that this made me and my views on books and reading more valid. That if I could do this, I really was part of the Book Blogging Community – who are absolutely my tribe by the way, and are the best group of people I have ever met.
I also realised that I was now waiting to see which proofs I could get too- don’t get me wrong, I am so grateful when I get sent one, and feel very privileged to do so, but I got into that whole Fear Of Missing Out thing. I was also getting exasperated when I saw other people with the proofs I was longing to read, and me not being able to get hold of them, and not understanding how the ‘system’ worked. Instead of stepping away from the screen and into a book, I found myself hanging around on Twitter, making sure I was always ready to reply to someone offering proofs.
In my heart of hearts, I knew that this was not what Years of Reading Selfishly should be about. The whole reason I started blogging in 2017 – (yes it really was that long ago!) was because I loved reading and talking about books, and my personal Instagram feed was book after book and recommendation after recommendation. Nothing made me happier than talking about and recommending books to anyone who wanted to listen, and I had lost that.
Suddenly, getting more followers and likes were more important than the books and reading and that wasn’t right. Having to write about books had become a chore, I wasn’t just telling you all about books I loved, I was trying to make sure I didn’t let anyone down. I wanted to make sure the publicists knew that when I got a proof I wasn’t just adding it to a pile of books, that the authors knew how much I appreciated what they had written, and that I was showing my fellow bloggers I was taking this seriously. The thing is, when you are so busy doing all that, you tend to forget why you loved reading in the first place.
Why am I telling you all this? Maybe it’s because this is the only space I can do this for people who understand what I mean. Maybe it’s because as well as life being too short to read books you don’t love, life is also too short to try and pretend that you are this one woman reading and blogging machine. I am trying to step away from the noise and the pressure I have been putting myself under and am instead try and find what made me want to start Years of Reading Selfishly in the first place.
I know it’s still here somewhere, but I am no longer afraid to admit that it might take me a while to find my stride again. Today I wrote two blog posts for books I have truly loved, and it felt brilliant, and if no one reads them, at least I know I meant every word and that the spark was still there.