09 October 2013

Coming Back to the Blogosphere

Hello everyone!
你们好!

I've got some time before my next class and I'm sitting here in my university's Center for Student Involvement feeling all academic, so I thought I would talk to y'all today about coming back to the world of reviewing after my five month long stint in a universe without book reviews.

How many of you have taken a significant amount of time away from the blogosphere?  A few hands, okay.  Quitting the blogosphere cold turkey had an immediate impact on my routine.  (Well, my routine was already whacky because I was helping my uncle, but anyways.)  I suddenly had this freedom.  Isn't that weird?  Most people who come into the book blogging fold do so because they're searching for the right medium through which to express their love for books.  Most discover that blogging is perfect for that.  I certainly did.  At first.  When I came up on my third-year anniversary, I started getting this itch.  The irritating kind that you can't satisfy.  My blog was an obligation.  How sucky is that?  I started to resent having to schedule which books to read and when, and then feeling crappy when I missed my set deadline to review them.  Then grew this ugly feeling of jealousy and envy when I saw other bloggers with stacks of ARCs.  Now, I'm a fan of the belief that a little jealousy is healthy, but this was vicious.  I was becoming an embittered hag about it.

So I took a step back.  And, admittedly, my uncle's illness actually gave me the perfect excuse to do that.  I set the blogosphere aside and had something else to take up all my time.  I hardly read at all.  (I still bought books though.  When I needed cheering up after a tough day helping my uncle, I would go to the local bargain books store and load up on books.  Never let anyone say that book buying isn't therapeutic.)

Reading books became a whole different ballgame.  My inner editor was shut down entirely.  I wasn't reading books with the intent to review them anymore, so I didn't have to think about what specifically made them good or bad.  I could just sit back and enjoy it (or not, as the case may be).

This hiatus from the blogosphere, and now my tentative return, makes me think about why I blog to begin with.  Now, I'll be honest here, I got into this gig because I couldn't resist the shiny appeal of having stacks of ARCs.  When that didn't happen right away, I contented myself with stacks of books from the library instead.  ARCs don't really appeal to me anymore.  I still drool over seeing bloggers with all those books, but then I think to myself, "I don't even like that author.  I've got nothing to be envious about."  Which isn't always the case, author-wise, but I just bring myself back down.  I remind myself that I'm better off getting it from the library on my own time.

What I missed the most over the course of my hiatus was reviewing.  I know, didn't I just say I liked the freedom not reviewing gave me?  Bear with me here.  You know one thing I've noticed over the years?  How many reviews I have compared to other bloggers.  I have a ton of reviews!  You may say, "Well, no kidding, doofus.  You've been at this for three years."  Then how do you explain blogs who have been at it longer than me having maybe seventy or even a hundred reviews to my two hundred fifty plus?

I am ridiculously proud of the amount of reviews I have.  What I miss about reviewing is being able to add to that impressive number.  And, also, when people started actually commenting on my reviews, that just made my day.  Whenever I saw a new comment, I'd just be like, "YUUUSSSS!"  I miss that feeling of accomplishment and also that glow-y warm fuzzy feeling when someone said that I convinced them to read a book.  I never get over that feeling.  That's the best thing ever, I think, to hear as a reviewer:  "I think I'll give this a try."

Even talking about it makes me excited to get back to the grindstone of reviewing.  I wonder if I'll be worse or better at it after this eternity-long break.  Have you noticed that reviews start to get redundant after a while?  Maybe not if you're afraid to put spoilers in, like me.  But when you're trying to be spoiler-free, finding new and interesting ways to say the same thing gets tiresome and brain-frazzling.  I think it'll give me ample opportunity to help me with my writing, though.  I'm currently taking an English class and I have to write papers and form arguments and make speeches and all other sorts of nonsense.  Reviewing is an informal way to practice, I think.

One thing I'm worried about with this whole returning-to-the-bloggyworld thing is whether I'm going to get lazy.  I was always lazy before.  I mean, I seriously had to kick myself in the pants to get stuff done.  My tentative solution to that is going to the library to write my posts.  (After my homework is done, of course.)  Going to the library says to me, "Okay, you've got so much time and you can't sit here and do nothing, so write a blog post."  It's almost like when writers say to pack your schedule with other things when you're trying to get yourself to write.  I've got so many other things to do that, when I have time for blogging, I'll actually do it.

I'm thinking about putting up more blogging related posts, things like, "Reviewing 101" and stuff like that.  What do y'all think?  Is that something you'd like to see?

See y'all next time!
再见!

PS - I'm still working on my commenting system.  So hang in there, folks.  In the meantime, shoot me a tweet if you want to comment.  Some of y'all already have, and that makes you the most awesome people in my life ever.