Book Blogger Appreciation Week: Avoiding burnout

Posted February 19, 2016 by Lory in events / 30 Comments

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For the final day of Book Blogger Appreciation Week, the question is One of the unfortunate side effects of reading and blogging like rockstars seems to be a tendency toward burnout. How do you keep things fresh on your blog and in your reading?

Now that I’m entering my third year of blogging, I can see this becoming a real issue. The first year was spent in just sorting out the basics, and everything was new and exciting. During the second year I solidified more routines, like adding monthly review and discussion posts, and worked out some practical issues like moving from Blogger to WordPress. Now that I’m happy with my infrastructure and everything is running smoothly, it could get boring. What will keep me from stagnating?

I think it’s important to keep revisiting our practices and not just do them because we always have or because everyone else does them. I recently read an interesting post at Library Huntress, who has decided to stop doing book reviews. Can you have a book blog without reviews? Why not? Let’s all keep our focus on what gives us energy rather than depleting or stressing us out.

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Help, so many books!

In my reading life, I find it sometimes challenging not to become overwhelmed by all the possibilities out there. Before I got involved in blogging I would mostly just troll the “New and Interesting” shelf at the library or stick to tried-and-true authors I knew I would love. Now that I have so many ideas coming from so many directions my TBR pile is in danger of exploding. I have to remember to slow down and take it one book at a time, giving each one the attention it deserves rather than always thinking about what else I could or should be reading.

Although I like being part of the buzz for new books from time to time, I also don’t want my primary focus to be there. Juggling deadlines and feeling pressure to produce a review for a book I haven’t strongly connected with are things that give me stress rather than pleasure. Keeping to only a few new release reviews per year helps me feel more balanced and less like a book promotion machine.

What are your thoughts on this question? Is it possible to keep blogging without burning out?

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30 responses to “Book Blogger Appreciation Week: Avoiding burnout

  1. Yes – the excitement around new releases is a lot of fun, but stress does come along with it. It’s the balance between making your site what you want it to be and not making it feel like a job. I feel like this year I’m getting there – I was writing a list of books that I want and realised that very few of them are new releases. Although I’m still getting ARCs, I feel as though my perspective is getting back to where it used to be. It is a challenge though, thank you for your post 🙂

  2. Thanks for the shout out 🙂 I’ve really struggled with burnout in the past and have had numerous blogs that I’ve ended up deleting. But, this time around I’m trying something new and I’m approaching my new blog with a super casual mindset-not posting every day, not writing reviews (which I’ve never really enjoyed putting together), not focusing on the numbers and really just having a laid back approach to everything 🙂 Hopefully this will prevent burnout in the future and I’ll actually stick around this time 🙂

  3. I don’t read a lot of newly released books because it can feel like a competition sometimes in that way – not necessarily with other bloggers, but a competition with myself even. Also, I don’t set a book count each year because I felt that was just a weight of sorts too – book blogging shouldn’t feel like pressure, it’s something to enjoyed.

    The Library Huntress post an interesting post – I shared it on my blog around the time of it being shared because I thought it was a really insightful post.

  4. What you said about revisiting your blogging practices is so true. I think the most important thing to do is to blog the way you want to, read what you want to, and be true to yourself.

    I know slow and steady is what is working for me right now. 🙂 It wasn’t always the way I blogged, but I think it’s helped keep me going all these years.

    I’m so glad you participated in BBAW this year. It’s been wonderful visiting so many great blogs in our community. I hope you have a great weekend!

  5. So well written! I love the points you make here, and do understand the feelings you could have in your third year after the blog is down pat and the books are coming from all angles at you 🙂

    I’ve had 3 book blogs– first ultra-eclectic, then just mysteries, and now a combo of both ways– every time taking a long hiatus between them and reinventing myself over the course of about 5-6 years.

    I think I’ve finally figured it out– “This above all: to thine own self be true”…thanks William S. for that quote. I do what I want: reviews if I feel inspired to, mentions of book links to share, discussions if I have something worth talking about, random chit-chat… it all works for me. I now don’t take in more than the rare request or for-consideration title, and therefore I read whatever books strike my fancy on that particular day. Blogging has become fun again because I don’t have to do it– I want to.

    • Sometimes it’s a relief to just read a book because I want to and not be concerned about reviewing it or posting it in any way. I can always do that if I feel like it!

  6. Kay

    I think that the fact that you are thinking about these things is a good sign. Your blog reflects you. Do as you like. There are no hard and fast rules. Read what you want. Take breaks. Talk about whatever. That’s my best advice. 🙂

  7. I like your suggestion to just slow down for a while. I’ve done that, and it has helped. I also like to loosely read with others; your Reading New England challenge was a great way for me to try out a new direction this year (even if I am still reading my very first book for it, haha).

    • Consciously taking breaks definitely helps me not to suddenly and unexpectedly fall off the blogging map.

      Hey, it’s only February! Starting your first book for a year long challenge isn’t all that late.

  8. My TBR list is ever-expanding! The only time I get stressed (and I’m not sure if that’s the right word) is when there’s a book that I know I’m going to love that I haven’t gotten to for years. Maybe it’s just nice to know they’re waiting for me 🙂

    • Sometimes I hold off on a much-anticipated book for a long time because the moment just doesn’t feel right. It’s always so satisfying when that moment finally comes.

  9. Thank you for this interesting post! There was a time when I hoped I would get blogger burnout because I went so long without it, but alas, it happened recently and I just tried to push through, along with taking a break. It is hard to keep things fresh, but it’s great to keep visiting blogs to help you get ideas for where you want your blog to go. I’ve never thought of doing a book review-free blog – but there are some good points to be made for it. Ultimately just doing what makes you happy is the priority, so it’s great if that works! It’s great that you are finding the right balance!

    • Visiting other blogs is great for shamelessly stealing ideas — er, I mean gathering inspiration. Seriously, there is no way i would have lasted this long without such a wonderful blogging community. That’s what makes me happiest of all.

  10. Actually, that’s a good looking pile of books in your picture! I can completely relate to this post because I realized earlier this year I needed to take a step back from the blog and just enjoy reading a book instead of racing through the read-review-repeat cycle.

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