In Which I Compare My Blogging Problems To That Of Someone Who Makes Millions

I feel like Ryan Howard last year in the middle of his batting slump. I get all ready to write a review, I have major thoughts about a book, I open up Blogger….and NOTHING. 1, 2, 3 strikes and I’m out. And I get so discouraged. SO discouraged. I think that maybe I’m not cut out for book blogging…which I know is just the kind of self doubt you have in the midst of a slump. I’m sure Ryan Howard, or any slugger for that matter, sits there and thinks…”I just don’t even know what it feels like to hit a home run again. How do I do it? Am I capable of it?” And that is the kind of defeated attitude that gets you in your own head and causes you to continue the slump. You have to start small. Stop thinking about hitting it out of the parks or having the winning run in a big game. Think about just getting on base…connecting with the ball.

All this baseball talk aside (sorry guys, I’m a huge baseball nut…and my boyfriend would be really proud of this post lol), that is what I’m doing. In the midst of my reviewing slump, I’m just starting small. I’m jumping back on the blog just to write this post. Because…hey…I’m writing something. Baby steps. Maybe tonight I’ll have the motivation to write a review–albeit shorter than my normal reviews.

I’ve talked about having major reading slumps and how to get out of them before but I’ve never had a reviewing slump this bad. Jen from Makeshift Bookmark and I were discussing this the other day about how we both are kind of in this weird little slump of not wanting to write reviews. I am reading tons but for whatever reason it ends there. Sometimes I just get these urges to read and not analyze the text to death or to just let my thoughts about the book just BE. Sometimes I don’t feel like formulating my thoughts about a book because I just loved it so much and the only thing I have to say is I FREAKING LOVE THIS BOOK. My reviews tend to be a mix of personal reactions and feelings and a bit of analysis like a tradition review…but sometimes I don’t want to think of anything except thrusting the book in other people’s hands! Or sometimes I liked the book but it didn’t really inspire me to say too much. Or I feel like everything has been already said a million times about a particular book and I think, “does anybody really care what I think about this book when everyone in the blogosphere has already reviewed it?”

The other issue is that I’ve been a little bit preoccupied with some other things going on in my life. Good things…that hopefully I can tell you soon! So when I sit down to write a review, I end up doing a million other things related to the other happenings in my life.

What about you guys? Have you ever been in a reviewing slump before? Have you ever felt like sometimes you just want READ and not write about it…you know..just let the book and your thoughts BE? How do you get out of your slumps? Or does it just always feel so natural for you to read and then want to write about it?

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About Jamie

Jamie is a 30 year old married lady who is in denial that she's actually that old. When she's not reading you can find her doing Pilates followed by eating ice cream, listening to music with oversized headphones and having adventures with her husband and dog.

Comments

  1. Annette says:

    I have this thing about reviewing every book I read. I feel like I don't get "credit" for it unless I review it. But that's just me. And nothing says every review has to be in depth. One can just be a "fan girl" OMG I Loved this book! review, and another can be more "intellectual." Don't sweat it. It's about the books, right? Just read and relax and take a break if you need it.

  2. I feel the same way a lot of time. Sometimes I really just want to read a book and not think about it too much during/after. Actually, that's been happening a lot more lately…I want to enjoy my summer and read my time away. I've had to start giving myself permission NOT to review a book if I don't really feel like it. (unless of course it's a review copy, lol!) I still firmly believe that blogging should really be fun and about sharing something you're passionate about.

    There's my two cents. Sorry to ramble! 🙂

  3. I really enjoy reviewing b/c I feel that once I get my thoughts out there about a book, it brings a certain closure and then I can start the next book (which is why I review books the same day I finish them).

    I think that it might be that you're worrying too much about it being a well-written review. If you love a book so much and that's all you want say about it, that should be your post! A short review in which you gush about a book will definitely make me want to read it. Some books, like classics, are worth some literary analysis. But for the majority of fiction out there, I think it's okay to say "Hey I liked this, and I didn't like this, I would/wouldn't recommend it" and leave the review at that.

    Or maybe I'm just a lazy book blogger 🙂 But personally, I love those little post-its notes that you do b/c they're to the point and get your strongest feelings across. Even if you do just a post-it note for the whole review, just the act of writing that post-it & posting frequently might help get you out of your reviewing slump.

    Sorry, I hope that helps :-/

  4. ComaCalm says:

    I've started to struggle with reviews lately. Not quite as bad as you though! At the beginning of the month I could write a 450 word review, easy. Now I'm struggling to write my minimum, 300 words. I write about 200 and then I'm like, now what? Hopefully I get out of it soon! And hopefully so will you!

    ComaCalm's Corner

  5. Jasmine (The Reading Housewives) says:

    I'm starting to feel like I'm saying the same things over and over again in reviews…:-/ So I'm kind of right there with you in your slump!

  6. I agree with what everyone else has already said. A couple months ago, I went through a major slump where I wanted to completely stop blogging. I got back into blogging, but now that I've been posting almost every day, I'm falling back into a slump. I don't feel like reviewing everything I read. Right now, I keep thinking about how I need to post a review of The Magnolia League, and I just don't want to do it. I like to read things and just let them be without always having to share my thoughts with others. Plus, sometimes, I just don't know what to say about a book I read, whether I liked it or not, and sometimes I do feel like I'm not saying anything that hasn't already been said. And as Jasmine pointed out, I also feel like I say the same things over and over in my reviews. I always talk about characters and how awesome they are or how much I loved the story. Apparently, the best I can do lately is write a bunch of adjectives to describe a character or the story, instead of being able to talk about the things I loved in any kind of depth.

    Take a break if you need it. I think I'm going to. It can really help. BTW, I loved your baseball analogies. Sports analogies make me really happy. 🙂

  7. Melanie says:

    I'm definitely in a similar head space right now. I think part of it, for me, is being in CA and not wanting to spend the limited time I have here reviewing. I might write a few, but I'd rather save up my notes and write when I get back to NY, I guess.

    Another part is, like Jasmine said, struggling with trying to keep things fresh because it is easy to slip into using the same language over and over.

    In general, the truth is that I've never liked writing. It's something that I have always been told that I'm good at, but that I never quite enjoyed. In that sense, I do wonder why I create the pressure for myself to have to write all the time, but I love having written.

    As much as I hate the process of getting reviews out there, I love the community that it allows me to participate in and the people that I get to talk books with in other lower pressure ways. There are a million times that I'd like to just read and move on, but then I'd miss out on getting to talk to all of my bookish friends.

  8. Jen (Makeshift Bookmark) says:

    You know I'm right there with you, lady <3 but honestly, I think we just need to read a book that makes us NEED to review it. For me, that book was Bloodlines. I just wrote a review 🙂

  9. Sometimes when I read a book that I liked but don't feel like writing a review for, all I have to do is start talking to a friend/sibling/co-worker about the book. It's like all of a sudden I remember all the things I have to say about the book. Then after the conversation, it's much easier to write the review.

    Book Light Graveyard

  10. Julia :) says:

    I've definitely felt this way before! I just can't express my thoughts right, or maybe it just all comes out wrong. Normally I'll flip through the book again and then it will remind me of what I loved/didn't love about it and then I'll be able to write about it. 🙂

  11. Michelle says:

    I tend to review in spurts, either on the weekends or during quiet times at work. I definitely don't force the issue. I used to fo that and absolutely hated those reviews; they just don't flow well. I say that you should give yourself a break on reviews, otherwise you are just going to begin to hate writing them. Good luck!

  12. thelibrarianreads says:

    I'm with everyone else…take a break if you need it!

    That being said, I don't mind a short sweet post that simply says…Loved it, Read it now…perhaps a post with a few books you've read, enjoyed, and have no need to talk about. Picture heavy and shortly worded…I'll admit, that sometimes I really enjoy reading posts like that 😉 one more small step back in the game. Good Luck!

  13. Oh gosh, a big NO to it always coming natural! I had a big reviewing slump a couple of months ago and had to push myself to write them. And then they felt uninspired.
    But the good thing: it went away on it's own. So take your time, review when you feel like it. And you don't have to review every book you read, some you can just enjoy for what they are: amazing reads 🙂

  14. Jennifer says:

    I'm feeling a bit like that now. I have several things I'm dying to read and review, but that's my personal list. I've got several review copies to get through first. I consider those to be professional commitments, and I try to put my best effort into it. Sometimes there's not much left for me!

  15. Cozy in Texas says:

    I think no matter what we are doing we get into a slump. A change is as good as a rest so they say.
    Ann

  16. I hear ya. I had the same problem when I started blogging. For what it's worth, it's normal for you to feel this way considering you're reorganizing your schedule. It'll come back to you.

  17. April (BooksandWine) says:

    I can sort of relate, but I end up just forcing myself, because otherwise the need to be reviewed queue is going to get way more out of control.

    However, if you don't want to write a review for something, don't. Otherwise, maybe just do a series of post it reviews for books you don't feel like reviewing. Maybe you might also want to look into doing a video review, mainly because your vlogs are awesome.

    Also, I think your awesome good things take precedence over book blogging!

  18. bookmagic says:

    sometimes I do mini-reviews when I don't feel like reviewing.

  19. Tahleen says:

    I honestly don't understand why bloggers feel so compelled to write a review of everything they read. And I'm guilty of it too; but I made it a new year's resolution to NOT review every book I read. It gets ridiculous and would drive me crazy if I let it. I need books that I can just read and not worry about reviewing.

  20. I don't review every book I read. Not even close. If I don't have a lot to say about a book, I update it as read on Goodreads, write a short sentence or two with some brief or vague thoughts on the book (maybe, if I feel like it) and leave it at that. I keep thoughts in a notebook, so that if I decide a bit later that I want to review it, I have some notes to refresh my memory, but I have no desire to review every book I read.

    I only review the book if I FEEL something while reading it, good or bad, or if I feel like I have something to add to the discussion. If all I feel is neutral, or ambivalent, I don't try to force a review.

    I don't see anything wrong with you writing a review that says- YAY!! OMG! I LOVED THIS BOOK! 😛 Sometimes, that's about all there is to say! Start there & add a bullet list of why. Then, expound or not… Go from there.

    Or, if I don't know how I really feel, or what I want to say, I have a conversation with my best friend. I talk about everything I did and didn't like, give her a synopsis, talk myself out about the book. We read a lot of really different books, so I never worry too much about spoilers (:P) and it really helps me direct my reviews because the reviews usually come out a slightly more coherent version of that conversation. 🙂

    So, do what works for you. And honestly, (maybe this will be a rude/unpopular/snobbish sounding this to say… BUT) you don't actually us anything. We all love you and read your blog, but it's something for you. If what you are doing ins't working for you, change it. Do something different. Make it something you do enjoy. Just do your super awesome post-it review. If you feel like every book has to get blog time, do periodic lists of Here are the books I read that I don't want to review with one line about thoughts/feelings. Or something.

    Make it about you. You should be happy with it first, and then worry about the rest of us. 🙂

    That being said, if you disappear… Imma be super sad… Remember? I sent you a song!! 🙂 <3s Jamie! <3s!!

  21. Stephany says:

    I'm in a reviewing slump right now. I have yet to figure out how to get out of it. I've been reading A LOT of books, but I haven't reviewed any of them. As you know, I lost the internet for a while, so I was ABLE to post any. But now I'm back online, and I'm just in a slump. I love to come to other review bloggers sites to read THEIR reviews on books, but I'm just not in the mood to review myself. Have you found anything to get you out of your slump yet?