Blogging When You Aren’t Feeling Like Yourself…

This post isn’t going to be pretty. Some of you might roll your eyes or be like “dude TMI…get back to the books” but I’ve always believed in and practiced honesty on this blog so..you know..here we go.

I have not been myself in the past few months — part of it was this but the other part was just life stuff not even remotely related to blogging. It wasn’t even every day. I wasn’t TOTALLY unhappy. I truly have had really amazing days but it was just this overall cloud of feeling LOST…something that’s maybe a conversation for another day.

And honestly… sometimes blogging is really hard to do when you aren’t feeling like yourself. On one hand, it’s really easy to sit behind the shiny exterior of your blog and your Twitter account and dish out great blog posts and witty tweets. Nobody could ever know there’s anything wrong. It’s part of our culture I’m sure — carefully assembling our lives so we look constantly happy and perfect and always having a damn good time with a smile plastered on our faces.

But on the complete other hand, it’s really, really hard to maintain a blog when you don’t feel like yourself. It takes up all my energy and I end up preferring to binge watch shows or mindlessly play games on my phone. I think it’s also hard because I don’t have a separate blogging identity — I am 100% unabashedly myself and it’s all out there. I can’t separate it. My twitter account isn’t strictly “business” but rather I share my life with you all — as a lot of you do too.

The 4 biggest things that are affected blogging wise when I don’t feel like myself:

– Writing posts: I don’t even have the energy and I feel so uninspired and uncreative.
Commenting: I am so enthused when I see comments on my blog and I seriously APPRECIATE every single one. Like flaily hands excited and thankful. I feel like I’ve made connections with my regular readers. I also love getting off my blog and visiting the blogs I love. But when I don’t feel like myself? I literally can’t even muster up the motivation to comment and then that makes me even sadder because I feel so disconnected.
Twitter: When I don’t feel like myself it’s in my nature to want to retreat — even though I know I shouldn’t. I find myself not even wanting to participate much on Twitter and then THAT makes me feel bad because the community is my favorite thing. I feel like I lost connections in my times of inactivity but I really felt like I had nothing positive to contribute because I couldn’t figure out what was wrong with me and who wants to hear me whine and ask vague existential questions.
Reading: Sometimes I do just get lost in books when I’m not feeling myself but often times it feels like too much effort to read.

And the thing is…the whole time I wasn’t feeling myself? I was SO worried about how how it made me look as a blogger. I was afraid my friends who I had been chatting with daily would be like “what is wrong with her?/she sucks as a friend” or that people would think I was a selfish blogger because I wasn’t on my commenting game. I was afraid people would forget me or just think badly of me because I wasn’t replying to tweets fast enough (and sometimes not at all) or answering emails.

I think sometimes I feel like we (not everyone obviously) forget there is a person behind each and every blog. Someone who might be having a bad day (or week or year) or who might be taking care of a sick loved one or is working 3 jobs to barely pay the bills. I’ve seen it happen…people expect prompt responses, write people off because they aren’t in touch with them all the time, made assumptions about people who might not have responded back on a post or tweeted them back. So I got scared of all that even though I knew that, probably, if I was honest about it that most people would be gracious, kind and understanding.

Part of my insecurities about this stem from the fact I had a group of friends who really weren’t very empathetic in college. My mom was really sick with brain cancer then and I would get a lot of crap about “not being happy enough” or..and my favorite one…that I was moody. After that experience, I’ve been so careful about always putting a smile on my face and playing into that “everything is just fine” mentality.

But I don’t want to do that. Because you know what? It’s ok that sometimes we don’t feel like ourselves. It’s life.Β  In my experience, I’ve always found myself again but it takes time and patience and people who will stand by you. It takes action, hope, people to talk to and perspective. But that’s just how I’ve operated in the past — not saying that’s how it works for everyone.

And now here I am at the end of this post a) in a place where I feel like I’m finally getting out of whatever FUNK I’ve been in and b) really worried about how you will all take this post — too much info about me? excuses? feeling like I’ve been faking my enthusiasm in the past months? Dramatic?

Know this, I love the hell out of you guys. Your comments lift me up. Your friendship means a lot. Your love for reading is infectious and kept me excited.Β  I mustered up all the energy I could find during this time to keep this blog running because I love talking books with you all. I really do.

How do you guys deal with blogging when you don’t feel like yourself or you are going through a hard or stressful time? Even if you aren’t a blogger I’d love to know how you handle things when you aren’t feeling yourself!

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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. I relate far too much to this post. I understand you probably actually loathe when I say that, or when I DM you on twitter to see how you are doing. But here’s the thing, I never took it personal if you didn’t respond to a tweet/DM/email, because I know that real life occurs and takes precedence and THAT IS OKAY. I’ve also been in a twitter funk myself, mostly where I’ve thought of getting rid of it and then I’m all “oh. maybe I’m a wee bit dramatic”

    But really Jamie, I thank you for posts like this one. I feel less alone.

  2. Its like you read my mind!!! I’ve been in a funk for over a month and it sucks! I keep trying to write reviews and they just come off sounding boring and unfunny. I think we all go through it, between the blog tours and review requests its easy to lose sight of why we started blogging in the first place. I’m happy you are at the end of your funk and I’m feeling the same way! Here’s to loving our blogs again!

  3. First of all, I just have to commend you on your courage in writing this post. It’s never easy to admit when we’re struggling, and as you mentioned, I think for many of us it has become second nature to act as though everything is okay, even when it’s not. We all want to present a confident, competent exterior, because I’m sure that’s what we all wish we were one hundred percent of the time, but frankly, that’s just not realistic. We all stumble, and I’m sure we’ve all experienced what you’re going through right now, even though the extent of that might vary from blogger to blogger. You are not alone, and you should be proud of the fact that you had the courage to give a voice to what many are feeling but don’t have the fearlessness to admit.

    Now, since you had the courage to be honest, I guess I’ll try to do the same: I worry about many of the same things that you expressed in this post. When I first began blogging I was unemployed and had a fairly large amount of time on my hands. Not only was I able to stay more ahead in terms of scheduling on my own blog, but I was also leaving comments on fifty+ blogs a day. I absolutely loved doing it, but suddenly people began relying on me to leave comments on every single post. They would even go so far as to point out when I missed a day. I now have a full time job and there are days when, as much as I want to, I just don’t have the energy to reply to comments on my own blog, let alone leave them for my friends. And that makes me feel terrible. The guilt eats away at me – I want people to know how much I appreciate their hard work, thoughtful reviews, interesting memes, inspiring discussions posts, etc – but sometimes I just can’t do it. Then I begin to worry that somehow I’ve let these people down, or that I’m not a good friend because I’m unable to support them in the way I was able to do in the past, or in the way I truly want to. The fear and the guilt would actually make my heart race at times with anxiety.

    I think the basic fact of the matter is that blogging is hard work! Of course, you hear people repeat this ad nauseum but I don’t think the reality of this truly hits home until you begin experiencing it for yourself. You assume you can handle it all, but really, it can be an endless source of pressure and stress if you don’t approach it from the right place. It can be absolutely overwhelming to know that you need to read new books at a steady pace, only to have to sit down and write a thoughtful reflection on them afterward, and while I love every second of the process, I’ve only been at this for two months! When you’ve been blogging for as long as you have, I can only imagine that exhaustion and a little disillusionment are bound to kick in at some point. And that’s okay! I think that as much as we worry about people abandoning our blog if we don’t update often enough, don’t comment enough, etc, our true friends and readers will stick around through thick and thin. Sometimes you just have to block out that insidious little voice that wants to whisper all the cruel and untrue thoughts we internalize about ourselves and know that the reality is so much brighter than we often allow ourselves to believe.

    Know that you are special, you are appreciated, and you have a whole community of friends and fellow bloggers behind you, through the good times and the bad *Hugs* Thank you so much for writing this post.

  4. First of all, HUGS!

    Second, you are an amazing person but blogging is not and should not be a person’s whole life. Not only that but real life takes precedence over online life and that is totally OKAY. I’m a little annoyed at myself right now because I am in a reading slump. Nothing is holding my interest which means of course I have no blog content. As it is I have nothing for my blog from tomorrow to at least Friday. My OCD was screaming at me earlier but I had to calm myself down and remind myself that I don’t want to do things halfway. I put a lot of time and effort into my blog posts and if I don’t have material for it, I don’t want to fake it.

    So don’t worry about it. We think you’re awesome Jamie. No matter what. Thank you for making me feel less alone.

  5. It must be the weather of something. I’ve been kind of avoiding writing posts and actually reading as well. Twitter has been on the backburner, and even though I’m doing less on my blog, I feel more and more stressed about doing less on my blog haha. I totally understand that sometimes you just get into a funk. Too much of a good thing (like book blogging), can be a bad thing too! It becomes cumbersome, tedious, and lackluster. And because your blog has such a large audience, I can totally understand how that can make being in those kind of places of “not feeling it” to be extra draining. If it makes you feel any better, I enjoy every one of your posts, so keep up the great work πŸ™‚

  6. I find the times when we really open up, no matter how scary or weird it feels, are the times we truly get in touch with ourselves. I swear it is also the time when we make an impression on others. You have no idea who else out there is struggling, not feeling themselves, or working under extreme pressures and it shows them they are not alone.

    Quite awhile ago I went through a period of not being happy at work and wanting out of a relationship I was in. It took me awhile to realize what I needed to do, but in the meantime I just didn’t know what was wrong with me. I felt bad about not being happy or just feeling blah. If I read a post like this back then, it would have really hit home.

  7. To be honest, I think blogging is the last thing you should “worry” about when you’re not feeling yourself … unless doing it makes you a little happier – is an escape so to speak – but even then, that wouldn’t be “worrying.” I’ve said it before, but sometimes, being a part of the internet culture can be like a vacuum, with some very powerful suck action. We think it’s real and a very big deal, but in reality – it’s not. Life is real. And it’s shit sometimes. So I guess I wanted to say – when the shit hits the fan – take the time you need. If readers aren’t here when you get back – so what – rebuild and enjoy the process.

  8. I love your post. It is a problem a lot of people walk into, this “if someone asks me how I am doing I have to pretend I am doing fine because they do not care if I am not fine anyway” and “I do not feel like it so I will just hide in my corner” feeling it results in.
    In the end the only thing that counts is that you find a way in your life that makes you happy or make things easier. If it means that you are not commenting that much because you are to tired for it than that is it. If it means you need to spend less time on Twitter but actually enjoy the time you are there it is fine.
    And I will let you (and all the people reading this ) in on a secret. People who actually care do not mind when you say you are not doing fine. I am a pain patient and if my week is a bad one and someone asks me I say my week is a bad one and I hope it will be better. First people gave me weird glances because social conventions says you need to say you are doing fine or great. But as that meant people where always overestimating my abilities and expected more than I was able to give I stopped doing it. Now I see that it works. A person who does not really care just takes my answer for granted and starts a new subject and someone who does care asks more details.

    You take your time to find yourself again and be happy before you start worrying about the world.

  9. I”m the same, I tend to retreat and regroup until I’m feeling better and just watch tv shows where I don’t have to really think about what I’m watching. Which is what I’ve been doing for the past couple of days.
    I love that you’re so honest and it’s not TMI, it’s a good thing that you can share this. And always know that we’re here for you!

  10. I totally agree. I’ve experienced similar struggles and you’re right “It’s ok that sometimes we don’t feel like ourselves. It’s life.” I’m a happy person but I am a person and yeah, sometimes I get into funks or shitty moods and sometimes they last longer than I’d like but like you said that’s life. Being happy doesn’t mean wearing a smile 24/7 or that nothing gets you down. That would be exhausting. The people who understand that are the ones you want surrounding you, not those un-empathetic people. (sorry for using a non-word) But, I’m glad that you’re being kind to yourself and sharing. It takes a lot of courage to share something so personal and not necessarily “pretty” but I find that even life’s struggles can be beautiful, even if its generally in retrospect. Warm internet hugs.

  11. I love this post so much because I’ve been feeling the same way recently. And it got to a point where I felt so guilty for not posting that I got a lot of friends involved and managed to have a month off because I had guest posts but the idea of not posting for an entire month makes me feel all icky inside.
    But I’ve been dealing with health issues, work issues, home issues, and battling with just a general cloud of depression hanging over me and it’s hard to then write something inspired for the blog when there’s so much more going on. All I can say is that your followers that matter will be here whenever you feel okay enough to come back. We’re not going to be going anywhere.
    I’m also sorry about your friends. Experiences like that really do shape a person. I have had some bad friendships in my life and now I really struggle to open up fully to those I really love for fear that they’d judge me or, worse, just wave me off as having a bad day but not really listening to what’s going on. You had every right to be upset during that time in your life, and no one should have made you feel like it wasn’t okay.
    I hope that you feel better soon Jamie, but just remember to take the time off if you need it. Life is more important than blogs. Every. Single. Time. <3

  12. I love when my friends are honest on their blogs, as it’s always such a wonderful, inspiring thing to see. You know what I think? None of us have perfect lives, contrary to what our Facebook statuses or Twitter posts might suggest. We have great days, we have good ones and we also have bad ones. It’s legitimately OK not to be on your A game all the time, and this is based on two weeks of me not being in the mood to write blog posts and having the timezone difference and limited internet access wreak havoc on my Twitter presence in general. I think it’s perfectly alright for you to take a breather, to step back and retreat, to take a break and do other things (like playing games, which I’ve been doing — I’m addicted to Burger Shop and Minion Rush on my iPad). Nobody is allowed to make you feel like less of a person for doing something that’s healthy for YOU — and the people who do are so not worth being friends with. Real friends would understand that, and you’ve got a bunch of them here in the blogging community for sure.

  13. I try I sit down once a week even if I am feeling like I am in a funk and try to do at lest 2-3 post. If I am in a bad funk I try to do at least one review in there and then a post I love to do like a TBR or a Stacking the shelves.

  14. Jamie,

    You should be putting yourself first. Everybody feels bad sometimes, and we all understand. I have depression and I feel that way on a daily basis so I get what you are saying completely. Don’t worry about your readers, we love you and we will wait however long it takes. You need to get yourself right first, and that’s what’s most important.

    Plus, your college friends sound like assholes- nobody should be that way. My friend’s mom got cancer and died two years ago, right before I got married. I probably wasn’t the best friend I could have been because she was away at college and I was planning my wedding. I still feel bad that I wasn’t there for her more, but life gets in the way. We were both busy, but I would never diminish her feelings because it was inconvenient.

    If you ever need someone to talk to, even just about silly stuff- you can talk to me. I am always available to give you an sympathetic ear.

  15. Jamie, are you psychic or something? I’ve just come out of a life slump like you and every single thing you’re struggling with I can completely relate to. It’s worse when you KNOW that you’re drifting away from people because you’re down but you don’t know WHY you’re down and often that makes it even worse. It takes a lot of guts to stand up and take the mask off and tell people you’re not your usual self so for that BIG HUGS! For me, it very much takes its time going away. I can’t force myself to read or comment or tweet because my heart isn’t in it and I don’t want to disappoint anybody so I tend to just take each day at a time and remind myself that it’s ok to step away from the blog for a day or two and get my head back on right. Often, watching some ridiculous 80s movies give me the kick up the bum I need.
    Chin up, chuck. You’re fabulous through and through and we’re all here for you πŸ™‚

  16. *hugs* It takes courage to admit that we aren’t perfect, even though we all rationally know that of course. Saying, “I’m not okay right now” is kind of scary! Blogging DOES take a lot of energy and creativity, and sometimes we all have to take a step back and pay some attention to things going on *not* inside of our computers or phones. We’re here when you need us. You are fantastic and going by the comments from the others, I know I’m not alone in saying that we’re not judging you in the slightest. *more hugs* πŸ™‚

  17. Hi Jamie
    You are speaking to the converted. I have been through the same thing twice. The first time I gave up my blog and never wrote another post. This past time, I have just pushed through it, doing the bare minimum. I am finally coming through and hope to be back on track soon. I thank you for your courage in posting and hope you are feeling more alive real soon.
    cheers
    Gwynn

  18. Jamie!!! XOXOXOXO.
    Although probably in a different way, I know EXACTLY what you mean. Shane and I moved into our new house on the 5th but every weeknight and every weekend, we’re doing things to try to unpack, put things away, set things up, buy paint, put furniture together… It’s exhausting and I just don’t feel like blogging or commenting or even reading because I’m trying to get all my THINGS done! So yes, although for possibly different reasons, I TOTALLY get it. I feel like I’ve been slacking with commenting or replying to comments and I feel terrible! I’m falling behind on my reading goals and it’s frustrating but it’s hard finding the time to read right now.
    You don’t have to feel bad for it by any means though!!! We all love you and support you and sure you want to please everyone (I know that’s how I am lol) but the people who know you the best and who love & support you know that it’s OVERWHELMING to respond to everyone all the time, especially when you’re not feeling it! I never thought I would fall into a sort of “slump” with my comments & writing posts because I enjoy it and I’m usually pretty good at staying on top of it, but man, this past month…….. I just didn’t want to like, at all haha. Sometimes you just have to take a little break and take care of yourself first! Blogging will always be there to come back to and I’m sure everyone would welcome you back with open arms!
    Sorry you’re not feeling up to it lately! I kind of know the feeling! We just love your posts when they happen and no pressure! xoxo!

  19. I was thinking about this on Monday, so you definitely aren’t the only one this happens to. I was really bummed and a bit grumpy because I was coming down with one of those colds that never really develops into a proper cold and just makes you miserable and crotchety. I hadn’t read anything for a while, nothing in my library pile and arc pile was holding my attention and I just couldn’t be bothered blogging. I’d finished off one of my Lego HP games on the Wii (to give myself a break from reading) but nothing was fixing it.
    So I did what I find works for me – read a book I knew I wasn’t going to review, but it was a great release. It was two novellas in one book from my favourite series and it was nice just to sink into their world for a while and not worry about reviewing or anything. So do whatever works for you. Find something funny on youtube or netflixand watch it with your husband. Or without him. πŸ˜€ (I was just watching the Family Feud videos on youtube – very funny.)
    Finally *HUGS* and a big bowl of ice cream (or something).

  20. Thank you so much for this post, Jamie! You are not alone in feeling this way. I worry about the same thing when I have to pull away from my blog and the community. Then, I have to remind myself about my priorities and let go of the worry because who needs that added stress on top of everything else. I appreciate how honest you are on your blog, and how you share parts of yourself with your readers. If you need a break or need/want to retreat from your blog and Twitter, know that I’ll be here when you come back!! *bear hugs*

  21. Oh Jamie, this is definitely NOT TMI. I’ve been going through this off and on too. I have periods where I am so much not myself that I tweet maybe once a day because everything I start to say feels so forced and false. And blog posts feel like a masquerade and a lie. I hope you feel better soon! I know it’s not easy, but we’re all here for you– no pressure on this end!

  22. This is something I struggle with so much. I’m not a blogger, but I feel like my twitter and overall social media presence are a huge part of me–and not only that, but a huge part of what has made me successful at work. Something happened recently that made me want to literally give up the internet forever, and then I felt like I couldn’t because I’ve tied my whole livelihood to it, and that made me depressed, and then I got depressed because I didn’t actually want to give up the internet, and UGH. (Not to be vague, just the story isn’t fit for public comments.) The “me” that the internet usually gets is the best “me,” and sometimes that’s a good thing, but . . . .

  23. I love that you had the courage to admit this, because I feel like we has bloggers all have these times, but we feel we can’t admit to them because it looks like weakness. I have been semi-open about struggling with depression in the past and I get where you are coming from cause in high school when I was really sick and when my depression began, I had unsupportive friends. Thank you for writing this post. It honestly made me feel better, to know I am not alone in feeling this way.

    Also, though… I am sorry you are in a foggy funk. It is so hard to get out of sometimes…. I promise it gets better though and that things will turn around. = ) Xo

  24. Jamie, you’re such an inspiration to me as a blogger and as a person. First of all, I’ve learned so much from you about how to be ME as a blogger and not a persona. Do not EVER feel like you need to censor yourself or that you’re sharing too much about yourself, because I can tell you that THIS blogger learns so much about herself when you share. I love your personal posts, and I feel like they help me feel a lot less alone.

    Secondly, I TOTALLY understand what you’re going through, and I feel the same way sometimes – that’s why I wrote up my own blogger manifesto. I’m a fierce believer now in blogging only when you feel like it, and only when it feels right to you, and I’ve learned that if I disappear on Twitter during the weekends or for a few days, it’s not a big deal. It makes me feel less connected, but really, blogging should be about you first, the community second, and responsibility should be a distant last. You don’t owe anyone anything. If you feel like you don’t want to blog, you shouldn’t. If you feel like bingeing on crap tv, do it. Take care of yourself first, and don’t worry about what other people think. Remember your blog manifesto!

    Thirdly, I just wanted to say that I totally haven’t noticed that you haven’t been yourself – and I know that’s because you’ve been putting on a brave face for us…but don’t worry about that. Do what feels right for you.

    And finally, I wanted to thank you for being the most creative blogger I know. You’re unafraid to be yourself, and your posts are always unique because of it, whether you’re sharing about yourself, or you’re just adding a bit of fun to your lives. You’ve really inspired me to move away from just doing to “usual” blog posts and try to do more fun stuff that talks about being into books. So thank you for that. I promise that your efforts are not in vain.

    (longest comment ever, sorry).

  25. I probably won’t be as eloquent as the above comments, because they said some wonderful things. But I just wanted to let you know that it is completely normal to have a downtime or a slump and if anyone is judging you for it, they aren’t worth your time. I’ve been feeling really down lately myself and am trying to pull myself out of it. Blogging has actually been helping me, but it has been an effort.
    You are an awesome person Jamie and I always look forward to your posts, especially the more personal ones like this, because they make me realize that I’m NOT the only one feeling that way! <3

  26. Oh Jamie. You were one of the people I most wanted to meet in person and got to do just that at BEA. You’re an awesome person and I love talking to you on Twitter but you have no obligation to anyone else but you. We all have our off days, weeks, months and that says nothing about you as a person except that you’re human. Blogging and books are about having fun and the moment you force yourself is the moment it’s not fun anymore. I’ve gone a month without reading anything because I was in a slump and sometimes it just means you need to take a break from books, the computer and live life outside of those things. Doesn’t make you any less of a blogger or even a book reader. You define those things and not other people. Ok. This turned into a subconscious pep talk for me lol.

    EVERYONE IS AWESOME.

    The end.

  27. Oh Jamie, I know how you feel! I’ve also been going through a weird time. I’m trying to find a job after being a stay at home mom for 14 years and no one wants to hire me!! It’s very frustrating and demeaning. I feel like such a loser sometimes. (I know I’m not, but that’s how I feel). These are the times I really don’t want to blog, either. I think you have to be in a certain happy place to work on your blog, I think that’s normal. You will get through it!

  28. I totally get this and I love that you shared it with us. I haven’t really been myself at all this year…started with an internship that exhausted me (the commute was beyond ridiculous), another (great) internship, and now we’re in week 10 or 11 (I’ve lost track) of not working. I have so much free time but I can’t muster up the energy to do amazing things with the blog. I want to. I want to learn to make it look super pretty like other blogs (like yours!) but I don’t feel like learning anything new (even though I know I’ll be able to pick up on it fairly easily). I’m reading all the time and I’m watching tons of TV shows on DVD. And I feel totally lost. So, yeah, I get where you’re coming from. I think you’re right and that it is important to remember that there’s an actual person with other stuff going on behind the blog. We’re not robots. We’re real people who have an extreme love of books and that’s why we do what we do. I think we all need to do what we need to do to be happy with our blogs and the surrounding tasks (reading, writing, social media, the works) and if that doesn’t conform with others’ expectations, who cares? I personally love the way you do your reviews and I hope that mine are equally as entertaining and informative. I’ll end this rambling comment by saying thanks. Thank you for being you, for sharing all of this with us, and for continuing to entertain us with your posts. Take time for you. We’re all behind you no matter how you’re feeling. πŸ™‚

  29. Jamie!!! Helloooo.

    All of these things, they are okay. And it’s okay to take a step back and FEEL THEM. Being the comment-novelist that I am, I could write for days about this because as you know I’ve just had a post about a slump and then another post about commenting and some drafts that are similar that never got published. But the truth is that THESE are VALID thoughts and you should feel them. I love that you put yourself out there. I love you for it because you’re you. And That. Is. All. No shame, no apologies.

    Me personally, sometimes I have to post about it and then I feel better. Or sometimes I have to shrink away and disappear from the world for a little while and retreat to DM’s, gchat, email, things like that. I think we may be a little bit similar in these ways.

    Take a break, take a step back, post twice a day, discussion only, review only, silly posts, ranty posts, do whatever the heck you want. You are precious. EVEN WHEN YOU DON’T FEEL LIKE IT. xoxo

    ps) I say this because I know you, not because I’m a creepy stalker. FYI world.

  30. I want to start this comment with a thousand hearts, but I fear that might get me caught in a spam filter or some such nonsense. So please multiply this heart by a thousand when you see it: β™₯

    Thank you for this post, Jamie! You really put yourself out there, and that is hard. But I absolutely love seeing the truth of the person behind the blog, always! Don’t be afraid to be honest, personal, and anything else you want to be. Anyone who doesn’t like it isn’t worth worrying about, anyway!

    I’m sorry you went through that funk, and I’m glad you’re finally feeling like you’re getting out of it. πŸ™‚

    *lots of hugs*

  31. Love your vulnerability, Jamie! It’s interesting to hear that you feel so uncreative, because you’re one of the most creative book bloggers out there!

    I’ve been blogging for two years, and it never even really occurred to me that people would get upset if I didn’t respond to their comments, haha! I mean, I always try, but life is LIFE.

    You’re great!

  32. I completely, COMPLETELY relate to this post. I stopped blogging altogether and even stayed mostly away from Twitter for a good while. As a result, I lost the closeness I once had with some of my book blogging buddies.

    It sucks.

    But it is what it is. I came out of my funk, mostly, and am working to rebuild myself and my blog. You will too. Based on the comments I see here though, I wouldn’t worry too much. You’re quite loved in the community. πŸ™‚

  33. Awww, honey, I am so sorry that you are struggling with this still, and I hope that you’re really pulling out of it.

    You probably get tired of me saying this, but I mean it: you are the most creative book blogger that I’ve met or found on the internet. If this is you at your least creative, I don’t know if I can handle the awesome of you at your peak. But I would be willing to try of course. :-p

    Sometimes motivation really is hard to find. That’s why I cling so hard to the routine of it. Has been working so far, but probably won’t forever.

    Wow, I cannot believe your friends said that to you while your mom was fighting cancer. I cannot even about that. I am seriously sitting here and trying not to cry, because that is awful. Friends like that are people who do not need to be in your life. Even if you know that, it still hurts, though. *hugs*

  34. Personally, just like with my friends or family, I JUST DON’T BLOG! If I don’t feel like talking with someone I don’t. It’s that simple. Why should you put yourself out there and try to fake it? We all have those days and should “All” understand you do too. So give yourself a break and when you feel that way, shut down the blog posts for that day or week…put up a “Vacation” sign or something. We will understand I promise! And for those who don’t understand, they are just not worth your time anyway. Don’t beat yourself up because you do a great job!!!

    Sincerely,

    Donna/BookTiger

  35. Not at all TMI! If you aren’t in the right place to blog that is your business and if people get annoyed with that they aren’t people you want in your life. I think it is just depressing to suddenly create rules for reviews and how long they should be etc…, I am doing this for fun, and as there is no ‘right’ way to blog, I’m going to do it my way. You’ve got an original blog here and I like it a lot, you don’t need to put yourself under any pressure πŸ™‚

    Six months into blogging I realised that I either had to miss a review or write a rubbish one, I chose to miss one. A year after that I am so glad I did, It isn’t worth the stress to make blogging a job, blogging is fun and you should never force yourself to have fun.

    Sorry to hear about those people in college, they sound horrendous! I used to get upset when people would tell me to ‘smile, it’s not like someone’s died’ just because I didn’t appear happy. Anyone tells me to be happy now I tell them to f-off; I could be happy and not showing it, someone I know could be dead – I am not going to let their insecurities over me not looking happy affect me. You sound like a lovely gal, keep your good people close and forget about the mean ones, they aren’t worth it.

    Also, I completely understand not wanting to read when you feel down, mindless TV is the best distraction.

  36. Jamie,

    Like so many others, I want to commend you on opening yourself up to your friends and followers on your blog. It’s never easy to admit that sometimes we are not the happy-go-lucky versions of ourselves. I’ve struggled most of my life with anxiety and over the years I’ve come up with some hit and miss coping mechanisms, but mostly I revert to what I love. In those times, when everything else seems to be falling apart, I take a moment and think, ‘what brings me happiness above everything?’ Of course, sometimes, that question is super hard to answer. Especially when it feels like nothing is currently making you happy and you’re stressed up to the balls with everything! Then I default to sitting at my computer, or grabbing a notebook and pen, and writing. Write til your fingers ache and get sweaty, and you start to not make sense. Usually, after spilling my heart out, I feel such a sense of relief.

    My advice? Go back to writing for yourself instead of for us – when you finish writing, read it, and share your thoughts with us! Clearly you have many wonderful people willing to support you and love you when you’re feeling at your lowest (see: all dem comments, daaaang!) Don’t forget: we’re here for you. *hugs*

    S

  37. You shouldn’t have to worry about anything! I think part of the reason so many of us read your blog is BECAUSE you are so open about your personal life; we can identify with you, and we care about your well being.

    I have to agree with Sarah above me (and probably many more before, I didn’t read through all the comments), write for you, not for your readers. Hell, I’m pretty sure I’m the only one who reads my posts! I just do it for myself, though of course it’s nice to know someone is listening. I think it’s clear from all the support here that you are doing nothing wrong, and many people will read whatever you want to write for us no matter the content. πŸ™‚

  38. Aliya Regatti says:

    My blog is my escape from so many things… As soon as it starts to feel like work, I retreat. I’ve been in such a slump on and off since my first serious boyfriend broke up with me in my senior year of high school. I’m about to start my junior year of college! I completely understand having unsympathetic friends and feeling like you need to keep a face on for them. And when that begins to apply to your blog as well, having the courage to tell us how you feel is an amazing accomplishment. I’ve begun finding that trying something new helps me when I get into a slump. When my best friend left college, I learned how to do Zentangles. During long periods of time when I don’t see my other friends, I learn how to use photoshop for some new purpose. Your dedication to blogging for all of us is wonderful, but make sure it’s still something you are doing for you too!
    *hugs*
    Aliya

  39. I can totally relate. I’ve been in something of a funk myself for the last couple of months. I have a lot of stressful stuff going on right now and I’m not getting the support I need from friends or family. I’m moving to the northern part of the state I live in to start graduate school in January and there are a million things to be done between now and then. I feel like there’s not enough hours in the day and it’s not helping that I can’t anyone to return my emails or phone calls. I hate talking on the phone anyway, so when I have to repeatedly call people to get something done, it starts to stress me out. I’m also stressed about making friends when I move. What if I don’t get along with my roommates? What if school is too hard? What if I can’t find a job? I’m totally overwhelmed and it’s messing with me physically and emotionally.

  40. I’m so glad that you feel yourself coming out of your funk, Jamie, and so grateful for your honesty in this post. I’ve enjoyed following you here and on FB, and I think that most fans who truly connect with and appreciate you wouldn’t hold it against you if you needed some time off or some space; we’ve all been there! As a blogger myself, I feel like a total fraud if I post something super positive on a day that I’m feeling anything but. I’d rather be honest about what I’m going through–if I lose fans or followers by not posting or not tweeting, then those people probably weren’t my friends to begin with. And the best part about doing this is coming back and seeing who your genuine friends are, who are there to cheer you on and celebrate once things are better.

  41. Emma Wiley says:

    I’ve never really commented on here, so maybe I’m a selfish blog reader, but if it does anything to help the end of your funk: I buy the books you recommend. Like, I don’t even read them first. I look at what you say about it, and buy it. It drives my husband crazy – he always says that I should read it first, but I tell him not to worry. I bought Eleanor and Park last week because you loved it so much. I stayed up until 4:00 am reading it. I hope you see this as the highest compliment. Additionally, I’m an English teacher, and I’ve used your reviews as examples in class (oh, I hope that’s okay!), and I’ve recommended books that you’ve recommended. You’re a great book blogger. I hope your blog continues to be a positive thing in your life, as it is in mine.

  42. First off, Jamie, I have to commend you on your total openness and honesty. It’s not an easy thing to bare your heart and soul to the world like that. Few people rarely do and when they do, usually it’s for purely selfish reasons. But not you. Never you. See, that’s the thing about having an online presence — it’s easy for people to be someone they’re not, to create this online, fake persona in order to garner followers, retweets, friends, whatever. But you are one of few people who I’m 100% certain doesn’t do this and that in and of itself says a lot about you. You put 110% into all that you do here on this blog snd you’re never trying to be someone you’re not. Even on your “off” days, I can still see your passion and THAT is what keeps me coming back. That and the fact that with you, what you see is what you get. I can’t speak for everyone else who reads this blog, but I come here because I love getting to know the person behind the blog. You’re completely genuine and that’s a rare quality these days.

    You shouldn’t ever apologise for feeling blue or having a rough time. All of us do, it’s just a part of life. Just keep being who you are and know that your true friends, all of us, will be here to support you. The people who leave because you don’t tweet quickly enough or respond to an email, well, they don’t matter. At the end of the day, good riddance. Just do whatever is right for YOU and we’ll support you, no matter what. Hang in there girlie! πŸ™‚

  43. OK, I think you and I might actually be sharing a brain lately. I posted about my major lack of being able to finish a series and created an intervention of sorts for myself, then saw that you did a similar post (which I totally meant to comment on, and I think it’s still marked as unread in my reader, so I WILL do that at some point).

    AND I’ve totally been feeling some of these same feels lately, and actually just posted about it earlier this week. But you totally did a way more eloquent job of explaining things — mine was a little all over the map. I’ve struggled lately with finding the time and energy to put into the blog, and part of me struggles with wanting to have it all nice and pretty and organized and just being generally unhappy with the type of posts that I’m posting and not having the time or energy to really work on them, nor keep things up to date and pretty. (That came out all bleah too, sorry!) BUT what I’m trying to say, is that I totally feel you. And I’m somewhat surprised that you have been feeling this way, because I feel like your posts this summer have been SO awesome and SO inspired and creative! Especially your Friday Fun posts … where do you come up with this stuff? I need to stop by your creativity fountain and find some for myself =) Because you seriously rock. Your blog was one of the very first that I started reading, and it’s still one of my all-time favourites!!!!!

  44. Definitely not TMI. πŸ™‚ As someone who struggles with Bipolar I disorder, I can definitely go through times of not feeling like myself. My biggest recommendation is that you not let the stress over something that really isn’t a requirement in life! This blog is supposed to be fun — don’t let it overwhelm you. We all love your creativity, and we want you to stick around, but don’t feel overwhelmed by it. We all experience life.

    Something I do (not so much with blogging as I am new to this), but with my writing and music and reading, if I get in a funk, I need to slow down. By slow down, I don’t just mean do less of it. I mean I stop reading new books and I go pull out old favorites, I play old pieces on my violin that my fingers just know by heart, and I pour myself into those things to recharge. You may just need some recharge time, everyone does it a little different though. For me, recharging is just being by myself and pouring into something familiar.

    Don’t worry about what people think of you.A blog is YOUR personal space and fun that you are letting others experience. Most are not paid for it, it’s not a job, and it’s not part of school. It is for your own enjoyment. You need to do what YOU want to do on this blog. Maybe you don’t review so often (book reviews can be exhausting), maybe you come up with something simple and new that’s not so time consuming. I don’t doubt you could, you’re probably one of the most creative blogs out there without being annoyingly “busy” (no organization). πŸ™‚

    Just do what you like and know that most of us understand that this is a hobby and might just be going through life.

  45. I just want to give you a hug! It is hard to do ANYTHING when you don’t feel like yourself. I love your honesty. I’ve been in the same boat with my blog — since having my baby boy it has been harder to blog. When I have spare time I want to be a brainless lump. And now I’m about to go back to work and blogging is the last thing on my mind, yet I feel obligated because I have a bunch of review books that I received that I haven’t reviewed (a SHAMEFUL amount). Your post gives me hope that I will get to the other side eventually, even if life does get in the way for a while. I hope your funk is dissipating. Remember whether you post once a day, once a month, or even just a few times a year, you’re appreciated and no one is mad at you for taking a break. Good luck with everything!

  46. I’m glad you wrote this post. It was the right thing to do. We do care about you.
    I have been blogging from my book review blog less than two months, and before that I did maybe one post every few months (on my sculpting blog) so I can’t really say I’ve ever been in a funk and felt like I had to keep going anyway. But things are different now, now that I know there are people who read what I have to say. But if I ever do feel like that, I don’t think I’d try to hide it.

  47. Oh, honey. Been there, felt that, proud of you for putting the words to the feelings. <3

  48. It’s okay to not feel upbeat or 100% all the time. It’s natural. We’re all just human! I have days where the thought of blogging just makes me want to curl up into a ball. On those days, I usually take a break and do something else, even if it’s just 1/2 hour of TV.

    I’m glad you’re starting to feel better! <3

  49. Hi Jamie,
    As soon as I saw the title to this post, I knew it was going to be another one of your posts that I related to completely. I’ve been in a major blogging slump the past few months, but it’s gotten especially worse ever since I wrote a post that was *extremely* personal. I didn’t feel like people wanted to read my blog if it contained anything other than reviews and so I just kind of stopped. I have had an extremely difficult year and a half with a lot of things that happened with my family and my personal life, and for a while, reading and blogging was one of the only things that helped me get my mind off of things. But then this summer, a bunch of things kind of piled up on me and I’ve felt so emotionally and mentally exhausted that the last thing I want to do is read and blog… I’m starting to feel a bit like I can get back into the groove of things again, however I still feel like something’s off. It’s affecting my blog and my writing and everything that I’m really passionate. As bad as it is that you’ve been feeling this way, I was almost glad to see that someone could relate to how I was feeling. I’m glad you’re starting to feel better and thank you for sharing this with us! You’re only human, as are all of us, (I’m assuming…) and we understand. You’re one of my blogging role models because of how real you are in your posts and the fact that you do share personal things with your readers. No matter if you blog every day, every month, or only once in a blue moon, I’ll still be subscribed and looking forward to reading what you write. <3

  50. It’s totally okay to be not be feeling upbeat and happy all the time and definitely okay not pretending you are! I definitely agree that a lot of times people just want you to have this happy exterior all the time — I have definitely found myself pretending a lot of the time too. It’s just so easy to, especially if, when people ask you how you are, they aren’t really waiting for an honest response, they’re kind of just saying it — so you respond with a “fine” and that’s that. It’s so easy to pretend so I love your honest blog posts!

    Time is like the bane of my existence, so I’ve noticed that I can never be as active on my blog as some people can. I don’t want to be a “bad blogger” but really, I just want to read and chat books with you all so I’m just trying to come to terms with the fact that I have to post when I can, and that’s that. And you’re right, sometimes I’m just so tired, I just need to sit and watch mindless TV. I totally understand that.

    Anyway. Mental breaks are good, and we still love you! =)

  51. I think all of these comments show you you don’t have to be afraid to be yourself! We all have our off-days and that’s okay. That’s life. I feel really bad for me you’re feeling not like yourself, but it’s not like I can do anything about it (except being there for you and keep on reading your blog ;)). I know our whole world is about pretending everything is okay and putting a smile on your face, but we all know it’s not going to get us anywhere and it’s okay to not feel that well. I just want to send you a huuuuuuge virtual hug. Here it comes: hugggggggggggg. I hope it helps! Though you might know me that well (and I’ve got to know you a bit through your posts and Twitter only), you can always send me an email if you just want to talk.

  52. I completely understand. I quit my job at the end of May. It was a miserable job and I hated it. I had been there 7 years and it was not the same job that I loved just a few years ago…

    I thought I’ll have lots of time to read and blog this summer. I have actually missed deadlines and been so unorganized this summer. I have read LESS this summer than I did while I worked. WTH??? I have been so uninspired!

    My kids go back to school Tuesday (doing a happy dance, they are READY!!!) and I have vowed that I WILL get my stuff back together and I WILL get my blog back together!!!! My husband also wants me to start working on finding a job, but I want to find a job that I like, not just any job, so that is something that I am working on right now… πŸ™‚ So I understand. I have cut way back on doing tours and just taking ones that I like and am vowing to start reading the books that I want to catch up on.

  53. Everyone’s already said the things I wanted to say, so I’ll just say thanks for reminding us that there are people behind our favorite blogs. And, in order to have a successful blog (which you do), you have to be on top of things and that takes A LOT of work. It’s okay if you feel stressed, overwhelmed, worried, etc. — just remember that book bloggers are a very kind, patient, forgiving bunch. We don’t judge, we empathize πŸ™‚ Hang in there!

  54. Awww, JAMIE. *big big hug* I really respect you for posting this. I have a post in the works that’s on a different subject but one that I’ve been struggling to form words for because I wonder if people will think differently of ME, so I get that. I think you are an awesome person and a GREAT blogger, even more so for pushing through, girl.

    Sending good thoughts and much love that you find the joy in blogging again girl. Glad you’re getting to a better place for you!

  55. MAJOR BIG HUGS!!!!!!!

    Thanks for sharing this. You are definetely not alone. As daily reader of your amazing blog, I love the posts you write like this. Because like you mention we aren’t perky, love-y dovey all the time, none of us are. And posts like these showcase what imperfect perfect human being you are.

    I feel like I started blogging so that I can jot down my thoughts when I was afraid to tell my friends in college. But when bigger things started happening, and became soo sad, I stopped blogging for a while, and sometimes came back to blogging, but not to blog about my thoughts but rather post up things unrelated to what I was feeling, maybe as a way to mask what I was feeling??

    Now I’m slowly started to blog again, with inspiration from you and many other bloggers I now follow.
    Jamie, you are amazing, so its okay to not feel like yourself once in a while. You are not alone. As for your blog don’t be pressured to be something you aren’t (at the moment) we will still be looking and reading your words regardless!!

    Big hugs and happy thoughts to you!!!!!
    -Adri

  56. aww. *HUGS*. Look, you don’t feel like blogging… then DON’T – I understand. I’d miss you terribly, but YOU come first. NOT a blog — plus, I can wait… until you want to blog again.

    I had this big long post, but I backspaced it because I’m a chicken. Just trust me, when I said I understand!!!

  57. I feel you on this completely. Honestly, I don’t really read blogs any more, at least not like I used to. I might spend an hour per week reading blogs and commenting when I used to spend hours per day, but it just exhausts me. Like right now, I am supposed to post a guest post for a tour, like right this second and instead I am putting it off, commenting on your post instead. I just, I really feel this post, as everything about blogging exhausts me, even reading these days. I think it’ll pass, but for now, that feeling sucks. And hey dude, if this is you at uncreative, then I am jealous because that’s still more creative than I’ll ever be, ha ha.

    Hope your ennui (is that what it’s called?) passes!

  58. Oh girl. I love the honesty of this post, and I SO know what you’re talking about. I’ve had a few mini blog breaks that were related to being overwhelmed or not having the time to do it. But last July I stopped blogging for six months, and that was more than just being overwhelmed. I was just tired of it all. Everything else – TV, everyday life, just reading without reviewing – was so much more appealing. I was planning on shutting down my blog because I just couldn’t imagine ever wanting to do it again. And I don’t know what set it all into motion, it was just this feeling of UGH. I’m so not invested in this right now. But a friend at work who read my blog just begged me to wait it out. To give it time. To see if that itch returned. And sure enough, it did. I picked it back up in December, but I also thought long and hard about the pressure I was putting on myself to do this “thing” that was meant to be fun. I’ve felt so much more balanced since then! I’ve had a few weeks where I don’t post anything because hey, if I’m not feeling it I’m not forcing it. But there hasn’t been that overwhelming sense of discouragement or frustration. So, I wish I could come hug on you and tell you that you’re not the only one who’s ever felt this way. Hoping that saying it out loud is helping you move out of the slump and come back into your own. Either way, proud of you for taking a moment to be totally real and open about how you’ve been feeling lately.

  59. Brilliant post, it was so well-written! I know exactly what you mean though, there have been times where I just haven’t been wanting to blog and haven’t had any time due to school work and I feel bad because I want to try and blog everyday and respond to the comments left on my blog as well as visit my other blogs. It’s true what you say though, I think people forget that there is a person behind the blog who might be having a tough time and we need to understand that! Once again, a fantastic post!

    I absolutely love your blog and I’d love to get to know you better! πŸ™‚

  60. Wow, I could have written this post myself. I’ve really been slacking off on the blogging front over the past year and it was mostly due to a bout of depression. The longer I left posting..the more I was afraid to post. I was worried about replying to comments and things to. But you’re right-blogging isn’t a job. It should be fun, and if it isn’t fun then you’re not obligated to post anything. Looking after you is much more important. After getting a new job and lots of things starting to go right for me from September last year, I now feel like I’ve got my mojo back and am looking forward to blogging more in 2014. I hope you’re feeling the same. I’m really glad I discovered your blog as you seem like a kindred spirit!

  61. I honestly love that you’re open with us about your struggles with your job, or other things in life, and as I am a teen it helps me see what life might be like when I am older and newly married. That things won’t be peachy keen. I really think your honesty and openness is great, that we see that you don’t just read and that is all your life is. Keep it up!

    Marie @ Marie’s Bookworm Blog
    http://mariesbookwormblog.blogspot.com

Trackbacks

  1. […] Jamie talked about blogging when you aren’t feeling like yourself. […]

  2. […] This week, Jamie has written an incredibly personal and honest post about how she feels when she has to blog when she doesn’t feel herself. I found it to be an amazing and completely relatable post. Check it out here. […]

  3. […] Sometimes Blogging Can Be Hard… – Rachel @ Paper Cuts talks about finding the time to blog. – Christy @ Christy’s Book Addiction talks about five things she sucks at. – Jamie @ The Perpetual Page-Turner discusses the difficulty of blogging when you don’t feel like yourself. […]

  4. […] Jamie from Perpetual Page Turner shared with us how she blogs when she’s really not feeling herself […]

  5. […] I’ve been honest with you that I have been struggling with discouragement community-wise and personally this year. I think I’ve finally figured out the last piece of my WEIRDNESS towards blogging this year […]

  6. […] If We Were Having Coffee… – A Moment Of Truth On The Blogging Front & Blogging When You Don’t Feel Like Yourself – Beyond the Pages – Jamie Gets Self Conscious Sometimes About Blogging Things – One of the Hardest […]

  7. […] being patient with me when I’m slacking on blogging and trying to figure things out — when things have prevented me from replying back or commenting on your blogs. I promise you I value every SINGLE comment. Thank you for disagreeing with me and helping me see […]

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