Onward…

I’ve been sitting here with my notebook open to one page for the past week or so. It’s blank for the most part except for a title that says, “The Perpetual Page-Turner Moving Forward in 2014.” I can’t seem to get anything down. It’s been an interesting year for me. Blog-wise it’s been pretty great minus this weird slump. I’ve read a lot of great books. A lot of my problem has been with feeling unbalanced and then my personal life stuff which HAS affected blogging as I’ve told you.

I would have never in a million years thought I’d still be without a job. I’m fabulous, competent and very enthusiastic. What gives? It’s been a frustrating, demoralizing process and it’s taken a lot for me to keep up my spirits. I’d say being laid off has taught me a lot of lessons but that’s a topic for another day. It’s just been plain ol’ hard.

So, really, I have a lot to figure out for 2014 for this blog and personally. What do I want out of life? What do I want for this blog moving forward? I’m the type of person who really does get energized by the new year. I know I can change and plan at any point through the year but there’s just something I like about wiping the slate clean with a new year.

So when I couldn’t get anything down on paper I decided to just write it out like I was talking to you all…and sure enough the words are just coming. So here we go…

Planning-wise & Rejuvenation:

 

1. I want to slow down my reviews for the rest of December. I typically review or feature a book in a review-y sort of way (Save the Date, Before I Blogged I Read, Reshelved) 2 times a week. I’m going to only do one book review per week for the rest of this month.

2. I am probably not going to post during the week of Christmas or at least a couple days surrounding it — with the exception of Top Ten Tuesday because I need to tell Santa what I want.  I believe a vacation is in order. We take vacations in life to rejuvenate and let our brains rest a bit so why not in blogging? I’m very pro blogging vacations! I will also vow to myself not to touch any blog related stuff during this time.

2a. But what about traffic? EH well I don’t care THAT much but I did think it would be fun for my little vacation if I tweeted and posted on Facebook links to my “greatest hits” of 2013 on the blog so that way if you missed things from earlier in the year you might be able to catch them now.

3. I’m going to slow down my social media usage for the rest of the month. Time to recharge, watch Christmas movies, spend extra time with family, etc.

Miscellaneous Thoughts About Blogging Next Year

1. I want to make my reviews shorter/less review-y. I feel like I’m not enjoying the reviewing process anymore but I loooove TALKING about books and that comes easily. Even though mine are very conversational, I still get hung up on them. I didn’t create this blog because I love REVIEWING..I created it because I loved TALKING about books. So I need to develop a way to be less book REVIEW and more book TALK when it comes to my “reviews”/thoughts on books. They will still be reviews and the same conversational tone but I may be tweaking what it looks like.

2. Decide if I just want this to be a mostly bookish blog. I think I do. But I need to consider if I could merge my two ideas or just let that be an extension of this blog. WE WILL SEE. Basically it’s all the same thoughts of THIS post.7. Get back to the awesome commenting I used to do. I don’t comment just for the sake of commenting but I really, genuinely love supporting other bloggers! This year has been abysmal for me in terms of commenting. I mentioned before in this post a little why but I really want to get out of that.

3. Consider posting less. I typically post 5x a week right now. It would give me time to act on other ideas outside of this blog. However, I always get hung up on having so many post ideas that I could REALLY post 7x a week if I wanted to. Need to find balance and figure out what is important. This is the biggest thing going forward because I have talk a lot about another project I have and this could help me to do both!

4. Reconsider some of my past and current features. Decide what I want to get rid of and revamp ones I let go of for a bit.

5. Take action on my list of new feature/ mini series ideas and see what I actually want to do.

6. Make “If We Were Having Coffee” a regular thing. I loved the feedback, I loved giving you a “state of my life” type thing and I just really liked it in general. I STILL have comments to reply to on that post and emails to respond to. I love you guys.

7. Get back to commenting/visiting blogs in the way that I used to. I truly love the community and supporting other bloggers and reading what they have to say. I’ve been really BAD at commenting this year and it used to be something that I did really well and enjoyed doing. I don’t comment just to comment but I miss visiting other blogs as much as I used to. I know that I have my reasons for why I haven’t but 2014 I’m really, really going to carve out some time to do this and make it a priority.

Whew! Now that I’ve gotten that all out I can really use these thoughts to refocus this month and begin my bookish resolutions post (these are mine from LAST year)!

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About Jamie

Jamie is a 28 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 gelato, listening to music with oversized headphones and teaching her niece how to be as awesome as she is.

Comments

  1. I get what you’re saying. I only started blogging 4 months ago, but already I feel like it’s kind of dominating my life. And I have school- I’m still a Junior in high school! But I’m happy with what I’m doing. I just discovered the magic of book review blogging and I’m not about to let that go. Considering what more experienced bloggers like you have said, I’m in for a long hard run with many ups and downs, but it looks to be worth it. I also have abandoned tons of my hobbies and extracurriculars but I have thrown myself into reading/blogging because I feel like it’s the one thing I’ve kept all these years and never lost interest in.
    Recently I’ve been posting over 10x per week and that may be a bit much. I’m probably neglecting some school work. But I have reshuffled my priorities and don’t mind so much. It’s blogging I feel passionate about, so it’s blogging I’m going to spend more time on.
    In fact, I’ve sort of decided on some resolutions for next year that may be a bit opposite yours. I am going to try to post more and start more features, get my blog really going and start getting into the community aspect of blogging. I’ve done a bit but I don’t have that many followers and I feel like the more I post, the more people will chance upon my blog and want to discuss things. I started blogging mostly to make reading, which was before only a solitary activity, into a community thing. I like talking about books.
    I don’t mean to let it control my life, but it is certainly the thing I want to spend more time on. Who knows, maybe after a year I’ll quit this like I’ve quit everything else. But I started reading at age 3 and never stopped, so I think I’m in this for the long run. I have a job at a local grocery store and lots of school work and piano, so not much free time to devote to this, but I’m going to take advantage of the time I have. I don’t regret what I’ve done so far. I feel like it freed me as a person to be completely and utterly myself.
    I love your blog though, and wish you luck in 2014. We all will need it. I look forward to seeing what you change, and I will keep an eager eye on the horizon for your few remaining posts this month. (:

    -Alicia

  2. Good for you. You have to do what’s best for you. Which means happy you makes for happy me. Which I know is pretty much the most CRINGEWORTHY I could say. But it’s true. I’ve adjusted how I few blogging. There is a side of it I don’t like. The greediness. The cliqueness. Mostly cause that’s not me. Or I don’t want it to be me. And it’s hard for that to not hurt my feelings, but it does. (But really, did I not leave high school? I swore I did!) But that helped me remind me why I blog. I blog with my BFF and we blog assuming the only other person who reads it is the other person.

    Plus, I’m that weird blogger/librarian hybrid which is always fun.

  3. Thanks for this awesome post! I appreciate your “If We Were Having Coffee” type posts because I think it encourages more bloggers to be open and to share the important stuff. I can relate to your feelings about not finding a job–I am going through a similar process and it’s tough. Vision casting and thinking about those plans you have that you haven’t gotten to yet sounds like a superb idea. I have just created a vision board, and haven’t done that in so long–it’s getting me a lot more excited about the future! I hope your holidays are relaxing, peaceful, and rejuvenating. Hang in there–you will find the perfect job at the right time!

  4. You have amazing goals moving forward. I’m excited for the new year in the blogging world. I really do love following your blog. Some of my favorites posts are the ones where you talk about your life along with books.

  5. I am so glad you realize that you ARE fabulous, competent and enthusiastic and the places that don’t hire you are total asswads and don’t deserve your beautiful, hardworking face!

    I have a lot to think about for 2014 as well. Thanks for getting my gears moving thinking about where I’m headed!

    Oh and yes more “if we were having coffee” posts would be rad. But truthfully all your ideas are magical. I’m excited to see what other greatness you drop on us! oxoxo

  6. First of all, I have to applaud your courage in both writing and publishing this post. I’ve never been particularly comfortable acknowledging, much less openly discussing my flaws or personal struggles. I invariably end up feeling embarrassed, awkward, or simply unworthy, and for that reason I truly admire how authentic and honest you’re able to be. It’s certainly one of the things I most appreciate about The Perpetual Page-Turner, and I only wish I could do the same! Although it might not always feel like it, please know that you’re a continual inspiration to many, including myself.

    Although I’ve only been blogging for a short seven months, I can certainly understand where you’re coming from when you talk about the pastime monopolizing your time. As much as I adore book blogging (And I do! Truly!) I think many people underestimate the enormous amount of time, effort and energy it takes to do it consistently. I find myself thinking of it at all hours of the day and night, and much of my free time is devoted to it. It gets to the point that even reading often takes a backseat to the act of blogging itself. It’s no wonder you’re in need of a little time off! You work so hard and it’s clear you put so much of yourself into The Perpetual Page-Turner – It’s little wonder that you’re beginning to feel a little overwhelmed with it all. I know I speak for many of your regular readers when I say that we’ll be here when you return, whether it be in a day, a week or even a month. Your blog is so special and so you. It’s worth waiting a little longer for a new post from you!

    As to posting five days a week, that’s something I really struggle with as well. I take a lot upon myself, and while I know much of my stress and the pressure I feel is self-inflicted, I find it extremely difficult to change, even if I know my behaviour isn’t healthy. Logically, I know the world won’t end if I don’t post five days a week, Monday-Friday on a regular schedule, but that doesn’t stop my stomach from churning or the sense of failure I experience when I miss a day. This is something I would really like to work on in 2014. Like you, I’m hoping I’ll somehow devise a strategy to find a better sense of balance in my life. So far this experience has been one of the most fun and fulfilling of my life, but I worry that if I continue on in the same way I’ll slowly kill all enjoyment of it as it morphs into a job or an obligation I resent. I want to keep the magic alive for as long as possible, as silly as that may sound.

    Whatever you decide to do in the new year, please know that we will be here to support you. Ultimately, it’s about doing what makes you happy. Because really, what more can we really ask for? And if you ever want to talk, I know that I’m always willing to lend an ear and would be happy to share my phone number if you ever want to send me a text. Sometimes all we really need is for someone to hear us. *Hugs*

    Wishing you all the best for the new year, but I don’t think you’ll need it. You’re brilliant, enthusiastic, creative and have all the tools necessary to lead a really successful life. Those employers don’t know what they’re missing, and it’s only a matter of time before you get snapped up by one who will be lucky to have you! :)

  7. Jamie, I adored your If We Were Having Coffee post! I loved how you expressed real emotions but said you’d do things like ask if your hair looked okay, because it assures me we totally would get along if we had coffee. When I go out with friends, we definitely talk about fun stuff, but sometimes I find myself chatting about the direction of my professional life, which is not something I’m fully prepared to share on the Internet yet. So I wanted to comment on that post and it really touched me, but I also have to be wary of what I make publicly readable. Clearly I just owe you an e-mail!

    I’m hoping to comment on more blogs as well next year! The thing is now that I’m working full time sometimes by the time I work on my blog and read, I feel too tired to comment on other people’s blogs. Leaving meaningful comments on other people’s blogs is so rewarding in terms of community, but it is time consuming. I’d also like to add a bit more of a personal touch to my blog. Mentioning my personal life seems to resonate with my readers, so I’m hoping to do more of that in 2014.

  8. I admire you for being able to put everything you are feeling into written words.

    I think your thoughts are very well constructed and they all are realistic (which is important when working out some goals). Remember, too, to live your life the way YOU want to. Don’t let others around you affect how you live it. That isn’t to say you can’t take into consideration what others say, but ultimately it is YOUR choice, so go with what you feel is right :)

    Good luck with everything- I can tell you, I have been through the same job situation (been more than qualified, but still was constantly being overlooked), but in the end it all works out :)

  9. I totally get what you’re saying about blogging taking up a major portion of your life. Sometimes I wonder if I should cut back. I post six days a week and it’s just so time consuming. I love it. Truly, I do, but sometimes I wonder if I’m neglecting other things in my life. I feel like blogging is a full-time job itself if you take into account the reading time. I’ve been blogging like 8 months and just got auto-approved for Harper on Edelweiss. Well let me tell you, the shiny books made me go a little crazy with downloads and I think I definitely overcommitted on the ARCs. So for next year (once I get through all my ARCs I now have) I want to have less ARCs and a good mix of new releases and older releases as well. There are so many older books out there that I haven’t read yet. (Like Vampire Academy and HP!) Oh, and I also want to try to edit my review style a bit for the same reasons you’re saying. I want to gush about books, not formally review them, you know? No matter how often you post, your followers will remain loyal to you. At least I will. I love your blog and will definitely not stop reading just because you post less.

  10. You have some wonderful ideas, Jamie! I think they will all help you take a deep breath and come back refreshed in 2014. :) For the record, you know I’ll always read ANYTHING you post here. I’ve been thinking about doing a monthly smaller version of the “If We Were Having Coffee…” like a small personal check-in, even though on my blog I feel like no one reads those posts. It’s frustrating, but I always want to be open with my readers, and that means bookish stuff and personal stuff.

    I probably will be on social media a little less, I know I’m going to do your year-in-review survey for the week of Christmas, because I’ll be spending time with the family. I love that you’ll be doing that too, and YES to Christmas movies. :D

  11. “1. I want to make my reviews shorter/less review-y. I feel like I’m not enjoying the reviewing process anymore but I loooove TALKING about books and that comes easily. Even though mine are very conversational, I still get hung up on them. I didn’t create this blog because I love REVIEWING..I created it because I loved TALKING about books. So I need to develop a way to be less book REVIEW and more book TALK when it comes to my “reviews”/thoughts on books. They will still be reviews and the same conversational tone but I may be tweaking what it looks like.”

    I love this idea! I absolutely agree with you! I get stressed out sometimes about having to write reviews. It’s also really, really hard to write them without spoilers when what I really want to do is rant or rave about all the things!

  12. I totally understand this whole thing! I’m still trying to balance everything I have going on too. I have no idea what I’m going to do if/when I start school next year (and hopefully I will if I get the scholarships). The only I have to say is, don’t ever stop blogging, Jamie. I love your blog because it’s still bookish but it’s different from all the other book blogs out there. It’s fun too just come over here and read a blog post like this. I love the relaxed atmosphere.

  13. Glade your contining the coffee posts. I really enjoyed that. Taking a vacation sounds like fun.

  14. I totally get what you’re saying – especially the part about the unemployed thing. I can’t believe it’s looking like I’m going to end 2013 without a job. Sigh. I have to start thinking about planning what I want to do next year. May as well use this free time for good! Thank you, as always, for sharing this with us :)

  15. A vacation is a great idea! Sometimes you just really need one. Blogging can get really stressful :P
    But seriously I know what you mean about the whole reviewing thing. I have been reviewing for about an year and while I love talking about books, reviews can sometimes take so much effort. Having to organize your thoughts into something that is halfway coherent and tells people what they need to know can be tiring :/

    I really do hope you find a job soon Jamie! I am no good with resolutions but I do hope you accomplish what you want to next year! ENJOY your vacations and recharge :)

  16. Jaime, it takes a lot of courage to write about personal struggles and be vulnerable. I have a hard time doing it but after reading your post, I have gained some courage of my own to come face-to-face with my own problems.

    I’ve been blogging for a while now and I know how you feel about blogging taking up most of your time. I love the community, the people and everything about blogging but sometimes I feel so tired and burned out by it. There’s a constant need to succeed with every post and have that reflected in social media, comments and more. I don’t know how I’m going to change my blog for 2014 but you’ve got some great ideas.

    Whether or not you decide to go through with all of your ideas, we support you. I love your blog, regardless of what changes may come and I know others do, too. You have incredible enthusiasm and it’s only time that employers take notice. Whoever does will be lucky to have you! Best of luck with everything! Happy holidays and new year to you! ^.^

  17. I love how honest and up-front you are on your blog! I’ll also be honest and tell you that, although I DO enjoy your reviews, I often skim those (and the reviews on most of the other blogs that I follow), but I devour each and every word of all the other posts that you write. I started following your blog specifically because you post so much unique content that is really unlike any other blog. And I TOTALLY agree with you — reviews are sometimes really hard to write, but talking about books is so much more fun! My reviews have also become much shorter over the course of keeping up with my blog, and I’ve found that I enjoy writing about other bookish things more than I enjoy writing reviews.

    I hope that you keep up with your “If We Were Having Coffee…” feature because that was one of my all time favourites. I did one on my blog as well, and received some incredibly thoughtful comments back. It was really inspiring and empowering to realize that the few people who follow my blog really CARE about more than just book reviews, and it felt really good to put a little bit of myself out there for the world to see.

  18. I have my blog schedule outlined for January. I just have to find the motivation to actually get the posts written. I’ve lost steam with book reviews for sure. I have 21 on my Kindle and a dozen that I left behind at my parents house that need to be reviewed and I couldn’t possibly be less interested. I’m in a reading slump, too, which doesn’t help.

  19. I love your If We Were Having Coffee feature. It’s a great way to incorporate life stuff into the blog without diluting your blog’s image.

  20. I am the kind of person that really finds the new year to be a rejuvenating experience, too. I’m looking forward to the changes I will make for 2014 and the new goals I will set for myself, on my blog, in my reading life, and in my daily life. I’m so sorry that things this year have been so hard after your lay-off and I hope things look up in 2014!!!

  21. I’m in the same mindset with my blog – it’s time to consider what I do and do not want to do with my blogging space, and how I will proceed in 2014. Like you I’ve had a lot of life changes this year, and it’s dramatically affected not only my writing but even my reading. I have certainly posted less, and while that bothers me, it was also necessary for my own peace of mind. I think the idea of a blogging vacation is a great one and I hope you are able to do so! I also like the idea of regular check ins… Perhaps I’ll develop something similar and then we can compare notes :-)

  22. I blogged VERY sporadically during 2013, and I definitely want to change that in 2014, but like you I’ve been trying to figure out a way to talk about books without really “reviewing” them. It is so easy to stay motivated when you can just jot down a few thoughts about a book instead of having to come up with an entire review.

    I’m thinking about doing them in batches of three – just a paragraph or so about each. Not sure yet, but I’m experimenting. I’ll be curious to see what new format you land on! :)

  23. I find your distinction between “reviewing” and “talking” about a book interesting. Maybe that’s why I am not enjoying writing reviews so much myself anymore. When I’m reading a book, all I want to do is talk about it. But the word “review” make it seem too serious or something. I don’t know, maybe I’m overthinking it. But I like your bullet point on this, it got me thinking in a way that might better articulate my thoughts. I’m looking forward to your blog in 2014! Enjoy your Christmas break! :)

  24. I definitely know how you feel – when I transitioned jobs this summer I couldn’t believe how long it took me to find another job. I ended up getting a job I found on Craigslist that has nothing to do with my career goals, so I’m still job-searching while working full-time so I can have a paycheck. It is a little exhausting. But good luck and I’m excited to see what you do with the blog next year! :) You are definitely one of my favorite reads, so I’m glad you’re sticking with it!

  25. YOU GO JAMIE! I admire you for being so honest and open with your readers all the time. It’s definitely one of the things that makes The Perpetual Page-Turner so uniquely YOU! That’s why I always love when you do posts like these, because they just help us all get to know you a little bit better.

    In terms of your December plans, I think they’re solid. It’s the holidays after all! I’ve always thought it was more important to enjoy the time spent with friends and family, especially if you’ve got get-togethers planned like I do. So less reviewing and sporadic posting seems pretty fitting to me!

    For your goals next year, I love that you’re really trying to dive deep and get back to the place where blogging was happy and easy and genuinely fun for you. If that involves switching up your reviewing style, adding more personal tidbits to the blog (which is something I’m personally considering as well), lessening your amount of posts or switching out or making new features, I’m all for it. As long as it remains genuinely YOU and genuinely enjoyable, I think you should go for it!

  26. Will be interested to see how you do manage to solve the book review/ talk about book problem. I have tried a few different ways this year but nothing is sitting comfortably – is not a chore yet but worried it might. I want to do chatty things to not just reviews.

    May 2014 is the time for change for me :) Change is scary sometime!

Trackbacks

  1. […] Years – Jamie @ The Perpetual Page-Turner discusses her blogging thoughts for 2014. – Johannah @ The Broken Shelf plans which books she needs to read for 2014. – Jamie @ The […]

  2. […] up in how I do things around here. I was reading Jamie’s (Perpetual Page Turner) post about moving forward into 2014, and some of the goals she made for herself, one of which is “talk about books, not review […]

  3. […] the most thought-provoking or thoughtful discussion posts. Some of my favourites this year include Onward… (A reflection on The Perpetual Page-Turner’s future), If We Were Having Coffee…, and […]

  4. […] Jamie has been talking about her plans for her blog next year. It’s interesting to see and I think it’s something that we all do as the year comes to a close. Have a look at this great post, here. […]

  5. […] know when I shared a bit about my thoughts for this blog in 2014, I said I was slowing down on reviews for this month but I absolutely HAD to tell you guys about […]

  6. […] Jamie from The Perpetual Page-Turner shares with us her thoughts on what she wants to do in 2014. […]

  7. […] again, Jamie over at at The Perpetual Page-Turner offers bloggers the opportunity to  reflect upon their blogging year. Who doesn’t love […]

  8. […] to do things I’m not passionate about anymore. So I let it go for a while but lately, as I reevaluate things for this blog in 2014, I’ve decided that I’d like to bring it back and breathe some fresh air into it. […]

  9. Top Ten says:

    […] had talked in my Onward post about how I was taking December to really think about some things for 2014 and to take a […]

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