Guess Who’s Back, Back Again?*

Posted April 29, 2016 by LeahAdmin in Blogging & Challenges / 54 Comments

Guess Who's BackHello booklings! Can I first just say how much I’ve missed you all? I had no idea how disconnected my blogging hiatus would make me feel, and I’ve missed the excitement, nerdery, and smart conversations. (I have also really appreciated the ways many people have stayed in touch!) Although I’m still working on finding a healthy balance in my life between, work, the boyfriend (we’ll call him bae), running, reading, and necessary time to myself, for the last few weeks I’ve felt the blogging itch. I’m still not reading anywhere near as much as I used to, but I’ve been picking up books that excite me, and my head is buzzing with post ideas. I’ve been quietly drafting posts whenever I feel the urge, with the plan of bringing the blog back “when I’m able to accomplish X.” Yesterday, I realized that kind of conditional thinking is a great way to never actually re-launch the site, so I might as well just go for it now, while I feel like I have some momentum. This is a year for fresh starts, so I plunked down some tax return dollars on a new WordPress theme and spent the evening tweaking it.

BSV Round 2 is going to be a bit different than it was before. It’s really important to me that blogging never feels like a job or a chore or something I have to do, so I’m making some changes and adjusting my vision. This is what I have in mind:

I AM going to:

  • Throw away the editorial calendar and write the posts I want to write, when I want to write them
  • Keep trying to write about books in fresh ways. This means fewer traditional reviews and more engaging approaches to talking about books
  • Cut down on the number of books I request/accept for review consideration. To reduce the pressure and the number of “meh” books I read, I’m going to try to stick to new books from authors I already love and maybe the very occasional book that has been exceptionally, glowingly blurbed by authors I respect
  • Make an effort to engage with bloggers more; I really let this slide while on hiatus, and I’m excited to get back into reading blogs!

I am NOT going to:

  • Hold myself to any type of schedule; my goal is to write one or two posts per week, but I’m not going to stress myself out about it
  • Write about every book I read. If I don’t have something to say about a title, or I can’t come up with an interesting way to discuss it, I’m not going to waste my own (or readers’) time by trying to force it
  • Participate in as many memes. When I’m not reading multiple books a week, it doesn’t make sense to do What I’m Reading Monday posts. I was never very guilty of the following, but I’m also not going to rely on Top Ten Tuesdays as a way to fatten up my posting schedule

Basically, my goal is to focus less on arbitrary notions of what a book blog SHOULD be and more on what makes me happy and inspired. To borrow a lyric from Hamilton (because that is what my life is now), my blogging motto is basically going to be, “No stress, my love for you is never in doubt.” I’ll read and write some blog posts, and I’ll figure it out.

*Guys, I’m sorry, I can’t help it. I’m apparently still a twelve-year-old suburbanite who gets Without Me stuck in my head on a regular basis.

  • Welcome back! Your post really resonates with me — I had to stop my own conditional thinking in order to “unblock” and get back to enjoying reading and blogging. I’m slowly feeling it again, too — and not feeling stressed about it!

    Looking forward to reading your bookish thoughts — always excited to see what other readers love/are provoked by!

    • Thanks! I feel like figuring out ways to take the stress out of the equation is key to creativity and enjoyment. I’m glad you’re starting to feel better as well!

  • I’M SO HAPPY, MY DAY IS MADE. BUY BEA TICKETS RIGHT NOW!!!!!!

  • Welcome back!

  • I’m so glad you’re back! These are all great goals and really how blogging should be to keep things fun. I’m on mobile now but can’t wait to get home and see how great your new site looks on the big screen.

  • Welcome back! I think the parameters you’ve set will ensure that you don’t get burned out by blogging, that it’s something fun that you enjoy doing! I’m excited for you!

    *Never apologize for invoking Eminem.

  • Words for Worms

    THE EARWORM, LEAH! OH THE HUMANITY! (And Welcome Back!!!)

  • Yay! We’ve missed you. <3 Also, I love the new look!! I've been thinking of redesigning my own blog but am soooooooo lazy. This is going to be my inspiration! Really like your note about a new approach to reviews and such, and can't wait to see what you have in store.

    So sad you won't be at BEA but understand. You just keep living your best life 🙂

    • Thanks lovely 🙂

      I’m truly so bummed to be missing BEA, but I can’t wait to see all of your posts and pictures!

  • Kelly TheWellReadRedhead

    Woohoo!!! Welcome back 🙂 Sounds like a great blogging plan to me! I still have blogging ruts from time to time, but a year or so ago when I just fully let go of any sort of posting schedule or goal (in terms of posts per week/month), everything became so much easier to handle. Can’t wait to read your posts again!

  • I’m glad to see you shifting to a blogging style that makes you happy. I think I’ve been around with you since nearly the beginning, before your blog was so huge. This sounds more like how you used to blog. I’m trying to get back to that too. Cheers!

  • Oh my gosh – YAY! I’m so glad to see you back! I’ve missed your recommendations (you steered me toward some of my favorite reads last year!) and love the new look. I’m also glad to hear you’ve figured out a way to balance everything so that you stay inspired and it works for you.

    PS – I’m having the “meh” books problem this year and have felt far less inspired than last year. So maybe your renewed inspiration will inspire me!

  • Yay! Missed you so much! I’m with you on ALL of these visions for the blog. I’m just doing my own thing and it feels great. Can’t wait to read more about you, the books you’re reading and other good stuff going on in your life.

  • So glad you’re back. You’ve been missed. And I agree, blogging should be pressure-free and about what makes you happy. I’m trying to stick to that idea more as well.

  • Noora

    Glad to hear you’re back! I’m also considering making a return because my life/stress-imposed hiatus went from one or two months two to now over seven months. I don’t even know if I can write a proper review anymore as it’s been so long since my last one 😀 But I hope you’re no-stress-max-enjoyment will work for you – I’ll look forward to reading your posts!

  • Leah Leah Leah!! I’m so happy you’re back- in whatever way, shape or form you want- it’s all good to me! And if your head is buzzing with ideas- that’s the best! So excited to ‘see’ you again.

  • Yes to all of these. I’m still around, but pretty much in the deepest blogging funk ever. I miss the community a ton, but haven’t really gotten back into it. Yet. I’m still hoping to.

  • YAY!!! I’m so glad you’re back!

  • Yay!! Welcome back Leah! Your list of changes is fantastic – I love that approach, and hope that round 2 brings back all of the joy of blogging for you, and none of the meh.

  • Welcome back!!

  • Elena

    Yessss to everything you’ll be doing!!! So happy to have you back and to see this new and fresh approach to blogging and reading 😀

  • Halllooooo! Welcome back! You’ve been missed. Your approach is basically a much more thought-out version of what I do (I’ve never, ever been good at that whole scheduling posts thing). It’s been the only way to keep things sane for myself. I hope it works for you! Can’t wait to see what you do here.

  • HOORAY! I love and endorse all of your dos and don’ts for your triumphant blogging return. 🙂

    I hear you so much on the conditional thinking. Sometimes you just have to dive in with both feet and not worry how it’s going to turn out. The best part is, if this doesn’t work, it just means things are a little quieter than you’d intended. Not exactly a high-risk outcome. 😉

  • Welcome back! And like everyone else had said, huzzah for blogging the way that works best for you!

  • Wonderful goals! Sounds like you’ve got a very chilled out and fun reading/blogging time ahead of you 😀

  • Amanda

    Welcome back! I love your goals!

  • Welcome back, Leah!! Your new goals are great, less pressure!

  • Awesome! Your news plans sound like a lot of fun. Welcome back!

  • woohoo! welcome back Leah! Your goals are perfect and I’m so glad you’re back!