I’m not sure anyone will remember me as I’ve been a negligent blogger. If I classed my blog as my baby then I’d have been a bad blogging daddy.😂😜 My blog (and SM which has also been deathly silent) has been dormant for well over a month, cast aside, forgotten, consigned to the blogging scrapyard and buried in the grave of abandoned blogs. But, I’ve raised my hand above the ground, dug up the coffin, unearthed the withered corpse within, dusted the cobwebs off and if anyone is still around then hello, how’s it going? Read any good books? Read any terrible books? Have I missed any drama?
At the end of January, I took a break from reading, burnout, a slump, whatever term you want to call it and I just didn’t feel like picking up a book and reading. I won’t rehash my words regarding the topic as I already wrote a blog post on it called ‘It’s OK to take a break‘ and, it is.👍 For anything in your life and for whatever reason it is OK to take a break. Then, a couple of days after posting I decided that while I was on a break from reading that I didn’t just want a break from reading (to be honest, I didn’t want a break from reading at all as I love reading and it was strange not to have any inclination to read). But, that I wanted, well, needed a break from blogging (my own blog and reading other blogs) as I had no inclination to blog and from SM too. So, I stepped back and went dark. Some might say that they took a hiatus. Me, I’ll just put it bluntly and say that you can be laughing (or being your usual sarcastic ass self – that’s me) on the outside while you are struggling on the inside and something had to give. I had no mental energy for living. Life can be hard when you have darkness within that follows you, that walks by your side and so, I fucked off as I needed some time to myself.😂😜
So, here I am six weeks later with a ramble. I struggle to find words when writing a review. When rambling I go on and on, succinct I am not. You’ll have to excuse me, I am old, old people ramble, it is what it is.😂😜
My time away has been my first real break, bar a few days here and there in four years of blogging. I actually missed my four year blogging anniversary which was on March 5th. So, to everyone who has ever liked, commented on, retweeted, shared, visited, viewed, followed (both my blog and SM accounts) and read my blog, thank you for being on this journey with me and for the support that you have shown me and my blog over the last four years.👍😃📚
I’d also like to thank those few people who checked up on me during my time away. It’s easy to be forgotten when you aren’t posting. But, surprisingly a few people noticed my absence, it is nice to know you are missed and that some people care enough to check-in. To those who bothered and you know who you are, I really appreciate it, thank you.😃
In the four years I’ve been blogging I have seen many bloggers come and go, many who were far better than me and who have left an imprint upon the blogging community. Whereas I am just a nobody who happens to have a blog.
I’ve been committed (not in that way though I am rather weird) and put a lot of effort into my blog since I started it and over the last year or so I really feel like it has gone backwards. The number of likes, comments, interaction and views are all generally less than they were and it sucks to see something that you have tried to build faltering and flatlining. Sure, stats (I’m not gonna lie though that getting 1,000 instead of 50 views continually on reviews would be awesome) aren’t really important, blogging isn’t a popularity contest and you should blog for yourself. But, at the same time stats aren’t a dirty word (if you are looking for a dirty word might I suggest cunt, the response that using that word gets when you throw it out there makes its usage both worthwhile and amusing. Or, if you don’t want to be vulgar, want to keep it PG and YA then, I suggest either dirt or filth, those two words by there very definition are dirty) and there is nothing wrong in wanting your posts (that you have put thought, time and effort into) to do well and to reach as many people as possible. Honestly, at times reviewing seems like a lot of effort just to talk to myself. I already do that anyway and I can make far more innuendos and swear far more talking to myself too.😂
There will always be someone with a bigger following, who writes better reviews and who is more liked, popular and respected than you. Likewise, there will always be some cool new kid on the blogging block that everyone loves and is around everywhere before they are yesterday’s news and replaced by yet another cool new blogger. Yes, we shouldn’t compare ourselves to others as we are all different and I know that. I still do it though and I always find myself lacking. It is imposter syndrome and it’s not that I’m bothered by what other people do, they can do whatever they want (though, it is probably best if they don’t ‘do’ animals as there is a law against that. Diddling a doggo, that’s a no-no, humping a hippo, that’s a no-no, ramming a rhino, that’s a no-no, licking a llama, that’s a no-no, gobbling a goose, that’s a no-no, sucking a sloth, that’s a no-no, you get the picture, doing animals is wrong). But, the incessant feeling that I’m not good enough to be a blogger, that I don’t fit in, that blogging is a lonely place and that I have failed to make many who I can class as friends in the community, that no-one cares about what I have to say about books (because sometimes it really feels that way. That unless you contribute to one of the huge blogs/websites or, are mega-popular and respected that your opinion on a book is irrelevant), that I don’t comment enough (I hardly do nowadays which, I guess means, according to most that I’m not really a blogger cos blogging is supposedly all about interacting), that I don’t read enough blogs, that I don’t read enough books and that my reviews aren’t good enough. All little things. But, little things that niggle and can fester.
Side note: I’m not even going to mention the constant blogger bashing that seems to occur over bloggers not being ‘real‘ readers. Honestly, that shit shouldn’t bother me, you or anyone with a blog as it is a big steaming pile of sloppy and stinking BS. But, for many it does and it makes you question the point of having a blog if bloggers are held in such low regards by people.
On the flip side to all the negativity I also think that I’ve accomplished quite a lot with blogging, far more than I ever imagined and especially for a small blogger too. I’ve been quoted on press releases, on the Amazon page of books, in books and on the back cover of a few books too. Never a hardback that won’t happen and never on the front cover either, again, that won’t happen. But, like most others, I don’t do this for any recognition (is being recognised for having a blog even a thing? I mean, sure, politeness and a little acknowledgement is always nice but, recognition, nah, I can’t really see it. Though there are probably those who think that they are famous and deserve recognition), it’s all about the book love and I haven’t done too badly for a little unknown blog and someone who doubts everything that they write.
Which brings me (belatedly cos, I had a little tangent, remember where I said that I’m old and I ramble) to the self-doubt related to blogging and the constant doubting over whether my reviews are good enough. Honestly, it is draining and it eats away at me. How I envy those who write, publish and think that what they have written is amazing without doubting a single word! Me?! I doubt the quality, if I have written enough, if I have gone into enough detail, the grammar, the reused words, the same phrases that I repeat over and over again and the reviews themselves that all sound the same just with a different title of the book and author name. Taking a step back this last month, writing no reviews and having a break from the doubt was nice. Sadly, my self-doubt isn’t only related to my blog and it is a burden that I carry in every aspect of my life, daily and that has still been in full force. Maybe one day I won’t feel worthless.😢
I’m not sure I’m the same person as when I started blogging or, maybe I am and that’s the problem, I don’t know. I’m still broken, I know that and I have been for many years. I always will be, some days I’m just better at hiding it than others. Four years ago I jumped into blogging simply for something to do a couple of weeks after I had to have my dog put to sleep (to this day I still miss my dog and I always will, we don’t deserve dogs, they are more than animals, they are the best of us). Surprisingly, I enjoyed it far more than I thought that I would, stuck with it and it quickly turned from ‘something to do‘ to ‘something that I enjoyed‘. But, that was a long time ago and though it has taken years over the last few months I’ve found the enjoyment slipping and blogging itself to be more like a chore than a hobby. However, that might not necessarily be down solely to my blog. It could also be down to the fact that I have grown tired of the darkness, of the dark clouds that seem to gather and of the demons that follow me around. I have to admit that since the beginning of the year I’ve been struggling with life, going through the motions, feeling numb and battling to keep the dark thoughts at bay. I’ve written before about depression and dark days and sometimes, the mask slips and the darkness inside is there for all to see.
I’ve been contemplating what to do with my blog these last few weeks and whether or not to carry on or quit, turn and walk away. Honestly, I haven’t really known which way the cards would fall and if I’d become another fallen blogger or not. It is hard to look to the future when you don’t want to be there. If I’m being brutally honest, I have enjoyed my break away perhaps a bit too much. But, looking at it, if I’m reading a book then I might as well knock out a few words afterwards and if I’m doing that then I might as well do it in a place that is my own (my little blog) and not just Amazon and Goodreads. So, I finally came to the decision that my blog will continue.
However, I won’t be posting anywhere near as much as I have done in previous years. I’ve never been the most prolific poster. But, I have managed to amass over 1,100 posts in the four years that I’ve been blogging. Going forward, I’ll probably be what is classed as a part-time blogger (yeah, I can see those who say that you need to post consistently and post daily to be a blogger shaking their head and saying I’m not a dedicated blogger). There will be weekly Music Monday posts (those bad boys are drafted up well in advance), a review (maybe even reviews, plural on some weeks and, on other weeks no review), the occasional book haul post (they usually appear when I have enough books to constitute a haul so, every month or, every couple of months books depending) and if the mood takes me, then maybe a meme, a tag or a personal post will feature once in a blue moon too. But, to begin with, I just want to focus on dipping my feet back into the sordid and debauched world of blogging. Hell, in the future I might even have an author appear, who knows. Though honestly, I got tired of featuring authors as they just drop and run and only come sniffing around when they have a book to pimp. Which, yeah, it is to be expected. But still, it often feels like there is no sense of gratitude for having them appear and some come across as entitled, like they are doing you the favour and like it is expected of you to accommodate them just because you have a blog…it’s not. Authors and bloggers work best together when both realise that it is a symbiotic relationship, mutually beneficial and better together than apart. Or, better together than when either party is acting entitled and like a twat.
I think that things can hit you hard simply because you care and, sad as it sounds I care about my blog. For a long time I loved having a blog, I enjoyed blogging and I’m hoping that I can find that feeling again. As of the weekend, I’m back to reading (finally) albeit slowly and not always daily (I flew through The Memory Wood by Sam Lloyd on Sunday and Monday, absolutely brilliant book, review to come next week. But, since then I’ve been floundering over my next book as the Coronavirus is worrying me – not to bothered for myself though I’d rather not get ill. But, I’m worried for my mother who is high-risk and vulnerable as she is getting on in years and has a very weak immune system) which for a slow reader means glacial and, with this post, I’m back to blogging too.
So, yeah, if anyone got this far the short of it is that my blog isn’t dead yet and I’m sticking around.