Why I’ve been MIA (AKA, Breathing Is Important)

Awkward hello is awkward...

Awkward hello is awkward…

Hey guys…!

Yep, it’s me, Nikki. Oh, you don’t remember me? Then I bet you’re wondering what’s up, and who this strange person is – surely this is a mistake, because Nikki hasn’t posted in over a month! What’s going on?!

Well, let me first assure you that you aren’t imagining things. It’s me, I’m here, and I haven’t given up blogging! I’m sorry I didn’t make a “hiatus” post or anything like that – honestly, I didn’t think I would be away for long. And then when I realized I had sort of just disappeared for a couple weeks, I figured that I’d be coming back soon anyway, so there was no point in posting a “be back soon” post – obviously, that was a while ago. It… got away from me, yeah. I’m sorry! ♥

There are quite a few factors that have gone into my absence from There Were Books Involved, and because I respect everybody who takes the time to stop by and read my blog, I feel like I owe you all some explanation. The factors are two-sided: There’s the obvious busy-life stuff, but there’s also a little more to it…

First, the outside factors:

  1. I moved… to Seattle! (This may seem weird if you paid any attention to my Twitter profile, which has always said “Seattle” – but I used to live in a little town about 30 mins away, and now I am actually in Seattle.) It was kind of a whirlwind moving process, from apartment hunting to getting all moved in, over the course of one week. And since I’ve been saving money by living at my parents’ house since I graduated college, I never realized how long it takes to settle in to a new environment when you’re not just moving to a dorm for 9 months, but moving your self to a new place, for semi-permanent. It’s hard!
  2. Work has been really busy. I work at a computer all day M-F, so when work is stressful, all I want to do is get away from the computer when I’m done with work… which means I’m not blogging.
  3. And as a result of the two things above, my life is kind of re-organizing itself. My schedule is changing, and I’m still figuring out where my reading/blogging time fits into that. But I’m finally settling into more of a normal schedule, and I’ve had time for reading lately, so I think I’m finally getting ready to get back into reviewing.

But those are just immediate, event-oriented factors that went into my dropping TWBI in favor of being busy. There’s another factor that, upon reflection, probably had a lot to do with my month-long “break” just as much as the busy-ness did…

Honestly… I was burnt out on blogging. =S

It’s confession time: Bloggers intimidate me. And I don’t mean that like, “Wow you have so many followers and are so well-known in the blogging world, hello celebrity!” I mean like, “Holy crap how can they juggle real life and a job and reading SO MANY BOOKS and posting SO OFTEN??? They are superheroes!!!1!” All you bloggers who have awesome original features every week, and who post reviews so often, and who participate in memes and discussion posts and blog tours and, and… Wow. I have nothing but respect and admiration for you all.

But what does this have to do with me? Well, I set my personal blogging-ambition too high, and I tried to do too much, too fast. I started out posting 2 reviews and 2 memes per week, and then upped it to at least 3 reviews per week for quite a while. Still, in my overly-ambitious mind, I couldn’t (and still can’t) shut up that voice that says, “Are you serious? You think three reviews and two memes per week is hard? Wimp!”  I need to remember that what is “unreasonably high” for me, might be “ridiculously easy” for someone else, but that someone else isn’t me, so I shouldn’t worry about them.

Anyway, my previous blogging schedule, while possible, left me no room to breathe. And as we all know, breathing is important.

And then a month ago, I got thrown into this forced hiatus thanks to the apartment-hunt, and then moving, and work stress… But when that slowed down, I still felt the pull of wanting Free Time, rather than Blogging Time. It was nice. Suddenly, I didn’t have to worry about reading super-fast so I could write my 3 reviews per week… I could watch TV if I wanted to, and read Super Long Books that I’d been avoiding… I actually read The Name of the Wind and The Wise Man’s Fear! And I’m reading The Way of Kings! Guys, that’s crazy. Those books are big, yes – they’re 300-400,000 words long. But I’d been putting them off because I felt like I didn’t have time for them. How utterly ridiculous, to think that I don’t have time to read a book that I want to read!

Anyway… I don’t really know where I’m going with all this, except – I’m just coming to terms with the fact that book blogging doesn’t have to mean you’re tied to your computer and a strict reading-schedule all the time. I love reading, and I love writing about the books I read, and especially interacting with other bloggers who share those loves. But I was making it into a job, an obligation, a responsibility – and it’s not. For me, it’s a hobby – it needs to be a hobby, because I don’t have time for two full-time jobs ;) – and hobbies are supposed to be fun!

*sigh* I really didn’t mean for this post to turn into Nikki’s Blogging Confessions… I just wanted to explain all my blogging-emotions.

So that’s where my head’s been at lately.

However, there is one sort of wonderful thing that I have to mention, and that is – the lovely bloggers like Michelle (Unraveling Books), and Asti (A Bookish Heart), and Angie (Disquietus), who were all super sweet in checking up on me and asking when I’d be back…. Sometimes it takes the knowledge that people notice your absence, to make you want to be present.

*breathes* So I’m currently trying to figure out exactly how my blog is going to work now – or more accurately, how I am going to be working for the blog. I need to make sure that my passion doesn’t wane just because I set my goals unreasonably high. So I’ve decided that this weekend, I’m going to sit down, try to write a couple of reviews (but not pressure myself too much), and think about how I’m going to improve my blogging-mindset. That might mean only writing reviews immediately after I’ve finished a book, so they don’t pile up and become a marathon of “chores” to do rather than a discussion of my thoughts. That might mean posting fewer reviews and participating in more fun memes for a while while I get my feet back under me… I’d really like to come up with a fun discussion feature or something, but haven’t had any ideas yet – I think that would be something I’d enjoy. Pretty much I’m just trying to rekindle my love of blogging.

And I mean, I couldn’t have timed this better worse better no, I do mean “worse” — my 6-month blogging anniversary was this week. -_- *sigh* Quite the anniversary! But hopefully I can get back into the swing of things and come up with some fun stuff for my 6 7-month anniversary next month! I hope so. Because I love reading, and I love sharing that love with people, and I don’t want to ever stop loving those things.

bbt-shldpny-hugtiem

Please accept this awkward apology-hug! ♥

So yeah. I guess that’s it. We’ll see what the future holds, but hopefully… next week will see a little comeback here on There Were Books Involved. It’s been way too long.

13 thoughts on “Why I’ve been MIA (AKA, Breathing Is Important)

  1. Awww so glad to see you post again! It’s funny because I felt like I was seeing you on Twitter all the time so just assumed that I was seeing you on your blog as well and when I checked my feed last week and noticed that you hadn’t posted in a month I was like “Oh no!” So glad everything is okay! And it’s super understandable you needed a break. I think it’s easy to let what other bloggers do get to you. Just gotta figure out what’s best for you! (Haha, I know. Easier said than done!) The only way I managed to do as much as I have is because I’ve had an empty summer. Now with school coming even I’m worried about what I’m going to do. I managed a plan that I’m hoping I can stick to. I wish you luck in finding one that works for you <3 Thanks for keeping us updated!
    Asti (A Bookish Heart) recently posted: Bookish Games: Book Title Pictionary

    • Thanks for being so wonderful, Asti! Yep, I’ve been around Twitter (esp. these last couple weeks)… I missed everyone too much!

      Yep – I think the summer threw me off in what was “possible” for a blogger, too, because I know a ton of bloggers had their summers empty, so were posting a LOT… I didn’t factor in my full-time job when thinking, “Hey, I can do that!” heh ;) And I figure, with so many people going back to school, time for everyone else keeping up with reading blogs will be cut down too – so it’s really not a big deal if we post a little less often. ;)

  2. Awkward apology hug accepted (although there never needed to be an apology) :) I was feeling like that this summer too because I signed up for some blog review tours and now I’m stuck reading these books that I just don’t feel like reading. I’ve definitely cut back on trying to participate in blog tours and such and just do fun posts and the occasional review for now! You will find something that works for you! <3
    Michelle @ Unraveling Books recently posted: My Life Undecided – Jessica Brody

    • Aw, thank you Michelle! I got quite a few NetGalley books before I took my unintentional break, and now they’re kind of hanging over my head… *sigh* So I totally feel where you’re coming from. Your plan sounds like a good one for you, I’m glad you found something that works! I’m sure once I take the pressure off myself, I’ll stumble onto a new routine that will work for me, too. ;)

  3. Welcome back! I just moved also. I hate packing and unpacking. I’ve been blogging but I only reviewed 3 books last month (other months I did more than 10). But really, no one’s going to be mad. Take your time, or don’t. It’s fun. Fun. not a contest. (I’m reminding myself a little, too) haha

  4. I MISS seeing you post! <3 I did sort of wonder why you weren't around recently anymore, but I just thought maybe you were out doing something harmless and necessary, though I did think for a time that you had quit, which saddened me D: But now that things have been clarified– WELCOME BAAAAAAAACK!! I am honest to goodness looking forward to hearing from you again, and I really do think that regardless of the number of posts you manage to put up weekly, I (and so many other readers out there) will still love your blog, and you! Because you are amazing :) So yeah! Congrats on the half year anniversary too :D
    Jasmine @ Flip That Page recently posted: On Social Media And Promotion

  5. YAY FOR MOVING TO SEATTLE. I must find the time/money to come up there soon. I haven’t been in two years and it makes me sad because I love that city so much.

    Totally understand wanting to be away from the computer lol. What kind of work do you do?

    Blogging is overwhelming. I love reading and I love the community but writing the reviews is exhausting at times. Like I have four to write this weekend and all I want to do is anything else.

    I JUST MISSED YOU.

    You will get back into things. Finding a routine is hard. And I will be patiently awaiting your posts.
    Angie recently posted: Review: This Song Will Save Your Life by Leila Sales

  6. I think we all feel like that about keeping up with reviews and such. I think 3 a week is a LOT. I do one or two and there are the rare weeks when I may post 3 but that hasn’t happened often. This past week I got 1 post up. I took 2 whole days off and boy did it feel good. I’m glad you got a break and moved! Exciting! I love Seattle. I hope you can enjoy blogging again because we did miss you! I look forward to you upcoming posts! :D I LOVE that pic of David Tennant. Sigh.

    My Friends Are Fiction
    Kristen@My Friends Are Fiction recently posted: Review of Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson

  7. Yay, glad you’re back! And I totally understand the struggle of juggling real life stress with blogging. There have been times I have tempted to go on hiatus but for some reason I feel I can’t, and I think some of it is the pressure you mentioned of keeping up with other bloggers. I mean, I know I’m not going to have four reviews a week or even one thoughtful discussion post a week 100% of the time or have a thousand followers, so I don’t usually *think* I am trying to keep up with the bloggers’, until I remember that little pressure I do have to at least always be present. But sometimes, you’ve got to tend to life, nothing wrong with that. And sometimes we have to re-evaluate our schedules, I get that too. That’s something I’ve been needing to do as well. Hope you’re getting settled in at your new place!

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