(Psst: contest winners are at the end of this post!)
After spending my last quarterly update explaining that I was NOT going to go on a break, despite being in a rut… I’m here to tell you I’m going on a break because I’m in a rut. Who saw that coming?
For the rest of October, I’m taking a break from:
- Social media: Twitter, no Facebook, no Instagram, no Goodreads. Within reason. If you send me a DM or whatever, I’ll go pick it up.
- Posting here: Mostly. I have a review in-progress that I will finish because I’m really excited to share (Spat the Dummy be Ed Macdonald.)
- Reading blogs: Except my very favourites. I unfollowed about 200 blogs (!!) on my WordPress reader yesterday *and it feels so good.*
- Requesting/accepting review copies: self-explanatory.
- Reviewing books: kind of hard when I won’t be posting here or on Goodreads.
In addition to being in a reading rut, I’ve been giving lots of thought to the purpose of reviews, the purpose of blogging, what I want to read and write… and I think I need some time away from the noise of blog-land to ponder. There are two posts in particular that really got me thinking, and I would encourage you to read them:
- Do You Read Book Reviews? A Challenge and a Rant by James Reads Books: this one made me want to sign up for the review challenge immediately, but also made me stop and think about the nature of the book review, like, as a piece of creative writing, as literary criticism, and as content marketing.
- Authenticity and Diversity in Literature by Love, Laughter and a Touch of Insanity: this one inspired me to do a sort of VIDA Count, but for ethnic as well as gender diversity. You’ll notice I keep careful track of what I read – it’s easy to do thanks to Goodreads- but I’ve never tracked what I review. It’s reviewing that gives us bloggers some modicum of power in the literary world; we don’t just vote with our wallets, we vote with our voices. We influence people. What we’re doing with that influence, however small, is important. Over three years and 57 reviews, here’s what I found:
So, I’ll be back next month. Here’s what you can expect when I get back:
- Literary Events Recap: My social media break will be in effect with I meet Joseph Boyden on Oct. 23rd, so expect lots of pent-up fangirling when I’m back.
- Novellas in November: My favourite blogging event of last year. I’m already building up my list.
- Bookstravaganza: Last year I was cheering them on. This year I’m joining in! I have zero chance of winning but that’s okay.
But before I go… we have giveaway winners!
Here are the lucky winners from last week’s Literary Festival Giveaway! Winners, check your inboxes.
Winner of tickets to M.G. Vassanji at LitFest: Carolyn
Winner of tickets to event of your choice at STARFest: Riverboat38 (if that is your real name…)
Winner of tickets to Joyce Carol Oates at Festival of Ideas: Natalie of Wandering Bibliophile
Thank you everyone for entering and reading and, as they say, I’ll be gone till November.
Anyone else remember how ubiquitous that song was, and notice how you never hear it these days? I also totally forgot Bob Dylan was in the video.
Is there such thing as reverse-seasonal affective disorder? I get the urge to hibernate in summer. I crave sleep and comfort food. This summer, I’m not just choosing reading over blogging, but sleeping over reading. And lately, TV over both. I may have to stop smugly saying “actually, I don’t watch TV” if this keeps up. Damn you, OITNB.
In addition to reading and blogging ennui, I’m buying books and not reading them, which I understand is normal book blogger behaviour, but it’s not normal for me. And I’m just not loving the books I’m reading lately. I don’t think it’s them. I think it’s me.
Sometimes, when I’m in a rut, I give something up for a while. I’m running low on things to give up, though. I’ve done social media-free months. That’s boring. I gave up caffeine and TV last year and am still off both, OITNB notwithstanding. I quit smoking. I don’t do drugs and I haven’t been drunk in five years.
No, I’m NOT going to quit blogging. But I do need to do something a little drastic… Continue reading