What I Learned From an Almost 6-Month, Mostly Unplanned Hiatus

Hiatus

Wow. Where do I even start? If you’ve been following my blog in the past year or so, you might have realized I dropped off the face of the planet after January.  If you didn’t notice, then just read on for the Valuable Lessons portion of this post and skip the Explanation of Why the Heck I Haven’t Been Posting.

I’ve mentioned it before, but I just recently finished my last year in high school, so your girl is officially college-bound! The last semester of my senior year though was, without a doubt, the most difficult in my entire life. The college process was horrific for me. Not fun or exciting or exhilarating in the slightest, which was only made harder by the fact that every single person I held a conversation with would immediately ask, “So are you excited for college?!” Of course you can’t answer no in those situations, but I certainly felt like it.

Anyways, I didn’t come here to rant about choosing a college (though I really could rant a lot), I’m mostly just telling you all this to explain why blogging (and bookstagramming) took a huge backseat in my life. I barely have had time to read, much less talk about reading. And truthfully, I’ve had very little motivation to come back to the world of book blogging. I’m still trying to find that motivation, so any advice is appreciated!

I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again: although YA is a genre meant for teens, you’ll find that the blogging community is vastly built on bloggers over the age of 25. That’s because being a teen and having the time to commit to blogging is ridiculously—RIDICULOUSLY—hard. So long story short, that’s why I’ve been gone for nearly six months.

But the first inspiration for a blog post that I’ve felt in a long time stems from all the things I’ve realized while taking such a long hiatus. So in hopes of finally, finally starting up this platform again, I’m here to share some things I’ve learned about myself as a reader and writer during my time away!

Discussion (Pink)Structure Doesn’t Work for Me

Time and time again over my first year of blogging, I attempted to create a solid posting schedule. First I tried two times a week, with one post being a review or tag and one being a discussion. Then (in a moment of extreme optimism) I bumped it up to three times a week, with a very meticulously planned list of posts stretching up to four months in advance. Inevitably, I tried it for two weeks and never managed to follow it. I think I’ve finally accepted that, as much as I love being organized, creating a rigid posting schedule will never work for me. I end up feeling too pressured and not having fun, so I avoid writing posts at all, then feel like a failure. I need to write more when inspiration strikes, and write whatever it is I feel like posting. Though this means less reliable posting for my readers, I think the alternative (*ehem* falling into a six-month slump) is much worse. And this brings me to my next point.

Ignoring Follower Count and Stats is Crucial

I know everyone always says, “Don’t worry about the numbers!” but we’d all be lying if we didn’t admit that that’s an incredibly hard thing not to worry about. Besides my crazy school life, I think another primary reason I felt unmotivated to blog was how downtrodden I felt in regards to my stats. I let all of the numbers get to my head, and suddenly blogging was no longer fun or relaxing. It became a chore to do each week in order to maintain statistics on a screen, and that’s not something I ever want blogging to be. After taking a long step back, it became so much easier to see how the numbers don’t really matter, how my love for reading and writing is infinitely more important. So if my posting is more sporadic, if my posts are not as popular, if I don’t gain more page views or likes, that’s okay. It’s a sacrifice I know I need to make in order to enjoy blogging for what it is.

I’m a Momentum Writer

Though this almost contradicts my first point, I realized that I always do my best job of posting frequently when I write consistently. While scheduling doesn’t work for me, I do think that setting aside some time each week to write will help me keep in touch with blogging. Once I set the figurative pen down, it’s like trying to move a boulder for me to pick it back up again. So a consistent—but not forced—writing pattern would be best.

Review Copies/ARCs Aren’t Worth the Stress

Okay so I’m a bit of a hypocrite saying this one, considering I have a not-so-tiny mountain of ARCs sitting in front of me as I write this. But after falling down the deep dark abyss of Netgalley and briefly experimenting with formal ARC requests, I’ve determined that the struggle to meet the release-day deadline just isn’t worth the privilege of reading a book early. Well, I shouldn’t say it’s not “worth” it so much as I’m simply not cut out for it. I’m a mood reader and I read slowly. My overall goal for the year is only 45 books, which is going to take a miracle and godly sacrifice for me to reach. I like to take the time to relish my books rather than devour, and I’ve been trying to make myself fit into a different reader box so that I could have ~shiny new books~ show up on my doorstep. In the end, I’ve been doing both myself and the publisher a disservice. That being said, I love picking up ARCs from conventions, my local indie store, and through trading, which still bring the joy of ARCs without having such an intense obligation or deadline attached to them. Also, I’m going to work on picking them up in moderation as opposed to the truckload.

Post DividerHave you struggled with any of the same things I have during your blogging career? Have you also found yourself taking an unplanned hiatus? Chat with me friends! I’ve certainly missed hearing from you all <3

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7 thoughts on “What I Learned From an Almost 6-Month, Mostly Unplanned Hiatus”

  1. Welcome back to blogging and congratulations on graduating high school, that’s so great! 😀 I’m glad to hear you’re back and I really like what you’ve learned in this little break. It is so important to find a rhythm that works for everyone – I know that personally I am a huge fan of scheduling, planning in advance and everything else, while some others prefer writing whenever they feel like it and don’t really like that planinng structure. No matter what others do, it’s so important to keep on going the way you prefer to, in order to keep blogging fun 🙂 I hope you’ll have tons of fun blogging again 🙂 x

    1. Thanks so much, I totally agree!! I admire that scheduling works so well for you, I definitely wish I was more like that 😂 But since I came back from my hiatus, I’ve already started to fall back in love with blogging. Mostly due to awesome book lovers like you! 😘

  2. Congrats on graduating high school! 🙂 My senior year was very rough as well. I felt like most of my classmates were breezing through and partying rather than studying. I took several APs that year though and in addition to having a really tough time in my personal life, I was beyond overwhelmed with the amount of work I had. I was also absent a lot due to health issues and constantly struggling to catch up with the work I missed. In other words, I totally understand why you wanted to take a break from blogging for the past six months. I’m glad you’re back though as I really enjoy reading your posts. I hope you have an easier time next year! There is a lot of work in college, but you also have much more free time to get things done. There have been times since I started my blog when I wasn’t able to blog as much, but I guess the most important thing is to avoid putting pressure on myself. I’m glad you learned more about what works for you 🙂

    1. Thank you so much!! Reading comments like this one are what making blogging so worth it! I’m sorry to hear that your senior year was rough too, I think it’s that way for a lot of kids truthfully. I’m so excited to be back!! ❤️

  3. I’m sorry to hear the process of finding a college was so difficult for you! Truthfully, my junior year of high school was FAR worse than my senior year. Easily the worst year of my life. That being said, I think there are so many more adults in the blogging community not because we have more time, but because we’ve had plenty of trial and error experience figuring out how to make the most of it. When I was in high school I used to think adults had it so easy, had so much more time than I did. I know better now. Just finding time to read has become difficult for me! Also, I don’t have as many friends as I used to, and I spend a LOT less time “hanging out”. That’s just me, though.

    Anyway, I’m glad you found what works for you. ARCs aren’t for me, either. I hope to be seeing more of you over the summer. Good luck next semester!

    1. Aw thank you! I’m sure you’re right and I’ll discover the same thing when I’m older, the grass is always greener on the other side and all that 😂 Blogging is hard for anybody, no matter what age! And I definitely plan to blog a ton more this summer, hopefully I can figure out a good rhythm for college too! ❤️

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