Marie and I have been friends for about five years and have collaborated on all sorts of things during that time. After the hiatus from The Authorteers, we toyed around with a few ideas for things we could do together for fun once in awhile. One of the ideas was a Facebook group. We discussed it for awhile and ultimately decided against it since we probably wouldn't be able to post as regularly as we'd like on there, not to mention the fact that there are a large number of those groups out there already. So we adapted our plans into a blog feature called Thoughts and Daydreams (combination of my blog name and hers, Ramblings of a Daydreamer). We'll be discussing reading, writing, and blogging topics on both of our blogs. If anyone else would like to participate in these discussions by posting on their blog, we welcome it! Just snag the header and post. Be sure to link us to it so we can read and comment!
Back to Basics
As a book blogger, every new year brings about new plans for the blog. Sometimes it's small ones, and sometimes it's bigger ones. For me, it's a mixture of everything.
For starters, I want to focus my attention more on backlist books rather than ARCs. I'll still read the occasional ARC or new release, don't get me wrong. Since I've accumulated a number of books over the last few years (on my Nook, Kindle app, *and* my literal shelf), I feel I need to devote some of my time to catching up on those. There are several books I've purchased that I've been itching to read but haven't had the time because of how many review books I had lined up. The nice thing about reading more books for pleasure rather than obligation makes me feel like I can set the book aside instead of forcing it, which will be nice.
There was one week in 2015 where I requested 6 books that all released on the same day... let me tell you, that was an exhausting week. I don't like feeling under that sort of pressure, so I'd rather just stick to a limited number of ARCs so that I'm not overwhelmed.
I'm also aiming to read fewer books than I did last year. I don't know how I managed to read more than 200 books, but I did it. It really did take up a lot of my free time, though. So my goal for the year is going to be 52 books, which is one book a week. I'll more than likely bypass that by the end of the year, but at least I'm being reasonable with all the other stuff I'd like to do in 2016.
I would love to have more than reviews on this blog again. I've come up with all sorts of ideas and topics, but have slacked off on keeping up with them. When I was sorting through my pages before I had the blog redesigned, I saw all the great memes I've done over the years and thought back on how fun they were. I'd like to add some more of those in here and there. I probably won't do them all weekly, or even monthly, but I want to diversify a little bit. Maybe slip in a Waiting On Wednesday here, Quote-tastic there, and possibly even throw in some random discussions.
I did A LOT of release blitzes, cover reveals, and blog tours over the last couple years. I loved being able to support authors and draw attention to their new books, but it was really bogging me down. Even though several of the tour companies offer HTML ready posts, they don't always work as well as you hope they would. I would spend two to three times as long setting them up so that they looked decent on the blog. I stopped signing up for them because I couldn't handle the last minute pressure of putting the post together. I'll definitely still do what I can for a few people, but I'll be more likely do opt for a special feature rather than part of a tour/blitz so I can put it together faster.
I also have plans to write more personal posts on my author blog. I considered writing and posting them here, but I want to keep the book blog and personal stuff more separate. Maybe down the line I'll incorporate the personal posts over here instead, but for now I'm going to start it out this way.
I've spent most of my time as a book blogger pushing the limits. Review after review, blitz after blitz, etc. I overwhelmed myself more times than I can count. There were times I took brief breaks or spaced posts out more or blogged ahead enough so that I can relax a little bit. But then I'd go right back to doing the same thing all over again.
Why do I keep doing this? Because I love my book blog and don't want to see it fade away like so many other blogs have. I've been at this for nearly 5 years now and I can't tell you how many bloggers have vanished into thin air from that time up until now. I'm sure that maybe someday I'll cut back more or even quit entirely, but that day isn't today.
From now on I'm going to be reasonable. If I'm starting to feel like I have too much on my plate, I'm going to take a step back and possibly change things up. It's when it feels like too much that you feel like you want to quit. Making sure to pace myself will go a long way in keeping this blog alive and active.