Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Maybe It's Just the Method: Thoughts on The Future of Bookfoolery

This is how I've felt about my own blog, for the past year or so:


Well, no wonder I'm burnt out. If you're bored by your own blog, for crying out loud, what's the point?

I must say, I was very relieved to find that I'm not the only one who has been going through this angsty stage. Andi at Estella's Revenge, Heather of Capricious Reader, Beth Fish Reads and Shannon of River City Reading have all talked about being bored with their blogs, wanting to shake things up, switching to "free range reading". I had no idea that so many blog buddies were going through the same thing, primarily because I've been staying away from blogs in the hopes that un-internetting myself would help.

So, here's what I'm thinking. When I began writing this blog, my reviews were deliberately casual online journal entries about my reading and my family. I didn't spend a lot of time on them. This review of London Transports by Maeve Binchy, for example, was my first post. I wrote my thoughts and moved on. Sometimes I just posted a photo with a few words or told an anecdote.

I've been thinking about blogging a lot and I'm pretty sure that the only way I'm going to be able to carry on is to return to a simpler blogging style, keep my posts brief, allow myself to be more random, do away with the formality of reviewing (which keeps creeping back; this part may be a struggle). What do you think? Think that will work? Am I crazy even thinking about sticking around?

Addendum: Fist pumps to "free range reading".

©2014 Nancy Horner. All rights reserved. If you are reading this post at a site other than Bookfoolery  or its RSS feed, you are reading a stolen feed. Email bookfoolery@gmail.com for written permission to reproduce text or photos.

26 comments:

  1. Yes!! Exactly. Do this.

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  2. There are so many social media ways we can all connect, but I don't want to see everyone everywhere. I feel like i have some blog friends, and some FB friends, librarything people, and a very few Twitter friends. I don't want to give up some of my blog friends because that is the only way I 'see' them. I also don't want to follow on twitter all the book people, because that would be too much.
    What I"m trying to say is there are probably some people who only follow your blog and would miss you, however you decide to blog along and read.
    xoxo

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    1. I know what you mean about not wanting absolutely everyone to cross over from one platform to another. Good point. I hadn't thought about that. I'm glad you brought that up. Thanks!

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  3. It sounds like a good plan. :-) You have to do what feels right to you.

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    1. Thanks, Wendy. Yeah, I've reached an impasse. Something had to change; the alternative was to walk away. It makes sense to return to the type of blogging that fits my personality. :)

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  4. I'm trying to get back into blogging and you all are talking about quitting? No. Just no.

    (And I am a big fan of casual.)

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    1. You are the casual queen, Jill.

      S'okay. I think we're all getting over ourselves. No quitting. Just making alterations. A pinch here, a bit of shaking up there, a smattering of time travel.

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  5. Make your alterations and stay with it. Please don't cry/don't show cats crying anymore.

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    1. Yes, ma'am. Isabel is yawning, not crying. I think you're experiencing a bit of transference -- feet crying because they're wearing shoes, sad Bybee, yawning cats looking tearful. I won't tell you I'm still barefoot.

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  6. This is becoming quite the epidemic! I'm trying to get back in my groove with blogging, too. Simple, short and sweet reviews are my menu for success. So far, so good. I'm only behind by 2 reviews, which is quite good for me! I'll read whatever you write!

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    1. Yep, that's what I'm doing. The three little reviews I wrote last night were, "Don't sweat the details" reviews. So much more relaxing. I've got quite a few to write about but I've decided I'll write when I feel like it. I'm just not going to let this be a place that stresses me, anymore. Thanks! Ditto reading whatever you'll write. I don't often comment but I do drop by. :)

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  7. That is exactly my strategy. No musts. No have-tos. Blog if I want-to. Don't blog if I don't.

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    1. It took me a bit too long to figure out I don't have to chase my own tail. Slow on the uptake, here.

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  8. I have been posting two sentence reviews on goodreads and leaving it at that, when I'm not in a blog review mood.

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    1. I've recently been doing that, too. Sometimes I'll just say something as simple as "exceptional writing". That's one of the reasons I started reevaluating the blogging. If 25 words are enough at GR, I figure there's no sense torturing myself to try to come up with something more detailed, elsewhere. There isn't always a great deal that needs to be said.

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  9. I feel sad that so many people are going through this--in part because I've had these thoughts in the past as well. I still put too much pressure on myself to post TOPIC related posts rather than random ramblings like I used to do, but I hope that people can feel more free to post what they want and less pressure to post out of obligation. Free Range Reading for the win! I gave up on ARCs long long ago and my reading has felt better ever since.

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    1. It's strange that we pressure ourselves that way, isn't it? For my part, it's mostly been the ARCs; I had so many coming in that I didn't have time for anything *but* reviews. The obligation and lack of leeway to chatter about bookish generalities like I used to really drained the fun away. I considered never taking on an ARC again but decided to give myself a break and accept no more than 2 per month. I've stuck to my limit, so far - still waiting for both of this month's requests and it actually seems to have ramped up the excitement level. I can't wait for them to arrive!

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    2. Excited is an excellent thing!! ;)

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  10. Love the term free range reading, and that's exactly what I decided to do earlier this year :) I ditched Goodreads and my TBR list (erased the whole thing woot!), stopped giving books ratings (goodbye pesky stars), stopped writing traditional reviews (which frankly, were boring to put together and read), and I went in a totally different direction :) I also have recently restructured my blog and I'm having fun again!

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    1. I like that term, too! I would not have thought of it, myself. I just peeked at your blog and saw your update on the changes you've made. I'm glad it's working well for you! I haven't ditched Goodreads but I've been reading whatever calls to me and wow, what a difference that makes! It really does put the fun back into reading.

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  11. Free range reading -- I never knew there was term. I think I am the poster child for it then .... because I don't know how else I could ever enjoy myself otherwise.

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    1. Good for you! I did okay reading some books on schedule (never *all* of my reading) for quite a few years but I think it's a practice that's unsustainable for some of us, although I know plenty of people who have never gone through some massive reading drought from becoming overwhelmed by ARCs.

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