Frustration and Changes!

July 8, 2015 Blogging, Bookish chat 23

As you might have guessed from the title, the times they are a-changing!

changes

Lately I’ve been feeling a bit frustrated with my reading and my blog.  And this frustration always stems from two sources:

  • I feel my blog has gotten stale.  I’m churning out review after review and I want to do more than that.
  • I’m time deprived!  This was my day yesterday.

7am – Got up, got ready for work, etc

8am – left my house for work

5.30 pm – finished work, did some grocery shopping

6.30pm – home from work, had dinner, read a little, did some house work

7.30pm – Went for a walk with my husband.  Exercise is one of my priorities these days.

8.45pm – Home from walk, made and ate a quick post-exercise snack.

9pm – Collected my father from a friend’s house and dropped him to his own house (he can’t drive as he has vision problems)

10pm – Home again.  Finally I got to sit down and do MY stuff.  But now I’m too tired!

 

When I sit down at 10pm (and that’s pretty typical of most days), I’m suddenly overwhelmed with all I have to do.  Where to start?  Write a review, answer comments, format and schedule a post, promote a post on social media, update my plugins, catch up on my favourite blogs?  Or go on YouTube for an hour and watch videos of cute kittens instead!

I often find that at this stage, I’m too tired to blog the way I want to blog and it’s so frustrating.  My main way of combating this is to organise everything blog wise at the weekend.  So then during the week, if and when I have time all I need to do is reply to comments and visit other blogs I love.  Oh yes, and read all those ARCs, don’t forget about that!

So I have a system that works. Unless I have a busy weekend then my blog has to run on empty but I’m not going to stress about that.  I like living my life and blogging is a part of my life but not my whole life.  So I can get over being time deprived if I’m loving my blog when I do get time to work on it.

But I have been feeling a little like I’m a hamster on an endless running wheel and I want to make some changes.  I already have a 3 week book limit in place but I think I need something more than that.  I want to seriously curtail arcs for a little bit.  I want to try new things on the blog and not feel like I’m putting out the same old content every week.  I want to read old books, acquaint myself with much-loved favourites, finish some series and not focus solely on newly published ones.

So that’s what I’m going to do!  Fewer arcs and more golden oldies.  And I want to feel excited about blogging again so to help me with that, I have 2 new features that I want to introduce:
Happy Bookoversary : where I talk about an older book that has a birthday and share just why you should celebrate this books life
Monthly Pick’n’Mix – a purely random post where I talk about all the non book things that I’m loving every month

And I have some sadly neglected existing features that I want to work on again and have them reappear:
Bookish Chat – I have revived this lately and I LOVE all the reaction these posts get
Green Giants – where I spotlight Irish Authors that I love.  This was my first original feature and I love it.  It’s always going to be part of the furniture here.
Dust of Your Classics – I can’t believe I haven’t posted one of these since Feb *hangs head in shame*
Trish Transforms – I know I haven’t done one of these for a while.  But it’s going fantastic; I have lost loads of weight and feel great.  I’ll update you shortly in a post!
Between Reads – for all the non book stuff that I want to talk about.  Again very random, previous posts ranged from talking about infertility to squeeing over Christmas advertisements that I loved.
Fictitious Gadgets – One of my favourite things about reading non-contemporary books is discovering fictitious gadgets that I wish existed in real life.  So I thought it would be fun to pick some out and speculate on how I might use them.  But I only did one post on this and kind of forgot about it!  So now I want to revive it.
Marketing Your Blog I wrote a series of these back in 2013.  And I loved doing them so I’d like to more.  Just using a different slant as I think I have learnt a lot over the last two years and I’m happy to share my experiences.

 

So basically in a nutshell….I’ll still be reviewing books but not as many.  Instead there will be lots of other content and I hope you’ll stick around and enjoy some of that.  I know that even the thought of mixing it up excites me and I’m full of enthusiasm and plans.
Talk to Trish: What do you do to keep your blog fresh and interesting so that you feel excited about working on it?  Do you prefer features or book reviews?  Let me know!

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23 Responses to “Frustration and Changes!”

  1. Helen @ My Novel Opinion

    Oh how I can relate, Trish! I often don’t get to sit down for myself until 9:30-10 at night, and by that time the last thing I want to do is stare at my computer. If I’m working from home, I’ll blog a bit during lunch. I’m just going to have to schedule time over a weekend to concentrate on blogging. But when we both work full time, weekends are mostly taken up with family activities or household chores. Ugh…I’ll just have to be happy with the time I do manage to carve out. I just wanted you to know that you aren’t alone!
    Helen @ My Novel Opinion recently posted…Looking Back (& Ahead): June 2015

    • trish

      Thank you Helen! I’m grateful that I have a job and a busy life that I mostly enjoy but it is frustrating to not have enough hours in the day for all you want to do! I sometimes write reviews at lunchtime and only for that I’d never keep up! Still we hare lucky that we have a hobby we enjoy even if we can’t do it as much as we want.

  2. amanda @ go book yourself

    I so get this. For a while I was considering stopping altogether. What I didn’t realize is that I was burning out and it was just before my RA flared and I got really sick.

    It’s really important to find time for “you” even though its almost impossible at times.

    Personally I love a blog with a bit of variety so Ill look forward to your posts.
    amanda @ go book yourself recently posted…Review: A Love like this by Maria Duffy @mduffywriter

    • trish

      I know Amanda, my blog is my ‘me’ time and I get annoyed when I don’t have enough time for it. But I make it work because it means a lot to me. I’m really looking forward to my changes so I hope you’ll enjoy them!

    • trish

      Thanks for the support Grace! I like a mix myself and I just want a different focus for a little bit as that really motivates me.

  3. Stephanie @ Inspiring Insomnia

    I’m excited to see the “new” blog. You’ve got some great ideas. The two new features sound like a lot of fun.

    I love reading blogs that have a mix of reviews and “other stuff.” I would love to make my own blog like that if I had the creativity and the energy. My blog bores even me, so I’ve found myself taking month-long (or longer) breaks, and I don’t feel guilty about that anymore. I don’t recommend that for others, though! I think if you have ideas to spark your enthusiasm, then go ahead and implement them. That enthusiasm will shine through to your readers.
    Stephanie @ Inspiring Insomnia recently posted…Review: The Devil You Know by Trish Doller

    • trish

      Thanks Stephanie! I like reading blogs with a mix of stuff myself and it was the way I was intending to blog. But then I got bogged down in arcs and seemed to have turned into a reviewing machine! Which isn’t what I want so time to change it up a bit 🙂
      Your blog is never boring though, I love reading your reviews. They are sharp and witty so never say they are boring!

  4. Celine

    Whoa, your schedule sounds incredibly busy. Cutting back on ARCs really made me feel back “in control” of my blog during busy periods. I hope these blog changes will make you feel better about your blog 🙂
    Celine recently posted…Summer Reading List

    • trish

      Thanks Celine, fingers crossed! I already feel excited about these little tweaks and like you say I’m hoping it will give me a sense of control back.

    • trish

      That’s a very good point and a good one to keep in mind. You are right I don’t want to end up trying to do it all and end up doing nothing. I plan on rotating the features though so it should work and if not, I’ll keep tweaking until it does!

  5. Ana @ Read Me Away

    I can totally relate! I remember looking at my blog ages ago and thinking “Dang, I need to refresh things” because I wasn’t excited by it anymore.

    I snapped out of it when I realised that didn’t NEED to post every single day, and though the popular memes were fun, I didn’t need to do one every week. Then that I had ideas for features that I actually looked forward to writing. 😛

    I love your ideas for new features, and I’m looking forward to them! 😀 Best of luck, Trish! ♥
    Ana @ Read Me Away recently posted…Talk to Me 73: Contemporary Books Set in Other Countries

    • trish

      That’s exactly it Ana, I wasn’t excited or challenged by my content and I knew I had to make some changes. And I went through pretty much the same thought process as you and now I’m feeling all excited again. Thanks for the support!

  6. tonyalee

    I’ve been trying to think of different things to do to freshen things up too – but I am at a loss! You are so creative with your different posts and I love it !

    After Hours though, will have a “life” feature post where I talk about Life. Mine, in particular, and my experiences thus far. (I may be “young” but… LOL) Other than that? I AM AT A LOSS
    tonyalee recently posted…Review + Giveaway | The Escape by Hannah Jayne

  7. Michelle @ In Libris Veritas

    On occasion I go through things like this with the blog, it’s definitely normal. The last time I added a few features like Reading & Ranting, which is my version of discussion post and ranges from books to things like living with mental illness. I also added The Truth in 60, which I haven’t done in a while but are just short and sweet reviews for those books I barely have an opinion on. I don’t get many of those thankfully. I also added Tiny Tot reviews for my Children’s books since I’m in a bookstore all day and it’s therapeutic to just look at something with incredible art, plus it helps with recommendations.I’m getting a bit restless with it right now as well, so I’m back to signing up for things like cover reveals and tour posts because I want to hold back on doing 3 reviews a week like I normally do. Blogging is definitely one of those living fixtures that morph and change overtime, but hopefully remain constant.
    Michelle @ In Libris Veritas recently posted…Excerpt & Giveaway: How to be a Mermaid by Erin Hayes

  8. Christy

    I feel ya, Trish. I pretty much stick to reviews on my blog because that’s mostly what I have time for. There have been a few things I’ve wanted to do, just like a discussion and stuff, but never get around to it. I only post two times a week, but it still feels like a lot to me sometimes. I look forward to you new features, though!
    Christy recently posted…Chasing River by K.A. Tucker

  9. Dee @ Dee's Reads

    I completely understand what you are feeling right now!! I have felt that …so many times. I think your idea(s) are phenomenal though to keep things fresh and exciting and that make you more excited and happy to blog. Because the last thing we want is to feel overwhelmed with blogging and like it’s a chore to churn out another post.
    I recently am in the process of and just put out a total new design of my blog! This summer I am going to move to WordPress…and things are going to evolve in a major way! I am very excited. It has sparked that passion and excitement to blog every night when I get home at 9pm I am tired and by the time I eat and stuff I just want to veg out and watch t.v. when I think about the arcs and reviews and how behind I am. Now though, I instantly want to get cracking with the html and share ideas with my cob loggers and brainstorm! I Think the same thing will happen with you and these new features!
    NOT TO MENTION I am ecstatic about them! I have also been thinking that it’s kind of lame how I am / other blogs are always swept up in the “arc” craze of whats new. I mean…why is it always about what is new or the newest shiniest cover. I get it, but sometimes I feel like this rebellious side I need to pay attentin to my old books that I have wanted to read forever! Sometimes I feel like my reviews for them don’t get a lot of attention.
    Ooh possible future topic for your marketing feature? How to publicize posts that may have less of a “grab” factor? (you can quote me and say I asked you directly if you want!) 😀 loll

    Anyway I am so glad to hear about all this and happy you are being proactive about it! You go girl! Also, keep up the healthy lifestyle and activity! I am still being active and although it cuts down on my time…I find I am more productive and energized overall and the time it is cutting is usually sleep becauseI feel I need less sleep to be rested <3 (sometimes) haha.
    Dee @ Dee’s Reads recently posted…Graphic Novel Review: The Worrier’s Guide to Life

  10. R_Hunt @ View From My Home

    I’m still on brief break, and not reading email most days but I saw this title and had to stop by. All your ideas sound great and I for one will be excited to read them. I think that when I get to know a fellow blogger’s personality & book likes/dislikes, then I don’t always need a long, formal review to get the picture. I can read Goodreads for the blurb or average rating. I can check out my Bloglovin to see how often a title pops up, thus telling me the new “it” book. But otherwise I enjoy a known blogger’s chats, advice, TTT, book-links, random features, etc. and don’t need to see a formal, stilted review almost every day. Just my opinionated input here 🙂 (I hope to be back in a week or so. My daughter’s illness was upgraded to a more serious possible diagnosis Friday, and she has to undergo three tests this coming week. When we get good news, I should be back after that. I too will be bypassing many arcs and shiny titles in favor of ones I have lingering here or on my older wishlist).

    Enjoy your week, Trish. You are looking so young and healthy in your new photos that you must be doing something right with your exercise/eating plan!
    R_Hunt @ View From My Home recently posted…Quick Thoughts on Recent Reads

  11. Berls

    I’m so with you Trish! I’m always feeling guilty because I don’t manage to visit enough or reply to enough comments or etc etc. I think you’re plan is great and just remember what I’m always telling myself – keep it fun! This is for me, I don’t know whre all the pressure is coming from! Good luck – looking forward to the new/returning features 🙂
    Berls recently posted…Sunday Post | Going Camping!

  12. Daniela

    Trish, sorry to hear you feel that way. You are not alone 🙂 yup… it sounds a lot like my typical day 🙁 by 10-11 pm I’m worthless, so exhausted. That’s why I carry my phone around all the time. I probably look like one of those teenagers that are going to bump into a pole because their are looking at their phone all the time lol but I realized that is the only way I can keep up with my blog. I write (blog comments, replies, scenes for my book, ideas for my posts, etc.) when I have 2 minutes (in the elevator, in waiting lines, waiting for a doctor appointment, etc.)

    I’m happy to hear you are going to try again those features you liked so much. Can’t wait! I know I’ll enjoy whatever you write 🙂

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