Hello bloggers! Welcome! Pull up a chair. Can I get you a drink? It’s been so long since we had a proper catch up, after all.
You may be wondering why after a hiatus of almost a year, a couple of book reviews suddenly popped into your inbox within the last month with no warning or explanation. I imagine you must have a lot of questions. I always told myself I would never be one of those bloggers who disappeared without a word, but the truth is I never made a conscious decision to take a break. So, where did I go and why? Let everything be revealedddd!!
Why did I disappear?
Working full time/lack of free time
Ah, that ever elusive time. As humans, we’re always searching for it. When I started this blog I was a teenager in secondary school. Now, I’m graduate struggling to make my way in the world, and somewhere along the line, I swear days became like 6 hours shorter! After finishing university I began a part-time job at a hotel which quickly turned into a full time job – including most weekends with random shift hours. Throw in trying to have a social life and much needed down time so vital for introverts like me, and I was never quite able to meet that work life balance!
I’ve been blogging for 6 years! Can you believe it?! I DIDN’T EVEN REALISE IT WAS THAT LONG UNTIL I LOOKED IT UP FOR THIS POST. I mean geez, no wonder I felt like a break.
Blogging is hard
Seriously. Coming up with new content all the time, keeping up a regular following, taking pictures or creating visuals for posts is time consuming, and can become creatively draining. There’s a lot of blogs out there now, and it does sometimes make you question what you’re doing and what you can add to the community. It’s easy to lose perspective. I returned to blogging to discover that dozen of my favourite auto-read bloggers had called it quits which was gutting, and just really brings this home.
I wasn’t yet willing to adapt the way I knew I needed to
Considering the above, the only way I was going to be able to continue blogging was to change my style. I write looooong posts which are time consuming, and I always wanted to review every single book I read. With my limited time, that was no longer practical but I wasn’t ready to accept that. So I stopped altogether. Some might call that stubbornness!
My laptop died
Okay, this one seems lame, but it was actually one of the biggest contributors. My laptop is where I wrote all my posts and it died a slow and painful death last year. It got to the point where I couldn’t even have it on my lap because it overheated so badly, and eventually it ceased to function altogether. This meant I could only use the family computer which was extremely limiting.
What did I do while I was gone?
Traveled, traveled and traveled some more!
Oh yes, I’ve had some adventures while I’ve been away. Let’s see, I’ve…..
- Hiked up Snowdon, the highest mountain in Wales (and on the same trip zip wired through slate caverns)
- Visited Bath’s Christmas market, and revisited Bruges’s awesome one.
- Tootled through the Cotswold villages (especially its book shops).
- I went back to Edinburgh (and visited a cat cafe!)
- Saw a LOT of Italy – including Rome, Sorrento, Pompeii, Venice, Verona and Pisa.
- Was driven through the Austrian Alps and Slovenia’s national parks (gorgeous!)
- Travelled along Germany’s fairytale-esk Romantic Road.
- I also had my first ever all inclusive sunny holiday in Lanzarote.
I got a new job
I called it quits on the hotel job and I now work at a private children’s centre which offers neurodevelopmental assessments for autism, ADHD, sensory processing disorder, dyspraxia, etc., and therapy options for children with behavioural, motor function, processing, and emotional regulation issues. We’re the guys people come to when they’re slapped in the face by an NHS 2-5 year waiting list for an assessment for diagnosis. My position is an administrative but one of the main things I do is triage, taking initial enquiries from struggling families, trying to wean out the details of what’s causing their child’s underlying issues, and then directing them to the most appropriate services which is really rewarding, and much more related to my Psychology degree! I’ve been there exactly a year and it’s enabled to me sit in on therapy sessions, and we’ve also just had a Psychologist join the team that I will soon be shadowing, so I’m really excited!!
Why have I come back?
I miss this swash-buckling, ass kicking intensely intelligent community. Nothing else compares….and that’s for realskies.
There I was, sitting on my sofa having just finished Little Women, and all I wanted to do was tell you guys about it. I could have mentioned it to one of my friends or the boyfriend, and they would have humoured me, nodded politely, and moved on to the next topic because reading is not their thing, and that’s okay. They don’t understand that a book can leave your mind swirling with thoughts, ideas and wimsey, or the woes of fictional characters, and they definitely don’t understand the heartache of leaving a story behind.
I miss having a place and refuge to call my own.
When I started this blog, I didn’t put much thought into why, it was just a need. A need to write, and express and discuss. Through the years, this space has been many things for me depending on where I was in my life. I’ve realised, it will continue to evolve with me, hopefully for a long time. It’s nice to have a happy place to call your own!
I’m finally ready to adapt my style
I’m now in a place where I will no longer hold myself to some kind of crazy unrealistic ideal despite all logic. I’m okay with popping in here once a month or so, It’s okay if I’m not able to post regularly. I no longer feel the need to review every book. I have freed myself from my own shackles!
Moving forward and implementing changes…
I’ll be writing some shorter posts… maybe?
I kind of feel like this one is destined to fail because I am a waffle monster and I always have TOO MANY THOUGHTS. But, I want to be be able to pop in here, write a few paragraphs, and start a conversation. I think, shorting my posts is the key, and the only way I will realistically be able to keep at this blogging lark considering my limited time!
Don’t be surprised if you discover that the format of post keep changing within the next couple of months. I’m going to try and a few different styles and have some fun playing with layouts and find what works best for the 2018 me.
Showcasing books in different ways
Now that I’m not reviewing everything I read, I’m going to try and showcase books I’ve read in other ways. This will probably mean more list style posts!
Possibly more lifestyle/personal posts
I 100% want to keep this blogs bookishness, but I also want it to be relaxed space, like we’re all hanging out at a cafe having coffee. This means, I’m going to let you guys more into the world of Becky. I may start writing about my travels more, any interesting days out I may have, etc. Let me know if this is something you would be interested in?
31 thoughts on “Thoughts on Returning to Blogging and My (Hopefully) Epic Comeback!”
I also disappeared for quite some time & just hesitantly came back! I also don’t have time to blog often! I also write too much in posts! I am quite envious of all your travels! DO YOU REMEMBER ME? (Hint: The Classics Club.) 🙂
Seems we have a lot in common! I love your long posts and do remember you very much indeed. Your musings are always wonderful, and I’m so very glad you decided to come back. 🙂
Hey Book Buddy, I have definitely missed your posts, but I totally get it! I haven’t blogged in ages because I find it takes away from my reading time, and when I’m not working all I want to do is read, read, read 😃. I also understand about wanting to share with other book lovers, and for that reason I have become totally addicted to the Facebook page for Silent Book Club. You have to check it out!!! Never before (other than when I talk to you) have I talked to people who truly understand the depth of my love for books and reading, and my TBR list has grown exponentially since joining the group. I think you would love it 😃. Happy reading and I look forward to seeing new posts from you!
Hey book buddy! Hope you’re keeping well. 😀
Nice to hear I’ve been missed! I have noticed that you took a step back from blogging too. I must admit, I do REALLY miss your mystery photos (even though I never won). I honestly don’t know how you kept coming up with so many of them, it must have been super time consuming! And that is a lot of time taken away from reading! It’s so true that as work takes over reading time is so precious – I went up to London the other day and it was SUCH a treat to have that much uninterrupted reading time on the journey there. It was blissful!
Oooh, that sounds awesome! I’ll have to look them up. 🙂 I’ve tried Goodreads groups before but have never found one that stuck. So glad you’ve found some other amazing book lovers. 🙂
Yes, I did find that my blog took up a ton of time, and between reading and going to author events, I just don’t have time for it all :). Tonight I’m going to see Karin Slaughter and Alafair Burke, two mystery/thriller writers who are amazing writers! If you get a chance, try The Good Daughter by Karin Slaughter. I think you would love it!!
Of course, all your amazing author events much keep you so busy. I love living vicariously through you with those!
I hope you have an amazing time at your next event, I’ve not heard of either of those authors so I’ll have to look them up. I’ve read a couple of thrillers lately and enjoyed them although it’s not my normal genre.
I’ve been to 8 events already this year, and it’s only April!! You would love them, and yes you should definitely check out Karin Slaughter’s The Good Daughter.
Wow, that IS impressive! You must be an absolute pro now! (I know who I need to go to for book event tips!
Yup, we have it all perfected :).
AWESOME!! That you’re back! 😀 I’m happy for it and totally understand why you needed a break. When things get really busy for me (especially when I had my old job which was hectic – long nights and tight deadlines and stress), I’d take a break from blogging (a week or two). I was still excited about blogging, which is why I came back to it quickly, but I totally understand the changes you had going on and saw that made you stay away longer.
And yea, not a lot of folks do long posts, I realize, but I like them. I post them and like reading them. 🙂
THANK YOU, ZEZEE. It’s nice to be back. 🙂
It is so tough to keep that balance when work gets hectic, and where I work has been like that for months! I’ve always been impressed by how consistent you seem to be as a blogger, so it’s reassuring that you get those slumps too.
I think that’s exactly it, I lost the excitement of blogging, so I had to take that break, but now it’s been rekindled by a few good books and I just had to get back on here!
We are a rarity with our long posts! I’m hoping to do a bit of both, some long and some short. I’m hoping with my limited time that this will give me the best of both worlds.
Welcome back! I, too, have been blogging for almost 6 years and have come to the realization that you can post on your own schedule and about what you want and it’s all good! Glad to hear you are using your degree and are happy with your job!
Thanks, William! Agreed, it’s all about that flexibility and finding what works for you. Some people like working to a set schedule and deadlines, others take a more relaxed approach. The main thing is finding something that is realistic and sustainable.
Becky, it is lovely to have you back 🙂 Sounds like you’ve had such an exciting time on your blog break. I also went to Rome! 😀
Thank you, Jessica. 🙂
I did! So happy you got to experience Rome as well, such a beautiful place. I want to go back already!
And me! I threw my penny in the Trevi Fountain so I have to go back. 😀
That’s a good point, me too! Honestly, I could have stared at the Trevi Fountain forever. It’s the one place I kept returning to while I was there, I kept making excuses to swing back round just to stare at it. I just wish there weren’t so many pushy people trying to sell you stuff.
It’s good to have you back! Life sometimes takes us away from the roads we think we want to go down…but then those roads end up being a shortcut anyway. 🙂
I can believe it’s been six years! I remember when you were just figuring out which A-Levels to take. And when you did that staying-up-all-night reading thing. That was fun.
I haven’t blogged anything since a short story last April…I haven’t even been on my WordPress since then, but it doesn’t bother me. I still post my book reviews on Goodreads and Booklikes, that’s enough for me.
In other news, I’ve just started emailing a new pen-pal. Great to talk to, and a good listener. You’d like her. 🙂
Thank you! Ah, that’s a lovely saying, and so very true.
I can’t either! It’s kind of scary, but also cool that this blog has seen me go through so many different life milestones. ALevels seems like an age ago now!
I like that you’re so relaxed about it, that’s how I want to be (and plan to be) this time around. It should work a lot better with by busy life.
Oooh, that sounds like great fun! I’m sure I would. 🙂
Welcome back! I’ve taken breaks before without even realizing it, I think I just burn out sometimes. Also, it looks like you traveled to some amazing places!
It’s tough to keeping going at anything, even if it’s a hobby or something you like doing. I guess the difference is if its something you like doing you find your way back to it again. 🙂
I hear ya! My blogging has fallen by the wayside since getting a new job and I’ve had to greatly reduce the length of my reviews just to get anything posted! I hope you enjoy your comeback.
It is a TOUGH balance that’s for sure. Many bloggers have had the same struggle it seems.
So glad to hear that reducing the length of your posts has helped you keep up with blogging, I really hope it will do the same for me!
Thanks for reading. 🙂
Welcome back! Your new job sounds great and of course you deserved a break.
I have also taken an accidental 12 month break from blogging. Uni and work have taken their toll and I just don’t have the same creative energy anymore. Which is sad because I miss writing!
The killer was reading all of Rick Riordan’s books back to back. Too much of one author so I lost the habit.
I want to go back, though. I just need to find the time and energy!
Thank you, Bec!
I’m sorry to hear that you have been experiencing the same blogging struggles, but it sounds like you’re doing some really positive and important things in the real world!
I get EXACTLY what you mean about binge reading a particular series and how that consequently means you have less blogging content to talk about. I’ve encountered that myself.
All the best with the Uni work, I’m sure you’ll ace it. 😉
THIS IS FANTASTIC NEWS! I’m so glad you’ll be returning to blogging, I’ve missed your posts so much! Totally agree on the balancing of blogging and working full time- it’s HARD and after doing it for so long it’s easy to feel creatively drained. Your job now sounds AMAZING though and right up your alley, and I’m so glad you’re feeling energized doing something you love! Can’t wait to see more posts from you! ❤
Aw, thanks Cristina! It’s nice to hear that my posts have been missed. I’ve been keeping up with yours even while I was off the grid. 🙂
It IS tough. I wish someone could wave a magic wand and tell us the answer, Disney style! It is do-able, but it’s a learning process and it’s just working out the way you can make it work.
Becky, you are so lovely. Weirdly, I think the thing that kept me checking back on your blog to see if you’d returned is your authenticity. It’s not a shill you you, there’s heartfull passion in your prose. I loved the coffee talk idea before and very much still do: places you’ve gone, people you’ve met, books you’ve devoured – yes to all of it!
As a Pinterest follower, I gotta say you have a robust and eclectic range of interests from which to draw, books being obvious but also everything from home aspirations to your sartorial elegance. You’ve got this. Your blog allows you to narrate and also allows you to be the main character of your story. It’s your tale; regale us.
Since you asked, I’ve been travelling this year, too (Las Vegas, Dallas, Raleigh, Baltimore, Houston, Oklahoma City, and San Antonio – whew!). I start a new job on Monday at the U.S. Capitol in Washington DC, directly adjacent to the Library of Congress (you know where I’ll be off hours). If you and the BF ever feel like jumping the pond (maybe for the National Book Festival – http://www.loc.gov/bookfest/ ), I know a good coffee shop we can hang.
Awh, thank you, Rich. THIS COMMENT MADE MY DAY. 😀 That’s such a nice thing to say. I do like to think that I am very authentic and friendly on my blog – that’s my aim. I really enjoyed the ‘If we were having coffee’ format so I’m definitely going to be doing more of these! So glad to hear you’re enjoying all the content, I will try and keep up the good work!
I really like that phrasing about it being my tale, I’ve never thought about it that way but it’s very true. I DO have very eclectic tastes and I’m hoping I might find a few ways to incorporate my other passions into this blog, we shall see!
Ah, fantastic! Where was your favourite? I know all those names very well, but not much about them individually. It’s times like this that it strikes me just how BIG America is. I’ve always thought that when the right time in my life occurs – that joining of opportunity and not having too many ties, I would love to do a roadtrip across America. I’ve only been to New York City and I’d love to explore more!
NO WAY. That’s so awesome! Will you be going to the book festival? Thanks for the offer, I’ll remember that if I ever get a chance to hop over the pond. 🙂
I would love to road trip across the U.S. (and Canada? I used to live there), but have never been able to take that much time off work. I figure at least four weeks if I rush and skip, otherwise a solid two-monther. In my travel experience, every city is like a person, with its own personality and pace and interests and feelings and look and scent. Italy is on my list, so maybe I’ll follow your lead and make it there next!
The more you travel, the more you’ll find they through all of our differences, people are so very similar at our core. I hope you get to do it often. We are, each of us, part of the family of humanity – even if some forget it sometimes. There is much more love than hate in each heart, and therefore in the world.
I was in the book biz for years, so definitely will be at the National Book Festival! If you do NYC again, you should be able to attend Book Expo America (BEA) as a blogger (you’ll pick up more advance reader copies that you can read in a lifetime!). BookCon follows that, with more authors and signings (thebookcon.com). Do they have something like those in U.K.?
Ah, yes, that is the other main problem. Being able to a) take the time off work and b) fund the epic expedition. The thing is, when I visit a place I like to REALLY visit it as well, I don’t want to to the whistle stop tour, I want to make sure I see everything in case I don’t ever get to go back again, so I would definitely need to allow for a significant amount of time for that kind of road trip!
I absolutely agree that cities have their own personalities – sometimes, I feel like I could sketch them! Italy is spectacular, you definitely need to visit. It ones of those places I feel I would never get tired of. I’d really like to explore Tuscany next. 🙂
I’ve seen so many Americans post about BEA, it looks like absolute heaven and I want a duplicate in the UK NOW. Unfortunately, over here we don’t have anything on that scale yet, but I think we’re slowly catching up, We have YALC now. I think a lot of that has to do with the book blogging community growing a lot – the publishers have realised the want is there.