Thursday, 10 May 2012

Why The Slump?

Pic courtesy of Clover @ Fluttering Butterflies
It's taken me a couple of weeks to write this post and I think that's apt considering the everything slump I've been in lately. I've read quite a few books lately but just haven't felt the need to sit down and share my thoughts. After much soul searching and staring at a blank screen, I've finally come up with a bunch of reasons why.


SO MANY PLATFORMS, SO LITTLE TIME
I've said it before and I'll say it again, multitasking is a complete nightmare. In an attempt to "put myself out there" for lack of a better term I've signed up to a whole plethora of social mediums. Goodreads, Twitter, Amazon, Facebook. You name it, I'm on it. Instead of increasing exposure, it's become a major chore to go through all the sites and keep updated on everything. So much so that I'm finding it really difficult to get motivated to even post reviews on multiple sites. Which is a huge shame because some of the books I've read deserve all the exposure they can get.

TV IS THE ROUTE OF ALL WRITING EVIL
At the end of a hard days work (which I spend in front of a computer) the last thing I want to do is get in front of another computer and have to think about what it is I'm writing. Whether what I say makes sense, if it's funny or insightful. If it's something someone else wants to read. All I want to do is  something brainless and nothing quietens brain matter as well as the idiot box. Though I'm finding TV to be such a trap. It provides some much needed stress relief but also keeps giving me great novel ideas.So whilst I have some new ideas to flesh out, I'm too busy being lulled into complacency while the flashing pictures. Catch 22.

REINVENTING THE WHEEL (OR IN THIS CASE THE REVIEW)
This should really have been the first and most prominent  out of all the reasons why I have been in a slump but since my mind works in random ways, it's going to stay where it is. You guys know by now that I spend a ridiculous amount of time internet stalking. My head is so full of useless information. Mostly about why a zombie apocalypse could never happen. But I'm a semi-pro and I do stalk the occasional book review blog and let me tell you, there are some incredible bloggers out there. I'm talking the ones who have a blog and also post reviews on Amazon and Goodreads. Most likely they're the first reviews you see when you look up a book. They're not just reviews with a few paragraphs either. These things could be considered novellas. None of it is filled with fluff. Every word is pertinent and every idea well established. It's these reviews that make me think...why bother writing my own reviews when it' all been said and said so well? I don't have the time or inclination to put that much love into a review and I feel like it's a bit redundant. Of course there's the other notion that everyone has their own personal thoughts on a book and every review is helpful regardless of it's contents. I personally love reading the different perspectives on a book that many bloggers bring to the table, especially those ones who write short reviews but still manage to say so much. For myself, I just don't know if I have anything to say that hasn't been said better. So as I flip back and forth between the two sides, I am sitting in limbo with a bunch of reviews backed up and going nowhere fast.


WHEN I GROW UP I WANT TO BE...
I have noticed that most wannabe writers who blog don't post as often as the book bloggers I follow. It's got me questioning whether I should be spending so much time "socialising" and much more time writing. But I'm shallow and live in fear of a mass exodus from my blog if I'm not always around. Besides that, I love engaging with other book bloggers. There are so many incredible people who blog and I want to be able to keep up to date with their blogs. I have to admit that being ever present does cut into my writing time. I should be editing right now but instead I'm blogging and agonizing over things that wouldn't have existed if I wasn't a blogger. Although I wouldn't be nearly a good a writer if I hadn't stumbled across the many great books and blogs that I frequent now. So I'm stuck in another moment where I need to decide whether it's more important to me right now to be a blogger or a writer. Hoping to find some balance soon.

THIS DOES NOT ADD UP
I love YA. I love strong female characters. I love the paranormal. I even enjoy the occasional romantic plotline. So when I start reading the latest big thing in YA it should be a given that I will fall in love with it right? WRONG. This is where it all falls apart and I end up standing on a virtual soapbox calling for some common sense and wondering where it all went wrong.Over the last few months I've read so many YA best sellers I can barely keep count and they all have one thing in common: I didn't enjoy any of them. So much so that I'm beginning to think the problem is me. Am I just out of touch? Can I not relate to teenage girls anymore? Probably not. But I've decided not to let it get to me. Despite moving on in years, I highly doubt I would have liked those books even if I were a teenager so no use feeling bad that I'm not part of the mainstream. I'm resigned to be a weirdo :)

END EXCUSES FOR WHY I HAVEN'T BEEN BLOGGING....
I swear I'll be better soon.

23 comments:

  1. You shouldn't be comparing yourself with other bloggers. You're doing fine. Everyone has their own style of blogging and yours is laid back and chatty and still gives your readers an idea of what you like and what not and why. If I want an essay I'll read Australian Book Review or some such. We all have those times when we wonder why we're reviewing other people's books instead of working on our own, but sooner or later, people who like your writing are going to look for your web site and then it needs to be reasonably up to date. I don't mean every day or even every week, but a blog last updated in 2009 will suggest you're not around any more. So don't doubt yourself or feel guilty when you blog instead of edit. I sometimes find it gets me in the mood to wander over to the word processing part. Of my iPad and get on with the novel!

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    1. I've read some of the Aussie book reviews and they make my brain hurt. I have to believe that those people spend hours at a time preparing those reviews. Am beginning to think that blogging once a week isn't such a bad thing.

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  2. I think Sue has NAILED it. Do what's right for you. Hell, even just book blogging I struggle. Do I blog? Do I read? Do I social network? Uh... Maybe spend time with my husband occasionally? Find the balance that works for you. No-one's going to abandon your blog, surely. Your feed is safely saved in my reader, waiting for your next post ;)

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    1. I'm glad to hear I'm not the only one who has trouble keeping up. I always feel guilty that I'm not spending enough time with real people as well.

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  3. Ditto to ^^. Like I said before. Do what makes you happy. As much as I like reading your blog, I of all people understand its hard to always have something to say. I mean look at my blog. I respond like once a week...if that. As far as the tv...I TOTALLY understand. I currently have like 5 or 6 tv shows Im dedicated to. Being Human (the american version, not the BBC version. Unfortunately the season finale has already come and gone so it'll be out of my life soon...sigh), Once Upon a Time, Vampire Diaries, Secret Circle, (all of which the season finale's are coming up. sad times) and Game of Thrones. Luckily True Blood will be coming back soon, but still. TV is so awesome. And with my new addicion to the old shows I missed watching, like Girls Next Door, that show about Hugh Hefner's girlfriends and old movies, it's just hard to find the need to actually do anything that requires brain activity.I dont even watch the news anymore because it requires me to come back to reality and think about stuff. Especially now with this whole presidential election thing coming up this year, too overwhelming.

    Anywho, I'm here and I wont abandon you. Do what you need to do to stay happy. I know you havent abandoned us, even if you're gone for a while, and if I happen to need you for any reason, I have your email!

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    1. I am so obsessive about TV shows! It's as if they have a spell over me. I guess I just like living in a fantasy world where only exciting things happen. Not normal things like doing the washing :) Speaking of emailing, I so need peeps to beta read my book when it's edited. Will email you soon.

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  4. Right there with ya! I'm signed up for several sites but can barely keep up with them. I focus on Facebook and Goodreads. Twitter is just overwhelming, I can barely keep up with it. Try to focus on the ones you like most, and use the others rarely. That might help a little.

    I understand how you feel about not wanting to be on the computer after spending the day on it. I've been trying to reduce my online time for the sake of my writing so I don't hurt my eyes. Maybe you could write a little bit on paper, mostly ideas and some dialogue, then transfer it to the computer when you feel like getting on there?

    Don't worry about other reviews. They might be able to express their thoughts well, but we want to hear your thoughts too! We probably all sound like broken records eventually, but we all have a slightly different opinion of the same books. At least, I know I want to hear what you have to say about a book. You write great reviews!

    Blogging vs. writing, I hear ya. I still spend more time blogging than writing, but I see that a lot of people who write books and blog spend less time on their blog. It is all about balance. Maybe it just comes down to having a plan--like post one book review per week, have one discussing post per week, or something like that. For me, posting 5 or more times a week is too much. I try to keep mine to about 3 posts per week (one discussion, one review, my update). Sometimes I'll throw something else in there. I think once I put more time into my writing, I'll probably be cutting back--shorter reviews, less discussion posts. I want to engage my readers, but I want to finish my book. When it comes to keeping up with everyone, I am always struggling with that. I try to comment when I can, but some days I just don't have enough time to comment on the posts I want to comment on.

    There are some mainstream books/series I just don't want to read or can't get into. It doesn't necessarily mean you're out of touch with YA, it just means you have different taste. Maybe your tastes lean more toward adult fiction rather than YA, but I think a lot of us who are adults are interested in something more our age at times.

    Hang in there. You're not alone in feeling this way. I have missed reading your posts and hope you can find a happy medium soon! ^_^

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    1. I'm trying to concentrate on Goodreads and probably Amazon. It's hard when I'm so horrible at all the technical stuff!! I need to have a good long think about balance in my own life. I spent so much time catching up with everyone that it feels like I've already done a heap of writing by the time I'm done.

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  5. Alright, Lan, listen up! ;) Reading this post was like looking in a mirror. I feel exactly the same way lately. And I'm saying this to myself as much as to you. It's OK if you don't follow and comment on everyone's blogs. We'll forgive you. The fact that you don't like what you're reading does not mean there's something wrong with you it means you can see the stupidity for what it is and I KNOW you can write something better! Just being from Australia guarantees that in my book. ;) I totally get where you're coming from but I hope you can get over your slump and write, not just reviews, but your book. Don't worry about not being good enough because I'm telling you, you are! ;) *hugs*

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    1. How crazily good are books by Australian authors? Although I read a YA one the other weeks that make me want to kick something. Am slowing getting back on track. It helps that I'm on vacation too!

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  6. Oh, Lan, I know exactly what you mean! Sometimes it's so hard to keep up with blogging and writing and socializing and spreading the word and stalking book feeds so I'm as caught up to date with new books as everyone else seems to be... it's just SO hard not to compare my blog with others, and I constantly feel like I'm the underdog of them all.

    But even though it's hard not to, we shouldn't compare ourselves to other bloggers! It's okay if you're not around as often as you want to be or don't post daily -- we'll still love you and your blog no matter what! (There's a reason why you're on my blog roll, you know <3) You're a writer first, blogger second, yet an all-around normally awesome person all the time, and that's totally okay! :)

    And the fact that you haven't been enjoying as much YA now as you used to is NOT your fault! I've been harder on judging books lately too, and that makes it harder to give out five stars. Taking a break is a good way to refresh, but I think that finding that one AMAZING book helps as well! For me, that was Kill Me Softly by Sarah Cross. For you, it may be a YA book or it may not be.

    Either way, I hope you find it soon!

    Either way, I hope you find the inspiration you need :) <3

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    1. I have such problems comparing myself to other people, even though I know I shouldn't. It's hard when there are so many great bloggers out there. But I do need to find the time to write. Thanks for the encouragement Mimi :)

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  7. For what it's worth, I love all your reviews--all your posts, really. And I don't think you should worry about being fresh or entertaining or insightful, because, guess what? YOU'RE fresh and entertaining and insightful, so what you write will inevitably be that way too, whether your trying to be or not. And no matter how long you wait between posts, I'll always come back :)

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    1. Thanks Karen! I'm really planning to come back more regularly. I so need a routine to keep me in line, otherwise I just end up being lazy when I can't afford to be!

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  8. Lan, have I told you how much I love your in-depth analyses? (Did I spell that right?)

    RE Social networking . . . it is a total time-suck, and it's hard to measure if there's any real benefit. I mean, we've all heard of the few who've struck it rich with brilliant Facebook and Twitter campaigns, but we haven't heard of the thousands who haven't benfitted. I say, do what makes you happy.

    Lately I've also found myself a bit annoyed with YA . . . fatigued with teenage angst, I suppose. Clearly showing my age. I've been heading back into adult books, which has been a nice relief. Maybe you can switch things up for a while and read something new?

    As for TV, I'm a firm believer that writers can learn a lot about plot, structure, and characters from good TV. If you're in a TV mood, I say indulge and learn as much as you can while you're relaxing. (Of course, if you like reality TV like I do, this may not apply.)

    Hang in there!

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    1. When I first started blogging I thought for sure I would use it to network and promote my blog. Cue almost a year later and I haven't even finished writing my book! How dodgy is that?

      I'm on a mission to find some good adult books as we speak. Or at least some non YA paranormal.

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  9. Maybe those YA best sellers out there are just not all that good. I happen to agree to a point, although I'm not sure if I've read all the same ones you have. Maybe you're not quite the right audience for them. It means you probably will love something a bit different. I know I don't usually love the usual best seller stuff nearly as much as everyone else.

    What are they doing wrong? What kind of book do you want to read? What stuff should it have in it? Ask yourself these questions and then go write a book just like it. The right book for you is probably not out there, but inside you. I'm thinking the same thing is the case for me, too. There's no book that hits the nail on the head just right, so it must mean I have to write it myself.

    All that social media stuff gets overwhelming! How can anyone keep up? I don't get how all those Twitter addicts do it. I'm lucky if I tweet once a day. How do they manage 30 tweets per day? It sucks that you have to work on a computer all day long, then have to write your MS on a computer, or edit it. Hope your vacation is going well so you can just use a computer for editing for the time being.

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    1. I am definitely not the right audience! I think my problem is more that I keep reading books I think I should be writing rather than ones I know I'll enjoy. Think of it as a crazy kind of research. My priorities appear to be all wrong. You're so right. I need to write the kind of book I want to read and hope that I can find an audience who enjoys reading them.

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  10. THIS! <3 I'm going to bookmark this post and refer to it every time I feel stretched too thin. I can especially relate to all the social media platforms... Been wondering if I need to cutback lately. Also the TV. Lately I've been having to take a step back and realize that ultimately my blog and what I post on it is for me. I review the books I do because I love them. I write what I write because I want to and it makes me happy. Not saying I don't love followers or people who read my site, because I do! It makes me so happy and appreciated when people comment on my blog. But, at the end of the day it's for me. Maybe that makes me selfish...? But I have to keep that perspective or I'll go crazy trying to please everyone or worry about how many people are reading my blog (not saying I don't do that, either).

    Also, I like your blog and your reviews because you say what you think and your personality comes across on the page. I'll keep reading. :)

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  11. Another great post! Don't think you need to worry about your writing, as you seem to have an awful lot of fans (me included)! Couldn't agree more about the time sucks....I have to stay away from Twitter or I lose hours. And don't get me started on Facebook, as I play waaaaaay too many games! As for posting on Amazon and Goodreads, well, I'm lazy and just copy and paste the same review I put on my blog. If I remember...

    Think everyone hits a slump every now and again. As for me, I have no idea how people find the time to post 2-3 times a day! I'm lucky if I manage 3 posts a week!

    Enjoy your vacation! We'll be here when you get back. :)

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  12. Oh, Lan, I adore your unique view in books and life! Hoping to see more of you soon! <3 LOL, don't worry - I don't enjoy most of bestselling YA books either! Sometimes I think there's something wrong with me. Why can't anyone see that this heroine is sooo annoying, or the story is simply ridiculous? It's okay to have a different opinion. That's what makes us special, right? ;)

    LOL, soul searching! Good luck on that one, and I hope you find mine for me! ;) I agree, TV is the best distraction! I feel like forgetting everything else in the world when I sit on the couch and watch TV LOL! As if I don't even need brain to process everything in front of me when watching TV! x)

    I'll be waiting for your next update, Lan! Enjoy your holiday! <3

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  13. Great post and I sorta feel the same way, tho not about the blogging, but because I am trying to pick up where I left off. I missed my time at the Library researching and trying to once more get back into the swing of things again.

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  14. Joining the party late here, but HEAR HEAR!

    Feeling like butter scraped over too much bread with the mass of different social platforms I'm trying to keep up to speed with. Writing my exam papers have kept me from reading enough to even review books at a steady rate and once I finally had the time I just wanted to sit down and relax - not stress about my blog. Also, TV <3

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