Sunday, July 8, 2012
Today was supposed to be house cleaning day - instead it's turned into blog cleaning day. I've been struggling lately to have fun blogging - reading enough to be able to post reviews, coming up with content for the days without reviews, keeping up with all of the blogs I follow. Then there's trying to keep up with the conversations on Twitter, posts on Tumblr and my email. I've been thinking about a post Andi, from Estella's Revenge, wrote a few days ago in which she declared her desire to liberate her blog from outside influences.
It may sound silly to anyone who doesn't blog, who sees bloggers getting free books and thinks that nothing could be greater. Don't get me wrong - I love getting free books! Other than picking up used books and books from clearance shelves, I have only rarely purchased a book in the three years I've been blogging. It's great to come home and find another book in the mail and I have gotten a chance to read some wonderful books I might never have discovered otherwise.
Here's the problem - guilt. I get at least three offers for books everyday and every time I turn down a book, I feel guilty. Even when the person pitching the book has clearly not read my review policy or looked at the kind of books I like to read. I feel guilty every time I look at the books I have accepted for review but haven't yet had the time to read. Mostly, I feel guilty because I have hundreds of books that I have paid for sitting on shelves all over my house with very little hope that I will get to them.
So today, I'm taking my first steps toward making my blogging time fun again. First up - cleaning up my feed reader. I have almost 200 blogs on my reader. Even if there isn't a new post on all of them every day, there are well more new posts every day than I can read. I spend a part of every day trying to scan them and save the ones I want to come back to later and comment on. By the time I"m through all of that, though, there's no time left to go visit the posts I saved. Something has to give so today I've unsubscribed to more than 25 blogs, some obsolete, some I don't have a relationship with the blogger, some where we just don't have the same literary tastes. If we are friends and you don't hear from me in a couple of weeks, though, I may have accidentally deleted you. Shoot me an email!
Next up is a new review policy - one that's going to the top of the page instead of being buried at the bottom. That way, when I get a pitch that doesn't fit what I'll review, I'll know the pitcher never even looked at my blog and I won't feel guilty saying "no" any more. Thank you so much for the offers, I'm delighted to have so many wonderful books to choose from. But let's be honest, while I'm getting the chance to have a free book, these offers aren't coming to me out of kindness. I need to be able to recognize that it's okay to say "no, thanks," I don't have time to publicize your book right now.
After that, a calendar for the rest of the year. I'm going to schedule all of the books I've accepted for review (after I go through them and make sure I still want to read them) and get myself caught up. I will go into 2013 with a clean slate - and a review book shelf! While I'm scheduling, I'm putting in places for books to be named later. That is to say, what ever I darn well feel like reading.
I always feel better when I've got a plan and I'm feeling lighter already. And I'm looking forward to the next six months!