On giving up, but positively

Posted November 28, 2016 by Nicky in General / 16 Comments

I’m giving up on my reading goals for 2016.

They were useful for quite a while — right into November, after all. But right now, they’re actually getting in the way: making me feel pressured, making reading feel like a chore, closing down my options instead of reminding me how many I have. Generally, I don’t like giving up, but I feel like this is a good time. It doesn’t mean that I won’t read 200 books brought prior to this year, or that I won’t read 366 books overall… but it does mean I’ll stop beating myself up about it.

I think the problem for bloggers sometimes is that you feel the need to keep pushing out reviews, gathering new followers, and gaining likes. After all, that’s how you know your blog is useful and worth the time you’ve put into it — and even the money, for people who self-host. But that also makes it feel like a chore. I have to finish X to get my review out in time for Y…

But the thing is, there’s no point in having a blog if you’re not enjoying it. That’s what most of us get out of it, not money — although free books can be a perk that some reviewers see. It’s been stopping me rereading books as much as I normally would, making me postpone enjoyable books because they’d take too long and I need to write a review now, now, now

(Which I don’t; I’m scheduled up to the 7th of January 2017, as I write, and probably a week beyond that by the time this goes up.)

I know I’m not the only one.

So, bloggers, readers: take the time at the end of this year to make reading, reviewing and blogging fun again, if it has lost its shine. Or even if it hasn’t, but you just want a little break. I dare you to reread a favourite, for no other reason than that you want to. It doesn’t have to be popular, it doesn’t have to be part of a series, it doesn’t have to fit in with your goals or tick your boxes. I dare you to reread a book you only reviewed six months ago, just because you love it. I dare you to pick up your guilty pleasure reading or that book everyone else seems to hate.

And if you won’t, I still will. Let’s love the heck out of books.

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16 responses to “On giving up, but positively

    • I think I make this plan every year, and then every year fall prey to big ambitions of reading All The Books, and Doing All The Things! I think a lot of us could use some more balance. Good luck!

  1. arbieroo

    I, also, fully support you on this; when I first started posting reviews over on Goodreads I promised myself that if it ever became a chore I’d just stop. The idea was primarily just to keep a record of what I’ve read and what I thought about it for my own personal benefit – when other people took an interest it was a bit of a surprise.

    Since then I have had several periods of inactivity. In my case they correlate with periods of poor mental health. I am also glad to have got out of the habit of checking how many “likes” I’ve received in the past whatever time period. I’m not really in a popularity contest.

    • Obviously, by the time I made a blog, I knew people were interested, but yeah, I try to remember that it’s primarily for me. What’s the point if we don’t enjoy it?

      And same — if I’m reading and posting less, it’s usually poor mental health that’s to blame.

  2. I’d come to the same sort of conclusions at the end of the my 2015 challenge, Nikki, and tried to reduce the pressure for 2016 by having less specific goals. Still, I’m finding myself getting anxious about not completing even these vaguer goals, which is not what reading for fun is about. Next year will have no numbers involved, nothing constricting pleasurable reading, just a general wishlist — no pressure!
    Chris Lovegrove recently posted…Wonder womenMy Profile

  3. I fully support you in this. I’m having trouble keeping up with my reading these days, though my problem isn’t so much about feeling pressured and more about just wanting to read EVERYTHING, and NOW. What I need to learn is how to let a book go if it’s just not doing anything for me, but the compulsion to never dnf is too strong.

  4. I’m trying to lower my goals to be more achievable each month or year. I usually can get in 250 a year and would like to reach 300, but I set it for 200 as I can get to that even with a few months of slump! My aim is now to set goals I can reach monthly and hope to fit in extra as a bonus! I agree it’s easy to put too much pressure on yourself with reading goals then everything becomes a struggle.
    chucklesthescot recently posted…Top Ten TuesdayMy Profile

    • I’ve managed over 300 already, so I think it’s a good goal for me! But maybe a bit more slack would work for me too… it sucks when reading starts to feel like work.

  5. It’s funny, I’ve actually been planning to do a lot of rereads next year for exactly this reason. I’ve loved pushing myself to read new things the past couple of years, but I feel like I haven’t caught up with some old friends for a while, and I miss them.

  6. This is a great post! 🙂 I practiced the art of letting go this November by taking a break and it did me so much good! I’m slowly returning (though I did have one day last week when I wrote 5 posts in a row) and I like it like that. I’m not super worried about followers or whatever – people who like my blog will stay in any case. And reading should always be fun!

    I hope you’ll enjoy the rest of your reading in 2016!
    Kaja recently posted…Half Wild by Sally GreenMy Profile

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