Today, I wanted to hit pause on my usual book reviews and bookish articles and have a chat about what it is like to be in a reading slump when you have a book blog. As you can imagine, it can be pretty frustrating to be in a reading slump when you have a book blog. The pressure to constantly be reading, keep up to date with the latest releases, and just be producing content is tough. It feels like a vicious cycle in many ways – if you’re not reading, you’re not writing/making content, which obviously means people will get bored and forget you and your blog. This is, at least, what goes on inside my head.
While this article pertains to book blogs and writing book reviews, I feel a larger issue is at play here. Namely, the pressure to always be productive. Now, there are many reasons why people feel this pressure, and I don’t think it is simple to blame one thing. Capitalism which has taught us that we only get our worth from what we create definitely plays a role. Are we even doing life right if we aren’t pushing ourselves in every aspect of our lives with our fifty different side hustles? Social media can also trap us into feeling like we have to post high-quality content all the time. Are you even a blogger if you don’t have a fancy camera, 10 ring lights, and a conventionally attractive bikini body? Social media algorithms also create lose-lose situations for content creators because if you aren’t posting regularly or if you aren’t using the correct kind of post, it will punish you (Instagram is still going HARD on reels right now, so too bad if you don’t like that kind of format). Even the way we write has been influenced by social media. I recently wrote an Instagram post about listening to an audiobook whilst cleaning the house, and I made a joke saying that today’s procrastination was brought to you by cleaning the house and listening to this audiobook. With 100% honesty, I tell you that Instagram thought that I was not disclosing branded content, and since then, my views, likes, and general engagement for my book blog account have gone downhill. It has been really fun. But I digress.
The pressure to be producing things right now has been tough, and after my brother passed away, I have struggled. It is hard to do anything while you are really in the deep throes of grief. It has been a complicated time, a reflective time, and a very painful time for me. Sometimes reading is the last thing I want to do. And then that little voice in my head whispers, “You’ll never be successful if you don’t do XYZ…” The tasks change, but that nagging pressure and judgement rarely do.
So I wanted to talk to you honestly about some things I’ve been doing while trying to look after myself these past few months.
I still try to read, but I also don’t force it. I try to stick to things I really want to read rather than making my way through things that will be too difficult for me to get through right now. I’ve been trying to mix things up by listening to audiobooks as well as reading physical books. I recently dusted off my eReader to throw into the mix too.
I have piles of books I want to be reading, but I try not to make myself feel guilty for not starting those books yet. I know that there will be days again when reading will return to me.
I have been going out for coffee and taking a book with me. Going out and being somewhere different from my house has been great for my reading motivation.
I try to not judge my Goodreads challenge too much. There is always time to catch up or time to change the challenge.
I’ve been going for walks and runs – sometimes with audiobooks and sometimes just to listen to the nature around me. I come home feeling more refreshed for it.
Are you in a reading slump right now? What have you done to help yourself get out of it? As always, share the reading love.