Thoughts and Daydreams is a monthly feature hosted by yours truly and Jessica from Thoughts at One in the Morning. Every month, we'll discuss a reading- or writing-related topic.
~Check out January's post about getting back to reading and blogging basics.~
Welcome to the second Thoughts and Daydreams discussion post! This month, Jess and I are talking about blogging and reading slumps. I think we've probably all experienced one or both at some point, and let's face it: they suck. There are several reasons they happen, but there are also ways to beat them.
Why do slumps happen?
- Being busy or stressed in real life. Sometimes you're just so busy you don't have time to read or blog and it slides down your list of priorities.
- Similarly, other interests might take over. You might get invested (read: obsessed) in a new TV show, or interested in a new hobby, or the weather might be so nice you'd rather be outside enjoying it.
- Reading hangover. Sometimes you read a book that's so amazing, everything else seems like crap in comparison and it's hard to get interested in other books.
- On the flip side of that, sometimes reading a crappy book can cause a slump. If I've read a particularly meh book or a few meh books in a row, I find my reading slowing down and maybe even going into a full-blown slump.
- Feeling overwhelmed. A lot of us take on way too much - too many review books, too many blitzes and blog tours and events and challenges. It can get to a point where it feels daunting and affects your blogging or reading.
How can you beat a slump?
- Do something else you enjoy. If you don't feel like reading, try rewatching a few favourite movies or TV shows. Colour. Grab your camera and take some pictures. Write something non-blog-related. Talk to other members of the community and rekindle your love of reading or blogging, or talk about your other interests, fandoms, etc.
- Read a book simply for pleasure. If you're overwhelmed with review books, pick a book off your shelf that you've been wanting to read for ages. And if you really want to take the stress off, maybe you decide not to review that particular book. It can be just for you.
- Get organized. If part of the reason for a blogging slump is because you're stressed, find ways to de-stress. Make a monthly blogging calendar. Schedule posts ahead. Cut back on memes or blitzes. Don't request or accept as many ARCs. Basically, cut yourself some slack. You don't need to blog seven days a week or even every weekday. Find a schedule that works for you.
- Take a hiatus. If you're in a blogging or reading slump and nothing is working, take a hiatus. You can simply disappear for awhile, but I'd suggest writing a post for your blog saying you need a break and will back in a week, two weeks, a month, or however long it takes. I've seen a lot of bloggers take blog breaks, but mention that they'll still be around on Twitter, Instagram, etc., so if you don't want to lose touch with people, be sure to share your links so people can find you elsewhere. Most of all: don't feel guilty. Everyone needs a break from time to time.
What usually causes a reading or blogging slump for you? How long was your longest slump? What are your best suggestions for breaking out of slumps?