Some things on a blogging hiatus

I am not going to lie: I have been in a blogging funk.

And not just a blogging funk, but a review-writing funk. Life has been busy, yes, and free time is always harder to come by in the fall, it seems. There’s been a lot going on in my personal life as well: more derby commitments than usual (start of the season + hosting a statewide tournament – yikes!), an unexpected but pressing home project (rebuilding a bay window – yikes!), and an uptick at work that leaves me feeling ever-so-worn-out when I get home.

Reading has been slower. I finished an absolutely terrible book back in September and it took me forever to read; my stubbornness and unwillingness to put down a book once I’ve started definitely bit me in the ass in a big way. After finishing, all I wanted was to read something else – anything else – FAST. I didn’t want to think about the bad book any more. I definitely didn’t want to write about it. Two books later, and I still haven’t caught up on reviews.

But then, I ask myself: why am I putting such pressure to “catch up” on reviews anyway? This is my blog, my space. I can do what I want with it, even if that means nothing at all. Does it make me sad when I don’t have the energy to write for myself? Yes. Does it make me sad when I don’t have the motivation to write book reviews, especially because writing about books helps me understand and absorb them better? Of course. Do I feel sad about all the reviews I’m not writing right now, since I won’t be able to re-visit my thoughts on the books I’m reading in the future. Yes.

But, you know, that’s OK. Because sometimes, I need a break. Sometimes, I don’t want to hang out here and just talk and talk about books. I’ve read some great, and not-so-great, books lately. And I don’t really feel like talking about them. Well, I’ll talk about them in person – I’m always up for that. But right now, writing about them feels like a homework assignment. And, I’m not in grad school any more, and I’m adult, so if I want to spend my evenings reading and then watching re-runs of Fixer Upper on HGTV, then that’s what I’ll do. (Love that show.)

(Also, I’ll start ALL the sentences with “and” and “but”, and no one can stop me! Weee!)

Given all that, I am still going to record the books I’m reading here – I think that’s easy enough. And I can do it at work, when things are slow (like right now!). Plus, I still like the idea of using this space for things other than books, and maybe, one of these days, I’ll feel like getting back into the swing of writing about those things as well. There’s been a lot going on that I could write about: fall clothes shopping, house repairs, cool quotes and fun links.

But again, I also think there’s something to be said for maintaining a bit of silence about one’s life. For not sharing all the things. My life is validated, and special, and fulfilling even when I don’t tell you about the food I cook, the clothes I wear, or share pictures of my home and cats. So many people have blogs these days – and those blogs are filled with such irritating normalcy – that I wonder: why? Why do you feel it’s necessary to take artsy pictures of your living room and plaster it on the Internet? Does it make you feel special? Does it make you feel better about yourself?

And then I’m like, oh shit. What the hell am doing? I can tell myself I do it for fun, and because I like to write, and because I think it’s cool and neat. But I don’t like to think that I’m using this very public platform as a gratuitous attempt at self-validation. I think I dress very nicely and have good taste in clothes, but I don’t need to act life a lifestyle blogger in order believe that. And I love reading, and think I read a wide variety of pretty great books, but I don’t need to be a book blogger to know that either.

So lately, I’ve been trying to just be – and act like – myself. Live my own private life, and not worry about how others perceive it. Not worry about how it looks on Instagram, or the elegant ways in which I could write about it. Just…do my own thing.

These are not good thoughts if you’ve been blogging off-and-on (mostly on) for more than five years. These are blog-ending thoughts. But I’m just going to let them settle and stew, and see where things take me. Who knows: I’ll probably be back here whenever I get bored and need an outlet. I’ll still record the books I read here, mainly because I have been blogging for so long, and this is a very valuable record of that reading life. But who knows what it will become, or where I want to take it.

I do know that I’m a little weary of pretending like I enjoy a public life. So, here’s to living a private life, not pretending to be more than I am, and sharing when it feels right.

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