It’s the blog post I’ve been putting off typing for a while but I think its got to the point where I’ve accepted that my blogging journey is at an end, it brings me nothing but anxiety and upset, i feel like everyone wants a piece of me and that isn’t healthy.
About 6 months ago 2 things happened, i missed a blog tour spot because I got my dates confused, i had my review nearly typed but then wordpress lost it all – it was 6pm, i had to get my daughter to dance and i had to retype an entire review, i was stressed because wordpress had let me down, i was upset because i had let a publisher down and because of this i was so distracted i nearly crashed my car taking my daughter to dance – i know its extreme but that’s the kind of thing that really makes you take stock on your priorities. I was a sobbing mess because i missed a book review. This happened at a time where i was also experiencing vision issues that were exacerbated by reading ebooks – even though i pretended to publishers that ebooks were perfectly fine.
I needed a break and i hastily posted a tweet to say i was on hiatus. During that time i updated my review criteria to remove ebooks. During that break i had one more review i was committed to, on posting that it was like the gates opened and I was flooded with review requests again, even from people who had acknowledged my hiatus, it sent me into a spiral and i just deleted them all.
I now feel scared to post a review because i don’t want to give the impression that i have either the time or capacity for blogging, in short, i can’t even review for fun anymore. Emails, DM’s on twitter, IG and even my personal FB messenger, it’s not fair and of course singularly its easy to understand that an author might not feel they are doing anything out of line, but taken as a community as a whole, it’s too much. I thought i found a safe space on tik tok but no, still the DM’s came (which i have since disabled.) I have removed my review page entirely from the blog and all reference to reviews on my socials – i just want to be able to love books without the weight of expectation that comes with it.
This is going to sound terrible but honestly a free ebook just isn’t worth it. Time to read, time to digest, time to type a review and post it to various platforms, taken with being a parent, a wife and a full time worker – for some ridiculous reason i put the demands of reviewing a book above the needs of my family. A blogger that i called a friend, did a huge tik tok rant about how ungrateful and entitled bloggers who wont accept ebooks are – like we should be reading machines ready to acquiesce at every turn. I’m jaded with it all. Trying to put a positive spin on a book i hated because an author who had put faith in me was at the other end , feeling like i can’t DNF because it’s something i have been given in return for a review, rather than a book i had bought myself and could put in the charity bag without questions.
The good news for authors is that there are so many new and excited bloggers and reviewers out there, it’s lovely to see those that are really enthusiastic out there but honestly after nearly 7 years, i’m burnt out and ready to move on.
I want reading to be fun again, which it has been for the last few months, i’ve agreed to a few reviews but feel like these are on my own terms, at my own request and i have control over them.
I will never be “open for reviews” again but i do desperately want to feel reviewing is a safe space, i’ve read some of my old reviews recently and whilst some of them aren’t brilliant – a lot of them reflect a me who loved what they were doing, maybe i can get it back.
The blog will remain open for legacy purposes and the odd review here or there, but Paperbacks and Pinot blog, thank you for the years that we had lots of fun in, i’m just sad it had to end this way.