What Constitutes a Blogging Slump? Let Discuss.

September 2, 2017 Let's Discuss 34

At the end of July and for the first few weeks of August, I was in a true blogging slump. I barely posted at all—when I did, it was only to post a review for a blog tour (and I usually managed to read the book right before my tour date). And then I went on vacation for two weeks and took a complete blogging break (something I haven’t done before). To top it all off, I barely made it around the blogosphere to comment on other people’s posts and I fell way behind on reading the discussion challenge posts and replying to comments on my blog. (I’m still not quite caught up.)

Since I got back from my vacation on August 14th, I’ve been back at it, and I’ve been slowly catching up. I’ve posted regularly again and I’ve managed to find my way to most of my blogger friends. But I still FEEL like I’m in a slump in a lot of ways. Why?

Turns out, the feeling of being in a slump (at least for me) has a lot more to do with my perception and creative energy than it does on the number of posts I put up.

For instance, lately I’ve resorted to bite-sized reviews quite often. Most of the full reviews I post are for tours or books I received in the mail directly from publishers (and even some of those got bite-sized reviews in July/August). Part of this is because of the sheer number of books I read—the very idea of writing full reviews for all of them feels more than a little daunting, and when I get overwhelmed I shut down. But part of it is that I’m just starting to feel like I don’t have anything all that creative or interesting to say in my reviews anymore. Unless a book is EXCEPTIONALLY good or EXCEPTIONALLY bad, I just kind of want to give you a quick sum-up of my feelings and leave it at that. I feel like my reviews have gotten a little repetitive. Have you ever heard the phrase that everything that can be written about, has been? That’s how I’m feeling lately about reviews too. Like I’ve already written it all. It’s a slump, for sure!

Then there are the discussions. When I created the Discussion Challenge, I was brimming with ideas. I felt like I could discuss forever! But now that I’ve been blogging for four years, I find myself struggling to come up with new ideas. Haven’t I already discussed it all? Or, if I haven’t, didn’t someone else just recently cover that topic? What more can I say?

It’s been frustrating waiting for inspiration to hit—inspiration rarely comes on its own, unbidden. I need to find some ways to inject a creative spark into my blogging again. I’ve had some ideas, but they all feel like they take more time than I have right now. (Being more creative takes more time and energy!)

Still, I feel like I need to inject some excitement into the blog (not just for you, but for me too!). Here are some ideas that I’ve had that I’m thinking I might do. Some of them seem like great ideas, and some seem a bit crazy. Maybe writing them down will make one or two of them actually happen!

  • Poetry reviews: No, I’m not planning on starting to review poetry. But I thought it might be fun to write a short poem that sums up the book (to include with an actual review). Am I up to the task? I don’t know, but it might be fun to try!
  • Audio excerpts: I’m really not sure if this would be fun for anyone to listen to, but sometimes I like to read certain passages of a book out loud. It would be like favorite quotes, except it would be a little audio file. Might not be practical, though.
  • Kid’s illustrations: If I could convince my kids to draw a picture based on my description of a book, that might be fun. (I suppose I could include my own stick figure drawings too—I’m a horrible artist!) Convincing them to do it might be tough, though. Plus, I’d have to plan ahead—something I’m not always great at. Hmmm… maybe just goofy stick-figure drawings to go with the review?
  • Storyboarding: There’s this fun site called StoryboardThat that I’m thinking of using for my homeschool language arts class. It would be fun to create these sometimes for my reviews on the blog too! (Check out the cute storyboard below that Bridget Baudinet created for A Wrinkle in Time. You can click on the link or the picture to see it bigger.)

So, these are a few of my ideas. Again, they all take a little extra time, but I’m hoping they might be fun enough (for me to create and for you to see) that it might be worth it.

Have you ever felt like you were in a slump even when you were posting regularly? Do you like (or dislike—feel free to tell me!) and of my ideas to spice up the blog a bit? I want to know!

34 Responses to “What Constitutes a Blogging Slump? Let Discuss.”

  1. S. J. Pajonas

    I totally get this. I’m all “Haven’t I written a ton of posts on Japan already?” Lol. Which is why I’m not blogging as much either. I do feel like it’s going to come back to me, though. That it’s a down time right now and that it’ll pick back up. I can’t say for sure, though.

  2. Kristen @ Metaphors and Moonlight

    Here’s a thought on your reviews feeling repetitive—they feel repetitive *to you*. Because you know what every single one of your reviews says. But other people don’t. Especially people who are on GR/Am interested in a specific book and checking out a bunch of reviews for that one book, one of which happens to be yours. And just because something has been discussed, that doesn’t mean you can’t bring a new perspective! But I do like the idea of doing different kinds of reviews, like poetry and drawing and storyboards! So I say go for it if it’ll make things fun for you 🙂

    • Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

      You’re right about the reviews probably not seeming repetitive to other people (at least not as much as they do to me). I think it’s more that I’m just starting to feel uninspired, which makes reviewing feel more like a chore and less like something I love. I need to inject some excitement into it! I just created storyboards for my review of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and it took me a long time, but it was a lot of fun! I don’t know that I can spend that amount of time on every review, but adding things like that in now and again makes me feel more creative again.

  3. Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight

    I feel like we’re at a 12-step meeting, and it’s my turn: Hi, my name is Shannon, and I am in a perpetual, unyielding slump that defies logic.

    Ugh, I just feel you SO MUCH. I feel like I always say the same stuff over and over. Who knows, maybe I do? If it helps, you definitely do NOT. But I get the feeling regardless. In fact, I am pretty sure that taking a blogging break somehow exacerbates the situation? It’s like- you know what it is like to NOT fret about what you’re going to post every minute, and well, your sanity likes that feeling. (In fact, I think you just inspired MY next discussion post bwhaha.)

    And you know what doesn’t help at all? The world. The mess. It’s all so much stress that it makes it even harder to be creative. I DO love your ideas though- especially the storyboard and the kid drawing ones! SO FUN! See, you haven’t lost your mojo completely 😉

    • Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

      Well, it’s good to know that it doesn’t feel to other people like my blog is getting too repetitive, even if I can’t seem to quite shake the feeling myself. And I definitely agree that my stress in “real” life is a huge factor—both from the craziness of our country and from some pretty exhausting personal stuff going on in my household (three-hour argument marathons with a teenager, anyone? Sure, why not?) It’s hard to feel creative when you’re just constantly drained. On the plus side, I just did a fun review for The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy complete with storyboards! It took me forever, but it was really fun so it was worth it!

  4. Greg

    I can relate to a lot of this. I’ve been having trouble coming up with discussion post ideas lately too. And I just wrote a review today that felt pretty lackluster- like what am I really saying new here, you know? So yeah… I like some of your ideas though, and hope they help. The storyboarding site sounds really cool. For me I’m hoping trying some different genres or kinds of books will jumpstart my energy a bit.

  5. Jennilyn V.

    Your reviews do not sound repetitive at all to me, but I get what you mean. As for the feeling of blogging slump even if you have posted something, that’s just normal. I sometimes feel the same way, that nagging bit of ourselves that tell us what we post is not enough. But you are enough, we all are. I can sense your passion in what you are doing through your posts, believe me. How else would you have come up with all those idea for reviews you’ve mentioned above?! I love the storyboard idea, BTW. Poetry reviews would be cool too but it would be cooler if you read and record the poetry review in audio. Would love to hear your voice!

  6. Aj @ Read All The Things!

    I can relate to this so hard. After four years of blogging, it’s really difficult to come up with new ideas. I get blogger déjà vu constantly. I’ll start writing something and then realize that I’ve written it before. My reviews are especially repetitive. I tell myself that it doesn’t matter because nobody reads all my reviews, but reviews do get boring to write.

    • Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

      Yes, it’s not even so much that I worry that people are thinking I’m writing the same things, it’s just that I start to feel like I have nothing new to say and so I get tired of saying it. It feels like there’s only so many ways to describe a character or a love interest or even a plotline, and I start to feel like I’m parroting myself!

  7. Becky @ A Fool's Ingenuity

    Everyone gets this feeling from time to time, especially when they’ve been blogging as long as you have. It’s hard to feel original when you’ve been posting for a while. I know I’ve felt like I’ve been repeating myself from time to time. I don’t think anyone ever notices the repetition but me but if it bothers you then sure go try something different. That’s when inspiration will strike.

  8. Cristina (Girl in the Pages)

    I LOVE the storyboard idea- how fun! I have been blogging for over 3 years, and I definitely have been feeling the struggle to come up with creative content- it feels like I’ve basically done everything before.

  9. Emma

    I don’t know if I’d call it a slump but sometimes I just don’t feel like blogging and so I don’t. It’s usually when life is too busy. I have just started a second blog though for things that I want to talk about beyond books as this has been happening more and more…maybe that is where you could find that creativity – going beyond book related posts?

  10. shooting

    Oh yeah – I think my blogging slumps are usually when I’m still posting, though it might not be that often. I’m doing okay right now, though I do feel a little like “ehh…I have so many book books to review”. I think mini-reviews are fine – sometimes they are better than trying to stretch out your thoughts! Your poetry idea sounds fun, and I like the storyboard you did for Galaxy.

    -Lauren
    http://www.shootingstarsmag.net

  11. Dragonfly @ Our Familiarium

    I went thought this last fall with my first blog [dannielaark.com] and went MIA for three months. I could not blog at all. I had lost all interest! and I think for the same exact reason you listed here. So I tried again with my family blog with I had also abandoned and kind of merged the two so I could blog about other interests besides like I do now [cooking, writing, social media, etc.] and that have kept it interesting this year but I feel I’m approaching a new one so I’ll have to go through another “blogging soul searching” good luck with yours! I love your blog and I hope you stay around!

  12. Laura

    I’ve definitely felt like this before! I’ve often felt that even when I’ve been posting fairly regularly, I’ve been struggling for ideas and so have ended up posting things that I didn’t absolutely love, or that I didn’t feel were that great. And I hate that feeling!
    Discussion posts are definitely the hardest to come up with, and I often feel like I’m struggling for ideas for them. Occasionally I’ve even come up with ideas that I think are great, only to realize that I’ve already done a similar post. But I guess that’s a side effect of having been blogging for quite a while.
    And I’ve started doing mini reviews too, just because it does feel like I’m just saying all the same things too. I love your ideas though, and I’ll be looking out for some of them appearing on the blog.
    I especially like the idea of poetry reviews! 🙂

  13. Evelina

    I understand what you mean about discussions… but in the end, think it’s alright it’s been talked about. I feel like we don’t crave new stuff, we just want to hear about bookish stuff and we don’t mind if it repeats! At least, I don’t. Every time I get to read something, it’s another chance to think about bookish stuff, and I love it 🙂 maybe I’m not picky, haha 😀

  14. Mikaela @ The Well-Thumbed Reader

    I totally feel you on this! I had a mini blogging burn-out near the end of August, and even though I feel much better now, sometimes, I still have patches where I feel like I’m still in a slump – I procrastinate on commenting back, I don’t feel like commenting on other blogs, I’m lazy with replying to comments. I actually just changed up my blogging schedule again! XD I definitely think a blogging slump is really a state of mind more than a physical thing.

  15. Lexxie @ (un)Conventional Bookviews

    My reviews have gotten shorter lately, too, Nicole. I don’t want to spend too much time on them – unless a book truly blew me away – I just want to read more 😀
    My review for Ilona Andrews’ latest release ended up being a poem 😀 And I didn’t even do it on purpose!
    It definitely is hard to come up with new ideas, and to try to keep our content fresh. Somehow, I think it’s kind of good to ask ourselves how to do that, though, and possibly, slumps help us figure out another perspective to use for our reviews.

  16. Jen

    The poetry review sounds like an awesome idea! Anna used to do ones like that, and they were always so amazing and a breath of fresh air to read. I loved reading those. Here’s hoping you can find a way to express your feelings towards books and that you’re happy with the way it makes you feel! *hugs*

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