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.