The Ultimate Blog Post

Friday, May 12, 2023

I have thought about writing this post for a long time - it has floated up in my psyche occasionally, on and off, for months now. Honestly, I probably needed to write it a bit sooner, but I just wasn’t ready yet.

I started this blog back in something like 2011 (I am choosing not to go back and check… I don’t really want to ^^;), and I was so excited to be receiving books for review, taking part in book judging and prizes, and starting to talk to other people online about books. As the years have gone on, I’ve dabbled in lots of different roads of book promotion and content - YouTube, Instagram… But I always kept this blog, too, because it was actually my preferred form of gushing about books for a lot of that time.

I also began writing about my chronic illnesses - the things I experience, and suggestions for other spoonies who might be feeling a little lost and confused about how to just *exist* whilst also being chronically ill. I wrote about tea that I was trying, kpop, nature, and my life in general. In many ways, this blog holds a huge chunk of myself - me in my twenties, mostly, and all the things I experienced.

But so much has changed. I’ve changed a lot, too, which is maybe the most surprising thing. Or perhaps I should say that I finally understand myself enough to realise that this blog just doesn’t fit who I am anymore. It shows a part of me that I have moved on from, and now I feel like I need to take the last plunge.

I’m going to stop reviewing books - I’ve been getting less of them to review, anyway, over the years, and I just find that I don’t have the passion for it anymore. A couple of years ago I gave myself permission to not write anything about books I was reading that *weren’t* review books, and for some I don’t even give a star rating. Ultimately, when I’m reading something to review it, it changes my reading experience. And it’s not a feeling I enjoy anymore. 

I still love books and reading and literature in general - oh my goodness, yes, I do. I still read a lot, even when I’m not able to review things or post about them on here or on social media. Books are such a huge part of my identity, and I think that’s why this post has been so hard to approach - this decision, too. Who am I if I don’t review books? Who am I if I don’t receive books to review, contact publishers, look through catalogues, think about whether I want to make a booktube video, or a bookstagram post? It’s honestly terrifying for me to think about.

A part of me does know that I’ve been somewhat moving away from that identity for years now, and that, to be honest, people will probably always think of me as ‘bookish’ even if I’m not doing anything other than reading what I want to read. But, another part of my identity - being sick - kind of warps things a little bit. You see, people tend to ask you this really difficult and awkward question when you first meet them: ‘what do you do for a living?’ or something along those lines. And I don’t work - I *can’t* work. And a lot of people cannot or will not understand that. So it’s always been nice to have that in my back pocket - ‘oh, I review books that publishers send me’. It changes the look of shock and horror on people’s faces (‘how do I relate to this *sick* person who *doesn’t work*?’) to one of relief, and often a small return of confidence (‘oh we can talk about books! so they *do* do something with themselves’). And I am still a recovering people pleaser and hate making people uncomfortable, even if, actually, the discomfort is all their own making and nothing to do with me, really.

But to take that away… It scares me. But I’m still going to do it. I’ve realised that this is not the life I want for myself, and I’ve started to wonder what my life will look like if I don’t have that pressure there of ‘I have all these books waiting for me to review them, and all these emails waiting for a response, and I *don’t want to read any of it*’. A lot of people might think that I don’t need to be putting so much weight on this decision, or writing such a long blog post to explain it all out. Maybe they’ll think that I can just review books still, keep accepting them, but just put less emphasis on it in my life? That’s what *they* would do. (Maybe? I don’t know. These hypothetical people are ones that might just exist in my head XD) And I just don’t think I work that way - not anymore, anyway. My illnesses take up a lot of my life, and any energy I have to spare is often spent on doing chores or maintaining relationships. So to have that extra strain, even if it’s quite small, is just too much. I don’t want to do it anymore. Or, not like this, anyway.

What does that mean for this blog? This will be my last post. I’m going to probably leave it here, as I don’t think I have the energy to delete all the posts I’ve made. I hope past-me hasn’t given out horrible advice in any of the posts… I will also be privating my YouTube videos again (there are only a couple available to watch right now, so I’ll probably private those, I’m not sure yet.). I may even be deleting my bookstagram account. Social media is sometimes helpful to me, but lately I’ve just really needed to not be on there very much at all. Like the review books I have left to read, it just takes up some mental real estate that I can’t afford to be doing without.

What’s next for me? Honestly… I’m not entirely sure. I’ll extricate myself from the little bookish home I’ve set up on the internet, probably. I’ll keep reading, but only what I want to be reading now, and I might have a shelf clear-out. I’ll watch and see what this means for me, how it feels. I’m going to figure out what I want to be doing with any extra energy I have, and I’m going to take steps towards doing it. I may start a new blog - one that reflects who I am now a little bit better.

Either way, if you read this post, and you’ve enjoyed my reviews or posts in the past, I just want to say thank you. I haven’t had many commenters on my posts, but lots of views. The most popular posts still surprise me. It feels weird to say this but - thanks for lurking. It has meant a lot. I might catch you on some other part of the internet.

Love to all who read.

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