Saturday, December 24, 2011

The Future of The Zealous Reader

Hello everyone!

After a very hectic first term of university I've sat down to write about my blogging hiatus and the future of The Zealous Reader. I'd appreciate if you would read about my dilemma and help me decide what to do next.

I planned for a brief 2-3 week hiatus in late August so I could pack, move, and settle in to university life. Unfortunately by the time I was settled in I had no time to read, let alone review and actively participate in the book blogging world. I've only had time to start using Goodreads again in late October. While my academic schedule will be lighter for the winter term I don't want to commit to something only to disappoint once projects and assignments pick back up again.

One main reason for not reading is a lack of motivation. I look at my bookshelf, at the library, at other blogs, and wonder how people can read a whole book. Are you serious? I used to read 3 per week and now the thought of reading just one seems like it will take months. I've managed to read a few non-fiction books over holidays but my only foray into fiction since university have been my novels for English. Jane Eyre, anyone? 

Another main reason for not returning is embarrassment. I left all my followers with no warning or explanation for months. Though many of you have said it's understandable and it happens to most bloggers, I feel like such a disappointment. What book blogger doesn't have a drive to read? Before I left for hiatus I wanted to redesign my blog because I felt it didn't accurately portray my reading style or what my blog was about, but now I have no funds to help with this. I feel like even if I started up the blog again, no one would read it because it doesn't look up to par with the other flashier sites. 

I considered leaving the blog alone till the summer and running it from April to August every year but I don't see my motivation for reading returning. Also my schedule will possibly be even more hectic with work and theatre, and that would be even more disappointing to have all this hype only to disappoint again.

Another option is to start blogging again in January with a new focus. A lighter emphasis on reviews that means I can read what I want, when I want, with no pressure to be on a deadline. Guest posts, interviews with other bloggers or authors, reading lists and recommendations, advertising lesser known titles and 2012 debuts. An easier blogging schedule so I can post 1-2 posts a week with lighter content. I only wonder if anyone would read that and if it has a place next to all the other big-name bloggers who mainly focus on reviews. Would anyone read mine?

So here I am at my fork in the road. I think the best decision will come from you, my followers and readers, since you are who I blog for and you are who I am to impress. What do you think I should do? 

Option 1: Stop blogging. Remove the URL. Say goodbye to the blogging world formally. Perhaps start again sometime in the next few years when I have more time.

Option 2: Summer blog. Plan to run the blog from April to August, reading as much as I can and reviewing all the time. Hope that my followers won't leave during the hiatuses. 

Option 3: Start blogging again in January but with no reviews or reading lists. If I happen to read a book I'll review it but no pressure to read every book on my shelf. Instead a focus on book recommendations, interviews with authors, guest posts with other bloggers, advertising 2012 debuts, etc. 

Comment below, write me an email, send me a tweet, let me know which option sounds best for you. Feel free to elaborate! I want this blog (or lack of) to serve you the best. 

Thank you all so much for your continued support and following. Hoping you're all having a wonderful holiday season!

15 comments:

  1. Ooh definitely option 3! Don't even worry about the hiatus, we all understand :) I think it would be tough just to blog from April to August b/c it might be hard to get back into the routine, and who knows, if you've lost interest in blogging you should just let it be. Just like if you don't feel like reading, there's no point of forcing yourself for the sake of your blog, reading for enjoyment should always come first :) I think you should just post whatever/whenever you want (hehe that's what I've been doing) and esp during the hectic school months. If you only get like two posts a month, hey, that's fine! Anyways, I always maintain that you should do what you want since it's YOUR blog :) Merry early xmas, Laura, and if I can't find you on your blog just know I still stalk your tumblr... ish ;)

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  2. I'd say go with option #3. This is your blog so if you want to focus on things other than reviews, I think you should totally do that.

    We understand how hectic university can be and I think it's important to remember that even though blogging takes time and effort, ultimately we do it because we love it.

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  3. Darn it; forgot to wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy Holidays!

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  4. Nice to hear from you, Laura. =)

    I think you should just do whatever you feel like. If you want to blog sporadically, just do that. Read whenever you have time because it's fun and you feel like it, not because it's a chore and you feel like you HAVE to have posts. I know I definitely wouldn't have been able to keep a blog up during undergrad.

    And re: fancy layouts and stuff, I don't think people really care about that. Your blog is nice to look and, the layout is clean and it's easy to read, and that's far more important than having the fanciest features.

    Good luck with whatever you decide. Do what makes you happy, and blog for yourself if that's what you decide to do -- not for anyone else. Think of it as fun and something you like, not a competition, or else it will always seem like a stressful chore.

    Happy Holidays, and yay for a well deserved break from school!! =)

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  5. You definitely should not feel embarrassed! Life happens, and you do what you have to do. My blog pretty much took over my life this year, and now I'm also trying to figure out what I want to do blog-wise. I love reading and blogging, but I can't continue doing 2-3 reviews a week and whatnot. Whatever you decide will be fine! Miss you!

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  6. It's tough, definitely. I had a hard time trying to balance university and blogging when I was in school too... actually, I still find it hard even now that I have graduated. I would go with Option 3 - no pressure. That's how I plan to approach 2012 as well. It's always been important to me that blogging never become a chore, so putting no pressure on myself to blog everyday and read multiple books a week is best.

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  7. You have more important commitments. I would say that you should just blog when you can. Enjoy it with no pressure to review or post. If you happen to read something, chat about it. You don't have to do official reviews to have a bookish blog. Best of luck with university life.
    -FABR Steph@FiveAlarmBookReviews

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  8. Not to sound like a mom, but school's the most important thing, and you shouldn't let blogging make that more stressful or harder.

    I agree with others; option three sounds good, but you have to do what you feel like doing. I think I've had two long reading droughts in the last six months; it happens.

    Good luck with school and don't stress out over the blog!

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  9. The post is handsomely written. I have bookmarked you for keeping abreast with your new posts.
    Estetik

    ReplyDelete
  10. I would like to thank you for the efforts you have made in writing this article. I am hoping the same best work from you in the future as well. Really the blogging is spreading its wings rapidly.
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