In which I am very candid and unstructured and attempt to explain my 5 month absence and plans for the future.
So my last post was in July, which is a little crazy. I know I’ve not been around here for a while, but it doesn’t seem like it’s been that long, does it? In other news, first time I’ve posted in 2017, so that’s something.
I guess what I want to do today is just be really candid with you guys. I’m not even sure what direction this post will go, so please stick with me.
Okay so first of all I guess I’ll give you a general update on what I’ve been doing. For one thing (arachnophobic followers might want to quickly scroll down a little bit), I’ve finally realised a childhood dream of owning some spiders, so I’ve currently got an adorable Phidippus audax named Octavia, and a baby Brachypelma albopilosum named Beatrix.
I can’t really blame my absence on these two, though; they are ridiculously low maintenance pets. Octavia sits on my desk and watches me curiously all day and gets a mealworm a couple times a week. Bea hides in her burrow all day and occasionally I drop a cricket in there. The most time-consuming thing I’ve done for them was drilling ventilation holes into this acrylic enclosure for Bea.
Easier pets even than fish.
Okay, so it’s not the spiders. but they do play a part in this. And that is this: I have so many other interests than reading! You know at least one of my other interests, which is writing. If you’ve read any number of my posts, you’ve probably also noticed that I am also mildly obsessed with several fandoms.
Side note: THAT NEW SHERLOCK EPISODE
Not even a side note because of how obsessed I am: ROGUE ONE!!!! I’ve seen it 3 times so far, read the novelisation (WHICH I HIGHLY RECOMMEND WITH 5 STARS OUT OF 5) and am now listening to the novelisation in audiobook format. So…yeah.
Anyway, getting back to the post. So yes, I have a lot of interests besides reading. I have pets (remember I have two dogs, which actually require interaction unlike my eight-legged pet rocks), I have fandoms, I have hobbies, I have writing, I have a lot of personal study projects… And besides all of these interests, I do kind of have a life, too. I have a job, I have volunteer work that I do, I have dreams/tentative plans of travelling, and I have a family. Additionally, although my small handful of friends are very patient with the fact that they have befriended a massive introvert and will sometimes go weeks without hearing from me, I do owe them occasional interactions.
What I Think I’m Probably Getting At:
I’m sorry: I didn’t promise you any structure to this post because I wasn’t even sure what I was going to say, but I think it’s this. When I was at the height of my blogging days, reading and blogging were beginning to crowd out all the other things that I care about. I LOVE reading, but even that was beginning to change. I know my blog never slotted neatly into the book blogging community because there were too many rants and too little structure, but it was still having an effect on me.
BEFORE I GO ANY FURTHER, I HAVE NOTHING AGAINST BOOK BLOGS, THE BOOK BLOGGING COMMUNITY, OR THE BLOGGING COMMUNITY AS A WHOLE. I ALWAYS FOUND IT TO BE A VERY WARM AND SUPPORTING ENVIRONMENT AND MANY SEEM TO SURVIVE AND THRIVE IN IT. I DO NOT WANT TO DISPARAGE IT IN THE SLIGHTEST. THAT IS NOT MY INTENTION.
So, once upon a time, there was a girl who read whatever she wanted to read. What she wanted to read was often classics and non-fiction, and obscure books recommended by friends and teachers. She read more popular books, too, but only if they came highly recommended from someone she respected, and only if they interested her. This girl decided one day that she wanted to create a blog where she could share the rants and analyses that were kept mostly locked up in her brain, with snatches quickly scrawled and scattered through the pages of the books on her shelf. She would call the blog “Over-Analsying Literature,” and probably no one would read it, but it would help her get her thoughts out.
So this girl made her fourth-ever blog, and she began to post about The Great Gatsby. She was never good at getting out the full picture of her thoughts, and the posts were clumsy and awkward, but they helped her.
Then, a very strange thing happened.
People were actually reading her blog. Her list of followers began to grow. People started to comment. And she started to follow other blogs. Wonderful blogs, blogs she enjoyed. Blogs that are very good and important for telling people what to read next. She followed other blogs as well, on many different topics, but it was these book blogs that began to have an effect. Soon, the girl who had always read whatever she wanted to read was scouring the young adult section of Barnes and Noble and her local library, searching for books she could read and review. Her blog became a strange hybrid of what she had originally wanted, a lot of stuff and nonsense, and a poor attempt to imitate what the rest of the book blogging community was doing such a good job of. Soon, she was reading books she had no interest in just so that she could review them. She didn’t end up finishing a lot of these books. She failed to even write reviews of the majority of those she did finish. She found herself unable to finish reading the classics that she would have loved in the past, because what was the point if she wasn’t going to review them? She found she had gone months without reading a single piece of nonfiction. She was very negative and dissatisfied with what she read. She became very cynical. When she picked up a book, she wasn’t looking to enjoy it anymore, or even to constructively criticise it.
She was looking to tear it apart.
Worse, her reading life wasn’t the only thing affected. When she went out to coffee with friends, comments would come up on her WordPress app. Even though she had always held herself to a no-texting-in-front-of-friends standard, she didn’t see a problem with immediately responding to the comments. Her free-time was consumed with writing posts, reading blogs, and reading books she didn’t care to read so that she could write more. When she tried to get back to novel-writing, she started writing a YA romance sort of book that was nothing like what she enjoyed writing, and which quickly fizzled and died.
And then one day she realised what was happening, and she stopped. She deleted the WordPress app, she logged out of her blog, and she quietly disappeared. She even stopped reading the blogs she loved, and she felt very guilty about that, but she had to cut the ties. And that was that.
Wow. Telling a third-person story was very heavy-handed and dramatic, but oh well. You get my point. I had lost my balance, and I guess I went on a 5 month journey to regain it. Without really realising that’s what I was doing. And I’m not sure I’ve reached my destination, yet. I’m a very all-or-nothing kind of person.
All that being said, I would like to start slowly blogging again, if anyone is even interested in reading what I have to say anymore. This time, though, I would restrict myself from posting every day. I would restrict myself to posting about things I care about. I would have a designated time for responding to comments. (And I would not install the WordPress app on my phone.)
So…yeah. Just putting this out there, I suppose. I don’t really know what to say beyond that. I’ve missed you all and I am so grateful to the people who have checked on me via email during my absence, and to the new followers I somehow gained. (???) Seriously, thank you. Goodness, it’s been so long that I actually had to go back to my last post and check how I used to sign off my posts. Here it is:
Have a lovely day!