The Dreaded Book Blogger Burnout

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I’ve seen many of my favorite book bloggers posting that they are feeling overwhelmed and need a break. They are bloggers who usually post at least once a day (sometimes more), so it’s easy to understand why they need to take some time to relax from their busy blogging schedule. I, on the other hand, am not a daily blogger—so why am I am feeling the dreaded book blogger burnout?

I’ve fallen behind on finishing reviews. All the reviews I’ve yet to post are only partially written because I can’t resist starting a new book shortly after I’ve finished reading the previous one. After a few chapters, I’m always more interested in reading, so I inevitably decide to put off finishing reviews until I’ve finished reading the book. When I’ve finished it, the cycle starts all over again.

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When the weekend comes along, I always promise myself that I’ll knock out a week’s worth of reviews—it will be a great start on shrinking the backlog, right? I’ll open up a draft at random, and get busy writing the long-overdue review… only to end up deleting everything I managed to write. If I managed to write anything, that is. My concentration is never there, because I keep thinking about the book I’m reading, and wondering what will happen next.

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Something needs to change. I can’t keep reading review copies only to put off writing my reviews of the books. It’s not that I don’t want to review them. I love sharing my thoughts on books I loved, or explaining why a book didn’t work for me. I love the conversations it sparks with others who have read the same book. Until I started book blogging, the opportunity to talk about books I’d read was a rare thing. Everyone I knew either didn’t read at all (the horror!) or didn’t read the books I wanted to talk about. I adore being a book blogger, but I’ve let such a massive review backlog build up that—rather than enjoy it—I feel so overwhelmed I find it difficult to write anything at all.

I’m going to take a break from reading ARCs for a while, and just read my own books that have been lingering on my TBR for ages. I won’t be reviewing any of them, aside from a short sentence or two on Goodreads if I feel moved to say anything at all.

That doesn’t mean that I’m talking a break from blogging, though! I’m going to use this time to knock out the backlog of ARC reviews. Once I’ve gotten them all posted, I’ll dive back into reading ARCs—but I’ll do it RIGHT, by finishing the review before I start a new book.

Do any of you struggle with review backlogs? What helped you get back on track?

 

 

42 thoughts on “The Dreaded Book Blogger Burnout

  1. Sometimes it is difficult then I write shorter 10 line reviews so that I don’t burn out. Write a few lines and don’t worry about writing longer posts, you will catch up

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    • I’ve thought about writing shorter reviews a few times. Half the time they end up being longer, which really surprises me. I always try to give a brief summary in the opening paragraph, and I think that’s a big part of the problem. I can’t always figure out how to condense it. And it’s stupid, really, since I always include the blurb, and yet, I keep doing it. Maybe I should drop the introductory paragraph, and just jump straight into the review. I’ve been thinking about it for a while now.

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  2. I just don’t write long reviews anymore. It felt like I was doing a summary of the story instead of reviewing what worked and what didn’t. So, for a year I wrote reviews that answered three questions until it became instinctive. Now it only takes me about 30 minutes, on average, to write a review…sometimes shorter. I no longer dread or put off writing them because my memory is that they’re easy. And, I refuse to update my Goodreads groups until I write them.

    Long winded way of illustrating how I stopped procrastinating in writing reviews. I do them within one day of finishing…most of the time😏

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    • That sounds like a great way to do it! I used to break my reviews into three sections: what I liked, what I didn’t like, and final thoughts. I can’t remember why I stopped writing them up that way, but it did seem to go faster. Thank you for the advice!

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        • I’m seriously thinking about going back to that sort of format. It would help so much to have certain points to keep in mind as I read. I’m also thinking about jotting down notes about particulars I want to make mention of in a review. I’m sure it would take a lot less time to write them if I did those things.

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  3. In theory I write the review within a day or two of finishing the book, but I regularly fall behind, and the longer I leave it, the harder it gets, so I sympathise! I take occasional blogging breaks of a week or so and that gives me time to write up backlog reviews without worrying about blogging at the same time. And Shalini’s suggestion is good – often a short few lines are as effective as a long thought-out review at getting across what we thought of a book…

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    • It does get harder the longer I put them off. There have been many times that I had to spend a couple of hours skimming through a book in order to refresh my memory about it. It made the review easy, but it took much longer to get it done than it should have.

      I may end up using Shalini’s suggestion of a few lines for some of my longest overdue reviews. I don’t recall specifics of the books, but I easily remember how I felt as I read them.

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      • One thing I find saves time if I’ve sort of forgotten a book is to read two or three of the reviews on Goodreads. I usually find they include enough info to remind me of what I did and didn’t like, and they’re great for picking up character names and so on. I find it quicker than skimming back through the book.

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        • I do that when I forget names or setting(s), too. I try not to read too many of them, though. I worry that I’ll end up writing something far too similar to what someone else wrote–I’ve very nearly done it before, and I was annoyed with myself when I realized it.

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  4. I have a backlog as well, I’ve been slowly making my way through it pretty much doing what Shalini says just writing a few lines rather than worrying about a full review or my version of a full review. I mean seriously there are only so many adjectives!
    But I totally get it I’d much rather be reading then writing a review any day of the week!

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  5. I agree about keeping it short and simple. I always start with the genre and setting because that’s what I want to know about a book. Then I go with a few sentences about the characters and the plot. Followed by what I liked / didn’t like. Then perhaps a suggestion as to who the book will appeal to. All done in about 4 short paragraphs.
    Many people will read your first and last paragraph as they skip through your blog post.

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    • This is an excellent format for reviewing books. Mine tend to be bags of rambling that border on a stream-of-consciousness. I like your efficient, organized approach as it takes a lot of the stress out.

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  6. I’m the same: once I started to join blog tours I found I was spending more time writing about other people’s stories than I was writing my own. I still post the occasional review – but I keep to a word limit of 300 words, which also includes a truncated version of the blurb. Taking a break from blog tours has also removed a lot of the pressure.
    I’m now enjoying my reading again.

    Liked by 3 people

    • I stopped reviewing for blog tours, there are far too many of them and many run on too long, it just becomes background noise. Does anyone, apart from the author, go and read the 20th + review for a book they’ve seen on social media for the last 20 odd days? I know I don’t.

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    • I’ve backed away from blog tours, as well. I never took part in them often, but it always felt like a tremendous amount of pressure–finishing the book on time, trying to write a better-than-usual review. It was just too much. I don’t work well with tight schedules. Haha

      I’m glad to hear you’re enjoying your reading time again, and I hope you’re making good progress on your own writing. 🙂

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      • I think it was the deadline pressure that I found hard with blog tours. But on the plus side I discovered some wonderful authors I wouldn’t otherwise have read. And, thank you, my own writing is back on schedule.

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  7. I keep telling myself I will only read my own books, I literally put no review request are accepted for almost 1 year on my policy but I end up accepting them requesting NetGally books. Ever since I started blog I feel overwhelmed even though I don’t accept/request more than 5 books a month, I keep slot of 2 books of my own but it never happens as I plan. Something come up in life or some irresistible book!! This overwhelmed feeling is not going to end with me no matter how organized I try to be.

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    • I have trouble staying away fro Netgalley and Edelweiss. Requests can be denied, but those Read Now books are too easy to get. I have ZERO self control. Plus, I get physical copies sent to me when I least expect it, so I’m constantly adding more books whether I mean to or not.

      I will say this, though. Taking a break to read my own books and not writing reviews has made me feel so much better! I’m getting the itch to write reviews again, and I thought I’d lost it. Maybe a mini break would be good for you, too? It doesn’t stop the overwhelmed feeling completely, but it is refreshing.

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      • I don’t get physical copies as I never sent emails to publisher. But I get plenty e-copies! As for reviews I write them as soon as I finish the book when it’s still fresh.
        I’m taking break in July. I will read my own books and review them. I haven’t accepted any requests for July. I just have 3 netgalley books that I will finish by June.
        For now things looks relaxing for next 2 months.

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        • With the exception of books published by Pen & Sword, the books I receive in the mail come because I entered a giveaway the publisher was doing. By the time I get them, I’ve forgotten about the giveaway so it’s always a nice surprise.

          I’m not sure how many ebook ARCs I have, but it’s a lot. I tend to have days where I get request happy, 😦 It’s a relief, sometimes, when I get declined.

          July will be here soon! It’s always nice to take time to read your own books for a change. Sounds like you have a light reading schedule until then, so I’m sure that will be great.

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