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Random Thoughts: Ch-Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes

I know it’s not the end of the year and I still have nearly a month left to announce my goals for the blog for next year, but I wanted to mention just a few changes that would be happening here on the blog over the course of this month and going forward.

I still plan on posting daily, but I will be taking a few days off here and there this year. I very much enjoyed my brief time off this past September and it’s something I’d like to do now and again. Of course if I manage to schedule my posts far enough in advance, then I can take off a few days without leaving the blog post-free. But I’m not much of an advance poster, so we’ll see.

I also plan on bringing back a few of the features I had on the blog that have fallen by the wayside like “Book Buzz,” “The Extras,” and “The Crush List.” Though, for “The Extras” post I may not ramble as much as I used to. Those posts got insanely long when I did. But that is still TBD.

The main change I plan on making is with my review style. At least I think I’m planning on changing that up. That all depends on whether my brain chooses to cooperate and adjust to this change. I’m not entirely sure it will.

I’ve never been confident in my review style. Or comfortable with it. And while its grown and changed over the course of my two years blogging, it has never become something that feels completely natural to me. It’s never been something that’s been easy. Except for the synopses I write. That part of the review has always been fun.

But forcing my thoughts into the format of a traditional review has always felt alien. And after writing over 150 reviews, I’m starting to feel a sense of deja vu. So while each book I read feels like a unique experience, writing the review for that book at times feels like something I’ve done before, with words I’ve said previously. I don’t feel I’m being original.

Without the flexibility to change up my style, I feel very restricted. Which does not make writing those reviews an enjoyable process much of the time. But for someone who doesn’t like to give up, who doesn’t like to admit defeat, I’m finding it very hard to commit to the change.

To me this change feels like a failure of epic proportions. A choice to take the easy road. Giving up something I’ve done one way to do something a different way that doesn’t quite feel like my way either.

But if I do manage to change the way I write my reviews, I am hopeful it will also spark a change in the number of books I do read for review. Because this year I’ve read and reviewed so many fewer books than last year, which makes me incredibly sad.

I want this blog to be more substance and less fluff. But without at least a couple reviews each week, I feel the balance is tipped too much toward the fluffy side.

And just because I may read quite a few books, if I’m not reviewing them on the blog because I don’t feel like writing a review, it makes me question why I’m blogging about books at all. If I don’t share my thoughts about the books I read with the readers of my blog than what’s the point of being a book blogger? There isn’t one.

I would also like to shake the label of being the giveaway blog. At least a little bit. While I love giving away books, and still plan on doing so – hopefully more on The Annex than on this blog – the idea that I’m viewed as only a giveaway blog and not a serious blog, leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

Because I love to share books with readers of my blog I got slapped with that label and I’d really like to be seen as something more. Because it would take far less time and energy to start a blog just for bookish giveaways than the amount of time I put into blogging here. And having all those efforts minimized because of book giveaways has also made me wonder “what’s the point?”

I am also going to try and get back to my old policy of responding to every comment. I miss interacting with the readers of my blog through comments. And even though responding to a comment often takes me as long as writing a post, I still think it’s worth it, because it keeps me engaged with my blog in a way I don’t feel I have been for some time.

They say that change is a good thing. I’m not sure who “they” are, but I kind of think it’s true. While another cliched phrase – if it ain’t broke don’t fix it – comes to mind, the reality is that without change things become stale. They become uninteresting. They become obsolete. And I, for one, don’t want to become obsolete.

So I am going to take a huge risk for me and change up the way I do a few things. Hopefully some of the changes will be well received. Hopefully some will be fairly easy to implement. And hopefully they’ll all make me a happier blogger and my blog’s readers happier visitors.

But that, too, remains to be determined.

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