Blogging hiatus – a life anecdote.

If you read my last post (that’s very kind, thank you!), you would’ve read that I am going through a blogging burnout of sorts! I just do not have the motivation to review/write blog posts/be active in the community right now.

So, I think it’s time I take a step back. I don’t envision it lasting more than two weeks, I’m still actively reading a lot, and I have a post planned for June 6th, so I believe that to be my re-introduction into blogging.

I’m thankful for all of you that take time out to read my posts when they pop up in your reader. Thankful for all of you that follow my tiny space on the internet. Please bear with! I just need to hit reboot and refresh.

Positive vibes to you all.

Katy. x

A discussion; blogging burnout – what to do when it all gets to be too much.

Please excuse the audaciously long title, but my creative juices are running dry. Although, perhaps the title gave that away.
So, another discussion type/life post coming your way ladies and gentlemen, something that I’m going through this very moment; blogging burnout – when it all gets to be too much.
I’m sure, like me, blogging is not your number 1 priority in life. You adore it, don’t get me wrong, but you’ve probably got school/college/university work, or a job (or 2!) that’s either part-time or full-time. Then there’s all the reading you need to catch up on, your TV shows, your films, your music. You may have other hobbies and interests, besides your blog, so you have to fit that in too.
And sometimes, there’s just not enough hours in the day, and it all becomes a tad overwhelming.

That’s where I am right now, that’s my headspace. Overwhelmed, overworked, and just exceptionally tired. I love blogging, I love that this outlet is available and for the most part, free. I love that I am able to combine my passion for writing, with my passion for reading. And I definitely still can’t get over the fact that people legitimately read this blog. It blows my mind everyday. I couldn’t be more grateful that people, even somewhat, value my thoughts and find my posts on the spectrum of decent.
Yet recently, it’s felt more like a chore to blog. Perhaps I’ve simply put too much pressure on myself, which wouldn’t be surprising. But the need to put content on my blog has taken away some of my enjoyment of the act of blogging. I still get into grooves where I can get lost in the post I’m writing, but other times I’m sat staring at blank screen willing the words to appear.
I scroll through all your posts, but in reality all I want to do in curl up with my dog and binge-watch Netflix whilst eating terrible food. Although even that will lead me to worry I’m putting too much weight on and should probably join a gym and there I am, heading down a dark spiral. That dark spiral will lead me to question why I even run a blog and that I might as well delete it now and save myself the hassle. Honestly, I exhaust myself.

I always wish there was a reason for all of this but your mind can be your biggest enemy. I’m sure I’m not the only one to experience this internal struggle, the monologue that incessantly digs at you and never knows when to shut the fuck up.
So how do I get out of the whole I dig myself?

First of all, I cuddle my dog. He’s soft and warm and incredibly gentle in nature, and my favourite to snuggle with.  I’ll step away from my laptop for awhile, I’ll walk said doggo (he’s name is Barney and he’s a Spaniel mix in case you wanted to know) and tune out the world. Maybe I’ll sit downstairs with my Mum or cuddle up with my boyfriend and forget that I even run a blog for awhile. I’ll ensure I’m in a positive mental state before I even glance at my laptop. Then when I do inevitably glance that way, I’ll pick up a book. The subject that caused this all to begin. Once I remember just how much I love reading, how much passion and drive I have for writing, how much inspiration and creativity I surround myself with everyday, suddenly, that weighted feeling that comes with looking at WordPress, doesn’t feel so heavy anymore.

Inevitably, this will not be the last time this happens, but I know, I’m in such an open community, the book blogging world is courageous and understanding and I’m happy to be a part of it. I also want everyone to know that you are not alone, blogging is first and foremost, a community, one with people always willing to listen. Sometimes venting to an unbiased stranger is incredibly relieving.

And if blogging really does get too much and you need to step away. Then step away. Honestly, your blog will still be there when you get back. Even if it’s not blogging that is the cause of your negative head-space, your stress, whatever, letting go of some of your everyday pressures can do wonders.

Blogging burnout happens to all of us, it’s just writers block plus the networking and the planning and all the other activities that come as part of the package. It’s important to remember that it does happen to all of us, and it’s not that big a deal as your mind may make it out to be! Because I sure know mine makes it’s feel like such a big thing.

What are the ways you deal with blogging burnout? What are your go-to tactics to help you on your way to back to blogging? Please share away!

The Sunshine Blogger Award

Award tag time! I love doing awards as it brings with it a nice cosy feeling of appreciation that your blogging is being read, by one person at least!
Side note; I really like the name for this award, very fitting with the season and the fact we are actually getting some sunshine here in England as of late – even if it means consistent hayfever, that is a price I am willing to pay.

I was tagged by the lovely Jacquie over at Rattle The Stars, one of my favouritest blogs (yep, so loved that deserved that made up word!), so I feel supremely lucky to have been tagged by them.

R U L E S

1. Answer the 11 questions from the nominator.
2. Nominate 11 blogs.
3. Ask them 11 questions.

Q U E S T I O N S 

O N E – How often do you update your blog?

I aim for three times a week, with one of those posts being a Top 5 Wednesday, this is generally achievable unless I am behind on my reviews!

T W O – What’s the last book you bought because of its amazing cover artwork?

Strange The Dreamer by Laini Taylor. It has the most dreamy (completely intentional, I am not sorry), artwork I’ve seen on both a dust cover and actual hardcover and inside page, I’ve seen in such a long time.

T H R E E – Favourite historical time period?

I really love reading about Ancient Greece, or anything influenced by that. Or Medieval – Tudor/Stuart Britain also.

F O U R – Most disappointing read so far in 2017?

Snotgirl, was undoubtedly my least favourite, it just wasn’t something that I particularly enjoyed.

F I V E – What did you do on your last vacation?

I went to Side, Turkey with my boyfriend! It was our first holiday together, so we just enjoyed the lovely weather and free bar, it was a great little getaway for us.

S I X – Pirates or Assassins? 

But what if they were both akin to Assassins Creed IV: Black Flag? I’ve read better books about assassins, watched better films and shows about pirates. If I were to choose, it would be assassins.

S E V E N – A series you used to love but don’t anymore?

I used to really love The Inheritance Cycle by Christopher Paolini, but that’s definitely faded in the last few years.

E I G H T – What’s the longest book that you own?

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J. K. Rowling. It comes in at 870 pages, I believe this is the biggest book I own, unless I’m missing one!

N I N E –  Which book do you plan on reading next?

I’m very much a mood reader, but as I’m reading a contemporary right now, it will most likely be one of a different genre; so it will be between
– The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller
– Strange The Dreamer by Laini Taylor
– This Savage Song by V. E. Schwab

T E N – Unicorns or Mermaids

Ah, a much easier choice! Mermaids, as I’ve always wanted to be one!!

E L E V E N – Least favourite genre, why?

Uh, most smart-thinking types; sociology, psychology, philosophy. And the self-help/spiritual types. They are just not really my cup of tea. I read to escape – and these are far from escapist.

M Y    Q U E S T I O N S

  1. Are you a Harry Potter fan? If so, what house are in?
  2. What is your current read, and what are your thoughts on it so far?
  3. What is your favourite colour, and why?
  4. Are you a Disney fan? If so, what is your favourite Disney song?
  5. What songs are your current favourites?
  6. What do you think your next book purchase/borrow will be?
  7. Do you have a favourite flower? Or one that you just find pretty that popped into your head when you read this question?
  8. Do you have a pet? Alternatively, do you want one/more?
  9. Modern or historical settings?
  10. What books have been on your TBR list the longest?
  11. Tea, coffee, neither?

N O M I N A T I O N S 

  1. Hilary @ Ravishing Tales
  2. Ali @ I Wuv Books
  3. Chanda @ Chanda Reads
  4. Mish @ Bibliophile Mish
  5. Angie Elle @ Books and Beauty Are My Bag
  6. Breanna @ Pages Bound Together
  7. Angie @ The Bookish Feels
  8. Joanne @ YA Guitarist
  9. Karina @ Afire Pages
  10. Savana @ The Biblio Life
  11. Books Are All You Need

A discussion: Anxiety in YA & beyond – representation and relatability.

I haven’t done a discussion post on my blog in a while, and the idea for this one has been floating around in my brain for awhile. It became especially prevalent recently, as a string of book that I read had a main character that suffered from different forms of anxiety. It’s becoming a far more frequent occurrence in YA and beyond these days. And for that, I am so thankful.

For a very long time, I didn’t realise that the thoughts going through my head, and the emotions that I had been feeling were basic signs of anxiety. I’m not even that old! It’s not as though I didn’t know what anxiety was, and it was definitely (and finally) getting talked about more, becoming ever so slightly less taboo. However, I just never put two and two together. I never really spoke to anyone  – a red flag in itself. And although my anxiety isn’t as debilitating as I’ve known others to be, it still affected me and my day-to-day life. I skipped out on many a social event through the fear; fear that I’d just be left out, fear that no-one really wanted me there, fear that I was really just a pity invite.
These thoughts still plague me now, at 24. I still struggle even though I have the most solid of foundations beneath me. I still struggle, and that’s okay, I’ve come so far.

Whilst in this period of my life I found sanctuary every Saturday morning in our city library. What I didn’t find in my haven – was anxiety represented in any of the books I read. I never saw myself there. It may have existed in books I never read, who knows there are a lot of books in the world. It may have existed in adult fiction, but I rarely ventured there, I still don’t now that I’m classified as a fully-fledged adult. All I know is that it didn’t exist in the books I read, but this is changing.
Although everybody’s anxiety is different – any form of positive representation is welcome. That small slice of relatability might mean the world to someone. This representation hopefully means that more people will recognise anxiety for the mental health issue it is. This representation hopefully means that someone out there, feeling lost and alone, might recognise themselves within the pages. This is what I have found myself doing more and more in recent reads. I have found myself amongst the pages.

I saw myself in Steffi from A Quiet Kind of Thunder. I saw myself in her minute actions that might be over-looked and her feelings.

“And then it happens. The panic. It’s slow at first, creeping through the cracks in my thoughts until everything starts to feel heavy. It builds; it becomes something physical that clutches at my insides and squeezes out the air and the blood.”

I saw myself in Libby from Holding Up The Universe. I saw myself in her fears and her worries.

“It is 3:38 a.m., and the time of night when my mind starts running around all wild and out of control, like my cat, George, when he was a kitten.”

I saw myself in Cather from Fangirl. I saw myself in her isolation and her escapism.

“In new situations, all the trickiest rules are the ones nobody bothers to explain to you. (And the ones you can’t Google.)”

I saw myself. I saw my anxiety. Nowadays, using the phrase my anxiety is somewhat empowering and not half as scary as it used to be. These books helped me there. These books helped me be empowered. And more and more are getting published. These aren’t the only books that helped me, however, they are the three that instantly stuck in my mind whilst writing this post.
I really hope authors continue to positively represent mental health in YA and beyond. As the smallest similarity could be the reason someone gets the help the need. It could be the help someone needs after a bad day. It could be the reason someone realises they are not alone.

You are not alone.

Please know, you are not alone.

A Day in London – a life anecdote.

A (hopefully) nice change with a personal post coming your way! It’s always good – in my humble opinion – to change things up once in a while, lest they become stale. A little update on a day of my life.

Wednesday just past, my boyfriend and I celebrated our two-year anniversary a week early! We chose to do this as our anniversary falls on the English date for Mother’s Day (a day where everywhere hikes their prices up!), and we’d managed to acquire two last minute tickets for Aladdin the Musical!

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The Disappearing Act – a life anecdote.

Just an update in the life of Katy – hey that’s me!

Mainly, I’ve been a bit sparse on the updates recently and my posting has definitely been nothing short of sporadic. So here’s a quick update on life and all things blog related and how soon I plan on getting back on track.

Essentially, I moved! I moved from my lovely little house with my boyfriend and back into my parent’s house – therefore just the one room for me! It was a big upheaval as I had accumulated a house’s worth of stuff, to then fit into one room. It was a lot of being determined and throwing away/donating all that was completely necessary/those I couldn’t because sentimentality is a thing.

Secondly, my social life has therefore increased as I now have to plan to see my boyfriend rather than him just being there; when I woke up, when I got home, it’s very strange.

Lastly, I got sick, nothing serious but it’s kept me bedbound and unwilling to do anything other sleep my days away or watch mindless rubbish on YouTube as short 10/15 mins videos are pretty much as far as my attention span went.

So stick with me! I’m on the mend and the posts are being queued up and I should be back on track soon.

Katy.

 

The Sunshine Blogger Award

I love love love being nominated for these! So thank you so so so much to Mandy @ Book Princess Reviews whose blog you should most definitely check out – it’s wonderful!

So let’s get down to it, shall we?

Rules

  • Thank the person who nominated you and link back to their blog.
  • Answer the 11 questions set by the person who nominated you.
  • Nominate 11 new blogs to receive the award and then write 11 new questions.
  • List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger award logo in a post/on your site.

Mandy’s Questions

Favourite Disney character (look at me, I’m not even limiting it to a princess, can we call this progress?)

Well, in honor of the book princess, I’m picking a princess anyway! Belle has always been my favourite Disney character. I’ve always related to her most, my nose always firmly in a book! She’s also quietly strong which I’ve always loved too.

What can always make you laugh?

My friends – typical answer. My boyfriend – typical answer. Whatculture Youtube videos. The US Office.

What is your favourite quote?

Just one?! Mandy, what are you doing to me?! Uhm uhm uhm…

I’ll go with a recent one from Crooked Kingdom because I could not get it out of my mind after I read it.
“I would have come for you. And if I couldn’t walk, I’d crawl to you, and no matter how broken we were, we’d fight our way out together-knives drawn, pistols blazing. Because that’s what we do. We never stop fighting.”

And always “Stay gold, Ponyboy, stay gold.” from The Outsiders.

If you could have any animal in the world (or beyond) as a pet and you knew for sure that it wouldn’t eat you – what would it be?

Oh man, there’s so many possibilities! I think I’d want a dragon. Especially one akin to Saphira from The Inheritance Cycle. I loved that connection, it was one of my favourites aspects of that book series.

What book do you wish that everyone would read?

This is possibly the hardest question you could’ve asked. I think through pure enjoyment and nostalgia, and general love for it; Harry Potter. If everyone read and then felt the way I do about Harry Potter, that would be lovely.

Coffee, tea.. neither?

TEA! I’m a stereotypical Brit in this aspect. Tea, always Tea!

What authors are insta-buys for you?

There’s a few; Sarah J. Maas, Rainbow Rowell, Leigh Bardugo, Jay Kristoff.

How do you feel about classic books?

I wish I could read them more, but half the time whilst I’m reading, I’m basically translating in my head. I adore Pride and Prejudice, so I’m definitely going to try my hand at more. Next, I will be attempting Moby Dick.

What song is stuck in your head at this very minute?

Since they released their newest album, Night People. I haven’t been able to get You Me At Six’s; Give, out of my mind. It’s one of the most beautiful songs they’ve ever done. You can find the audio video on their YouTube channel here.

And last, but not least, what do you think your favourite book of 2017 will be?

More than likely it will be between A Court Of Wings and Ruin or the as yet Untitled Throne of Glass #6, both by Sarah J Maas.

My Questions

  1. Favourite book-to-film adaptation?
  2. Following on – what book do you want to be made into a TV show/film?
  3. Lastly – now dreamcast that film/tv show, only a few characters.
  4. If you were to write a book, what do you think your main character would be called?
  5. What are three songs you adore and why?
  6. Do you play video games? What are a couple of your favourites?
  7. What book would you like to play through as a video game?
  8. What is your favourite Disney film?
  9. What three book characters would you like to have lunch with?
  10. If you were to get a vook related tattoo, what would you get?
  11. What’s your favourite breakfast food?

My Nominees

Luna @ Bookish Luna

Rendz @ Reading With Rendz

Leanne @ Snowly’s Rambles

Anastasia @ Books, Tea, & Insanity

Charlotte Annelise @ Charlotte Annelise

Irena @ Books and Hot Tea

Maxine @ The Rogue Storyteller

Laura @ The Book Corps

Nova @ Galaxy Locks

Courtney @ A Wonderland of Books

Klara @ Ribbon Reviews

T5W #3: Current faves that aren’t books.

Time to change it up this week, every now and then it’s nice to step away from books and focus on our other loves in life – it’s not all about books (apparently). So this week’s Top 5 Wednesday is all about out five current favourites; that aren’t books!

Top 5 Wednesday is a Goodreads group now run by Samantha at Thoughts On Tomes. Where you are given a topic to post about every Wednesday; simple. You can find the link to the Goodreads group here.

So here we go!

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2017; the year ahead.

As is the way of challenging yourself, this year I plan on reading more books than in 2016. I plan on blogging regularly and hopefully have a scheduled pattern that I will – fingers crossed – actually stick to. As someone who missed the entire month of December in the blogging community, I’m going to be setting realistic goals so I don’t burnout again.

And, as is the way of my blog, I’ll be sharing a few personal goals also – I like the addition of personal postings on blogs. It gives the reader a little insight to the blogger and I feel like it’s a nice little touch. It makes the content you’re reading a tad more personable.

So, let’s get on with it!

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2016: A year in review.

2016 happened, I’m pretty sure most of us while just heave a collective sigh at the mention of it. Generally speaking, 2016 was pretty mediocre, am I right? Bad things seem to happen all of the time and mainstream media became everyone’s worst enemy. Bad news seems to be the only news the media is willing to talk about and good things were just swept underneath all of the crap we’ve had to suffer through.

Personally, 2016 was decent enough. I didn’t complete my reading challenge, although for the first one I ever took part in, maybe 75 was a pretty hefty target. I am proud of the number I did reach, a solid 56, most likely 57 as I am determined to finish my current read before the year is out. Despite everything, 2016 was a good year for reading. I may not have kept track of my reading tallies for the last few years but I’ve definitely upped my game in the reading stakes.

In a year filled with so many great releases, and a list of books from years gone by to complete, I was never short of reading material that’s for sure.

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