Some of you will know that I've been attempting to keep a craft blog for all my craft and home related endeavours for a while, and dismally failing. Equally you'll probably have noticed that my review format has become a lot less structured and more about my emotional response to books than a critical assessment of them. A year or two ago a lot of my favourite bloggers at the time posted about the need to incorporate more aspects of their lives into their blogs, and then proceeded to either not blog about books anymore at all, or disappeared off the face of the earth. At the time, I swore this would never be me, and it won't. I love books too much; I love blogging too much.
What I do want to do, though, is to change the blog a little bit. Realistically I don't have the time to keep two blogs, and so because I love this blog I'm just moving everything over here. I also don't necessarily want the pressure of sticking to talking about one book per post - I'd rather be able to talk about my experience of books around a theme or in relation to what was going on with my life while I read them. I will still post more formal reviews but only when I feel like writing them. Sometimes I really feel like a book I've read is so great and elicites such a strong response that it just has to have a review and that's fine. I dropped the pressure to review every book I read a long time ago but now I'm turning it down even lower and saying that the formal, structured reviews will become the exception rather than the norm.
Books will still and always be the vast majority of the content here because I love them. I am surrounded by them constantly and the other day I actually, at the age of 27, had a miniature tantrum because my husband kept talking about all the plans he has for our new house once we move in and didn't once mention my books and I just want a reading nook,dammit! *stamps foot and cries* Or a library.... But anyway! The point is that I've always posted the occassional personal post here and now I want to relate what I'm reading more to that. Therefore I want to read what I want and not put any pressure on myself or my (let's face it, now I've had two kids, very limited) reading time. We'll see how it works out.
As well as that there will be the occasional post about what I'm doing with my craft business, activities or stuff that's happened with my kids, parenting things, cookery things and anything else I feel like writing about. I'm hoping that most of you won't mind this change, and I think that it will help me to feel a lot less restricted by the blog. I've always felt like this is my place where I can be totally myself, which is why I'm so much more relaxed meeting people I've already 'met' online (*waves at Laura and the Northern lot* :-p) but honestly in a lot of ways I'm very different to who I was when I first started An Armchair by the Sea nearly four years ago. Then I was a newly engaged 23 year old who had just moved 100 miles away from all of her family and friends and was working very very part time in a town she didn't know with people who were a lot older than her. For a while this blog and you lot out there were my most instant source of connection, comfort and security aside from Rhys. Now I've been married three years, living in the same lovely area for nearly four. All the library staff know me by sight and Ben and Sam by name, I know the back routes to everywhere and although I still suck at making friends, I have a few lovely ones. I have two kids and am on the verge of buying a house and I'm sort of starting to feel like a grown up and I need the blog to reflect that. I want it to stay the place where I try out new thoughts and ideas and work out how I feel and what I think about things, and to do that I need to diversify. Books are my major love but they're not (and never really were) my only one, and I don't have the time to compartmentalize anymore!
I wonder if any of this makes any sense? As part of my redesign maybe I'll start proofreading and editing my posts again, who knows?
I think that's a great idea. You should be able to evolve your blog as you change - after all, you blog for YOU, not for anybody else.ReplyDelete
Haha, I'd totally have a tantrum at house plans that failed to mention the addition of a library :)
Glad it's not just me :-p And that's exactly what I thought, I like that it's my blog and reflects me and I don't have all this pressure that lots of other bloggers seem to have!Delete
All house plans should definitely involve a library!ReplyDelete
You should definitely feel free to talk about whatever you want to on your blog! I love reading about craft related stuff too (and would blog about it were it not for my inherent laziness!), and I find that the things that I actually enjoy most on other people's book blogs are life related posts anyway :)
I know exactly what you mean! I tried to run a second blog for a while too, but it just wasn't happening and eventually the two started to blend back together and I ditched the lifestyle one. Everyone I wanted to chat to about these things was over at the book blog anyway, so it seemed a bit pointless! :)ReplyDelete
I also get the 'switching down the reviews' thing, obviously, because I don't often write full reviews any more either. Mini reviews started out as a way to get through depression without neglecting the blog entirely, but actually I really like them now. Far less pressure, you still get to share your reading and what you loved/hated, and you don't get to the end of every book feeling like you've got homework to do before you can move on to the next book. You can just READ. It feels more natural again, if that makes sense? I hope it helps you find your own balance, especially with the move and a business and two little ones to love as well as finding time for the other things you enjoy!
And you should definitely mix everything up however you like. I'm here for Bex the person (sidenote, why did I think you were 24 when you're actually the same age as me? How strange) not Bex the deeply academic book reviewer. It'll be nice to have one place to catch up on different aspects of what's going on with you, I'm looking forward to it! :D
*coughs* Loooong comment, sorry. Maybe I'm still capable of writing full-length posts after all! :PDelete
Yes yes yes on the homework thing! I LOVE feeling like I can just go browse my shelves and find the next thing :-) It's amazing. I'm a weird combination because I love lists (you might have noticed) but then I also hate structure as it makes me feel immensely pressured, so I tend to bounce around from pillar to post and oh my god where did I put Gatsby??? *wanders off to find Gatsby*Delete
I have no idea why you thought I was younger, maybe because Hanna and Laura are? They're the same age, we're the same age and Charlotte is a year older right?
Also am I the only person who still thinks of age in school years despite not having been in full time education for six years?Delete
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Neither Hanna nor Laura are 24, incidentally... :pDelete
YES BEX YES ALL THOSE THINGS YOU SAID. Find Gatsby. And I have no idea why I thought you were younger than me, actually. Maybe you mentioned an age at some point in a retrospective way (like, "back when I was a wee 23 year-old..." only less Scottish) and I just remembered the number instead of the context. STUPID BRAIN.Delete
I don't think of age in school years any more, but I do still automatically feel like most people are older than me and more 'grown up'. I forget that in fact I'm 27 and a lot of them are, like, 19. You know that feeling you had at primary school where you'd look at the year six class and feel like they were impossibly grown up and cool? Yeah, like that. :(
Love your honesty! ebReplyDelete
Thanks! :-) I figured if I can't be honest about what I'm thinking here then there's kind of no point in carrying on with it!Delete
Years ago I had a dedicated book blog and a personal travel blog. Then I created my current blog and eventually deleted the other two. The response I've received from readers has been very positive and I find that as I'm reading less and less (or at least not seeking out newer type books), I gravitate towards blogs that have a little bit of everything to show. Babies! Cooking! Crafting! Books! Sounds like if we lived close by we could be very good lovely friends. ;) I hope the change works for you--just go with it!ReplyDelete
I read your blog a lot but usually on my phone and while trying to wrangle with a very active two year old and so I don't comment a lot, but I was reading your post about mean girls earlier today and another about meal planning the other week and just really relating! In all honesty yours is one of the blog that has encouraged me to think that I can combine everything I want to talk about and make it good so thank you for that!Delete
*blushes* (but yes...honestly sometimes my book posts are my least popular posts. I'm not sure why I even bother reading books anymore). ;)Delete
I love reading all your posts, and I do like the blogs that mix up personal and reading and other subjects together - it's friendly and you get to know people a bit better than just one review per post. And I do like your idea of writing about your experience of books around a theme. :)ReplyDelete
I think it's a fantastic idea - I am your fan and friend for the long haul, and my blog is also a mashup of my various interests (like food and travel and personal achievements) with a main focus on my love for all things bookish. I appreciate your honesty and love that you want to mix things up! Go for it!ReplyDelete