Monday, 21 July 2014

The End of the Book Zone (For Boys)... or Just A New Beginning?

As far as blogging is concerned, this year has been very difficult so far. Work seems to be taking up even more of my time than it did in the past (and if you had told me that would happen twelve months ago I would not have thought it possible). My involvement as a member of the Bookbuzz selection panel also took up a huge amount of my time, and whilst I would not change that for anything as it was something that I enjoyed immensely, again it meant there was even less time for blogging. And then there was WoW - the young people's literary festival I organised. I've also gone through lengthier periods than before where I've struggled to get into a number of YA and MG books, and have had to read adult books to retain my sanity. And on top of this, I'm also trying to progress with my own writing - my head is almost exploding with ideas but the time to get them onto 'paper' in a coherent form is difficult to find.

Of course, this has all led to prolonged periods of guilt. My TBR pile is as high as ever, and my RBNR (read-but-need-reviewing) pile is pretty high too. I feel like I am letting down the wonderful publishers that continue to send me some pretty damn amazing books. I also feel like I am letting down the authors who are struggling in a relatively poor market and need as much exposure as possible. Every book I read gets a Goodreads star rating, but as far as my own personal expectations of myself are concerned, this just isn't enough. Over the years I have prided myself on the length and detail of my reviews, but sadly this is no longer sustainable.

This has left me with two options: stop blogging altogether or accept that I will have to write much shorter reviews. Because I love blogging, and I love the people that I have come to know so well since I started blogging, at this moment in time the first is still not really an option for me, and so I am going to try the latter. Hopefully this will mean that there will be more reviews on The Book Zone, but they will just be shorter and less verbose. I hope this won't disappoint anyone too much and you'll continue to visit my blog in the future.


  1. I'm just glad you'll still be around Darren, even if that does mean writing shorter reviews! I think bloggers tend to put a lot of pressure on ourselves & it's tough to find a balance between blogging & the rest of life. I've been trying really hard to put less pressure on myself recently because I'd started to get really burnt out on blogging & would hate to give up on it altogether.

    Good luck with your new way of doing things, I hope it works out for you & gives you more time for writing & other things :-)

  2. Hi Sarah
    Thanks for the kind words. Over the past year blogging has sometimes felt like a chore, and I have come so close to quitting on a number of occasions. YALC was something of a turning point - it reinforced some of the key reasons why I started blogging and why I have enjoyed it so much. I just need to learn to take the pressure off myself and get back to enjoying it again.

  3. Write shorter reviews! It's what I've started doing (because unless I have something really important to say, I don't think walls of text are a good way of talking about books.) Hope it all works out.