Sunday, January 1, 2012

Thoughts on Blogging and Less Stress in the New Year

In 2012, I want to smile more and stress less!
 (thoughts on books and reviews) 
  • I love reading, but don't always enjoy reviewing. Granted, some books are easier to review than others, but for me, HAVING to feel like I must follow some format and review every book I read, almost always takes the fun out of having read the book in the first place.
  • In 2012, my reviews will be even more brief than in 2011. They will be more in a format of my feelings and reactions to the book and what worked or didn't work for me, rather than an analysis writing style, plot devices etc.
  • I will still plan on posting my thoughts here as well as Good Reads and
  • I will still use a rating system and let readers know whether I recommend  the book or not.
(thoughts on reading challenges)
  • Like in 2011, I only signed up for a few (left side bar) 2012 Reading Challenges. They are ones, I know I can be successful at. Why put pressure on ourselves? After all reading is suppose to be fun! 
(thoughts on blogging)
  • In 2011, I found a weekly format that worked well for me. As far as routines and the type of posts you can expect here each week, it'll look something like this :
  • Sundays - Book Review or Post about my week
  • Mondays - Mailbox Monday - New books which found their way into my house the previous week
  • Tuesdays - First Chapter, First Paragraph Tuesday Intros (where I decided to read a book based on the opening paragraph).
  • Wednesdays - Waiting on Wednesday - a book that I heard about that won't be published for a few months.
  • Thursdays - Book Review
  • Fridays - (nothing consistent - Book Review or whatever strikes my fancy)
  • Saturday - Saturday Snapshot (photo taken by me or a family member).
(thoughts on books on my shelf and new purchases)
  •  In 2011, I weeded my print books from about 700 to 500.  In 2012, I hope to reduce my print books, by at least 100 more.  For every (1) new print book that comes into the house (2) MUST leave the house. (I found this is easier than it may sound. For me personally, I am no longer interested in reading about any character that has AIDS, cancer or any other fatal disease. No more books about war, Holocaust, or sisters and female friendships either.) See ....once you understand the type of books that no longer interest you or work for you, cleaning off your shelves and donating books becomes very easy.  I only have about (15) books on my shelves that I've read and can't part with, so that part is easy as well -- once it gets read it leaves my house one way or another.
  • Any new book purchases will be as an eBook (except - I will be starting to purchase a collection of picture books for that 1st grandchild who will be here in early May - who could fault me on that?)
  • Print books will still be purchased on occasion, mainly at Library Book sales, or obtained through Paperback Swap.
Thanks to all of my loyal followers who make this blog a thing for me to smile about and not stress about.

How about you? Any blogging changes planned for the new year?


  1. Great post, Diane. We are definitely thinking along the same lines...

  2. Happy New Year to you!

    I lost my blogging mojo in 2011. I agree, I love to read but reviewing can be very stressful! I'll be focusing on reading and reviewing books that I am truly excited about in 2012 (so many of my favourite authors are coming out with new ones!), reading books off of my shelves, and only accepting review copies that really excite me. Hopefully less stress and more fun in 2012! All the best to you with your changes!!!

  3. I love your "no pressure" approach, and look forward to your thoughts in 2012. I am going to focus on reviews, and maybe a few memes. "When it happens, it happens," is my 2012 motto. I'm so happy you'll be adding a new member to your family in 2012!

  4. Diane, I think there are many of us who are simplifying in 2012. I'm accepting fewer review books and will use net galley when I can. My reviews will also be briefer for my own books. I'm reading for enjoyment and having a review hanging over my head was taking a lot of enjoyment away. So, shorter reviews = less stress.

    How exciting you're going to be a grandma! I've started collecting books for our granddaughter. She's only 6 months old now but I plan to be ready when she is interested in books!

  5. I agree that reading should be for fun. I'm disappointed that you aren't reading about female friendships, since one of my books has that as a theme, but does focus on something else. Still, if it's published, I'll pressure you to read it. Smile. I hope you have a great year of reading and always look forward to hearing about that book that I shouldn't miss reading.

  6. I hope you're successful with your goals - blogging and reviewing shouldn't feel like work. I still look forward to reading your reviews :)

  7. The reading part is definitely more fun! Good luck with your goals!

  8. I plan on simplifying a lot this year too! I bet you'll have a lot of fun collecting picture books for the grandchild! :)

  9. I love the snow(sand)man! Very cute. Happy New Year to you, Diane! Your goals sound doable and it seems that many are feeling the urge to simplify and simplify some more. I'm all for that. Less stress is always good. So excited about your new grandbabe to come!

  10. That's still a lot to do to post every single day of the week. You got your hands full! What a great thing to look forward, 1st grandchild in May? How exciting, I wish you all the best Diane. Only beautiful things to come this year. :)


  11. I just love how you organize your thoughts and set them into motion.
    A grandchild in May! I am so excited for you and the family.

  12. Gratz on the upcoming new grandkid! My birthday is in early May and I can tell you that us early May folks rock! Having been a mother who gives books I'm looking forward some day to being a grandmother who gives books - but for a long long time. =]

  13. Diane - This is an amazing post! ITA about the reviewing/reading. I love to read, but all these reviews have become a chore. I can't even finish all the reviews I accepted in the past year. I accepted so many that I can spend the rest of my life just reading review books and not necessarily books I want to. Now, I'm going to be way more selective. I'll try and complete the ones I have but there are no guarantees. There are so many books that I truly want to read and there's just not enough time in the day for it all.

    As for challenges, I wasn't going to join many this year but I did. However, I truly love the challenges and I no longer feel pressure to finish them. I did feel the pressure the first year I did them, but not anymore. I've chosen challenges that fit in with the books I truly want to read. I'm hoping this keeps me focused on what I really want out of reading.

    Blogging? Yep, even that is getting out of hand. I'm going to stick with it, but I have to not let it take so much of my reading time away. I still need to juggle things around a bit. Perhaps not so many memes.

    Hope the new year is a good one for both of us!

  14. I am with you and smiling more and stess less! I am in the same boat with reading and reviewing and took a blogging break this year. I am hoping to make things simpler with my reviews as well and read what I want from my own shelves. It's nice to know that I'm not the only one feeling this way:) How exciting that you will have a grandchild this year...definitely stock up on the picture books and board books. I started reading to my son at birth so it is never too early:) Happy New Year and all the best!!

  15. I'd just made a goal very similar to your bullet #2. Have a fun reading and blogging year!

  16. Diane, I'm amazed that you can blog and read so much! I've really cut back.

    Happy New Year!

  17. Wow, you've really thought this out and that's great. I hope the new(ish) system works for you. It's funny, I look at my bookshelves and wonder why I am keeping some of the books on them and I realize I just love the way books look in a room. I do try to put new ones on and remove old ones though

  18. Happy New Year Diane! I'm signing up for less stress, too.

  19. I loved reading this post! I understood everything you were saying until you mentioned all the books leaving your home. That made my eyeballs pop out! You only have 10 books that you have read and can't part with?! Wow! What are they? Just curious! :)

    I'm in the minority when it comes to simplifying book reviews/blog posts -- I'm already there! I haven't felt any stress regarding posting because I've never put a lot of work into them. I HAVE felt stress regarding all the books I want to get my hands on and just don't have the time of day to read them. I guess anxiety would be the better word choice there. Thank goodness for audiobooks! They are my friends! Without them, the number of books I would read would be slim.

    Anyway, all the best to you with your goals and Happy New Year!

  20. Glad you are making a change to destress and make it more fun as it should be!

  21. Ditto, ditto, ditto! It seems a lot of us are feeling some stress due to reviewing. I know I'm only accepting review books on a very limited basis and they darn well better be fun ones! Whatever you do, I know I'll be following you, cheering you on. Do what is best for you. {{hugs}}

  22. I like your resolutions. I agree with you on getting rid of print books. I am trying to weed my out too. I've been doing much better.

    I plan on reading what I want and not take on review request except for the advisory board.

    Happy new Year to you!

    How exciting. A grandbaby!!

  23. Sounds like you have a great plan! Happy New Year and I hope 2012 brings you all the furry best!

  24. Feeling like I have to review is definitely a contributor to stress! I love your thoughts on this!

  25. Thanks for all of your good wishes, and I was happy to see that many of you seemed to be feeling much as I was about reviews and blogging.

    Some of you were curious about the (10) or so books that I read and couldn't part with. I actually found (16) print books, I've read and kept are here they are: (for some reason either the writing or the story touched me in a special way):

    Snow Flower and the Secret Fan; Lisa See
    Tortilla Curtain; TC Boyle
    The Double Bind; Chris Bohjalian
    Middlesex; Eugenides
    The Bells; Richard Harvell
    The Bluest Eye; Toni Morrison
    Tomato Girl; Jayne Pupek
    The Rapture of Canaan; S. Renyolds
    Between Two Rivers; Nicholas Rinaldi
    The Art of Racing in the Rain; Garth Stein
    Of Mice and Men; Steinbeck
    Snow Island; Towler
    Strangers at the Feast; Vanderbes
    The Book of Eve; Constance Beresford-Howe
    Old Songs in a New Cafe; Waller
    Bridges of Madison County; Waller

    I have a number of eBook as well that I loved as well, and still have, (but they aren't taking up shelf space):

  26. Good for you!

    I did this shortly after starting to blog - it was an easy decision for me since I read just 2-3 books a month (including audio). I simply couldn't handle seeing new arrivals in my mailbox (the pressure). Reading was not longer fun/enjoyable. Thus the creation of the 'quick take'. I figure you don't want me to break down a book, you just want to know if I like it/recommend it and why.

    I LOVE netgalley, it suits me perfectly. I get to choose.

    Blogging/reading shouldn't feel like a job, in less it is one for you (you get paid). Enjoy!

    Empower yourself!!!

  27. ohhhh you are one CRAZY and BRAVE lady to post SEVEN DAYS A WEEK....for reduce stress that would be the FIRST thing I would change.

    I was blogging between 5 and 6 days a week and my goal is to try and average between 3-5 days per week.....7 is waaaaaayyy too much!

  28. yay for making changes that help simplify and de-stress your life!

    You will have so much fun collecting books for that new grandchild -- I imagine you'll fill a small library before May :)

  29. I know what you mean about liking to read more than review! I'm still struggling to find the right balance, and I'm glad you are finding it for yourself!

    Good luck with your challenges, whether they be reading or organizational. I hope 2012 is full of good books and great times with your new grandchild.

  30. I'm with you in that I think 2012 should be a year to eliminate any stress I can in my life! Happy New Year!

  31. Happy New Year! Looks like you have a clear plan. I know that I'm still trying to decide what challenges to do. I don't want to sign up for too many so I'm being selective. I guess ones that had a 12/31 sign-up deadline are out so that was decided for me. LOL!

    Looking forward to visiting with you this year. =O)

  32. I'm thinking of dropping the word review from my blog altogether too. It's a lot of pressure and is taking the fun out of blogging. I'm going to just let each book have its own appropriate post -- whatever that may be. Good luck with your housecleaning!

  33. Great set of rules to guide you for this year's blogging. Happy New year!

  34. I love the idea of collecting picture books for your grandchild! What excting times for you :-) Let us know which books you buy. and good luck with your stress free blogging.

  35. I think smiling more and stressing less is a very good plan! I hope it all works out for you and 2012 is fantastic!

  36. Sounds like very reasonable goals for 2012. Hope that you have a wonderful year! Blogging and reading should be fun, not pressured. ;)

  37. Great ideas, Diane and of course I can absolutely relate to how you are feeling! Many of us seem to be doing a bit of a shift this year! I look forward to 2012 filled with great books, friendship, less stress and seet babies!

  38. I've been purging my bookshelves lately too. 5 huge boxes out the door and it feels great! Love that you are collecting books for your grandchild. Claire had quite a collection before she was born too. :)

  39. Very insightful post Diane. I too have been struggling with how to stay on top of my blog and reviewing and everything else in my life (and lately failing miserably).

    I really like your plan of dedicated days for certain things and need to find a routine that works for me too.

    Thanks for the thoughtful post.

  40. Happy New Year Diane! I like your philosophy in this post and smiling more while stressing less - especially about reviewing!

  41. Those are some great goals! Happy New Year!

  42. Smile more and Stress Less --- that should be my motto for the upcoming year!

    I love your weekly schedule of posts and think that is probably one of the secrets to consistent blogging. I should probably try to develop my own schedule in 2012.

  43. Sounds like a great, laid-back approach to keep blogging fun. I think you should just review however makes it fun for you, whether it involves a specific format or not. I tend to write whatever strikes my fancy at the time. Wishing you all the best in 2012!

  44. I think you are making some good changes. I hope they suit you and lead to less stress!

  45. I am hoping for less stress and less clutter too. And how exciting to have a new little one. Happy new year!

  46. Great goals, Diane! I'm trying to make this year less streesful by not signing up for any reading challenges. We;ll see if I break down and do some of the seasonal ones! Gage loves his books, so that is a wise investment :)


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