For those that review books I am going to assume we all know the feeling. We sit at our desk. Stare at our computer. We put the title in the post. We input in the book info and stare. We stare at the computer screen and our minds go blank. Our thoughts revolve around the land of “YAY I LIKED IT” or maybe “IT WAS OK”, but no one wants to read that. Hell, I don’t want to read that!! No one is going to think about buying a book based on a review that says “yeah, it was good. I read it.” Or do they? I am going to return to that thought…
How does one overcome book review burn out? Well, let me start by saying that I understand why so many blogs fizzle out after 3 years or so. We have all witnessed the slowly decaying blog that suddenly blinks out of existence from the sidelines. We mourn silently as another one bites the dust after the dreadful book review burn out.
We get tired. Life changes. Priorities change. But I suspect the real killer is when we start to think and believe that our time and effort writing reviews don’t make a difference. No one sends us messages of awesomeness on how right, or hell, even how wrong we were about that book that was purchased based on one of our reviews and comments ….pfffffff. We all pray to the blogger gods and goddesses that comments would appear. I mean..ENGAGE!! We all want and miss the engagement of others. Even authors don’t pay as much attention to us as they did 5 years ago. Sorry, but it’s the truth. With amazon and google analytics changing all the time…the lonely book review blogger is just a spec of sand in a google sea of blogs and just a single insignificant review in the required number needed to achieve amazon author notoriety. I get it! I don’t write reviews for author praise. Actually, I try not to think about the author reading my review at all. That totally fucks with my head. I write to give honest feedback on what I did or didn’t like about a book. Yet, the silence can be overwhelming. It can cast a shadow over you and after time the feeling of isolation starts to effect your drive to write reviews. That is just the ugly truth of it.
When does one reduce themselves to ash and allow themselves to get blown away and give up? I don’t know. I am a stubborn bitch. Giving up isn’t really in my nature and because my expectations when I started this site were not about money or some kind of book reviewer fame. (Wait…is there a thing? Does a book reviewer hall of fame exist? Maybe I changed my mind! – HA! Just kidding!) For me, this time has not come yet. I have shifted gears and might not be reading in the same defined area I was before, but I am not retreating. Learning to write reviews for my new reading ventures is taking some practice. I want to give you (ummm…someone?) quality feedback! Be patient with us and hang tight because we are about to reload.
I know I have been here before and I know I can overcome this feeling of not making a difference. Who cares? I am weird. I need an outlet and this site has always provided me that. Especially right now. I have very few people in close proximity to really discuss books with. IT IS PAINFUL Y’ALL! I am not social enough and live too far out to do any kind of routine with book clubs. It doesn’t help that I tend to ruffle feathers and point out things other don’t like to see…especially when forced to read something. That means I just have my blog. A place to vent when I didn’t like a book and a place to brag on the authors that entertained me.
5 years guys. I have been running this site for almost 5 years! It’s amazing and bittersweet at the same time. I wish I wasn’t standing in a place where the discussion is all about reviewer burn out around this amazing day, but that is the reality. Only time will tell if my stubbornness wins the race. I don’t feel like I am done. I feel….isolated. Like a barrier exists between readers and reviewers and that barrier is smothering me. Reading reviews on Amazon that are nothing more than a rewritten blurb and have “20 helpful votes” is depressing as shit. I am honestly glad for every review, as I know it helps authors. BUT it is hard to accept how “helpful” amazon readers voted that ridiculously unhelpful review. I spend time and a lot of thought on what worked and didn’t work for me! The lack of “helpfulness” my reviews seem to get is a little depressing! I am seriously laughing at myself at how ridiculous this sounds right now. Yet, I wonder how many reviewers gave up because of this type of silly thing.
Overcoming it all…my goal is to just say it. If it sucks, so be it. I am not perfect and at least I made an honest effort. That is my goal. Just keep writing reviews. Not all are going to be epic and I can guarantee…some are going to suck, but if that is what it takes to get past this lag and burnout then SO BE IT and here is to the next five years, bitches!