This year I’ve been struggling a lot. There are a lot of reasons for that, most of them focused on my own personal health, but I’ve also been really struggling to keep up interest and enthusiasm for my website. Not because I’m sick of reviewing books. I’m not. Not even close, but I think I’m just getting… worn out.
I’ve had a bit of a heart to heart with myself, and I figured out the problem.
I’ve been running this website for six years now, almost seven. That’s six years of reading mostly, or exclusively SpecFic books. That’s not a bad thing, but I think I’m getting a little burnt out. I have other interests, and I feel like I need to feed them a bit. This will, in turn, keep up my enthusiasm with SpecFic.
So in that respect, I am going to expand the scope of my book reviews here. It will still be mostly speculative fiction, but I have been reading a ton of really, really good nonfiction that I’m dying to talk about. I really don’t want my website to fade away, but I also need to do something to keep my enthusiasm up, to give me fresh perspective and desire to read speculative fiction, and I think allowing myself to read books outside of the genre, and talk about them, will help me keep this website going and keep me from the burn out I’m very afraid of experiencing.
I realize this may or may not cause me to lose readers, but in the end, I run this website for me, because I kind of go a little nuts if I don’t talk about the books I read. Therefore, I’m going to be doing this, selfishly, for me in an effort to keep my creative outlet, my bookish obsession alive and well.
To kick it off, tomorrow (unless something unexpected happens) you can expect a review of Pandemic by Sonia Shah.
I hear you on the burnout issue. I had a similar sort of crisis last year, at which point I began diversifying a bit. It cost me some readers in the short term, but I’ve since gained more than I lost.
I actually intend to diversify again for the new year, cutting WAY back on the review requests, and diving deep into the stacks of books that I want to read for myself. I suspect that will cost me even more readers, but the way I see it, enjoyment is more important than an audience.
I hear you, too. Over at New Podler, we’ve reviewed indie and small press books for about 10 years. I’ve missed out on so many trad pub books that I don’t have a TBR pile, I have a TBR landfill. Since no one is available to take over my role of managing the site, we’re going to close our doors at the end of the year.