Slumps, whether they’re blogging or reading ones, are something we all dread, but it’s something we’ve all had to work our way through at one point or another. No matter how much you love doing something, and I assume I’m right in saying we all love reading and blogging here, there’s going to come a time when you lose the motivation to read or post anything new.
Unfortunately there’s never going to be one tried and true method of getting through slumps. Everyone has their own little tricks, things they do to stare off slumps, but sometimes you just have to face the inevitable.
Blogging and Reading Slumps
The last time I had a major reading slump was back in 2014. For months on end I couldn’t bring myself to start a new book, and all I did was re-read old favourites. Don’t get me wrong it was great going back to some of my old favourites I hadn’t had the time to re-read in ages but at the same time there were still so many books on my to-read list I wanted to get around to.
Read what you want, or don’t read what you don’t want to
It doesn’t matter whether a book is the most popular read in the world, if it has hundreds or five-star reviews and you haven’t seen one negative or mixed one, if you’re in the middle of a slump you’re not going to enjoy it. Forcing yourself through a book is only going to make you miserable, and you won’t enjoy the book as much as you maybe would have.
Re-read old favourites
This more than anything else is what worked for me during my ‘Epic Slump of 2014’. Something about going back and re-reading old favourites reminds me what I love about reading; I go back to these books I know I’m going to love and it’s almost like falling in love with reading again. Plus there’s something comforting about knowing where a story is going.
Earlier this year after reading two of Adam Silvera’s books back to back I experienced a huge contemporary slump. What did I do to get through it? I binge read fantasy releases. Last year after reading one of Sarah J. Maas’ releases I had a mini fantasy slump so I binge read contemporary releases. Changing things up really does help sometimes.
Take a break
Maybe it’s not the books or the genres but the act of reading itself, in that case just take a step back. There are days when I sit on the train on my way to work and barely realise how fast the time has gone because I’m buried in a book, but others where I don’t want to read and instead just want to stare out the window for an hour. Slumps are, more often than not, stare-out-of-the-window days.
Try switching up your schedule. Post what you want when you want and if that happens to be discussion after discussion, or tag after tag, or meme after meme then why not?
One of the posts I find myself struggling with the most are reviews. We read and read and read but when it comes to writing the reviews our minds go blank. At least that’s how it feels for me, and before I know it I’m massively behind on my reviews and the books I’ve read are staring at me from my bookshelves, judging me for not having written a review already.
If you’re not in the mood to write a review though, don’t. Readers can tell when bloggers love a book through what they write, so it makes sense that it works the other way around as well. People can tell when you don’t enjoy writing a review because it will come through in what you say, no matter how much you may have loved the book in question.
As a failsafe take a step back; go on a mini hiatus even if it’s just for a day or two. Take a step away from blogging and stare out the window on the train for a while, watching the world go by.
One thing that works for me, and this will not work for everyone – I’ve never seen this advice on a post about slumps before and there’s likely a reason for that – is force yourself through.
Not in the mood to read a certain book? Force yourself to get through the first chapter at least, and before you know it you’re already halfway through and hooked. Not in the mood to write a review? Sit down and write a few words, and before you know it the rest of the review is flying out of your mind and onto paper.
I’m the kind of procrastinator who needs to be forced into action, and it’s the same with slumps because nine times out of ten I can force my way through it. However this advice isn’t for everyone. I’m very aware this could go the other way and make my slump worse. It hasn’t yet but that doesn’t mean it won’t.
Now Onto the Discussion Part of This Post:
What was the last reading and/or blogging slump you found yourself having to work through?
How do you get over your reading and/or blogging slumps? Are there any tried and true methods that work every time for you?
Is there any advice you wish someone had given you about slumps? Any advice you want to pass on to any newbie readers/bloggers?
Let me know in the comments below.