The End of the Challenge
The End of the 365 in 365 Challenge
I realize that this is being posted on day that is least conducive to believability but I assure you I’m not messing around. A bit before the beginning of the year I wondered what direction I wanted to take my blog in and I decided that a good route was to make this challenge, a book a day and reviewing each on the day I read them. This would give me exposure to new genres (another challenge I placed upon myself that I have essentially completed at this point anyway) and give an extra excuse to read more. Doing a review every day was designed to help both find a style and improve the quality of my writing, mostly of reviews but in general as well. The challenge would hopefully generate some extra interest in the blog which had seen a vast decrease in hits mostly because the ones I was getting were purely meme-related and though I enjoyed reading the comments for those they didn’t feel like I had done anything to earn them.
Now for what actually happened. When I began this challenge I was working roughly 20hrs/week at my crappy job. I’m now at 40/week or even a bit more at times which has made it much more difficult to plan reading and reviewing into my day, especially if I want to do anything but those things. In the beginning month and a half or so I was reading full length books, doing what I still believe were pretty solid reviews and improving my writing for those as well as enjoying some great new reads, it was a lot of fun. Now? I’m exhausted all the time. I get up at 3:30am for work, work for 8hrs, come home and try to read a book and review but am usually distracted by a multitude of things. I forgot how diverse my passions were until I didn’t have time to squeeze them all in.
As I moved into March I was running lower on time and energy and as a result I was reading a novella length book almost every other day which I wasn’t happy with, even if I enjoyed some of them. Worse still and something I refuse to allow myself to continue to do any longer, the quality of my reviews was decreasing as time went on. Some of them made me cringe since I was just cobbling together some general feelings just so a review would go up. I can’t do that, it isn’t my style and I would much rather a quality product than mass amounts of it.
So what does this mean for the blog? No, I’m not quitting blogging, I enjoy it too much and I love the community I’ve come to know so well. I also have quite a few obligations that I need to fulfill and I would never shirk those, not that I want to. It means I’ll go back to closer to my previous schedule that I had prior to the challenge. A review or two a week with a possibility of a third, Waiting on Wednesday weekly and I’ll be doing Stacking the Shelves once a month (look for March’s recap Saturday, yes a week late I know). I also have a few fun posts lined up including a guest post with an author, a couple reviews that I am looking forward to that will coincide with book releases, a cover reveal and likely a giveaway or two. Most of that is coming this month so I’m pretty excited for April. ^.^
I know there were people really excited and hopeful to see me complete this challenge as it is/was pretty crazy. I still will read more books this year than probably any other in my life, though some of my elementary years might give it a run for its money. One reason for stopping this admittedly is the lack of response I had for it. To kill myself by trying to keep up with this challenge and try to produce high quality stuff and see it widely ignored, while I wasn’t shocked it did kinda kill my morale. By going back to my usual blogging schedule I will be doing it for the love of books and the community I am a small part of, so whether I get a large audience or not I can still enjoy myself which is a big deal at least for me.
Positive spin! This will give me time to work on my writing (the book kind not the review/blogging kind) and potentially try other cool stuff. Examples: This month has both Camp NaNoWriMo & VEDA (Vlog Every Day in April) and while I don’t think I’ll try the latter this year, it is those type of things that releasing myself from the challenge commitment will allow. I can’t wait!
I hope this doesn’t give me a giant red stamp of “quitter” on my head, but I guess I understand if that is the case. If this lessens your view of me, the blog, or results in you not stopping by that’s cool, I understand. The challenge could be viewed as a gimmick, and though to me that wasn’t the intent, now that it’s over the small allure does disappear. However, if you do continue to stop by once in a while I do appreciate it and hope that the quality improvement outweighs the decrease in amount of posts. I will try to keep it interesting and entertaining to the best of my ability. If you’ve read this whole thing I commend you and thank you. Thanks as always for reading.