The time has come for me to take a little break from Pop! Goes The Reader. Not a particularly long one, mind you, but this is something I feel I have to do for myself. For a little while now I’ve been struggling with feelings of stress, guilt, and a general sense of feeling overextended in nearly every aspect of my life. While I can’t help but worry about the impact this hiatus will have on Pop! Goes The Reader (loss of momentum, loss of followers, etc) I’ve realized that I need to focus less on the needs of others and things I have absolutely no control over and more on what is best for me.
Thanks to my friend, Casee Marie over at Literary Inklings, I recently read an interesting article entitled “Why the Word “Should” Can be Harmful and 3 Empowering Alternatives”, which you can find Here. Upon finishing said article, I came to the rather difficult conclusion that I do many things out of a sense of obligation rather than desire. I “should” post five days a week. I “should” write at least two reviews every week. I “should” read a certain number of books in 2014. This constant sense that I “should” do something that I wasn’t presently doing was both destructive and a constant source of unhappiness in my life. I found myself focusing not on what I was accomplishing, but on what I wasn’t. Even now, as I write this, I’m struggling with these same insidious thoughts. “Who are you to complain or need a hiatus? You’ve only been at this for nine months! Think of the bloggers who have done this for years without needing to take time off.” Well, enough is enough.
Now, that isn’t to say that I don’t love blogging – I do, truly! That said, there are moments when I struggle with the same issues that many bloggers before me have discussed and grappled with. The pressure to ‘keep up’ and ‘compete’. The fear of failure and not measuring up. The disappointment I feel when I fail to meet the often impossible standards I set for myself. All of these feelings have been building for the last two weeks or so, and have had a noticeable impact both on my life and on my blog. Recently I’ve found myself in the midst of one of the worst reading slumps in recent memory and those I do read I feel no desire to review, no matter how much I may love them. I find myself uninterested and listless and even the smallest chore seems like an impossible task.
So, I’ll be taking a little time off to reflect, re-examine my priorities and to (hopefully) rediscover my love of reading. I want to remember what it’s like to read in a vacuum and simply enjoy the experience, as opposed to feeling as though I must immediately record and analyze my every thought and feeling. So wish me luck, friends. With any luck I’ll be back before you know it, rested, relaxed, and more ready than ever to do what I love most in this world: Discuss books with the people who love them just as much as I do!