Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Changes Are in Store for Reading is My Treasure

I've been thinking a lot about the future of this blog, and I'm conflicted. There are some things that just aren't working as well as they were before. Sometimes it feels like I've done everything I meant to do and I should walk away and do something else. The problem with that is that I would miss this blog too much. I can't even take a proper break from blogging--my "break" is actually logging out of Twitter and engaging less for a little bit (because even though I love the community, I worry a lot about whether or not I fit in with it). Also, I know most of the issues I've been having with blogging lately aren't really about this blog. It's about my insecurities and worries about everything in my life.

So, the changes I want to make are based on things I want to worry about less. The key phrase here is "want to make." I'm not sure if I'll manage to go through with these things. There are a lot of things I'm reluctant to cut out or alter, but I really want to experiment and see if any of my changes help me the way I want them to. Hopefully by writing my ideas out in a post will help me stick it that!

Author Features
I have a couple to post in January, but I'm thinking of closing this blog to all feature requests after those are posted. I'm already pretty selective with them already, so it should be easy to stop doing them. They're pretty fun to do, but at the same time, I oftentimes feel guilty after they're posted. They rarely seem to be read by more than a couple people, and I usually end up feeling like I wasted the author's time.

The changes I want to make with reviews are going to be challenging, especially since I've stuck with my format and style for a really long time. It can be tough to alter that. 

Review copies: I'm thinking of mostly phasing these out as well. I'm thinking of requesting less of these--a lot less. I'm starting to feel a weird kind of ARC guilt. I love reviewing ARCs! (They are books, after all.) It's exciting to get approvals. I love the opportunity to help spread the word about upcoming releases. But . . . I get ARCs as a blogger and I don't think my reviews for them get read on this blog often. They may be read on Goodreads (or maybe Amazon), but I don't send requests as a Goodreads reviewer. If my reviews aren't read on the outlet I'm requesting for, then do I deserve to receive an advanced copy in the first place? This has been one of the most recent questions I've been asking myself a lot lately.

(I find it funny that right after I finished writing this post, I went onto Twitter and discovered that Harper added more books to EW. They're the hardest to resist getting. :D )

Review style: Whether I do go through with requesting less or not, I do want to change up my format quite a bit. My reviews for Goodreads shouldn't change much, but I want to switch things up for the ones I post on this blog. Some may be interview style (where I kinda have a conversation with myself about what I read like I did with Illuminae). I might go with Reading Recaps and share my thoughts on what I read over the past couple weeks (the "review" format would be gone and it would look more like one of my TTTs). I might share my thoughts through a discussion related to the book. I may even share my thoughts through a comparison of a couple books. Formal reviews (with the book information, description, rating, etc.) may be posted less and less often as the year progresses.

But like I said, these changes may be challenging to put into effect, so I'm not sure if I'll stick with them. We'll see! (But typing what I may post in place of reviews is making me really excited to try new formats, so I'm really hoping my future self sticks to these ideas!!)

Blog Tours
I'm going to phase these out! I don't do them very much in the first place, so I doubt I'll miss them. This may or may not include the Sunday Street Team... I haven't decided on that yet. (The reasons for this change are linked to the ones for author features and review copies.)

List Posts
*hugs lists to chest* These aren't going anywhere. I just wanted to include it because I seem to be including every other kind of post I write. Top Ten Tuesday, List Love, and Reading List will be posts I share whenever I like the topic/come up with a cool idea.

Book Hauls
These are going somewhere. They won't be through weekly Stacking the Shelves anymore, but maybe through a monthly haul? Or maybe I'll just post them on Instagram.

Monthly Recap
Writing these always put me in a great mood, so they're definitely not going anywhere. What I include in them may change, though. I might include what books I got that month or maybe some stats.

Discussion Posts
I don't have any specific changes in store for these, but I feel like if I stick with most of what I mentioned above, I might think of more ideas. I might be able to go through with more of them!

Other Things
Hmm...I really want a new blog design (and possibly a new blog name), but I doubt I would do anything about that until the summertime. Other than that, I'm not sure what I'm going to try to change. I'm going to work on getting into a commenting rhythm again, but that's not really going to do much to this blog.

I'm hoping that with these changes, I'll worry less about how small my voice is and be able to focus on the important things again. Maybe some of my confidence will return, too.

To my fellow bloggers: Are you also thinking of changing things up in 2016?

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