It’s been a while

IMG_2917It’s been a long time since I last posted on my blog and even longer since I posted a review. I miss it. I’ve read so many amazing books over the last few months that I’ve wanted to review, that I’ve even started writing reviews for, but I haven’t been able to get them out into the big wide world. So many books that I want to shove in peoples faces and scream like a maniac “READ THIS BOOK!!!!”. But I couldn’t.

Life gets busy, kids are put first, your hormonal mood swings take chunks out of your time, anxiety about whether what you write is good enough flares up. It all combines and there just isn’t that much time left.

I have come across some fucking brilliant blogs and bloggers over the last year, all different, each with there own style, format, personality and to be honest I felt like an utter imposter. I didn’t belong. What could I possibly say about a book, that someone else hasn’t already said better? It is a shit feeling. I hate comparing myself to others. I know I shouldn’t, but shit, when you read such clever, witty, articulate reviews, day in and day out; I know I’m not on that level, its hard not to feel down on yourself. Half the time I jump between tenses in paragraphs, I struggle to remember what the word prose means and my ability to use other words besides “awesome” and “kickass” is limited. I’ve not studied literature or writing and that sometimes makes me feel ‘less than’.

I decided to do a free 8 week grammar and punctuation course at the start of the year. I thought I would be able to learn a few things and tidy up my reviews with them. I HAVE NEVER FELT SO DUMB IN MY LIFE. This was when I stopped writing reviews completely. I already doubted myself and this was the hammer that nailed those final holes in the coffin. What the fuck was I thinking? My reviews weren’t fit for consumption. I was so far out of my depth that I was drowning. I was doing this to try and build my confidence and it fucking murdered it. It’s been a couple of weeks since the course finished and I’m just trying to block the whole experience out. The only thing I came away knowing for sure is that my reviews and writing ability were mediocre. I could rant all day about how I felt like the whole course was elitist bullshit, but then I’d sound like a sook. I will say I passed, they are near on impossible to fail, but shit, I wish I hadn’t done it.

My poor laptop has been sitting all by itself, unloved for weeks. I honestly had no idea if I would bother writing a review again; I would finish a book, think about reviewing it and say what is the point. (As I’m reading over this, I’m aware of how self-indulgent and ridiculous this sounds, but it’s cathartic.)

It’s especially frustrating because I only started this blog as a space to spew my love of books, if people read my spew than that was a bonus. My husband didn’t need to pretend he was listening as often and I get to meet new people and talk about my favourite (only) hobby. Wins all round. I don’t think I ever forgot why I started this blog, I just stopped thinking that reason was good enough.

And then this weekend happened. I caught up with a lovely lady and she commented that she reads my reviews and takes screenshots of the books that sound up her alley so she can get them later. I was genuinely shocked that she had read them and said that. I bagged myself out as you do when you’re a downer and she said something along the lines of she liked the way they were written and that my reviews are me.
And while that might sound silly to some, I got it. My reviews are me. They aren’t the most flashy thing you will see, they may skip between tenses and might sound a tad repetitive, but they are 100% me. My vocabulary isn’t huge, I’m not creative and I swear to much. But hey, I am passionate, if I love something I will do my best to convey that, even if that means swearing for extra oomph. I write the way I talk, and that’s what makes my blog and my reviews worth doing. They may not be fancy, but I get to spew my love of books out into the interwebs. It’s my place to talk about what I read, it’s not a place to judge myself.

And now that I’ve finally gotten out of my own head and pulled my big girl panties up can I just say – Holy fuck I’ve got a lot of reviews to get done.

11 thoughts on “It’s been a while”

  1. I’ve always enjoyed your reviews, but I can totally understand your doubts as I’ve been suffering the same. I used to start writing a review and then think I have nothing worth saying and delete it. Lately I’ve just been too busy writing to even contemplating reviewing books, but I look forward to getting back to it one day.
    I can’t wait to see what you’ve been reading!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ya see that, ya can’t, it’s a grammar nazi, they don’t exist and if they did they can f#ck right off, same for words and language.

    You don’t need to have studied literature to review, I haven’t and I’m as dumb as two planks.😂

    There are so many great reviewers out there, especially in fantasy who write such detailed and lengthy reviews that are killer it often feels like you are shouting into the void and no-one cares unless you are one of them. That’s how I feel anyway and I doubt my reviews all. The. Time. So I know how you feel and it truly sucks to feel that way.

    I’ve always enjoyed your reviews and your blog.😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Drew, it means a lot. I really enjoy your reviews, the way you write and your sarcastic humour makes me laugh. I appreciate your comment.

      My anxiety likes to flare and tell me how shit I am, it sucks. Usually I can push through, but this was an extra shit time.
      Doing the course was definitely the opposite of helpful, It was fucking ridiculous.

      Time to get back to doing my thing and stop worrying about shit that isn’t important. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. YES!!!!!

    Glad you’re back!!

    And yes be you! I’m still working out what me is on my blog but I can definitely say when I read bloggers who are being themselves I don’t care at all about their language or grammar or educational book knowledge, it’s their love and passion about the book they loved (or hated) that comes through and that I enjoy. When it sounds genuinely from them the book shines through.

    I know how all that other stuff can weigh on you though. Ok glad you’re back and I’m looking forward to the books you’ve loved.

    Like

  4. If you haven’t, it’s worth reading about impostor syndrome. I get it all the time and have to fight it back like a wildfire. In fact, when I’m around successful people I like to bring it up, and nearly every one of them admits to having it. From what I’m reading, there’s nothing wrong with your writing.

    From Psychology Today:
    “The imposter syndrome is a psychological term referring to a pattern of behavior where people doubt their accomplishments and have a persistent, often internalized fear of being exposed as a fraud.”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Keith, thanks for the comment. That definition is very familiar. I feel it quite a bit.

      Maybe it’s something most of us deal with at some point or other to varying degrees. It’s fantastic you’re aware of it, so you can keep on top of it.

      Like

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