#LetsDiscuss2018: Am I becoming as grumpy as my characters

Gossiping WomenRecently, I have been feeling a bit grumpy when it comes to reading.  I can’t say it’s a slump because I’m still reading books at pretty much the same rate I always have.  But, picking those books up just isn’t giving me the thrill it once did, even with some of my favourite authors.

I’ve been scratching my head as to the why a fair bit and I think I’ve come to a conclusion that too many of the people in the pages are grumpy, ornery or just down-right angry and it’s beginning to rub off on me.

#LetsDiscuss2018 – Is Variety The Spice of Blogging Life?

Gossiping Women

Last year around this time I was struggling with how I follow blogs.  I was using Google+, Bloglovin’, WordPress Reader, and email plus Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.  Some bloggers I followed in every which way, others only one.  Because of that, I was missing out on some great posts but seeing others two, three or four times.

It was more than a little frustrating and, as a result, I made the decision that, social media aside, I was going to use Bloglovin’ as my main blog following tool.  For the most part it’s worked.  Recently, though, I’ve started to feel overwhelmed again and I think it’s because I’m following too many people.  If I add everything up, it is close to 300 individual blogs yet I probably only visit 30 or 40 on a regular basis.  

#LetsDiscuss2018 – Alternate Reading Ways

Gossiping Women
Gossiping Women, illustration in vector format

One of my New Year book-ish resolutions was to read more physical books.  That’s pretty much all I used to read.  Then I got my Kindle and got a bit excited by the world of 99p books out there (who wouldn’t), filled it up and started reading.  And then kept reading.  The books on my shelves, those bought or gifted, sat there.  Waiting patiently and slightly dusty for the day I would pick them up.

For many on the shelves, that day simply hasn’t come.  Which is a shame because, sat where I am on my couch, typing away and looking over at the shelves there are so many books on there that I want to read. I just find, when I get to deciding on my next read, the ebooks always seem to come first.

Looking back, going forward…

So, I know that it isn’t quite the end of 2017 and I should be saving my New Year’s resolutions until the 1st January but I have a feeling there won’t be much blogging from me next week, other than a few scheduled posts, as my to do list is as long as my arm, and I can’t say about the weeks after that as school is out so I’ll be on mommy duty. With all this in mind, I thought I’d spend a bit of time today looking back at my year of book blogging and think about the things I want to accomplish next year.

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Month in review: August, 2017

Month in reviewSo it’s here – September – the time of year in my neck of the woods where the weather turns (or not, the last couple of years we’ve had indian summers), the nights draw in, and the sweaters come out of hiding.  I quite like it to be honest.  It makes the world a little snugglier (if that’s a word) and I’m sure I get more reading done as I’m not taking time off to enjoy the sun (well, when there is sun!).

Saying that, I didn’t do too bad in August with some great reads.  In fact, there wasn’t one duff book amongst them.  Here’s what I read, and how I felt about it…

Challenge updates

I do love a good challenge and this year I signed up for two and created one personal one of my own.  Today, I was updating the pages and thought it might be fun to share where I am.

First up, I’ll go with my personal challenge – to read a second book by authors I read last year and swore I would read more of.  There were five authors – Nicole Trope, Colleen Hoover, Alex Marwood, Sarah Gran and Peter Swanson.

Simplifying my blog following ways

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Many moons ago, when I first started following blogs, I didn’t follow many at all – you could probably count them on the fingers of one hand (o.k., maybe two). Depending on how I came across them would depend how I ended up following them.  So, if I had seen a link on Facebook, I followed them on Facebook, if I saw them on twitter, it was twitter and, if I came across them whilst randomly surfing the web, I usually subscribed by email, possibly following them on twitter and / or Facebook too.

Over time, the number of social media sites I signed up for grew, as did the number of ways I might follow someone (see Pinterest, Tumblr, Instagram …).  Then, as I started to blog myself and because I was using WordPress, I started following people through their Reader feature, occasionally automatically signing up for email following as well without necessarily meaning to but also never unsubscribing.

By now, my inbox was starting to get a little full, so I tried Bloglovin’ which kind of worked only I didn’t always remember to go on it for days.  The same could be said for Facebook, which I am rubbish at, and Google+, which I got because I got a gmail account and rather randomly started following people through to.

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As you can probably tell from my rambling paragraphs above, the way I follow blogs is pretty messy as well as confusing (at times) and time consuming at others – with me often seeing the same post two or three times in two or three different ways whilst at the same time completely missing other posts I wish I had read when I eventually happen to see them in an update post or someone else does me the favour of retweeting them and I realise what I was missing.

 

Recently, I tried to add up all the blogs I follow and I couldn’t keep track.  It wasn’t necessarily a huge amount but so much duplication.  Along the way I discovered blogs that no longer blogged and blogs I no longer read or comment on.  So, I’ve decided to do something about it.  Starting this week I am going to reform my messy ways and get a system in place that works for me.  I did ask about what other people do on twitter but it seems there are as many ways as there are bloggers so (to quote Frank Sinatra) I’m going to have to do it my way.

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My plan is to use Bloglovin’ as my primary following “tool” and stop using WordPress or Google+.  Everything will be in one place and if I get the settings right I think I should be able to get alerts when people post, which is what I need.  I’m going to go through each site and stop following anyone who hasn’t posted in six months (sorry!) and also stop following anyone whose site I haven’t visited in six months (sorry again!).  The number should be much more manageable then and I’m less likely to miss things.  For the blogs I just can’t miss I’ll use email too, just to be on the safe side till I know my system works.

Along the way, I’m going to use it as an excuse to make sure I’m following everyone on twitter and liking their pages on Facebook (if they have accounts); I might useless at Facebook but I do find it’s a good way to talk to people during challenges and things so I don’t want to get rid of it entirely and Twitter is such a good way of sharing people’s posts but I don’t always know their twitter names when I click on the icon on their post and if it doesn’t come up, I don’t end up tweeting it.

And that’s it, my plan of action.  I hope it works – if it does, you might hear from me more (possibly not a good thing but sorry about that).  What do you think – will it, or is it a flawed plan? What do you do that I might want to steal instead or do you have the same problems I do?

Emma

I am linking this post to Feed Your Fiction Addiction and It Starts at Midnight’s Discussion Challenge – clink on the button below to find out what other bloggers have had on their mind this month.

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