Monday, June 22, 2015

No Book Unread Project Update #2 - The Time Between

If you thought this blog was dead I don't blame you. One doesn't simply disappear from the internet for several months yet return to find the same level of attention and/or enthusiasm. Although, if I'm being honest, that's not why I'm here. That, may in fact, be why I stopped updating for so long. Shortly before I stopped updating I was more caught up with the idea of exposure, of being entertaining, and having a style, a persona, than in my actual writing. The process of building a blog, of actually having readers was exciting, but I also knew very little about actually managing a blog. So, I began to do some research. I started spending more and more time researching how to run a site. In order to get a better feel for the blogging community I spent hours upon hours networking and reading other blogs. In a relatively short amount of time my priorities changed. The easiest explanation for my absence is that I stopped being myself and got fed up with it.

In some ways my excess of time spent away from writing paid off. My site traffic increased. Clearly I was doing something right! I had readers! Surely as a writer there could be no better thing than to have readers? I spent yet more time learning about blogging, and more time browsing other blogs. As I divided my time between between my day job, reading, writing, and 'blogging', with ever more weight being given to blogging, my updates remained few and far between. Even as my site traffic continued to increase, even as I started actually getting comments (for which I was overjoyed), I was losing interest in reading and it became increasingly difficult to write, even when I found time to. In the end I stopped updating altogether because I was discontent and couldn't place why. 

I won't say it was a waste. For a fact, much of what I learned has been genuinely useful, and I would be hard pressed to say that networking was a poor decision. The reality of the situation, however, is that I have depressingly little time at the end of the day and what matters most, to me, is continuing to develop my writing not increasing site traffic. 

There is a dividing line that decides whether something is worth doing. Although that line can become blurred at times, and the signals hard to read, perhaps the most telling is whether or not you can shut an idea out of your mind. Our brains have a way of telling us what's important, what's worth paying attention to, even when we have difficulty consciously acknowledging it. In the months since I stopped actively reading and writing, or at least since I stopped updating, there has rarely been a day that has gone by without some some thought or reminder that I should be spending more time on my writing. That this still happens to me months after I ceased maintaining No Book Unread, that is my reassurance that I am not mistaken in pursuing writing.

Sometimes you have to be completely honest with yourself, and 6 months ago I wasn't. So here 's looking forward:

- Updates will resume at my own pace and I will pretty much stop trying to advertise for the time being. Priorities, man.

- I will be focusing on doing the things I originally set out to do, namely, read and write. As much as I enjoyed learning my way around a small corner of the Book Blogging world and briefly being in touch with other blog sites such as Joyous Reads and Social Potato, I need to spend a little less time browsing and a little more time posting (aka. practicing).

- On networking...while I enjoy doing this I'm afraid I'll only be doing it on an 'as time allows' basis. So I probably won't be doing much commenting or collaborating for the time being. My wife and I have a baby on the way so I doubt I'll have spare time for a while. Doesn't mean I won't respond to comments or would refuse collaboration opportunities (or other random ideas), it just means I won't be initiating them in the near future. 

- My writing will probably change. If I was tailoring my posts before, consciously or no, I will be doing my best in the future to experiment and let my reading affect my writing more naturally. This may result in reviews that aren't necessarily a review per se, maybe more of a self-discussion, or at least maybe they won't be in a typical format. We'll find out.

In short, No Book Unread is back*.

*"Back" is subjective and may still entail occasional unexplained absences. 'No Book Unread' only applies to books that are fiction and may not apply to newer books purchased by my wife because at the rate she buys them I'd probably never finish the project. Void where prohibited. For external use only. Not applicable to residents of Denmark.


  1. There you are! I was wondering what ever happened to you. :) Well, I'm glad your break gave you a new perspective/priorities. I've just been back from a short break myself (personal reasons), so let's dive in to this together, shall we? *cracks knuckles*

    1. Thanks! It's great hearing from you, as always. Sometimes a break is all you really need in order to get back into the things you love. Mine just tend to be longer than most people's.

      I'm right with you on diving right back into the fray. Let's do this. Oh, and glad to hear that you are feeling better too!