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Coming Back to Blogging + What To Expect From Me Going Forward

Hi, everyone!

My last post that wasn’t a blog tour review was in January, so it has been quite a long time since I’ve last updated. However, I’ve recently been seeing all my friends and favorite bloggers post their end of the year wrap-ups (my favorite kind of posts to both read and write!), and have gained the motivation to finally click the “new post” button and let my thoughts out.

So I’m here today with a discussion/update post about why I’ve been gone for so long, my thoughts about book blogging, and a few changes I’d like to make to this space going forward!

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Why I Left Blogging

The main reason I haven’t posted is simply because of my lack of motivation to blog. Back in January, I made a lot of plans about all the posts I wanted to write in 2021, but the months continued to fly by, and every time I opened my blog dashboard, I didn’t feel the same happiness I always felt when creating blog content. So I started putting less and less time into blogging, and more time into other things, such as school.

i blacked out the actual tasks themselves, but as you can see, my to do list during finals season was… a lot

When I went back to in-person school in August, I quickly realized how I had gotten used to staying at home all the time and taking classes from the safety of my home, not having to deal with commute time and the extra workload that was suddenly pushed onto me back in-person. I was left completely drained and burnt out trying to keep up with the new change, with lots of homework and studying that took over as priority in my to do list. Therefore, whenever I did have some free time, I didn’t feel like doing anything that required brainpower, and let myself scroll on Instagram, Twitter and YouTube for hours on end.

This pushed me even farther from blogging, because as so many bloggers have already discussed, in today’s world, bookish social media is much more instantly rewarding and easier than book blogging. It takes hours to write posts, format them, and maintain a blog that you feel proud of, but mere minutes to condense your thoughts about a recent read into a short tweet.*

Plus, this isn’t the only time I’ve taken a hiatus from this blog. I started it in May 2020, but have gone on hiatuses more times than I can count. My time in the book blogging community has been anything but constant, and because of that, I started to wonder if book blogging even was for me. This feeling of the lack of appreciation for bloggers merged with my unhealthy comparison to other bloggers who were constantly updating with high-quality content, really distancing me from blogging. I began to second-guess myself, wondering if I should just spend my time on other bookish social media instead of blogging. 

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Coming Back & Introducing New Changes

With the arrival of winter break a week or so ago, I finally got the chance to rest and relax from school and stress. Just like I said in the intro of this post, I started seeing bloggers all over the community post their end of the year wrap-ups, which I love to read! I had more free time on my hands, and, inspired by the thought of writing my own end of the year wrap-up post, I started to think about coming back to blogging.

These past few months, I’ve spent so much time on social media that, when distancing myself from it and reflecting, I can remember the reasons why I started book blogging in the first place. The content I was consuming on social media was damaging to my mental health and didn’t actually help me at all; I kept feeling the need to scroll, or check my notifications, which left me feeling constantly unsettled. Book blogging, on the other hand, has such a kind and welcoming community, and also allows me to have a creative outlet doing things I love, like writing, reading and graphic design.

Another reason I think I left my blog was because, while my interests changed throughout 2021, my blog—at least, what I thought I had to post on my blog—had remained stagnant. In the past, I found joy in requesting and receiving ARCs, and while I still like to write reviews, receiving ARCs is not something that I think defines my worth as a blogger anymore. Instead of speeding through any and all books, I’ve gotten more into poetry, short stories and essays, which all require a certain amount of concentration and time to fully process. I also feel the growing need for an outlet to talk about music, which has always been such an important part of my life—I’m constantly listening to it on Spotify or rewatching my favorite Loona music videos.

my current monthly playlist on spotify!

I finally came to the realization that I could change this blog to better match what I wanted to post about. If you haven’t already noticed, I changed my blog header to have a new tagline: instead of “Starlight Strands: stars & strands of literature,” it is now “Starlight Strands: stars & strands of stories.” I want this space to be about all sorts of stories, not just books, and the overarching theme of how stories connect us, from books to music to poetry to maybe even random musings I have.

This means that I’ll be posting new content here, and I’m already brimming with ideas for new features, such as album reviews, essay-like literature analysis, and more. This doesn’t mean that my old features will cease to exist! I also want to continue book reviews and recommendations, because those will always be close to my heart, but I won’t be exclusively posting about books and the bookish community.

With that being said, I go back to school in less than a week, so I can’t make any promises about having a regular posting schedule, or even posting more than, say, once a month. However, there is less of a chance that I will completely disappear again, because I hope these new changes will revive my love for blogging.

*I’m not saying that bookish social media is something that is inherently “bad!”. I enjoy spending time on social media when I consume content that actually inspires me! However, the content I was consuming at the time was bad for my mental health because I spent so much time mindlessly refreshing timelines and not doing something constructive.

That’s all from me today, and I hope you all have been doing well! Wishing you an early happy new year, and I’ll see you in 2022. <33

Let's Chat

do you agree with my thoughts on book blogging? what do you think about the new changes i’m going to be making to this blog? can you believe that the year is almost over?!

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23 responses to “Coming Back to Blogging + What To Expect From Me Going Forward”

  1. Emily @frappesandfiction Avatar

    I relate so much to this post, Ash! I experienced the same thing going back to in-person school– it was exhausting and I couldn’t handle the sudden new workload that was pushed onto me. And I also struggle with motivation for blogging sometimes; it’s shallow, but I do crave the high follower counts and engagement of people on social media. Sometimes it seems like no one reads blogs anymore, but blogging is definitely the best content medium for me. I have been considering YouTube for a bit, as I think it also fits my content style, but starting a channel is a lot of work lol. Anyway, I hope you stay in the blogging community and continue to have fun with it– sometimes it’s good to not hold yourself to a posting schedule and just post whenever you want

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Ash @ Starlight Strands Avatar

      i’m so sorry that you also struggled with going back to in person school and motivation for blogging! i definitely agree with what you said about high follower counts and engagement on social media 😭 and ahh that’s so cool about starting youtube, you should definitely go for it if you have the time (i agree that it is a ton of work haha). thank you so much for reading 🥰🥰

      Like

  2. Coolblue Avatar
    Coolblue

    I am so glad you are back! I look forward to anything you post!!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Ruby (Ruby Reads and Reviews) Avatar

    Thank you so much for sharing this post, Ash! Something very similar happened to me over the past few months as well! I’ve been so busy with school that I haven’t been blogging much either, and I’ve also noticed that bookish social media isn’t great for my mental health. In-person school is very draining, and it’s definitely made me feel less up to blogging and reading. I’m glad you’re back to blogging and I look forward to your new posts since I’m starting to branch out a bit more in my reading tastes as well. I hope you have a good rest of your winter break and a happy new year!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ash @ Starlight Strands Avatar

      ahh i’m so sorry that you experienced the same lack of motivation for blogging and reading :(( i hope that you’re able to get back into it soon! happy new year to you as well 🥰

      Like

  4. Caro @ bookcheshirecat Avatar

    Welcome Back, Ash! 🥰 I’m glad that you’re back & I’d love to read all sorts of posts from you, branching out into different topics can be so freeing 😊 Wishing you a good 2022! 🎇

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ash @ Starlight Strands Avatar

      thank you so much, caro!! 🥰🥰hope you have an amazing 2022 as well!!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. May @ Forever and Everly Avatar

    so happy to see you’re back, ash, and i’m so happy that taking time off from blogging helped you realize how much you loved it and what you wanted to actually do with your blog! i definitely can relate to just resorting to things that require no brainpower after schoolwork is done, that was exactly why i was so bad about blogging this year too. but hopefully 2022 brings all the good blogging energy for us, and i can’t wait to see all the new content you’ll bring!! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ash @ Starlight Strands Avatar

      thank you so much, may!! ❤️❤️definitely hoping that we both have a great blogging year (and all around year) in 2022!!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Clo @ Cuppa Clo Avatar

    Ah welcome back Ash! I love the changes you’re planning to implement, they definitely echo the feelings I’ve had during my year hiatus. I definitely lost my love and passion for blogging, which sparked me to just go on hiatus for the entire year because why force myself to blog? So excited to see the new content you have planned, enjoy the rest of your time off school and I hope you have a wonderful end to 2021 and see you in 2022 ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ash @ Starlight Strands Avatar

      thank you so much, clo!! 💓i’m so sorry that you lost your love for blogging too </33 (but i saw that you recently posted, which i'm so excited to read 👀) and thank you again, ily!!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Sophie @ Me & Ink Avatar

    Always lovely to see a post from you Ash 💜💜 I have definitely experienced blogging burnouts before and I think the space away from blogging is so important, and looking back I think it actually made me a better blogger in some ways. It reminded me to prioritise what I enjoy about it. I absolutely love that you are opening your content up to different topics. I love taking about music (and films) so I am definitely excited about that.
    I hope that you enjoy coming back into blogging and don’t put too much pressure on yourself (sometimes easier said than done, but I wish you all the luck). I agree, December is a great month for blogging. I love end of year posts soo much too!!
    Sending lots of best wishes and good luck with your new content! 🥰🥰

    Like

  8. prutha @ moonchild lexicons Avatar

    hey ash! so happy to see you back. blog burnout is something i experienced too, with in person school starting and a lot of workload, i was drained out of all creativity and energy to work on my blog or even enjoy reading. i think it’s best to prioritize yourself and what you’re currently feeling and that’s what i’m gonna try to do for 2022. i’m super excited to see all the new content you’re hoping to put forward! take care 💖

    Like

  9. Stephen Writes Avatar

    It’s great that you are back, Ash 🥰 I hope these changes help you fall in love with blogging again – it can be exhausting sometimes with so many other things happening. Have a wonderful 2022!

    Like

  10. Ritz @ Living, Loving and Reading Avatar

    I can relate to this! I started my blog during quarentine, when we had online school, so there wasn’t a huge workload and I posted multiple times a week. With in person school, I can barely post and don’t feel as motivated. I’m glad you came back to blogging, and I hope you start loving it again 🙂 Happy holidays!

    Like

  11. December 2021 Wrap-Up – Living, Loving and Reading Avatar

    […] Ash @ Starlight Strands came back from her hiatus! […]

    Liked by 1 person

  12. tasya @ the literary huntress Avatar

    Welcome back Ash! I can relate to your struggle so much- the pandemic really took a toll on me and in 2021 I started a new job, which is pretty energy draining. As the result I’ve been blogging & reading less since it requires a lot more mental capacity 😭 I started to share more non-bookish posts such as about movies or kpop and I didn’t think a lot of people were interested in them but I ended up connecting with more bloggers too! 😀 I’m also someone who always love reading about people other interests so I’d love to read these types of post from you (no pressure though!)

    Have a wonderful 2022!

    Like

  13. Lais @ The Bookish Skies Avatar

    it’s great to see you back, ash! i do agree that the instant gratification from social media is quite addictive, but when it comes to interacting with people, i think connections made through blogging are so much more meaningful. i feel so great sharing my thoughts here in unlimited amounts and reading other bloggers’ posts is my favorite way to consume content, even if booktok/booktwt/bookstagram can be much accessible, i don’t think nothing compares to the great length and substance of a blog post! hahah

    i do hope this change of pace and diversified content reinspires you to blog! i am sure it will be a lot of fun to check this new content out! hope you have a great 2022!!

    Like

  14. Cas @ Daydreaming Ink Avatar

    ash, hii!! so happy you’re back and there’s a lot I can relate to in this post, I’m so excited to see what you come up with this year regardless of whether it’s once every few months or weekly and I’d especially love to see those music posts :))

    Like

  15. riv @ dearrivarie Avatar

    so excited for you ash! i definitely feel the burn out from being back in person and my blog definitely suffered as a result but here’s to a brighter 2022!

    Like

  16. December month-by-month // The year gently grinds to a complete halt – daydreamingink Avatar

    […] Ash talks about what to expect as she comes back to blogging […]

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Reading Updates + My Winter TBR – Starlight Strands Avatar

    […] post ideas for the future and am feeling revitalized to use this space as a creative outlet again! Everything I discussed in my last post still stands true, only this time, I promise to actually begin consistently posting again. This is […]

    Like

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