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!
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.
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.
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.
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