Saturday, November 1, 2014

Where Have I been?? What's going on??

Well I kinda quit without notice didn't I??  Believe me it wasn't intentional, I kept saying I would come back and write a post, but the words wouldn't come and the longer it went the worse it got. My sister is in her final year of college and had to take a step back because well crunch time, she's got a job, internship and school, books have taken a backseat.  She hasn't read anymore books since August.

After the summer I felt burnt out. Seriously I haven't even been on my computer since August. Yes I said August,  I avoided email, i forgot about Netgalley and goodreads and I stayed far away from my feeds. I was burnt out. I was so done with books, book reviews, book tours, unsuccessful giveaways and just feeling really blue that a personal (unrelated to blogging) goal was once again unaccomplished.   I needed a mental health break.

So I stopped reading, and i focused on my life, I tried vlogging everyday in august, then in october and now I'm trying to do Vlogidays, But really I was unmotivated, I didn't see my books as fun stories I wanted to enjoy but as obligations I needed to accomplish and I felt burdened.

So I changed around my room, I changed my work schedule, my thoughts about books and my goals.  I began to refocus on my hobbies again, bringing back my love of the craft and crafting as a way to find myself back in the grove. I gave up my book buying ban because it really felt like I was suffocating; part of the joy I gain in being a book lover is the hunt for good books, the journey of finding a new author to fall in love with.

Part of the reason I was struggling was the desire to read more diversely and discovering that my genres are very monotone.  How many new adult authors of color do you know?? Please for the love of the Goddess share down below with me because I'm desperate.  Looking at my bookshelves and realizing I have less than a dozen authors of  colors works was very depressing.  I love romance, but five or six authors is pretty effing abysmal.  I wasn't prepared for the serious lack of representation and it only depressed me more to realize how truly sad my shelves looked.  At the same time I felt guilty, I'm asking for more authors of color but I wasn't reading the authors that are being published because they aren't in my genre and I really hate swerving from my lane. I don't read christian fiction, I'm not a church goerer so I dislike stories with church as a big part in it, religion doesn't bother me in books unless it becomes like a huge battering ram they keep shoving at you, and unfortunately a lot of the romance for black women has church and religion as part of the huge focus. We aren't all christians you know.

It's taken years to find my niche and to have to leave it to find authors of color was annoying, sad and even more depressing when I realized there were fewer than half a dozen who wrote anything I would be interested in. Even worse was reading some of their works and realizing I oculdn't deal with the religion aspect.   I found myself dreading reading and feeling guilty because I wasn't reading diversely.  Anyone can tell when you feel obligated and resentful towards something you aren't going to enjoy it so, I decided that a break was in order.  For me not to lose my love of books and the written word, I needed a step back.

I have journeyed back to reading but I have now really clearly defined for myself what I will be reading and for the most part it hasn't changed and it other ways it has.  I'm going to finish out the year, finish reading the books I have and the ones I'm required to read.  Mostly I'm going to stay within my narrowly defined genres.  But I'm also branching out. I'm not a huge young adult reader, but I will read certain books like the ones by Mallory Blackman, those I won't necessarily review, but I'm going back to my personal loves, erotica, paranornal, but mostly romance.  I'm checking out authors I have never read before and I'm doing my best to expand, but I'm staying in my lane, no more reading to please others and show them how well versed I am based on the NYTimes list of books everyone should read,I'm reading what brings me joy, makes me happy and gives me a thrill.  I'm reading diversly, but it's going to be books and genres and things I care about.

One of the things I let slip was my love of non fiction books written about and by authors of color.  I loved reading books about religion and it's place in peoples lives, I loved reading about the immigrant struggles and expereiences, i loved reading about other religions, about health and medicine, about history and midwifery. About herbs, and naturpathic medicine, about living, being and eating clean green and healthy.  Green archetucutre, whole living, being pagan, Buddhist and being an empath.  All of these I have left behind in the cycle of reading the latest and greatest books coming out ( hey if it works for others cool, but it clearly wasn't working for me anymore).  This desire to keep up with the joneses and be reading and reviewing all the newest books, it was a struggle and made reading not fun anymore, so now i'm stepping back and I'm doing what makes me happy.

 For the authors out there, I'm sorry but I won't be accepting anymore review requests, I have a huge pile to clean up first, then maybe by march I can look to other books.  Thanks for considering me though.

Please know that from now on the books reviewed are going to be books I genui ely love and wanted to read, not just the ones I thought you wanted to hear about.  I have a lot of books I promised to read, so those will be up on goodreads and amazon, but fortunely for me even in my craziest requesting blitzes I stayed within my genres and I have a few I'm dying to get into.  I can't wait to share them with you.

If that seems like something you would love to see, stick around, I have a bunch of books to share with you, maybe even a few giveaways. If not, then thanks for stopping by and have a great life.

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