I have been blogging for two years now, which simultaneously feels like a long time and no time at all. What was a hobby became a lifestyle. I read in all my spare time to produce content: book reviews, Instagram posts, Facebook links, and hilarious Tweets (when I am having a good day). All my spare time is devoted to my wonderful book blog.
And I’m happy about it – thrilled – to do something that I genuinely love. But I’m not getting paid and sometimes I feel like my reviews never get read. I get it, that’s part of the role and the blog. But it’s hard to continue without feeling like you always have to do more – to be more competitive, to read more of the upcoming releases, and to just generally do more. For the most part, I’ve fallen into that trap.
I used to post a review every week. And then twice a week (but quickly to three), and now I post six reviews a week and often another post with ‘extra’ content. My goal is to read three books a week. I largely accomplish all of those things, but in the last few months my mental health has taken a hit.
I’ve been stressed and anxious and this has manifested itself in a few health problems. So I thought I’d use this opportunity to talk about the struggles I’ve faced and the importance of self-care. It can be tempting to try to do more, to gain more followers, and to read more books. After all, we all got into this because we love books, reading, and fanning it all with others. But it’s never been more important to take care of yourself. Well what do you do?
- I have started cultivating a list of books I want to read for fun and absolutely no review (the Outlander series and comic books for example).
- Going for walks with audiobooks. Now this is a bit tricky because it seems like working (I do review the audiobooks), but I enjoy having the company while I walk. I really don’t like walking in the silence, it just feels a little terrifying. And it’s important to have a different change of pace, to have fresh air, to move the location.
- Playing a game that doesn’t require much thought – to just turn your brain off. I’ve been playing Sims, but also Simon’s Crush (like candy crush except with Simon’s Cat).
- Try to give myself more of a break – to not sweat it when I don’t read all the new releases, or don’t have an Instagram post for the day.
The biggest part of self-care is the mentality that goes along with it. You matter. Your time, your mental health, all matter. The book blogging will be there when you have the time – when you have the mental energy to give it your best, to funnel the passion you have for what you love.
Lili @ Utopia State of Mind
My name is Lili and I am a scholar at heart, obsessed with SFF and always carrying a book wherever I go (including to the top of a dormant volcano and mountain for Instagram photos). I did my Masters and BA in Women’s Studies and English Literature. I lived in Germany for three years and am now working in the publishing industry. I am obsessed with diversity and use Utopia State Of Mind to champion books I feel deserve more praise and attention (including smaller presses and indie authors).
A Note from Lili
Today is the last day of a two week Birthday celebration over at Utopia State of Mind. I’ve been blogging two years and I’ve decided to celebrate by asking my blogging friends to contribute guest posts about what representation means to them, as well as host an exciting pre-order giveaway. If you want to join the party, just go to my birthday introduction post to see their posts and the giveaway.
Did you hear that y’all?!
Make sure to head on over to Lili’s blog for her blog birthday celebration!
Behind the Bookwyrm is a guest post blog series where members of the book community come to NovelKnight to share their thoughts, opinions, interests, and anything in between! This series is intended for book bloggers, booktubers, bookstagrammers, booklrs, etc. If you’re using a platform to talk about books, then this is for you!