Personal Post

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Personal Post – bibliobeth – the end?

Published May 18, 2019 by bibliobeth

Hi everyone! Hope you’re all well. Gosh, I don’t know where to even begin with this post. Here goes…

I’m not sure if you’ve noticed but for a little while now (perhaps since the start of the year?) I’ve been in the biggest blogging slump. I even wrote a post about it recently HERE. There’s been a number of reasons for it but at the moment, there’s a couple of things that are standing out and making my whole blogging experience not as fun anymore. I’ve recently been promoted into quite a stressful job and at the moment, it’s taking up quite a lot of brain space and time. It’s the best job I’ve ever had and I’m really loving it but it’s making it quite difficult to carry on blogging too.

I’ve been blogging now for over six years and when I first started, I absolutely adored it. It’s everything – the chance to read advance review copies, the opportunities to work with some fantastic publishers and authors but most of all, it’s the interaction with the blogging community that I’ve found the most valuable part of my experience. I’ve treasured the special moments, like blogging with my sister Chrissi Reads, making some wonderful new friends and being able to chat everything bookish with people who feel exactly the same way as I do about books. I’ve even got the chance to meet some of you at blogger events, buddy read with you and message you regularly which has given me the opportunity to get to know you not only as a blogger but as a person. I’m overwhelmed to call some of you genuine friends.

More recently, I’ve started to feel a little bit different about blogging. Please let me stress it’s NOTHING to do with the community – as I’ve already mentioned, you’re the best part! It’s a “me” thing rather than a “you” thing, I promise. Personally, every time I’ve set down to write a review, it’s not felt the same. It hasn’t been fun, I haven’t been excited about doing it and to be perfectly honest, occasionally I’ve been dreading it. As I have a busy work life at the moment, I really don’t want to be getting home and feeling like I’m still working which sadly, has turned out to be the case. Blogging is supposed to be a hobby and is meant to be fun right? If I’m not enjoying myself, why am I still pushing myself to continue?

I’ve tried different things just to check if it might be a slump. I’ve gone on hiatus, I’ve dialled down the number of review copies I accept but it hasn’t improved the situation. I’m starting to get miserable when I look at the hundreds of books (yep, hundreds!) waiting for me on my bookshelves to read. These are books I’ve been really excited about but keep getting pushed to the back of a seemingly never-ending list. The books I push to the front are books I’ve received recently and feel compelled to review because I’m a blogger.

So I thought long and hard about this and I’ve decided to give up blogging. I’m not putting this post out as a means of getting sympathy or for you guys to persuade me to come back, I’ve pretty much 99% made up my mind that this is the right decision. I want to leave that 1% there because I’d like to think I might change my mind in the future and come back, perhaps when work has calmed down or when I’ve retired (haha!). It’s funny though, I knew I had made the right decision when I felt an overwhelming sense of relief, like a weight had been lifted as soon as I had said it out loud to my sister, my blogging besties Janel @ Keeper Of Pages, Jennifer @ Tar Heel Reader and my long-suffering partner Mr B.

I’ve got a couple more review commitments that of course I will stick to – one this month, one in June and one in July. I’ve also promised to carry on my Kid-Lit and Banned Book series with Chrissi until the end of the year as our books were already agreed so you won’t be getting rid of me just yet! However, posts will be very much reduced from August onwards (just Kid-Lit and Banned Books) with a view to stopping completely at the end of December.

At the moment, I’m absolutely loving coming home from work and not having to worry about writing a review. I can settle down, watch a TV show or lose myself in my books and it feels nice. I know it’s the right decision for me right now. I did want to write this post to get it all out there and even though you’ll see posts a couple of times a month until December, I wanted to say a proper thank you and goodbye, just in case it is the end.

I want to thank you all from the bottom of my heart for all your support for my little blog over the past six years. The blogging/bookish community is the best and I’ll miss you all. I am still going to be active on Instagram and Goodreads (maybe Twitter, haven’t decided yet) so if you want to follow me over there and see what I’m up to, I’d be delighted to have you along for the ride! Thank you for the nominations for blog awards over the past couple of years which has been unbelievable and really warmed my heart. Thank you for all your likes, shares and comments and every single interaction we’ve had, no matter how small – it’s meant the world to me. Thank you for reading my reviews, sharing your own thoughts and feelings and making my time in this community so special. Thank you also to all the publishers and publicity people who’ve been kind enough to send me review copies, I’ve felt like such a lucky girl every time a package drops on my doormat!

Blogging has been such a life-altering and awesome time in my life and I’ve had an amazing and unforgettable journey. I wish EVERYONE all the best with their own blogs – you’re all incredible and I know how hard you work and how much time the whole experience takes out of your lives.

I can’t say thank you enough. Please keep in touch!

Love, Beth xx

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Personal Post – Chronic Illness, Blog Slumps, New Job(s), Stressful And Exciting Times!

Published March 19, 2019 by bibliobeth

Hey everyone, hope you’re all doing well. I thought I’d write a little catch up post to explain why I’ve been a bit quiet or MIA on bibliobeth recently. It’s been for a variety of reasons really that have kind of merged into one and stopped me posting as much as I would have liked. I’m trying not to beat myself up too much about it but I can’t help but get the nagging feeling that I have such an enormous backlog of reviews to write and if I had been on top of things like I anticipated mid March 2019, I would have almost cleared that backlog and be able to participate in many more fun stuff like memes.

First of all, my chronic illness has been up, down, upside down and back round again. (If you want to read more, check out a personal post I did HERE). To be fair, it has been a lot better than it was in the past so I don’t want to complain too much and considering the extra personal life events I’ve had recently, it’s been a hell of a lot better than I could have expected with the addition of these stressful times. In addition to my fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue and hypermobility, I have now been diagnosed with hyperthyroidism caused by Graves’ Disease so that hasn’t helped matters but luckily at the moment, my thyroid is currently stable so there has definitely been an improvement in that area. Fingers crossed it stays that way.

Then there’s the job situation. I started a new job near to my home in September last year, purely for health reasons so that I wouldn’t have to commute into London and back (three hours a day). I started the job and everything was going okay until I got offered an even better job in the same Trust (I work for the NHS) but in a different department and building five minutes walk away from the current job. I had to give a presentation as part of my interview and I don’t know about you guys but presentations are my worst thing ever. Seriously, I’m a mess with them. I have severe anxiety issues and the thought of talking in front of other people is my idea of a nightmare.

In fact, I got a lower mark in my first degree because I couldn’t do the presentation and had to take beta blockers from the doctor to get through the presentation in my Masters degree. That’s how bad I am. I was absolutely determined that if I wanted my dream job (which was a dream…. 9-5, no night or weekend shifts!) I needed to get through this and just DO IT. Well, I got the job but had to give twelve weeks notice so I didn’t actually start the new job until the beginning of March, a mere six months after I moved jobs from London the first time!!

I had already been aware that there was a Senior role going to made available in this new job at some point as the current Senior was due to retire but I thought I might have a chance to settle in and find my feet before going for it sometime in the summer. I was wrong. The Senior wants to retire a little earlier so on my first day at my new job, there I was – ANOTHER presentation and interview. And guess what? Less than three hours after I started my new job they offered me the promotion to the Senior role.

You’re probably confused right? So to make it clearer – I started a new job in September last year, interviewed for another one before Christmas in a different department, started it in March this year and within a few hours was offered a promotion! I’m now part of the senior management team in a department that focuses on bowel cancer screening and I couldn’t be happier.

SO…..all of this nonsense going on with my health/job/personal life etc has made my blogging quite sporadic. It’s the reason why I’ve been especially quiet since the beginning of this year but also, all of the stress and uncertainty of everything also put me into a major blogging slump. I just haven’t feel motivated to blog at all which is a real shame. I’ve still managed to read an absolute ton which I’m very happy about (I’d be so cross if my reading suffered, haha!) but when I think about sitting down and writing a post my brain is just so tired, I don’t want to even think about doing it.

I’m really hoping things will be back on track now it’s calmed down a bit and I’m in my new post but I am worried that things like my poor health and new work responsibilities will lead to my posting being a bit erratic from time to time. I think I have to accept that I might not be able to blog daily like I’d like to and if I need to take a week off, I should be able to give myself permission to do that without feeling guilty!

I’m still loving reading all my fellow bloggers posts out there and I apologise if I’ve been slow to like, share or comment on them. (I blame Twitter jail too, haha!). Finally – to whomever nominated me for Best Blog at the Annual Bloggers Bash Awards THANK YOU!!. It means the absolute world to me, especially when I’ve been so inconsistent lately.

What I’d like to know from you guys is:

Have you ever been in a blogging slump and what did you do to motivate yourself again?

Do you find life just sometimes gets in the way of being a consistent blogger?

It would be great to hear your thoughts in the comments below. 🙂

Love Beth xx

Bookish Resolutions And Goals For 2018

Published January 8, 2018 by bibliobeth

Image from: http://msbookish.com/2015-goals-bookish-goals-for-the-new-year/

Hello everyone and welcome to a post that I don’t normally do but for some reason, I thought it might be nice to do for 2018. I don’t normally like to make too many rules and regulations for my blog but due to the sheer volume of the books that I own, the back-list of reviews I still have to write etc. I thought it might be time to set some things down, just to give me some sort of direction for the year ahead. I’ve written down TEN major resolutions and then I’ve slotted in another FIVE general ones (just because once I started I found it quite difficult to stop…oops!) So, here we go!

1.)  Put less pressure on myself to blog every day.

I came a little way to doing this last year when I was ill. I did get to the stage where I just thought: “Oh *%$* it!” but there was still that residual guilt when I didn’t get a post done every day. 😦

2.) Gradually reduce review back-list by continuing to do mini-pin it reviews.

I came a long way doing this last year – to date I’ve done 16 mini-pin it reviews which means sixty-four books that were originally on my review back-list are GONE! Definitely will continue this.

3.) Use notebook to make notes on titles “currently reading” so when I come to review them, things are fresher in my memory.

I recently bought a lovely notebook from Faye at Daydreaming Designs and used it to compile this list and a few other things already this year in the attempt to make me a little more organised!

4.) Be honest with myself if I’m unable to take on a review title especially those requested by authors directly that are not really my cup of tea.

When I first started blogging, I used to love that authors requested me to read their books and used to accept EVERYTHING. Then I realised how stupid this was and that I couldn’t possibly do this and read the things I WANTED to read as well. I have got better at refusing review requests but need to stop feeling bad about it too.

5.) Be better about commenting on other bloggers reviews.

Again something I have got a little better with last year but I still perhaps don’t comment as much as I should. Sometimes I think I’ve got nothing else to say except “Great review!” but even if I just say that it’s letting the blogger know I enjoyed their post.

6.) Attend more bookish events/author talks.

I love doing this and unfortunately chronic illness slows me down in this A LOT. I work in London and there is the potential to attend events after work however if I do that and get home late I’m likely to knacker myself for work the next morning. However, once in a while wouldn’t hurt!

7.) Continue with “Shelfie by Shelfie” meme and hopefully encourage others to participate.

I’ve really enjoyed developing my little meme last year, something I thought I could never do. I have a lot of shelves so there are many, many more shelfies to come and hopefully I can inspire someone else to join in too.

8.) Experiment with making reviews a little “fresher” i.e. use of images relevant to post.

I love bloggers that use images/GIF’s which highlight their content and break up the text a little bit. I’ve been thinking of doing something like this myself but we’ll see how it goes…

9.) Read some of those books I’ve been meaning to get to for years.

For example, A Song Of Fire And Ice by George R.R. Martin, Smoke Gets In Your Eyes by Caitlin Doughty and Tipping The Velvet by Sarah Waters. Some of these books have been on my shelves/Kindle for FAR too long!

10.) Start doing some buddy reads/join an online bookclub.

I’ve never done a buddy read before and it looks like such fun! I already have tentative plans with the lovely Janel from Keeper Of Pages to read The Fireman by Joe Hill this year so I’m really hoping that takes off. Just saying it right here, right now, if I mention a book and you’re open to a buddy read with me – let’s do it!

OTHER CHALLENGES:

  • Increase NetGalley ratio to a more acceptable level. – you don’t want to know my ratio…it’s shameful.
  • Participate in Mount TBR challenge. – I saw this on Jo’s Book Blog and it looks like a lot of fun!
  • Continue to enjoy Banned Books and Kid-Lit with Chrissi. – this should be easy, I’ve done this every year since I started blogging.
  • Read and review Richard And Judy book club picks. – also something I’ve done every year since I started blogging.
  • Read and review Daunt Books from annual subscription each month. – my wonderful boyfriend got me a Daunt Books Annual Subscription for Christmas so I get one new paperback each month. I’m determined to read and review them each month they come in. Let’s see how I do.

So everyone….

Image from: https://www.appbrain.com/app/wish-me-luck/com.Starlab.WML

 

Bibliobeth On A Break.

Published October 23, 2017 by bibliobeth

Image from https://www.writeraccess.com/blog/writers-need-a-break-too/

Hi everyone, hope you’re all well. I announced on Twitter a couple of weeks ago that I’d be taking a bit of a break from blogging and I just wanted to follow it up with this little post. I’m sure other bloggers would agree that blogging is sometimes like a second job – all the effort it takes to read books that are sent to you, write reviews, participate in blog tours, come up with fresh new ideas for posts etc etc and sometimes we all need to take a break.

Unfortunately, the reasons I have chosen to take a little breather are mainly personal and for health reasons. I haven’t had the best year health-wise with a number of different events happening coupled with my chronic illness, fibromyalgia which has been itself exacerbated by recent events which are completely unconnected! Phew! If you’re interested in reading more about that, I did a post on it fairly recently HERE. I’ve had a particularly traumatic time in the past five months in particular, which has led to a number of hospital procedures and stress for myself and my partner. Today I’m going in for an operation and some investigations so I will probably be on hiatus for at least the next week or so while I’m recovering from that.

I have been missing blogging so much and have already got itchy fingers to write another review (I’ve actually been composing one in my head!) but I need to wait till I’m one hundred percent ready and make sure I can come back and post on a regular basis. I’ve still been really enjoying all the posts from my fellow bloggers and will continue to read them, support them and re-tweet them whenever I can. I’ll still be somewhat active on bookstagram and Twitter so if you want to catch up with me there, you’re more than welcome to come and have a chat.

I miss blogging so much and will definitely be back as soon as I am able, I just wanted to write this little post to explain a little bit about what’s going on with me. Look forward to seeing you all soon round the blogosphere and take care everyone. xxxxx

 

Personal Post – Blogging with Fibromyalgia

Published January 29, 2017 by bibliobeth

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Image from http://www.washingtonarthritisrheumors.com/medications-in-fibromyalgia/

Hi everyone, hope you’re having a lovely day! I’ve been meaning to write a post like this for a while but I’ve only just worked up the courage to do it. If you’re not into personal posts and are only here for the books, you can skip this I honestly won’t be offended. But if you’re interested…. if you’re a regular visitor to my blog you might wonder why I post so erratically – sometimes I can manage every day for a week, other times you may not hear from me for ten days? Well, unfortunately, just over six years ago I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome and hypermobility and it has changed my life completely.

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Image from https://www.mesupport.co.uk/index.php?page=fibromyalgia

How can I describe fibromyalgia? Well, there’s a few choice words I’d LIKE to use, but I’ll keep it clean. Fibro is like a beast inside your body, constantly gnawing away at you, giving you no rest or comfort day or night. But less dramatically… fibro is a chronic illness with an unknown cause (as yet, although there are a few theories). It causes pain in many different regions of the body and comes with a host of different symptoms, not all of them I have but I’m unlucky to have a good chunk of them.

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Image from https://uk.pinterest.com/pin/569142471631041189/

Some people say there’s over sixty symptoms, some over one hundred. Basically, every thing that goes wrong with my body is explained by my doctor as “my fibro,” which can be kind of frustrating. How has it changed my life? I’m not the same person I used to be. I used to be really active, energetic, going to spin classes at the gym and loved socialising with my friends pre-fibro. Now, the only kind of exercise I can cope with is walking (20 mins tops), I can’t stand for long periods of time, I’m constantly beyond the usual level of tired and I’m in pain every. single. day. And social life – are you kidding me? I’m currently managing to work full-time as a biomedical scientist and I’m finding it really really tough. Many people with fibro either can’t work at all or can only work part-time. God knows how I’m doing it!

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Image from https://uk.pinterest.com/pin/477522366716874975/

One of the hardest things about fibro is when it affects my reading/blogging. I’ve got a humungous back log of reviews from literally over a year ago and when I’m feeling particularly bad, there’s no way I can sit down with my laptop and do a post. My brain and body just won’t let me. I am trying to make positive steps though – like my mini reviews, to catch up on that backlog which is working really well so far!

I’ve always been introverted, that’s for sure but I was just gaining a bit of confidence in myself before fibro hit which is a shame. Now I question everything – my work, friends, blog posts etc. Fibro really affects the way I speak and sometimes I really struggle for words or get them in the wrong order which makes me a bit scared and then I panic when I talk to people and feel the old “fibro fog,” descending which of course makes it worse!

I really am trying to stay positive about the whole thing and when it’s been six years… you kind of get used to it believe it or not! I just wanted to explain to any readers, publishers, authors others who are curious why I might be a bit slow at getting your reviews up or your books read. I am truly sorry and am trying my best, I absolutely love what I do and if I’ve agreed to read your book, trust me I WILL read it. (Failing that, if it’s been a year, maybe you should give me a little poke and remind me as my memory nowadays kind of sucks!) 😛

If you’ve read this far, thank you so much for reading/listening to my bunch of nonsense, it feels better just to get it out there. Thank you once again to everyone who comes to visit and reads my reviews, I honestly appreciate each and every one of you and long may it continue!! If you have any questions (or are a fellow sufferer yourself) I am happy to answer them, available in the usual places – here in the comments section, on Twitter @bibliobeth1, on Instagram and on Facebook. Take care everyone!

Beth xxxx

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Image from https://nl.pinterest.com/explore/depression-tattoo/