A (Healthy) Fear of Commitment

Hi. I’m Brittany and I have a fear of commitment. Well… Now I do. Let me tell you a story: No, this is not about my personal relationships… It’s about an overachiever, a book blog, and a whole ton of books.

When I started this book blog a little over a year ago, I had no idea that I would be so enthusiastic about not only reading and reviewing but participating in blog tours, author interviews, and forming groups and projects with some amazing fellow bloggers. All of that enthusiasm is GREAT! Buuut… There came a point where I realized that I was starting to get in over my head. Admittedly, I may beΒ a BIT of an overachiever, but really it’s just my excitement carrying me away!! I LOVE being involved in everything, taking part in tours, participating in blogger projects, starting read alongs, and then reviewing my own books too…. Put all of that together and sometimes it’s quite overwhelming!

So my goal this summer has been to shed all of my commitments (well, most of them) and get back to me scheduling my reading, not my reading scheduling me! As much as I want to be a part of everything, realistically I just can’t be, so I need to take a step back and decide what I REALLY want to be a part of as well as what I realistically have time for! Now when new projects or commitments come up, I react to them with “Hide!! Run away!! Don’t tempt me!” I’m afraid of grabbing on to anything new until I finally get myself (almost) caught up. I have stacks and stacks of my OWN books that I’ve purchased that I have yet to read because I’m reading ARCs or egalleys or books for read alongs or books for blog tours or books for interviews… It’s time for me to be a responsible blogger and just say NO when I know I’ll be stressing myself out to do it!

1. I’m on a Netgalley/Edelweiss ban. Unless it is a must-have book, I’ve decided I’m not allowed to request it. I’ve let too many egalleys go unread and that’s just not cool. I DO want to read a TON of them that I still have on my Kindle, but that will take me a while so I can’t keep requesting new things until I somewhat catch up on those.

2. No more requesting ARCs! (For now) I’ve got my giant stack of BEA books that I’m DYING to read so even if it’s a must-have ARC, I still have at least 8 must-have ARCs from BEA that I need to read SOOOON. By the time I get around to said-request ARC, it will probably be published already anyway! (At the rate I’m going…)

3. No more signing up for THINGS that involve me committing to read a NEW book in order to participate. It sounds harsh, but these THINGS like blog tours, features involving interviews, massive read alongs… I really, truly enjoy them, but I’m not being fair with the amount of time allotted to them. I’m in such a time crunch to finish this book and then finish that book while still reading my read along books… Don’t get me wrong, I’m still having fun, but I would like to be able to read at a more relaxed pace and be able to read my own books here and there instead of always reading a new one that wasn’t previously in my possession.
Exception! Last week in the #LitLush Twitter chat, we were talking about having a multi-blogger/massive VERY CASUAL Daughter of Smoke and Bone read along/read-a-thon. It turns out a a lot of people still needed to read it (myself included) or wanted to re-read this. This would be an exception to the “signing up for THINGS” ban because I already own it and have been meaning to read it for a looong time.

For the rest of this summer, I really just want to try to catch up on some of the books that I own and the ARCs/eGalleys that are already in my possession! I would love to just read on a more relaxed schedule and pick things based on my mood again (because I am SUCH a mood reader) and not feel “forced” to pick up something because of a schedule!
I also feel like because I’m reading books when I’m not in the mood for them or I’m feeling obligated to read all those books that I’ve requested for events, I’ve put myself in kind of a reading slump. I haven’t been reading what I’ve really been wanting to read and I’ve been craving those books that will just knock me off my feet. I’ve read a few mediocre books (for my personal reading preferences) lately because I wanted to badly to be a part of this event that I forced it when I shouldn’t have.

So those are my goals! I’m trying really hard to wrap up some of my current commitments so that I can start to be more selective about what I’m reading and when. I’ve got plenty of choices and I just need to slow my roll and not let the excitement get the best of me!

Do you suffer from over commitments? How do YOU cope with all of the tempting blogging commitments and events out there? Do you keep a schedule or are you a mood reader like I am?

28 thoughts on “A (Healthy) Fear of Commitment

  1. Candice

    TOTALLY get you on this! I’ve been feeling this way too lately, so I’ve kind of just decided to drop EVERYTHING. Luckily I have this summer to get caught back up, but once Fall hits it’s kind of a downward spiral.

    I totally commend you for having a hands off attitude while you catch yourself back up. There’s no sense in reading and reviewing and blogging controlling our lives; we should control those things! I hope you’re able to catch up and find yourself a good balance – focus on the things that YOU want to do. I think that when you do this, your blog shines even more than it already does because YOU’RE excited about your books and your content! πŸ™‚

    1. Brittany Post author

      That is an EXCELLENT point. The posts that I always feel the best about are of course the ones for books that I really enjoyed and didn’t have to push myself through. I’m hoping to have a lot more happy posts this summer! Haha

  2. Debbi Michiko Florence

    I hear you! Blogging seems to take on a life of its own. As much as I love being part of the blogging community, my focus is on my writing career, which means my commitment is focused on writing, while reading is something I do in the afternoons, on vacation, and weekends – for pleasure. Blogging, also, needs to take a back seat, so you will notice I do not post very often though I try for weekly. I totally understand your desire and need to scale back, but I do hope you’ll still post about the books you read! πŸ™‚ Enjoy your summer!

    1. Brittany Post author

      Thanks Debbi!!! πŸ™‚
      I won’t be scaling back my posts… Just focusing more on the books I already have and need to catch up on versus requesting more and getting involved in too many “projects” and extras. I just need to play a little catch up on the books that have been sitting on my shelf that I’ve been neglecting… Poor things! Hahah πŸ™‚

  3. Kelley (Another Novel Read)

    Good for you, putting your foot down and choosing not to overburden yourself this summer! This is exactly why I don’t join in on any kind of readalongs, read-a-thons, blog tours, etc. and why I keep denying every review request that comes through my inbox. I’m just afraid that I won’t be able to commit the time! I accepted one review request months ago and still haven’t gotten beyond the first paragraph of the book. x_x

  4. Maggie @ Just a Couple More Pages

    Great post. My blog is small, but that’s the way I like it. I tend to think that if I did a lot of the book tours or interviews or read alongs or even more of the memes than I normally do it would lose some of what makes it fun. If I find something on Netgalley or Edelweiss I really want to read I request it, but I definitely try to be selective.

    As a blog reader I will say that I tend to shy away from blogs that do a lot of book tours/author interviews/memes for two reasons. First, because while some of them are definitely books/authors/subjects the blogger feels passionate about, sometimes I think those posts can feel a little forced. Second, I think too many of those things make the blog seem like more of a corporate mouthpiece than someone’s blog. I like blogs because I like feeling like I “know” the blogger and their lives and dislikes I like I can trust their opinion, which, for me, isn’t always the feeling I get from sponsored-esque posts.

  5. Kristina

    Agreed. Though I may have requested one more on NG. I’m terrified for September to roll around!!!

  6. Janita @ Book, Interrupted

    That’s me this year. I’m a little over my head with blogging and school. I decided to get a job this year for the fall since I’m broke, be on a student council, run my book blog, juggle a full third year course load, and still continue with martial arts. Will this work? Probably not, but I’m okay with that. I’ll make adjustments, and I have my priorities straight. As long as you have that, you’re good to go!

  7. bookrockbetty

    Preach it, girl!! I am pretty good about rejecting book pitches and holding myself back from netgalley, but for me, the issue is FEATURES. I started the Recaptains blog with Amber, Hannah & Judith, yet have barely contributed since we first went live! I also get sucked into other shared features like playlists, etc and then it hits me…. I BARELY HAVE TIME TO READ AND WRITE A REVIEW FOR MY BLOG. How can I possibly expect to continue the other features I do, as well as shared features and OTHER BLOGS?! It isn’t possible. I end up spreading myself way too thin and then nothing is any good and I end up stressed out, feeling like everything is an obligation! That is the NOT how I want to feel. πŸ™‚ My goal is to figure out what is working, stick with it and make it GOOD rather than jump at the opportunity to be involved in everything that is thrown at me! (even though it always sounds like a lot of fun!!)

    1. Brittany Post author

      YES — exactly this! I’ve really been trying to whittle down what kinds of features are working instead of BAM! Committing to doing it all the time and forcing it. If an idea didn’t work, then I’ll make it a one-time thing instead of an on-going feature (because I have a tendency to get too excited and try to force it haha)
      I love doing blog tours but I really spread myself thin that way so yep. Trying to be way more selective! There are just soooo many good things out there BUT that doesn’t mean I meant to be a part of every single one.
      Thanks for commenting πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ I love the support lol

  8. Ashley @ Wholly Books

    As I was reading your post all I kept thinking was, “OMG, that’s me!!” I am awful about taking on too. It’s like I want to be a part of the community so I want to participate in all of things and agree to read and review books and then all of a sudden I feel like I’m drowning. I think I forget that I don’t have an endless amount of time and that I do indeed need sleep. But you are definitely not alone! I am trying to not over stretch myself these days but we’ll see how it works out!

  9. Lilian

    I don’t have commitments. Because like you, I fear them. Except..I think I fear them more than you. And compared to many other book bloggers, I’m a VERY CASUAL book blogger.

    My blog is small, and I really don’t mind. In fact, the more followers I have, the more scared I get that I am not delivering (I have like 4 reviews that have to be written.) I don’t blog on a schedule. And I only blog and read when I feel like it. From the beginning, I set up my blog to be something that doesn’t bind me, a place where I can publish whatever I want–and hopefully someone will want to read it. But, it’s okay if they don’t because there’s so many great stuff to read other than my blog. I answer to nobody! FREEDDDOMMMM. *throws confetti*

    Of course, I do participate in blog tours for books I really want to read. But I keep that at a minimum, because I know how being “forced” to read for a blog tour can make me grumpy. “I HATE THIS BOOK, BUT I HAVE TO FINISH IT. AND MAYBE SAY GOOD THINGS ABOUT IT…or the publisher/author will hate me.” *worry worry worry* This is why I also don’t request ARCs. AND because I don’t think I am dedicated enough to my blog to give it enough exposure.

    IT also doesn’t help that I am slow with writing. Each review takes me at least three hours or so. *sulks*

    I don’t even request ARCs and I am swamped in books. I told my father I wanted to spend an Amazon gift card on books, and he was like “If you say you’re going to buy more books again, I will be terrified. LOOK AT THOSE TOWER OF BOOKS IN YOUR ROOM YOU REFUSE TO DONATE AND WILL TOPPLE OVER YOUR DEAD BODY SOON.”

  10. i*Heart*BigBooks

    I’m going through all of those same things and I’ve only been blogging for half a year!! =\ To be honest, I don’t think I had much free time when I started the blog, but my passion for loving and sharing books made me do it.

    It’s important to evaluate every once in a while to make sure that you don’t lose that passion and replace it with what feels like obligation…

    Enjoy your reading…and btw, i *heart* you so much for your New Girl gifs.
    xoxo,
    Christine

  11. Judith

    I LOVE this post! Well, I love that I’m not the only person that feels this way haha. When I had just started my blog I was doing alright. I only had my own books to read and participated in a meme whenever I felt like it. But the last couple of months things have been CRAZY. I want to participate in ALL THE THINGS because hey, that’s fun right?! But then I realize I actually don’t have time to do all these things. I only participated in 3 blog tours so far, but with all of them I BARELY had the time to read the books. That’s just silly. I probably shouldn’t have signed up for them in the first place but hey I WAS EXCITED. My biggest commitment apart from my own blog is the Recaptains, which actually takes up A LOT of time. But that is the one thing I have to do that I don’t mind, because the feedback is so incredible! πŸ™‚

    Like you, I’m on a ban from NetGalley and Edelweiss. I have also let too many books go unread and I feel soooo guilty for that. I only request books I really really want to read (like The Bone Season, which I allowed myself to request). I also have so many books on my own shelves that I bought because I really wanted to read them but never had the time to do because NG/EW. I now only have three more review books to read, and then I will finally start tackling my own books, which feels amazing!!

  12. Merin @ Read and Reviewed

    I just kept nodding my head as I read through this post. I was awful last year about accepting things for review (or requesting them) and then really struggling to get them read in a timely fashion. I’ve been using this summer to sort of re-organize myself and how I want to do things, because I know when the school year starts (and we go back SO early, like August 1st) that my free time will be extremely minimal, and blogging isn’t the only thing I want to do, even if I do love it. It’s definitely a balancing act, that’s for sure! Maybe I should write out my goals for myself and what I want; that might make me articulate them better and make me more apt to stick to my decisions.

    And YES to being a mood reader! That’s probably the hardest part about being a blogger and trying to make sure you read and review your ARCs/galleys in a timely fashion. Or at least it is for me!

  13. Kay @ It's a Book Life

    I’ve been here before too. I was getting in over my head and I just needed a break. So I pretty much did the same thing as you. My main thing was not committing to any blog tours for a month and not requesting any new ARCs from anywhere for a month. It worked out really well.

    Good luck and enjoy your less stressful reading time! πŸ™‚

  14. Alyssa

    OHHH ALLTHENICKGIFS <3

    I know how overwhelmed you have been about these commitments, and I KNOW that it sucksssss so bad!! I feel overwhelmed when I give MYSELF goals so I can't even imagine how you must feel!! (actually we talk every day, so I kind of can…)

    Soon you will be able to read ALL THE BOOKS that your heart desires!!

  15. Estelle @ Rather Be Reading

    I CAN SO RELATE, B. I CAN SO RELATE. I don’t really sign up for a lot of reading events, and this is why. M and I sort of have our own flow doing things and I would hate to mess with it (or for it not to be as flexible) if I have other commitments. The best thing about blogging is that YOU DECIDE. (Do you remember this line from Pretty Women? Different circumstance but you get it.) I’m glad you that you are taking a step back and examining what you are doing. Esp. with you buying a house, your attention is going to be elsewhere for a little bit and as a fellow overachiever, you don’t want to feel like you are letting anyone down.

    Good luck following these rules. I’ll be around if you need someone to keep you in line πŸ˜‰

  16. Alexa Y.

    I love the amount of participation I’m able to have in the book blogging community! There’s a crazy amount of opportunities open to us bloggers out there, and it’s really and truly hard to resist them all. As I’m saying in my link-love post The Monday Mix, you voiced perfectly how I’m feeling about blogging + the commitments I have. I’m trying to finish up the ones that are already in place, and also make my way through the review books I still have on me. It’s my hope that by the end of August, I will be able to have successfully made a HUGE dent in all these (and possibly gotten through most of them). You’re totally on point for choosing to take action about this, and I for one agree with you!

  17. Amy @ bookgoonie

    Totally get it. I haven’t requested anything in a year and a half. It is quite liberating. If I stopped adding books to my shelves, I could read something new for at least 5 years at my rate. And all of them were spefically bought, because I know I’ll love them…BBF (book blogger friend) recommended. So I stay a smallish & happy, happy, happy. No real worries (just my manufactured ones) and no one to let down, except myself.

  18. Jana @ That Artsy Reader Girl

    I’ve been dying lately, when it comes to commitments! I just recently re-vamped my list of un-read egalleys and ARCs, and I almost died. I am SO unbelievably behind. Like, a year behind. And I’m going crazy. And then there’s authors writing to me with review requests, and pubs putting awesome things up on Netgalley/Edelweiss, and blog tours, and crazy things. And I’m feeling obligated to do ALL of it. I just recently DNF’d a book from an author because I just didn’t like it. It felt amazing. And then I decided I was going to quit doing blog tours unless it’s for a book on my list. My crazy list. And I’m reading as quickly as I can…. but THEN today I organized a bookshelf and cleared off some titles I either didn’t like or decided I’d never read. And I found SO many I want to read that I bought myself! And now I’m flipping out, because reading them will put me behind even MORE on the titles I was given. So I’m pretty much in the same boat as you are. I have to quit acquiring books, quit committing to things, and just read what I want. But it’s SO hard because I want to please EVERYONE. Ugh. We need a therapy group or something.

  19. Nuzaifa @ Say It with Books

    Blog Tours are one of the things I have been avoiding steadfastly ’cause I have a HUGE problem with these-When the date of my post nears I freak out bg time and get stressed and then end up hating the book ’cause I feel like I’m being forced to read it! And then I end up feeling guilty and that just sucks the fun out of the whole blogging process! :/
    Also NetGalley is like one of those addictions and once I log in to my account it’s a TRAIN WRECK. I just cannot resist clicking the request buttons! And since I obviously cannot read ALL those books and I feel so fricking guilty!
    I’m so glad to hear that I’m not the only one with this issue.
    So current solution that is working fine for me: Not logging into my NetGalley account and not even peeking at the e-mails I get from the blog tour sites! I feel less stressed now so YAY!

  20. Donna

    I can completely relate to everything you’ve said. I’ve actually limited myself to only 10 open NetGalley requests at any time. I do not request any other books nor accept any for review. I had to really think about what kind of blogger I wanted to be. I started my blog as a fun outlet for my love of reading, I don’t want it to feel like a job or obligation. because then I stop enjoying it. I actually just came back from a several month hiatus with what I hope is a better understanding of what my blog will be. I am fine with everyone else getting those coveted ARCs before me, I will have them eventually and I’ll have plenty to read in the meantime!

  21. Bonnie @ A Backwards Story

    I can relate entirely to all of this. And…I’ve only had time for ONE BEA book so far. Woe!

    My most relatable moment:
    By the time I get around to said-request ARC, it will probably be published already anyway! (At the rate I’m going…)

    It’s so true! I was going to request something recently but was like, “Well, I won’t read it before it’s out anyway, so…” And it’s looking like I have a few MUST ARCs from August about to do the same thing because I’m so focused on my event right now!

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