Hitting a Wall | Episode 3

In a metaphorical sense, hitting the wall is defined by the Cambridge Dictionary as “reaching a point when you are running, exercising, playing sports, etc. where you are so physically tired you feel you cannot continue.” Now I don’t do sports, so I’m adopting the term for the blogging medium. I’ve hit the wall with blogging. And I’m hitting it hard.

I have never been one to compare my blog to any other blog. In fact, I’ve never been one to compare myself to anyone else – even when others have. However, recently that seems to be changing. There are many factors that may contribute to this: a higher consumption of sugar and caffeine that leads to an increase in anxiety, loss of passion, stress from University assignments, or a lack of certainty about my future. Who knows, it could be all of the above.

But it’s starting to have an effect on my motivation. I see the number of views/likes on a post and then compare them to the views/likes on a similar blog and it’s starting to get me down. I’ve been blogging on a mostly scheduled basis – with the occasional hiatus – since February 2016. And while I’m incredibly happy for every blogger that¬†builds an audience and gets hundreds of views and comments, I wish I was one of them.

I understand that it takes time. But I see sites that have been around for the same amount as mine, sites with hundreds of followers, and I keep asking myself “what am I doing wrong?” Probably nothing. Possibly everything.

I’m not writing this to be all “SHOW ME LOVE NOW!!”. This is just a thought that has been on my mind a little bit over the past few weeks. It’s something that hits every writer, Youtuber, creative mind at some point. And I know that some people only wish to read certain types of content, like Book Reviews. But, because I am either reading books incredibly slowly, or reading books that came out years and years ago and have been reviewed to death, I haven’t been releasing many reviews.

So, I’m hitting a wall, finding it difficult to muster enough motivation to create new and engaging content as a result of some slight insecurities. Nothing major.

I wish I could promise that I will leave this funk behind and begin creating ‘better’ content. But I can’t. I’ve made promises in the past regarding blogging goals and have failed to follow through.

While this won’t indefinitely stop me from making posts, I think it would be a good idea for me to step back and brainstorm. I would love for my posts to have more to them, more time dedicated to research and design, instead of publishing under-whelming pieces.

Devon ūüôā

19 Things I’ve Learnt in 19 Years

It was my birthday yesterday, so I thought it would be nice to recap some of the most essential lessons and tidbits I have learnt during my 19 years on this planet. I’ve seen quite a few of these posts over the years and love how they help pass on key life lessons to younger readers.

So, here I am. I hope you find these lessons helpful (I know other people’s posts have certainly ¬†helped me in the past). And, feel free to share the most important things YOU have learnt in the comments below. Continue reading “19 Things I’ve Learnt in 19 Years”

Asexuality | Episode 2

At this point, I’m not certain whether or not I have discussed my sexuality on this blog. It’s been over a year since I started posting, so it’s likely to have popped up once or twice. However, for the longest time, I have been plucking up the ‘courage’ – for lack of a better word – to talk about who I am and how I identify in a proper post.

Previously, on a post regarding how to be productive while lacking motivation, I mentioned my mental health, a topic I found quite straightforward to describe. But, sexuality, for me personally, it a trickier concept to talk about as you can’t rely on the science behind it.

Luckily, I’m learning how to, not so much explain, but educate those around me as to what being Asexual means. The more I become confident and comfortable discussing my asexuality, the more relaxed I feel when I have to educate new people. After all, I recognise that certain people don’t have access to the same information, or haven’t researched the topic as¬†extensively as I have. Continue reading “Asexuality | Episode 2”

Twenty Seventeen

2016 was a year that the world would probably prefer to forget. However, I will remember this year for many reasons. 2016 was the year HowesBooksBlog was created, the year I was finally diagnosed with Depression, and the year I moved across the country to University. It was a year of many ups and downs, all of which I hope to learn from as I move into 2017.

Since the inception of HowesBooksBlog in February 2016 I have been trying to find my way. The way I blog, the way I write, and represent myself. The way I discuss topics, and the way I organise posts. And, it has certainly been a challenge – one I am still going through. However, I hope I can work towards the goals below, and see where I go from here.

Goals & Changes for 2017:

  • There will be no more guaranteed¬†Wednesday postings. If I have an announcement, a time related post or a Goodread review, those will still go up on Wednesdays, but Wednesday will no longer be a guaranteed post date.
  • I wish to post more about games – reviews, discussions, and why I’m excited posts. Afterall, it is the gaming industry that I strive to be a part of.
  • I aim to publish two or more¬†reviews per month, with at least one being a full length review.
  • Also, I want to complete more reads from requested reviews. I recently signed up to NetGalley and published a review request form on the blog, so hopefully I will receive more books for review.
  • I want to take part in three or more Readathons – I always have so much fun taking part in Readathon challenges and talking to other participants during these events. I hope to take part in more soon.
  • Plus, I hope to publish more of my own original creative writing pieces. I hope to spend more time developing my own stories as I have many ideas. Hopefully by sharing my writing, I can improve through your feedback.
  • I want to publish more guest posts: whether that be me posting on someone else’s blog, or someone else posting here. It’s a nice way of getting to know more people in the blogging community.
  • Goodreads Reading Challenge: I aim to read at least 20 books this year. I know 20 doesn’t seem like much compared to the amount other bloggers read, however when you consider the ginormous reading slump I have been in, 20 is a lot.

I’ve had a rough couple of months as a result of my mental health. However, instead of wallowing and making excuses, I am going to work towards a better mental state. A better diet, more exercise, a new routine, etc. Hopefully, these changes behind the scenes will ensure that I reach my personal blogging goals. I aim to create better content for you all to enjoy.

So, Let’s do this!¬†

giphy


What are your goals for 2017? Share them in the comments below!

Being Productive While Lacking Motivation

Sometimes, you can be utterly and truly in love with a project or a hobby. But, when it actually comes to reading that novel, writing that short story, baking that cake, you find that you can’t. It can feel as if there is a wall, between you and your favourite activity. You know in your mind that you adore doing what you do and that taking part in that hobby or activity boosts your satisfaction, but you seem physically unable to actually do it.

With reading, it’s called a reading slump. A term used when you just cannot seem to pick up your book, when your reading habit unconsciously goes from everyday to twice a week or once a month. But, what do we call it when it happens to¬†other hobbies or projects? When you lose motivation to do the simplest of activities that bring you enjoyment. Continue reading “Being Productive While Lacking Motivation”