Hi everybody! I have been putting off this post for a really long time, and since I am leaving off to college next week, I have decided that it is time to announce my departure from the book blogging world. It took a lot of prayer and thinking, but I believe that giving up book blogging is the best decision for me entering this new chapter in life.
I took a hiatus from blogging back in January because I wanted to focus on finishing out my final semester of high school, and it was much crazier than I had originally anticipated. I was taking three of the hardest AP classes offered at my school (AP Literature, AP Chemistry, and AP Statistics), and I was extremely busy with my extracurricular activities, which included (but not limited to) preparing for my violin scholarship audition, competing at DECA Internationals in Orlando, playing with the Tennessee All State Symphony Orchestra, applying for scholarship after scholarship… that’s not even the tip of the iceberg! This final semester of high school was very challenging and stressful, yet extremely rewarding, and it makes me a bit sad to see this chapter of my life closing.
The shocking news (or probably not very shocking news considering how busy I was) is that I barely had any time to read for leisure during those five months. The only books I read were the 10 assigned to me in my AP Literature class (which I not only had to read but critically analyze and absorb) and another one or two I was able to manage on breaks. I just did not have the time to read anything for myself or for my blog, which is why I am sadly unable to get to all of the ARCs that I had thought I could review. (I’ve reached out to most of the authors and publishers who sent me those galleys, and I am truly grateful for your understanding of my situation.)
I was hoping to start up blogging once the school year was over, but after much praying and pondering, I realized my heart wasn’t in blogging anymore. I originally took up book blogging at the end of freshman year to share my love of books, and blogging has comforted me throughout the rough patches of my sophomore and junior years. When I felt alone, I found solace both in stories and in the online world, and blogging has taught me a great number of things about the world, about marketing and promotion, and about myself. I have made so many lifelong connections with authors and readers that I hope to keep, and I will cherish the many memories I have made at book events.
However, as the blog grew, blogging and reviewing and interviewing soon became like a chore. Regardless of their content, posts do not take a simple few minutes to create. It took me maybe an hour or two to craft an interview or a review, and I only posted twice (sometimes thrice) a week. Planning weeks or months in ahead and keeping track of review and post deadlines (while a good glimpse of having a job) were often more of a source of stress rather than a source of fun. I often took on more books to review than I could read at a time because it became harder to resist saying “yes” to a request. Looking back, I would say that I loved reading books, but I was not as fond as reviewing them.
Blogging just became a never-ending cycle of “read, write, post.” I would feel a little satisfied finishing up the posts for two weeks in advance, yet that feeling would quickly dissipate once I knew I had the next week to prepare for. While I am not trying to downplay blogging at all, I never had anything big to work for. In a sense, I’m probably more of a “one big project” person than a “many little projects” person–I find more motivation and satisfaction working towards a single goal in stages (such as auditions or competitions with the “big days”) rather than having to constantly moving on.
Leaving book blogging is very bittersweet, but I feel this is the direction that God is wanting to take me. Not having to worry about blogging really lightened my summer: I was able to focus more on nurturing my prayer life with God, prepare for my Calculus II course by reviewing all of Calculus I on Khan Academy (which I completed just a few days ago!), and simply breathe more. I was able to fit in a little bit of practicing violin, too. In all honesty, I have read about a dozen books this entire summer, which may seem like a lot, but would be the number of books I could read in a single month last year. I have gotten away from Twitter, in which I am glad to not see the online drama anymore, and have prepared myself for college. I do not know if I would even have the time to book blog in college on top of all the classes and activities I will be involved in, so this decision definitely alleviates some of the future stress that I will encounter.
For those that don’t know, I will be going off to Tennessee Tech University in Cookeville, TN, to major in computer engineering and minor in music! I am really excited (and scared, but don’t we all feel that way with huge changes in our lives?) for what the future has in store for me! I know that this school year will be filled with a lot of opportunities, and I am really looking forward to where God takes me these next four years.
Before I sign off, I just wanted to give each and every author, blogger, reader, industry professional, and friend who has supported me in all of my bookish endeavors, and even some of my non-bookish ones. All the kindness and encouragement that I have received from y’all has truly filled my heart ten times over, and I will certainly miss many things from the fun Twitter chats to the LILbooKtalks I have hosted very much. I will still continue to keep up with some of the latest releases and to support books in whatever ways I can regardless of me leaving the blogosphere.
If you would like to continue keeping in touch, or if you would like to continue to keep up with me throughout my college years, please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, follow me on Instagram @KesterNucum (where I’m most active), or befriend me on Facebook! I’ll still keep the blog Twitter up, so you could always shoot me a message there, though there’s no guarantee I will be prompt in answering back.
To those reading this, thank you for everything you have done. Without YOU this blog wouldn’t exist.
May God bless you throughout every step you take in life, and I wish you all the best in life.
Signing off for the last time,
Final Words of Wisdom:
“On ne voit bien qu’avec le cœur. L’essentiel est invisible pour les yeux.”
“It is with the heart that one can see rightly. What is essential is invisible to the eye.” – Antoine de Saint Exupéry, The Little Prince