It's been a while since I've really touched base with you guys about my life and the blog so I figured I'd go ahead and do that today. I have not been shy about sharing how difficult work was for me over the summer. I was promoted to camp coordinator at my museum, which was supposed to be a more-or-less 9-5, 40 hour-a-week kind of position. What no one told me when I was given this temporary promotion is that I'd actually work at least 50 hours a week and then get yelled at for working too much and getting overtime, but then when I cut back on hours, things weren't getting done.
The end result is that I was an exhausted, emotional mess who wildly fluctuated between frustrated to furious to apathetic and back again. I also felt extremely guilty over my lack of attention to the blog, but working 50+ hours in addition to my 10+ hours commuting every week left me so weary that when I got home every night, it was all I could do to not immediately crawl into my bed and sleep before it was time to get up in the morning. And so I tried to let myself off the hook by stepping back from daily blogging so I could concentrate on my paying job. I was miserable in so many ways, but sometimes you really do just have to shut up and soldier on.
Finally, in late August, my position was over. Things went back to as normal as they ever are at a small children's science museum. Or so I thought. We're still going through a major transitional period at work. That, combined with my need for a good, long mental break has made it difficult for me to transition back into my former more frequent blogging habits. As such, I have decided that I need to decrease my commitments to outside sources and focus on my own content.
I was reading through some old posts of mind, and I was cracking up. I remembered how much fun I had creating some of my old posts and how much joy I took from both reading and writing. I'm barely on track to keep my Goodreads goal this year, which is actually far less than I'd like to be reading. The only way my blog is going to be successful by any measure is if I'm enjoying it. So I'm going back to basics, which is reading what I want to read and reviewing which books I want to share with you. I have some blog tours scheduled, but I'm going to slow down on signing up for them. Too often I've dropped the ball or faced the horror of not liking a tour book, it makes me sad. I don't want that. I want to be excited about books , and I want to be able to share that with you!
Speaking of exciting, there are a couple things that have me really excited right now. Again, back in February, I announced two new features, Audio Adventures and Mary's Minute, which are audio reviews and a discussion feature. I went through a bit of a reading slump in March and April and the summer was the summer so I kept putting off starting these features. Well, I love these features, and I have a handful of posts already typed up so I'm going to roll them out.
Secondly, when I started the blog, I intended it to be primarily young adult with some middle grade thrown in because I was thinking of some of my beloved mg titles like Artemis Fowl and Gregor the Overlander. However, I haven't really done any mg work on the blog, and it's time for me to acknowledge that although I do love a few mg titles, it's not an age level I want to focus on. But what I AM excited about genre-wise is new adult. I know most people have been a bit down on NA since its creation, but I have found that I highly identify and empathize with the characters of new adult since that's actually the age bracket I belong to. Therefore, Mary Had a Little Book Blog will now be a primarily young adult blog with the addition of the occasional new adult. Don't worry! It's not going to be all smexy all the time. All NA reviews, like the rest, will be hidden under a cut in addition to being clearly labeled as new adult so you don't have to read those if you don't want to.
Finally, one of my 2014 resolutions was to get a new design for MHALBB. I was waiting to save up for a great design by one of my favorite designers, but they just significantly increased their prices, and it's now completely beyond my budget. I still want an updated look for the blog so if you have any suggestions for designers with unique and reasonably priced blog designs, I would be glad for your recommendations!
I just want to thank you guys for your patience and your understanding these past few months.
Love and happy endings,