First of all, Merry Christmas!! I often do a little post for Christmas and I once more could not resist wishing you all a lovely Christmas and a Happy New Year. Thank you so so much for spending your time with me this past year and what a crazy year it has been. I pray you are able to spend this holiday surrounded by love, joy, and (even if virtually) family, and that you not only enjoy this time with your favorite foods for a Christmas feast but with a book or two and a delighted hope for the new year to come. Never let anyone or anything rob you of your hope. Hope reigns eternal, you need only turn towards it. ♥
Now onto some perhaps less cheerful news… Well I can’t believe I’m writing this, but I’ve decided to take a break from Pooled Ink. I will still be actively reading and frequenting Goodreads because I doubt I could ever (or would ever wish to) stop myself, but as for this blog…I think, for now, it’s time for it to rest.
I started Pooled Ink because I’ve always loved to read and after I graduated from college I began reading more and more with no people to talk to. I used books to fill that void of human interaction and used this blog to connect with fellow readers. It’s been amazing and far more than I ever expected. I only planned to babble on about my thoughts on the books I was reading but suddenly I was receiving ARCs from authors and publishers, I was reading even more books than I ever had before, I was befriending bloggers and authors on social media as well as here on my blog, I had grown a platform to help promote and support indie authors, and it was a place I could just spew out my thoughts and relax in a moment of honesty.
But life changes and right now I simply feel so very tired. You may (or may not) have noticed that I’ve slowed down in my reading (well actually I ended up reading a lot of books during lockdown #2020 but not the sort that give you much to write or think about aka mostly junk food for the brain type of books though those can be just as fun). I’ve written less reviews, read less books, posted less on social media, etc. I’ve slowed down and even though I consciously cut back on my time devoted to Pooled Ink for 2020 it isn’t enough and it’s taking a toll on my other commitments and goals, but most honestly I just feel tired. To simply stop seems a ridiculous decision to me. I like to stay focused and work hard until a task is finished, but with a blog, when is it ever finished? When I reach a certain number of followers? A certain number of reviews? A certain level of fame? Where and what is the “finish line”?
I didn’t begin this blog with any goals at all. I just needed a place where I could think outside my own head. That was it. If anyone commented, liked, shared, replied, etc. then I was thrilled by the interaction but…has this blog grown into something I can spend so much time on? For the longest time I needed this blog, it was therapeutic for me, but now…I don’t know. I made friends through this blog, I anticipated my chats with them about books, but it has since grown rather quiet…silent, really. It doesn’t help that I’ve lost the energy to reach out and make new connections. I saw other bloggers with such energy celebrate reaching 1,000 followers within 6 months while my humble little online home shuffled along for almost six years now with not even comparable stats…but it wasn’t about the stats for me, not really, it was about the friendships and bookish discussions and once those petered out I found the lack of feedback disheartening and now I find myself in a place where I don’t want just a semi-hiatus (as I’ve done this past year) but a full break. A rest. Pooled Ink was an important part of my growth into adulthood and I’m very proud of it, but for now it’s time to let it go.
Perhaps it is all my fault, actually I’m sure of it for what else could it be? I’m certainly no business woman. I know my reviews are far too long, my aesthetic not very trendy, my content wildly diverse and periodically erratic, my SEO never thought of, and my energy to reach out and connect has severely dwindled. My blog perhaps wasn’t catchy enough for readers or statistically impressive enough for book promoters/publicists or or or… For now though the “why” doesn’t much matter. Maybe down the line I will open this blog back up and dive back in with renewed vigor. Maybe, even though I say farewell right now, I’ll still find myself posting the occasional review unable to contain my bookish thoughts or take part in a promotion post/tour unable to stop myself from screaming its support. Maybe I’ll never return, the domain name will expire, the followers will disperse, the blog will crumble lost and forgotten. But no matter what, it doesn’t change how much I have loved Pooled Ink for these past 5+ years and how much I’ve appreciated all of you who have been a part of it one way or another.
If you’re a reader, I invite you to follow me on Goodreads so we can stay in touch with what books we love! I’m always on the hunt for new reads and love to hear your recommendations.
If you’re an author or publisher, I’ll continue to check my email so feel free to reach out to me with your books and if we seem like a good fit then I will read and review for you on Goodreads and Amazon (and possibly even this blog). If you’re trying to put together a book tour then by all means I may sign up. I know how difficult it can be for bloggers to agree to review or even promote indie and smaller authors and giving them a place where they’ll more than likely receive a “yes” in some capacity was/is important to me.
Don’t be too sad though (I may be saying this more to myself than to anyone reading this post). This year was only supposed to be 1-2 posts a month and to read just one book a week and yet you saw how that went haha. I clearly cannot help myself! I’ve done certainly more than two posts on any given month and I read 50+ books just within the first few months alone! Thus I call this new period a rest for there is always the chance I shall wake up. (And if anything can wake me up, it is a good book).
I’m not abandoning reading or reviewing. It’s become too much a part of me for that. And besides, I know how valuable reviews are for authors. I’m only facing the tough decision to scale back my operation. Instead of a blog, a Twitter account, an Instagram account, a Tumblr, a Goodreads profile, a Facebook page, an Amazon profile, etc. I’m simplifying. (Truth be told I find social media wearying in general). I no longer have a Tumblr or Facebook page. I will leave my blog, Twitter, and Instagram up although I may be much less active on them (I’ll jump back on whenever I have a book to rave about of course) and I’ll never abandon my Goodreads.
Please don’t be upset if you try to reach out and I do not respond right away…I just need a bit of a break. I need a rest from constantly hoping to rekindle the community that dwindled years ago as my blogger friends one by one found themselves taking new paths in life (and I hope they are all doing well with their new endeavors!). Perhaps it is time I too chose a new path to explore. Until further notice, if you want to swap thoughts on books with me then friend me/follow me on Goodreads and don’t worry, dear authors, because I will continue to share my reviews on Amazon too.
Thank you to everyone who followed Pooled Ink, who commented or liked my posts on any of my social platforms including this blog. Thank you for giving me the space to grow this home. I didn’t start this for followers, you simply found me and led me kindly by the hand into an online bookish community I never knew existed and will never forget. I have had my adventure and now I am ready to rest.
–Angela, Pooled Ink