It’s been awhile since I’ve written a mostly text-only blog post, wow! I’ll probably save that sort of thing moving forward for my Patreon since these tend to get a little too personal for full blog ranting, but I’ve thought long and hard about this and have finally made my decision.
Those who know me know that when the pandemic started, I was juggling three jobs and a whole bunch of responsibilities elsewhere. I was constantly pushing myself to the edge of burning out, and knew it, but kept doing it anyway. As a person, I consistently expect more of myself than would be reasonable for me to expect of anyone else, and that leads to me either disappointing myself, or going too far in the opposite direction & overdoing it. Since losing 2 of my 3 jobs because of COVID, and being shoved under quarantines and curfews, I’ve been forced to really reflect on where my time is spent, and where I put my focus.
My blog is a thing I started for fun, an online space that I used to be able to devote lots of time toward; recently, I’ve felt myself pulling back. A majority of my blog’s focus over the last few years has been in the realm of horror fiction – reviews, lists, articles, you name it! I’ve struggled to maintain ARC reviews expectations, I’ve worried about whether or not I was keeping up with what other people were reading & reviewing, I stressed over how to phrase a particular criticism so that I wouldn’t be vilified in social circles for not liking something everyone else thought was amazing. I’ve spent so long agonizing over so many things in the community, for my blog and my Instagram and my Twitter – and for what?
Here’s some real stuff that I’m sure may lose me some “friends” in the community: I’m honestly just so tired of the bullshit. I’m tired of busting my butt to promote and spread the word about books and authors that talk poorly about me on Twitter because I put their friend on blast for being a sexually harassing asshole – to not just me, but OVER TWENTY OTHER WOMEN; I’m the one that’s gotten death threats on Twitter for being the loudest. I’m tired of losing sleep and putting off things I’d much rather be doing to read books by Joe Whatshisface, only for him to go on a social media rant directly aimed at me when I’m halfway through with reading it because “reviewers don’t review fast enough” for him – and then having that same author literally change his review IN MY ETSY SHOP in retaliation after I tell him how shitty that stance is. I’m tired of feeling like – and being told directly through the actions of people directly involved – that my opinions and words and reviews and the time and effort that I’ve spent on what I do are worth less than others because of things like payment or follower counts. I’m just… tired.
This exhaustion isn’t new. I’ve felt myself reaching this limit for the last few months, if I’m being honest, but in typical Cassie fashion, I’ve persevered. I’m a people pleaser that suffers from terrible self-esteem and imposter syndrome; it’s a recipe for disaster when coupled with pandemic depression & anxiety, and that disaster has led me to a rude awakening: I haven’t actually been enjoying any of this for awhile now, and I can’t even remember the last time I did.
I read & review books lately because I have to, not because I enjoy it. And why do I have to? Because someone sent it to me? Because other people are? Look, if you’re reading this and want to be upset because you sent a book and I don’t plan to read it anytime soon: let me know. I’ll send it back or donate it to the library or a used book shop. Your choice. I understand that your books took you a long time to write – I’ve spent the last 6 months struggling to get through 2 chapters of my own novella, so believe me, I understand you put effort into it. I get that postage can be expensive. So let me know what to do with the book if you aren’t satisfied with waiting, and I’ll do it. You know what I won’t do? Play nice when you subtweet me on the internet. I’m over it. Be respectful or fuck off.
There are so many reviewers and bloggers who do what we do for free because we genuinely enjoy it – not because we’re getting paid to do it, or because we have anything to gain beyond sharing our love of reading. We spend our time reading and writing detailed reviews – time that could be spent on any number of other hobbies or with family or even just on other stories! – and to have the people involved in the books we’re reading do things like insult, belittle, and harass us isn’t something I’m willing to tolerate anymore.
Moving forward, my blog and my free time will be dedicated to the things I love – not the things I feel pressured by.
I’ll have occasional book reviews for the books I truly want to talk and write about, but there will also be other things that make me happy to share and deserve the time and effort I could spent on them: primarily, movies & video games! I’ll be broadening my book horizons to include all genres, with no specific or direct lean (although I can’t make any promises I won’t have a lot of spooky / thriller type stuff, especially since I’ll still be a happy host of The PikeCast & a contributing team member to Ladies of Horror Fiction!), and will also be doing a lot more talking about comic books!
There are a few things I’ve previously featured on the blog that will be diverted completely to my Patreon – so if you’d like to sign up there to support me, it’d mean the world! Weekly recipes, printables, stickers, exclusive art prints, behind the scenes sneak peeks, sketchbook tours, videos, life-related blog posts, & more will be available to patrons! Plus, early access to my blog posts here. 🙂
I’m hoping that these things changing will help with the negativity I’ve been feeling lately in regards to blogging/reviewing, and in the reviewing world. I plan to take a step back from that sphere of things – even moreso than I did a few months ago when I closed my reviews – and I’m excited to get back to doing what I love because I love it again.
If you plan to stick around, I appreciate it! If not, I totally get that, too. My next couple posts will be about the movies and games I’ve loved recently, so this is your warning! 😉
And check out the new front page section headers for my new blogging focus! These will eventually lead to new sections with groupings for each topic so you can easily find stuff!
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