I have had a heart-to-heart with my lovely (and brutally honest) writing partner and come to an alarming realization: my book reviewing is keeping me from writing!
Of course, this had occurred to me previously, but the examples she pointed out made it too obvious to ignore.
When I started reviewing, the purpose was clear. I wanted to be well-read within the children’s and young adult genres. I wanted to help promote books and authors that I loved. I wanted to be able to break down plots and identify what I loved and what I disliked about certain books and storylines. I knew this would help me in my own writing. I was right.
But, for the past several months, my reviewing has dropped off significantly, and my guilt over that has kept me from writing (ie: I can’t justify writing anything new right now, when I’m so far behind with promised reviews). Sure, I have the obvious excuse of having a brand new baby. Pregnancy and newborn care are time consuming, energy draining, and downright exhausting! But, I have also been fighting with this review vs. writing balance that shouldn’t even exist.
So, I’m planning to finish reading the books I’m working on and the ones that I feel committed to reading and/or reviewing (I always agree to read the books sent to me, I do not agree to review them, although I try), and then I’ll retire from reviewing. I still intend to do casual and periodic reviews on my blog when I feel compelled and on the YABC and TRT sites if Kim and Jen will let me. I will also continue my author interviews for Teacher-Librarian Magazine and other forums (blog tour stops for YABC and here on LJ), as I think they help me stay connected in the kidlitosphere. That is very important to me.
Basically, I no longer intend to pressure myself or to feel guilty about not getting to certain reviews that I “should” do. I refuse to “should all over myself” any longer!
It’s time to get busy writing and stop making excuses for not following my dream!
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