Hey, friends. It’s this blog’s 3rd anniversary, and finally, I’ve got a post for you.
I don’t even know what to call this kind of post. Emotional? Informational? Spontaneous? Unexpected? Really, it’s all of the above.
Either way, I have a few things to talk about, so let’s just get into it, shall we?
What’s going on?
If you take a look at my previous posts on here, you’ll probably notice that 1) they’re each several months apart, and 2) I always start by apologizing for being gone, or something like that. I didn’t want to do that this time, but honestly, how could I write this post without addressing it?
I wanted to make a post explaining what my year has been like so far, because I think it’ll be nice to just share things again, and because… well, because I want to.
First, I want to let you know that I’m okay! I’m doing well and there was nothing negative or bad happening to me during my time away from the blog. (Other than something I might mention later.)
But to tell you the truth, I just haven’t been reading a lot lately. And again, I’ll talk about this later, but that’s probably the main reason why I haven’t really been around. How can I blog in the Book Community without reading books or reading other blogs?
Without telling you about my blogging woes just yet, I’ll first explain, um… *gestures to my whole self* everything about myself, I guess. (as you can see, i have no idea what i’m doing and/or where to start haha)
(This might be long! The important things are in bold!)
The first thing that kept me occupied outside of blogging was the concept of ✨ getting an internship. ✨ No, not participating in an internship. Just… the thought of getting one.
I started this blog when I was a freshman in college, because I had some free time and the only book lovers I knew were not with me very much. I wanted to meet more people who liked books, and more specifically, people who wanted to write fiction! I had a great time blogging on here for years, and I really appreciated every one of the people who came to read this blog.
But… When the pandemic started, I was a sophomore. I’d only been blogging for a little over a year. And I quickly realized that I needed to do something I could put on my resume, something like an internship that people could see and go, “ah yes, that’s a legitimate work experience” (i.e. something that was not talking about pjo online and reading books over the course of 24 hrs for fun)
**Actually, I’d like to point out that running a blog, and especially running social media sites along with it, CAN be put on your resume and CAN help impress your future employers! Depending on the position, of course. But if you’re considering a job/internship in publishing or a communication field, they’ll probably like the fact that you have a blog! (As long as it’s actually professional in some way. And you would have to be willing to show it, probably. My blog did just fine! But I digress)
Anyway, I got a very small social media internship with a very small and very new literary agency in the summer of 2020, and actually stayed with them until just last month. But as I continued to go to school, and keep up a (very easy) internship, I was already getting nervous about school work. (And at the time, my grades were the best they’d ever been, but I told myself I’d feel bad if I let them drop!)
In November 2020, I realized that “oh wow, I should be applying to bigger internships now that I have experience!” And I proceeded to spend 80+ hours in one week applying to literally everything I could, including some big name internships. I even got as far as going through several interview rounds for a social media internship with CBS! But all of that took my time and energy away from things I actually wanted to do for fun, and ultimately, I didn’t get into any of those internships.
Then in January of 2021, quickly applied to and I got another internship (on top of the previous one), and I was writing entertainment articles. I’d always loved to write fiction, but… non-fiction and non-bookish articles? It wasn’t my thing, at first. (I so badly wanted to get a publishing internship! Anywhere, with anyone!) But I actually grew to love writing there, a lot, but each article took up 12-16 hours of my week, in addition to several weekly meetings we also attended.
Which meant, that was 12-16 hours of writing/reading things that weren’t even for school! In my mind, that was quite a lot of writing/reading, practically too much. And as an English major, I basically read and write all the time anyway. So writing/reading for the blog? That didn’t feel like taking a break, for me. Especially since I was so tired all the time from my 2 internships and the guilt of keeping up with my (admittedly impressive, by my standard) grades.
And then… summer 2021 happened. I got another internship and stayed on with the other 2 because I liked them so much. 🙃 And I figured it would look cool on my resume. The experience was great and I learned a lot, but jumping straight from an intense pandemic school year into doing 3 unpaid internships for 30 hrs a week just… took the fun out of the idea, the concept of reading. My brain hurt! I only wanted to watch YouTube and learn how to sew, thank you very much.
But now, the grand finale is here. After applying practically every week to new internships for nearly a year, and conducting over 10 interviews with publishing professionals (mostly for fun, I wasn’t trying for the opportunity to work with them), I got it. An internship with an actual, well-known literary agent, with a real, well-known agency! I can’t stress to you how happy this made/makes me, especially because this was the one thing I have been working toward from the beginning of my blog, actually, before I even started blogging in the first place. In September 2021, I officially started reading and making critiques on manuscripts for the agent, and it’s honestly so nice to be doing this after so long of knowing, in my bones, that it was something I’ve always wanted to do.
It was because of my blog (and the bookish knowledge it brought to me) that I got this internship. I never would have felt worthy or prepared enough without all of you and your support! But now… I still don’t know. Should I come back to blogging? Do I even know how to log in to WordPress anymore?
TL;DR — I’ve been doing a bunch of internships and now I’m burned out, and I simply don’t feel like making weekly blog posts anymore.
Am I leaving this blog?
I was going to talk about my actual blogging woes, but that internship section was super long, so here’s the gist of how I feel about blogging:
- I haven’t read many books recently, so I can’t really recommend anything
- I haven’t read many recent books at all, so I’m kinda behind
- I haven’t been able to keep up with my blogging friends (or blog hop at all) and that always makes me feel guilty 😦
- I used to hate the block editor with an absolute burning passion (but idk it’s not that bad anymore?)
- I’ve been in and out of some bad mental health periods, but after sad-writing two long posts about it and never posting them, I’ve decided to move on and that you don’t need to see any more sad rambles
- Do I even know what to talk about on here? I have no idea, haha.
It’s very possible that the blogosphere is very different than how I left it back in February. I have no idea about what’s popular or what’s “cancelled” (I’m not even using gifs anymore bc idk if that’s a thing still!). But if I do decide to start blogging again, I’d want it to just be fun. Just for me, and for you, if you choose to read my posts! I promise I’ll try to be as much like my old self as I used to be, because that version of myself didn’t wear me out and it was fun.
So am I leaving? Yeah, I don’t know. We’ll see.
A story about “leaving”
When I first found out about book blogging, it was through a popular Goodreads reviewer.
I clicked on her blog one day, and I loved the concept of blogging in general, but especially the idea of blogging about books. Who knew that could be such a thing!
But I was (exaggerating-ly) devastated when I found out she had just left her blog right before I found her. Her last blog post on the website detailed her reasons for leaving, and a heartfelt goodbye to her followers, and dozens of bloggers had commented on it by expressing their best wishes and goodbyes.
I was sad, and also shocked. Although I understood her decision to leave, I couldn’t fathom the idea of not blogging after gaining over 1,000 followers who actively read and commented on that content, which they enjoyed. And I vowed I would never leave my own blog without at least saying goodbye.
So here we are.
I started writing a “goodbye” post in the summer, I think, but since then I’ve gotten a new laptop and now that I’m writing this, without reference from that old post… I see the opportunity to not say goodbye to you.
I don’t know what changed. Actually, yeah I do. I’m currently missing the passion from my life. If there’s anything important I gained from blogging since 2018, it wasn’t just the book titles and great recommendations. It was the community and the passion you all showed me when we showed up for each other and were passionate about the same things, as a community.
I don’t think I want to say goodbye, because I’m not ready to go just yet.
Right now, in this moment, I just spent an hour cranking out this blog post, and I’m telling myself that blog-writing isn’t as scary or as time-consuming and I’ve been telling myself all year. And maybe that’s true, or maybe I’m just full of the adrenaline from finally getting these things off my chest.
But there’s no one right way to be a blogger. I can go about this however I want, take as much time in-between posts as I want. I mean, I probably could have gone without making this post! Who knows!
Either way, I just wanted to tell you this: I don’t want to lose the community or the passion for books I’ve found here. I’m not ready to say goodbye because I could, potentially, continue to explore my bookish passion for years after today.
I hope to see you around soon.
Hello! I hope you enjoyed my foray into blogging once again. 😌 My apologizes if you forgot you were following me and have no idea who I am, haha
Feel free to talk to me about literally anything, or send me your recent posts so I can catch up with you!
Chat with me about it!
You can also be my friend on social media!
Happy reading! Have a lovely day! Please stay safe!
*graphic images from sketchify on Canva!
23 thoughts on “A Letter to You, My Bookish Friends // why i’ve been gone + what’s happening now”
Xandra!! I really loved reading this update post, and I’m so happy for you re the literary agency internship!! I think I’m actually in a fairly similar situation as you with regard to my blog; I haven’t been reading as much this year and school’s taken all my energy, but I don’t feel ready to leave just yet. Hope to see you hanging around with me ❤
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Thank you so much, Cas!! 💕 I’m glad to be back, even for a little bit!
I hope you’re doing well, and yeah school can be tough. It’s really draining, but we can take our time! Good luck with whatever you decide to do next!
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Welcome back and happy blogiversary! Yeah, life does get in the way sometimes, and only you know if you’ll need a break from it sometimes. And you’re right in that you can go about blogging any way you want. Wishing you all the best no matter what you choose!
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Thank you, Stuart! That’s true, sometimes life gets in the way of the things we enjoy, but we can’t let it stop us from enjoying our passions entirely. Thanks, I wish you the best as well!
I’m so glad to see that you’re not leaving and that you’ll try to continue your blog in a way that is manageable for you! I’ve seen a lot of beloved bloggers and BookTubers leaving and it always breaks my heart. ❤ So glad to have you back in whatever capacity you're able to! =)
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Thank you so much for reading! ❤ I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately, and ultimately, I still want to try and find happiness from my blog again! I’ve also seen a lot of my favorite bloggers leaving or slowing down a lot, and it makes me sad and made me think there was not really a reason to be blogging anymore, but I want to try again and see what happens next.
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Excuse me who is cutting onions?! I swear I did not mean to tear up but ugh, the latter part of your post hit hard as I’ve been on hiatus this entire year and it’s been a struggle. Whilst I definitely wouldn’t change it for the world, as the hiatus has definitely helped me find myself and allowed me to breathe…it’s also made me question leaving my blog multiple times. I’m not though because like you, I’m not ready to say goodbye just yet. My blog gave me a creative outlet and a space to just be myself and it gave me friends and a community.
Anyway, hi, hello I missed you lovely and I am so happy for you getting the internship you wanted! Reading your internship section stressed me out as you mentioned taking on another internship on top of two like…how?! I’m in awe of you still being living and not a pile of dust from the workload. Also I feel you on the whole not reading a lot, my reading has come to a very slow crawl, I think a tortoise may read more than me at this point. However if it helps, I’m down for any content you love and want to share on your blog. Books or not, I missed your voice and I’m sending you so much love. (seeing you on my feed was a joy btw hehe) 💜
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Clo, now you’re going to make me cry! I’m sorry you’ve also been struggling with burn out and a hiatus, and I wish it didn’t feel so hard to go through this. Blogging is supposed to be fun, but sometimes it really isn’t. But I realized that, maybe if I just take my time and let myself do whatever I want on here just for fun, maybe it’ll start feeling better again. I agree, this creative outlet used to be important to me and I’m glad I was here when I was, but I’m also not ready to completely stop.
I missed you too!! I’m happy to be back, and writing this post reminded me of how much I liked writing for myself! And thank you, I’m glad I now have the kind of internship I’ve always wanted! It was a lot of work to get here but now I think it was worth it, haha. And don’t feel too bad about not reading! The TBR books will always be there for you when you decide to pick them up, so that’s been comforting to me. And most of the 25 books I’ve “read” this year were either podcasts, webtoons, or books for school!
Anyway, thank you so much for reading my post. It means a lot to hear from you again! I hope you’re doing alright, and I’m also sending you so much love. 💜
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Xandra!!! It’s so nice to read this update and to see you have been doing so many amazing stuff! ❤ What you're doing is crazy (that's sooo much of reading and writing) so it's okay to feel burnout! I'm so glad you decided to share with us what happened because it's so exciting to read you going after what you're passionate about. Don't put too much pressure on yourself about blogging, whatever and whenever you want to write, we'll always be here for you to come back to 🙂
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Thank you so much, Tasya!! ❤ It feels good to be back, even briefly! Yeah, it’s a lot of reading and writing… so hopefully I can ease back into blogging again soon. Thank you, that’s so sweet of you to say!
Congrats on your internships! I don’t think you ever need to worry about being up to date with the blogging world and just go at your own pace instead. I’ve been blogging for ten years now and I’ve never really been in the loop because I rarely venture out of my own little corner 😅 Blogging always comes second to life and will always be there when you feel ready to come back.
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Thank you, Louise! I’m really just trying to find my own space in the blogging world, and I’ll figure it out eventually, so I shouldn’t stress too much about it now. And I didn’t know you’ve been blogging for ten years, that’s awesome!
I’ve been blogging for seven years now and I can’t count the number of times I have considered “retiring.” But I’ve met so many amazing people and I also would hate to leave this community for good. I avoided the block editor until I had no choice but to adapt and I…hate it still. I’ve been working with it for a few months now and even though I have a better handle on things, it often puts murderous thoughts into my head. I hope to see you around, even if it’s sporadically. Congrats on landing the internship of your dreams!
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Thanks for sharing your blogging story with me. I’ve definitely met a lot of great people here, and when I think of blogging, I mostly want to be able to share this community space with them online. I want to return to the blogging world, not posting as much as I used to but just enough to still enjoy it. The block editor still frustrates me some times, but I think I’ve finally gotten used to it somehow. Thank you so much, Alicia!
I’ve barely been blogging myself because of everything going on in life and not reading a lot so I could seriously relate to everything you’ve said! I’m so glad you at least got an amazing intership and that things are going for you outside of the book community (because there’s a big world out there!). It’s never too late to blog, I’m doing it pretty it inconsistently but I’m here nevertheless is you ever want to chat or chill 🙂 I wish the best for you! You deserve it and the community will always be here when you come back ❤
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I’m glad you could relate, and that I’m not the only one who’s been feeling this lately! Thank you so much! ❤ I love being here in the online book community, but you’re right, it’s a big world and sometimes other things are more important. Thanks, I also wish the best for you! I hope you’re doing all right!
I’m so glad you’re doing well – huge congrats on getting the internship that you wanted!! 😊 Honestly, I’ve been going through a lot of the same things in regards to blogging – I’ve been away for a while with just the occasional post. I took a hiatus earlier in the year because the community (not specifically bloggers, more Twitter and Instagram) was just so full of drama, with authors getting “cancelled” left, right, and centre. It made me realise how much being surrounded by the opinions of strangers exhausts me, especially online where everything seems to be so black and white, with no room for grey.
So I took some time away and right now I’m struggling with where to go with my blog from here. I think the best option is to just post when I want to; when I feel like it and I’m excited. I know we’re all guilty of it but there really is no need to apologise for the length of time between posts! None of us are getting paid for this, book blogging is a hobby we do because we enjoy it, so we should be able to do it whenever we want. 😊
Whatever the future holds for you, I wish you all the best! 😄❤
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Congratulations on the internships Xandra, they sound amazing!!! It seems like you have so much going on so don’t let blogging become an added pressure – we’ll always be here to read your posts when and if you feel like writing them! Good luck with all your exciting endeavours 📚❤️ X x x
So happy to hear from you again, Xandra – I have missed reading your posts!! I’m glad that you’re doing okay ❤ 🥰
Also congrats on getting your dream internship and getting to work on something that you know you always wanted to do! 🎉 It’s impressive how much experience you have gained, though it also sounds very stressful!
It’s most important to do what feels right for you when it comes to blogging. Just know that I’d be happy to read and posts if/when they come out 💕
It’s so, so wonderful to have a little update from you, Xandra and congratulations on your internship, this is SO EXCITING and what an incredible opportunity. I’m so happy and proud of you and yay!! ❤ ❤
I hope you'll keep on doing whatever feels right, when it comes to your blog. Whether you end up just coming in every now and then or more regularly, we'll always be happy to hear from you. Take care of yourself always! ❤
i loved hearing from you again, xandra ❤ i'm so sorry to hear about all the work you had to do for those internships (especially unpaid!) and it's totally understandable why you pulled away from blogging because of that. i'm honestly feeling the same way re: questioning how i can blog when i don't really read as many books/blogs anymore lol. but i'm so so happy for you and your recent internship, it's what you deserve!! we'll be happy for you no matter what you decide to do with your blog, as long as it's what's right for you 💕
Congrats on all the internships (even if they were quite a bit exhausting) and getting in with a well-known literary agency!! That is so exciting! I know it isn’t easy to leave the blogging community, especially when it can be such a great passion–but that’s just it. When it doesn’t bring the necessary passion, leaving can sometimes be the best thing. I hope you find the energy and passion to come back, but if not, I hope that means you’re finding fulfillment somewhere else in life! It has been great blogging alongside you. You’ve always been a great inspiration to me ❤