A Little Hiatus

Life has been pretty hectic this year, one way or another, and my writing mojo seems to have gone missing in action.

Lately I’ve been resorting to old, half finished drafts to keep my blog active. You know those posts…started in good faith a while ago but never quite let out in public because you couldn’t find the right angle or the best way to finish. They are now pretty much exhausted. A few scheduled posts are sitting in the wings. A holiday is on the horizon. And I feel completely uninspired to write anything about the books I’ve read this past month. Even though I really enjoyed every single one of them.

One of the many books I’m in the middle of reading right now, is a collection of essays by Lydia Davis around the theme of translating, Essays Two (Lisa, I think you will love this one too). Early on she tells us about some advice that Roland Barthes had given to a young writer who were experiencing writers block. He told him to “stop writing for himself for awhile and do translations“. Advice Davis took.

I cannot translate from one language to another to save myself, but when the writing mojo leaves me, I fall into admin mode.

Ever since moving to WordPress the many glitches and hyperlink issues have bugged me. As I get the chance I have been fixing them. However, this past month or so I have found myself, more and more, working behind the scenes debugging the glitches. It has been very satisfying and absorbing. And surprising. Some of my older reviews are horrendous. But some are brilliant and I wonder who on earth wrote them!

Maybe reading and editing older posts will help me to rediscover what I love about writing and blogging. As Davis also said about the pleasures of translating, “you are to some extent disappearing from yourself for a little while, as you do anytime you become wholly absorbed into an activity. You leave yourself behind for hours at a stretch“. Right now, that sounds delightful.

The plan is to spend this writing hiatus tidying and reformatting my older posts to take the pressure off writing something new. Just for a little while. It could be a week; it could be a month.

I would love to get back into exploring Sydney on my days off work. Pre-Covid, I would take myself off for half a day, venturing into new-to-me suburbs and areas. I feel like I have forgotten how to go off boldly into the unknown, take a chance, and absorb new sights and sounds. It’s time for an adventure, even if it’s just a mini one.

Some time away from draft posts will also hopefully free me up to visit more of your blogs, more regularly. Some scheduled posts had been written in preparation for our holiday, so This Reading Life will not be totally quiet. As soon as I have something to say again, I will be back!

Until then, thank you for your patience and understanding.

  • This post was written on the traditional land of the Wangal clan, one of the 29 clans of the Eora Nation within the Sydney basin.

35 thoughts on “A Little Hiatus

  1. We all need to find our own ways to deal with the ups and downs of our writing journey. For some writers, it’s push forward, full steam ahead. For others, it’s rest. Great on you for trying to find your path. Wishing you all the best!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Firstly, a blog slump is part of the reading journey.
    Just sit back, put the kettle on and have a cuppa tea.
    You will bounce back!
    Tips: make a list…10-12 book that REALLY interest you.
    Stop reviewing the “duty reads” for a challenge on another person’s blog!
    Stop the “duty reads”
    Stop reviewing all those tempting wothy award winners
    …you can do all that as soon as you get your reading mojo back.
    Stop letting the act of blogging dictate what you read.
    Don’t let your blog run you.

    My April reading list is all about me…what I want to read
    …what I NEED to read. I may only read a few on my books but
    at least I will be super motivated to learn and read what I can
    …because the list is JUST for me.
    I throw down the gauntlet and challenge you to post YOUR April
    reading list that will be JUST about you!
    XO

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    1. Thanks Nancy 🙂

      For me making lists is the problem though!

      I’m such a mood reader that I need the flexibiltiy to pick up or put down as the mood takes me.
      I’m happy to schedule one, maybe two books a month, knowing that the other 2 or 3 books will be mood ones.

      So, April I have my next Zola on the schedule, but the rest are whatever takes my fancy.

      I look forward to seeing what your April reading list, all about you, looks like!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. You won’t be surprised to hear that I’ve been having this conversation with other people in other contexts, and one way or another all of them are in need of a break. A break from obligations whatever they are even if (like our blogs), they’re not meant to be obligations; a break from the news, a break from sadness, a break from feeling overwhelmed about everything!
    I wasn’t comfortable about going back to French f2f, so I decided to take a break for the rest of this term. I love French, but it’s been great, I feel as if I have a whole extra day in my week!
    Enjoy your break:)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Lisa. As I’m talking to more people, I’m discovering the same thing. People are on edge, flat, struggling to find their mojo, just going through the motions….
      I had to go into the city yesterday for appointments, & thought I would turn it into a bit of an adventure, wander around The Rocks or the Gardens, but once I was done with what I had to do, I just wanted to get out of there as quickly as possible. Came home and read my book instead.
      Enjoy your extra day off.

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      1. Along with all the other pressures, there is pressure for us to get out and about in the city, of course because they want us to spend money and get the economy going. But there are many of us who have become used to living our lives close to home, and we like it that way. This is a time for choices, and I think I’ve made mine. I like the quiet life.

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        1. I’m coming around to that thinking too Lisa. Part of the adjustment has been the change in pace of life now that both boys have left school. B21 is in his final year at uni and still living at home, but we no longer responisble for getting him anywhere. A part of me can’t wait until we make the move to the mountains to our place there…

          Liked by 2 people

  4. Sounds like a wise decision. When blogging feels like a chore, it’s always good to have a break. Enjoy jt. We will all still be here ready to welcome you back when you are ready.

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  5. Enjoy your blog vacation. Read for fun. Write for fun. Enjoy the satisfaction of fixing all the issues that are bugging you. I’ll be happy to read again whenever you are happy to write again.

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    1. Thanks Jennifer. I’ve been trying to read some award winning new poetry lately and it’s just not working for me. I picked up a Josephine Tey last night & loved falling into her easy, very readable style.

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  6. That missing writing mojo is a good signal that it’s time for a change. You’re not giving up blogging entirely – just focusing on a different aspect of it for the next few months. I hope that recharges your batteries.

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  7. Your hiatus plan sounds great! Tidying and organizing and reflecting will give you new energy, I am sure. And I hope you are able to do some explorations and that will refresh you as well. Best wishes for your blog break.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Good for you Brona … I must say that I have been struggling a bit lately too. My last post, about a great book, is a bit ho hum really. I will keep going but I am going to stop feeling driven to write three posts a week. If it happens it happens if not, then that’s ok. My February post numbers were down (10 instead of my 13 average). A short month, but even so, most of the weeks I only wrote 2 posts.

    I also need to get onto fixing up that converted blog I’ve done … none of the “labels” came over as categories, for a start. As for links and images, I’ll have to decide as I go. Fortunately it’s not a highly active blog so I think there’s only 150 or so posts.

    Anyhow, enjoy whatever you are doing – and have a great holiday! Look forward to seeing you wherever and whenever you pop up.

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    1. Thanks for the support Sue. As I talk to more and more people, I hear a real trend of people not doing so well. Tiredness, lack of energy, feeling flat, despondant, struggling to get on top of everything they have to do etc.

      I haven’t forgotten about your queries for your other blog.

      I think I was lucky when I changed my blog over a year ago, WP had not yet made changes to their widget settings. When I had a quick look recently, none of the tweeking I was able to do a year ago is available anymore. I played with one of the lesser elements on my sidebar, which involved converting it into a block. The heading thing became a problem immediately – it was too far away from the content of the block. And nothing I tried could tweek it. It would seem that it might depend on the template you chose to use, but I haven’t played around with this idea as I quite like the current style of my blog and don’t want to risk messing with it!

      Have you tried adding the category widget to see if it finds your old labels?

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      1. Ah, that’s interesting re the widgets in terms of when you did your change-over, because, yes, what you’ve found is what I found re the widget headings – they look like essentially a separate block? I have invoked the category widget on that blog but it only shows the categories I’ve added for the recent posts, as I’m going backwards.

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  9. I think I am where you are now. Blogging is tough sometimes, but I don’t think we have to force ourselves when we don’t feel like it. Some days are better than others. I have other projects that are, as it seems, forever waiting to get some time and care. Yesterday, I sorted out some of my memorabilia from travels. I got a camping book when we bought the car. I always save tickets and other memorabilia from travels. Just starting to note down our routes made me very happy. I will continue today. I also did some journaling/scrap booking and felt so pleased. This positive vibe will hopefully spread to blogging.
    We are also allowed to read without thinking of writing a review afterwards. Then, of course, there are books that just need a review.

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