General Post

Starting Fresh

Hello friends! I hope everyone is having a fantastic 2019 so far, and that you are well, happy, and living your best life. I know you probably thought I was never coming back to update this space, but I wanted to take awhile to re-evaluate my online presence, not only here, but on all my social media platforms. I’ve been in a funk for awhile, and it has affected my reading and really, my overall joy. I wanted to take a few moments and fill you in on what’s been going on and how I plan to proceed from here on out.

Basically, I’ve spent a couple of months reflecting on what types of books I enjoy reading, how I enjoy talking about books, and what negative aspects I need to let go of. There are things in life that, as adults, we have to do that are hard and not enjoyable, but a hobby shouldn’t include those types of things. During #ThrillerSlump2019, I’ve noticed that I’ve been forcing myself to read books that I’m just not interested in, all for the sake of FOMO. The fear of missing out is a real thing, and there are some massively popular books that I’m interested in and want to read, but I believe that, at least for a season, my love affair with the psychological thriller/mommy drama/domestic suspense has passed. I cannot stomach another book featuring an alcoholic, unreliable female narrator-I need strong female leads! I’m tired of reading about wives who discover their husbands are cheating, about memory loss that surrounds a “massive twist you’ll never see coming”, and every other cliche that goes along with these stories.

I’m craving books with deep character development, stories that make me feel intensely and passionately about things, and that encourage me to better myself and the people around me. This was something I fought at first, because here I am, The Suspense Is Thrilling Me, and I’ve built an entire brand around suspense thrillers! After much consideration, though, I’ve come to the realization that there are a great number of genres that are “thrilling and suspenseful”, and I have a plethora of material just waiting for me to explore. Does this mean I won’t read mystery/thrillers anymore? Absolutely not! They are the base of who I am, but I think I’ll be looking for other sub-genres to explore within that large platform for a time.

So what does this mean going forward? Well, I’ve decided to take the pressure off of myself and go back to my roots. While Instagram is fun and colorful and a necessary asset to publishing, I’ve come to the conclusion that, at heart, I’m not an influencer but a reviewer. First and foremost, I want to focus on putting forth quality reviews on Goodreads again, and instead of spending hours on my phone photographing, editing, posting, and piddling around on Instagram, I’m going to take a step back. I’m still delighted to co-host the #ScaredSuspenseBookClub with my partner in crime, Dennis, because it is the number 1 thing that brings me joy on that platform. I’ll likely focus on posting around 3X per week, mainly to update you on what I’m reading, what books I’ve received or purchased, and anything cool that’s going on with my reviews or blog. I’m still not planning on posting reviews here again (although you’ll likely see my posts for a blog tour for Angela Marsons here and there 😉 ), but I’ll definitely still patch through links to everything I’m reviewing via Goodreads here as well.

So what’s the point of bringing back the blog, Chels? Glad you asked! I’m hoping to continue to share my love of books here, as well as other places. I love talking about what books I have coming up, what reads are on my backlist, lists of various book related topics, unboxings of book subscriptions, author interviews, etc. Basically, I’m hoping to post all the same things that I used to, minus the reviews. Sam @Cluesandreviews and I have also resurrected our Goodreads bookclub, Suspenseful Clues and Thrilling Reviews, so feel free to jump back in with us as we discuss what we’re reading each month. In a way, not much is changing, and simultaneously everything is. I’m so weary of feeling like a slave to algorithms, having to stop my life to post at specific times, and to stay in the good graces of the social media gods, so I’ve decided to do me and keep re-evaluating where this road will take me. I appreciate every single one of you, whether you’ve been with me since day one or we are just now “meeting”. Thank you for reading if you made it this far, and feel free to drop a comment below telling me what you would like to see on this platform! ❤

If you’d like to follow my reading journey elsewhere, you can find me on GoodreadsInstagram, and Twitter! ❤



32 thoughts on “Starting Fresh”

  1. Welcome back, we’ve all missed you! I’ve been in a complete slump/rut/whatever for months and have read far more things that were just barely o.k. then things that were great. I’ve spent hours chatting with two of my author friends about it and a few months ago I decided to discipline myself into avoiding book tour invites by several promo groups because the books are never great. Also, as you mentioned with the FOMO, I’ve learned to not click on a NetGalley request just because I’m seeing it everywhere because typically (and unfortunately) I didn’t see in it whatever they did.

    I doubt I’ll ever stop trolling NetGalley and I have found some wonderful things on there recently. However, I made the decision to go back to the “good old days” where most of my reviews originate from individual author requests or sometimes requests directly from the publisher and I’ve enjoyed this so much more than I have been the past year or so. I still sign up for tours with certain groups but am being much pickier and learning to say no.

    Right before I read this post I was looking over my calendar spreadsheet and noticed that I have exactly 12 scheduled obligations for review tours/posts between now and September 20th and it made me feel happy and relaxed to not have as many as I would 6 months ago. We won’t discuss how many are sitting on my NetGalley shelf, lol, but it is also slowly shrinking. But like you, I just got sick of their suspense/thrillers because they were not thrilling, rarely suspenseful, and just left me feeling “blah.”

    Enjoy your new spin on things and remember we started this because it was supposed to be fun. It can be stressful at times with deadlines or wondering how honest to be, how to convey our thoughts, etc – but we should enjoy this! When it’s not working, do something different 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. First and foremost, a resounding – Welcome back! from me to you. I’ve so missed your posts and reviews in the time since I came back from my own hiatus.

    I admire your ability to suss out what might have been putting you in a slump in the first place. I think it’s okay to recognize that as we get older, or go through particular life events, our needs change and the things that interest us change alongside them. Makes complete sense to me that after reading literally hundreds of suspense/thrillers and becoming accustomed to the formulas of them, you’d be ready for a change.

    I hear ya on Instagram. I felt bad for awhile that I just cannot keep up with that platform. There are so many people posting such gorgeous shots of their books, and interacting with each other and I give it a go and post my own pictures there, but the time commitment of bookstagram is real. Becoming an influencer on bookstagram sounds nice, but I don’t know how some of the biggest influencers there have time to read at all when they spend 12 hours a day replying to comments or reciprocating likes.

    I did the same thing when I returned from hiatus w/ instagram and made the conscious choice to only interact with the platform on 3 days a week. Any more and I feel like I start getting lost within it and lose too much reading time.

    It’s so crucial as bloggers and reviewers that we remember to put ourselves and our own well-being first. It’s awesome to see that you’ve identified ways in which to do that and I can’t wait to see how your blogging and reviewing grows going forward. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Love this post. I love thrillers but couldn’t not read other things as it can be repetitive. The more I read the more I’ve found a love of other genres has grown and I’m so thankful I have broadened what I read and not restricted myself based on a genre. I’m
    excited to see what you read next and what great books you discover xx

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Girl I support EVERYTHING you touch! You’re a brilliant reviewer. I stopped what I was doing and put my Insta on hiatus and just read what I wanted from my backlist. Now I only do Insta for fun. Turns out never wanted reading to be a job. I will follow every crumb you leave me on ANY platform but Goodreads is where I’m at most of the time. ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I just realized we follow each other on Twitter (I’m @brokeandbookish over there) and are friends on Goodreads but I NEVER FOLLOWED YOU ON INSTA! Just fixed that haha I absolutely think your new direction fits your blog name! Hell sometimes I am reading a romance and the suspense of them finally getting together is thrilling to me! I think you can totally make it work for you! I’ve been reevaluating a lot of things lately too and I think it’s smart to keep doing that and see where things aren’t making you happy anymore!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Sounds like a great plan, Chelsea! I go back and forth all the time whether I should give up the blog and just go back to reading because I love it! I think with all the social media platforms and pressure sometimes what we started as a hobby feels more like a job (an unpaid one at that 😬). I hope you have a lovely summer and enjoy spending time with the kids. As a mom who has stayed home for the past 18 years I’m in a transition myself as one heads away to University in the fall and one who will be right behind her. So enjoy all those little moments and I look forward to still interacting with you on Goodreads! xx

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Amazing news! I love your Instagram but it’s great to have you back! I hear ya about killing a genre! I think of I read another YA Dystopian novel, I may just scream! I think what you’re doing is great and that you’re listening to yourself 👏💕

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Glad you’re back! I understand about Instagram and always knew it wasn’t a good fit for my reviewing goals. Love what you’re planning to do going forward, though I enjoy your reviews on Goodreads and wouldn’t mind seeing them here. Right now, I see them when I’m considering my own adds but would love to see them more proactively from your blog.


    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so excited to see what you read next and love how open and honest you are about being tired of the same “thriller” formula lately, I thought it was just me!! I’ve loved everything you recommend (& follow you on Insta and Goodreads, too!). Can’t wait to explore some new genres and continue reading together 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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