Dealing with my reading slump

On the off-chance you’ve realized that my posting has gone down the drain, I’m in a reading slump. Well, I’m on my way out of one, rather. And because I haven’t been reading my content has dried up – I don’t want to just post tags every day and my creativity for unique posts has shriveled along with my page count. So here we are.

My 2018 goodreads goal is 40 books, ten less than I usually set it to. Perhaps my brain could feel the slump coming on even in January – it hit about a month later. Either way, I’m three books behind. I’ve read five books when I should be around eight.

Once I realized what was happening, I made a post here about it and then promptly disappeared again. This is my (attempt at a) re-emergence, so wish me luck. I figured I’d start with what’s been blockading me from posting in the first place.

The sources of my slump

It took me a while to realize that I was in a slump, let alone why. Identifying the source(s) of my slump was step one to help alleviate it. And it turned out to be a number of reasons:

  • My work is draining. I’m a software developer and while usually the job is pretty ok, this past month or two we’ve had a lot of deadlines to deliver products to clients. Because of this, I’ve had a lot of extra pressure at work and therefore when I come home I just wanna be a potato and stare at the tv. (And being on the computer all day makes me not want to get on my own in the evening to write posts). Recently, the last (major) deadline passed, so the pressure at work should slow down a bit, meaning I’ll be a bit more energetic when I get home.
  • I got caught up in tv shows. And while this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it means time I’d usually use reading in the morning before work or after work was taken up by tv. I’m currently in a huge anime binge and have been zooming through a bunch of series, some new and some rewatches. Once I realized that it was a major time-suck, I tried to redirect myself to a book 50% of the time I got the urge to watch tv. So that picked up my reading again a bit, and once I had cracked open the book I usually enjoyed myself anyways.
  • The book I was reading was difficult and dense. I told myself to read House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski this year and while I’m mostly liking it, it’s a rather dense read, even with the pages that are basically bare. And because I had this mental block of ‘read one physical book at a time’, I didn’t pick up any other books, I just struggled through this one. I’m still not done with it actually. But because I realized that this book was blocking me from others, I made an exception to my one physical book rule. Since then I’ve zoomed through two additional books while only picking up House of Leaves when I’m feeling particularly drawn to it.
  • I might have been experiencing a depressive episode. I don’t have depression – but I’ve studied it in depth when I was getting my psychology degree, and when I was working in the psychology field, I worked with both adults and children who had it. It was enough that I have the symptoms memorized and I was able to recognize them in myself for a bit there. I don’t have a doctorate so obviously I can’t do an official diagnosis, but this isn’t a thing I say lightly, as I know so many people deal with chronic depression. There are these things called ‘depressive episodes’ though that are brief manifestations of symptoms that don’t last long enough to actually result in an official depression diagnosis, and I noticed the symptoms arising in myself when my deadlines at work were really heavy. So if I did in fact actually have a depressive episode, the stress from work was the cause. And anyone who has depression or has had episodes knows that while in the midst of it, it’s kind of hard to do anything, whether you want to or not. I was in a mist for about a month and a half – I couldn’t bring myself to do anything except watch tv, which is why my tv show consumption skyrocketed. I’m feeling more clear-headed though in the last couple weeks due to my work stuff lessening, so hopefully it’ll stay this way.
  • Social obligations took over. While I didn’t really want to do anything socially, this past month I was kind of forced to. And I likely wasn’t a very good conversational partner during any of it, as mentioned in the reasons above. I was stressed, I was listless, I just wanted to go home and sleep. But there were family things going on and stuff that I wasn’t really permitted to miss, so I had to go and be present, at least in body if not in mind. Because of this, I had even less time at home to myself to unwind and potentially pick up a book. I’m hoping there will be less things going on this month. I hope. I like hanging out with family and friends but I can only handle so much, hawhaw.

For all of these reasons, my slump hit hard. Well, I was really in a life slump, which just happened to include books. I hope it doesn’t happen again, as it was a really dull month – my mind was just buzzing.

So now that I’m at a point where I feel motivated enough to try to keep myself from slipping back into the slump, I plan to do the following:

  • Post twice a week. My 2018 goal is three times a week, but right now I’ll be happy with two times, at least until my reading picks up and I get some actual source material to write about. So prepare for tags and stuff I suppose. 😛 Tag me in things please, peeps.
  • Read short books. Manga are screaming my name right now, probably because I’ve been watching so much anime. I’m thinking that rereading my favorite series or picking up a new one will help, and a manga only takes me about 30-45 min to read so I can fix my reading goal number super fast that way
  • Devote more time to reading your posts. In addition to my writing of posts falling off, my reading of others’ did too. I’m sorry for that. You all create such wonderful things and I usually love reading them but I haven’t been able to bring myself to do it lately. I’m hoping your content can inspire me to read more and to make more content myself. Thanks for the help in advance. 😀
  • Make posts about tv shows that I watch. I am branching out, and because I’ve been watching so much tv lately I might as well use it as inspiration for posts. It will hopefully help me make that two times a week goal.

And that’s it. I hope this posts explains a bit where I’ve been and I hope it will act as a stepping stone to returning more to the online book community and to my own reading. If you read all of this, hey thanks, you’re a pal.

2 thoughts on “Dealing with my reading slump

  1. Your goals are my goals 😀 Especially at the moment, I am struggling to post regularly and come up with content.. Feels like I can’t catch up somehow.

    I am glad my job doesn’t involve the computer so much. The only thing I have to do is print out invoices & menus, which takes very little time. I can imagine you feel like a break and don’t want to stare at the screen when you are home. Especially when it’s been so busy and there’s so much pressure…

    Hope it’s getting better soon!

    Liked by 2 people

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