I began sharing book reviews because I wanted to help authors I liked make a career in writing, and because I enjoyed writing reviews and thought I was good at it.
I no longer enjoy writing reviews.
Part of it is the nature of the author/reviewer relationship mediated through ARC distribution platforms like NetGalley: If I accept an ARC, I have to post a review, even if I don’t like the book. But what if I don’t like it because I’m just not smart enough to get it? What if I don’t like it because I’m not the right reader? What if my not liking it closes doors I don’t yet know will keep me out of my own career in writing?
If I do decide to start writing reviews again, I will likely stick to books I have purchased with my own money so that I have the ability to choose whether or not I want to say anything about them publicily.
However, part of what’s going on is also just that I’m not generally enjoying much right now.
I’m okay. I’m not in crisis, and I don’t want anyone to worry about me. Depression seems like an unpleasant but perfectly reasonable response to what I’m going through right now, especially given what we’re all going through right now.
For now, I’m going to focus on taking care of myself and my family; cutting back on commitments that don’t make me happy; and chasing the things that do still spark joy.
I’ve been able to finish a shocking number of short stories in the past few months, and I hope to be able to share some of those … realistically, with the rate at which publishing moves, within the next decade or two. I have the first draft of a cozy rural PNW sapphic romance novel about grief and ghosts and a three-legged gremlin dog to revise.
I think I might like to use this blog to talk about writing as a practice–routines, planners, resources, etc. I can’t say for sure yet because I don’t want to overcommit and cut into my fiction writing time, but that sounds fun and potentially useful. We’ll see.
I am also working on a post about the books that I’ve found most useful in dealing with both my feelings about and the material reality of preparing to lose a parent to pancreatic cancer. Should be a riot.
Until then, did you know you can watch a live feed of the penguins at the Monterey Bay Aquarium? They get fed on camera every day at 3 PM PT. You’re welcome.