Saturday, June 1, 2013

Armchair BEA 2013: Keeping It Real

One of the great drawbacks to blogging is that it can start to feel like a job and you become jaded and lose interest. Today we were asked to comment on how we keep ourselves, and our audience, returning to our blog. You can find links to other blogs taking part here.

So, how do you keep your blogging fresh and interesting? I find one of the best ways to do this is to provide myself with goals and targets. I also like to engage with the community as this provides a source of feedback and encouragement that can make all the difference when you simply cannot face writing anything inspiring.


These are an excellent way to keep the motivation flowing and can also provide you with great ideas for things to read and review. They may also provide you with a way to interact with and find new readers, which is always a wonderful way to refresh your own interest.

They come in all shapes and sizes, as you can see from the pages I have dedicated to my Challenges ’12 and Challenges ’13. Some of these are run by large organizations, like Goodreads, and are very general. Some are self-imposed stupidity, like my Challenge of Ice and Fire, which encouraged me to complete the entirety of George R.R. Martin’s series last year: it worked, but it was a relief when I reached the end! Others are a way for small(ish) groups of bloggers to celebrate certain genres that they appreciate or to encourage each other to work through that TBR pile.

They do not always keep you on track, especially when life throws you a curve ball, as mine did this year. I rather surprisingly became employed in mid-January, which has had a dramatic impact on my reviewing output, although I did hamper myself by engaging in far too many . . .

Read Alongs

I am seriously addicted to these events, and this year I found myself engaged in four at the same time for a week or two, which was a sign of my total lack of self-control! :D

I posted about these wonderfully addictive online book groups during last year’s Armchair BEA, but I cannot stress how much they keep me involved with my blog and motivated to write. I am very fortunate that I have found a group of fellow addicts who keep me supplied with titles to read and discuss, whilst making it all seem like good, clean fun. I even found a Read Along more ludicrous that my Challenge of Ice and Fire: a small group of us are slowly creeping through the monster that is Robert Jordan’s mammoth Wheel of Time series. We have just finished book 3 of 14, so we will be finished in another couple of years . . .

So far this year, I have taken part in Read Alongs for:

The Dragon Reborn by Robert Jordan
Dragonflight by Anne McCaffrey
Elvenbane by Andre Norton & Mercedes Lackey
The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan
The Great Hunt by Robert Jordan
A Hat Full of Sky by Terry Pratchett
Shadow of the Sun by Barbara Friend Ish
Stardust by Neil Gaiman
The Wee Free Men by Terry Pratchett

That looks like too many, and it was hard work, but it keeps me happy! :)


  1. LOVE how many fantasy-themed readalongs you've joined in on! And you're right, challenges and readalongs are a great way to stay motivated, have new content, and meet new bloggers! I love readalong and readathons, myself. :)

    1. I just need to be better at choosing which ones to do and when! :D

  2. A series with 14 books?! I don't know that I can handle that large of a commitment! Haha

  3. Wow! That is an impressive number of readalongs!

  4. This is my first year participating in reading challenges, but I still haven't done any readalongs. Good ideas.

    Sandy @ Somewhere Only We Know


Please let me know what you think, because comments make me happy!

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.

Link Within

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...