So…I’ve had a year. And despite more time on my hands, I’ve read significantly less than usual and shied away from my usual blog
. I’m actually in the middle of like 8 books right now or something equally ridiculous?
There are three ARC (advanced reader’s copy) book reviews I should have posted long ago, but since I read them between August and March of this year, I don’t think I remember enough to properly review them. Especially as my memory from early this year is not the sharpest. Constantly trying to complete what I’d started in the past only serves to remind me of how difficult the past eight months have been. I didn’t write about a lot of middle grade books I loved because I was busy teaching with them, and then suddenly I wasn’t. I had a great reading month in May that would have been great to write about because the titles also related to how it was Mental Health Awareness month, and I was doing better myself, but…that almost felt too personal, and it would have taken time. And meanwhile I’ve listened to a bunch of great nonfiction audiobooks, which connects to how I have been wanting and mostly only able to read nonfiction and how my career interests are broadening, but…it would be long, and I kind of liked the idea of keeping my reading more to myself. These books were often personal and important to me, and I wasn’t ready to write about why yet.
I have always preferred and often written personal reflections and analyses connected to myself and the world at large rather than traditional book reviews–I even snuck that into the only review I wrote this year
, even though it was an ARC review. Whether something is “good” or not or star ratings has never been of particular interest to me. Besides, I books are not the only thing I love talking about.
I’ve had a lot of difficulty making and following through with plans this year, especially if it means making something….so I’m forcing myself to do this as a way to get back in the habit. This is somewhere between an excuse and a trick for my brain to get me writing consistently and with less pressure than a fully-formed, carefully researched piece to pitch to publications or even just a book review. I’ve been trying to wrangle and streamline the remnants of years of part-time experiments on the Internet instead of stopping to think, do I want to do that anymore? Sometimes you just need to start somewhere new on a clean slate, so here we are. By no means will my other projects disappear, but they will probably be either funneled to or promoted by this newsletter.
Plus, I get to actually communicate with others and get out of my head! I’ve been alone a lot of the past year alone, exacerbated by the pandemic–I moved out, lived alone, was further from family and friends who often couldn’t visit anyway, and ended up spending a lot of time the beginning of this year alone in my apartment thanks to time off work, snow, and being in-between jobs. Oh, and then I threw myself into so many things outside that I ended up burnt out, disappointed, or just had a panic attack somewhere so as I result I developed agoraphobia and only felt safe in my apartment! Fun times! (I have learned how to manage that now, don’t worry. Turns out I was experiencing hypomania in addition to having ADHD.)