AWOL in April

AWOL

AWOL in April

I began blogging on 7th February 2015 and since then, including this post I have blogged 868 times, including reviews, blogging events, guest posts, extracts, spotlights, giveaways and interviews. I’ve attended book launches and events and met wonderful authors and other bloggers who have become real life friends. I absolutely love all these things about blogging.

However, I’m going AWOL in April and taking a sabbloggital!

Bloggers reading this will know just how much time it takes to set up a blog post, even if the content is provided by someone else. It needs adapting to the ‘house style’, links need checking, images are often not provided (thank goodness for the Snipping Tool!) and frequently extracts come as PDF files of up to 30 pages that need converting to text and then reformatting and a decision made as to which part to include before they can be used. All this takes hours.

An author interview, for example, takes me around an hour to research and compose relevant questions; then there is the time it takes to email backwards and forwards. Once I have the answers I spend around another 90 minutes or so setting up the blog post, checking it all and scheduling tweets (I use Hootsuite) and then on the day of publication it’s another 15-20 minutes posting in various Facebook groups. So, an average blog post uses between 3 and 4 hours of my time – I know I might be especially slow but I try to put out the best quality post I can for the authors, publicists and publishers. I could read a novel in about four or five hours.

I love to share what my fellow bloggers are doing too so another couple of hours per day can disappear in retweeting and sharing their hard work.

Whilst I truly do love all of this, I am taking April off.

I have so many books on my TBR that I’ll never catch up and I owe it to those who’ve sent me their books, especially the independent authors, to try to read as many as I can. Currently there are well over 850 hard copies on the pile and I daren’t even look on my Kindle! I’m going to spend those extra hours gained as I go AWOL in April reading as much as I can. I have a couple of reviews I promised before I decided to go AWOL, but other than that I’m going to spend blogging time reading!

The side effect of this is that I should be in less pain too as I have osteoarthritis in my joints and whilst it doesn’t look obvious, every key stroke, every mouse click is uncomfortable at best and painful at worst so a break will do my finger joints good. It’ll also give my eyes a break. My typing is appalling (I NEVER manage the word ‘the’ without it coming out as ‘teh’) so I have to keep going back to correct it, thereby exacerbating the pain in my joints. Partly I just can’t type and partly this is because I have difficulty seeing as a result of dry eye, a small hole in my left retina, an epimacular membrane (so that all my straight edges are actually wavy!), a complex prescription, astigmatism that can’t be corrected and short sightedness to -12.5… I could go on! I’ve found the blogging, much as I adore it, isn’t helping.

I’ll still be posting as many reviews as I can in April and I’ve been saving some up to post during this time, especially where I’ve turned down the blog tours for books. Each review can take a couple of hours to write to convey my thoughts accurately, find author links, schedule tweets and add to Facebook. I still want to support as many lovely writers and bloggers as I can, but I might not be sharing others’ posts quite as much as usual and I’m not taking on any blog tours, guest posts interviews and so on.

my sister and other liars

I’ll be back to my ‘normal’ blogging on 1st May with a publication day interview from Ruth Dugdall about My Sister and Other Liars and a guest post from Kate Dunn based on The Dragonfly.

the dragonfly

See you soon and happy reading!

84 thoughts on “AWOL in April

    • Oh no Lorraine. Not what you need at all with the new job too. Take great care of yourself – it was you who inspired me to take this break after your social media free day a week idea. x

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  1. Good for you Linda!! It takes so much out of you doesn’t it at times! I have booked the first week in May off as a “reading week” but unlike the ones I had at uni this will actually be spent reading and not drinking large amounts of alcohol for a week and then doing my assignments in an “all nighter” the night before I go back!! Will miss you but HAPPY READING!! Xx

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  2. What a fabulous idea, Linda. We all need a break once in a while and you definitely deserve one after all your hard work. I also love your title AWOL in April ha ha, it might start trending! Have a fabulous month off and see you in May! Xx 😊

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  3. Enjoy your sabbolgital! No wonder you need a break since I wake up every morning to find several updates to your blog and wonder how you keep it up! I’m a gardener too and the garden is definitely calling at this time of the year. There’s nothing better on a lovely day than sitting with a book as the birds sing away in the background. We’ll all be pleased to see you back refreshed and relaxed in May.

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  4. You’ve been blogging so well and for so long, I can’t imagine the time it all takes! I’m on the slower side of blogging so one post can take me three to four hours but I never imagine posting as often as you do. Your devotion is fantastic, and this break so well-deserved! I hope you enjoy your time off and take care of yourself 🙂 x

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    • Thanks so much lovely lady. I’m still around but not spending as much time on social media and I’m not doing anything other than my own reviews. Happy reading and blogging yourself x

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  5. wow on all the time you spend on your blog, you totally deserve the break! My husband has osteoarthritis and uses special software and a special mouse so I totally feel for you on that front too.Second time I’ve written this today (Book review cafe the first) but you’re amazing and look forward to getting back to your blog after.Happy reading!

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    • Thanks so much for your lovely comment. I’m not disappearing entirely, but am spending the time reading as much as possible and reviewing instead of doing blog tours and features. I really appreciate you dropping by x

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